THE O DOR

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drank J.E Oolong Milky by THE O DOR
2 tasting notes

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96
drank J.E Oolong Milky by THE O DOR
2827 tasting notes

Thanks so much for sharing some of this, Kawaii433! I appreciate it. I always love a good milk oolong. flavored or not. This one is divine. Buttery, thick, creamy on a fantastic oolong base. The butter hits the mouth first, then the flavors of the oolong base really lingers. The first two steeps were the same, the third lost a little of that creaminess which was a shame. More of the oolong peeked through that delicious flavor. I really liked how I steeped this one (though it might not need that extra 1/3 teaspoon anyway… I didn’t want to leave too much for the next steep session). It didn’t get to be too much, but it also wasn’t too weak tasting. I would like to try cooler water on the next steep session though. This is a very good milk oolong.
Steep #1 // 1 1/3 teaspoons for a full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 6 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 3 minutes after boiling // 2 min

Daylon R Thomas

Do you know where we can get these in the U.S.? I’ve tried order THE O Dor, but the shipping is mostly european, or extravagantly high from Paris.

tea-sipper

I’ve never seen these around in the US. I know from kawaii433’s tasting note that the shipping was a hassle.

Kawaii433

You’re very welcome, tea-sipper!

Daylon: I have a ton to sell if any of you want. I did it so I could get zero vat and shipping charge. I have 4 × 125g bags left (each bag was $33.50). I would’ve written in the forums but I haven’t been able to write in the forums for months :(. If you want message me and I can sell any of you a small amount or a large amount. I’m in the USA.

Kawaii433

I wanted to add, I will send out free samples to anyone too (free shipping if in the US). Just PM me, thanks.

ashmanra

My daughter bought a bunch of The O Dor in Mexico but ahe mostly orders from Europe. This is a HUGE favorite. We both love it.

Kawaii433

ashmanra, I am drinking some of this today and somehow I missed this comment. Wow, I didn’t think you can get The O Dor in Mexico. I had to buy it from Europe and the VAT and shipping is out of this world. I bought it in bulk so I could get past that and they said to store it in the fridge to keep it from going bad.

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63
drank On Va Se Revoir by THE O DOR
4305 tasting notes

Sipdown! 57/365

I assume this has a gunpowder base(?) as it looked like a green and was definitely smoky in flavour (some research tells me this is correct). I also picked up some mint (spearmint?) in the blend, but that was about it – the end result was that I didn’t much care for it, since I don’t like minty teas. Thanks for the share regardless, MissB!

ETA: After going through my backlogged pile of teas, I realized that this must have been the tea where I got a delicious creamy note in the aftertaste. Not enough to combat the mint, but it was enjoyable.

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65
drank Mélange de Galice by THE O DOR
1528 tasting notes

Bonus Tea Swap Sample Sipdown of the Day! (5)

Bonus round! This sample is the sole survivor from my swap with ashmanra. Poor dear, I guess I’ll just have to put him out of his misery…

This is described as a peach and vanilla black tea on THE O DOR’s website. Sounds delicious to me! I think Nosy Bey from Dammann is a similar profile?

To me, this is more of a fresh peach tea. Not that I’m complaining, I love peaches! But I’m not getting any vanilla or creaminess here. What I am getting is tart peach/nectarine with a slight candy note, and a smooth base tea with very little character. There is a little touch of bitterness and astringency.

