90 Tasting Notes

77

Harrod’s states, “The core element of the Empire Blend is Assam tea with the subtle characteristics of Nilgiri and Darjeeling.” It is a perfectly servicable black tea, is probably exactly what you’d imagine when you think of a classic British black. It is not particularly complex but is the good quality that Harrod’s is typically known for. Nice finish without bitterness/astringency. Personally, I would not bother with the hassle and expense of sourcing this particular tea outside the UK.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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77

This is an interesting combination, I’m not sure if if I’ve ever come across it before. The tea contains pieces of dried yuzu and the citrus note is quite strong. However, when brewed, the chocolate is more much prominent than the yuzu. It is present but certainly takes a back seat to the gourmand note. I also get a slight note of brown sugar. Overall, a nice take on a standard dessert tea. It’d go nicely with cake or fruit tarts.

The base is the typical Lupicia black tea, well-balanced and bright but can turn very astringent quickly if overbrewed.

I give it points for the uniqueness and overall drinkability but wish the yuzu were more prominent.

Flavors: Bright, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Citrus, Yuzu

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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65

A very typical genmai cha, with a grassy (if rather weak) standard quality green and puffed brown rice imparting a popcorn-like note. This tastes like a generic grocery store genmaicha and I just had to laugh when I saw it was $16 for 20 bags. That is ludicrous and you would have to be utterly barmy to pay that. Go to an Asian supermaket and get the Yamamoto Yama Genmaicha for a better tea at less than a quarter of the price. You’d even do better with the mass-market Itoen 500g bag for less than this.

Flavors: Grassy, Popcorn, Roasty, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 150 OZ / 4436 ML
ashmanra

Wow, good information to know!

blueeyedsurprise

It’s not a terrible genmaichai but there is nothing to distinguish it from any other. Pretty much any Japanese brand will do a better one at a fraction of the price.

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75

This is probably the best Palais des Thes I’ve had yet, but the bar is fairly low here. Big Ben is a bog standard Assam/Yunnan blend English Breakfast tea. It has a nice smooth body with malty notes and little astringency, no bitterness. If you like a proper bracing cuppa, this is not for you as it brews relatively weak, as most PdT I’ve had.

It’s a perfectly serviceable if weak English Breakfast blend, but these are everywhere and this one is not particularly outstanding. It’s a fine all around blend that tastes like many other teas of half the price. However, the overall quality is good and it’s attractively packaged in a muslin teabag, so might be good for a non-controversial tea gift.

Flavors: Malty, Smooth

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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70

If you’ve been looking for Earl Grey with a touch of wet dog, this is perfect for you.
The red rooibos is prominent here, so if you don’t like that, skip this. I will say an Earl Grey rooibos is not something I’ve come across before, so it gets some points for uniqueness. It seems to be a good quality blend but personally, there’s no overcoming that unpleasant red rooibos note. I’d choose a decaf Earl Grey if I wanted the taste without the caffeine.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Wet Dog

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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70

It’s a classic Yunnan, medium body with a prominent malty note. It’s smooth and not bitter, even with a long steeping. However, there are so many similar options at a lower price point (Harney, Twinings, even Mariage Freres) that I don’t see myself purchasing a full tin of this. I do feel the single origin teas from PdT are better than their blends, which I find quite weak and lacking in general. Overall, it’s a solid basic Yunnan but I do consider value for money when I score my tea, so this one comes up short. $16USD for 20 teabags is quite dear for this, in my opinion. You could get 125g of Mariage Freres Grand Yunnan (about 40 cups and a superior tea, in my opinion) for the same price.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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72

This is a berry based herbal with some slight red fruit (apple? beetroot) and birch in the background- well named since it does give a Scandi vibe. I feel this is something you’d get in a Stockholm cafe on a dark winter afternoon while reading a magazine with ads for impossibly expensive furniture. I can’t speak to the detox properties as I’ve only got one bag, but it was a pleasant enough cuppa. Not enough to buy more though. As with most Palais de Thes, I felt it was rather on the weak side and couldn’t endure a second steeping. That is my main issue with PdT- combined with the price, this brand is usually a pass from me.

Flavors: Apple, Berry, Hay

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72

While it is hardly the “indulgent, voluptuous black tea” saucily promised on the teabag, this is much better than previous Palais de Thes.

It states it contains almond, cinnamon and vanilla, spiced with a hint of ginger. I get no ginger, but the cinnamon and vanilla come through well. There’s also alleged apple but it’s minimal.

It tastes rather like a poor imitation of Mariage Freres The de Noel brewed at half strength. I have taken to brewing my Palais de Thes in a small Japanese cup with about 100-150ml of water, since that is the only way they taste of anything to me.

I bought the Advent Calendar so am working my way steadily through. I think The des Amants is the best of a bad lot. But if you like this profile, just go for the Mariage Freres Noel. It’s a similar flavour profile and exceedingly more pleasant.

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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75

This one is pretty straighforward. It’s Jasmine Green, what you see is what you get. Although both the green tea and jasmine are a little weak, it’s a pleasant enough cuppa. The jasmine is well-done and not perfumey. The tea base is a bog standard green bancha.

Do keep an eye on steeping times, this one turns bitter fast. The green tea is not the finest quality and oversteeping will turn it undrinkable.

Flavors: Jasmine

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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80
drank Daruma by Lupicia
90 tasting notes

Another fruity Lupicia black from the Book of Tea. It has small pink peppercorns which Lupicia says look like the namesake Daruma dolls, as well as sweetened mango pieces (my bag had a minimal amount of these.) The peppercorns do not impart any peppery sensation or flavour.

It’s a very familiar Lupicia tea, a standard tannic black tea blend with a zingy vaguely “tropical” fruit flavour. It reminds me a lot of Sakurambo as they both share the pink peppercorns and a vague sort of tropical black tea suggestion. Daruma is much milder, though, so if you like Sakurambo but thought it was a little too powerful, this might be a nice choice. I would not be unhappy to get this in a tea house, but I personally prefer a little more flavour in tea that’s supposed to have it.

All together, a nice cuppa of classic Lupicia.

Flavors: Tropical

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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