I so rarely come into contact with verbena/vervain in any form that now, when I have this golden opportunity, it’s going to be very, very hard to not make at least one Vampire Diaries joke per sentence. But I will try.

This is, according to my highly scientific calculations (I checked the tray of untried teas in the kitchen) the final Comptoir tea I have yet to try. Overall, they have been far more impressive than the Dammann Frères teas from the same order, but not quite as complex and flavourful as the greens from Mariage Frères I’ve come to love so much. I’ve ranked them 75 throughout, I think, but I think I’ll probably nudge those ratings up to 80 after being bored to death by some more DF teas.

This was a completely random selection – I’m not a huge citrus tea fan, but I was curious about the mandarin. It turned out to be a really good choice.

In the bag, this smells very much like something L’Occitane would sell – a little over the top, heavy and balmy. Still, it’s hard to stop smelling it, because it’s so complex, and the nice roundness of the citrus is really comforting.

Steeped, it’s just great. It reminds me a lot of a blood orange tea I had at The Gage in Chicago (I’ll write a note for that soon, as I asked for some leaf to go) which was just beautiful. This definitely inspires me to look for more blood orange/mandarin teas, as this is turning into a new favourite taste range – maybe citrus teas are for me, after all.

All in all, this is my favourite Comptoir tea so far, which is no small feat – I could drink this every day. (Not to mention the obvious perk of keeping those pesky vamps at bay.)

[From my epic Instant-Thé order to Rome, October 2013.]

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

i have a thing for the citrus scents from l’occitane….. note to self. button click. =0) happy new year dear xoxo.

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i have a thing for the citrus scents from l’occitane….. note to self. button click. =0) happy new year dear xoxo.

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.


* *


This will be a year of in-betweenness and logistics. Where to put the teas. How to arrange the teas. Which teas to replenish – which ones to say goodbye to.

Still doing Project Green.
Still doing Project Jasmine.
Still doing Project Peach.

Dr. Tea is the name, I’m ahead of my game
still, steeping my leafs, still f*ck with the temps
still not loving Assam (uh-huh)
still rock my Bosch kettle with its high-pitched shriek
still got love for the greens, repping Lupicia
still the cup steams, still doing my thang
since I left, ain’t too much changed, still

(With apologies to Mr. Young.)


This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.


Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.


* *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.


Rome, Italy

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