75
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
300 tasting notes

I already wrote a tasting note for the green Marco Polo, which can be found here: http://steepster.com/clareborn/posts/189598.

Just like I emphasized there, I tend to pick out teas going on scent alone. That, in its turn, means I rarely, if ever, read others’ reviews or tasting notes before logging my own impressions. This is yet another exception to that rule, which creates some confusion, simply because… I really expected over-the-top, ripe, strawberry. And for me, there is absolutely not a single hint of strawberry to be found here.

The black tea has some of the same booziness as the green, but it lacks the autumnal ripeness that is so present in that one; it’s less tipsy and more elegant, and with a far stronger note of smooth vanilla in the aftertaste.

I enjoy it, but Pleine Lune and Wedding Impérial still rule my cupboard in terms of Mariage Frères blacks. I’m going to go with Sil’s suggestion and try this as a cold brew next time.

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I only like this one at boiling and for a mere three minutes. Otherwise it is too bitter for me. I hope you have enough to experiment with!

ashmanra

Sorry, this one I steep just below the boil.

gmathis

I’ll have to have some soon and think on it…somehow I’ve missed booziness ;) (Don’t you just love Steepster adjectives?)

ashmanra

Anna, have you tried Anna’s Blend? I am pretty sure it is from TeaGeschwendner. I buy it at a tea shop near my daughter and it is similar, but with a yogurt tang to it. It is really lovely, and more forgiving of uncertain times and temps.

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Comments

ashmanra

I only like this one at boiling and for a mere three minutes. Otherwise it is too bitter for me. I hope you have enough to experiment with!

ashmanra

Sorry, this one I steep just below the boil.

gmathis

I’ll have to have some soon and think on it…somehow I’ve missed booziness ;) (Don’t you just love Steepster adjectives?)

ashmanra

Anna, have you tried Anna’s Blend? I am pretty sure it is from TeaGeschwendner. I buy it at a tea shop near my daughter and it is similar, but with a yogurt tang to it. It is really lovely, and more forgiving of uncertain times and temps.

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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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