2198 Tasting Notes
I chose this as one of my samples when I ordered my son’s Christmas puerh. My two eldest kids went from hating all tea, including the sweet iced tea that prevails here in the South, to asking for puerh, matcha, and white tea for Christmas every year.
The leaves are so cute – little brown and black snails, tightly curled and begging to be made into a delicious cuppa. (Like Meet the Meat!)
The fragrance of the the dry leaves was light but they released a lovely aroma when warmed gently with my breath. I made the tea Western style.
I thought at first that it reminded me a lot of Golden Monkey, but it is a little more earthy, though the sweet potato is there. There is a bit of malt, and a strong smell of earthy honey. The flavor lingers after the sip and is lightly creamy. It is smooth enough that I would never think of adding milk or sugar, but if you like those in your tea it can certainly handle it. There is that mouthfeel that I get from teas that taste like unsweeted cocoa – a sort of scraping-on-the-tongue feeling, a strength, yet it doesn’t really taste like cocoa or chocolate to me. And that is a feeling I like, by the way! I think it makes it pair better with food. It isn’t briskness, and I don’t know quite what to call it.
This came as a sample with my last herbal tea order from Zen Tea Life. I decided to try it out for breakfast today to test its suitability for serving at tea time today.
I made one steep in my smallest Kamjove, gave a taste, and decided it seemed like a resteepable tea, so I decided to go ahead and combine two steeps. The review is based on the two blended steeps, but you can amp up all the factors for an accurate idea of what the first steep was like.
The company description is pretty spot on. Dian Hong teas usually have a strong sweet potato flavor to me. That is true of this one, but there is a lot more going on. It is heartier and made a great breakfast drink with my scrambled eggs with French thyme and cheese (eggs courtesy of Blondie, my rescue chicken who looks bedraggled but lays like a champ) and Viili with honey. It takes a decently strong tea to go well with all those flavors.
This has a heavy mouthfeel which is why I refer to it as hearty. I take my tea without milk or sugar, and this was smooth enough not to ever need milk to take the edge off, and sweet enough not to require sugar to make it interesting.
I made a third steep as a stand alone and it was delicious. This is a winner.
I must add that I have received excellent customer service from Zen. I ordered a couple of cast iron pots from them as well as a number of teas over the years and have always had a good experience, with reasonable shipping costs, quick arrival of goods, and good communication when I had questions.
My daughter, Superanna, is really amazing about supporting my tea habit. She brought this tea with her for Thanksgiving yesterday.
The packaging is gorgeous. The tin is a really nice double lidded one that will definitely be getting reused when the tea is gone.
The aroma of the tea is really great upon opening, and the main thing I smell is fresh orange, like the spray of orange juice in your face when you are peeling a fresh orange.
I was surprised that sugar is listed as one of the ingredients in this tea. I don’t think I have ever seen that in a Mariage Freres before. But there must not be a lot of it there. I think it would have really leapt out at me since I don’t add sugar to my tea.
The tea has that fresh orange taste and there is a hint of the hazelnut as well as the bevy of other flavors which I have found to be very done by French tea blenders in the past. Just as with perfume, they know how to mix lots of flavors and end up with layers instead of a mishmash.
My daughter was surprised at how much she liked it. She really doesn’t care for black tea, mostly white and green, but she loved the smell of this and said that the base didn’t taste like a black tea to her. It was a nice, mild base rather than one of the astringent ones that I particularly find in a lot of French teas.
Very nice indeed and very Christmas-y.
A few days ago, I was called by a lady who has come to tea at my house a couple of times. We met about twenty years ago but only had quick, passing emails once a year on homeschool association business so other than that first time we met, I didn’t really know her. Last year I invited her over for tea and she loved the teas she tried. A couple of months later she called and asked if she could bring her daughter, who likes tea but wanted to know more about it.
Last week she called again and said she saw something that just spoke my name to her and she had bought it for me, and she wanted to bring it over. It was a tea set with tray from Vietnam, with a Kyusu style side handle teapot and six cups and saucers. I was stunned and overwhelmed to say the least! Wow! People can be so incredibly nice!
So tonight, I made an Asian style vegetarian meal for my son and his girlfriend who are visiting us and I got this new set out and this tea after we ate.
I didn’t remove the leaves from the pot, but poured tea to all and added more water as we emptied the pot. I made three steeps this way.
It worked very well with this tea, I am pleased to say. It didn’t not become bitter or sour. It was not terribly strong, and reminded me of kale. I thought it was quite good for a post-meal tea. It had nice green leaf veggie flavor, wasn’t sour or bitter, and wasn’t super light like the Mao Feng I drank recently or like the Snow Bud tea last week.
This is a sipdown for me. I stand by my earlier notes. This is so fresh and clean tasting that I just want to guzzle it instead of sipping it. Snow melt is the description that comes to mind every time. It is very light – the liquor color, the taste, the aroma, but nonetheless really, really delicious.
I understand this is no longer available. I would love to have something just like it.
If you ever feel like you are losing faith in people, talk to some tea people.
My youngest daughter is in a concurrent enrollment program at our local community college. We have homeschooled our kids for twenty-five years now! She will complete her senior year of high school with her freshman year of college.
