Palais des Thés

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

90C

1st Steep:
Ooooh complex this one, I really like this !
For a PDT blend I sure expected less, for a first steep this has some light notes of jasmin, just a bit smoky too with the some common features we can find in both greens and blacks. This is a surprisingly good tea !

2nd Steep:
The soup is oddly thick, but in a good way.
I cannot really describe it, it’s just a very satisfying tea, a perfect blend of both tea types where ones doesn’t overwhelm the other.
I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint specific flavors however, it really has a tiny bit of everything.

3rd Steep:
Light, thick and round.
That’s all this is, I love it.
I really love it.
Rare PDT W ?

- Flavor Complexity: 25/30 – This is a rather complex tea, yet it’s very light which makes it very pleasant.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 20/20 – Contrary to pure green tea, this seemed to handle different temperatures pretty well.
- Quality Across Infusions: 20/20 – This was all very surprising, high quality and delicious tea.
- Overall Enjoyment: 20/30 – I really liked it !

-yaro

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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45

This is a South Korean green tea.
15s wash

1st Steep (75C, 15s):
Definitely drinks like a lighted roasted tea, so it’s steamy more than smoky (if you get what i mean). Some bitterness on the front, but for now it seems like this is going to be one of the boring ones.

2nd Steep (75C, 25s):
Nothing interesting really, some floral notes that are drowned by the light astringency.

3rd Steep (75C, 35s):
Again, the same. I’m not gonna pain myself any longer with such a boring tea.

- Flavor Complexity: 10/30 – Exceptionally simple.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 10/20 – It seemed particularly sensitive around 75(± 2)C
- Consistency Across Infusions: 15/20 – Consistent, but its sensitivity scared me a bit.
- Overall Enjoyment: 10/30 – A boring tea that’s mildly enjoyable, the subtle traits that are indeed felt aren’t ones I enjoy particularly (I really don’t like boring floral notes that always turn into bitterness).

-yaro

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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60

No wash

1st steep (95C, 15s):
This is really good and light, definitely get where the “milky” comes from, this is a very creamy and round tea, light sweetness at the bottom that I have trouble identifying accurately for now, overall, very tasty, I’m glad I drank the wash for this one.

2nd steep (95C, 20s):
It’s definitely subtle, although I did have a smaller sample size, but I don’t think it needs any more steeping than this, it’s very light and pleasant, the perfect balance, I like this, this is probably on the less oxidized side of oolongs, and definitely have some young puer notes.

3rd steep (95C, 25s):
Tea evolves a bit, I’m getting smoked hazelnuts, nothing much other than that to note, it’s just a very correct milky oolong, I’m guessing this is a solid representation of what a generic one would taste like.

4rd steep (95C, 30s):
No particular change in taste, knowing I probably understeeped the tea I don’t think there’s any point in going any further.

Great tea overall.
- Flavor Complexity: 10/30 – What it lacks in complexity the tea definitely gains in balance, it’s on the lighter end.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 15/20 – Seemed to take my 95C (and sometimes a bit under) pretty well !
- Quality Across Infusions: 20/20 – Definitely high quality, and very consistent too.
- Overall Enjoyment: 15/30 – I liked this, it’s a good session, nothing more nothing less.

-yaro

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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38
drank Bai Mu Dan by Palais des Thés
24 tasting notes

Preparation:

- Temperature: 167°F / 75°C
- Time: 8 min, 20 sec
- Tea Amount: 7.5 g
- Water Volume: 15 oz / 450 ml

Overview

This tea is part of the list of the teas I got this month. (https://skoomaden.me/posts/teas-arriving-in-may/).

Would you believe me if I told you I tried this tea 4 times in 4 different ways before writing this review?
I simply couldn’t believe it was as bad as I thought it was, so I tried it again and again, and again, and again.

First, I tried Gong Fu Style in two different combinations of time and temperature, then I tried it in a temperature-controlled tea maker, and finally, I tried it in a regular teapot.
The first time, I thought that perhaps Gong Fu Style wasn’t made for this tea, the second time, I thought perhaps I had too much concentration, then, I thought that perhaps the temperature dropping during the infusion (since the infusion time is 8-10 min) was the cause, and finally, as I am writing this review, the tea is in a teapot, and I am waiting for it to cool down to see if it’s better cold.

