350 Tasting Notes


BAAAAAAAANNNNNNG ouuuuchhhhh ! How strong ! I feel like I am begining a boxe match with Mohamad Ali. I’m almost K.O
How malty ! I am baffled.
It is a very interesting tea : smocky for sure and I get both notes of fruits and tobacco.
For my taste it’s too strong with 4 minutes steeping, I need to retry with less because I had a bitterness I don’t appreciate.
Thank you very much Dexter3657 for sharing.

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It was my afternoon tea at the IT show, I am so glad they were proposing a Mariage Frères selection.
First time with this famous among the famous Mariage Frères tea.
Of course it wasn’t brew correctly because the waitress only had a boiling thermos bottle but anyway it wasn’t bitter at all and I had a very refined and lovely citrus tea,very energetic and refreshing.
Sure if I can retaste it in better conditions it would be one of the rare green teas I can hoard.

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this is one of my all time favorites, and was a rebuy (and will be again when I do another MF splurge), can´t believe I never sent you one. I love it, along with Casablanca they are my favorite summer teas.


do you have it and Casablanca hot or iced in summer ?


I do not drink hot tea when it´s really hot, so mostly iced, if I remember to make it far in advance. though I open exceptions to hot tea when it´s summer but not hot, or after the gym – for some reason Casablanca is my number one drink for after the gym.


you’re brave, I drink tea but don’t make any gym ! :)


ah, but the gym it feels wonderful when you stop (and have your cup of casablanca….). Stopping exercise is totally addictive. And it´s nothing hardcore anyway.


Unfortunately and since I am a kid I hate sport Teresa…so agree with the fact gym is wonderful when you stop ;)

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Had this one twice this morning.
I was visiting an IT show all day long and for breakfast a large selection of Mariage Frères teas in sachet was proposed (Himalaya Darjeeling, Rouge Bourbon, Thé sur le Nil, Marco Polo and this one) It was really an amazing surprise (Of course I wasn’t there to drink tea but if we can mix work and pleasure, this is really a plus)
I picked out this one because I had never heard about it before and because it was a black tea and a smocky one.

The water was boiling but I may have not let it steep too long (less than 5 minutes anyway)
It was a very refined black tea, medium bodied, not heavy on smoke but delicatelly smocked. No idea why but somehow it reminds me a Darjeeling as well.

Clearly not the best MF for me but a very nice one and I would not refuse a cup time to time.

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That selection of MF teas (Thé sur le Nil! one of my favorites always) is sooooo civilized….something for everybody


you may like this one too with its lovely smoke


I think so too, it was on my check-one-day list – but my shopping list is going monstrously and maybe this is not a 100 grams kind of tea, not compared to my adored favorites.

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Another sample from the lovely Dexter3657
what a nice medium bodied roasted Oolong with cereal and bread notes.
I am enjoying it with pancakes and Maple syrup before leaving to go to my niece’s birthday.
Not especially happy to have to take the train again for more than an hour and during the week end but this is a special occasion and I’m glad to celebrate her 17 years the right day.

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Your niece has a thoughtful and loving aunt:-) With all the train commuting you do in a week, I understand why this is the last place where you want to be during week ends!

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This my first Teavivre tea I think and I used the full sample sachet to make a teapot (of 1 liter).
Let’s go for a stupid digression but I am not very attracted by Tea pearls aspect because they always remind me rabbit’s turds.
Anyway all the tea pearls I had in the past were very lovely experiences so it is really not an issue to pass though this stupid prejudice.

The pearls are quite dark but with lots of golden streaks.
It is not a full bodied tea, it’s a mild one, sweet, mellow . I am not noticing any bitterness at all.
I can detect earth notes, baked bread and malt of course. The cocoa note to me are poping up at the end of the sip.

A very lovely tea, perfect for a morning cup. Thank you Courtney for sharing.

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Now I will never be able to that image out of my mind! you are right, sadly.


ahaha I know I know I am terrible but it looks really much like that rather than “pearls” :) but for sure the name pearl goes better with tea and as a poetic evocation.


I had never thought about it, but yes, they do. :)


Glad you enjoyed this one. :)


“I used the full sample sachet to make a teapot (of 1 liter).”
“It is not a full bodied tea, it’s a mild one …”
How many pearls did you use in 1 liter?
Per http://www.teavivre.com/black-dragon-pearl/: 9 pieces for 500 ml, or 18 pieces for 1 liter


I didn’t pay attention to how many pearls I had in the sample but probably around 10. I only steeped it for 5 minutes so it may have been stronger if steeped 10 minutes (as proposed on the sample sachet)
Having said that it was really a very lovely blend and I more appreciate plain teas with a medium body rather a strong one


Haha, we should rename this tea “Bunny Pearls”!

