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Recent Tasting Notes
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. :)
I tried this once before, and when digging through my basket of samples received in swaps I found some remnants. Enough for one cup, though no guarantee of freshness at this point!
Decided to have one more sipdown cup before bed, so I’m drinking this while watching Safety Not Guaranteed which is a great, quirky movie.
So in this tea, I taste a hint of fruitiness, a hint of honey, maybe a slight bit of floralliness (I made that last word up)
I’m not 100% sure I’d be detecting these notes if I didn’t already read a bunch of other people’s reviews of this tea. Just being honest!
And it may be a wee bit stale.
Still good though, but I don’t think I’d buy it, based on this cup alone.
Is it weird that it reminds me of a Monk’s Blend I’ve tried before? But less flavorful.
I probably could have steeped it longer but I was worried about bitterness. With the amount of leaves I had left for one cup I probably could have added another minute at least!
My previous rating was 81 and I guess I will leave that alone. Because I don’t think I can fairly rate it based on what I just drank.
edit HAHAHA! Just read my old review of this (annoying it only pops up when you post a new one, am I missing an easy way to find my own review from the past??), anyway I totally said last time that it reminded me of Monk’s Blend. Funny. Still haven’t had them side by side to compare, or even do a sniff test though.
I bought this tea on my mini-moon in NYC and the matching Sablés au Thé on the actual honeymoon à Paris. I’ve been meaning to sit down and enjoy these two together for a while now. I finally decided enough is enough; no more waiting! Today is the day to try them.
The tea is strawberry, rhubarb, vanilla, cream, and flowers. The tea biscuits are butter, vanilla, and that something extra special from the Marco Polo tea infusion. They taste a lot like Scottish shortbread, except better! Way better. Much more flavorful. Leave it to the French to make delicious tea and cookies.
Why did I wait so long to enjoy you, oh glorious tea? This is exactly what I needed after an extremely stressful day. Sometimes I wonder why I’m alive. At least I have tea. Perhaps I can find refuge in several more cups.
This is my first attempt at brewing this tea, and I followed Mariage Frères’ instructions. Honestly, this tea isn’t really impressive to me. It brewed to a pretty dark color for a white tea, and was proportionately heavy in taste- more body than I think I’ve ever experienced in a white tea. It was also not very aromatic. It was surprisingly woody, earthy, and only a little bit floral and fruity. I had a fleeting moment while sipping this tea where I had a very pleasant aftertaste linger in my mouth, but it disappeared as quickly as I became aware of it.
I will try different parameters next time. Even if it doesn’t improve, at least it came in a cute canister, and now I know I don’t need to be regularly spending too much money on this tea.
Mmmmm, this is good. Thanks to CharlotteZero for this one!
I’m getting mainly stewed cherry in this, but also some muted spice notes. Reminds me a little of mulled wine. I’m not getting the honey, which is ok, though I do love honey! This holds up well with skim milk and sweetener, which is a plus for me, not all teas do.
this was my first cup this morning because charlottezero is awesome and will be sending me some more so i treated myself to a cup with breakfast before heading out to the spa for my massage. I can claim like 90% back through work so there’s no reason for me to not take advantage more often! I still love this one as a chocolate tea that isn’t trying to be all sweet and crap :)
I just ate a bunch of leftover melted dark chocolate from making macaroons, so at first this tasted sour. The dominant aroma in this was definitely strawberry, but I also thought I might smell: cherry, apple, vanilla, chocolate, floral, and cranberry. This is a complex tea and it’s really difficult to pick out what flavorings they use, especially since they keep it a secret. I enjoyed trying this famous tea.