Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thé Ronde d'Automne review

After the wonderful discovery of the Tuscan apricot tea I went back to the place of my original find looking for more from the same vein and I'm glad to say that I was not disappointed. The shopkeeper brought down a tin of a tea called Thé Ronde d'Automne that was fragrant with the aroma of hazelnuts. Immediately I knew this was one to get. Unfortunately, they had run out of it at that time and it took three more visits and as many months to finally purchase some. Quite popular it must be!

As the aroma betrays, this is a black tea perfumed with hazelnuts. The leaves are fair sized, are a mix of Ceylon and china and have actual hazelnut pieces mixed in. Researching on the net, I found that there is also some vanilla in there for good measure.

For a teapot, about 20% more leaves and bits are needed than a regular black tea to get the same brew strength. The brewing time is also on the longish side taking around 7 minutes. Fortunately this one is also resistant to getting bitter.

The brew color is dark and unusually cloudy though not opaque or thick as it swallows uncomplicated. My guess is that the cloudiness stems from parts of the hazelnuts being dissolved in the liquid and threw the mesh.

The taste itself is pleasantly nutty. I'm not a fan of hazelnuts myself (I'm an almond guy) and the success of the Nutella spread mystifies me as I cannot find anything special in it.  Yet, the flavor in Ronde d'Automne does the trick for me. Comparing it with the Frangelico liqueur, which I also like, it is very similar, but a degree or two lower in intensity. The flavor also has the benefit of not getting lost in the teapot so each sip is almost as good the first one. The taste of the black tea is also entirely cloaked in this blend, though slight astringency can appear if oversteeped or if too much leaf is used.

It doesn't appear to have the high amount of caffeine that the Tuscan apricot has, so more cups can be drunk without noticing caffeine highs. Also, it is only anecdotal, but I find that it soothes and relieves reflux and stomach pain. I can cannot assert it as a fact, but will keep on testing.

Some people say that tea (except Puerh) shouldn't be stored for long.  With the Ronde d'Automne I believe that this might be the case. The fresher the better, is a sound advice here and so despite the problems of finding it, I believe it is better not to stock up when you do. Instead, just buy what you might prepare within the next few months.

A nice solid addition to the tea shelf and also a good choice as an introduction to tea in general or for somebody that already loves nuts.


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