1700 Tasting Notes
I went out and bought some milk this morning, and today I finally, finally had a good cup of this one. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and left it in boiling water for around five minutes, then topped it off with a generous splash of milk. It’s insanely creamy. It tastes just like I’d added cream to my cup, rather than milk, with that deliciously smooth, almost flat-tasting dairyness about it. I didn’t like Adagio’s “Cream” flavoured black last time I tried it, but I might have to give it another go next time I order from them. There’s also a hint of almond here; a touch of marzipan amongst the cream, and a tiny, tiny nip of vanilla. I’m not getting any caramel, but that might well have been one step too far anyway. Also, despite the amount of rose and cornflower petals scattered throughout this one, there is no floral note to be found. In my book, that’s a good thing. So; creamy, vanilla, almond tinged loveliness. This one needs milk, but once it’s got some, it’s just plain lovely. It’s not a flashy or overflavoured tea, but it’s pleasant and comforting to drink when something more plain is required.
In other news, this is my 1000th note. I can’t believe I’ve been here long enough to have written that many — it doesn’t feel like so long ago that I was just starting to drink loose leaf tea! May the next 1000 go as smoothly!
I brewed up a cup of this one on Sunday afternoon, but I clearly haven’t got it quite down pat yet. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It smells like raspberry straight out of the box, and even more so while brewing. It was suggested to me that this one could be a runner for the title of Best Raspberry Tea After 52 Teas Raspberry Cream, and because that’s what I’ll clearly be spending the rest of my life looking for, I can only imagine it’s a positive step in the right direction.
It’s good. The raspberry flavour is juicy, but very candy-like (not really fresh, tart raspberry at all). There’s an added sweetness from the meringue hats, which is enjoyable, although it doesn’t add much in terms of flavour. I wasn’t getting coconut at all. In an effort to bring out more creaminess, I added a splash of milk. That was the wrong decision; the base tea is too light to take milk without the whole thing becoming a washout. Mistake.
So, for my next cup I will leave out the milk. Probably. Unless I use a lot more leaf. I’m torn on the amount of leaf to use in order to get the best flavour. I think probably I’ll stick with 1 tsp, and maybe extend the brew time a little? If that doesn’t work, I’ll use a little more leaf. Clearly there is some experimentation to be done.
At the moment, what I can say is that I liked this one right up until I added the milk. I would like some more creaminess, and to taste the coconut, but the raspberry flavour is strong and delicious. I can see this being a tea I enjoy even if I can’t have anymore creaminess/coconut, just because a candy raspberry tea is a good thing in my book. And I like the meringue — it’s a cute touch. I’m willing to experiment a little bit yet, but for now I’m going to rate this 75, because it’s nice and I’ll guzzle it whatever happens. A positive introduction to River Tea!
Drinking this as a cold brew again at work today. It was just so delicious last time, I couldn’t resist giving it another go before iced tea season is officially over. It’s cold in the mornings now, and I can’t see myself wanting a cold drink during the day as often anymore. Still, hopefully a couple more weeks to enjoy before it’s hot tea all the way!
This is as delicious as I remember, anyway. The raspberry note is strong and clear, a little candy-like. There’s also a sweet, delicate shortbreadiness. I have yet to try this hot, but I’ll get around to it over the next couple of weeks. Good raspberry tea is a wonderful, wonderful thing, and I have high hopes for my continuing relationship with this one!
A sample from Cteresa. I tried Rouge Provence earlier today, and was half expecting this to be very similar, but it’s actually a completely different experience. A more complete experience, perhaps. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180. The liquor is a bright, grassy green; it’s a completely fabulous, young grass on a bright summer day, kind of colour. Very sunny! Just looking at it cheered me up.
To taste, the flavour I pick up straightaway is cherry. Black cherry, to my tastes, followed by a hint of blackberry. It’s a beautifully natural, fruity, juicy flavour – no children’s cough medicine here! In the mid-sip, I can pick out a hint of rosemary, maybe a touch of thyme. Finally, rounding out the whole thing are lavender and rose. It really is like a journey through Provence — from fruit, through herbs, into flowers. There’s a mild grassiness from the green tea base in the aftertaste, and a tiny bite of astringency. Perhaps two minutes brew time would have been enough, but it’s so slight it’s hardly worth complaining about.
It’s not often that I prefer a green tea to a red or a black, but in this case I’m happy to say that I do. This version is a far more complete experience, to my tastes — it puts me in mind of France, and Provence, far more than the Rouge did — although I really do like that one also. Many thanks to Cteresa for allowing me the opportunity to compare the two. It’s made for a very enjoyable morning’s tea tasting!
A sample from Ysaurella! This was my Sunday afternoon cup, which followed Saturday morning’s Vanille des Iles perfectly. Not that I haven’t had tea since then, but tea this good? I’m eeking out my MF samples, making sure I brew them when I can pay attention, and drink them when I have the time to really appreciate them. I’m hoping to become a bit more familiar with the brand so that I can choose wisely when I do finally make my long awaited trip to Paris, hopefully next year.
I gave 1 tsp of leaf 2 minutes in water around 90 degrees, and added a splash of milk. I chose this unconsciously, but it’s pretty much the perfect follow up to Vanille des Iles. It has a very similar light, creamy, vanilla flavouring, on top of a fairly prominent base, but this time with a delightful run twist at the end of the sip. It’s delicious, right there in the final moment when all of the flavours blend together. Sweet, delicate vanilla with a deep, almost plummy, boozy kick. It’s another one I’d be wary of brewing too long, although I have come to be careful of most MF black teas in this way. I think it could potentially tip over into bitterness, and lose its flavouring amongst the base tea. Not so with this cup, though, which delights me considerably. I don’t think I’ll need both Vanille des Iles and Jamaique in my cupboard at the same time, but I’d certainly drink either again if given the chance!