So overall, I’m not impressed with it. Oh well, one fewer tea that I need to buy! And a good thing too, that THE O DOR shipping is bananas…

Flavors: Bitter, Candy, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits, Tannic, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Nattie

That shipping is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

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85
drank Pêché Mignon by THE O DOR
293 tasting notes

I’ve been under the weather the past few days. Fought it off for a while, but it hit me hard. Asthma that lingered is what got annoying. The mucus exacerbates it & had to go to visit the doctor (boo). The only doctor I ever liked was dad, and after he passed, I’ve been stuck with people who either don’t know or don’t care. Left me waiting in a room for 2 hrs (during a severe asthma attack). Hello? I’m dying in here. They finally realized I needed a steroid shot…

I never realized how lucky I was in that respect… To have a dad who took care of all your medical needs (he was also a surgeon so he took my tonsils out, for example.) and no lines to wait in. lol

So, I’ve been quiet here since the cold destroyed the little bit of ability I had to taste anything. lol It’s a good time though, I’m still waiting for my December package(s) from TeaVivre and YS, so I don’t really have anything new… But then, I found another sample from Theodor. hehe I guess they gave me 5 free samples!

With that knowledge, this has a Chinese green tea base with a strong melon flavor, and slight peach, pineapple, passion fruit, strawberry, green apple notes. ^^ It’s a very nice fruity green tea. I normally wouldn’t rate it due to my dislike of strong melon taste but it was more like an exotic slurry of fruits.

175 °F, 3 steeps: 2m, 3m, 4m

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Creamy, Green Apple, Melon, Pineapple, Strawberry

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 OZ / 110 ML
derk

Asthma while sick is terrible. Hope you’re feeling better!

lizwykys

Warm healing hug from the universe sent your way, Kawaii433!

This tea sounds rather lovely for summer, maybe iced. I do need to get around to ordering from The O Dor one of these days. (Needed: more days, and more money)

Mastress Alita

Get well! (You’ve also reminded me I need to make a doctor appt. today, wah!)

Kawaii433

Thank you all! <3 Imma trying hehe.
Mastress Alita, good luck with your doctor appontment. I hope you have a better doctor _ than I do.

tea-sipper

Feel better!

Kawaii433

Thank you tea-sipper!

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I have had this tea for a while but it wasn’t on Steepster so I didn’t get around to reviewing it. I finally roused myself from my laziness and added it.

I think my daughter bought this for me because I have said that the tea of this same name by Dammann Freres was my all-time favorite Lapsang Souchong, at least of the smoked variety. (Teavivre’s unsmoked Lapsang Souchong Ancient Wild Tree holds my heart in the unsmoked department.)

How do the two compare? The DF version is darker and stronger, and excellent in its own way. This is a smoked Taiwanese tea as opposed to the more customary Chinese LS and it is a thing of beauty. These leaves would lend themselves very well to oolong.

We have had a lot of rain and clouds and I needed comfort food today. I had skipped breakfast but refused to eat anything but comfort food, so while I was convinced I was slowly starving, I put together a pot of soup (and oh my it was worth waiting for – really hit the spot) since soup is one of my favorite comforts. Diced tomatoes, cannelini beans, roasted carrots, onions, and garlic, peas, rosemary sprig, and lots of herbs and spices. After the soup I HAD to have tea, and on short, cloudy days of fall and winter LS calls to me.

This is a pretty foolproof tea. I have forgotten their parameters and made it at higher temps for longer steeps without a problem. The smoke is pronounced but not overpowering. The Taiwanese base is elegant. It is, in short, just what I was looking for today.

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Last of the four free samples from Theodor. I saved it for last because I’m not really into herbal teas. There was a time, when I was younger, that all I did was drink hibiscus tea. I liked the tang. I have no idea how to rate it since other than that, that’s all I know. This one tasted a lot juicier than the one I used to drink.

When I work out, I often drink fruit infused water, soaking all kinds of fresh fruit in water, then drinking it. I also eat the fruit after. No reason to waste good fruit lol. This is basically all it is, just more portable and convenient I guess. The liquor is a dark pink at first, then gets lighter each infusion. The ingredients consist of apple, peach, rose hips and hibiscus… That’s what it tastes like. Fruity flavors of apple, peach, hibiscus and the extra tang of the rose hips.

