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1112 Tasting Notes

drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1112 tasting notes

I am having this tea in honor of the wonderful reviews of French Teas that Dinosara is posting lately! Delightful!!!

It entered my mind that I have not had this one plain as of yet. I think I had a plain second steep, with sugar, but… today is the day for an absolutely sans additions cup!

It is utterly delicious. I love how much more pronounced the floral aspect is, but it is still so strawberry, and so… not chocolate not vanilla but… something! Something so good, subtle and French :) I love it.

I once read someone else’s review (not on Steepster, maybe on Chowhound?) that said “Don’t you dare put milk and sugar into this tea!!!” and my feathers were ruffled because… strawberry shortcake tea!!! But now I understand why that person might have emphatically stated this. You do miss the nuances with milk and sugar. Point taken :)

Also, completely different French tea company, but want! want! want!:

http://www.illyusa.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_tea_tea_gifts-and-accessories_1825-tea-sampler-gift-set-66098

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

I saw that Dammann gift box (among others!) when I was at the store. Their packaging is really lovely. I wish I had more room to bring back tins instead of just the pouches! But I suppose I can bring back more tea when I do it my way. :)

JacquelineM

Dinosara, yes, pouches are the way to go whilst traveling! The tea chest is for the sad people longing to travel :) :) :)

KeenTeaThyme

LOVE the tea chest! I want! want! want! too! :)

ashmanra

Beautiful! So many of their collections are, though. I want them ALL! :)

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drank Golden Snail by Harney & Sons
1112 tasting notes

Oh Golden Snail!
You make me wail!
For you are gone!
I waited too long!!!!
because you are sold out!
I pout and I pout!
Oh Misters Harney!
Don’t give me no blarney!
I’m in a state of shock!!!!
When will the Snail be in stock?!!?!!?!?!?!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I bought a tin at the Harney store in Soho after it sold out online. You could check the shops?

SimplyJenW

Oh, and you could get a few ounces of Tower of London, too!

JacquelineM

That’s a good idea. I’m going to try and sit on my hands and be patient for just a little while, because I am hoping that it will be part of the Fall teas. And I’m a brat and have so many other teas to enjoy – and I shouldn’t be a baby :) :) :) but I am! :) :) :)

SimplyJenW

I hope you can sit more still than I can. I fail at trying to wait. ;)

Uniquity

Your poem wonderfully captures my feelings about this too…especially since the silly Postal Strike means I can’t reliably order from Upton Teas right now, and that was my consolation for there not being any more Golden Snail at Harneys!

ashmanra

Jacqueline – Can I copy/paste your poem to their facebook wall and see if we get a reply? :)

JacquelineM

Sure! Why not ;) Let me know what happens!!!!

JacquelineM

and I hope they write their reply in verse too!!! :)

ashmanra

I posted it! And I added this comment: We eagerly await your reply! Our dwindling stores make us cry! Royal Wedding, the Monkey, and now the Dear Snail, If they dohn’t come soon, you will hear us all wail!

ashmanra

But without the typo!

JacquelineM

ashmanra – I love it!!! Eeee!

Angrboda

Ode to the Golden Snail. I don’t care if I’ve never tried it myself, I love any tea that inspires rhyming by default. :D

Charles Thomas Draper

After reading your post, I must have this tea…

JacquelineM

Sadly, I don’t think Harney has it in stock :( We are all pining for it!

JacquelineM

Also, ashmanra said the new offering Hunan Golden Twist at Harney has some of the same delightfulness as Golden Snail!

Charles Thomas Draper

I will look for it….

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drank Chocolate Mint by Harney & Sons
1112 tasting notes

Thank you ashmanra for this tea!!!

We had this as a dessert tea with milk and sugar. I liked it quite well – it was sweet and naturally minty – herbaceous, not mint oil. The chocolate was more a depth than an oooooh chocolate type taste.

