1329 Tasting Notes

drank Pomme by Hediard
1329 tasting notes

Came across the last bit of this, about a half spoon’s worth, in my Project Sipdown basket. Ok, one of my Project Sipdown baskets. Added Capital Teas Ltd’s Keemun Classic to make up the spoon. Smooth with the slightest hint of apple and whisper of vanilla.

Perfect. Especially after a day or two of tropical fruit and jasmine tea, I had been looking forward to a cup of simple and no-nonsense tea.

And it’s a sipdown!

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This is such a joyful tea, especially so in these dark grey November days.

True passion fruit with jasmine trailing behind. Jasmine overtakes the passion fruit as it cools. There may be hints of pineapple tartness here as well.

As this is a green black blend, I steeped with cooler water as for green. I’ve been doing my own version of flash steeping. One heaping DT’s perfect spoon, fast steeps under two minutes in and out of my Libre.

When I first began trying French teas, I found them far too perfumey floral in general. This is not that. Both the fruit and the jasmine smell and taste real.

The layering of the flavours is quite remarkable. A masterful blend.

Also, this does not seem to do well in a travel mug. The continued heat dissipates the passion fruit and muddles the jasmine. Still tasty, but not as nuanced as intended.

Happy Day of Thanks to those celebrating today. I am grateful for all of you, my tea friends.

Rosehips

A happy Day of Thanks to you!

ashmanra

And grateful for you, Evol!

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I don’t normally think much of black green tea blends. That said, this blend is the bomb: true passion fruit followed by jasmine, all underpinned by a solid base. The green tea somehow lightens the black and fruit flavours without thinning them.

gmathis

Is it fussy to steep?

Evol Ving Ness

To my mind, no. I steeped it with cooler water as for green along the lines of flash steeping: under two minutes. Several steeps. This is so not a work tea.

gmathis

I think it has been reformulated, but years ago, I loved Tazo Joy this time of year—a green/black blend as well. Last time I tried it, it was so fussy I couldn’t get it right, ever.

derk

Yeah, this isn’t too fussy but I do prefer it at a lower temperature. Let me see, package direction say 90C, 4 minutes first steep, 5 minutes second.

CrowKettle

This one’s profile sounds beautiful! Green tea steeped too hot bugs me more than black tea steeped too cool.

Evol Ving Ness

Not even a hint of harshness, CrowKettle. I suggest you put this on your list. If you like jasmine teas, this one offers a stellar and refreshing twist.

Cameron B.

I also love this one, and I am also not generally a fan of black-green blends! :)

CrowKettle

Oh, yes~ on the underutilized wishlist it goes :)

Evol Ving Ness

(And we haven’t even begun the advent calendar. I am expecting/ counting on endless temptations there as well. If I manage to get through the Black Friday season.)

Lexie Aleah

If I lived in Europe this one would be a cupboard staple for sure after trying the sample Derk sent me. (:

Evol Ving Ness

See, for us Canadians, who pay extraordinary shipping fees and exchange rate fees and often duties on top of that to order tea from the States, ordering from Europe and Britain, while expensive, is no biggie. Because it is ALL expensive. It’s all relative.

CrowKettle

In 2012-14, I remember Canadian Steepsterites used to complain if US shipping was over $8.00. Now US Shipping is around $20, on par with many EU/UK and Asian company counterparts – but often without the “free shipping thresholds”! Only buying local Canadian feels cheaper for us these days (it used to not be the case!) :P

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks for suppling the details, CrowKettle. The examples help clarify things. I thought that the 8 dollars shipping from the States continued until much more recently, like 2019 or so. Am I dreaming this up?

Mastress Alita

On the flip side, I don’t order from Canadian companies due to the $20 (or more!) shipping rates to the US. Seems crazy to me that for the same cost, or oftentimes cheaper, I can have stuff sent to me across the ocean from China…

CrowKettle

US >CAD shipping was slowly going up over the years ($10, $11, $12…), but did seem to spike around 2019. Shipping’s expensive in general right now, which should act as more of deterrent for me than it does, lol.

Mastress Alita – yeah, I hear you! I don’t understand why international Canadian/American shipping is so expensive in comparison to overseas shipments. It does mean I’m now trying new companies I used to think I’d have to visit during various trips though…

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100

I have a new mail person. Where I live, there’s a glass windowed enclosed veranda with a door and then there’s a front door with a mail slot. Not complicated, really. Confusing things is that my adjoining neighbours—yeah, those— have a mail slot on the outside, leading to their locked verandah.

In the past while, I’ve found mail outside on the front doorstep, wedged in the verandah door, on the floor of the verandah. Great.

A few days ago, I found a package delivery notice stuffed among some flyers. Instead of finding the package here, I need to go pick it up. All good. It forces me to take that 45-plus minute walk. I’ve been a lazy lump, so all good.

Bundled up and pulled my empty trolley to the designated post office. The woman manning the counter must’ve been new too. I gave her the delivery notice and then realized that I hadn’t brought official ID. I pulled out some utility bills with my name and address. I showed her my gym membership card with my photo on it. I presented my personalized chequebook with my name and address. And nope.

How do I know that this is not my supervisor testing to see whether I follow the rules? Yeah, I’m sure they go to such lengths to check up on their employees.

I left with my empty trolley and unredeemed delivery notice.

I thought that in picking up a parcel, it’d be sufficient to prove who you were and where you live. I guess I was wrong. Or she was new and had something to prove.

