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Recent Tasting Notes
Advent Day 10
A chai! Exciting after the straight teas! I’m feeling slightly under the weather. One of my not so tiny anymore roommates (aka kids) has been sniffling for a few days, so I may be fighting whatever non Covid crud they have. All that to say something spicy and warm to drink sounds lovely!
This is indeed a chai with the mix of usual chai spices. Clove and cardamon seem to dominate. Hard to pick out any cinnamon. It doesn’t have any peppery spices, which would be very welcome right now. It’s on a black base that rounds out and balances the flavors nicely. I’ve been drinking it straight so far. I do like chai with oatmilk and honey, but I just added that to the second half of my cup and the chai flavors in the tea aren’t holding up well against the additions. It was loads better straight. I would say this is a good tea with solid chai flavors. I’d happily drink it again if I came across it. I might even go for a second steeping today. I would not add it to my cupboard. It would have to be an exceptional chai for me to make room for more chai next to my beloved Zhi Tea chais which have enough kick to withstand the addition of milk and honey which in my brain is a large part of what makes a chai.
Advent Day 9
How to describe this tea? It’s smooth, light but strong malt, a hint of light tobacco flavors with bread, maybe some hay, a little dry in the finish. It’s nice. I don’t know straight darjeelings well enough to say if this is average or above. I’m finding that a lot of these teas are ones I’d drink again if I came across them, but I wouldn’t seek them out or add them to my cupboard. I’m really hoping to see more blends in this calendar. I know Fauchon has a bunch of teas I like and more I’d like to try.
Advent Day 8
Woke up to an email that 2 of the 3 tires I ordered to be put on my car (1 tire was replaced a year ago) are cancelled, so I’m somewhat mindlessly sipping on this cup while messaging Costco customer service. The jasmine is lighter in flavor than I prefer, but I’m adapting to the more delicate flavors. The sip is smooth, there is a little jasmine tang in the finish. I can taste a little bit of the tea flavor coming through in the back of each sip. It’s a nice tea, but I’d love to see something a little more creative such as pairing jasmine with another complimentary flavor to make it more exciting.
Time to put my adulting pants on and order more tires. I hate those pants!
Advent Day 6
I see two other entries for EGs from Fauchon, but I think they are both a little different. I wasn’t thrilled to see an EG today (I just had a cup of Fortnum and Mason’ s smokey EG yesterday), but this is a fairly solid cup. It has prominent, but not overwhelming EG flavors. Towards the back of the sip I swear I can taste the tea, which doesn’t often happen with strong EGs. It goes down really easy and pleasantly as I ponder my day.
I tried to get one of my beehives buttoned down for the winter yesterday, but it started to rain so I had to close it back up. Today the sun is out and I’m trying to decide if I give it another go or focus on things like repotting some apricot trees I got a couple weeks ago. OR I could continue my project of photographing the various acorn species I’ve found. SO many choices and all of them depend on me getting off the computer! Maybe after I finish this cup.
Advent Day 6
For being a tisane that is filled with things I’m not a fan of, this isn’t bad. It tasted better when it was hot, but I let my cup cool. The rooibos isn’t leaving my mouth super dry, which I appreciate. The pineapple is fairly mellow. The hibiscus is subtle and not obnoxious when warm, but is a little more pronounced once it cools. There is a slight sweetness to it. I would never choose a cup of this, but it isn’t undrinkable either.
Advent Day 5
I’m kind of surprised that a few of the teas (five days in) didn’t have profiles here!
Very nice and smooth. The tea blends so well into the mint that it is hard to pick it out. It reminds me a little of 52Teas Graveyard mist, but it’s been years since I’ve last had a cup of that. The mint in this leans more towards a light spearmint taste than it does an herbal tisane mint that is more powerful and in your face. I’m really enjoying this cup, but it doesn’t stand out as something I’d want a tin of in my cupboard. It would be a great staple if you were looking for a solid mellow mint green tea.
Advent Day 2
It’s an EG alright. It’s nice, smooth, strong EG flavors that could probably stand up to the addition of cream if that’s your thing. It’s perfectly lovely, but it doesn’t stand out to me in a sea of good EGs. I for sure wouldn’t buy this, but I’d drink more if I crossed paths with it again.
Advent Day 1
My last minute advent purchase arrived yesterday! Just in time!!! There was a glitch on the website when I ordered and I accidentally purchased two. I have to run to FedEx to drop off the extra so I can get the $70 double charge back, but I digress.