Now let’s see how Palais Des Thés describes this tea:

From Palais des Thés:

“White peony” is a very fine tea, made up of all sorts of leaves in their natural state: silvery buds, Souchong leaves, first and second leaves and stems.
Its woody taste is like the autumn fruits: hazelnuts and chestnuts.

Alright, pretty self-explanatory, onto the tasting notes.

I’m going to break down every single tasting experience I had with this tea, and then I’ll give you my final thoughts.

First time, Gong Fu Style (successive 20s, 75°C)

“What the hell am I drinking?” must’ve been my first thought. It wasn’t the bitterness that struck me, but the toughness of the tea. It was like drinking a very old, very dry, very woody piece of wood. The taste was so strong, so overpowering, that I couldn’t even taste the bitterness. I thought perhaps I had too much tea in the gaiwan, so I tried again.

Second time, Gong Fu Style (successive 10s, 75°C)

Okay, less tea, less time, maybe that’s the trick. But no, the tea was still as strong, as overpowering, as woody. I couldn’t even taste the bitterness. I thought perhaps the method itself was wrong.

Third time, Temperature-Controlled Tea Maker (8 min, 75°C)

Ark! Strong as hell this one, overpowering, woody, dry, old, and strong, and most importantly, not anything like a Bai Mu Dan.

Fourth time, Regular Teapot (8 min, 75°C)

Huh, is this it?
Is this the tea I’ve been trying to taste for the past 2 hours?
It’s so incredibly light, so incredibly tasteless, so incredibly… boring.

But still woody, still like what a minecraft birch plank would taste like, still not a Bai Mu Dan.

But I cannot say it’s bad, because it isn’t. “Truly I was the one to blame by trying to taste it in a way it wasn’t meant to be tasted.”
But why would this Bai Mu Dan not be meant to be tasted in Gong Fu Style? Why would it be so strong, so overpowering, so woody?

Final thoughts

Not every white tea can be tasted Gong Fu Style, and this one is a perfect example of that. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just… there. It’s a tea that you can drink without thinking about it, without tasting it, without enjoying it. It’s a tea that you can drink while doing something else, while talking, while working, while reading, while watching TV.
It’s a non-tea, it’s not light yet with character as I wished it would’ve been, and after trying a stable method, and under these very specific and controlled conditions, I can say that it’s an overpriced tea that does what it’s supposed to.

I would feel it to be unfair to judge it badly, my apprehensions disappeared after the last tasting, but I cannot say it’s good either.

My recommendation: This is a correct white tea, unremarkable, needs more definition, very light and fair. Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 10/30 – The tea lacked depth and distinctive flavors.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 10/20 – Difficult to get right, with inconsistent results across methods.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 8/20 – Varied widely, mostly disappointing.
- Overall Enjoyment: 10/30 – Despite its shortcomings, it’s drinkable and fair.

38/100

- yaro

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 8 min or more 8 g 15 OZ / 450 ML

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82

I recently tried Chaï Impérial, a masala chai blend from Palais des Thés. Here’s my detailed review of the experience:

Preparation:

- Temperature: 212°F / 100°C
- Time: 3 min, 0 sec
- Tea Amount: 7 g
- Water Volume: 14 oz / 400 ml

Overview

What a great Masala Chai, paired with milk (50:50 ratio) this is definitely one of the best ones out there.

Tasting Notes:

Nothing much to add, the cardamom and ginger overpower the pink pepper, but that is to be expected from a Masala chai. I made myself some Karak Chai with it too using concentrated milk.

Flavors: Cardamom, Ginger

Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 25/30 – Rich and well-balanced spices, although cardamom and ginger dominate.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 18/20 – Performs well even with minor adjustments in preparation.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 20/20 – Maintains strong flavor profile throughout.
- Overall Enjoyment: 19/30 – Highly enjoyable, particularly with milk.

82/100

- yaro

Flavors: Cardamom, Ginger

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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85

I recently tried Fleur de Sureau et Pêche Bio, a tea blend from Palais des Thés. Here’s my detailed review of the experience:

Overview

I love this tea so much! The peach is clear, and yet it does not overpower the elderflower, which is also very noticeable. It’s a perfect balance of flavors.

