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Recent Tasting Notes
This cup may be more flavourful when cold. Or maybe this cup is stronger or less diluted. Or something. Either way, I detect the slightest bit of generic red fruit and possibly, the barest whiff of vanilla. Maybe. Or it could be my imagination, wishful thinking,
That said, I stand by my previous descriptor of nondescript. A more positive spin may be super subtle. Super super subtle. Maybe even add another super or two to that.
Now that I am back, the charm of steepster is quickly sucking me in. Will I ever read a book again?
Omg, it’s so good to be back!
Hello steepsters! Helol tea friends! ’
Argh, what a journey it has been.
First, no wifi, no functioning ro.uter, no phone line.
Then the laptop died.
And then, of course, coronavirus.
And then my password to access steepster.
But I am finally here with this nondescript tea. Not t—he tea’s fault
That I left it so long before drinking it.
Finished off this share from VariaTEA at work today as my first TOTD. It was better the second time around, but I have to wonder if that’s subconscious bias from actually knowing what the tea is supposed to taste like this time around.
Even still, I appreciate having a more mixed and citrus forward breakfast tea as part of my morning routine today. It was happily slurped down.
A VariaTEA share that I tried out today!
I spent most of my time drinking this blend trying to figure out exactly what kind of citrus note I was getting from the cup – but even though it never did taste like anything more than a sweet but generic citrus profile with a floral undertone I will admit that I liked this one a fair bit, and quite a bit more than the other Laduree blend I had not all that long ago. It’s definitely got that distinct European flair/style, but for a blend that really doesn’t taste like much of anything clear it’s pretty lovely!
Also, I just looked up the ingredients and there’s like a million different kinds of citrus oils/flavours mixed into this one – so that makes me feel a whole lot better about not knowing exactly what citrus I was getting. Turns out I was basically getting all of them. Or, at the very least, a lot of them…
From earlier this week – I’ve ventured largely away from drinking tea bags since becoming a tea drinker, but I have to say that the hand stitched, cloth teabags this tea came in are some of the most elegant/classy ones I’ve seen out there. The tea is fine; like a perfumed citrus. It was smooth, easy sipping but not super memorable for anything other than those gorgeous teabags…
I have a pot of this tea, a piece of icebox coconut cake, a good book to read, and candles glowing on the mantel. Life is fine. Other than the fact that my nose is threatening to stuff up in a big way.
This is from Cameron B., who generously sent a bunch of samples and then sent a bunch more! Having read the other two reviews and being dreadfully afriad of astringent tea, I went with 185F and three minutes. I am glad I did.
The description is baffling. It says it is Chinese tea, even when you look at the French website. (Even I with my dreadful college French can figure out that much.) But then the ingredient list says it is 90% Ceylon tea. Tasting it, I would say it is Ceylon, which is not in China last time I looked at a map.
I am enjoying it, but I would not purchase this. It tastes a bit soapy. There is an oooo aaaah moment with some of the flavors and then the lemon goes HA and squirts you in the eye. Well, it just is puckery lemon. And that really distracts from the nice orange and jasmine I was enjoying.
Honestly, if you told me I was drinking Twinings Lady Grey I would totally believe you. I think this is my first Laduree and I was expecting something more along the lines of Dammann Freres.
Thank you, Cameron B, for the chance to try it!
Work – 11:00 AM
Hmm… This tea doesn’t taste like much, maybe it’s a bit too subtle for me. I don’t think it’s too old, the dry leaf still has plenty of aroma. And I bought their Thé Joséphine at the same time, and that one still has a lot of flavor.
I expected it to have stronger bergamot and citrus flavors. I can taste little hints of several different things – bergamot, berry, orange, cinnamon, and rose. But it’s all quite faint and a bit powdery for me. Meh.
In other news… I made a ridiculously large Bird & Blend order today. I saw on their Facebook page that the advent calendars were low stock, so I knew I couldn’t wait for them to release their holiday blends…
It ended up being almost £200 when all was said and done. With their £13 shipping once your order is over £45 (and no free shipping threshold), it seemed silly to order and not go all out.
So all out I went…
I got both advent calendars (tea & matcha), 50g of Rhubarb + Custard (because yum), 50g each of Honey I’m Comb and Milk & Honey (because they didn’t have them as 20g samples and I’m reasonably sure I’ll like them), and then a 10-pack and a 5-pack of 20g samples, and the 7-pack of store blends (20g samples).