Anyway, I was livid.

Thank goodness for delicious tea.

CrowKettle

What a pain! I remember my own “apartment parcel adventures” – the time one of the posties randomly left a box in the communal hallway; the other time that I heard them approach the door only to open it and see “delivery notice” marked up as “attempted delivery no one home” (they didn’t knock or “attempt” at all). When working in an office tower, I met a disgruntled temp postie in the lobby who refused to deliver and flat up left because the building didn’t have a communal mailroom (ie- he would’ve had to go to each business individually). No biggie, just a bunch of law firms and not getting their time sensitive mail. :|

Hopefully the people at the post office lighten up; individual members seem content to bend the rules on other occasions it seems :3

CrowKettle

Also, this is a really good tea! Good pick <3

Evol Ving Ness

That attempted delivery thing then boom notice happens ALL the time. No knocks or doorbell ringing. Frustrating. I am guessing that it is usually temp delivery people who just cannot be bothered. Are their working conditions that bad?

I’ve been going to this post office for a gazillion years—except when surprise, your parcel is at a random different post office—and I’ve always found the people there reasonable.

Ugh.

And yes, this is excellent tea. Especially good when fresh. (though not fresh, it is ok, just not as good.)

Leafhopper

Ugh! I can empathize on the post office woes. The number of times when they’ve dropped a notice when they could have dropped it off at my door has been infuriating!

Martin Bednář

Apparently post office works same in any part of the world. And even courier services here are worse than ever. Luckily, they have lots of pick-up points, but they didn’t even tried yesterday!

ashmanra

So sorry you had to deal with that!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. I guess that is just something all of us have to deal with from time to time. Thankfully, it is not a regular occurrence.

On the very very bright side, I was getting very very low on money as the month lumbered on. The anal postal worker and her insistence on government issued ID forced me to go poking around in bags and purses and I found a rather generous amount of money. Perfect timing. Absolutely perfect. So in the end, I am grateful for her intransigence.

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The aroma of the tea while steeping is divine fruit richness.

Mmm, stone fruit, berry, fig, cherry, smooth, maybe a bit of vanilla. Quite lovely.

I don’t know where the anise has disappeared to. Maybe age has turned it into malt and fruit. Or maybe there wasn’t any in my spoon.

It’s a damp gloomy day out there. Perfect for something like this.

Starting to feel that it’s time to begin to bundle up.

Maddy Barone

I have this one but I haven’t tried it yet. Based on your tasting note, this one will be had tomorrow!

gmathis

Sounds so nice!

Evol Ving Ness

Quite delicious. That said, I am still drinking it a day later, and I find the intensity of flavours a bit much. As good as it is, for me, this is a from time to time tea.

Evol Ving Ness

Mady Barone, I look forward to hearing what you make of it.

Evol Ving Ness

Eek, Maddy. Sorry about the typo/autocorrect.

Maddy Barone

No worries, Evol I am drinking a cup now. It’s not exactly what I expected.

Evol Ving Ness

Tea is often surprising that way. :)

Evol Ving Ness

Yeah, I find it delicious delicious and then suddenly, it’s too much.

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Well.

I thought it’d be nice to finish up the last of my milk in a chai, perhaps drizzled with a bit of honey. Could not find any chai tea, though I am certain there’s plenty. Somewhere.

This ancient one turned up and though green tea with milk is sacrilege, I thought it might be worth a try. Previous efforts yielded a far too spiced brew, so it might be chai-enough with milk. Emptied the packet, three heaping spoons worth, steeped the tea. And the milk had gone off.

Had no hopes for this cup and the resteep. Age. Far too much leaf. Far too much spice in the leaf if memory serves. I was expecting disaster.

Surprise! Black and unsweetened, this cup is better than I ever remember it being. There were a few white snowflake things in the leaf which add a bit of frosting to the roastiness, hint of spice, and green of the cup. Quite pleasant. Quite tasty.

One just never knows.

And I still have celebratory treats to gobble.

And it’s a sipdown!

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The thing about living in a neighbourhood with at least five excellent bakeries and patisseries within a few blocks is that when the occasion calls for a treat or two, it’s hard to narrow your choices down.

I don’t eat pastries and cakes all that often. There were those months that I would buy one or two Portuguese custard tarts stuffed with Nutella every time I passed that bakery and then I was over it.

And then, maybe you remember, there was that almond croissant and pain au chocolat phase.

On my birthday, I felt that some sort of treat was in order. I stopped into French bakery, the owner is from somewhere in the south of France, and picked up a small gateau Basque tart. And some Pain Perdu, a cross between French toast and bread pudding, served with creme Anglaise like a vanilla cream custard sauce, and fresh fruit. And they threw in some home-baked cookies for my celebration.

Well, that pain perdu was humongous. I have been eating the slice for three days and finally it and its accompaniments are done.

I really was in the mood for a feisty no nonsense tea today. This fits the bill.

The cookies and the gateau Basque can wait for another day.

mrmopar

Pain Perdu soaked in sherry I take. Classic and delicious.

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, I like the vanilla custard on top of the vanilla custard effect. I’ll take the sherry on the side though. Or maybe in a trifle. Oooohhh, trifle :)

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A monk sips morning tea

A monk sips morning tea,
it’s quiet,
the chrysanthemum’s flowering.

- Basho

(1644-1694)

Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Location

Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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