Preparation

- Temperature: 95°C
- Time: 2 min (initial steep), followed by consecutive 30s/1min steeps
- Tea Amount: 2.5 g
- Water Volume: A bit less than 80 mL (in my gaiwan)

Tasting Experience

I went for an initial steep at 95°C for 2 minutes, followed by consecutive 30-second/1-minute steeps. The point here was to see how concentrated the taste could be, and it was worth it. The tea has a very subtle yet distinctive taste, making it a perfect morning brew.

Flavor Profile

The flavors are clear, with the elderflower and peach both shining through without overpowering each other. It’s a delightful blend that offers a refreshing start to the day.

Flavors: Clear, Elderflower, Peach

My recommendation: Highly recommended for its perfect balance of flavors and refreshing taste. Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 28/30 – Exceptional blend of flavors, well-balanced.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 18/20 – Performs well even with varying steep times.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 18/20 – Maintains flavor profile through multiple steeps, though slightly fades.
- Overall Enjoyment: 21/30 – Highly enjoyable, though slightly lacking in intensity over time.

85/100

- yaro

Flavors: Clear, Elderflower, Peach

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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20

I recently tried Grand Jasmin Mao Feng, a jasmine tea from Palais des Thés. Here’s my detailed review of the experience:

Preparation:

- Temperature: 165°F / 73°C
- Time: 0 min, 30 sec
- Tea Amount: 5 g
- Water Volume: 3 oz / 100 ml

Overview

Palais des Thés calls this one subtle and creamy. Let’s see, we steep at 75°C with a steep of 25 seconds.

Second Steep:

Slightly bitter, jasmine lacks definition, shocking for this price point.

Third Steep:

Bitter, bitter, bitter and gross. It’s not all over the place though; I can see that the jasmine itself is the cause of the bitterness, like drinking ear wax: ew.

Fourth Steep:

Oh wow, this is just bad, bad bad bad. Where’s the creaminess? Where’s the subtlety? I cannot describe how bitter this is; it’s like ear wax with extra ear wax.

Conclusion:

Worst jasmine tea I’ve had, and I wish I was kidding.

Flavors: Bitter, Jasmine, Wax

Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 5/30 – Lacks depth and is overwhelmingly bitter.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 5/20 – Very sensitive to brewing parameters, easily becomes undrinkable.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 5/20 – Consistently unpleasant across multiple steeps.
- Overall Enjoyment: 5/30 – Not enjoyable at all.

20/100

- yaro

Flavors: Bitter, Jasmine, Wax

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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55

I recently tried Grand Yunnan Impérial, a black tea from Palais des Thés. Here’s my detailed review of the experience:

Preparation:

- Temperature: 205°F / 96°C
- Time: 0 min, 15 sec
- Tea Amount: 5 g
- Water Volume: 3 oz / 100 ml

Overview

After a disappointing initial attempt with a steep time of 45 seconds resulting in strong bitterness, I decided to switch to Gong Fu style brewing to explore the tea’s potential further.

First Infusion (10s)

For the first infusion, I steeped the tea for about 10 seconds, aiming to quickly extract the flavor without letting it become bitter.

Second Infusion (15s)

The second infusion was very relaxing, with the expected bitterness for a black tea. However, it didn’t exhibit any outstanding characteristics beyond being a standard Yunnan black tea.

Third Infusion (10s)

The third infusion revealed the tea’s potential as the bitterness subsided, leaving a lighter and more enjoyable experience. This infusion was particularly praised.

Fourth Infusion (25s)

With the fourth infusion, the bitterness became more pronounced, but no significant difference was noted compared to the third infusion.

Overall Impression

In conclusion, Grand Yunnan Impérial proved to be a non-exceptional yet pleasant black tea. It exhibited slightly less bitterness than expected, making it suitable for casual consumption.

Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 12/30 – Some enjoyable moments but lacks distinctive or exceptional flavors.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 15/20 – Not particularly forgiving, shorter steeps are more successful.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 15/20 – Variations in experience across infusions, some inconsistency.
- Overall Enjoyment: 13/30 – Pleasant but not memorable or impressive.

55/100

- yaro

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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47

I recently tried Pu Erh Lin Cang BIO, a tea from Palais des Thés. Here’s my detailed review of the experience:

Overview

This is my first pu’er tea, and maybe my last dark pu’er for a while. I’m still new to tea, and this one is a bit challenging for me. While the earthiness wasn’t too strong and I could distinctly sense the typical pu’er aroma, I admit it’s just too out there for me. However, it’s an overall good tea that needs to be tried.

