20 Tasting Notes

drank Blueberry Merlot by Tea Forte
20 tasting notes

I tried this tea as part of the Tea Forte Herbal Retreat Single Steeps Sampler. The aroma of the dried tea was very fruity – it definitely smelled like blueberries and was slightly floral. After 5 minutes of brewing, the tea smelled delicious – rich blueberry and a touch of floral.

Upon first taste it was lovely – tart, slightly sweet and very fruity. I definitely think that the rosehips and hibiscus contribute to the tartness and overall fruity flavour, so if you’re not big on hibiscus, this may not be the tea for you.

Then on the backend I got the sage taste. For me, while I like sage, the mixture of sage and blueberry is weird for me and I felt it was out of place in this blend. So while I enjoyed trying this tea, the inclusion of the sage will keep me from buying it. But thank to Tea Forte for sending me the sample – I’m sure I’ll find a tea that I really enjoy in the pack!

5 min, 0 sec

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Mmm… as soon as you open the bag for this tea, the aroma of sweet almond permeates your nose. This truly is one of the best smelling flavoured teas that I’ve ever smelled. It reminds me of these amazing almond pastry squares that my mom used to make. You can also see the bits and pieces of almond in the tea.

I steeped the tea for 4 minutes and surprisingly, the almond flavour was much more mild than I anticipated it being based on the aroma. There is definitely an almond flavour there and it’s a nice natural almond flavour (not fake tasting at all), but it’s almost a little too faint for my tastes. I also thought the tea would be much sweeter than it is, but it’s actually not sweet at all.

I thought this tea would be delicious with milk and sugar, so I did a second tasting, this time brewing for 5 minutes, then I added a small amount of raw sugar and a dash of cream. It was delicious this way as well (dare I say better?). Though I don’t usually drink tea with sugar and cream, this tea is definitely is delicious either plain or with cream and sugar (I think lemon wouldn’t match the flavour profile).

While I won’t be drinking this tea everyday, it’s delicious enough that I’ll be keeping it stocked in my tea cupboard for the occasional brew (and for company – I think most people would enjoy this tea).


I visited Après-Midi for the first time today, and this is the tea that I had with my cream tea tray. I agree that it was a lot milder than the scent would suggest. I really enjoyed it though, with a bit of honey and milk, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not having bought some to bring home. Just a good excuse to return!

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drank Rendez-Vous by THE O DOR
20 tasting notes

I tried this tea in the bagged form as it was part of a set of THE O DOR teas that I had purchased. Upon opening the bag, I was surprised at the sweet cherry and vanilla aromas – it almost smelled like a baked cherry and vanilla coffee cake. Delicious!

I brewed the tea for 4 minutes and 30 seconds (THE O DOR recommends 4 to 5 minutes) and grapefruit notes of the tea came through much more strongly in the aroma (but not overwhelmingly so).

The cherry and vanilla flavour were still there upon tasting, but much mellower than expected. The tea was also much less sweet than the original aroma led me to believe it would be. There’s also a bit of strawberry taste (though very slight) and overall, the tea is a mellow, soft and easily drinkable black tea. I definitely think this tea could hold up to a bit of sweetener (I’m thinking something neutral in flavour, not a honey) and milk/cream, but I think a bit of lemon would cause the soft fruit nuances would be lost.

Though I really liked this tea, I’m the type of person where if I’m going to drink a flavoured tea (which I do often), I want there to be a bit more flavour. So while I’ll definitely finish the bags that I have, I don’t think I’ll purchase again.

4 min, 30 sec

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drank Mélange Ô by THE O DOR
20 tasting notes

I tried this tea in the bagged form as it was part of a set of THE O DOR teas that I had purchased. When I opened the bag, the aroma of bergamot permeated my nose, while hints of sweetness from fig and cherry were also apparent. Visually, there were pieces of what looked to be fruit mixed in the black tea in the bag (THE O DOR uses silk bags, so you are able to visually inspect what’s in the bag).

After four minutes (THE O DOR recommends 4 to 5 minutes), the colour was that of a deep amber liquor and the overwhelming bergamot aroma was mellowed. Instead, the fruity aroma of the tea shone through much more.

Upon the first taste, the bergamot was the forefront flavour, but soon the delicious fruitiness of fig and cherry came through as well as the slightest hint of lotus and jasmine. Looking at the label, I think the citrus elements of the tea help to cut through the bergamot, as instead of being heavy, there’s a freshness to the tea that I definitely didn’t expect. If you like tea with a bit of sugar or lemon, I think the tea could hold up to these, but I think with milk/cream some of the nuances of the tea may be lost.

As I’m not a big Earl Grey fan (I’ll leave those to my husband) I wasn’t expecting to like this tea at all, but I have to admit, not only is it delicious, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’re not a huge Earl Grey fan or would like to wade into the waters that are bergamot teas, this may be a great introduction to see if you like it as there’s enough other flavours going on that you if you decide you don’t like bergamot, you’d most likely still enjoy this tea. Unfortunately THE O DOR teas are no longer being carried locally, but I may just have to bite the bullet and reorder this one online once I’m finished the bags that came in the set.

