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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
Had this yesterday, and it is a very good, very fruity Ceylon. The dry leaves smell like dried apricots, and the overall taste is of super sweet stone fruit. It went well with the cold, juicy plums that I brought to work.
This tea has a marked astringency, so if that’s not something that you enjoy, I don’t recommend it. Otherwise – a solid tea, and recommended for Ceylon lovers.
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.
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.
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 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
This was a delicious First Flush, but I’m leaving the recommend area blank, as I enjoyed it, but I’m not really sure it was worth the money.
I probably brewed this one a little too close to the 95c mark, and it it would do better with a longer, but colder brew. After my tea had reached room temperature, I got some delicious tropical fruit tastes, almost a papaya green mango salad thing. But while it was warm/hot, the dominant tastes were bitter vegetable.
Was at work last night until midnight. At around 22:30 we started to here the “booms” of rockets fall. I really wanted to go home, but I couldn’t. Miserable feeling, and I couldn’t even leave my seat for long enough to brew a comforting cup of tea.
Was back at work at 8:30, and around 10:00, despite a round of back to back meetings, I took a break to brew an extra strong batch of this. I was good, but I needed something with even more of a kick – so next time York Tea or Covent Garden Tea will probably be what I choose.
Crazy morning at work. Came in right after a major upgrade, and a lot of things weren’t working. Spent most of the morning chained to my chair, fixing problems. At 11:00 I snuck off to brew me some tea, and literally grabbed the first box at hand – not even looking at it until I brewed it.
I love this tea. It is such a surprise, since I thought it would be a boring breakfast tea, but it is delicious and charming instead.
I need to logon to steepster from a proper computer and not an iPad to up this tea’s rating. It has become my favourite morning tea with milk brew. There’s something about it that just comes to life with the creaminess of milk.
Yesterday at around 17:00 there was another rocket siren. I was still at work, so we made our way downstairs. A lot of parents with kids were stuck outside the building, so on our way to the underground parking lot we let them in.
Hoping for peace and quiet. Drinking tea in the meanwhile.
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.
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.
Bought this tea during my trip to Cannes in June, from a beautiful little shop, Les Thes Duval, not far from the promenade. Decided to have it with milk and a bit of sugar, since it’s labeled as a breakfast tea. It took me by surprise. If you don’t like astringent teas, by all means look elsewhere. If astringency doesn’t bother you, and you like fruity teas with a bit of malty smokiness then this is the tea for you. With milk it gains a wonderful creaminess that makes it feel like I’m practically drinking dessert – as suddenly dark chocolate flavours emerge. Looking forward to trying it plain.
A few months back, my roommate made real Mousse au Chocolat. Not the kind that is made with milk chocolate and served with whipped cream. She made REAL Mousse au Chocolat that was rich and decadent and full of dark, dark chocolate. This tastes exactly like that. Exactly. Though it also has a liqueur type quality to it that is very nice. Delicious! Thank you Sil for the opportunity to try this tea!!
This tea was kinda disappointment . I probably didn’t brew it right. 195F 5 min produced slightly chocolate flavored water. I just couldn’t figure out parameters fr my Steepster fellows. I had such high hopes. Oh well…
I have 1 tsp left to experiment.
Thank you so much CharlotteZero for sending me many amazing samples. I don’t see your notes lately, but I hope you will come back. Miss you <3