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Recent 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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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
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!
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. :)