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Mariage Frères

Recent Tasting Notes

86
drank Paris ginza by Mariage Frères
4026 tasting notes

charlotteZero was awesome enough to send this my way in a recent swap. Admittedly i had this a million hours ago but there’s been a whole lot of work, dinner, talking to my parents and looking at an apartment that got in the way of me writing about it until now. What i recall was the deliciousness of this one in strawberry form. THIS is actually what i wish marco polo was, and isn’t for me. Better review to come in the future when i spend more time rolling around with this one.

thanks CZ!

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Having this tea again and coming to the same conclusions as my first tasting note. The tea is nice enough, but kind of mellow and a little boring for the price tag. I do wish they had added something to make this tea spectacular like apricot, honey, cream, mango, chocolate… There is really a lot that pairs well with ginger, so why stop with just ginger?

I tried adding honey, but the honey from my yard was too flavorful and overpowered. Maybe store bought honey? I tried adding powdered goat milk (my go to for cream flavor) and sugar, which was good, but I think it was too much milk. I’m determined to find something to make this tea more exciting. The quest goes on!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Thank you so much, charlotte0! It was so thoughtful of you to include so many MF teas in our swap. I do hope to make it to an MF location in my near lifetime, and the more teas I try beforehand the better.

To be honest, I never really knew what a cannele even was-it sounded French, and I knew it was a food, but that’s about all. A perusal of the tasting notes suggests however that I would enjoy being face-deep in one if the opportunity ever presented itself.

It’s hard to say what this dry leaf smells like, since the entire box was positively exploding with fragrance. As soon as the water hit the leaves, however, I got the strong and familiar scent of sugared vanilla. I used a heaping tsp for 8 oz. of water and steeped for four minutes.

I started the cup feeling pretty ambivalent about the tea, but liked it the more I sipped. The vanilla seemed a bit too sharp or cloying, but I soon realized that that might have been my own added rock sugar. I also found the base tea to be a bit thin for my liking, but it did lend the vanilla flavour a slightly astringent backdrop, which sort of made the whole thing taste burnt in a good way. Due to charlotte0’s generosity, I have enough to have another cup at least, and I think I’ll try it with less sugar before I make up my mind. So far, I think it’s a good tea, but perhaps not as remarkable as some of the other mf teas I’ve tried.

Thanks, charlotte0!

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76
drank Paris Breakfast by Mariage Frères
2160 tasting notes

I’m still fiddling with this one trying to find the perfect balance and how to brew it. Today I tried around 190 F for 3 minutes and it definitely seems less bitter but also less black tea flavor. Perhaps a longer steeping time would help? stay tuned…. lol

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Pleine Lune by Mariage Frères
413 tasting notes

I’m really trying to make an effort to drink a variety of tea, especially because some of my tea is from September and I really should be getting to it instead of hording it.

I had this tea with breakfast this morning, and far prefer it in an ordinary mug to a travel one. In my travel mug, there was something terribly cloying and sickly about it, and that just wasn’t the case in an ordinary breakfast mug. Or perhaps it’s more that I really enjoy drinking this tea, just not 16 oz. of it at a time (would it be tea sacrilege to admit that I don’t enjoy consuming gigantic mugs of tea all the time?). I take my 16 oz. mug to work, but otherwise typically enjoy mostly 8 oz. cups. Too much more than that and my stomach feels uncomfortably full of liquid.

Anyway, the tea. Sorry. I still maintain that this tastes largely of spiced marzipan. For people looking for a straight marzipan tea, this one most certainly is not it. I can’t even really identify the spices; I just know they’re there. All in all a lovely tea. Because the spices do seem appropriate in a dessert—this tea is most certainly not savoury or anything. More like a spiced almond cake.

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85

This is a very good unflavored oolong. It’s not exactly roasted and not exactly green. It’s mellow, smooth and yummy. This is a good oolong. Thanks for sharing, Ysaurella!

Ysaurella

I am particularly glad you liked this one I simply cannot live without it now

gmathis

The name makes me smile—I’m envisioning little girls in oversized hats whose feet can’t touch the ground in their big chairs :)

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74
drank Thé de Pâques by Mariage Frères
1332 tasting notes

Between this tea and the Rabbit’s Garden, I seem to have a bit of an Easter theme going, albeit a week early and completely unplanned. Anyways, thank you Sil for sharing this tea with me. As I brewed it up, I couldn’t help but hover because it smells really amazing. Alas, this doesn’t necessarily translate to the taste. Not that it is bad but rather, like so many other french teas, the scent is significantly stronger than the flavor. What I hoped to taste was a creamy vanilla. What I am tasting is mostly the smooth black base and citrus notes. Not bad but not necessarily for me either. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the opportunity to have tried something new.

