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67
drank Nostalgie by Mariage Frères
111 tasting notes

I wanted to try one of MF special tea blend for the evening low in theine, of which there are not many and their description is at best brief.
This one seemed appealing, its smell in the shop was rather pleasant. It required a bigger than average bag, as the leaves are bigger than average, with different colors.
I first brewed it tonight. And I cannot say the experience is very conclusive.
I followed the MF instructions for brewing and believe I should leave it brewing for a shorter period of time, as there’s a hint of bitterness underlying the tea flavor. It’s basically a black tea, with probably Darjeeling inside, not sure exactly why ones, some I like and some I do not like so much and I would guess one type of citrus – only one as the flavor is rather basic and unvarying over time.
Not bad but nothing to make it special or interesting. MF Rouge Ruschka (rooibos with a few different citrus) was a much more interesting and tantalizing blend than this one.
Now I definitely hope it contains a low level of theine; otherwise I’ll downgrade again my rating tomorrow for false promises;)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
cteresa

LOL, wishing you luck with it!

Hallieod

If we wake up tomorrow morning and see there’ve been lots of notes and comments from you overnight, we’ll know it was false promises! :)

LaFleurBleue

Good news, it did not prevent me from sleeping
Bad news, I brought a small tin at the office, there was less citrus peel in my cup and the taste was even worse than what I remembered. This one was a bad choice ;(

cteresa

Low on caffeine or theine tea almost always is, dunno, just wrong in taste. Lapsang Souchong IMO is not too bad at keeping awake which is good because for me it´s an afternoon or evening tea, but that is just about it and not helpful for people who do not love LS!

LaFleurBleue

Sorry CTeresa, not sure that I understood correctly, you mean that LS seems to be rather low in caffeine/theine and never prevented you from sleeping even when drunk in the afternoon?
Surprisingly, Le Palais des Thés sells some low-caf blends that are more than decent, ie. similar to their normal caf tea, with some successful blends, and not a big step below, like it’s often the case. However I have to admit their best teas are not exactly up to par with other brands.

cteresa

Yes, I mean Lapsang Souchong because of the type of leaves used or time where they are picked is naturally low on caffeine usually and does not bother me much, even when i take it relatively late – that does not happen with other teas usually! Good white tea which I love and looking all innocent and light is probably the strongest acting on me.

I will keep that in mind regarding PdT – I have never been very lucky with their blends, but I always keep trying.

LaFleurBleue

Now I know I can finish your small bag of MF LS also in the afternoon, while I was scared to drink it even just after lunch, convinced it would be as potent as the smoky flavors are strong.
Totally agree with the white tea, looking so delicate, light-colored, with a refined flavor and a mighty second effect. I also did the mistake to drink some in the afternoon and reproached myself until late at night.
For PdT, the two low theine blends I prefer are Thé des Songes and Lime Wu Long. None is really fantastic, but I never had difficulties to empty those generously filled bags.

Hallieod

I was not impressed by a tea shop in town (they’ve been selling tea for a while but only opened the shop recently) when I asked for the strongest blend they had and got tea that was still too weak. When I said that while asking for a second cup, I was offered Lapsang Souchong which she said smelled really strong. Good grief – smoke aroma does not keep you from getting a caffeine-deprivation headache!

Scary about the white teas, which are always said to be low caffeine, though I gather that you only know for reals about any type of tea by lab test (or the hard way at home!)

LaFleurBleue

Actually regarding the white teas, most people believe it’s low caffeine but a few tell the exact opposite, that it is indeed the most caffeine-laden of all, supposedly because it’s not or very lightly oxidised. I’m not so sure of the explanation, because the oolong I drink very often in the afternoon is slightly oxidised (15% only according to the box) but never prevented me from sleeping, even when I drank some around 5 to 6 pm. Maybe it’s only because I use very little tea when I brew it?
@ Hallieod: agreed, it’s frustrating when the salesperson either does not know what he/she sells, or more or less deliberately misunderstands the question asked, to push another inappropriate product, sometimes to avoid acknowledging that they do not have what you want. It’s very common practice all over Asia.

cteresa

I think with white tea, or gyokuro is a matter of the time when the leave is picked, very new top leaves when just unfurling so it´s all very concentrated on all sorts of compounds. I think gyokuro is supposedly highest of all teas, though checking wikipedia apparently the trick of covering it makes caffeine increase http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyokuro

last weekend I was making herbal tea with brand new leaves from lemon verbena, and OMG is was so good, those tiny little leaf buds are so much more strongly scented, so much better than normal leaves (the bush needed to be pruned anyway. No plants were seriously harmed to make tea for me).

