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Recent Tasting Notes
Backlog from yesterday. Sorry for not posting yesterday, but I was super, super tired.
A siren went off at 2 AM, and after that I had a hard time falling asleep. Since I went to sleep late as it is (working on university end of term papers), I had about 3 hours of sleep to sustain me through the day. Rough times.
Brewed this extra strong, since I needed the Caffeine boost. A good breakfast tea, unique enough to merit the buy.
On the bright side I went running in the park yesterday, and there were no sirens or rockets. Yay! :/
Where there is tea there is hope.
At the risk of sounding ignorant, I am going to call this tea the Assamica version of Bai Mu Dan, which consists of first flush silver bud/two leaf mix. The tea is classified as black on Steepster for previous years, Mariage Freres refers to the leaves as green, and silver tips can be considered a white tea. Someone who knows more about Darjeeling tea can edit the description as needed.
Used 1 tbsp leaves in 140 ml gaiwan, just under boiling water, quick steep. Tea is same color as other white teas I’ve had, ranging from clear to yellow brown. Similar peony taste, and I got a sniff of lavender on the first steep, and camphor in the taste. A little sharper and more astringent than Bai Mu Dan, which is welcome, it cuts the floral taste a little.
Would serve this to my sister as a sweet love fest sort of family tea. Special event. Left to my own devices, though, I can be found digging in my puerh fridge for dirty, wet, fruity, cigar flavored earth.
Flavors: Camphor, Floral, Green, Lavender
soooo much tea, only not nearly as much variety as i normally go through when working from home because i’ve been trying to get through some puerhs today as well and i like to sit with those for longer periods of time even if i don’t track each steeping :)
this one came my way from MissB and i’ve been saving it for a more dreary sort of day. I’ve had this one before, so not much to say about it beyond YAY for revisiting good tea…though this is for sure more a winter tea than summer haha
We were in Napa Valley this weekend and there just happened to be Dean & Deluca’s in St. Helena where i could finally pick up some Marriage Freres teas without paying ridiculous shipping charges!! So I may have gone a little crazy and brought home almost more tea than wine!!
This is delicious with bold notes of chocolate and caramel and just a touch of toffee – it was a pure delight to drink it at my desk this morning with a splash of milk and it resteeped pretty well too! (You know at $30 for 30 muslin bags of tea that I was going to resteep these at least once or twice!). Next on the list… Marco Polo!
Delicious! I will be the first to admit Black Tea is not my favorite type of tea, however, I have found that most of the Mariage Freres black teas I LOVE. I’m a huge fan of this silky and smooth taste with strong flavors of natural vanilla. A definite repeat :)
Had a strong cup of this this morning, with milk and a bit of sugar. I really like this tea, so I’m bumping up it’s score. I need to try in plain.
So we were happy this morning because the ceasefire had been extended by 24 hours, but the Hamas kept shooting rockets, and didn’t accept the humanitarian ceasefire, so now we are back to square one with no end in sight.
Everybody is back on edge, and every motorcycle that wails in the distance has people jump. The sirens on the ambulances werre changed a week and a half ago, since the old ones caused people to needlessly panic.
Drink lovely tea and pray for peace.
On a recent trip to Dean and Deluca, I received a generous sample of this tea from the tea gal there who was really excited that I was so excited about the teas they carry. I was excited that there was someone to geek out on tea with me!
I steeped this for a minute in under boiling water. The beginning of the sip is pretty mellow. There is a bit of jasmine, but not as much of a kick as some other jasmines I have had. When it reaches the back of my tongue, some jasmine bite comes in. The after taste is a strange dance of jasmine and mandarin. They seem to take turns leading and merging for a nice long finish. When I sweeten it, the mandarin comes out more in the beginning of the sip and in the aftertaste. It is almost candy like in the long aftertaste. I love jasmine and this is a really nice alternative to the straight jasmine teas I am used to. I think I may cold brew this one for a second steep and see how it does. I’m guessing it would be quite crisp and refreshing!
If I didn’t have a million different teas right now, I’d be tempted to pick some of this up. In the mean time it will stay on my radar for a later purchase.
I used up the last two bags of this for today’s work cold brew. I think I’m getting a cold, probably stress induced, so I wanted to stick with a familiar flavour until I work out whether it’s going to develop into something awful again or not. There are few things as sad as trying to taste a new tea while you have a cold :(
So, anyway. I can still taste things okay today, and this makes a very pleasant drink on a hot day. I was concerned at first that spiced tea would taste too heavy and cloying, but it doesn’t at all. It’s light and refreshing, and particularly good when it’s fresh from the fridge and nice and cold. This one will ensure I survive Thursday at work.