Flavors: Apple, Hibiscus, Peach, Rosehips

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Earl Grey Royal by THE O DOR
293 tasting notes

The third of four free samples. The liquor is dark and has a nice bergamot aroma. It has sunflower and cornflower petals in it. The taste has a very nice slightly spicy sweet clove taste with a citrus zest notes. It’s not sour nor bitter and not perfumey at all. It is a very warm and comforting cup of tea, and I’m feeling good energy from it.

Solid flavorful Earl Grey with citrus fruit and zest notes. Creamy mouthfeel and balanced taste with a nice finish.

195°F, 3 steeps at 2min, 3min, 4min.

Flavors: Bergamot, Clove, Orange, Orange Zest

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 OZ / 110 ML
ashmanra

My daughter absolutely adores this tea, and I received a tin for Christmas. We will have to open it up tomorrow!

Kawaii433

:D I saw that. I read your review on it. Enjoy the company and the tea. She has good taste in tea hehe.

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85

Another free Mystery sachet. I had this last night. I read the other review on this and was expecting the horrible lol. I liked it. The main note was spices, masala like. The base was red rooibos, and it had cassia, peppercorn, cardamon, a little clove notes. It was creamy, sweet-spicy, nice mouthfeel, relaxing before going to bed type of tea. The sweet taste didn’t taste artificial. I couldn’t taste the marigold petals but probably because I have no idea what marigold tastes like :P. I read that this is the same blend another of their teas, Bollywood Chaïpur, but instead of black tea, it’s red rooibos.

185 °F, 2 steeps: 4 min., 5 min.

Flavors: Cardamon, Clove, Cream, Creamy, Fruity, Peppercorn, Spices

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 OZ / 150 ML

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89
drank J.E Oolong Milky by THE O DOR
8 tasting notes

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89
drank J.E Oolong Milky by THE O DOR
8 tasting notes

A really lovely oolong!

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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96
drank J.E Oolong Milky by THE O DOR
293 tasting notes

I finally got my package. Our post office is the worst. The nightmare was worse than usual. The past two weeks it was an egg hunt but not particularly fun lol. For one, the post office who had it all along kept the phone off the hook. On the site they said they shipped it back a long time ago so I couldn’t pick it up. Had to talk to Thedor and well they couldn’t really do anything either. Finally, on the umpteeth trip, my package magically appears at the off-the-hook post office. Hallelujah.

So the tea, it’s everything everyone claimed it was. It is an unbelievable unflavored (yet so flavorable) milk oolong. The cream, the butter, the vanilla, everything was what I hoped for. Could it have been that I was just so frickin’ happy I finally found it? I don’t think so. It’s extremely smooth and a buttery mouthfeel but not oily, I tried it gongfu cha and western brew. It’s excellent. Having said that, TeaVivre’s is a little more vegetal and Mandala’s has a lovely coconut & brown sugar notes. Depending on my mood, I’ll happily cycle through them.

To get free shipping and the ungodly VAT charge removed, I had to buy a LOT. So it was a gamble but I love Jin Xuan so if it was 80-ish rating, I’d still eventually drink it. If any of you just can’t afford the shipping/VAT and don’t want to spend tons of money to try it, I’m more than willing to send you a sample of it. Since I’m relatively new, just give me a P.O. Box or something. I don’t blame anyone. It’s the net. :)

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Creamy, Milk, Smooth, Vanilla

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
lizwykys

mmm, nice. One for my wishlist!

Kawaii433

@lizwykys I gambled on it and am not disappointed at all, whew lol.

