80
drank Vanille des Iles by Mariage Frères
300 tasting notes

This is a cheat note – I’ve had this numerous times already. It’s been this year’s holiday tea, as I got if for Christmas. Well, sticking with the theme, it was technically a cheat Christmas gift. Something I was supposed to get did not arrive on time and so I was tasked with finding a temporary replacement thing for myself (I’m sorry, but I really do love when this happens). No peeking! (I would like to emphasize I avoided the ‘no pekoe-ing’ pun here. Again – kindly award points accordingly.)

So T, who was visiting, kindly agreed to being dragged to Dagnino – that’s where you go if you need to get your Mariage Frères fix in Rome. There’s a nice full wall of MF tea on the upper landing – both tins and bags. I got a tin, but I think you could get as little as 50 grams. And yes, I know I should add this to the tea store review part of the site, but not today.

They made me a very pretty package and I expressed unparallelled surprise as I unwrapped it.

In the tin, this carries a nicely mellow note of caramel vanilla. I thought this would be a knockout, heavy vanilla – the Vanilla of Vanillas, because that’s what island vanilla is to me. In the kitchen, I use Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon, and I was hoping for something along those lines.

Alas, no – not in the cup either. But that doesn’t make it bad at all; in fact, it’s quite lovely – milky, almost; round, comforting and velvety. I’m surprised I like this as much as I do, considering how present the tea base is, but maybe I’m growing up, or something equally terrifying.

So the hunt for the perfect vanilla tea goes on, but I look forward to spending some serious quality time with this one while I look.

(And writing that made me realize these tea notes could be read as dating notes and now I will never be able to stop thinking exactly that as I scroll down my dash. Thick, sweet, lush, fruity, entertaining, playful, full-bodied. This is going to be so bad.)

[Purchased at Dagnino in Rome, December 2013.]

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

welcome back my dear!

Anna

Thanks, Sil! I’ve been meaning to tell you how I kind of love the fact that ‘sil’ means ‘strainer’ in Swedish. You’re such a te(a)-sil.

Sil

hahaha

cteresa

Have you tried MF´s Black Orchid? It´s not a heavy vanilla either, but it´s sultry and a really interesting vanilla either.

And sounds like an awesome christmas gift, how very clever from the giver ;)

Anna

No, but now I’m excited to try it out! And yes, of course, I will make it a new year’s resolution to make sure to be spoiled by that person. ;P

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Comments

Sil

welcome back my dear!

Anna

Thanks, Sil! I’ve been meaning to tell you how I kind of love the fact that ‘sil’ means ‘strainer’ in Swedish. You’re such a te(a)-sil.

Sil

hahaha

cteresa

Have you tried MF´s Black Orchid? It´s not a heavy vanilla either, but it´s sultry and a really interesting vanilla either.

And sounds like an awesome christmas gift, how very clever from the giver ;)

Anna

No, but now I’m excited to try it out! And yes, of course, I will make it a new year’s resolution to make sure to be spoiled by that person. ;P

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Profile

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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