Very nice aroma on opening the packet: Darjeeling moments, but also a deeper woody sweetness and some floral notes too. Mmmm!

After four minutes it’s a medium-dark brown, and smells good. I’ve got some maltiness, that sweet wood thing going on and just a bit of spiciness. The taste continues in this vein – it’s not enamel-scrapingly strong, which is good, and manages to put forward an incense-like tone that I find very pleasant and not surprisingly reminiscent of Nepal. I’m not putting sugar and milk in this one, but I bet it would make a superlative chai with that and some spices.

As it cools the honey and wood flavors heighten their profile, and there’s just enough astringency for it to be a good afternoon choice for my taste. I’d definitely be interested in getting more of this and playing around with different permutations of steeping and blending.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


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