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56

Sipdown 123/395

This is a sample I grabbed from the EU TTB several years ago, and had labelled with only ‘Shangri La, treat like green tea’ so it took me quite a while to find which tea I had. This certainly is an odd tea! I can see why cteresa instructed to treat this as if it were a green tea – it has much more in common with a lot of greens I’ve tried than it does any black. It has a lot of astringency for a black with such a low brewing temperature, and a lot of Darjeeling-like floral notes. It has rather a light colour and a dry mouth-feel. It’s not a tea I would choose again, though I am glad to have experienced such an unusual and interesting tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank Scandale by THE O DOR
419 tasting notes

Oh, wow. Okay.
This tea is incredible. Another tea which has to be a couple of years old, and yet it still tastes amazing! I didn’t read up on the flavours of this tea before I pulled it out for this afternoon, I just picked it out at random, I think I was expecting it to be a fruity black. Imagine my surprise when the rich cinnamon scent of this tea hit the air! I knew there and then I was going to love it, and man was I right. I adore cinnamon, and this tasted like a very sophisticated cinnamon cookie was dunked in a cup of rich, full-bodied pu’erh. Amazing. I gave it a quick rinse and then brewed the pot for a few minutes before pouring my first cup, which came out a lot more opaque and dark than I was expecting. There was no astringency at all, and the base tea balanced really well with the cinnamon and vanilla flavours. I added a little honey to my second cup, expecting it to bring the flavours out more, and regretted it. This is definitely a tea best served plain. The flavours actually retreated when sweetened, and though still tasty it just lost a little of the sophisticated dessert feel that the first cup had. I convinced my mam to have a sip, and even she – a woman who turns her nose up at every tea I’ve ever presented her with – admitted that it was ‘quite nice’. I’ve just finished the entire pot on my own and I’m selfishly glad I didn’t share this one! Now to resteep the leaves…

Thank you so much Sil for being so generous as to send this tea my way many, many months ago! It was very much appreciated.

ETA: This didn’t resteep well, sadly.

Sipdown 118/395

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
Sil

haha glad you finally enjoyed it :)

ashmanra

Oh my! That does sound good! My daughter just got a shipment from The O’Dor today and is taunting me with descriptions of her samples. There was a pinecone in the box. Any idea what that’s all about?

Sil

haha christmas pinecone! lol no idea

Nattie

Yeah! Christmas trees are pine trees, right?

Nattie

It maybe it fell in by accident, lol. XD

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98
drank J.E Oolong Milky by THE O DOR
1908 tasting notes

1700th tasting note!

And for this nice round number, I wanted to taste something special. Since I have started down today’s path with an oolong, I’m going to continue in that vein and catch up to where I was supposed to be at the end of yesterday but got distracted by my Thanksgiving turkey cooking endeavor.

This tea has received very high marks on Steepster, so I’m looking forward to it. The last milky oolong I had, which was also my first, wasn’t a favorite. Maybe this will change my mind.

First tasting in the gaiwan at 190F (because Zo is stuck there for whatever reason) after rinse, 15 second increments.

Just sniffing the tea in the tin is enough to start getting me excited. Wow, what a great smell. It smells exactly like very buttery white rice, the world’s best hangover food.

The tea is a light yellow color with a hint of gold. After steeping, I smell more of the buttery rice smell. The tea is mild and slightly sweet with a slight vanilla note and a definitely milky note in the flavor. The flavor is much more interesting — maybe less heavy, maybe more suggestive of complexity — than the milk oolong I had a little while back. I keep wanting to say there is something floral here, but honestly, I’m not getting that.

I decided to have something sweet with the second steep because of Jillian’s note, so I heated up a lovely Nutrisystem cinnamon roll (it’s really pretty good, and after yesterday’s meal I really need to get back on program). The second steep is a deeper golden color and smells like sweet milk. I’m not sure that the sweet food pairing is doing much for my experience of this tea. It’s just incredibly pleasant, mild, sweet, with a milk note that doesn’t bother me and that I even love though I’m not a milk drinker.

The third steep yields a tea that is darker still. It’s taking on the color of clarified butter. The flavor hasn’t changed much, though it is keeping its smooth mouth feel — none of that hard water effect that I tend to notice on about the third steep of a greener oolong. The leaves have doubled in volume after unfurling,

Even though the flavor hasn’t really changed in steep four either, the tea is is still unique and lovely. If someone asked me to recommend a milk oolong that I’d enjoyed, I’d have no trouble recommending this.