Somebody who thinks lapsang souchong is high on caffeine, or color or body corresponds with caffeine is sadly not too knowledgeable about tea – but often tea salesperson are not!

cteresa

Ah and an interesting article, http://elmwoodinn.com/about/caffeine.html

looks somewhat scientific, though they did not test lapsang…

LaFleurBleue

This article is indeed interesting and seems serious enough. Of course the sample could have been bigger – I really would have liked to see a decaff-tea in the sample in order to check whether it was indeed that efficient.
I would also have appreciated different measures for the same tea, according to different steeping times and quantities – to check whether it’s actually better in terms of caffeine intake to brew one whole teapot or to resteep leaves.
This article confirms however that my resteeping my oolong sometimes many many times until very late in the afternoon is not something that should turn against my beauty sleep.

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cteresa

LOL, wishing you luck with it!

Hallieod

If we wake up tomorrow morning and see there’ve been lots of notes and comments from you overnight, we’ll know it was false promises! :)

LaFleurBleue

Good news, it did not prevent me from sleeping
Bad news, I brought a small tin at the office, there was less citrus peel in my cup and the taste was even worse than what I remembered. This one was a bad choice ;(

cteresa

Low on caffeine or theine tea almost always is, dunno, just wrong in taste. Lapsang Souchong IMO is not too bad at keeping awake which is good because for me it´s an afternoon or evening tea, but that is just about it and not helpful for people who do not love LS!

LaFleurBleue

Sorry CTeresa, not sure that I understood correctly, you mean that LS seems to be rather low in caffeine/theine and never prevented you from sleeping even when drunk in the afternoon?
Surprisingly, Le Palais des Thés sells some low-caf blends that are more than decent, ie. similar to their normal caf tea, with some successful blends, and not a big step below, like it’s often the case. However I have to admit their best teas are not exactly up to par with other brands.

cteresa

Yes, I mean Lapsang Souchong because of the type of leaves used or time where they are picked is naturally low on caffeine usually and does not bother me much, even when i take it relatively late – that does not happen with other teas usually! Good white tea which I love and looking all innocent and light is probably the strongest acting on me.

I will keep that in mind regarding PdT – I have never been very lucky with their blends, but I always keep trying.

LaFleurBleue

Now I know I can finish your small bag of MF LS also in the afternoon, while I was scared to drink it even just after lunch, convinced it would be as potent as the smoky flavors are strong.
Totally agree with the white tea, looking so delicate, light-colored, with a refined flavor and a mighty second effect. I also did the mistake to drink some in the afternoon and reproached myself until late at night.
For PdT, the two low theine blends I prefer are Thé des Songes and Lime Wu Long. None is really fantastic, but I never had difficulties to empty those generously filled bags.

Hallieod

I was not impressed by a tea shop in town (they’ve been selling tea for a while but only opened the shop recently) when I asked for the strongest blend they had and got tea that was still too weak. When I said that while asking for a second cup, I was offered Lapsang Souchong which she said smelled really strong. Good grief – smoke aroma does not keep you from getting a caffeine-deprivation headache!

Scary about the white teas, which are always said to be low caffeine, though I gather that you only know for reals about any type of tea by lab test (or the hard way at home!)

LaFleurBleue

Actually regarding the white teas, most people believe it’s low caffeine but a few tell the exact opposite, that it is indeed the most caffeine-laden of all, supposedly because it’s not or very lightly oxidised. I’m not so sure of the explanation, because the oolong I drink very often in the afternoon is slightly oxidised (15% only according to the box) but never prevented me from sleeping, even when I drank some around 5 to 6 pm. Maybe it’s only because I use very little tea when I brew it?
@ Hallieod: agreed, it’s frustrating when the salesperson either does not know what he/she sells, or more or less deliberately misunderstands the question asked, to push another inappropriate product, sometimes to avoid acknowledging that they do not have what you want. It’s very common practice all over Asia.

cteresa

I think with white tea, or gyokuro is a matter of the time when the leave is picked, very new top leaves when just unfurling so it´s all very concentrated on all sorts of compounds. I think gyokuro is supposedly highest of all teas, though checking wikipedia apparently the trick of covering it makes caffeine increase http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyokuro

last weekend I was making herbal tea with brand new leaves from lemon verbena, and OMG is was so good, those tiny little leaf buds are so much more strongly scented, so much better than normal leaves (the bush needed to be pruned anyway. No plants were seriously harmed to make tea for me).

Somebody who thinks lapsang souchong is high on caffeine, or color or body corresponds with caffeine is sadly not too knowledgeable about tea – but often tea salesperson are not!

cteresa

Ah and an interesting article, http://elmwoodinn.com/about/caffeine.html

looks somewhat scientific, though they did not test lapsang…

LaFleurBleue

This article is indeed interesting and seems serious enough. Of course the sample could have been bigger – I really would have liked to see a decaff-tea in the sample in order to check whether it was indeed that efficient.
I would also have appreciated different measures for the same tea, according to different steeping times and quantities – to check whether it’s actually better in terms of caffeine intake to brew one whole teapot or to resteep leaves.
This article confirms however that my resteeping my oolong sometimes many many times until very late in the afternoon is not something that should turn against my beauty sleep.

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Bio

I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.

Location

Singapore

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