Preparation

- Temperature: 205°F / 96°C
- Steeping Time: 0 min, 30 sec
- Tea Amount: 4 g
- Water Volume: 3 oz / 100 mL

Tasting Experience

I brewed it with 30-second steeps, using 4g of tea per 100mL of water. The experience was okay, but it didn’t quite match my taste preferences.

Flavor Profile

The tea has a strong earthy flavor and a viscous texture, which are typical characteristics of pu’er tea. While some may enjoy these qualities, I found them to be too intense for my liking.

Flavors: Earthy, Viscous

My recommendation: Recommended for those who enjoy bold, earthy flavors in their tea. Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 10/30 – Offers a traditional pu’er flavor but lacks subtlety.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 12/20 – Can become too intense if not brewed carefully.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 15/20 – Maintains a consistent flavor profile across multiple steeps.
- Overall Enjoyment: 10/30 – An acquired taste, but enjoyable for those who appreciate strong, earthy notes.

47/100

- yaro

Flavors: Earthy, Viscous

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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55
Review of Sencha Ariake by Palais des Thés

I recently tried Sencha Ariake, a green tea from Palais des Thés. Here’s my detailed review of the experience:

Preparation:

- Temperature: 160°F / 71°C
- Time: 2 min, 0 sec
- Tea Amount: 5 g
- Water Volume: 3 oz / 100 ml

Overview

I had some pretty negative apprehensions when I was about to try this tea. Like many others, I find most Japanese teas to be too herbal, even vegetably, with that typical astringency found especially in cheaper ones. For Matchas and Senchas, it’s not uncommon to find herbal notes mixed with a strong and direct bitterness that overshadows other subtleties. But this wasn’t one of those cases. In fact, it is one of the only senchas I was able to drink gong fu style — albeit with some consequences.

Sencha’s Particularity

There are many reasons why Sencha isn’t really compatible with gong fu style. Its finely cut needle-like leaves are hard to block, and Sencha is usually infused for long periods of time. A kyusu thus being the more logical vessel to be used, and more generally, the tea itself doesn’t benefit much from a tea “cleaning” per se since the leaves are already broken. So I’m going to drink that 1st steep anyways.

With all that in mind, I tried a different method. First, I would infuse for 2 minutes at 71°C, then I would make two more 20s steeps, any more would be too bitter. Here’s how it went:

First Steep

The herbal notes were prominent in the first steep, with minimal bitterness. However, allowing the tea to cool slightly increased its bitterness.

Second Steep

The bitterness overwhelmed the second steep, rendering it almost undrinkable. The vegetable-like taste remained present but overshadowed.

Third Steep

By the third steep, the herbal notes had disappeared entirely, leaving behind a strong bitterness akin to drinking ear wax.

Overall Impression

Alright, although it may seem as if I hated this tea, this is truly one of the most surprising ones I’ve tried so far. The first thing that came to my mind when I drank that first steep was “fresh.” It was just fresh and very vegetably, like cucumber water. Just for that first steep, and the shock that it caused, this tea deserves more recognition.

Flavors: Cucumber, Fresh, Herbal, Vegetables

My recommendation: An intriguing tea worth trying for its surprising flavors, particularly in the first steep. Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 18/30 – Good initial complexity, but quickly fades.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 12/20 – Sensitive to steeping times and temperature, can become overly bitter.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 10/20 – Noticeable decline in flavor quality after the first steep.
- Overall Enjoyment: 15/30 – The initial surprise and freshness make it enjoyable, despite the later bitterness.

55/100

- yaro

Flavors: Cucumber, Fresh, Herbal, Vegetables

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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35

I recently tried Thé des Alizés, a tea blend from Palais des Thés. Here’s my detailed review of the experience:

Preparation:

- Temperature: 170°F / 76°C
- Time: 0 min, 30 sec
- Tea Amount: 5 g
- Water Volume: 4 oz / 120 ml

Overview 1st Infusion:

A very similar profile to their Thé du Louvre. When hot, this tea is much more subtle, but the flavors are extremely superficial, and just like the Thé du Louvre, there’s a slight acidity that lingers in the aftertaste.