Now, having had exactly two that I know of, can I say this is the best? Or even a typical, exceptionally strong representative of its type?

No, no I can’t. But I can say that even compared to other teas this is up there with my experience of as good as it gets.

Flavors: Butter, Milk, Rice, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C
Kawaii433

Ok that was convincing. I finally bought a big order of it since there is also a Black Friday discount. hehe Thank you for your great review.

__Morgana__

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Kawaii433

Pretty sure I will, if not, I’ll ship it all over to you. lol

mrmopar

1700 strong! Congrats!

__Morgana__

Thanks mrmopar!

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90
drank Coincidence Noir by THE O DOR
1908 tasting notes

I’m getting closer and closer to having tasted all the black teas in my cupboard once with a note to show for it. By current count I have 15 still untasted and unwritten about including this one.

Two caveats, though. First, I went looking for the Upton Castleton darjeeling today and I couldn’t find it. So I suppose it is possible I put that one in there by accident, but I don’t know for sure. I’m leaving it in for now because sometimes things turn up. There may be others that fit that description as well. Second, I am hoping that after this long weekend, I’ll have reduced that number to nine. If I continue at my current pace, I’ll have gotten through them all by the end of the month, what with Thanksgiving falling in the middle there.

So yay.

I’ll be a little sad when there’s nothing left to discover for the first time with my black teas, though. This one for example.

Everyone says it tastes like Marco Polo by Mariage. I wish I had tasted that more recently,
though I clearly loved it because I gave it a 92. I got some strawberry with that one. I’m not really getting strawberry with this so much. Maybe a little.

In the tin I smell berry fruit, raspberry maybe. And a cocoa note. I smell even more raspberry in the steeped tea. Not much of a cocoa note, though, more of a cream one. The tea is chestnut colored and clear.

The flavor starts out like the smell, but there’s more to it than that. In the aftertaste there’s a pleasant caramel note that has a touch of sweetness.

Just a really wonderful taste to start the day with.

Flavors: Berry, Caramel, Cocoa, Cream, Raspberry, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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86
drank Je T'Aime by THE O DOR
1908 tasting notes

So right before this I had Gauguin, and when I tasted this I thought: Gauguin without the fruitiness.

There are some other differences. The smell in the tin is more intense with this tea and it has an almond pastry note in the dry leaf. It steeps a little less dark than the Gauguin, though the leaf looks similar. This is more of a clear, dark amber.

I totally get the macaron aspect in the aroma of the steeped tea, which, come to think of it I got in Gauguin as well. Some of what gives it that aspect is, I think, the coconut. Some of it is the cocoa and caramel notes. I wish the pistachio was more pronounced as I love pistachio.

The flavor is very reminiscent of the Gauguin of this morning, but without the fruitiness. I kind of like the addition of the fruitiness, but it’s otherwise too close to call.

Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Cocoa, Coconut, Nuts, Pastries

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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87
drank Gauguin by THE O DOR
1908 tasting notes

This tea is something of a mystery. I can’t find any information about it online, and The O Dor no longer sells it.

It’s definitely a black tea, not CTC, and it has bits of what look like dried fruit in it. The dry leaf has caramel and cocoa notes. I am thinking it is likely an Assam base or at least has Assam in the base. The steeped tea has that, as well as some fruity notes and a little smoke. The tea is dark brownish red and clear.

The tea reminds me a little of the Mariage Freres Wedding Imperial from yesterday, except that it isn’t nearly as heavy and is fruitier. If I’m guessing, I’m going to say mango (because Gauguin) and maybe some red berry. I get a little bit of a raspberry note.

It’s rarely the case I have a tea that is as clean a slate as this one. I wish someone else had some and would write about it. Would be fun to compare.

