112 Tasting Notes
I´m very cautious about ginger in tea (and gin, and beer…), as it easily dominates everything else. During my last visit to a Palais des Thés shop, I got a refill of this tea as a present, and although I immediately felt some worry when seeing the blend was mainly green tea and ginger, I think I quite like it : the ginger is present in a subtle way (in aroma´s you get almost more orange peel than ginger) and the potentially grassy taste of the green tea is well complemented by this ginger-orange peel addition. Nice work, Palais des Thés!
Flavors: Ginger, Green, Orange Zest
During my recent visit to the Palais des Thés (PDT) shop in Tours, I not only picked a tea I had wanted to buy after having tried a sample given at a previous visit, but I also looked (and especially smelled) through the teas on offer…how I love the way PDT shows off the fragrances of their teas with the small glass bell jars! So, after testing quite a few different blends, I decided to buy this Montagne Bleue blend : you can clearly identify the notes of lavender and rhubarb indicated on the label.
Although PDT´s tea sommeliers say this blend can also be taken iced, I´ve taken it now a few times hot, and it is really enjoyable : the aromas stay and one can easily recognize rhubarb and lavender in mouth as well. My personal experience with a lot of teas using rhubarb is that it´s almost entirely present in nose, as in mouth it has disappeared, especially when the blend includes strawberry (which seems to overwhelm the rhubarb most of the time). Here this is not the case, so if you´re into rhubarb – as I am – and you like black tea, this is a wonderful blend to enjoy! If I still have tea available next Summer, I´ll need to try to prepare it iced as well ;-)
Flavors: Honey, Lavender, Rhubarb, Strawberry
When I bought some teas at Le Palais des Thés shop at Tours, I got a sample of another of the blends in the DETOX range. On the teabag it says : “Japanese detox, a delicious recipe combining the detox benefits of Sencha green tea, spirulina”(a type of seeweed)“, and buckwheat. This delicate blend features soothing notes of nashi pear, making it the perfect choice for a relaxing break.”
I must say this blend combines almost perfectly a delicate fragrance in nose with a subtly complex drink in mouth. No aroma or flavour overwhelms the whole experience, which makes this a wonderful choice for a dreamy afternoon tea. I received a (long) phone call when I hadn´t finished my mug of tea yet, so I also had the opportunity to sip the cold infusion…which is still OK, although “flatter” in taste profile.
Flavors: Green, Pear, Salty
Another tea (infusion rather) of Le Palais des Thés DETOX range I tried last week at the LPDT shop at Tours : I wasn´t impressed when smelling this blend, but the taste is really something else. I´m not sure whether I´d ever tried an infusion of a blend using birch bark before, but this “première” was definitely positive. Also, when drinking this blend, I can imagine sipping it to relax, so its use to “detox” is understandable.
Last week, I stopped at the Le Palais des Thés (LPDT) shop at Tours on my way from Spain to Belgium, to get me a stock of their brilliant “menthe glacé” tea, and I saw that LPDT is doing a lot of marketing of their new DETOX range. At Tours, they had prepared two of the teas in the range : this Brazilian inspired blend and the Scandinavian blend. First, I tried the Brazilian blend, because it´s really very fragrant. Not a big fan of mate, I thought that this blend sort of fell to pieces when trying it…not even the passionfruit can lift the blend – in mouth – above average, in my opinion.
Flavors: Passion Fruits
I wanted to try this infusion cold for the first time, and so, I put a pot of tea, but didn´t take the bag of loose infusion out, and had it steeping for a couple of hours. I had thought to take out the bag, fill a bottle and put it in the fridge, but I tried it at room temperature and it was the best “lemonade” I have ever had : so refreshing because of its taste, not its temperature (alone). This would make the best drink to take on a picknick on a Summer´s day and no need to cool it!
Flavors: Grapefruit, Lemon Zest
The third tea of the Platinum Collection.
This can be read about it on Taylors of Harrogate´s website :
“Love Assam? Meet one of the very best – a sumptuously rich, sweet and strong lightly rolled tea from the celebrated Halmari tea estate. It’s picked during a six week window during the second flush season and we’ve secured a small batch for the UK. It makes a bright russet infusion with aromas of honey and caramel and a beautifully malty flavour with hints of raspberry jam.”
This is indeed a lovely Assam, rich in taste and at 4´steeping time not a hint of bitterness to be felt. A drink to enjoy at any time of day, definitely moreish (if you can say this of a tea ;-) ). Maybe the better of the 3 teas in this collection of rare teas, at least in my opinion.
Flavors: Caramel, Malt
Found a teabag of this tea in a tea box I hadn´t looked into for quite a while…still a nice tea, where apricot is definitely dominating, and elderflower is only present in a subtle way in the finish. Enjoyable during the summer months, fruity but not overly so, sweet in a natural way…it might even work as an iced tea.
I had forgotten I hadn´t reviewed the other 2 teas I received in the Platinum Collection I had ordered from Taylors of Harrogate (of their range of rare teas and coffees).
Let me share what Taylors of Harrogate say about this tea :
“This is a collaboration between Taylors and the prestigious Imenti Tea Estate – in our view, the best black tea growers in Kenya. It’s Imenti’s first ever orthodox tea, delicately plucked and beautifully hand rolled, and the flavour is absolutely lip-smacking. It’s a sweet mouthful of biscuit and caramel, with a sublime orange blossom finish.”
In the first place, this is a Kenyan tea, which allows for a stronger backboned tea, in my opinion. I like this in a black tea, especially in one I normally take when waking up. I take my tea black, but I could understand other people preferring this tea with a cloud of milk. No need to add sugar to this tea either, as it naturally has a sweeter taste (must be the “biscuit and caramel” described above). I guess here it´s quite important to stick to the lower of the steeping times, as the tea does get bitter.
Flavors: Caramel, Orange Blossom, Tea
Free sample which was included in the Platinum Collection I had ordered from Taylors of Harrogate.
Not a lot of information available on the sample pack, but online I can read : "Take the best Sri Lankan tea that money can buy – fresh, floral and gloriously lemony – and muddle it with the flavour of rhubarb, apple pieces and hibiscus. That’s Black Ruby: a mixed-up medley of fine winter harvest Ceylon and juicy, sweet-tart fruit infusion. Seriously refreshing.
Ingredients: Black tea, hibiscus, rosehips, sweet blackberry leaves, apple, natural flavourings, natural rhubarb flavourings (1%)."
Essentially a “black tea with rhubarb flavoured herbal blend” I´m quite impressed because for once hibiscus and rosehips don´t take over the subtleties of the black tea, but on the other hand the rhubarb isn´t very present either : as a matter of fact, I can only lightly discover it in the tea´s aroma. Overall a nice black tea, and while the flavourings don´t dominate, I still have the feeling it would´ve been better without them.