I lean more towards black teas, so I’m always pleasantly surprised when I find a green tea that I like. This tea has a very bright crisp (but not grassy and sharp) flavor to it that stands on it’s own in the citrus ginger flavors. All the flavors play well together. Probably not something I’d buy, but I’d drink another cup if it was offered. I didn’t see the small steeping instructions of 80c for 4m and I’m kinda glad I didn’t because 1 minute produced a very enjoyable cup.
Picked up a tin of this on a trip to Japan! Fauchon has multiple store fronts in Japan, usually in the lower level of a mall which are these insanely busy high end food courts. The translation I was seeing and understanding was that this was a fall tea with chestnut and maple, but I don’t think that is correct. On the tin the translation is cinnamon, ginger and cardamon. Marron is mentioned, which I think is French for chestnut, but now that I’m home I’m not seeing any mention of maple. Could have been the orange maple leaves on the tin that gave me that impression.
This tea is coming across as a very light and delicate attempt at a chai. On some sips I’ll think I get a hint of chestnut, which isn’t an ingredient I’ve come across often in teas so I’m not super familiar on the flavor. I’m not loving this tea, but I have had several Fauchon teas that I wasn’t excited about with my first few cups and then had the tea grow on me quite a lot. Not writing it off yet, but I’m not impressed so far. Maybe a slightly higher temp next time.
This is from the forgotten batch from VaraTEA that I unearthed the other day, the leaf is a bit ancient: totally my fault, not hers.
So there it was—not enough leaf for two cups but far too much for one. I used it all, cooled the water down, and steeped FAST. The leaf is teeny teeny tiny CTC, powder really, so the result is super super strong but tasty. The apple flavouring has faded but it’s still there. And then there’s that je ne sais quoi of French teas.
If I had some milk, I would add a glug.
I am enjoying this punchy cup, softening it a bit with bites of sweet chocolate. lovely way to kickstart the morning.
Thank you for letting me try this, VariaTEA.
And it’s a sipdown!
French… Saturday?! I had absolutely no time to brew hot tea before work yesterday (and in all honesty, barely have enough before work today, so I’ll have to make this brief), so I had to push back the sampler from my baggie of French teas (thanks, Dustin!) to today.
The dry leaf smells reminds me of B&B’s Easter Egg Nests… a sweet chocolately, slightly roasty/nutty aroma. Brewed about 2.6g per 350ml of 205F water for 3 minutes. The brewed tea smells like Easter Egg Nests to me as well… a fudgy, milk chocolately aroma. I’m getting a sort of roasty, slightly coffee-like background note, a subtle roasted nuts note, and a rich chocolately top note. I remember that I had more of a bitter-sweet, dark chocolate tasting experience with Easter Egg Nests, unless I prepared it as a latte, which brought out more of a creamy milk chocolate taste… I’m getting something closer to a creamy milk chocolate taste from this tea as a hot plain cuppa with no additions. There is more of a bitter sweet than a sweet edge to it, but it is quite smooth and pleasant.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Roasted, Roasted Nuts
French Friday! This sample was kindly provided by Dustin, so thank you!
Also using this as my Ode to Tea A entry, because as any respectable librarian knows, words like “a” “an” and “the” are never used in alphabetizing… and yes, that rule carries over to equivalents in foreign language titles!
Dry leaf smells like roses and cream! Rose has been a flavor I’ve been drinking (and enjoying!) a lot lately. Steeped 2.4g in 350ml 205F water for 3 minutes. Still get a strong rose aroma from the steeped tea, but the secondary aroma is citrus rather than cream. Because of the florality, the citrus is coming off less zingy/fruity and more akin to orange blossom.
The flavor is an orange/rose combo. The orange is a pithy/peel-like flavor with a bit of tang, and the rose is just that lovely sweet floral flavor that is probably perfumy to anyone but me. Not getting any of the “cream” which I picked up on the nose, but the cup is overall sweet for a black tea. The base is giving me some subtle warm bread and spice notes. Reminding me a bit of the Minnesota N’Ice tea I had during March Madness, if the jasmine were swapped for rose and the citrus were a little more gentle.
A very pleasant rose tea!
Flavors: Bread, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Orange, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Rose, Smooth, Spices, Sweet
Advent from Dustin Day 24
Merry Christmas Eve to all that celebrate! Sad to have advent season coming to an end (but thankful to have another day with a tea surprise thanks to Dustin). Happy to have the holiday season over, though. Always a stressful time when working retail, particularly though this year.
Another Fauchon tea from Dustin?? I feel incredibly lucky. This one has a similar caramel/vanilla note to the Un Soir De Noel that I really loved. The citrus works really well with that delicious gourmand flavor. Such a shame that Fauchon blends aren’t more readily available in the US.