She got an email from a fellow student, a man from Kenya who had been out sick, asking for information about assignments and class discussion. She replied with the information he needed and he sent her the sweetest thank you message. Then at class today, he gave her a box of this tea and an umbrella, because he saw her walking in the rain without one.
Naturally we made some as soon as we got home! Teabags scare me, because….Lipton. Lipton eats my stomach up and makes me miserable.
Surprise! I steeped this for two minutes as a caution and it was too weak. I steeped it for four like the package recommended and got a good, lightly malt cup of tea with no bitterness and no gripping stomach pains after! I am drinking it straight with no problem whatsoever, no urge to add milk or sugar to make it go down.
It has the high citrus note of some Ceylons and a very light malty flavor. It is very tasty with my lunch of frozen pizza, which I have doctored up with garlic salt and curry powder. Nice! The best part of all is the kindness that came with the tea!
This was the other herbal I ordered for my nighttime beverage. I really don’t usually drink herbal tea but caffeine has been bothering me lately and I wanted something good for night. I got Detox Mountain Herb and this. Last night I said I couldn’t wait to try this one, and I didn’t. I went ahead and made a pot. And guess what? When you drink seven cups of herbal tea before bed, you DO fall asleep but you DO NOT stay asleep. You have to get up at approximately 3:00 am apparently. Well, that is what happened to me, anyway.
So…the tisane. I am I the minority. I liked this better than Detox MH. I really like the taste of licorice root and the sweet and unusual flavor it lends to tea, so I totally dug this blend. As happens with many teas, I tasted very little when it was super hot but after just a couple of minutes of cooling I could taste the herbs and really liked it. Wishing I had ordered two and two now instead of three (DMH) and just one bag of this.
A while back I ordered two cast iron tea pots from Zen Tea Life. Shipping was fast and reasonable. We love our Iwachu pots! They included a sample of this with my order.
Lately I have noticed caffeine affecting me before bed so I decided to get a tisane that would help me as well as taste good. It isimportant to get good sleep, especially during the holidays! I ordered three – count them, THREE – bags of this plus one other evening herbal that I haven’t tried yet.
I don’t know how well the herbs here will work for detox but it has to be better for me than a lot of things I could reach for in the evening. When a tea or tisane has mint in it, that is pretty much all I taste unless there are some other pretty powerful herbs in large amounts.
This tisane is earthy and minty and the resteep is quite good, so it is a good value as well. Youngest daughter likes it a lot and is drinking it with me. The big test was hubby. He had a traumatic experience with an herbal once (Sandy, remember Evening in Missoula? I liked it and wish I had more!) and I didn’t know if he would try this. He did try it, and he liked it, even liked it well enough to ask for more. He has a lot of job stress so I hope it will also help keep him healthy through the winter.
I can hardly wait to try the other tisane I ordered, Evening Lights. They also sent a sample of Fengqing Golden Buds that I am excited about! I have requested a matcha bowl from Zen for Christmas. Some of these teas may get added to the Christmas list! (Which is a matcha bowl and…that’s it.)
I was sure I had reviewed this before, but no notes to be found. I have had this tea for a year. My eldest daughter, Superanna, who must love me very much if I can go by the tea she buys me, bought this for me in Amsterdam and then presented it to me in Derry, N.I. It has travelled a bit!
The dominant flavor today is orange, loud and clear, and it is a nice, natural orange. The tea is only lightly smoky to me.
One special treat today is that I am drinking this from a big sterling teapot. I have never used one before, and I am making storage bags for a relative’s silver and cleaning it to put it away for a little while. I was told I could use it, and in fact, told I could keep it here if I wished, but I will be storing it elsewhere. It is over $100 to buy the special storage bags but I got the fabric for $20 and I am hand sewing bags for her.
In the meantime, I thought it was a good chance to see if it is true that tea tastes better from sterling (well, it tastes GOOD but I am not sure if it tastes BETTER) and also I read that it stays hit longer. It is certainly staying warm for a long time, but I need to time it side by side with a ceramic pot to know for sure.
I do know that if I ever buy a silver pot, it will be smaller. This one is about forty ounces and I think I would be more comfortable handling something about half this size. So maybe I need two! One large and one small!
I had a little trouble deciding on the pairing for this week’s tea time. I had to accommodate the dessert and the guest, and the tea I would have chosen would not have been a good choice for one of the guests. I went with this reliable standby!
Our dessert was Walnut Mocha Torte. I have never had tiramisu but my guest loves it and said the dessert was similar but with lighter coffee flavor. My daughter made it – she is pretty amazing and loves to bake and tells me not to ever mind asking her to make something. The torte had no flour in it, only breadcrumbs and ground walnuts and lots and lots of eggs, and other things to be sure but I don’t know what! And she actually used panko breadcrumbs because we had so much on hand. The frosting was whipping cream with coffee and I know not what else but it was SUPER TASTY. It is light and cool, not heavy and overfilling.
The tea went with it well, not detracting or competing. I wish I had some pure cacao nib “tea” to go with this torte, though. I think that would be the perfect pairing for me, but I know not everyone likes as many things as I do!