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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m not entirely sure about this one yet. Chai is a weird beast — usually very dependent on what ends up in the spoon. This time I had a lot of red peppercorns, so I’m tasting a lot of pepper, but I’m not sure that’s really what this chai is about.
I made it on the stovetop using the Golden Moon French Breakfast as the extra black tea.
It turns out I don’t have as many chais as I thought I did. This one, the other two I’ve tried recently, the Tea Table chocolate, the Rishi and the Samovar. I think that’s it.
Samovar will always be my fave, with Rishi as a spicier alternative. But I think this one could be pretty nice. I’m just not sure I’ve experienced it in all its potential glory yet.
Flavors: Cardamon, Pepper
This is lovely. I don’t think it quite rises to the level of J’aime Vert, or at least how I remember J’aime Vert, or perhaps I like the combination of flavors in J’aime Vert slightly better — but this is something I’ll enjoy drinking and may consider for a long term addition to my cupboard.
The smell in the tin is very floral, not fruity. After steeping there is an orangy citrus note, but it isn’t sharp, and the overall aroma gives the impression of roundness which I think is coming from the rose. The tea is greenish yellow, not as bright as the color of its tin, but in the same color family. There is some particulate matter that settled to the bottom of the cup.
The sip is where all of the flavors come together. There’s a freshness from the citrus note, that stops short of sourness or bitterness though it isn’t sweet. There’s a depth from the berry notes that adds a touch of sweetness, and the rose carries over its roundness into the flavor.
Flavors: Berries, Citrus, Rose
I’ve had this tea (unopened) for a while, but surprisingly I hadn’t put it into my cupboard here. I’ve now remedied that misstep. Finding more tea that I haven’t put in the cupboard isn’t exactly encouraging. I am finally down to under 400 tins, and I had hoped I’d be down one more today. I’ve said before, it sometimes feels like my tea breeds while I’m not looking. It feels like that today.
But anyway, I really like this one. At first I didn’t get the macaron reference, but then I don’t get much almond from this. It’s not that it isn’t there — there’s a nutty aura to the aroma of the dry leaves that carries over into the tea’s aroma and flavor, but it’s not the primary note.
Instead, I smell and taste cherries in a big way, and some other berries and some creaminess, almost.
As the tea cools, the macaron reference becomes more understandable for me. The almond is more pronounced when the tea is cooler.
I don’t taste the tea base much, though there’s some green-ness tempering all of the above.
Complex, interesting, and really appetizing. Yum.
Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Creamy, Grenadine
This came as a “sachet mystere” (or mystery sachet) in my Theodor order which arrived fresh from France just this morning. Yes, despite having just been in Paris again a little over a week ago, I didn’t bring any back and therefore shelled out the exorbitant shipping prices for here in the EU. In any case, they were generous with the samples they included and Une Autre Idee was the first one I’ve made this morning.
In the mug, it’s a gorgeous red-tinged rooibos with a pleasant, sweet smell of tropical fruits that are rather natural instead of cloying/too artificial. The smell alone is delicious, but the taste delivers as well. The pineapple and coconut are at the forefront but not so overpowering that they seem too perfumey. The floral flavor, which I can only attribute to the marigold, comes in softly after, giving it an herbaciousness that really suits it. This is another one I can imagine being lovely iced, but hot is just as pleasant and I may include a larger serving in my next order!
Sipdown no. 69 of 2018 (no. 425 total).
This sipdown results from several batches of this made cold — as the temperature goes up around here, I’ve been going through cold tea faster and faster.
It made a weird, but tasty, cold tea. No. 2 liked it.
One comment on the design of the The O Dor tins — that lip at the top is murder on getting the last bit of tea out of the tin without getting it all over your kitchen counter. More user testing, people!
All hail the weekend!
I have had a difficult few weeks at work. I’m enjoying the new management gig, but I wasn’t fully prepared for the increased workload.
