Grand Yunnan Imperial Black Tea from Le Palais de Thés

grand-yunnan-imperialTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Le Palais de Thés

Tea Description:

The subtle flavor of this flowery, mild tea is known as the “Mocha of teas” or “Surgeon’s tea”, as it has the power to revive without over-stimulating the nerves. A splendid leaf with plenty of golden buds.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The description above suggests that this Grand Yunnan Imperial Black Tea from Le Palais de Thés is “subtle” and “mild,” but I disagree!  I would replace the word “subtle” with “smooth” … and then replace the word “mild” with the word rich!  Because those are the words that first came to my mind when I took the first couple of sips of this tea.  It’s remarkably smooth and rich.  Not at all something I’d classify as subtle or mild.

This is very much what I’d expect from a good quality Yunnan tea:  a rich flavor with notes of malt and that freshly baked bread sort of flavor, with notes of fruit and flower in the distance.  Middle notes of spice, like a gentle pepper.  Nothing over the top or something that I’d call “spicy” by any stretch of the imagination, this has pleasant, mellow peppery notes that enliven the palate.

It is a medium to full bodied tea.  It is robust without being overly aggressive.  It offers a more “well-mannered” way of invigorating the drinker … this doesn’t give me a kick in the butt to get me going, but I can still feel it at work to offer me a sense of alertness without the over-stimulation.

A really good Yunnan tea.  A nice tea to enjoy in the later morning or early afternoon.  Nice as a latte, but, I prefer it served straight.  The mellow spice tones are very much appreciated on this cold, autumn day!

Thé Des Songes from Le Palais de Thés

the-des-songesTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Le Palais de Thés

Tea Description:

A delicious Oolong tea scented with flowers and exotic fruits. Low in caffeine.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Thé Des Songes from Le Palais de Thés is a very fruity Oolong tea!  I taste notes of flower, certainly, but, I’m tasting more fruit than flower … and I’m tasting more fruit than I am Oolong tea.

That last part is just a wee bit disappointing, because when I opened the little tin tube of this tea and saw that this is a dark Oolong, I was looking forward to more complexity from the Oolong than what I’m getting because the fruit flavors tend to mask the Oolong just a wee bit.

I am still getting Oolong flavor, I guess I was just hoping for a little more tea flavor and a little less fruity flavor.  I think most of what I’m getting from the Oolong here is the texture … that smooth … almost buttery mouthfeel from the Oolong and I do like how it melds with the sweetness of the fruit notes and the hints of flower.

I think that some of my disappointment stems from the fact that the fruit notes are so jumbled together that it’s difficult to discern just what fruit flavors I’m tasting. I taste notes of lush stone fruit … like peach and possibly nectarine.  Every once in a while, I also taste a tropical note that is somewhere between papaya and mango.  And it would seem that every once in a while I recognize a brightness that tastes distinctly citrus-y to me.

The floral notes are softer than the fruit … but I am appreciating those because they offer an interesting contrast to the sweetness of the fruit.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating this cup of tea.  It’s actually quite flavorful and very tasty.  The fruit is sweet and a little bit tart, and the flowery notes come in like a whispering wisp of flavor across the palate.  The Oolong has a beautifully soft texture and offers a pleasing backdrop of flavor … I just find myself wishing there was more Oolong flavor and a bit less of the fruit flavor.  All in all not a bad cup of tea … it just could be better!

Thé Des Concubines from Le Palais de Thés


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black & Green Teas

Where to Buy:  Le Palais de Thés

Tea Description:

Recreate the unique, welcoming atmosphere of a Chinese tea house. This rare tea is a refined, delicate blend of green and black teas from China with rich, fruity notes of cherry, mango and vanilla. Contains rose petals and fruit pieces.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

Really tasty!  I like that the cherry flavor in this tea – Thé Des Concubines from Le Palais de Thés – does not come off tasting like cough syrup, and that the mango and cherry are nicely balanced.

The overall flavor is sweet.  The cherry has notes of tartness that offer contrast, but, mostly, what I taste is the sweet notes of the cherry, the mango, and the creamy tones of the vanilla.  This would make a nice dessert type tea.

Because it is a blend of black and green teas, I opted for a lower brew temperature (185°F) and steeped it for 2 1/2 minutes.  The result is a cuppa that has notes of both black and green teas – earthy, vegetative, and smooth – but it is a mild tasting background.  It is nicely round, and finishes slightly dry and sweet.

I enjoyed this tea – and it tastes great hot or iced.  I found that I preferred it iced, the sweet, fruity notes really came forward with the chilled drink.