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Saturday Sample Sipdown #2!
Today’s a day to get things done – the sun is shining, the laundry’s in the wash, there’s a fresh breeze blowing, and my mother is baking bread for Easter. What better tea to drink and take a pause to reflect on things amidst all the hubbub?
This tea smells like strawberry jam. There’s no better way to put it. Unfortunately, the strawberry taste recedes a bit when the tea cools. However, I can taste it slightly on the back of my tongue after I sip. Ahh. I’ve learned that shorter steep times work much better for French blends – hopefully I can apply the lesson to my Nina’s teas.
Many thanks to Indigobloom for giving me a sample of this to try!
Thanks again to CharlotteZero for sending me samples of all of her Heritage Gourmand teas!
Wow, my taste buds must be way off, I could have sworn that there was strawberry in this tea! Am I the only person who has found that? As soon as I opened the bag, the smell of strawberry was overwhelming. There were chunks of fruit in it that looked pink so I assumed they were strawberries, but much to my surprise, they were apples!
This tea tastes mostly like strawberry to me. I am also getting the buttercream, but not much pastry. I really like it, and while I was drinking it I was thinking how great it was that they went with a flavoured macaron instead of just plain because most of the teas would have tasted too similar in this line. But boy was I wrong. Oh well, it tastes like a strawberry macaron to me and I like it!
Thanks CharlotteZero for sending me samples of all your heritage gourmand teas! You are AWESOME!
I’ve been wanting to try these for a long time and was just going to take the plunge and order, but CharlotteZero was kind enough to send me samples so I didn’t have to order blindly.
To be honest, as much as I wanted them to live up to my expectations that I had going in, I was also kind of hoping they would be a complete disappointment, as six 100g tins of this tea would cost me $270 CAD. My expectations were so high that I was actually anticipating that I would be somewhat disappointed.
But, oh my god is this tea f’n delicious! I guess I’m jumping the gun a bit because I’ve only tried this one and Financier, but I would make an order just for this tea. I didn’t know what a Cannele was, but I looked it up and this tea tastes exactly how I imagined a Cannele would taste. You can taste the custardy inside of the pastry and the carmelized outside. This is heaven and the cup is gone. Hopefully this isn’t goodbye.
Another bonus from my swap with Scheherazade but unfortunately this one isn’t right up my alley. I first steeped it in the timolino at work the other day and worried that the metallic taste I was getting from it was due to the timolino, but today I’ve brewed in glass and served in china and it’s still tinny in my mouth. I guess that’s green tea though! I haven’t had green for a while, maybe I’ve just forgotten how to drink it…
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?!