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Backlog from yesterday morning when I had this tea while in the TGV (meaning Train à Grande Vitesse).
As usual the guy at the bar made a too low temperature (micro wave…)but this is a lovely Earl Grey, not sweet, with a hint of bitterness. Nice (would have loved to taste it at an almost boiling temperature…but that’s it !)
This is really great the French train company choiced a nice tea brand to travel with !

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This is a sample sipdown and thank you again JustJames for sending me this lovely tea.
It took me several steeps but I can by now really appreciate why people around are loving so much.
The last cup was the best one for me and the sadest as it is now gone.

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This is an Oolong I have bought while in Dammann’s tea shop Place des Vosges 3 weeks ago.
I wanted to rebuy the Châtaigne Oolong so did I. But while at the desk when the young woman asked me if I wanted something else….aww….of course I didn’t expect my mouth to say…“and what do you have as really good Oolongs ?” but this mouth did it…

The young lady told me she was Madame Green Japanese and Madame Oolong teas in the shop and we had a very pleasant discussion about Oolongs.
As I wasn’t able to choice between all the ones she proposed, I asked her which Oolong (Dammann of course) was her favourite one and she indicated Teguanyin Green Oolong as such.
So decided to go for it. Last time while at Theodor I left the very sympathic lady choice the tea for me and I have such a lovely surprise that the tea she choiced for me is now one of my staple.

So the tea : no temperature indications on Dammann’s website…and I put my tea in a tin and dropped the bag…let’s go for 90°C and I respected the 5 minutes steeping required.

The liquor is a pale golden yellow and smells flowery and buttery.
Drinking it, it is yes flowery, really much flowery rather than woody – my experience is in contradiction with Dammann Frères’s description. But there is not a problem for me as Iove floral types as I love woody and roasty types.
I have the impression to detect rose notes. It is a mild mellow green Oolong not as much mellow.
It is very well balanced between the nutty and buttery note and the floral note.

I am really enjoying this smooth mug. Thank you for the advice Madame Oolong :)

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It smells chocolate. The dry leaf and the liquor. Drinking it it’s very different : I get much patatoes notes, very stong ones and malt. However I get a smocky after taste, light but present.
This is a very uncommun tea. I never had such a tea, nothing I can compare with. It has a lot of personnality.

While cooling, honey notes are growing as well as chocolate ones.
It is a light bodied tea to me but I didn’t steep it very long because I had no parameters to steep it (and I’ve beentoo lazy to search on VT’s website !)

Dexter3657 sent me a huge sample of this one so I can play around this one a little again. Thank you very much for sharing.

Accompanied with pancakes and maple syrup to honour my dear Canadian fellows here on Steepster. Thank you all for the last Swap which was almost a 100% Canadian Swap :)

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
350 tasting notes

Well thank you very much Dexter3657 for sending me this sample of Milk Oolong. This is one of the teas I wanted to try for a very long time.

I am not using a gongfu and I steep all my teas western style. There is no exception for this tea.
The dry curled leaves smell so good : caramelly and buttery. The liquor is very pale, typical of good milky Oolongs, pale golden yellow. It smells buttery and a caramelly vanilla.
Drinking it , no doubt this is a remarquable Milk Oolong, creamy, buttery and caramelly like the scent of dry leaves but with in addition a typical flowery taste as well. It resteeps very well too. I detect a touch of salt as well, just a very very very little touch but it gives a lot of personnality to this tea.

Having said that of course I love it. Would I stock it ? I don’t think so. Why ? because I have another Milk Oolong in my life and even if this one is really remarquable my Theodor Milk Oolong remains superior on my opinion. Much creamy, much buttery,much my heaven kind. So it’s not that Brad Pitt isn’t sexy but I tend to prefer George Clooney.

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Good comparison. :)


I’m glad you finally got to try it!


Haha! I’m also team George!!
But this milk oolong is my favourite to date…it’s nice to try other teas, sometimes it makes you switch favourites, sometimes it just reinforces how much you already like your own, glad you got to try it :-)


I need to send you some Theodor teas next time and for sure their Milky Oolong

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First, please forgive me for my English and all the grammatical mistakes you’ll find in my posts.
As English isn’t my mother tongue it sometimes makes things more difficult to express cleverly and accurately what I feel.

I was mainly in black flavoured teas, green as well if not bitter.
I’m now drinking much straight teas because my palate is now developed enough to appreciate them .

My favourite brands are : Mariage Frères,Theodor,Butiki Teas,Dammann Frères, Betjeman & Barton.
My ratings are as follow :

100 to 95 : my darlings; always in my cupboard

94 to 90 : Excellent tea, often in my cupboard

89 to 80 : very good tea, a pleasure to drink it

79 to 70: not bad even nice, why not having it sometimes, but well, not so urgent !

69 to 50 : Meh, deceptive or just not for me – but has some qualities

49 to 30 : I just don’t appreciate it

Under 30 : is this tea ?!?!?

My tea blog (in French)


Paris, France



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