4 min, 0 sec

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drank Darjeeling G.F.O.P. by THE O DOR
20 tasting notes

Ah Darjeelings – my favorite teas!

The aroma from the loose leaf tea was overwhelmingly grassy, which surprised me a bit as I usually associate grassiness with green tea. There’s also a bit of earthiness to the aroma of the tea as well, but it is very subtle.

After brewing for 3 minutes, I took a look at the tea and it looked lighter than I usually like my Darjeeling, so I brewed for an additional 2 minutes (to the suggested upper limit of 5 minutes). Once steeped, the tea took on a lovely amber quality, while the aroma was still slightly grassy, but had taken on a soft floral nose as well.

Upon tasting the grassiness was definitely much more muted than I expected it to be based on the aroma and there was also a slight earthiness, along with mellow floral notes. There is a slightly astringent finish to the tea, but I feel that only adds to the tea. Overall, I feel that this would be a great introductory Darjeeling because it’s quite a mellow, drinkable tea – no overwhelming florals here. I’ll definitely finish off this tin, but I’m not sure if I’ll purchase again because it’s not really the profile that I look for in a Darjeeling – I like them a tad more floral and earthy, with a touch less grassiness.

5 min, 0 sec

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drank Place Saint Marc by THE O DOR
20 tasting notes

I tried this tea in the bagged form as it was part of a set of The O Dor teas that I had purchased. When I opened the bag, the aroma was overwhelmingly a delicious caramelized vanilla with a touch of berry. I brewed it for 4 minutes, then tasted.

Once brewed, the caramelized vanilla aroma mellowed a bit and the berry smell comes through much more. The flavouring of the tea was much more mellow on the vanilla and berry characteristics then I thought it would be, instead the black and green tea blend comes through. As well, based on aroma, I thought the tea would be sweeter than it actually is – I found it only slightly sweet.

There definitely is a slight berry finish as AJ previously reviewed, but there’s no discernible vanilla finish. I expected there to be a bit of a dry, tannic finish due to the vanilla and berry sweetness being much less than expected, but there wasn’t. If you drink your tea with a bit of cream/milk and/or sugar, I definitely think this tea could stand up to those and perhaps even enhance the flavour a bit.

I find that this would be a great everyday tea for me as it would most likely hold up to any way that I felt like drinking it (plain, with sugar, with milk, etc). However, that being said, even though I love drinking unflavoured teas (and actually prefer those), I’m a little disappointed that the berry and vanilla do not come through more. Due to that, as well as the expensiveness of THE O DOR teas and it no longer being carried locally, I’ll probably not repurchase.

4 min, 0 sec

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drank J'Aime Vert by THE O DOR
20 tasting notes

I was making this tea for my husband, so I figured I’d do a quick review.

The description from THE O DOR of this tea describes the tea as reminiscent of French macarons and I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with this. There is a distinct sweet almond (very much like fine macarons) aroma once you open the tin and that made this macaron lover salivate. There’s also a underlying note of berries – mostly strawberry – as well.

I brewed for the recommended 3 minutes and tasted. Brewed, the aroma had slight grassy notes, with just a hint of the sweet almond still discernible. The tea definitely had the slightly grassy taste that green teas often have, but it was not overwhelming at all. Upon tasting, the sweet almond and slight berry flavour is apparent in the finish, but not the forefront for sure.

I also made this tea iced and the profile of the iced tea was very similar to that of the hot; the only real difference is the almond flavouring came through a bit more and wasn’t quite as sweet as it was when hot (it took on more of a bitter almond profile). Unfortunately I also couldn’t taste any of the berry either.

Overall it’s a lovely tea, but I think I’d try to find something with more berry flavouring (the almond tends to overwhelm the berry) and less grassiness (it seems like the almond was there to almost try and mask the grassiness).

3 min, 0 sec

Wow, this tea sounds fantastic!


It is a pretty good tea – especially if you like almond! I’d give it a try if you can find it locally (or you can also order it online I believe).

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After trying the Caramel Cream Rooibos while having tea at Après-midi Teahouse in Vancouver (which was delicious), I wanted to give their unflavored rooibos tea, Rooibos Fine Cut a try as well in order to compare the two.

The loose tea had an enticing aroma of caramelized honey and after brewing, a slightly herbaceous aroma. Upon first sip, the herbaceousness of the tea was definitely apparent, but there was also a natural creaminess along with sweet undernotes of honey. Though I almost always drink rooibos plain, with no sweetener or milk/cream, I can see where this tea could hold its own against enhancements (and perhaps it would bring out the natural creaminess and sweetness even more). A fantastic unflavored rooibos that I’ll be stocking in my tea cupboard and drinking often.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Je M'appelle Dorothee by THE O DOR
20 tasting notes

After a local tea shop was clearing out all of their THE O DOR teas, I ended up buying a tin of the Je m’appelle Dorothee at a greatly reduced price. As I often drink hibiscus-based teas, I figured I would enjoy this tea.