Now that I know that it has a Chinese tea base, I’m going to try it next without milk – maybe a little sugar. I bet it will be even better this way. More refreshing and a stronger tea presence. Will report back!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Another very grateful thank you to Doulton for this tea!

(an aside: I am really enjoying Culinary Teas’ thorough descriptions of each tea!)

A perfect, classic cup in the British blend style. Extremely flavorful and full of tea-ness! Rose petals add beauty to the dry leaves, but no discernible flavor. I took this one with milk and sugar for the full English Experience :) I love it! This is another one I would turn to for guests since it’s such a Lipton only a jillion times better profile. I wonder how this would taste iced!?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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YUM! I just wanted to note that I am particularly enjoying this one today. Ever since I had Rose Scented I just can’t stop with the froof! I’ve been eating Chowards Violet Mints like they are going out of style (wait! they are not in style!) wearing my little summer cotton sun hat when outside, drowning myself in rose water, and drinking my most florid, perfumey of teas.

This one is creamydreamy. Fake in a good way :) Not the best tea base, but you wouldn’t want that with this cream flavoring. The bergamot reads more creamsicle, but that’s ok too. It is really exactly what it needs to be. Mmmmmmmm!

Now that SpecialTeas (I got this at a local tea shop, but I’m pretty sure they were sourced by SpecialTeas) is no more, does anyone have an Earl Grey de la Creme that they love from another tea company? A good trashy fake creamy one? ;)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I wonder what a vanilla bean would do to Earl Grey Supreme? I think I have heard of people getting the Cream Earl Grey from Culinary Teas. I have not done so myself, as I have the Earl Grey Creme Vanilla from Upton. I should also add that I did not get to try the one you are reviewing.

Sara

Teavana’s Earl Grey Creme is the exact same as the one from SpecialTeas.

JacquelineM

SimplyJenW – I was thinking Culinary Teas!

Sara – You’re right! I’ve never been to one, but I could always order online.

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drank Rose Scented by Harney & Sons
1112 tasting notes

Many thanks to ashmanra for this tea!!!!

I read some reviews saying this was quite the rosy one, and I figured “forewarned is forearmed!” so I used half a teaspoon of Rose Scented, and half a teaspoon of China Black FOP that LadyLondonderry sent me (this is a total thank you tea friends cuppa today!!!)!

I’m really glad I did that because I am LOVING the results. The tea is beautifully sweet and rosy, but also very tea-ish. It is now perfectly suited to my tastes! I didn’t even think about sweetening it. The rose provides the perfect amount.

I am definitely getting some of this one in my next Harney order! I have a little sample packet of Harney’s Panyang Congu…the next time I make this, I’ll try a blend of that & the Rose Scented to see if they like each other. If so, I’ll get a tin of each and make my own Perfect Rose Scented Blend.

(An aside – anyone know the tea base in Rose Scented?)

YUM!

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

Never mind! I just looked it up: Ceylon and Keemun! No wonder I love it!

JacquelineM

…so that means I can probably mix it with more keemun if I wish! Win-win! OK, I will stop talking to myself! I’m just really excited!!!

ashmanra

Oh, now I am excited, too! I want to try mixing these! I could taste the Ceylon in there and it was so bright and smooth. And I adore keemuns!

ashmanra

Gasp! Just thought of this…..Rose Scented+Keemun Mao Feng=amazing I bet! Going to try it today!

LadyLondonderry

And Upton describes the China Black FOP as having the taste of “a non-smoky Keemun,” so you’ve definitely got a very Keemun-ish blend there. Sounds delicious!

The Rose Scented is rosier than Upton’s Rose Congou, right? I think I need to do some rose-tea comparing myself, and what better month for it than June?

Batrachoid

Hmm, I wonder if this is thebase for Sally’s Secret with cinnamon thrown in? I thought it was a keemun/Ceylon with something else but this could be it.

Kashyap

I can usually identify origin if I can see the leaf….

