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Recent Tasting Notes
This is an interesting one for sure. Normally “Noel” teas have ingredients like orange and nuts and spice and though this definitely has orange, it is also a touch creamy. Plus, it makes me think of a Christmas ham where you bake it covered in maraschino cherries and pineapple. Not that it tastes like ham at all but the fixings are all present here and that’t the connection I am making to Christmas. With that said, aside from the orange and the fruity sweetness that can be picked out as pineapple and cherry (only a touch cough-syruppy) when you focus, the flavors are quite light. The base is a little astringent as well. It is okay, but not something I will be seeking out again. Still, I want to thank Shezza for adding it to the box thus giving me the opportunity to try this out.
Second Fauchon try of the day. This one is a CTC based blend, which surprised me initially. It also had a rather odd scent about it…maybe slightly perfumey? I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, which fortunately behaved well in my filter. It’s very fine, but not so fine that it gets through the holes. It brews up quickly and very dark, so I added a splash of milk to round things out. I wasn’t going to do that originally, because apple and milk don’t really fit together in my head, but it wasn’t really an option not to.
To taste, I’m very pleasantly surprised. The initial sip is sweet, almost candy-like, and then there’s the fresh, slight sharpness of the apple. The base tea is a little astringent, although a shorter brew time might go some way towards fixing that. It’s not too heavy in terms of flavour, though, so the “apple” aspect shines through.
What I’m reminded of most, drinking this, is one of those red-glazed candy apples you get at the fairground. There’s a lovely syrupy sweetness to begin with, then apple, then base tea, and it’s deceptively delicious! I took a risk when I bought these, because they’re 100g tins, but I’ll have no problem finishing this one off, that’s for sure!
I brought two of my three Fauchon tins to work with me today, because they’re the next oldest in my stash, and because I’m out of black tea at work. When I’m ill, I really want black tea.
This one smells delicious as soon as you open the tin. We had a struggle for a while, because I didn’t realise the lid slides off. No common sense points for me. Once I managed to get in, though, I knew we were going to get along. This one reminds me quite a lot of Mariage Freres Wedding Imperial, although it’s perhaps not quite as intense. I don’t see that as a bad thing, because Wedding Imperial was a touch too sweet and overpowering for me at times. This one is a little more muted, and to my tastes just perfect. There are actual chunks of caramel among the black tea base (Ceylon?), but they melt easily and don’t leave too much of an oily scrim. I would quite like to sit and eat them, but I won’t.
To taste, it’s pretty straightforward – soft, creamy caramel with a touch of salt. It’s a great dessert-style tea, sweet but not too sweet, and with the perfect balance of base and flavouring. Impressed!
From the GCTTB Round 6
1 tsp in 600 mL very hot water, steeped 4 minutes
This tastes like fruitcake or plum pudding! Plum, date, light notes of apple, candied orange/orange rind, mulling spice, maybe cherry? I read that this is supposed to have maraschino cherry flavor, so I’m disappointed there isn’t more maraschino cherry in here, it’s more of a dried Bing cherry, like that chocolate companies use to make dark chocolate covered dried cherries. This is very much like a Christmas dessert or those bowls of potpourri people put out at Christmas to make their house smell like orange and cinnamon.
Flavors: Candied Apple, Dates, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Orange, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Plums, Raisins, Spices, Tea
GCTTB DAY 4
Whooot, the boiler at my office is broken (meaning it’s freezing in the office) so I get to stay home today! Such an exciting turn of events. :D That means I have time to try more teas today!
So I had to try some from the famed and fancy Fauchon teas. I think this is the only one I saw in there, so I brewed a cup this morning as soon as I heard the news that I get to stay in. I wasn’t sure what was in it but it looked like flavoured black tea so I steeped it with boiling water for about two and a half minutes. I didn’t get any of the peach that is supposedly in there, but definitely tasted the thyme. The black tea was a bit tannic and left my mouth feeling dry but overall it was just alright. A bit more one-dimensional than I was expecting.
GCTTB Round 5 V2.0
Opening the sample package releases a burst of caramel scent. I used ~1.5 tbsp with 500ml water steeped for 5 minutes . From what I can tell this is a medium roast oolong with caramel cubes added and white (possibly sugar) butterflies. The smell reminds me of the caramel matcha I tried from red leaf tea but the taste is obviously quite different.
The caramel and oolong notes compliment each other nicely for a mild mannered slightly sweet cup. If one pays attention it’s possible to pick out the base oolong – I would actually recommend brewing this one for 3 minutes instead of 5 as I got some astringency from it. As it cools the oolong comes forward a bit more but I could still taste the subtle caramel addition.
Very decent blend! I’d be curious to see how the fresh version compares
GCTTB5 original version
The scent of the dry leaf led me to believe that the peach and thyme were evenly balanced though after a brief steep, the peach almost disappeared and the thyme moved forward.I selected this tea today because I woke up feeling under the weather: truly weak with a killer sore throat and murderous migraine. Possibly the frigid blast of air conditioning here and there in public transit and public spaces pitted against the demon humidity and heat and rapid weather changes finally got to me.
In Morocco, thyme tea was used as a stomach soother but also general wellness tea, so I reached for this in hopes of general wellness vibes. While the water was boiling, I thought I might add some honey to this for my throat though I forgot all about that when the tea was ready.
I will add honey in the next cup.
Flavors: Peach, Thyme
I got a sample of this in the GCTTB 2.0 with fair warning that it was a little old. In my opinion it’s still a very nice tea with a smooth, light oolong base and sweet caramel flavours. I ate some homemade matcha shortbread with my cuppa tea and that really made the flavour pop. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this tea in stores so I can snag a fresh(er) canister.
Thank you Sil for sharing! This certainly did not disappoint. First of all, the little butterflies in the dry blend were adorable but more than that, this tea is delicious! This is so soft and creamy with just the right amount of buttery caramel deliciousness (think the soft, chewy caramels you get as a kid). Even the oolong base, which normally is not a favourite of mine, gives enough floral roastiness to heighten everything while not taking over the cup. It really is awesome and I am grateful for the chance to finally get to try such a beloved tea, even if it’s not the beloved caramel salted butter oolong. Thank you, Sil!
Since I’m on mobile, I’ll just note I brewed this for 4 min at 190F
This is delicious, it is a creamy buttery oolong with notes of caramel. It is very smooth and slightly sweet.
The package states that it is aging so I can only imagine how delicious it is when it is fresh! If I ever put in an order here, this would definitely be on the list!
The resteep was enjoyable, with less creamy caramel.
Cold Brew Sipdown (134)!
Thank you VariaTea for the sample! This has been on and off my wishlist for such a long time…
I think the flavour of this is absolutely divine! Without getting into too much detail, it reminds me of a perfectly baked sugar cooking with the lightest, most airy/fluffy lemon icing on top. It’s perfect, and simple and the flavours are show cased so damn well! At the same time, as I drank it, I had the most striking sense of flavour deja vu and it’s killing me because I know I definitely have not had this tea before and I cannot for the life of myself place what tea I’m being reminded of.
Really want to get my hands on more of this.
Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Cream, Frosting, Lemon, Vanilla