Mariage Frères describes this tea on their web-site as: “A highly original orchestration of the essences of selected fruits. Harmonious aroma and flavour.”
Very helpful! What selected fruits are in the orchestra? They promise harmony and not cacophony. I got this tea based entirely on the name. I know that I’m a Pavlovian dog when it comes to names. If Lipton’s packaged their tea bags as “Beethoven’s Ninth Tea” or as “Van Gogh’s Struggles” or as “Jay Gatsby’s Jazz Age Party Tea” I’d probably be slurping it up.
Yes, name yourself or your tea “French Impressionism” or “Italian Opera” and you’ve got my credit card number. In this case, however, Mariage Frères did not disappoint me. I get a taste of vanilla and chocolate both along with a fruity mélange of perhaps strawberries or currents? The fruit is hard to pin down but I know it’s there. The aftertaste is not to be trusted but having had a full mug I will say this: aftertaste of banana? Or a little pineapple?
Yes, this is a symphony of fruity chocolate with some vanilla. Have you ever had a “banana baby?” They sell them in my local supermarkets: http://www.dianasbananas.com/our-products/
Anyhow, elegant tea is delicious and the aftertaste runs riot in the mouth mimicking the essence of a Diana’s Banana Baby. It seems like a very French thing to do—a bricolage of high and low art; bringing Vivaldi to the tropics; having Jerry Lewis be the lead tenor of a Bach Requiem Mass.
I’ve been tasting a lot of French flowery/fruity/chocolatey tea of late and it’s often difficult to distinguish them. What makes each one unique? Vivaldi has most certainly established itself on my palate as distinctive. As Randy Jackson might say to this tea, “You’ve made it your own”.