Thanks so much for this freebie, Ost! An individually wrapped sachet that I imagine isn’t new. I can’t find any info, but it seems to be a plain green. It isn’t bad. I had some Pringles before drinking… my favorite: honey mustard (Rick & Morty pringles, no less!), so we’ll see what we can do with these flavors. There is a drying effect. A bit of that smoke quality a gunpowder has. But I think it’s a mix of different green types. Some leaves look like gunpowder. It’s okay! Boring note, but needed to write one for this lonely tea (and probably discontinued).
Steep #1 // 36 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 82 (August Uncommon – Dots & Loops + English Tea Store – Swiss Hot Chocolate)
This is likely the exact same blend as in their old Raspberry Macaron packaging but I added this to the library when I initially got this anyway. The dry leaf smells ultra rosy and there is a generous smattering of pink peppercorns here and there.
It’s like drinking liquid rose petals with an ultra astringent Darjeeling base. Such a dry mouthfeel, even with milk. There is no almond in this whatsoever, so it definitely doesn’t resemble a macaron, in my opinion. As for the raspberry, I only get a tiny hint of it in the aftertaste, like a good two minutes after my last sip. Not my favourite Fauchon. I think this would have worked better with a not-so-astringent base and perhaps a more prominent almond note. Maybe not so much rose, either. That says a lot coming from a rose fan!
Sipdown 197/397! I’m down to 300 teas!! It’s a little embarrassing how excited I am about that.
I’m currently drinking this for today’s breakfast, paired with some strawberries from my newly-arrived Rotten Fruit Box! They’re an awesome company which rescue fruit that has been deemed ‘not supermarket grade’ due to its appearance that would otherwise be left to go rotten – hence the name – and freeze-dries it while it’s still fresh. So not only does it reduce food waste, but it provides a healthy and tasty snack for myself, and helps out small farmers (where they get over 80% of their produce) in the process! The bags the fruit comes in are compostable, too! I’m honestly so excited about their business model! If only more companies were concerned with all-around sustainability. Anyway, that’s my daily rant over. I swear they didn’t pay me to give that whole speech! On to the tea.
I really didn’t expect much from this. Partly because Marzipan, who sent it to me, wasn’t a fan, and partly because chocolate teas never seem to hit the spot for me. I sound like a broken record at this point, but I never actually get chocolate from them. This one, though, I actually do! It’s creamy but not artificial, while still being quite deep, and it pairs well with the roasty oolong base. There were a lot of cocoa nibs in the leaf, and it’s definitely that more natural, ‘raw’ chocolate flavour I’m getting, which I think is probably the way to go with chocolate in teas. I don’t think I would call it an éclair necessarily, nor do I feel the need to pick up another tin this instant, but it’s a chocolate tea done well and I’m pleasantly surprised.
Sipdown of the day! 191/397
I saw that this was a Darjeeling so steeped it at a lower temperature than I usually would, but there is still some bitterness coming through and a drying feeling at the back of my throat, unfortunately. Like others have noted, I am picking up on rose notes most prominently, and when combined with the floral Darj it’s just a bit more overpowering than I would have liked. I’m also noticing some violet notes which are adding to the perfumed aroma. The raspberry is present, and in fact my very first sip was dominated by the raspberry note, but since then it has faded and been overpowered by the floral bouquet which is very loud, only allowing the raspberry to peek through as a background note. I don’t seem to be picking up on the almond, or anything that reminds me of a macaron. It’s a very typical ‘French style’ perfumed tea, I would say, with a hint of raspberry. Thank you for the sample, Marzipan, but unfortunately this one was not for me.
Problem with having a home studio is that I’m home and my entire household knows where I am. They have access to me for every little question, need, meandering moment or argument they have. It’s Sunday and my hopes of unwinding this morning with a cup of tea IN SILENCE after a week or more of poor sleep is dwindling with every interruption. I want to shrink down and climb into this tea, floating like I’m Gary Oldman as Beethoven floating in the water with the night sky reflected into my cup listening to Moonlight Sonata in my head. There is such a comforting caramel orange flavor to this tea that I could sink into at the moment. There is an almost chocolate/burnt sugar note to the finish. I don’t think I was crazy about this tea when I first got it, but I’m growing to love it. Good impulse buy, 2019 Dustin.
Having my daily cup of quaranTEA. So glad right now that I’m a tea hoarder. I’m set for a while while cooped up in my house waiting for the worst of this virus to pass through my community.
I know this has oranges and all sorts of other flavors in it, but what I really get is a caramel like flavor and it’s pretty nice. Drank this cup mindlessly while making waffles, getting one kid set up with a classroom video chat and the other set up to video call with her physical therapist. I never thought I’d be so busy during the apocalypse, but here I am!