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484 Tasting Notes

86
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
484 tasting notes

Marco Polo! I’ve been wanting to try this for ever so long! Well, kinda. Back then, I didn’t really like black tea much. So while I found Marco Polo intriguing with all the stellar reviews, I wasn’t really motivated to try it. These days, I find myself craving black teas quite often, though usually chinese blacks. I’m not sure about the source of the tea in this blend, but it tastes Chinese to me. It’s satisfyingly dark and rich without being too strong. There’s a lot of smooth vanilla and berry syrup flavors. Tasty! Not tasty enough to be worth $24 for a box of 30 tea bags… but tasty! Thankfully I acquired this box of tea with a Dean & Deluca gift card I got for Christmas. I would never buy it with my own money at that price. Crazy! Too bad they didn’t have this tea loose. I rather like their tins.

Uniquity

This is one that has sounded good to me for a couple years. I’ve never run across Mariage Freres in my part of Canada but I guess that’s probably good at those prices! :)

Mercuryhime

I think Mariage Freres is usually on the pricier side of teas, but Dean & Deluca overcharges for everything too so maybe you can find it cheaper elsewhere.

Sil

Uniquity – Williams Sonoma sometimes has this in Canada. Only place I’ve seen so far

gmathis

Love Marco Polo, but I’ve concluded that Harney & Sons Tower of London is very similar, and a little less finicky. Ashmanra sent me a sample of one that’s a doppelganger, too, from a small tea house. I’ll dig a little and see if I can figure out the name.

Mercuryhime

I’ve been wanting to try Tower or London. I should try them side by side. Also, just looked up Tower of London on Harney’s site. You get the same amount of tea bags in a waaay nicer tin for less than half the price of Marco Polo. Wow. Too bad the loose tea only comes in 1 lb increments. Too much!

ashmanra

GMathis, that was Anna’s Blend from Tin Roof Teas. Hubby and I like it better than Marco Polo now!

gmathis

Yeah, that was it! (Now I’ve got to go paw through my packet orphans to see if I have a cup’s worth left :)

ashmanra

Mercuryhime: if you order it loose from the Millerton shop I think you can get however many ounces you want, with maybe a two ounce minimum? You just have to order by phone! And you can get a tin cheaply and they will make a label for it! That is what I did, but I did order the whole pound, lol.

Mercuryhime

Thanks for the tip ashmanra! I could probably go to the Soho location but I’m lazy. :p

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90

I had a great New Year’s Eve with my friends last night. It’s when we do our Secret Santa style gift exchange. I have awesome friends who gave me awesome gifts. We stayed up way too late. So I’m still groggy right now, but I did manage to haul myself out of bed at around 11am and started using my awesome gifts. :) Feta and olive waffles on my new waffle iron! Yay! Husband was simultaneously please and disappointed because they were tasty but not meant for maple syrup. haha What can I say? I prefer a savory breakfast.

So after my tasty waffles, I got pretty thirsty and started thinking about what tea to drink. I got a sample of this from TeaEqualsBliss, like, forever ago, and I was in the mood for a green oolong. So here we go!

I love the floral hit in the first steep of pretty much every green oolong. Then in the after taste, you can start appreciating the other flavors. I’m getting apple skin and peach. Lovely creamy texture. I’m also getting the coconutty milkiness other people are talking about. I’ve never had a green oolong with the particular natural flavor.

Steep two was like cooked buttered greens. Still floral. Such a nice oolong! Judging from Tea’s notes, I’d say this oolong is at least 2 years old. It’s aging quite well! I can only imagine how it must have tasted when fresh. :)

Thank you for allowing me to try this!

Also, Happy New Year to all!

Bonnie

Sounds like a good start to the new year!

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86
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
484 tasting notes

I was mostly interested in this tea because people have been saying that the tea shimmers. whaaa? That’s crazy awesome! So I picked up half an ounce to try. I brewed it up at a oolongish temp for 4 minutes. I looked for the shimmer, but it was very subtle if there at all. But then again, I only had one or two gold balls in my tea. Not too many of them in my pouch overall. :( But that taste was quite nice. I found the flavoring to be a bit heavy handed on the vanilla. It was sort of like a vanilla spice cookie. I would have preferred for the tea to shine a bit more, but from what I could taste, it was a very nice toasty malty black. Perfectly balanced between refreshing and dark. I enjoyed two infusions. The second one was less flavor and more tea. To be honest, I think the level of flavoring in the second steep is definitely better.

