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94
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
255 tasting notes

Simply delightful!
I ordered a tin of the loose tea based on its reputation. The dense, compact leaves smelled as if I had somehow landed in a delectable strawberry field. I was transformed from a dreary November afternoon into a fruited dream world of sweetness. I thought of some of the lucious music I know—-if you like Puccini at all, this tea is the equivalent of that gorgeous candied aria, “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” from “La Rondine”. Ah! mio sogno! Felicita!

But I really should be referencing the sweets of France—perhaps this tea has an Italian name because it well represents the robust spectacle which is Italy? It is based on tea leaves from China and Tibet, so it really is an international melange.

I am now lusting after the jams made by Mariage Freres.

I typically try a tea dark and then decide whether I want to add sugar and/or milk. I think that Marco Polo could handle those but I was into the deliciousness so much that I could not bring myself to change one single thing.
I understand that this tea is more costly, but it is worth it.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
0-30:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

56-70:
Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

71-80:
Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

-

“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style

Location

In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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