Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Green Tobacco and Blue Tea

with 4 comments

A shaving brush with a white "keyhole" handle (a bottom is a truncated cone that holds a sphere, which holds the knot — in profile, the traditional keyhole pattern), with a tube of shaving soap whose label shows tobacco flowers, next to a clear glass bottle of aftershave. In front is a slant razor on a stainless steel handle with a barber-pole spiral design.

Today is sunny and clear, and I’m celebrating with the photo uplifted a bit. My RazoRock Keyhole brush made quite a nice lather from Tcheon Fung Sing’s Tabacco Verde shaving soap. I think “The first Hard Shaving Soap” must mean the first in Italy — TFS was founded immediately after the war, so perhaps the Italian market still had only the soft shaving soaps — croaps, as some call them, a portmanteau word packing in “cream” and “soap” — and Tcheon Fung Sing made the first actually hard soap. I think hard shaving soaps were already common in, say, the UK.

At any rate, it’s a very nice little soap, and I loaded the brush well to get a thick lather. The razor is the iKon Shavecraft X3, an excellent little slant, mounted on a RazoRock Barber Pole stainless-steel handle. It did a sterling job and my face is wonderfully smooth — the Monday shave always starts the week on a very pleasant note.

A splash of another Prospector Co. aftershave, K.C. Atwood today, augmented with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept’s Aion Hydrating Gel, and the shave is done.

The tea this morning is special, a gift The Wife brought back from Paris. This tea is, as the label says, “Thé Bleu Parfume” — Fragrant Blue Tea — and specifically Bangkok in Love. The color is actually pink, presumable from the rose petals, and the aroma is a delight.

Mariage Frères Blue tea™ sounds as though the tea is blue — and there are teas that are blue (in color), typically from including butterfly pea flowers in the tea. But for Mariage Frères, “Blue tea™” is a term of art (thus the ™).

Blue tea™ represents a half-way stage between green and black tea. The leaves undergo a brief oxidation. Blue tea™ is also called Oolong which means “black dragon”, and occasionally Bohea (or Bohe or even Bou) which is a deformation of Wu Yi, the name of the famous mountain in China’s Fujian Province where the most highly esteemed blue tea is made.

So when Mariage Frères says “Blue tea™”, they are, in effect, saying “oolong” (no ™). My beloved Murchie’s Hairy Crab Oolong would presumably be Blue Hairy Crab for Mariage Frères.

Written by Leisureguy

30 January 2023 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

4 Responses

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  1. TFS Tabacco Verde was an all-time favourite of mine for years. It used to be readily available but good luck tracking it down these days. I find Razorock’s “Zi Peppino” is somewhat similar but, to my nose’s recollection, not as nice as TFS’s take on green tobacco.



    30 January 2023 at 12:59 pm

  2. I had no idea that TFS Tabacco Verde had become scarce. That’s too bad; it is a very nice soap. There this but not sure it’s the same.



    30 January 2023 at 1:07 pm

  3. As I understand things (internet search based knowledge; always suspect) the Tabacco Verde hard soap was discontinued many years back. For a while Tabacco Verde was offered as part of TFS’s Linea Intenso line of “croaps” but that entire line also went out of production one or two years ago.

    “Nothing endures but change.”



    30 January 2023 at 1:25 pm

  4. Yeah, I am uneasily aware of how many products I now use have been discontinued — or in some cases even orphaned, the company that made them having passed from the scene, as with (say) Bee-Witched and The Drunken Goat. Bee-Witched was first discontinued, but now both are orphaned, Mickey Lee Soapworks having closed its doors.

    And it’s not just soaps, of course: the really superb slants — Stealth by Italian Barber and the Fine aluminum slant — are no longer around. But of course that is true of so many razors: the Apollo Mikron, the Eclipse Red Ring, and many more.

    “This too shall pass” was ever true, but one wishes that it applied more to the bad and not so often to the good.



    30 January 2023 at 1:40 pm

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