111 Tasting Notes

drank Tranquillity by Yumchaa
111 tasting notes

The bag is very loosely filled, with 50 g of tea taking more place than any black blend I’ve had. However this probably prevents the leaves from being crushed, as they are rather big.
Mixed with the white tea, are some chamomile flowers (the whole full and still yellow flower bud), as well as lavender flowers petals (if this is indeed considered a petal, no stem included anyway).
The brew is very light, almost colorless.
Its smell is flowery, without being sweltering, and mixes different flower flavors.
The tea tastes very delicate, though not bland.
The first two teapots I did were too strong on chamomile, as I felt it covered all the other flavors. I’ve been careful to put back a few flowers in the bag for my last brew and the balance was perfect, the flowers bringing flavors to the tea without turning it into “just another” herbal tea.
A very pleasant drinking experience, rather relaxing indeed as a result from the soft flowery flavors.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I was almost reluctant to try it, as I’m not a huge fan of spices in tea; had I read the previous reviews, I may have been more optimistic about it.
The smell is quite spicy, the tea looks very “normal black tea” in the small tin, with only a few orange peel pieces here and there.
The overall taste is really mellow, and honestly even weak, much milder than the smell might make it seem. Chai fans should be highly disappointed in drinking this.
The second steep already comes as very weak and light-colored and definitely requires a few new leaves to have some body, which is surprising in comparison with other Kusmi teas I’ve had, like if they had used a second (or third) grade tea base for this one.
I can taste a bit of clove remaining on my lips, but not as much as in the Spicy Chocolate. The orange flavor is to be searched for. The vanilla hasn’t been found yet.
Nicer than expected, as the spices are not as strong as I feared. I guess this small tin should be emptied in a reasonable future…
… and refilled with something else, as it’s not something I would try to get more of.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

this one was a great deception for me…I still get 20 gr in my tin of 25 gr…and unfortunately nobody never asked me to have it in a swap !


That’s the problem when someone makes a bad or not so good review of something, it’s difficult to convince people to give it a chance. I could tell you to offer it spontaneously and push it with potential swappers to see whether some might take to it and help you finish it… I guess everyone has the same problem with some not so good teas in their cupboard that they do not know how to get rid off without having to throw those away.


Finally finished it and I must say I’m quite glad to be able to restock the tin with something better tasting for my morning tea in the office.


I am with you on this ! I just finish another small Kusmi tea I wasn’t very fond of and have now a small tin to dedicate to a tea I really love enough to take with me to the office


Congratulations! I anticipate an increase in effort and time to be able to finish the last 3 and already know which will be the latest to be emptied, as it seems as full as the first day, though I have the feeling I drank it way too many times already.

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I think I’ve never had any good sencha, probably only a few basic teabags here and there. I believe Fleur de Geisha by Le Palais des Thes was also a Sencha, as it was a Japanese green in leaves. It was also flavored with Cherry Blossoms. However I finished this bag a few years ago and am not in a position to directly compare.
I was quite careful to avoid overbrewing and using too hot water, as I am wary of bitterness.
The brew was very light colored, more yellow than green to my eyes, and very clear.
The taste was surprising: the brew felt really creamy with a very strong grass taste. The grass taste was actually nice, as it felt like “fresh and rich” grass, and reminded me of an Irish lawn sprinkled with clover everywhere.
I have to admit though that this grassy taste, that I did not expect coming out so strong, totally covered the cherry blossom flavor, which was probably too subtle regards the tea base. I’ll see if I can get it while brewing my second bag of this tea.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Carpe Diem by THEODOR
111 tasting notes

Thank you Cteresa for this sample. It sure is a win.
This is a very mellow rooibos, a bit sweet and so easy to drink that the pot shows up empty before I could even realize it.
The almond flavor is really surprising, as if only the most tender center part of it had been used after being peeled and scrubbed. I really wonder whether there’s not some vanilla in there to make the brew feel so creamy.
Strawberries and rapsberries, I think so, but it’s an undertone to the sweet almond.
I also brewed a cup of rooibos des vahines, almond-vanilla, to compare it to Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem has more subdued flavors and those are a bit more diversified. The almond is definitely way sweeter and less bitter. And I can really taste a stronger vanilla flavor in Carpe Diem than in the other.
I’ll definitely go and buy some during my next trip to Paris.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

It is a favorite for me as well, been reaching it for it all the time, nearly finished. It´s going to be a rebuy no matter how tempting new teas seem!


I can definitely see it. In a way, it’s similar to Marco Polo Rouge, always tempting, automatic reach, a guaranted pleasant moment and a brew perfect for anyone.


I’m not really a fan of rooibos, but reviews such as these are pushing me to (re)considering trying a rooibos from Theodor.


Yes, precisely, Marco Polo – and both a bit less intensely fruity than Berry Berry Nice (or Raspberry Vanilla), my holy trinity (or quartet) of rooibos (well and there is Nil Rouge as well). It´s a bit more subtle than the others, but love it and love how many notes it seems to have.