2nd Infusion:

Hot, this tea now keeps this acidity. It’s not as bad as Thé du Louvre, but it’s definitely noticeable and I don’t get any of the white peach, kiwi, or watermelon. Although that could be the source of the acidity.

3rd Infusion:

Now the acidity, just like in the Thé du Louvre, has completely destroyed this tea. Nothing to get out of it, unfortunately. What a shame.

Conclusion:

The Thé des Alizés fails to deliver the expected flavors of white peach, kiwi, or watermelon. The persistent acidity ruins the overall experience, making this tea blend highly disappointing.

Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 8/30 – Very superficial flavors with dominant acidity.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 10/20 – Acidity persists and worsens over infusions.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 7/20 – Consistently disappointing across multiple steeps.
- Overall Enjoyment: 10/30 – Unpleasant due to persistent acidity.

35/100

- yaro

Flavors: Acidic

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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55
Preparation

- Temperature: 175°F / 79°C
- Time: 3 min, 0 sec
- Tea Amount: 4 g
- Water Volume: 3 oz / 100 ml

Overview

For this tasting, I experimented with a gaiwan and utilized a somewhat unconventional brewing method: 79°C water temperature, 4g of tea per 100ml of water, steeped for 3 minutes for the initial steep, followed by constant 10-second steeps.

Second Steep

The second steep revealed plenty of jasmine notes upfront, accompanied by a strong clove-like taste and some floral notes. Unfortunately, the experience was marred by an incredibly bitter aftertaste.

Third, Fourth, and Subsequent Steeps

As I continued steeping, the floral notes became more pronounced, with the jasmine dominating completely and leaving no room for any other aroma.

Overall Impression

Despite the bitterness in the second steep, I found the blend to be quite enjoyable overall. The complexity of flavors, particularly in the second steep, was remarkable and not something encountered in most teas. While the unconventional brewing method may have contributed to the bitterness, I believe that proper gongfu style brewing could yield better results.

My recommendation: Recommended for its complexity and pleasant flavors, especially when brewed with care. Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 18/30 – Rich in jasmine and clove notes but overly dominated by jasmine in later steeps.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 10/20 – Requires careful brewing to avoid bitterness.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 12/20 – Maintains a strong flavor profile, but bitterness impacts enjoyment.
- Overall Enjoyment: 15/30 – Enjoyable despite the challenges in brewing, but not exceptional.

55/100

- yaro

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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36
Review of Thé du Hammam by Palais des Thés

I recently tried Thé du Hammam, a tea blend from Palais des Thés. Here’s my detailed review of the experience:

Preparation

- Temperature: 170°F / 76°C
- Time: 3 min, 15 sec
- Tea Amount: 2 g
- Water Volume: 3 oz / 100 ml

Overview

Thé du Hammam was quite a shocker for me. My experience doesn’t seem to fit what I expected. It’s sweet and subtle, both traits that are important for a tea that describes itself as inspired by oriental hammam’s scents.

Flavor Profile

Here’s my issue, out of the four elements of the tea, only two seem to be noticeable, with one overpowering the other: the green date (notable in the aftertaste) and the rose (subtle at the front of the taste). The green date is something I never expected in a tea, providing a very refreshing form of sweetness, while the rose adds a nice touch for that Hammam-like taste. However, I didn’t detect any signs of orange flower water or red fruits.

Overall Impression

This is a recurring theme in Palais des Thés flavored teas; they tend to be too perfumy, lacking much-needed substance. While some of their recipes hit the mark, this one falls short in delivering a well-balanced flavor profile.

Tasting Experiences

I have tried this tea twice, once in a gaiwan with 30-second steeps at 75°C and 2.5g/100ml, and once in a teapot with 6g/300ml, 75°C, steeped for 3 minutes. Unfortunately, both experiences have been disappointing so far.

I am sad because I deeply wanted to love this tea, but for Palais des Thés teas, I think I’ll just stick to their pure teas.

Flavors: Dates, Rose

My recommendation: Not recommended due to its lack of balance and underwhelming flavor profile. Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 10/30 – Limited complexity, with dominant but unbalanced flavors.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 10/20 – Sensitive to brewing parameters, easily becomes perfumy.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 8/20 – Fails to maintain a consistent flavor profile.
- Overall Enjoyment: 8/30 – Disappointing and not enjoyable overall.