Edited to add: See also note on The O Dor Je t’aime — this has a lot of similarities. Yeah, I think I didn’t zero in on the coconut, but Gauguin has that as well.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Coconut, Fruity, Mango, Raspberry, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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68
drank So Long by THE O DOR
1908 tasting notes

Sipdown no. no 124 of 2018 (no. 480 total).

I sent this directly to the front of the cold tea line, and it made an ok cold tea.

The thing I liked most about it was there was a lot of it, so it took the guess work out of what got sent to the front of the cold tea line for a while.

But now it’s gone and I will have to make those decisions again.

Bah. So long, So Long.

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68
drank So Long by THE O DOR
1908 tasting notes

Last caffeine of the day and close to the last flavored oolong in my stash. I think. I know of at least one other. But the problem with having too much tea is I end up finding things I forgot I had.

I will again embark on the forced oolong ritual for the first taste of even a flavored oolong, i.e., short steeps in the gaiwan starting at 15 seconds after rinsing. Even though in all of the flavored oolongs I’ve tasted this way, it’s only really seemed to matter for one of them. Most seem to change not at all on subsequent steeps so it’s Western style from then on.

This tea has some mixed reviews here on Steepster, and the consensus seems to be it’s just ok and not one of The O Dor’s best. I’m trying to remain unbiased, but the smell in the tin is pretty consistent with that assessment. More than anything else, it seems rather generic. General (and very faint) floral, generic and (and very faint) fruit, generic and very faint oolong smell.

This is surprising, because given what is in this tea I’d expect a very strong aroma out of the tin. Pineapple if nothing else. But I don’t smell strong pineapple or strong anything, and that is not a great sign.

The tea is a dark, rosy amber. It smells a little spicy and a little citrusy (bergamot, I am guessing) but there’s nothing special about it. It has an almost generic earl grey flavor, except that in and among the bergamot is some other fruit that keeps the bergamot from actually being bergamot — there’s no bitter citrus zest note to this. The other flavors, none of which I can really taste separately, are likely exerting most of their effect in tamping down the bergomotness of the bergamot. I do taste something that is vaguely like passion fruit, though.

It’s not that this is terrible, but I agree it isn’t the best of The O Dor. It’s more that it lacks anything that makes is special than that it is bad.

I’m sending this directly to the cold brew queue. I have a feeling it might find its special something there.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Fruity, Passion Fruits

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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79
drank Chocolat Menthe by THE O DOR
1908 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 3 of February 2019 (no. 21 of 2019 total, no. 509 grand total).

Enjoyed it while it lasted — sipped it down hot instead of relegating it to the cold brew pile.

I like chocolate mint black teas, but haven’t found the perfect one yet. This one is nice, but it doesn’t make me go “wow.”

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79
drank Chocolat Menthe by THE O DOR
1908 tasting notes

I wasn’t able to drink tea and write notes yesterday because I was out of town, so today I’m continuing with the project to taste all the teas in my stash and write notes about them.
I’m just really tired of seeing a bunch of “no notes yet” in my cupboard.

I don’t know whether my taster is off this weekend or what, but both the Fruits D’Alsace I had earlier this morning and this seem to me like they need to be stronger. It is possible my taster is off. I had a stuffy nose last night and something going on with my right ear. But I woke up without any of that, so I thought I had nipped it in the bud.

The smell in the tin is fairly faint to me, but it smells mostly, but not richly, of chocolate. There is some mint, though I’m unable to discern what kind. I think it’s likely to be spearmint which I find to be less aromatic than peppermint.

The aroma has less chocolate, more mint, and a sort of malty tea smell that makes me wonder if there is Yunnan in the blend. Its a dark color, orangish-brown. Not a lot of red.

The flavor, too, has more mint than chocolate. I wonder if this is a what got into the spoons issue, or whether it’s an age issue, or whether this is just how the blend is. It’s a very subtle flavor all around, both the chocolate and the mint. So if you like subtle, this is probably a good choice. The aftertaste has a nice blend of chocolate and mint.