JacquelineM

LadyL: Yes, much rosier and much sweeter. I love the Rose Congou and it is what made me think to add the China Black to Rose Scented! Rose Congou is…muskier, more savory …that’s a compliment! I would like to have both in my cupboard. I love them both!

ashmanra: Yes – I bet that would be super delicious. All Natural Chocolate and roses! I want to hear all about it! :) :) :)

JacquelineM

…talking to myself some more. I also must try Queen Catherine with Rose Scented. I think it would be very interesting!

SimplyJenW

Do you know how many times this one has been in and out of my cart at Harney’s (because I can’t help myself and always have a cart running whether I am purchasing this week or not.) In the cart it stays…along with the Vanilla Black!

ashmanra

I will give the Queen and the Rose a try next!

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drank Emperor's Red by Premium Steap
1112 tasting notes

I’m having the “I just had a three day weekend and now I’m back to work” blues. Not only did I need a staunch cup of this, but I added extra leaves to my second steep – something I rarely do. These extra leaves seem to be doing the job, because I now feel vaguely human. Thank you, Emperor! I think I’ll have one more steep!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
KeenTeaThyme

I so hear you on the blues! People here are grumpy, too. :(

LadyLondonderry

My brain and body definitely were still in holiday mode today! I put off some more serious work until tomorrow because I knew I was not firing on all cylinders.

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I had a very delicious cup of this over the weekend. Deep dried fruit and malt. Classic but special. So yummy that I temporarily lost control of my hands and half of it spilled on me! OW! I popped up, changed my shirt, and drank the other half of my cup because it was so good! I don’t drink this that often, but when I do, I adore it. Perfect milk and sugar tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I had cut a vanilla bean into my tin of this, and finally got to sample it last night. Oh la la! I am firmly convinced you can cut a vanilla bean into almost anything, and I will think it tastes like the most amazing thing on earth!!!! Ahem!

The rooibos gave it some heft, but what you really tasted was true vanilla bean. Even more than with a black tea, because the black tea is stronger and shares the spotlight with the vanilla. Here, the vanilla was center stage. It was intoxicating! I said to my husband, “Wait until you taste THIS!” and he said “WOoOoooW!” It was that powerful. :)

If any of you like vanilla rooibos, I highly recommend this. With a scissors, cut one vanilla bean into little slices into 4oz roobois. Wait three weeks to sample. You will swoon.

This reminds me, I finished all of my self made Vanilla Black, and should really get another tin going.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
VegTea

What a great idea!

LadyLondonderry

So the rooibos didn’t have any vanilla in it prior to your addition of the bean?

JacquelineM

LadyLondonderry – it had vanilla flavoring, I’m assuming from extract. There were no vanilla beans or anything visible in the rooibos. It was just a touch of flavoring. When you add the vanilla bean it’s robust and earthy and vanilla-y and a whole ’nuter ballgame!!!

LadyLondonderry

Ah, I see … you took the vanilla to the next level!

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Queen Catherine and a…poppyseed bagel! :) Mmmmm! Such a rich and satisfying tea – still one of my absolute favorites.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I love to cook, bake, read, paint, knit, do needlework, and garden. I need my coffee, but I LOVE my tea. I work at an Art School, and attend a large public university doing post-bac work (my BA is in English). I’m interested in the liminal spaces between art and craft, the academic and the practical, the individual and community, and the old and the new. I’m currently exploring these ideas through the disciplines of education, literature, history, and psychology.

I enjoy writing tasting notes, but have decided not to numerically rate teas as of 9/14/10. For an explanation, see my looooong tasting note about Mountain Malt from the Simple Leaf.

My favorites:
Chinese black teas
A good “milk and sugar” English style black
Earl Grey (classic, and in all variations!)
Vanilla teas (classic, and in all variations!)
Jasmine, Rose, Violet and other froofy, flowery teas!
An Occasional Oolong
Flavored Rooibos
Herbal Tisanes

Location

Collingswood, NJ

Website

http://jackiemania.wordpress....

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