The name of this tea was very familiar to me, so I googled it — yeah, there’s a Truffaut film called The Story of Adele H. I have to assume that this tea is somehow connected to the film, or to the subject of the film, Victor Hugo’s daughter Adele.
I don’t know the story of the film except for what I’ve read in Wikipedia, which is interesting mostly because it takes place in Canada rather than France during the 1960s. Also, apparently it’s about a romantic obsession. So I’m thinking about all of this as I try this tea.
In the tin, the tea has a fruity smell (the peach) and a spicy smell that is not hugely specific, though I can smell the pepper.
The steeped tea is very dark, like a dark beer but not quite as opaque — the light shines through and where it shines there’s a dark, winy red.
The word I’d use to describe the smell and flavor is stout. I made it the way I normally make black tea and it is extremely strong. Fortunately, the strength doesn’t translate into bitterness, but man, it knocks you back! I think I’ll try steeping it at a lower temperature next time as the other note-writers here have done.
Because I’m so preoccupied with the strength, I find it a bit hard to differentiate the flavors. There’s definitely a peach flavor, and some pepper, particularly in the aroma. I can taste clove as well, but fortunately it’s not too overpowering.
No. 1 tasted it and said “It’s good — peachy but not sweet peachy if you know what I mean.”
Yeah, I do, but I’m having a devil of a time rating this. I can tell it’s a quality tea, and I suspect user error here, but for me it’s not as lovely as I wanted it to be. I’m rating it lower for now until I figure out if I can open up the flavors some with a lower temp.
Flavors: Clove, Peach, Pepper
A lovely, mellow black tea for tea time with your best friends! With a sweet nutty scent of almond and pistachio, it reminds me of macarons and certainly of afternoon tea!! The liquor is not really sweet though, and that is exactly why I find it a great companion to tea time (you don’t want a sweet tea when everything you eat is so sweet already).
Flavors: Almond, Coconut, Nutty
This is a sample bag from a The O Dor order a while back. Their samples are well packaged to keep fresh and almost all of them have given up several good steeps for me. This was no exception.
The oolong is very fresh and green, no rock/dark/mineral oolong here. The goji berry and peach were the dominant notes to me but they were not too strong. I thought they were light enough to let you taste the oolong without covering it completely yet still had plenty of presence. I honestly didn’t detect the pear separately.
The tea was such a pretty color, too, a clear, golden liquor that shone in my little teacup. Very relaxing in the evening.
From THEODOR’s Laponic December Advent Calendar.
Surprise surprise surprise! This may be the first hibiscus tea that I don’t hate. I don’t like it either – but at least it isn’t so bad that I need to pour away the whole cup after a sip (as in the case of most hibiscus infusions). This is because the fruity flavours – mainly apple and peach – have diluted the taste of hibiscus, making it more tolerable. It is an acceptable choice when I want some caffeine-free flavoured water.
Flavors: Apple, Hibiscus, Peach
Today is the first day of December and I was so excited when I opened the first little compartment of my THEODOR Laponic December Advent Calendar!!! I’ve been waiting for today for a month!!!
And the excitement completely died down when I found this tea and brewed it… it is possibly the worst infusion I have ever had. It is basically a concoction of what I hate most! Hibiscus, blackberry leaves, licorice-like flavour (which probably came from fennel seeds) and some odd fruity notes. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE!!! It tastes extremely weird in my opinion – it is slightly tart and mostly sweet – with a fairly strong earthy, herbal aftertaste. I am just so sad that they start the calendar with this!!!!! Let’s hope there’s a more pleasant surprise tomorrow…
Flavors: Absinthe, Apple, Fruity, Ginger, Herbaceous, Hibiscus, Licorice
Strange things have been happening at my house.
Youngest asked if I wanted some Lapsang and OF COURSE I said yes, but when I went to the kitchen a strange tin which I had never seen was on the counter. It was Lapsang from The Odor and no explanation was forthcoming from the child person.