The loose tea smelled amazing – I definitely smelled the pineapple and cherry notes and the aroma had a natural sweetness that tickled the nose. My tin had lots of dried cherries, currants and pineapple bits (and the odd banana chip) – in fact, I’d say it was probably about 40% fruit based on visual inspection. I’ve found with the herbal THE O DOR teas you have to steep to the maximum amount (or more) of the suggested time, so I infused the tea for 8 minutes.

As I’m used to hibiscus-based teas (I often drink hibiscus tea straight), I didn’t find the hibiscus in this tea overwhelming. If you’re not used to this type of tea, or you don’t enjoy this type, the hibiscus could definitely be overwhelming. Often I find hibiscus teas to have a harsh citrus tartness to them that can cause your mouth to pucker, but in this tea, it was more muted than in others that I’ve had. The slight pineapple and cherry flavours round out the tea, giving it a richness that I haven’t found in other hibiscus-based teas, as well as a bit of natural sweetness. Due to the natural acidity of the tea, there’s a slightly dry aftertaste.

As I usually drink hibiscus teas iced, I definitely wanted to try this tea iced. The aroma of the tea is very muted iced, but the flavour is still there. The natural sweetness was more pronounced in the iced version of this tea, which was great because it helped to mute some of the natural acidity of the tea. I also found that iced, Je m’appelle Dorothee has a bit of a citric aftertaste (my guess is if you drink this type of tea sweetened, the citric aftertaste would most likely not be noticeable).

While I really enjoyed this tea and will definitely finish the tin (drinking both hot and iced), I doubt I’ll purchase it again due to high price of THE O DOR teas and it no longer being carried locally.

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more

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drank Tilleul Fruits Rouges by THE O DOR
20 tasting notes

I tried this tea in the sachet (not loose) form and when opening the package, the smell of berries was incredibly alluring. I steeped for 5 minutes and unfortunately that lovely smell of berries was barely noticeable. The taste was slightly citrusy (though not mouth puckering so) but also quite grassy with a very slight hint of mint (barely noticeable).

On a whim, I kept the tea bags in the water and after an additional several minutes, the berry aroma was a bit more pronounced, though not in the flavour of the tea unfortunately. The flavours are much more pronounced and developed after a longer steeping time, so I recommend steeping for longer than the recommended 4-6 minutes – perhaps about 8 minutes, though it does take on a herbaceous quality with the longer steeping time. There’s a bit of a floral aftertaste that I’m still deciding on if I like it or not. I did like it much better on the second tasting, however, overall I’m not a big fan of this tea unfortunately.

Iced, this tea is much more citrusy, the grassy floral tones are gone and the slight berry flavour is more pronounced – I enjoyed it much more iced than hot. I tried the iced with a bit of honey and it mellowed out the floral tones and made it much more enjoyable. (Rated lower as I’ll have to ice and doctor the tea with honey in order to finish the box).

Edited to add: After several tastings, I’ve had to lower my original rating of 50 to 30. I just can’t finish this tea at all – luckily I’ve found if I brew it with some plain green tea for iced tea for my husband, he likes the flavor profile (half green/half Tilleul Fruits Rouges).

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more

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I’m Meg, I’ve been a tea drinker most of my life, but for the last 5 years it’s become a hobby and bit of an obsession. I’m a stay-at-home mom with a degree in Anthropological Archaeology and love to cook, bake, read and watch classic movies. I have converted my husband from coffee to tea, though we do have very different tastes.

My tastes in tea tend to be similar to my tastes in books and music – all over the place. I love the classics, like a beautiful darjeeling, but I also love playful, more flavourful teas as well. I drink pretty much anything black, green, rooibos, herbal, plain, flavoured, loose leaf, bagged tea, iced or hot. I’m a new mom, so my ratings tend to be whenever I can get the time to post.

Favourite tea of the moment: Peche Mignon, THE O DOR (beautiful iced or hot)

My rating system (first attempt, so there may be later revisions):

 Horrible. Won’t be drinking this again – ever. Dumped out the rest of the cup/pot.

26-50: Definitely not something I’d buy again, but I might finish the stash (unless it’s a large amount or particularly bad). A one or couple of redeeming factors, but overall not a great tea.

 A drinkable tea, but unfortunately has one (or more) large flaws that will keep it from being a tea that stays in my cupboard. May need doctoring with (gasp) sugar, lemon or cream. I will finish the amount I have, but not purchase again.

 A great everyday tea and will probably stock it in my cupboard for daily drinking if it’s not too expensive.

86-90: Teas that I really enjoy, stock in my cupboard and drink often.

91-100: These are the ones that remind me why I love tea and am proud to be a tea drinker. Reserved for my favourite teas that I always keep stocked and/or teas that I save for special occasions.


Vancouver, BC

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