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Recent Tasting Notes
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!
I finished off the sample I got of this from Cameron B.
Brewed in hot water (~350 mL) with 2 tbs leaf, with a fair bit of soymilk added.
I’m glad I tried a sample because I don’t think I would want an entire tin. It was a pleasant cup, but was your typical Chinese black tea base with a distinctly fruity flavour. I could pull out the orange peel and stonefruit flavours, but it was in a dried fruit sort-of-way and not a fresh juicy fruit way. The base is unremarkable. It would have been nice to get some cocoa notes like in Laoshan teas.
Flavors: Orange Zest, Stonefruits, Tannin, Tea
I steeped this then had to walk away from it for 40 minutes. When it was still hot I took a few sips. The main flavor then was caramel, which is likely what I was drawn to when smelling it in the store. There was a little orange mixed in on the sip at that point. Now that I come back to it cooled I get orange at the start of the sip that lingers until the finish when a hint of cherry and something else (the pineapple?) appear. I can’t pick out the caramel once it has cooled. Strange how much it changes with the temperature!
When I was visiting the Fauchon store in Paris, they had out little samples of the dry tea to smell. Since I can’t read French, I was relying on scent to make my choices. The scent is very heavy on the caramel when it’s dry with a hint of the fruit, mostly orange, behind it. I likely would have avoided it if I knew pineapple was involved, but I’m glad I didn’t know because I’m enjoying this one so far.
Edit* Second steeping goes right into orange flavors even when freshly steeped. It has good flavors, but I think I prefer the first steep with caramel.
Another really lovely cup with equal balance of peach and thyme. And again I am shocked that the flavours are coming through despite this full-blown cold or flu.
This is the end of this baggie, sadly, so I am calling it a sip down, but I suspect that there’s another wee bit of this in another squirrelled away pouch from Sil.
Thank you, Sil! Really enjoying this one, especially today.
And it’s a sip down!
(14 of 2019)
A long neglected sample from the GCTTB or maybe from a swap with Sil—
Still sick here and still in bed. This is—to use derk’s expression—an old ass tea. But shockingly, despite its age and despite the fact that I am sick and my tastebuds should likely not be a 100%, here I have peach and thyme in lovely well-balanced amounts. Enjoying this muchly.
Thank you, Sil.
Alas, this tasty tea meets a brutal end it did not deserve. Unwittingly brewed in an infuser contaminated with garlic or onion. Each sip is a delight as always, but the aftertaste is strongly savoury and oh no. I’m still going to finish the cup, though, because the initial sip is good enough to push through the aftertaste. And if that’s not praise, I don’t know what is.
Thank you for the sample, Marzipan!
So, this is going on my order list. I think I’m going to keep a spot in my cupboard for an uncomplicated caramel tea, and when I’m back to buying new teas it’ll likely be this one. It’s not an artificial or overly sweet caramel, but an authentic slightly burnt caramel note which adds some depth and dimension while still making an incredible dessert tea. Sometimes you want all-singing-all-dancing bells-and-whistles-galore tea, but sometimes you want a good solid tea with one main flavour note, a good base and the ability to take additives or drink plain equally. This is a tea for those days, and as I’m frantically packing for my holiday to Rome (which I leave for in two days!) I need a good solid tea, which has my back and is tasty without demanding too much attention.
This was actually pretty tasty. The thyme was not overwhelming, as I thought it might be, and the peach flavour was realistic and not overwhelming. The base was fairly neutral, which is typical of French blacks IMO. The baggie suggests I should try it iced; perhaps that’s what I’ll do with the last cup’s worth?
I came on here this morning to remove a couple of teas that I have finished lately…only to discover that I had never added them to cupboard. Sigh.
I have actually been icing this one because it is so blasted hot and sticky here still and I thought the orange aspect would be refreshing and would take sugar well. It does, indeed.
Although I have enough left to drink this one more time, I am going to be cheeky and remove it from my cupboard so I can bask in the glow of a sipdown.
I did order two teas recently but they were desert island teas. My tea shelves are starting to look a lot less messy and I am loving it.
I have actually had a cup or two of this tea for three days in a row and just haven’t logged it. I have learned amthing or two about it in that time.
Dry leaf smells like apricot, steeped tea smells and tastes like rose…until it cools. Then it becomes baked apricot and has a more oven-baked vibe. Temperature makes a big difference in this tea.
It resteeps nicely, which is a big bonus.
I received this tin from the ever-so-generous Cameron B in a swap. She was not too enamored of the amount of rose.
When I opened the tin, I was overwhelming hit with fruity bright apricot scent. I thought, “Whaaaaaaaat? Where’s the rose?” I’ll tell you where. In the taste! I found it pretty amazing that a tea would smell so much one flavor and taste so much another. There definitely is apricot flavor, but the rose came out of nowhere!