So no more tea buying for me! I’m perfectly okay with the fact that I’ll miss out on Black Friday deals. It sounds snobbish to say, but I don’t generally worry a huge amount about price as long as its within reasonable range, so I don’t get too excited by discounts. I’m generally more tempted by limited time blends.
Flavors: Bergamot, Berries, Cinnamon, Floral, Orange, Powdered Sugar, Rose
Oh, Joséphine, you are such a diva.
Even reducing both the temperature and the steep time (to 2 minutes!) this is still a touch bitter. It is better than it was last time, but really?!
Anyway, the citrus is still lovely and zingy here. But the bitterness is also compounded by the sharp flavors… Hmm…
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange Zest
I really should have looked at my previous note before steeping this… This tea is such a diva, it comes out fairly bitter and astringent with my usual (rather conservative) black tea parameters.
Even with the bitterness, I quite enjoy this one. It’s such a bright combination of citrus and still tastes lovely even though it’s a few years old at this point. The strongest notes are the orange and tangerine, and the grapefruit adds a nice bit of sharpness. I don’t taste the jasmine at all, but it’s possible it’s lost in my deplorable preparation. :P
I think I’ll leave the tin out on the counter, and hopefully tomorrow I’ll manage to steep this properly! Sorry, tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Citrus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange
Home – 9:00 PM
So I got this one from the Paris airport. There’s a Ladurée boutique there, and of course I had to stop in and try some macarons! I didn’t even realize they carried tea. The macarons were fabulous, of course.
This is a very tasty citrus tea. I almost wish it had bergamot as well, it would make a very tasty citrus Earl Grey. But I can definitely taste the mandarin, orange, and grapefruit flavors. I’m not sure about lemon, but it may be overshadowed by the other, more distinct citrus notes. The floral is very mild and adds a nice accent.
I think next time I may steep this at a slightly lower temperature, as it did come out a tad bit bitter and astringent with my normal parameters.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Blood Orange, Citrus, Floral, Grapefruit, Orange
Now it’s time to catch up on some older purchases that I have somehow never logged.
This one suspiciously looks like it has darjeeling in it, what with the greenish leaves even though the ingredients are listed as black tea only. I suspect the “Indian black tea” is a darjeeling, which is really not my favorite, BUT this one isn’t so bad. I brewed it cool and the darjeeling is few and far between enough to not be astringent.
This is a nice citrusy tea with lots of grapefruit flavor along with some other lemon/lime/orange notes. It’s a nice tea, although not overwhelmingly awesome. Tasty, but I’m not reaching for it often. I need to remember that it is not as finicky as it might seem with the darjeeling.
My birthday gift to myself – Josephine!
I contemplated between this and the chai – I’m SO thrilled I picked this. Was a touch concerned about the jasmine, and I needn’t be. Grapefruit, orange are both very present and juicy, strong malty black base, sweet finish with a hint of jasmine – but only lending some smoothness, nothing more.
Expensive, and soooo worth it.
Plus, it reminded me of the time – I can’t make this up – where an American in Paris and I bought every single Laduree macaron, brought them to a nearby park (it’s famous but I can’t for the life of me remember the name), and sat next to it, eating half each of every single one.
Flavors: Grapefruit, Jasmine, Malt, Orange, Smooth, Sweet
so busy! I’ve had this a couple times now thanks to VariaTEA and i think i’m landed on not for me. It’s a little too floral, but mostly it’s just not…strong enough? bold enough? It’s like the quiet kid sitting at the back of the class…could be brilliant, might just be a lazy ass…but we won’t find out ‘cause they’re all the way back there doing who knows what lol.
Since cataloging most of my stash (I’m still going), I realized a lot of my teas are coming up to a year old (and some are even over 3 years old) so my goal is to drink those up. This tea joined my cupboard in October 2016 when my sister returned from her honeymoon and though it doesn’t show signs of aging, I still have at least 10 teabags left so it’s time to get working on them.
I love this tea. And that’s saying a lot from a person who doesn’t really love strong black teas in their tea blends. So easy to sip. Powerful black braces with no astringency no it delicately balances the floral and citrus components. Hubs got me 125g of this for Valentines. How he got it to the states is his secret but I can tell him it’s worth it. I’ll drink all of this I know it. It’s delicate and so flavorful. Perfect balance. Not what I would describe as a fruity tea in any way. It’s really incomparable
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Rose