362 Tasting Notes

71

A surprise from a swap with Mel (thank you!) which I saved till it was just the right occasion. And oh this is nice and also feels very british. A very nice Christmas tea indeed – I got orange, lemon and cinnamon, and also crazily something apricot like? A very strong base though still smooth. For somebody like me who seems to have a prejudice against Christmas teas this was a winner!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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52
drank Holiday Spice by Red Leaf Tea
362 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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84
drank Chelsea Chai by Yumchaa
362 tasting notes

I am a Yumchaa fan since I accidentally found one of their market stalls a few years ago. In the meanwhile I have made my way through a lot of their teas – I might be on my 4th or 5th 100 gr pack of Berry Berry Nice for example! Some have been samples from friends or tried in their tea shops, and a few of the new ones I never had a chance yet but I have been trying as many of their teas as I could. This is one of their old tea blends which I left for last. A friend (obrigada!) brought this for me with my nth package of Berry Berry Nice all the way from London and oh it was a great seasonal choice. And a tip : those two packages together smell wonderfully. Unbelievably good. one of these days I will even try brewing them together. Might be a mess, but the scent is just too alluring to not try.

so Christmas and this chai, I picked this by accident because I am so into chai right now and I had never tried this one, but this is IMO a sort of perfect Christmas tea – the spices making it festive, the spearmint candy making it uncloying, and the Yumchaa nice sencha base underneath it all. A really really nice take on green tea with mint or green chai or christmas tea, however you would like to class it, it´s a good one!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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69
drank Green Darjeeling by Kusmi Tea
362 tasting notes

Another café cup of tea, and I think brewed unfairly hot. A generously sized teabag in a mug with water from the cofee machine and it was OK. And actually pretty nice, even brewed that hot it was not bitter.
Not really a tasting note, but just a small note to remind myself this was actually nice and a decent choice.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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100
drank Thé du Loup by THE O DOR
362 tasting notes

The wolf, the big bad wolf is as sweet as any golden retriever and a perfect gentleman, oh I do love it.

It´s chocolate and hazelnut tea, on itself a wonderful idea, but not a sickly sweet combination, more like dark chocolate type. And magically the underlying tea can stand up to the flavor, without being bitter, tanninic (or since I experimented having it at night, not too much caffeine I think). And it is one of those magic flavored teas where I can be so careless when brewing it, it is not fussy about temperature or steeping times. I love this wolf tea, and everybody who I have served it to seems to love it as well, this is not going to last very long here. A re-buy for sure.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Interesting—I’m not sure I’d associate chocolate and hazelnut with wolves, but I don’t know what I would. Food for some distraction this afternoon :)

cteresa

No, me neither, chocolate and hazelnuts for me is a very italian association (genius. Pity I can not get good gianduja here, oh what i would not give for a novi bar). Also a bit christmasy, all those hazelnut filled chocolates which show up at christmas time. So not sure why this is the wolf´s tea, unless it was the tea little red riding hood was taking to her grandmother and that the wolf could not resist. Don´t know – but it´s a lovely wolf!

Ysaurella

le loup vit dans les bois et dans les bois il y a des noisettes :) – the wolf lives in the woods and in woods we find hazelnuts :) this could be an explaination but it should work with maple,chestnut…berries

please see this French nursery rhyme, I’ve always loved it :
Refrain :
Promenons-nous dans les bois,
Tant que le loup n’y est pas.
Si le loup y était
Il nous mangerait,
Mais comme il y est pas,
Il nous mangera pas.
Loup, y es-tu ? Que fais-tu ? M’entends-tu ?

Le loup : « Je mets ma chemise »
Refrain
Le loup : « Je mets ma culotte »
Refrain
Le loup : « Je mets mes chaussettes »
Refrain
Le loup : « Je mets ma veste »
Refrain
Le loup : « Je mets mes bottes »
Refrain
Le loup : « Je mets mon chapeau »
Refrain
Ajouter les vêtements souhaités par l’enfant
refrain
Le loup : « Je prends mon fusil ! J’arrive ! Me voilà ! »

Sauvons nous !

cteresa

Oh I did not know that one! It is charming indeed, sauvons nous!

And did you see already today´s google doodle with little red riding hood? (and a loup not nearly as nice as this tea!)

I like the hazelnut justification. And here on steepster somebody has another justification http://steepster.com/teas/the-o-dor/11891-chamann ;) Maybe!

Ysaurella

it is so funny when you are a kid to play with voice to speak as the wolf…this is something we sing when we are taking a ride in a wood & forest…so fun to have fear :)

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80
drank Violette by Dammann Freres
362 tasting notes

Another so kind sample from ysaurella, many thanks!

Oh this is nice, nicer than the other violet tea I have, smoother base and more delicate flavour. Base has some ceylon on it, no? And this smells so strongly and sweetly, I had to segregrate the ziploc containing this from the other samples, even on the ziploc it perfumed the cupboard where I put it.