A sample from Ysaurella! This was Saturday morning’s cup. I’ve been so tired lately, I felt I needed something sweet and decadent to help me get going. A treat in tea form. This one seemed like the perfect choice! I used 1 tsp of leaf, and followed Ysaurella’s advice with regard to brewing for only 2 minutes in water around 90 degrees. The resulting liquor was fairly dark, so I added a splash of milk.
I was expecting quite a strong hit of vanilla, but this one is actually quite gentle. Creamy, delicate, soothing. It’s a completely natural vanilla taste — no artifice here. It reminds me a little of the vanilla ice cream I made myself a few months back — such a change from the vanilla-flavoured ice cream I’d been eating up until that point. Similarly with this tea.
I think the milk has aided the creaminess a little, and I’m glad I didn’t steep as long as I would have without a warning, because I fear the base may have overtaken the flavour completely had I done that. It’s quite a present base, as is. This is definitely black tea and vanilla, rather than just vanilla tea. It’s delicious for it, though, and it makes for a wonderful breakfast time treat. Enough black tea not to be overpowering, enough vanilla to be a pleasant treat and a gentle wake-up.
I like this one lots. It’s up there with the best vanilla teas I’ve tried this far, and it’s definitely one I’d like to add to my cupboard when I get the chance. Many thanks to Ysaurella for giving me the chance to try this one!
A sample from Cteresa! I’m lacking variety in my teas at work, and have got myself into a bit of a tea funk, so in an effort to dispel this I brought some samples with me this morning. This is the first of them, and I have to say it smells divine! I’m a little leery of lavender in tea, and while this brews it smells quite strongly of lavender, and a little of rose. It also smells generically sweet. I gave 1 tsp of leaves 3 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk, just because. I have enough sample left to try a cup without if it turns out milk was the wrong thing, but it’s what I fancied this morning.
I have to say, I enjoyed this one from the very first sip. Looking at the dry leaf, which is fairly heavily strewn with rose petals and lavender, you’d think it would be a heady, floral brew. I’ve come to half expect this from french tea, and I feel I’ve made my peace with it fairly successfully. Floral tea can be okay. It’s not floral at all, though, really. Instead of the perfumey lavender/rose taste I was expecting, I’m actually getting a very berry-like flavour. A mixture of blackberry and raspberry? It’s sweet, not at all tart, with a faint undertone of lavender that somehow helps to round things out. I agree with Cteresa that there might, just might, be a touch of juniper in here somewhere. Gin and its constituents speak to me from a considerable distance.
To sum up, this is absolutely lovely. I’d say it’s a favourite of the MF teas I’ve tried so far! I’m enjoying the berry flavour, and I’m even enjoying the light floral notes. They combine well to make a pretty unique tasting cup. The rooibos is delightful, too. It adds a very delicate woodiness, which supports the flavours well while remaining fairly unobtrusive in itself.
Thanks so much to Cteresa for sharing this one with me. It’ll definitely make my shopping list for my future pilgrimage to France!
A sample from Ysaurella, and the second tea I’ve tried from the MF selection she sent me. I used the parameters she recommended — 4 minutes at 80 degrees. The resulting liquor is yellow-green, and surprisingly smooth. 4 minutes is a longer brew time than I’d typically give a green tea, so I was expecting some bitterness or astringency. Interestingly, there’s neither.
The main flavour that comes out is cherry; sweet, floral, almost syrupy cherry. The biggest fruity-floral hit comes mid-sip, before it tails off and the mildly vegetal green tea base makes its presence known. It’s on the edge of bitterness right at the end of the sip, to my tastes, but it hasn’t tipped over. I think next time I may nudge the brew time down a little to 3.5 minutes, just to see how that works out.
The scent is beautiful, thought. Cherry blossom through and through! It’s such a spring-like, happy smelling tea! It’s impossible to inhale, take a sip, and not smile. Another MF I’d consider purchasing when I make my long-planned pilgrimage to France.
A sample from Ysaurella, and a long overdue tasting note! This was the first tea I tried from the MF samples she so graciously sent me. I followed the parameters she recommended — 5 minutes at 80 degrees. The resulting liquor is yellow-gold, and very smooth tasting. I was expecting a little astringency, for some reason, but fortunately there is none.
The oolong is floral, slightly buttery and “green” tasting on the whole. There’s a light flavour of orange blossom in the middle of the sip, but it fades relatively quickly. I’m finding it quite a calming, reflective tea, which is just what I need at work sometimes. It’s perfect for a late summer day, when there’s still some warmth but the seasons are definitely turning. If a tea could capture the last rays of sunlight on a grove of orange trees in blossom, this one would. I could wish the orange blossom was a little stronger or more lingering, but we can’t have everything we want in life. A beautiful cup.
Final sample from Memily! This is one of the ones I’ve been waiting a long time to try, so I’ve kept it until I have time to write a note along with my precious single cup. I used 5g of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. The liquor is pale orange-red.
First sip, and I can taste mostly hibiscus. My initial thought was “oh”, but then I got it. It took a few seconds for it to develop, but my mouth was suddenly awash with the juicy, fresh flavour of green apple and honeydew melon. The goji berries add a touch of almost sugary sweetness, and there’s a slight tartness in the aftertaste. It’s more like fruit juice than tea!
I’m drinking this warm, because it’s cold today and that’s usually what I do first time with a new tea. I can imagine it making an awesome cold brew, though. Sadly I don’t have the leaf to try it, but maybe some day in the future…I do wish DT was more accessible in Europe sad face.
Thanks again to Memily for sharing this with me!