36/100

- yaro

Flavors: Dates, Rose

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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42
Review of Thé du Louvre Cote Jardin by Palais des Thés

Preparation:

- Temperature: 167°F / 75°C
- Time: 0 min, 20 sec
- Tea Amount: 2 g
- Water Volume: 3 oz / 100 ml

Overview

This tea is part of the list of the [teas I got this month](https://skoomaden.me/posts/teas-arriving-in-may/).
It was recommended to me by a person I know is as big of a tea enthusiast as I am!
As always, I prepared this tea Gong Fu style, using a gaiwan for steeping and a small transparent cup to see the color accurately.

Now let’s see how Palais Des Thés describes this tea:

From Palais des Thés:

“The fruit of a collaboration between the Louvre Museum and Palais des Thés, the thés du Louvre are fragrant new blends which pay homage to the two faces of the Louvre: the monumental aspect of the palace with its elegant architecture and the poetic charm of the Tuileries Garden.
The Thé du Louvre – Garden Tea is reminiscent of a gentle stroll through the Tuileries Garden, between colourful flowerbeds and shady copses. A gourmet green tea with notes of apple, plum and quince."

First Infusion (20s, 75°C)

I decided to steep the tea for 20 seconds for the first infusion, as I wanted to get a good idea of the tea’s flavor and look, without letting it become too bitter.
Now, this is unusual; first steeps are almost always meant to feed my tea pets and warm up the cups, but this time, I was really curious about this famed tea.

The color was a light yellow. The taste was light, with a slight acidity that was quite unpleasant. The bitterness was also present, but not overwhelming.
It was definitely not as round and sweet as I expected.

Second Infusion (20s, 75°C)

Of course, this is the real deal. The second infusion is where the tea really shines, right?

Well, not really. The taste was still quite light, with the same acidity and bitterness as the first infusion.
That acidity I mentioned earlier was still lingering, directly affecting the overall taste of the tea.
As I feared, and as I keep experiencing with Palais Des Thés’ flavored teas, it is more about smelling the tea than tasting it…

Third Infusion (30s, 75°C)

Bye-bye (?) acidity, hello sourness.
After this steep, I started seriously asking myself what was wrong with this tea. The acidity was still there, hiding the floral notes, polluting the aftertaste.
Unlike a citrus-y acidity, refreshing and invigorating, this one was more like a bad grape juice, leaving a bad taste in the mouth.

Fourth Infusion (40s, 75°C)

Gone is the acidity, gone is the sourness.

Here, I tried both drinking it hot and letting it cool down a bit.
However, both methods tasted the same.

The taste was now quite light, with a slight bitterness and a slight floral note.
No more of that horrible bad grape juice taste, but also no more of the original flavor.

Crazy how good this tea got after it lost all its flavor, right?

Fifth Infusion (50s, 75°C)

Less flavor, hot water with a hint of nothing and some floral notes.
Honestly, it keeps getting better as it loses its flavor, I really don’t know how to feel about that, but what remains of the acidity reminds me of the reason why I don’t like this tea.

Overall Impression

Bear in mind that this is not my first time trying a flavored tea from Palais Des Thés, nor is it my first time being disappointed by one.
I have tried a few of their flavored teas, and I have yet to find one that I really enjoy.
Truth be told, this isn’t my first time trying this tea either, but I wanted to give it another chance by trying it gong fu style.

Palais des Thés, like many other tea companies, has a reputation for making high-quality teas, and I have no doubt that this is true.
Their pure teas are excellent, although their Bai Mu Dan and Grand Jasmin Mao Feng disappointed me greatly.
However, their flavored teas are a different story: Teas that smell like a dream, but taste like perfume. They’re uninteresting, and more often than not, downright disgusting.

I was really hoping that this tea would be different, but it was not.
To be fair, it’s not the worst tea I’ve had from there, far from it, I’d even go as far as to say it’s not a bad tea, it’s just a tea, like an adventure that is only memorable after it’s ended, it’s only good when the session is closing to an end; it’s too bad really.

I couldn’t be happier I was recommended this tea, as it was a great opportunity finally to find the words to describe why I don’t like Palais Des Thés’ flavored teas.