I tend to like richer chocolate, so that’s reflected in the rating. But it’s still a quality blend.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Mint

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Cameron B.

I found Fruits d’Alsace to be somewhat lacking in flavor as well, so perhaps it’s not just you!

__Morgana__

Oh, good to know!

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87

My second installment of personal drama: the car.

When No. 2 was about to be born, I decided I couldn’t face the prospect of two kids in car seats in the back of my Acura Integra, which was at the time 11 years old anyway. (And guess what, now it is 23 years old and I still have it. It would have been about $2K in trade in value and it was worth more to me to keep it as an alternative ride, mostly because my mother had given it to me and she died a year after she gifted me with the car.) I am not a tall person, but the idea of having to bend over, strain my back, and bump my head, and the babies’ heads, every time I put them in or out of the car seat wasn’t at all appealing.

Around that time I got a big bonus at work so I went looking for a new car that would make a good baby mobile, but was also something I’d find fun to drive. It needed to be tall enough that I didn’t have to bend over to get the kids in car seats.

I started looking at Land Rovers, in particular the LR3. I was a huge Joy Adamson fan as a child. My mother read Born Free to me before I could read myself, and my totem animal has always been a lion. As a subsidiary to these other fandoms, I was a Land Rover fan and I’d always wanted one — because that was the car Elsa rode on top of. I liked to imagine myself driving through the bush with a lioness riding on my roof.

At the time, I really wanted a Discovery but they had stopped making them. LR3 was the short-lived replacement. It turned out that the LR3, in the color and with many of the options I wanted, was available for almost exactly the amount of my bonus — which I took as a sign from the universe that I should get it.

I did, and I never regretted it. Not even when the car went out of warranty and every time it went into the shop, which was a lot more often than the Acura, it cost at least $1500 to get it out. I still loved it. I loved the color, I loved the feel, I loved the navigation system voice (a haughty English type we called Nigel).

But then it got old. 13 years and 130K miles later, everything went pear shaped. The electronic diagnostics reported a transmission fault, and the car started to buck and shudder. The engine light went on. And then, the brake light went on. One of the wiper blades jettisoned from the car like it was ejected out of a crashing fighter jet. To make matters worse, mechanics now apparently can’t fix cars unless the electronic diagnostics tell them what to do. And my car’s diagnostics printout was about 40 pages long. Essentially everything was wrong with the car, according to the diagnostics. Land Rover said it was the transmission that needed to get fixed first. So we took it to a local transmission guy and left the car there for a month while he tried to figure it out. He concluded it wasn’t the transmission…

So I started looking for a new car. I wanted one exactly like my old one, but they no longer make them. They don’t make the color, British racing green, except in the Range Rover which was about $50K more than I wanted to spend. They no longer have 8 cylinder engines for the Discovery (it’s back to Discovery again). And initially they told me I would have to have an American voice for the navigation system. This turned out to be false. As it happens, everyone on this side of the pond apparently wants the haughty English navigation voice so they figured out a way to make it happen.

I kept waiting for the new concept Discovery to come out because at least it had 8 cylinders. But the last news about that was in 2017, and my car wasn’t likely to make it indefinitely.

So I got comfortable with the idea of getting something that wasn’t exactly what I wanted. The way I got there was: I basically decided to get every available option to make up for the fact I couldn’t get exactly what I wanted. Of course, no car like this exists anywhere except in the ether of the “design your own” web site, so I had to order it.

And then Land Rover fucked up my order! The dealer placed an order with at least four errors in it, and then said there was no way to change the order because the timing was such that the car was already being built. The BF and I (mostly the BF) made a stink about it, and they agreed to order us another car that was correct. That just got done this week and the car should arrive in 4-6 months.

