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70
drank Yuzu Temple by Mariage Frères
258 tasting notes

So my friend had allegedly (the guys at the Selfridge’s location are always so slithery – sweet, but still very very slithery) bought too many sweet, fruity and floral teas, so the sample she got when she asked to try something not on her shopping list was Yuzu Temple.

I steeped this a little hot, which really brought out the peppery notes (I don’t like peppery or chilied teas at all). As it cools down, it gets increasingly perfumey, but it’s surprisingly smooth for a citrus tea. The main body is exactly that – a mouthful of smooth, tart citrus. Not bad at all, but it’s not as light or understated as either of the (potentially hallucinated) teas I mention in this review: http://steepster.com/clareborn/posts/184901.

In complete accordance with the Mariage Frères profile, this tea is somewhat eccentric; the tea equivalent of a fur stola-clad grande dame with very fixed ideas, leaving a cloud of citrus perfume behind as she sweeps out of the room.

In terms of citrus, I’m still going to be stocking the brutal and refreshing Kusmi ginger-lemon, but I won’t mind finishing the rest of this sample at all.

[Sample surreptitiously acquired from Mariage Frères in London, August 2013.]

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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