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76
drank Paris Breakfast by Mariage Frères
2160 tasting notes

Tea of the morning here…

I am not quite sure about this one. This was another one I got at Maison d’Etre yesterday. I wanted to try another MF tea and this just smelled so good in the tin, like tangerine candy of some sort. I am not quite sure about the flavor though. I get a lot of orange but also some bitterness. It’s difficult to tell if there’s bergamot in here or if the bitterness is due to the green tea in this blend. Instructions say to brew at 205 F and that’s about the temperature I used. I think I’ll try using a sightly lower steeping time to see if that makes a difference. For now I think it’s ok but considering the price I paid for it, it’s a bit of a let down.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dustin

I green breakfast tea?! I thought they were only blacks! I have recently been enjoying MF’s French Breakfast tea, which was a surprise to me. I didn’t expect to like it, but got a sample anyway.
I think you may be right about adjusting the temp and time. I find MF teas to taste WAY better with short steeps.

Dustin

Wait a minute… you are in the Bay! Check out The Pasta Shop (I think it is in Berkeley). I was there a year and a half ago and they had 15-20 MF teas sold in bulk which is perfect for sampling before investing in a tin. They also sell tins and are next to Teance.

TeaBrat

It’s a black/green blend and thanks for the tip on the Pasta shop

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76

I have not been feeling well the past few days. I have a cold, but the symptoms seem to be pretty mild compared to usual, and I always feel pretty good in the morning, so I’ve still been going to work everyday, but in the evening I always have a nasty headache. Right now is probably the worst it’s been.

Because I haven’t been feeling well, I have been off my diet, so I’ve been drinking a lot of black tea with my usual milk and sugar/honey/agave. I’ve been trying to get to all my samples from my recent swaps (about 8 of them last month). This was sent to me by kittylovestea! I was waiting to try this til I was off my diet because I didn’t have much to play with and wanted to try it with the good stuff in it, not with sweetener.

I wasn’t thrilled by it. It was a tasty tea, but not anything special. I used the whole sample I had for this one cup so I can’t retry it. If I saw this in Canada for a decent price I would probably buy it to give it another try.

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70

This is good, but not as good as I expect from a “Fancy French Tea”™. I get a little bit of fruit and a bit of cream, and it’s nice, but not zomg, if you know what I mean.

Thanks for sharing Sil! I’m still happy I had a chance to see what this was all about.

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I must say that I’m feeling a lot better this morning. I felt a lot better yesterday afternoon, actually. I obviously can’t get into too much detail, but suffice it to say that the entire world seems like such a different place when you are disabled and actually have the tools to do your work accessibly. i was in a right panic yesterday morning, and was on the verge of a most unsightly meltdown (those are necessary sometimes, actually), but managed to resolve the situation without feeling like running away to some sort of Victorian novel fantasy island. But when isn’t that in the works? haha.

I’d read such amazing reviews on this tea, and charlotte0 was so thoughtful to include it in the package she sent me. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant, simply because I think I largely fall into the “if i want to be drinking chocolate, I’ll have hot chocolate with all the fixings!” category. But I also know that MF knows what they’re doing, so I took a chance. Brewed it up for about four minutes, threw in some milk and sugar, and set to work enjoying it. And my my, this is a most delicious cup of tea. The chocolate blends so perfectly with the base. By that I mean that you know how with some teas, you’re like “oh hello flavour. Oh, hello there, base!”? but with this, I knew I was drinking a chocolate flavoured tea, but the base was just there, all unobtrusive and coy, and not being like “ooooh! guess what base I am! guess guess! where am I from? what do I do? who do I know??!! come on! heelloooooo!!”. And the chocolate tasted as though it was of the highest quality and I felt quite spoiled indeed.

Thank you, charlotte 0. This is going straight on my shopping list for my eventual mf haul!

Stephanie

Glad you are feeling better! And this tea sounds great :D

keychange

Thanks! yes, it feels as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. And this tea is all shades of fantastic!

Rosehips

A victorian novel fantasy island sounds like my sort of place. Glad things are going better.

keychange

We should all go there! and thanks. I feel loads better.

OMGsrsly

Ooo… Victorian novel fantasy island. Sounds lovely today. :) Glad things are going better for you!

keychange

Yes to the island! and thank you. Thanks so much!

