Sunday, November 20, 2011

Le Palais des Thés: Thé du Hammam

This is the second of two generous samples I received for review from Le Palais des Thés. They've recently unveiled their U.S.-focused online boutique, and Thé du Hammam is one of their most popular of the blended 'Creations,' so there's certainly something to like.

I'm not a particular fan of green teas blended with sweet and heady aromatics, but they offer Thé du Hammam in a black tea version which I look forward to ordering and trying for comparison - so my thoughts should be taken in that context.

Standard teapot preparation with water just-under-boiling for three minutes.

It's a well balanced and vigorous cup, the flavor of the china green comes through after the floral and super-sweet date front notes, but finishes as perfume and maybe a bit of citrus, but the perfume is what strikes me. This doesn't quite appeal to me as the green tea already has a natural sweet/sour component to it. However, this is entirely in keeping with the Turkish recipe it's described as being based upon, so again, take my thoughts in that context.

I imagine they had someone like me in mind when they offered the alternate version in a black tea, taking out the green dates and introducing rhubarb. The Keemun they're using to blend it with would stand up well with the floral notes and be a nice smoky contrast to the sweetness of the rhubarb.

All in all, a well-crafted blend, but not a tea that I would reach for sooner than the zen-like Thé des Moines which I reviewed last week. I'm eager to see what the Keemun version is like.

And that's not the last of my adventures with Le Palais - I purchased their China, Taiwan, and Vietnamese sampler coffret which arrived this weekend. With the holiday week upon us, I look forward to diving into some serious cupping.


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