88
drank Nil Rouge by Mariage Frères
73 tasting notes

cteresa kindly sent me a sample of this, and I was very excited to try it, especially as we seem to share rooibos tastes and Mariage Freres teas are not easy to get over here! Glad to say we still seem to share tastes of rooibos(es?) – er, rooibos blends, as I liked this one a lot. Not quite as much as Yumchaa’s Chilli Chilli Bang Bang, but I’d have been sad if I had preferred it to the Yumchaa, for reasons of unavailability mentioned above.

I brewed up the whole sample in my Cha Cult (which cteresa and I both also happened to get from Yumchaa and which works perfectly for rooibos) last night and then shared out big cups between Cara and myself. I liked the rooibos base a lot – it has that good woody taste, that isn’t at all dusty or bitter but has a hint of vanilla I think – and the citrus flavours were lovely. Like others, I didn’t even know what I should be looking out for in the “Oriental spices”, and, perhaps for that reason, didn’t get much spicyness, but it was so flavourful I didn’t mind that.

Thanks again for the sample, cteresa!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

if you sometimes go to London, Mariage Frères opened a corner at SELFRIDGES (400 Oxford Street)

Hallieod

Ooh, good to know, thanks! I haven’t been able to get away anywhere for a while, but can’t wait to get back to London. Yumchaa (which I’ve been to before), Postcard Teas and now Mariage Frères too! I can see spending a lot of money on tea. :)

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Ysaurella

if you sometimes go to London, Mariage Frères opened a corner at SELFRIDGES (400 Oxford Street)

Hallieod

Ooh, good to know, thanks! I haven’t been able to get away anywhere for a while, but can’t wait to get back to London. Yumchaa (which I’ve been to before), Postcard Teas and now Mariage Frères too! I can see spending a lot of money on tea. :)

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I’ve been drinking tea pretty much all my life, allowing for the fact that there probably was no tea in my baby-bottles. I gave it up twice, once when a then-boyfriend sneered at me for being addicted (okay, I was, but I was also stubborn enough to bear a week of the blinding headaches and overwhelming exhaustion that followed cold-turkey withdrawal), and once on my first pregnancy. Neither experience gave me any reason to believe a life without tea is a good life.

Having spent most of my younger days in Ireland, where tea is everywhere, and mostly it’s decent, I whined my way across the States in the 80s and first half of the 90s. Now back in Dublin, and the tea situation is a bit mixed, but there’s the internet to provide what nearby shops don’t!

I started drinking green and white teas as well as my staple black a good few years ago now, but have recently decided I need to LEARN something more about tea than the little I know.

My likes:
- strong black tea blends; some flavoured blacks, such as Earl Grey and a small (but growing) number of other fruit and flower-flavoured ones; and chai. (For some daft reason, I feel like a tea fraud drinking sweet chai at home, though I’ll happily drink it out.)

- Chinese greens (may update this when I’ve learned enough to be more specific); some flavoured greens, especially if they’re made by the fabulous Yumchaa; Genmaicha; getting to like Sencha, as long as it’s not too bitter.

- White tea, pretty much as long as it’s good quality, I like it. Some flavoured ones are nice, though it’s easy to overpower the more delicate taste of white.

- Rooibos, which I know, I know, isn’t properly ‘tea’. (As above for Yumchaa flavoured rooibos – some of my favourites.)

Dislikes:
- Any black tea made by someone who doesn’t know you need BOILING WATER. (See above about the Whining Years.)

- Hibiscus in fruit-flavoured teas. Looks so pretty! Tastes so awful!

I’m working on trying to like Hojicha, which isn’t going too well yet. Jane Pettigrew describes it as “biscuity”, but unless she’s eaten a lot of cigarette-flavoured biscuits in her time, I don’t get it.

- Aniseed in spiced teas. (Just discovered this one for the dislike list today, in an otherwise-tasty chai. Don’t like the tongue-numbing effect.)

Indecisive, despite being opinionated – okay, very opinionated – so may just add notes rather than rating.

Location

Dublin, Ireland

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