Christina

I totally get what you mean when you’re not sure what the base tea is, and trying to figure it out. Glad that this tea was smooth and comforting!

Cheri

I’m so glad to hear that you finally got things fixed at work so you can work. :) and this tea sounds heavenly.

keychange

This tea is ideal!

pyarkaaloo

sounds amazing!! what a tea.. how about a tea island?

keychange

The tea is amazing! and a tea island would be even better. No problems allowed. Not even under the guise of “learning” or “personal growth” or “maturing”. Just. No. Problems.

Sami Kelsh

Tea island sounds magical. I want to go to there too.

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I have been drinking this a bit lately, which surprises me since it isn’t my usual type of tea. Today it is a little on the bitter side at the beginning of each sip, but then mellows out into it’s usual tastiness. I may try a shorter steep or lower temp next time.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
566 tasting notes

This one came in the surprise package from Dexter3657.

The flavours and base are great together, which comes as no surprise, with any French tea. They do know their tea mixes. The overall taste is reminiscent of another tea I’ve had, but I can’t remember which one. I do prefer the fruit flavours here to the “red fruits” I see in so many French teas, and this is a tasty cup, but I don’t think this one needs to be in my cupboard.

Thanks Dexter!

I’ve begun my Butiki cart now, though I have to wait for Hello Sweetie and the new Lemon tea to be back in stock, hopefully this week. I need to get some sipdowns done stat because I have two other small orders on the way now too.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Kat_Maria

Are they seriously supposed to be back in stock this week? Maaaan, I really hope it’s after I get my paycheck Thursday night :D :D

Courtney

I checked this morning and the website said April 8th :) I’m hoping, although if it was later it would be much better for my wallet. :P

Courtney

I just checked again and the Lemon French is available now. Maybe I was mistaken this morning and it was available all along. Hello Sweetie currently says April 8th.

Kat_Maria

Oh-oh! Thanks for the heads-up! Although I swear I don’t need more tea…

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75

A sample from Shmiracles. This isn’t quite what I was expecting, somehow. I don’t know why, but it isn’t. I think I was expecting a more “green” taste, maybe mint, but this is actually a ref fruit/berry tea. It’s strange what associations a name can conjour up!

As red berry teas go, this is really nice. It’s a natural tasting flavour, maybe a mixture of raspberry and strawberry? It reminds me a little of Marco Polo in some respects. The description says that this tea also contains spices. I’m not really picking much up in that respect, except maybe the merest hint of nutmeg. The berry flavouring is delicious alone, though, and doesn’t really need anything else, so it’s not a terrible loss.

The green base is pleasantly light and unobtrusive. It looks to me like sencha or dragonwell, but I’m probably wrong — I’m no green tea expert! In any case, it’s the perfect base for this tea, and carries the flavouring well without getting in the way. This is definitely a Mariage Freres tea I’d try again if the chance arose — thanks again to Shmiracles for sharing this with me!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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85
drank Montagne de Jade by Mariage Frères
258 tasting notes

I’m so unteaful right now it’s silly. I had a pot of this the other day; it was really nice and made me want more tea, but then I… didn’t have more tea. I don’t know if it’s because I relate tea drinking so much to writing tasting notes now. At the moment all the poetry’s been wrung out of me; I most resemble a limp, smelly dishtowel.

This really is lovely as a spring tea, though – the light green shade of it, the delicacy, the subtle florals. So much less flamboyant than some of the Mariage Frères greens, yet without lacking in personality.

Tomorrow. I’ll try to drink some more tea tomorrow.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
__Morgana__

It’s good to see you. :-) I’m going through the same unteafulness.

Angrboda

Drink some you’ve already posted about for a while. (This is what my queue is for)

TeaExplorer

Anna – I get what you mean about relating tea drinking to writing tasting notes. A number of times I’ve shied away from steeping something just because either I didn’t have the time or was not in the mood to make notes while I drank. And, yes, the poetry is something that comes and goes with most people.

You’ve set a high standard for yourself with the beautiful, clever or funny tea notes you’ve written here on Steepster. Speaking for myself, however, that’s not expected to always be the norm. I’d rather read a post with whatever your thoughts are than nothing at all.

That last bit I should post on my fridge since I need to heed that advice as much as anybody else :-}

Dinosara

Ditto on the unteafulness and tasting notes. I think I need to get a new tasting note philosophy, or something.

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91

I think I’m getting excited about tea again….