It is a violet tea, not sure how to describe it other than that. Base is strong enough, I think maybe with some Ceylon on it (as well as chinese teas, maybe?). The scent is violet, not quite as strong as in my other tea, but more delicate and I do prefer this one. And that is it, tea with violet. Violet is almost certainly a specific taste for food – I like it, love violet candies and love violet perfume notes as well. But it´s always a strong scent, maybe the essence of floral (along with roses and jasmine, maybe) so beware of violet teas if you are not already know you love violets.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

I need to buy Iskandar from MF as well

cteresa

Iskandar, oh, that is on my wishlist for one day! do let me know what you think of it when you get – violet and menthol it sounds so potentially awesome.

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83
drank Longjing by Infussion
362 tasting notes

Dragon well (Longjing, Lung Ching, whatever) is one of my favorite teas. When infussion so kindly offered 3 samples to steepster users (the other 2 samples I have to figure out how to use, not being tea-tea!) this was a no-brainer choice. Longjing, I am always interested in!

And this does not disappoint. I am trying just the first infusion with plenty of water and a 3-something minute steep and it´s dragon well magic, intense, sweet, buttery and nutty.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec
CrowKettle

This was a no-brainer choice for me as well! I didn’t chose any of them myself, but some of those herbal samples look like they would go well in other tea blends.

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90

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80
drank Elixir d'Amour by Mariage Frères
362 tasting notes

Another opera tea by Mariage Frères, this one so kindly sent in a sample swap by Toitoi (thank you! ).

This tea is totally a half sibling or close cousin to Thé au Tibet – though I think not such an easy one to brew! Thé au Tibet is a magic tea for me, one I do not seem to be able to spoil and which always cames out so refined and just right no matter what time or steeping temperatures I used or how careless with it I have been. Elixir d´Amour is a similar tea, a bergamot tea with flowers and vanilla, but not such a forgiving one – I think I brew slightly wrong, the bergamot came out slightly bitter. Must try a shorter steeping time!

The MF website describes EdA as black tea with citrus, rose, lotus and osmanthus. Is there some green tea in the mix as well or am I projecting from the similarity to Thé au Tibet ?The citrus include with total certainty bergamot, it´s an unmistakable note and the dominant. I think I detect as well some orange underneath. The florals are unmistakeable, rose indeed and a lychee-like note from I believe is the lotus, as well as some sweeteness which is probably the osmanthus. Not mentioned in the official description but there is some vanilla in here as well, it´s particularly noticeable when the tea cools.

Very lovely tea. Very similar to Thé au Tibet, and I think a tea which people who love flowery creme earl greys will love.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
ToiToi

I love the blending itself too. Just so pretty to look at – :)
Thank you for the package you sent me! I love your card!! :D

cteresa

Glad it got there safe and sound! Hope you enjoy the teas, and happy holidays!

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86
drank Aida by Mariage Frères
362 tasting notes

Wow, just realized I got at home right now samples from none less than 3 different Mariage Fréres teas named after operas : Prince Igor and Aïda (thank you Ysaurella) and Elixir d´Amour (thank you toitoi!). And I knew there were a few more operas, just went checking and they got even more teas named after operas – Madame Butterfly, Parsifal, Bal Masqué, any more? Plus of course, cheating a bit Swan Lake and Thé à L´Opèra. Hmm.

Aida, I am not going to rate right now, if I can manage to not rate it. I think I brewed it too cold and just come out wrong. It is totally and completely a citrus tea and for me, weirdly this would be a russian tea – citrus and black tea (Far more than Prince Igor, which is to me is a very french tea!). Lemon and oranges, and somehow, maybe because of the temperature used, so sweet! Amazingly sweet (no sugar added or anything) on its own. Another tasting note when i brew it hotter.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Ysaurella

you can add Vivaldi in your list…cheating as well …but great musician :)
Give another try to Aïda, it’s not so sweet. But you’re right, it is like an Earl Grey somehow and very near a russian earl grey or French Russian Earl Grey like Douchka Goût Russe from Dammann Frères

cteresa

Great minds think alike and all that – I had a cup yesterday and it was lovely indeed. Though to me it is a russian earl grey – maybe with some grapefruit or I am imagining it? It is going to the list of my favorite earl grey variations!

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Profile

Bio

Inconstant tea drinker – I mostly drink tea when not too hot. I hang around steepster much more frequently in (northern hemisphere) cold season. Experimenting with cold steeping, for summer.

- Teas -

I like all sorts of tea, flavoured and unflavoured, though I am picky.

I am one of those people who actually loves Lapsang Souchong. I am not crazy about Earl Grey, in general. I don´t quite get Darjeeling teas, but I am exploring.

I like rooibos, though not all bases. I loathe hibiscus. I do not like fennel/liquorice/anise in blends or teas with chicory. I am picky about what I consider true cinnamon.

As you can probably tell from my cupboard, the brands I find more interesting right now are Mariage Fréres and Thé-o-Dor.

I am always willing to try anything new. I am now particularly interested in single origins.

Location

Portugal

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