My recommendation: Stay away from this tea, and from Palais Des Thés’ flavored teas in general. Rating:

- Flavor Complexity: 12/30 – Limited and unbalanced flavor profile.
- Brewing Forgiveness: 10/20 – Slight improvement with each steep, but overall disappointing.
- Consistency Across Infusions: 8/20 – Inconsistent and unremarkable across steeps.
- Overall Enjoyment: 12/30 – Slightly enjoyable as it loses flavor, but not enough to recommend.

42/100

- yaro

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Kukicha by Palais des Thés
69 tasting notes

Had a sample of this tea at the store near the Eiffel Tower, it was quite nice! Got 100g of it as a souvenir :)

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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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71

Finally, a Palais de Thes with a bit of flavour. The green tea base is watery and thin, but I can detect vanilla and a whiff of almond. The aroma reminds me of a vanilla-scented skincare product- hand cream, perhaps? I get a floral hint which is supposed to be rose but is not strong enough to be distinguishable as such.

Overall, a weak and thin cup but I’m just delighted I actually got Palais des Thes to present a recognizable flavour. I never considered myself to be a particular fan of bracing tea, but perhaps I am. This brand consistently makes me wonder if I’d been sleepwalking and I’m actually just drinking the third steep of the morning, totally unaware. Alas, no. This is first steep so I just have to class it as sad, watery tea.

Flavors: Almond, Floral, Vanilla

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 100 OZ / 2957 ML
ashmanra

A friend just brought the rooibos version of this. I am not a fan of red rooibos but it was actually pretty good. The rooibos was very woody and less Robitusson-y than some.

blueeyedsurprise

Oh, that’s good. I generally avoid the red for the same reasons, but I can appreciate a more woody blend. The red is such a gamble, I usually steer well clear!

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January Sipdown Prompt – a grocery store tea

Ashman and I have been having a caffeine free cuppa most nights here lately. Today my bestie came over and she had just bought this at The Fresh Market. She left a couple of bags of this tea with me. Neither of us love red rooibos but we both enjoyed Caramel and Rum by Lupicia so we thought this one might be okay.

I am happy to say that while it is not a tea I will run out to buy, it is not bad and I am enjoying my cup well enough. Instead of tasting just like Robitusson, this is woody. This is like those wooden spoons they gave you in primary school for eating ice cream. Ashman actually loved the taste of the wooden spoons (???) but I did not. The richness of the vanilla flavoring is making this cup nicely palatable, though.

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64

Back to the Palais des Thes with some dread. Today it’s Le The Merveilleux, which boldly promises to be “green tea with sweet notes of caramelized almonds and pistachio bursting with flavours and emotions.”

Who’s bursting with emotions? The green tea? The pistachios? Or me for having to endure another cup of this watery doom?

First off, it smells quite nice, like those dried fruit/nut shops you can find in the city. A lot of aromas going on at once, but the dominant one is almond. Not “caramelized,” just marzipan-type sweet almond.

Like most of the other teas from this brand, it’s watery. It tastes like a third steep every time. Today, I brewed it with 100ml of water for an extra minute beyond recommendations and I’m still getting very little flavour. It tastes like a generic tisane with some hints of marzipan and cinnamon. I get no hint of the green tea nor pistachio whatsoever.

For a similar flavour profile that actually tastes of something, try Roasted Almond by Clipper Ship. It’s caffeine free but is exceedingly more pleasant than this flavourless mess at less than half the price.

The English name on this is “Tea of Wonder.” I Wonder how this Tea company is still in business. Perhaps their market is people who really don’t like tea, rather like Starbucks is for people who really don’t like coffee.

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Nutty

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 100 OZ / 2957 ML
Michelle

Ah, life is too short to drink cups of ‘watery doom’ even if it made me lol. Maybe you should swap with someone for some stout breakfast tea.

blueeyedsurprise

Haha! If I’d had a whole tin of this, I’d have passed it onto someone I really didn’t like all that much. Luckily, it’s part of their advent calendar, so only a single serving need be endured. I’d switch this out for an ancient, back of the drawer bog-standard Lipton in a heartbeat if it came down to it.

gmathis

I’ve had pretty good luck with Palais des Thes unflavored/single estate varieties; sorry your results weren’t the same with their blends.

blueeyedsurprise

The advent calendar I got was mostly blends, I believe, the but the jasmine wasn’t bad. I’ll see if I can rustle up a single estate variety in there, perhaps I’ll have better luck.

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