drank Jasmin Chung Hao by Forgeron & Blanc
303 tasting notes

This one has grown on me a little bit, to be honest – it smells so completely delicious and I find more complexity in it flavour wise, too. At the same time, it’s hard to tell to what extent this is a quality tea – maybe it’s just bells and whistles and I’m falling for it. I mean – German tea companies, who can take them seriously? (Yes, I said that in a heavy French accent.)

I had another jasmin tea this weekend (my friend Em embarked upon her very first Birthday Week; decadence reigned) the Jasmin Mandarin from Mariage Frères, expertly served, as always, by the lovely staff at Dagnino. It’s such a great place to enjoy tea and dessert – their cassata is out of this world. But I digress – I will pick up some Jasmin Mandarin and give it a fair review at a later date… and wait patiently for dessertster.com for the full cassata write-up.

This cup, though, is pleasantly floral and without bitterness, in spite of the fact that I was distracted and brewed it a little too hot, Lupicia style. I’m having some kind of late morning snack consisting of fruit and almond butter. The latter is so good and I wish I’d picked up a couple more jars at Whole Foods in NOLA. But I felt a need to check out how organic and responsible Justin’s actually were – nothing ticks me off more than pretend organic, like, ‘oh, we source everything locally, except this palm oil that we have no idea where it comes from, but that’s probably not a controversial product at all’.

But I needn’t have worried, because Justin’s are so OCD about their product sourcing they even have detailed carbon footprint charts for every single ingredient on their website. With all the privilege I enjoy, I’m completely fascist about buying organic whenever I can – quality over quantity consumption appeals to me much more. This time around in Italy, there are so many more organic choices on the shelves compared to just a few years back, which is cool.

Anyway, I need to finish my banan(n)a and strawberries and get on with my day.

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

I totally agree with you about buying organic!


I never heard about this brand before, thanks for helping to discover it

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I totally agree with you about buying organic!


I never heard about this brand before, thanks for helping to discover it

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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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