I enjoyed it!

Nicole

That’s too bad you don’t have many glitter balls. :( I love to sit and watch this tea. It’s a good tasting tea, but truthfully, if it didn’t glitter, I’m not sure I’d keep it on hand.

Mercuryhime

I have to try it again with more glitter next time. :)

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92

Don’t have much time to write notes lately. :( just coming here to say that this tea is awesome! I picked some up along with the gifts I was buying. :)

Bonnie

Hi there! Merry Christmas!

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80

This tea was a sample from Teavivre that I have taken forever to get around to. :( I did make this tea once with a scoop of spearmint, but I didn’t feel it would be fair to rate this without trying it first on it’s own. Firstly, it did mix very well with the mint. Sweet and refreshing with a vegetal and malty background.

The tea on it’s own tastes very good as well. I love the shiny little pellets of dry leaf. It reminds me a bit of how green oolong looks, only oolongs aren’t usually so shiny. The brewed liquor is a bit darker than other green teas I’m used to. Darker than some oolongs even. The taste is sweet and slightly toasty. To be honest, it’s not a very memorable flavor. The quality is, as always, top notch. This is exactly what a gunpowder tea should be, but not the tea itself is not extraordinary or unique. I do love that it is smooth and without a hint of astringency. I think I will probably continue to add mint to this tea.

On an unrelated note, holiday cookies are making me fat. It doesn’t help that it’s so cold I don’t feel like going out to run lately. argh.

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92

I got some awesome lip balms in today from momo! I had the hardest time choosing which ones to keep. I need to give three as gifts but I want them all! aaargh. You can buy some here!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackBearLaboratory
I think they would make great holiday gifts. :)

So this tea! I’ve read nothing but praise for this, and today, I am totally understanding why. The dry leaf smells sweet like cookies. The tea tastes like dark cocoa and rock sugar. mmmm… The color is a bit lighter than expected, but the flavor is full on nonetheless. I can also taste some toasted grains. Maybe like the dark crust of some excellent multigrain bread. I’m adding this to the list of black teas to buy again!

momo

Haha I had to help a friend pick which wax tart to use first, let me know if you need any assistance too :D

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83

Drinking this straight after a cold third steep of Verdant’s Mi Lan Xiang Honey Phoenix.

I’m noticing that this tastes much softer. The flavors blend and meld into each other. The autumnal taste is more like leaf litter while the other is more like the crisp air of a forest. Yet, in both the honeyed note is clear. Clear but so different. Fascinating.

Today’s been an oolong-y day. Had three different teas, all dark oolongs. I suppose it’s just what I’m in the mood for. I hope it helps my tummy because I feel kinda crappy there. Must sleep soon. Tired. blargh. Long day.

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92

At first I was like, “This thin wiry spinach smelling stuff is supposed to taste like mi dan dancong?” But then the hot water hit the leaves and I was a believer! Smells fantastic!

Steep one: Heavy woody spice. Cinnamon? no…nutmeg? hmm, yeah, more like nutmeg. There’s honey and lychee of course. Autumn forest with a distant fireplace going. …and because I just gave my dogs a treat, I smell faux bacon. yuck.

Just from this first steep, I would say that I prefer Canton Tea’s Mi Lan Dancong. Theirs is less heavy and has more fruity lychee flavor. Not that this isn’t excellent and complex, because it is. It might be even more complex, but I find I like the more joyful flavor of Canton’s version. This one is a bit…moody. Like a ponderous man who’s lost all hope in life. But so complex and dark and mysterious. It’s tastes like cloudy.

Steep 2: Mmm… more honey and lychee in this now. Raisins, a little. yummy. I’m going to cold brew steep 3 overnight. :) It’s gonna be high 60’s tomorrow so a cold drink would probably be quite welcome. :)

Happy Monday!

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87

Hmm… has the enchantment of black tea love come to an end or have I just been having a series of less than awesome blacks lately? This one tastes a little…not interesting. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t capture my attention in any way. I get a little floral perfume and taste of malt… Some fragrant sweetness. Vaguely stone fruity. My tastebuds are not all that interested.

So far, the black teas I like and plan to get more of are:
Laoshan black – Verdant
Zhu Rong Yunnan black – Verdant
Yun nan Dian Hong Black- Golden Tip – Teavivre
Rose Congou – Upton

Looks like I like Yunnan black teas. The Laoshan black is still my favorite. hmm… I’ll still have try the other Keemuns from Teavivre. I also have some other congou tea from Upton to try. I wonder where congou tea is grown? Is it also Keemun as wikipedia seems to suggest?

