115 Tasting Notes
This is obviously the best “green tea with jasmine” a for the rest very nice Chinese restaurant in Madrid, Spain can offer. I must admit it looks great : a bigger than usual paper envelope containing a piramide teabag. The piramide teabag doesn´t contain dust, but it´s not exactly big leaf either. Although the use by date lies still 1,5 years in the future, the teabag isn´t particularly aromatic, something I usually associate with Chinese jasmine tea. As I was first served the teapot and a teabag of mint tea (the green colour of the envelope is quite similar to the one of this jasmine tea), the water had already cooled a bit when I started steeping, definitely a good thing with this type of tea (the envelope says you should steep at 100ºC though). The steeped tea is better than what I expected from its fragrance (or the lack of it), and is actually quite alright to have instead of water or beer to accompany food. I think it lacks character to have on its own.
What is worrisome however : that even Chinese or Japanese restaurants (had a similar experience in a Japanese restaurant last week), claiming to serve authentic food, pay little attention to the quality of the tea they offer…or maybe they think that it´s more important to impress by the quality of the wrapping?
Flavors: Green, Jasmine
According to its name (Digest), this herbal tea should help digestion…so maybe more to this tasting note tomorrow ;-)
I´m not such a fan of herbal teas (it reminds me too much of my childhood, when my mother scooped all type of dried herbs together to make me a cup of herbal infusion when I was feeling under the weather), but this one is quite OK : mint teas are often very strong (and sweet), and here it´s balanced by the fennel (and according to the list of ingredients also ginger, cardamom, liquorice, cinnamon and lemongrass…which I cannot really distinguish, to be honest) so overall it´s easier to take.
Flavors: Fennel, Mint
In September I returned to León and so, I returned to the wonderful tea shop near the market, and bought myself another packet of this tea. This meant also that I could finish the first packet I had bought last year ;-) (as I had kept a bit, just in case the shop was closed)…and in meantime, I´ve already tried the second packet.
The instructions were slightly different from the ones indicated on the first packet, and maybe brewing it like this now, the tea is slightly stronger in taste, but it still combines perfectly the sweet touch of the caramel with the taste of a solid pu´erh tea…just perfect for a cold autumn day!
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