I had a sample of this from a local fancy tea shop last spring which has since closed down, I decided to brew some up to take to the movies with me this afternoon (hubster and I went to see the new Captain America flick)

I brewed it close to boiling and for about 3 minutes, and sealed it in my Contigo mug hoping it would remain hot, it did.

So I brought a few snacks to the movie, I’m trying to eat healthier and avoid popcorn….but I got a date cookie and was eating that and when I went for the first sip of tea I was like “WHOA!!” This tea is so delicious, you guys! (For the record, I had added a splash of milk)

I don’t know what it is, there’s something besides the vanilla, maybe just that the black base is tasty and adds to the whole thing. But everytime I took a sip I couldn’t believe how yummy it was.

There really is something to be said for a quality flavored tea vs the cheap, synthetic tasting blends, this isn’t that, not at all. It’s delicate but tasty and not overly sweet, so it’s easy to drink while eating sweets.

Remember I said I was eating a date cookie? Well you’d think that compared to a cookie, a subtly flavored tea wouldn’t taste like much, but you would be wrong! It was very complimentary and still managed to be sweet enough and flavorful enough to hold its own beside a cookie. But subtly. I wish I could figure out what else I was picking up besides vanilla.

I was looking forward to coming home to log this.

I’m actually drinking my second steep now, but it doesn’t quite hold up, it’s much weaker, especially with the milk. But in trying to stretch out my stash I probably under leafed this, good enough for one steep but obviously not two.

MF why you gotta be so hard to get?!

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Courtney

Tea excitement for the win.

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72
drank Pleine Lune by Mariage Frères
684 tasting notes

Another night time themed tea today!

Very grateful that keychange gave me a sample of this. It sounded better than it is…the honey flavor leaves a weird after taste. It isn’t terrible, just a little weird/artificial tasting. shrug this is why I love swapping samples!

keychange

Yup! try all the tea!

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Awww, my computer spazed out and lost my note! Still struggling to get the perfect cup out of this tea and haven’t made notes the last few times I have tried it. This time is a lot closer than before with a short steep and lower temp. It was still a little bitter, but adding sugar took care of that and let the rich caramel flavors come through. I may try an even lower temp next time.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
152 tasting notes

I got a sample of this tea from Indigobloom because I told her that one of my cats is named “Marco”. Since then I’ve been saving it for a suitable occasion, and today seemed perfect. All winter he was looking a little tubby, and I was worried that there was something wrong with him. We took him to the vet today, and it turns out that he’s actually not gaining weight – he just looks chubby. He’s in fine health it seems. Yay!

Unfortunately, the other cat, Gracie (the one that I’m using as my avatar here) is LOSING weight. She lost 1.5 pounds in a year, which is a lot. Perhaps that’s why Marco’s been looking so big – she’s small in comparison. Fingers crossed that her blood work turns out okay.

Anyways, Marco Polo tea to celebrate Marco the cat! I know that French teas in general can be a bit finicky, so I should have been a bit more careful with this one. As it was brewing, it smelled lovely, and the wet leaf smelled like strawberry jam. I don’t taste any strawberry sweetness or creaminess, but I do think I get a hint a rose. I I think I might have oversteeped this, even though it doesn’t taste astringent.

Ah well. There’s still enough left in the sample for one good cup, but if I had to choose right now in the “red-fruit-flavoured black tea from French tea companies” competition, I think “Quatre Fruits Rouges” by Nina’s would win out.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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79

Tried to resteep the leftover leaves of last night’s cup earlier this afternoon and it was a big FAIL. Just tasted like very lightly chocolate flavored hot water.

I very well could have under leafed round 1, but round 2 ended up down the drain, it was that flavorless. I was all proud of myself for working out today even though it was technically my day off but because I know I won’t get to tomorrow I made myself do it today instead (even though my instinct was like “YEAH! 2 days off!”… So then later on I really wanted some chocolate (I always do), and had the bright idea to polish this off instead of eating actual chocolate. I was all proud of myself for that.

Then it tasted like nothing and I caught myself staring at the wet leaves and there was a split second moment where I thought about eating the little leftover chocolate chunks…but I didn’t.

I just dumped the tea after a few mouthfuls and then went and retrieved a Laura Secord chocolate heart from my secret chocolate stash.

That hit the spot.

I wonder also if I didn’t brew this hot enough, my kettle was at 95 degrees C from when I made coffee in the morning…maybe a few degrees hotter at boiling would have made some sort of difference. Who knows…but I can try that with the rest of my sample of this, once I decide it’s time.

I’m lowering my rating slightly from 86, because barely chocolate flavored water.