KittyLovesTea

As far as I understand it Congou is a grade of Keemun that has small leaves. I also believe that Congou Keemun is a mixture of both Congou and Keemun, in some area’s they have cultivated plants from both to create the one. I keep seeing it set out like a maths question such as ‘Are all Congou Keemun tea’s Congou or Keemun?’ or ‘All Congou Keemun’s are Keemun but not all Keemun’s are Coungou Keemun’s’. lol. Not sure if anyone else can shed some light on this but I am to believe that all three (Congou, Keemun and Congou Keemun) are all separate.

Mercuryhime

wow, thanks for the info! I’ll just have to drink more of all kinds to learn the taste difference. :)

Terri HarpLady

I’m also hooked on Yunnans. I do enjoy a variety of others, and I try not to compare, but it always comes back to things like Laoshan Black, Yhu Rong…you know…

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Ever try to enjoy a bit of pumpkin custard while your dog cries and looks longingly and pitifully at your food? I felt like the hugest jerk in the world not sharing my my dessert with him. So then I let each pup get a lick. Those darn cute faces get me every time. My dogs own me.

Fortunately, they are not interested in my tea so I don’t have to feel bad while I enjoy a cup. :) I had a terribly stressful day at work today. Called someone early in the morning to get some info. She directed me to someone else. That person directed me to yet another person. And so on. Until about 4pm when the last person I get directed to directs me back to the person I had called in the first place. It’s such a classic failed bureaucracy situation it’s almost funny. Now I’ve been directed to yet another two people whom I will call tomorrow morning. Someone save me.

Anyway, despite the fact that I know white tea can get me pretty wired sometimes, I really needed something that tastes soothing and delicious. Jasmine tea is perfect for that. And Verdant is guaranteed quality.

First whiff of the dry tea was heavenly. I absolutely love the smell of jasmine. The scent has me practically salivating. It also reminds me of peach. I can just feel the sticky sweet juices from of perfect summer peach. yum. The liquor is a very pale grayish brown. Not the most attractive color, but it’s all about the taste! and the taste here is fantastic! Juicy and floral and exactly what I need. There is a pleasant drying effect here as well.

Did I mention how I love the dry leaves? They are like little fuzzy twigs. Awesome!

There is a funny taste here, but I suspect it’s my kettle because my mom has a kettle that gives a similar taste to her water. Gotta boil some water in a pot and see what happens. Will withhold rating until then.

gmathis

Endless work loops are funny until you’re the one stuck in one.

Mercuryhime

I can see this situation working well in a comedy skit. :)

Donna A

I can so identify-going through a similar experience since August with my idiotic health insurance company over a claims processing error due to a glitch in their computer system. They say they are’t given access to see the Explanation of Benefits that they send me, which if they could, my problem would be solved. I’ve been on the phone for hours with them drinking endless cups of tea! Great review-this is one of my two favorite white jasmine teas, the other being from Teavivre.

Mercuryhime

The reps don’t have access to info that’s sent out to their customers? Whaaa’? Good thing you have tea to give you the energy for these endless repetitive phone conversations. :)

Donna A

Mercuryhime, you can’t make this stuff up!! I’m an RN and know a little more about jumping through the bureaucratic health insurance hoops than a lot of folks. Yes, I’d go crazy if I didn’t have tea. The one representative who had half a brain and was actually giving me some hope is out for surgery. He gave me his private company email address since you can never get the same person twice with this company. By the way, without naming it, this is a large inefficient company whose name starts with U, same name as my country.

Mercuryhime

Hmm, my health insurance starts with a B. I hope they’re better. :)

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Profile

Bio

I came from a tea drinking family, but I never appreciated the different qualities and varieties of tea until older. All that time wasted! But I guess I needed to be mature enough to appreciate the tea experience. :)

My favorite teas are green oolongs and white tea. I also love greens, especially gyokuro. I have a huge appreciation for rooibos and honeybush as they are often that only thing I can drink in the evening. I am a relatively new convert to black teas. This is unfortunate for my wallet but extremely wonderful for my palate. :)

In any case, I have a love for both flavored and unflavored teas. They are different experiences for sure, but both enjoyable. I find that it often depends on my mood.

I am on a quest to find a tea that will win my husband over. I think I’m making some headway…

My profile pic features my two lovable puppies, Mr. Snuggles and Sr. Caliente.

Location

NYC / Westchester

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