Bought this tea in Cannes, from a really nice teashop near the promenade. The packaging never ceases to amaze me – a beautiful caddy that is completely sealed, making sure that the tea remains fresh until you start using it. This is a very good ceylon, but if you don’t like ceylons stay far, far away. The astringecy here is very powerful, and it is a CEYLON ceylon – not for the feint of heart. It does well with sweeteners, and will probably take milk well – haven’t checked it yet. I look forward to getting to know this tea better with time.
Good… morning? Between family stuff and (unrelated) SO stuff, I’m working off about 4 hours of sleep today. And I couldn’t sleep in because I have to go to the cemetery. Woohoo.
So I needed to start the day with a tea that can help kick me into gear. A mate should do the trick. This is my first Mariage Freres tea. I have such high expectations built up from their reputation that a) it feels indulgent in a good way to even make this tea and b) I’m afraid of being disappointed.
Wow. I’ve never had a mate like this. The flavor is fruity… blueberry? The scent is roasty, blueberry, strawberry, and vanilla (although that last one only became apparent after I looked at the Steepster page). The texture is smooth and creamy. Sooo surprisingly creamy for a mate. The vanilla notes really come to the fore as the tea cools and I reach the bottom of the cup.
I am so glad that my first MF tea didn’t disappoint. Many thanks to JustJames for sending me some of this!
Flavors: Berries, Vanilla
Tea #6 from Pass the Stash box
I do not know what is wrong with me. I had such high hopes for this tea…it smelled like cinnamon and clove in the sample bag. I try it…and it just tastes blah! I get the cinnamon, maybe some slight orange or vanilla, and no clove. It smells like a Christmas candle, and just is not tasting like that to me.
We’ll see if it gets better as it cools…that’s been happening to me lately.
This is today’s iced tea, for the hottest day of the year so far. I picked up these iced tea sachets from Harvey Nichols, when I placed my order for a tin of Wedding Imperial. Got to make the postage worthwhile! It was also a MF blend I’d not had chance to try (although I now have samples of the ordinary version of this tea), so I decided to give it a go. The box contains 6 individually wrapped linen pouches, each containing about 1 or 1.5 tsp of leaf. The box recommends using two pouches to 1 liter of water, and cold brewing overnight in the fridge for 12 hours, so that’s what I did.
When I removed the jug from the fridge this morning, I couldn’t detect much in the way of scent, so I thought it might be a little weak. I needn’t have worried, though — the taste is just strong enough! It’s not a heavily flavoured tea by any means; it’s quite delicate and subtle. For a spice tea, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The main flavour I can detect is cinnamon. I want to say there’s a little orange, maybe a touch of clove and cardamom. The flavour is so light it’s quite hard to pick out specific spices — suffice to say that it fits its billing of “oriental” very well. I did have my reservations about drinking a spice tea on a hot day, but this works surprisingly well. Partly it’s the lightness of flavour — it has none of the heaviness that might typically be associated with a chai, for example. It’s all light, airy swirls of flavour on a mild black tea base.
On the strength of this experience, I’d definitely purchase MF iced teas again. It’s also made me curious to try the “ordinary” tea this iced version is based on, just to see how similar they actually are! Time to break out the samples, perhaps :)
I had this one today for fun but added a tsp of “cream” to it just to see how that affected the tea. On the whole, it made it slightly more rich tastes, but also sweetened it a little, which in the case of this tea is not my preferred way of drinking it. However, still delicious enough to be happy about today!
I was in London visiting my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago, and naturally I had to check out the Mariage Frères shop in Selfridges. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and they have what I’m pretty sure is their full lineup available, with samples of everything available for sniffing (but none for tasting, alas). After smelling ALL the teas, I decided to go for Lune Rouge (which I haven’t gotten around to trying yet; it smelled amazing though—roses and ginger and honey with a green base) and my boyfriend picked this, which we had with breakfast a couple of times.
It’s an unusual choice for a breakfast tea. It’s not very strong, and it’s quite rich and sweet. I’m surprised to learn the primary flavor is meant to be chocolate, because to me this blend was all caramel (or possibly toffee). These dessert flavors aren’t honestly my favorites, and this isn’t a tea I would’ve picked out myself (and especially not for drinking at breakfast). Still, it’s nice for what it is, and I’m glad to have had the chance to try it. And my boyfriend liked it—and will, I hope, continue to think of my American self while working his way through the rest of the bag.
Birthday gift from my sister in law who actually read my Christmas wish-list this year and looked up who Mariage Freres was. Delicious vanilla and bitter (in a good way) almond flavor. Silky followed by a kick of tannin. Crazy enough, I think I will use less tea on the next steep to pull out the lighter flavors and maybe not end up with such a dry tongue. :)
Flavors: Astringent, Dark Chocolate, Smoke, Vanilla