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It looks like there are 2 listings for this tea, one as French Breakfast, & one as French Breakfast Tea. Se la Vie… (I don’t speak french, so I probably spelled that wrong).

This is an offering from Sil in the BBBB. I feel as if I’m drinking a croissant glazed with dark chocolate, & there is even a slight coffee bitterness to it, & it is wonderful with breakfast: Asparagus, poached eggs, & crispy lardons, sprinkled with dill, chives, dried shallots, white pepper, & pink Himalayan salt). There is just enough of this for one more cup, so it goes into the sipdown box, for some future extravaganza. Unless somebody would like to sample it?

I was going to head out into the garden for an hour, but suddenly we’re having a spring storm, which is fine with me. I love storms & I can garden tomorrow!

caile

Sounds like a delicious breakfast!

Sil

sooo nommy

Stephanie

I love asparagus and eggs!

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79

Oh mon dieu. C’etait un the tres delicieux.

My French is slightly (lots) rusty despite living in a bilingual province. Also it loses all meaning without the very important accents which my iPad will not include.

I got this one last year from Shmiracles and I have to say that even though I stopped drinking tea when I lost interest as an ironic pregnant woman, once in a while I would peek in my stash of samples and get excited when I saw this one (and some others she sent direct from France). I’ve been working on getting my tea mojo back and tonight I decided it was finally time to crack this one open.

I was watching Face Off (the awesome tv show, not the cheesily awesome Travolta/Cage movie of the same name) with my husband when I made the call.

So I opened the package and sniffed it and ohhhh mannnnnn….chocolate! I’ve never had a REAL chocolate mousse before, like a good French one… In fact, I googled a recipe to see how hard it would be to make, based on the smell of this I know I’d love it. Here’s a Julia Child recipe I found, in case you were curious:

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/05/perfect-chocola/

So the taste was also very very good. No doubt about the chocolate. And though I’ve never had the “REAL” good stuff, I swear this actually smelled like chocolate mousse rather than just generic chocolate tea number 47.

I was wondering if, like Wedding Imperial, it would get super strong really quickly, but it didn’t, I actually ended up steeping it longer because I wasn’t satisfied with the color. Maybe I didn’t use enough leaves but obviously I’m trying to make it last because I’m not sure I will ever be able to afford ordering this directly from France to stock it for myself!

So, if I had one complaint, I guess that it would be I would have liked it to be a bit more full bodied, like wedding imperial. A tea like that can be resteeped X amount of times because you get a strong tea out of a short infusion. I suppose some people find that’s a negative, a picky black base, but with expensive teas at least you get your money’s worth!

Basically, if you’re looking for a dessert tea, this is it. I don’t always want a dessert tea these days, I guess because I’d rather eat actual dessert with a plainer black tea as an accompaniment, but drinking this would be a better option for the waistline for sure :)

I should add that as usual(lately), I added a splash of milk to my cup. It watered it down a bit but also probably helped bring out the creaminess.

I will try to resteep the leftovers tomorrow to see how it goes.

All in all I am grateful to Shmiracles for allowing me to try this, even though it took me a year to get around to it!

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Dustin

I’m still struggling to get a good cup out of Wedding Imperial. It is a tricky tea!

whatshesaid

Yes, it is, but potent!

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75

Okay, so I had a pot of this today, and it’s a little too perfumey and handcreamy for a whole pot, at least that early in the morning.

I’m mostly posting this to screenshot what happens – there’s a bug that shows the most popular note for the tea rather than the new note upon posting. Let’s go bugfix!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Anna

Ysaurella, the most pointless tasting note in the universe would like to thank you for your support.

Ysaurella

lol look at mine ! I had some issues with Steepster as well so fully understand and support ;)

Christina

Woot! What’s their response time like for user reports? I emailed them about a tea having duplicate pages, but I don’t think it’s been addressed yet.

Anna

Hm, I think the response time is completely dependent on what else they’re doing – this particular issue was discussed at length in the forum thread for the new tea page where Jason addressed questions and concerns yesterday. That took about two months, though.

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97
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
765 tasting notes

SIPDOWN!

I absolutely love this tea whenever I’ve been lucky enough to have it (never bought any myself, just acquired it from swaps), but its not something I see myself able to drink every day. Still, strawberries and cream tea is fantastic every once in a while!

As is the fact that every time I have it I like to imagine what really is in this, since it’s ingredients are so secretive and all.

Ah well, it will be missed but I am sure I’ll see it again someday soon. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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