Meanwhile, my LR3 was looking less and less likely to make it another 6 months. Not only that, No. 1, who will be 15 in May, said that he really really really wanted me to keep the old Land Rover and fix it up so that he could drive it when he got his license. I had originally planned to fix up the Acura (which needs minimal fixing — new paint, sunroof motor repair, a dent fixed) for him. And actually, that is still the plan. But it got me thinking that No. 2 will be coming in hot right behind him. And the trade in value for my LR3? $2K if you’re lucky, said the dealer. (Why is it always $2K?)

So I got the LR3 fixed.

Wouldn’t you know, the LR3’s transmission is the same one they use in the Mercedes, so we found a transmission guy who knows German transmissions and he figured it out right away: this transmission has a life of 120K miles and we were at 130K, so yes, it was definitely the transmission. After he fixed the transmission, the engine light was still on — but that turned out to be an easy wiring fix. He also put on new brake pads. Yes, it was expensive, but there are upsides. I get to keep the green car, and I get to keep Nigel (in his original iteration, which I like better than the new one). And No. 1 and potentially No. 2 will have a very safe car to drive around in when they get their licenses.

So now I will have 3 cars (!) which sounds really excessive. But it’s not like it’s a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, and a Maserati, and we will also have 3 drivers eventually.

End of saga.

Now to this tea. The leaves look like a CTC cut, so I expected this to be quite strong. The tea has a malty, chocolatey smell in the tin.

After steeping the tea has what I’d describe as a stoutness. The color is dark — maybe not quite as dark as Guiness, but if tea were beer it would be on that end of the spectrum.

The aroma is chewy and malty and has a coffee-like note as well. I get the cream and the chocolate, too.

It’s quite nice for an eye opener; stronger, chewier, and a tad harsher than the Class Photo I had earlier today.

It’s very tasty, but because it’s a bit heavy it’s not the sort of thing I’d be likely to drink every day.

Flavors: Chocolate, Coffee, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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90

Drama of all different types seems to be rampant in my life at the moment, not all of it mine. Some belongs to No. 1, some belongs to No. 2, some belongs to the workplace. My personal drama has mostly revolved around wildlife issues and car troubles. Raccoons have apparently torn parts of the roof off our house. Good thing we found out before the rain starts. The roof repair guy said we’d definitely have had leaks if we hadn’t found out about the raccoons.

We only found out about the raccoons, though, because of the rats. Our house is built on a hillside, so we have a rather large under house area — not a basement because it isn’t dug into the ground, but an area of that is below the flat floor of the first story. Some of this area is partially finished, and that’s where we have weights, a treadmill, etc. No. 1 was complaining about not being able to work out, and when asked why, he allowed as to how there was a dead rat in the workout room. We called the rodent control folks and they trapped another 3. Shudder. They have now patched up all the gaps where they think the rats were getting in, so there’s that. They also looked at the roof, et voila, raccoons.

The car issue has even more threads, so I’ll save that for my second cup of tea.

This tea has some of my favorite flavors in it: chocolate, hazelnut, almond, and orange. They’re all smellable in the dry leaf, and miraculously, also in the aroma of the steeped tea. You don’t have to chase them that much either — they sort of hand off the job of stepping to the fore like choreographed dance soloists. One comes forward, then recedes, then another comes forward. More like yearbook entries than a single class photo, really. The tea is a deep red, sort of a cranberry color when held up to light, and a dark orange brown when not.

The flavor is hitting the spot this morning. My only complaint is that the nuts and orange aren’t as strong in the flavor as in the aroma. But this isn’t much of a complaint, especially when I consider what it might do to the balance of the tea to pull any single lever more than it has been.

Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Hazelnut, Orange

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Cameron B.

We had raccoons living in our unfinished attic. It was a mother and three babies.

And, of course, they tore part of the roof open to get in… :P

Cameron B.

P.S. – This tea sounds delish! I’ll have to order from THE O DOR one of these days… When I’m willing to bear the horrid shipping cost.

__Morgana__

Yeah, the guy said it was a family. The mom digs a nest and tries to get near something warm. They were already gone, fortunately. Not to be too gross about it but he described the poop as “quite stale.” LOL

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