Compagnie ColonialeEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is an excellent lapsang souchong black tea that I received from a friend who was visiting Paris last fall. Her hotel served this each day as a breakfast tea. She enjoyed it each morning and decided to bring some home for herself, but wanted to share with me as well.
It has the strong, smoky flavor you’d expect from a lapsang souchong tea, but it isn’t overpowering. It’s milder than I expected, which makes it more appealing to me. After the first few times I tried making it at my usual amounts for black teas, I decided to add a gram extra (7 grams in 16 ounces of water) and steep it a minute longer, which seemed perfect for my tastes.
This is a sipdown that makes me sad, but I will be sure to look for this again in the future. Thanks, Tatyana!
Flavors: Smoke, Smoked
I am having this Tea grandpa style and I must admit that today’s cup is my most successful cup in terms of being true to it’s flavouring. I am not sure if this improvement is because the tea is over a year old hence some of the floral notes in the oolong have become muted allowing the caramel notes to shine, or if the tea generally benefits from a longer steep , or if using boiling water to steep it helped to bring out the flavouring. Today’s cup really brought out the creamy butter caramel notes in the tea mixed with a little bit of spice and butter, and a depth produced from the roasting of the oolong. This finishes with a cooling and slughtly drying sensation from the oolong. The caramel is buttery and sweet with a mix of browned butter, sugar and vanilla notes that remind me a bit of skillet toffee. There are also cinnamon and a slightly woody Roasted autumn leaf note which is slightly bitter but which offsets and balances the sweetness. This is quite an enjoyable nightcap tonight.
Now this finally a sample whose donor I can identify – thank you Ysaurella.
I liked the oolong-quality of this a lot, the base was lovely and smooth. I think I must have kept it too long, the caramel notes were there but somewhat subdued, and that was not necessarily a problem, I enjoyed it very much just as it was.
When I first opened this tea I had not read about Compagnie Coloniale’s unique steam flavouring process so I was at first concerned about how shiny the leaves looked. They appear almost wet or like they are coated in oil. The picture included with this tea doesn’t really capture that element. Though the tea is quite visually appealing with its deep pink and blew flower petals scattered among the dark shiny leaves. The tea smells of a slightly liqueur like cherry mixed with marzipanish almond notes with a faint kick of spicy fresh ginger with it’s slight lemon notes.
This tea does not tend to get astringent when brewed at higher temperatures but you can adjust the temperature to bring out different flavour notes. Cherry and almond are the first notes detected, though the almond notes are best detected when the tea is hot as it cools it moves away from a marzipan note to more of the creamy nutty and a touch woody note of raw almonds. The cherry is not a candy note. At times it hints of liqueur and other times it reference dried cherries. When very hot the ginger is not prominent in the taste but as it cools it becomes more present. I also got stronger ginger notes and a more dominant cherry when I brewed the tea at @ 90°C. Also present was a touch of cream and at times vanilla. The base tea is fairly inoccuous. It is pretty smooth and doesn’t present a lot of texture to the taste. It is a little fruity, and has a bit of malt, and darker slightly earthy and grainy tones, and perhaps a bit of pastry notes. I used a level tea spoon in 225ml and found it just shy of being a little thin, which is a little surprising given the broken nature of the leaves.
Given that the flavouring is very nice and I really like the mix of ginger, cherry and almond. It generates a nice warmth in the body. A bit of sweeter may bring out a bit of more fruitiness in the tea and might thicken the density of the tea on the taste buds.
Altogether I am happy to have this tea in my cupboard!
Backlog from yesterday morning when I had this tea while in the TGV (meaning Train à Grande Vitesse).
As usual the guy at the bar made a too low temperature (micro wave…)but this is a lovely Earl Grey, not sweet, with a hint of bitterness. Nice (would have loved to taste it at an almost boiling temperature…but that’s it !)
This is really great the French train company choiced a nice tea brand to travel with !
It was my morning tea in the train to reach Aix en Provence. The SNCF, the national French train company uses now Compagnie Coloniale as unique brand for the tea served in all their restaurant coaches.
I am quite happy to see Lipton disappearing from main lines trains. Unfortunately the employees are not aware the water should be boiling (or at least near). I would say they served me a water at 60 or 65°C…hard time for a Darjeeling.
It was so clear liquor I was really worried but the taste was light and very pleasant. I detected a fruity note .
I need to buy some to get a correct preparation (home made…) but I really think this tea should be one of the type of Darjeeling I really appreciate (even if it mainly comes from a first flush and is from green type)
I had a full pot of this flavoured Oolong yesterday night.
I already reviewed this tea but I wanted to add something : the mineral taste.
This taste is the most proeminent I ever had in a tea. Ever. Of course I already noticed mineral taste in some teas but here it is really as if I made my tea with some typical mineral water very heavy on iron (Volvic).
It makes this Balade en Bretagne a very special tea and a beautiful dedicace to Brittany, a very mineral area.
I bought this tea in a beautiful tin this afternoon at La Grande Épicerie in Paris.
Compagnie Coloniale is one of the oldest tea company in France. They are using a special method to flavour teas : a vapour method (or steam method, no idea which word is most adapted for tea flavouring in English !)
Of course I bought it because it is an Oolong…and because caramel beurre salé is really an appealing ingredient…isn’t it ?
The dry leaf smells incredibly good, caramelly and salted caramel…so noticeable.
Unfortunately the taste of the liquor is less noticeable. This is a light caramel, not an in your face one and this is really ok, a subtle caramel.
But I was expecting more Oolong notes and this Oolong base is a little too much discrete for my taste. This is a buttery Oolong, mellow but too much subtle for my pleasure to be complete.
I’ll play around temperature to see if it changes something for me.
What a beautiful tea. Blends of cherry, almond, and a lovely zip of ginger that lingers.
I love a strong brew so I left it in the pot for about 7 to 10 mins. It has a delicious light a floral smell which was not what I expected from a Christmas Blend. I’ll still be drinking this in the summer!
Finally I taste this tea …it’s in my cupboard for ages…well just 5 months :) No idea why I didn’t take some time to have it.
This is an holiday tea, the first one to use the Thé Noël name, Compagnie Coloniale is a very old French Tea company.
I appreciate very much the scent of the dry leaf : not habitual for an holiday tea : no cloves, no cinnamon. But cherry sure and almond.
This is delicious, really.
Next time I’ll leave it steep longer, because the tea base is a little weak to my opinion.
I can perfectly understand why in France this is one of the Christmas Teas best sellers.