The next day I was offered the opportunity to try a sample. Now, I had dismissed the Lapsang as being a tin youngest had squirreled away for a rainy day after a previous order, but…samples! Clearly a new order has secretly been placed and received and then hidden from Mom, but it IS that time of year.
This sample turned out to be a rooibos, my second least favorite after hibiscus but when flavored right can be tolerable. The Odor didn’t let me down and I found this to have a festive taste and aroma and it was nice that I didn’t have to worry about caffeine keeping me up since it was nearly midnight when we drank it.
We always resteep our The Odor samples, sometimes two or three times, so we got a decent amount of tea of it and even had a bit left over for a cup this morning.
This is orange-y but fruity as well, so it doesn’t taste as cliché as the ubiquitous Christmas blends with orange and cinnamon and clove.
This is a tea with character! It is very citrusy as it contains all the common citrus fruits you can name. The dry leaves smell strongly of orange rinds, which reminds me of the sun-dried tangerine peels prepared by my Grandma when I was small.
The brewed tea has a fairly light body with orange and grapefruit flavours. Refreshing but sadly I am not really a fan of citrus fruits, so I can’t say I love this tea. Would be a nice after-dinner tea to most people I suppose.
Flavors: Citrus Fruits, Grapefruit, Orange Zest
I love this! The dry leaves has such a dreamy, sweet fragrance! It smells so floral, though I do not think it is the scent of lotus flower… perhaps the fragrance was enhanced by the fruity flavours. The liquor tasted strongly of peach and berries, followed by a note of pear. The only weakness of this tea was that it was too light-bodied. When it was brewed the second time, the tea became rather weak although the fruity flavours were still going strong. Probably it would have worked even better with a black tea base!
Flavors: Berries, Flowers, Peach, Pear
It is quite depressing to see that my eye is still red this morning… so I am glad that the 1st tea of the day turns out to be a good one and brightens the day a bit!
This came as a mysterious tea packet, which was complimentary with my order from THE O DOR. So I didn’t know what to expect, except guessing that it would be a black tea because the packet was black :P
Cutting the packet open, I was greeted by a nutty aroma. It was something familiar, something creamy… Is it almond? Is it coconut?
The answer: almond and hazelnut! No coconut at all. The liquor was pretty chocolatey too. Yummy! A shame that, though, the chocolate flavour was not quite there after the second brew.
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Creamy, Hazelnut, Nutty
This is my third tea of the day… trapped at home because of my eye infection. :(
Never a fan of herbal tea. I choose to brew this because I have had enough caffeine today!
This tea is a concoction of many herbs and flowers – it even contains orange peels for that Christmas touch. But I can only detect the flavours of chamomile, lemongrass and licorice… the sweet taste of licorice does linger so licorice haters beware!
Overall a soothing herbal tea – nothing too special.
Flavors: Flowers, Lemongrass, Licorice
Our postwoman was stung by a bee or wasp today and had a bad reaction. I waited for the ambulance to come for her and called the office she works from to let them know and then waited for them to come get her truck.
Naturally, neighbors saw and were curious so I let them know what had happened and one joined me on the porch to wait. Since she was only home for lunch hour, I made tomato sandwiches with our fresh garden tomatoes and served a pitcher of this, iced and unsweetened.
It was hot outside but low humidity for once so it was pretty pleasant in the shade on the porch. I was so pleased that my neighbor LOVED the tea, because she had professed to loving sweet Southern style black tea with lots of sugar but wanted to learn to like unsweetened drinks. When she took a good gulp of this one and professed it to be tasty, I informed her that it was free of sweetener. The mint is so refreshing and lends enough of its own kind of sweetness such that I personally would never consider adding sugar to it. I think I like this as well as Moroccan Mint from Tin Roof Tea! Both have spearmint. Yum.
It was four hours before the relief postman showed up for the truck, so I am glad I went back in the house and made a lemon pound cake.
Now, truthfully, can this story get any more Southern? Tomato sandwiches, front porches, iced tea, bees, and pound cake. Good stuff.