59 tasting notes

I bought this tea because the ingredients and the smell reminded me of The au Tibet, of which Cteresa so kindly sent me a sample and which I really liked.

These teas are similar in some respects but certainly not the same.

Starting with the basis: both teas contain vanilla, bergamot and jasmine. The HT adds marigold and uses a base of black and green tea. The TT adds mandarin orange and rose and uses a base of black tea.

Although the vanilla and jasmine are very recognizable in both teas, they vere into entirely different directions taste wise.

In the HT the vanilla is really in the forefront, both scent and tastewise. De jasmine prevents the brew becoming too sweet. The bergamot and marigold aren’t really recognizable, at least not to me (actually I don’t even know what marigold smells and tastes like). The tea is warm, sweet and comforting in character. The floral notes remain in the background.

In the TT on the other hand the floral notes – and especially the rose – are at the forefront. Together with the black tea base this makes for an edgier tea with a slight smokey feeling. The vanilla is cetainly present but seems to be in a supporting role rather than a leading one. As the tea cools the vanilla becomes more noticeable btw.

It’s really great to see how two teas with for a great part the same ingredients can be so different in character. They actually aren’t comparable at all :-)

I like both teas. For the TT that’s something, as I actually don’t like rose in my tea and usually try to avoid rose scented teas. The HT is more of a ‘happy feeling’ tea as the TT is more elegant and sophisticated. Being a sweet tooth I’d probably choose the HT over the TT most times, but I can imagine that being different for others.

Prep details: HT 80 C/ 4:30 min & TT 95 C/ 4:30 min

Rating is for HT only. I’ll post this review under TT too and give it’s rating there.

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What to say about myself and my tea drinking habits? I’ve been staring at the screen, reading other’s bio’s and still can’t come up with something worthwile. I’ll just stick to the basics.

I generally prefer white, green and oolong teas to black teas. As I read a scientific report that stated that black teas lower the level of stress hormones in the blood, I try to add a few cups of black tea every day.

Overall I prefer black teas to be flavoured. The white, green and oolongs may be flavoured or straight.

I brew my teas per cup, mostly in my – much loved – Kati mug with Cha Cult strainer. I’m rather a stickler for brewing time and temperature, so I use a tea timer and watercooker with temperature indication.

I also love a good cup of coffee and especially cappuchino. As far as I’m concerned, a good cappuchino requires a real milk/foam topping, not something made with skimmed milk, powder or the like. Unfortunately a lot of cafes still haven’t caught on to that one and serve low quality coffee and tea (type vending machine and bagged fannings). I hate it when, on a cold winter day, the choice is restricted to bad coffee, bagged fannings or a cold softdrink… :-(

As for rating teas, I more or less make the following distinction:

Nothing is perfect. Probably won’t be using it ever.

98 – 99:
Nearly too good to be true.

90 – 97:

80 – 89:

70 – 79:
Good. May rebuy depending on price and availability.

60 – 69:
Ok I’ll finish the cup and maybe even have a second, but probably won’t finish the entire package as I have other – (far) better teas in my cupboard.

< 60:
I feel cheated. I won’t ever be buying this again.

< 50:
This really is no good.

< 30:
I hate this. I want my money back.

Beyond horrible!

PS: Recalibrated my ratings according to this index on 23 feb 2013.


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