Barbara, I am a rooibos evangelist I guess, my theory is good rooibos bases are different and nice and lovely, while bad (cheap and sometimes not so cheaply sold) rooibos is nasty. I had two Theodor rooibos, carpe diem and marabout and they are both excellent, maybe the best rooibos base I have had yet (though carpe diem is almost finished and marabout is a bit more full so I guess I love carpe diem more). But other brands which got good rooibos – Mariage Freres, Yumchaa, some random bagged rooibos called Carmien I got in some supermarket which is from south africa. But bad rooibos is eurgh no.

Lafleuerbleue, I did not get any specific vanilla notes on carpe diem, but I have had it so often now I seem to just perceive it as a whole and not individual tastes. I have a theory that vanilla even in tiny ammounts goes sublimely well with rooibos (like vanilla going so very well with cocoa so almost all chocolates have a bit).


@Barbara if I like it it means you may like it because I am not a rooibos fan


Good to know! :-)


@ Cteresa: the major success of this blend is that it’s all perfectly rounded and the flavors all melt together to make them very difficult to distinguish individually – exactly like Marco Polo; it has the subtlety of taste that my favorites MD blends have.
Not that I do not also enjoy a blatant fruity flavors like Yumchaa’s. But those play in a different category in my mind.

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I tried those pearls (3) with the Kusmi Rose green tea (about half serving).
The result is quite good. I’ll have to put more rose tea or only 2 pearls next time, as the jasmine overwhelmed the rose flavor. The result is a bit milder than pure Jasmine.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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The tea looks really nice in the bag, with all the little lavender petals sprinkled – not as blue as I would have liked though.
It smells extremely strong, as just opening the bag wafts tea and lavender smell all around the room.
The color of the brew is a bright orangey.
And the taste, just what I expected: very strong on lavender, though the underlying tanginess of citrus can never be forgotten. The lavender tastes really natural, which makes me feel like walking a garden bordered by blooming lavender bushes – a very pleasant and relaxing feeling.
The tea base is a tad stronger than usual for MF black blends, which is good considering the intensity of the flavoring. I managed to resteep it twice (the third cup was quite light and remained fragrant but felt much more like herbal than black tea). I am sure I could have brewed a whole very fragrant tea pot with the content of one tea-bag.
I’ll have to compare it directly with Gryphon Earl Grey Lavender that I haven’t had in the past weeks to see what are the differences, which one I like best. However I’ll also definitely take into account the fact that even though this tea is an expensive one by MF standards (9.50 Eur per 100g), it sells for less than 40% of the Gryphon price for the same quantity (not available loose, only bagged).

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

this is the tea I wanted to buy when my mouth pronounced earl Grey French Blue instead…I am not regretting anyway because it is a wonderful Earl grey. Will try this one too later of course, your tasting note is an invitation to run in a MF shop :)

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drank Lemon Sherbet by Yumchaa
111 tasting notes

Fridge storage will not be required, as I’ve already gulped about half of the bag in less than 1 month – bringing it to the office and drinking it every late afternoon certainly helps.
However it’s not only convenience that makes me pick it up (and refill the box without even thinking of bringing another one); it’s also the fact that I feel like smiling each time I smell the dry leaves and the tea brewing, and really enjoy drinking it too.
I’m increasing my rating on this one;)
I’ll also rebuy it for sure.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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The smell of the dry tea is absolutely heavenly and very strong… I could almost start eating the tea with a spoon.
And among the rooibos leaves, there are small pieces of fruits and dried entire small berries (round very small ones – dark color but original color difficult to identify on the dried fruit).
After brewing, the color is a bright brownish red and the smell o so fragrant.

The taste was also very strong, very mellow fruity but with a surprisingly tart flavor. I absolutely did not expect this bittersweet, tart, almost sour taste from the smell; I do not find it unpleasant but I’m sure it might offend the buds of other people.
I spend quite some time trying to figure out what it might come from: I believe it comes from the berries. At first, without any reason but the size of the berry (and my quick assumption), I assumed they would be blueberry or gooseberry. But this was not the taste of such fruits – as it was more tart than tangy, for a gooseberry and not as sugary fruity enough for blueberry. After some thinking, I finally realized those might be a different kind of berries, not so much used for “direct” consumption (think picking raspberries from the bush and eating them instead of filling in the bucket) than for “transformation / use as an ingredient”. And then sloe berry (berry from the blackthorne; prunelle in French) came to my mind. Maybe it was cranberry but I’m not so sure about that.

I’ve had it a few times and am still surprised by the taste at each new brew. I cannot really make out my mind about it. Strange!

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I tried it again being extra careful of not over-brewing, neither putting too many leaves.
And this time I might have been a bit too skimpy or too quick as the brew was a bit light.
Nice tasting, no bitterness but nothing that special in it either. I’ll have to come back to it again and hopefully find the magic recipe.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.



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