Since I love rose, this is not only a great tea for me, but also a great chance to serve something new and different to all the teaheads who come to my house for tea and cookie revelries.
Thank you, Cameron B, for the awesome swap!
My boyfriend graciously brought this all the way from Paris a few months ago but I sadly never wrote about it until now. You know me, I love chai. It’s an unhealthy obsession, so I was curious about how Fauchon does things in the world of chai.
The dry leaf is mostly black tea leaves with a few cardamom pods here and there, along with cinnamon and ginger pieces, but I’m barely seeing any star anise or clove (my two favourite spices too, mind you) even though there is supposed to be a healthy mix of both i here.
In terms of flavour, it’s mostly ginger and cinnamon. I ought to crack open the cardamom pods in order to unleash their flavour, or else it seems to be a bit of a waste. There is apparently vanilla in here but I’m barely getting it. With milk, this tastes like a lot of chai blends I’ve tasted in Indian restaurants. So, better than average, but not amazing.
Next time, I’ll crack open the cardamom pods and dig through the pouch to see if I can find any cloves or star anise. If I can’t find any, maybe it’s time I make a trip to the bulk section of the nearby grocery store and fetch some whole spices to add to this.
The final tea of my recent acquisitions. This tea has been out for a while but the formula has apparently changed: it used to be a black/green blend, but now it is a black/white blend. I am much more interested in a black/white blend because I actually enjoy white tea brewed at high temps (not so with green tea), so I decided to pick it up. It is supposed to be a red fruits and honey blend.
Dry, you really smell the red fruits, and that holds into the steeped tea. I get a bit of honey, but the red fruits are dominant. This is like a mellower Le Bonheur (which has some lemon to brighten up the red fruits). What really surprised me is that I can definitely taste the white tea. There didn’t seem like there was a lot of white tea leaves in the scoop I put in my steeping basket, but there was apparently enough to make a difference. I get a bit of hay notes that remind me of a bai mu dan. Quite tasty, and robust to high steeping temps.
Flavors: Hay, Honey, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Strawberry
Yet another new Fauchon blend! This one is another red fruits blend, this time with rose and apparently black pepper (!). In the dry leaf it smells like red fruits and I do get the floral rose. Once it is steeped there is an interesting spicy note in the scent that must be the black pepper.
The flavor is slighly more subtle red fruits than Le Bonheur or the 2017 Edition, but still definitely present. The black pepper gives it a pleasant kick without being super overwhelming. I would take more rose! I can barely taste it over the black pepper. This one is tasty but it wouldn’t be a must-restock.
Flavors: Pepper, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Rose, Strawberry
The Fauchon limited edition 2017 tea is apparently red fruits and chocolate. UM, YES. My favorites. The dry tea smells like red fruits and chocolate, natch. Perhaps more fruity than chocolatey. The chocolate certainly comes out in the steeped tea, though. This is Le Bonheur! with chocolate, pretty much. Super delicious. Fruity and chocolatey. Not sad I picked up two other red fruits blends this time.
Flavors: Chocolate, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Strawberry
Another new acquisition. Fauchon recently shortened the name of this tea (and BTW, can I say how much I love the new tins? They are tall cylinders and they have the most beautiful designs), but the recipe seems to be the same. This was released a while ago at the same time as their other “gourmand” series (raspberry macaron, chocolate eclair, creme caramel) but even though I got the rest I skipped this one. I corrected that this time!
Dry, the tea smells like honey but also a little incense-y, which was surprising. Or perhaps it’s just such an intense honey scent. It reminds me a bit of the frankincense in some of the old Verdant Tea blends. The base tea seems to be an unroasted tieguanyin-ish oolong, yay! The incense smell calmed down after steeping, although it was still quite strong in honey scent.
The flavor is super intense honey. Almost an herbal honey. I like it a lot! I think some of the cookie/cakey flavors do come through in the aftertaste. Glad I finally picked this one up, it is totally worth it.
Flavors: Cake, Cookie, Herbaceous, Honey
Dusting off this account because I just got a shipment of limited edition and new-blend teas from Fauchon via a friend in Paris. I am super excited to try these teas!
This one is supposed to be apple, fudge, and shortbread. YUM. I can definitely smell the apple in the dry leaf, along with some cookie-ish notes and a bit of florals. Steeped, it smells very appley and a bit of the chocolate/fudge notes come out more.
In flavor it does not disappoint. Definite apple, which is the primary flavor, and a good amount of chocolate-fudginess in the aftertaste. Could use a bit more shortbready flavors, but I find those are a bit more elusive in Fauchon blends (like Earl Grey Tea Time). I do get a bit of cookie, though, and it is delish. Happy to have this one in my collection.
Flavors: Apple, Chocolate, Cookie