I brewed this tea for five minutes this morning and it improved substantially. It is really a good Assam tea.
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I am not going to rate this yet, because I am not quite sure what i think of it. My second time having it and not only my feelings changed from the first experiment, but my feelings are changing as I drink the cup.
First, the scent – this has an extraordinary scent, a rich, sultry vanilla scent, totally different from cloying one-note artificial vanilla scents and a scent which reminds you that why yes, vanilla is a flower, an orchid (ok, yellow orchid which then creates a black pod, and yes, it´s the seed pod, but still vanilla is floral). Sultry vanilla caramel, that is it. This went on my wishlist the moment I smelled it. Right now I was in the mood for a vanilla tea, and I went on a walk which accidentally took me past the tea shop and well, it came home…
Expectations are funny things which get in the way of appreciating what we get instead. This tea is not truthful to the scent. It´s much more sedate, much less exuberant, maybe classier than its scent. No caramel after all. So I was underwhelmed at first, since it was so very different from what I expected from its scent. But if what I was expecting this as a lightly naturally flavored vanilla tea then well this is indeed lovely. It´s got an incredibly smooth base (thank you Mariage Frères, for not using the same base for *everything) which I think has some, but not a lot, of Assam on it. And a lovely aftertaste. I am getting to like this more each time I have it, I will make another taste note after I have it a few more times.
Angrboda, not sure this will be your vanilla tea indeed, but if you ever want to try it, let me know!
I think that I’ve been waiting to try this tea since forever, so thank you to Mercuryhime for this sample! The teabag version of this tea is in a cute little muslin sachet. It smells simply of sweet fruit, probably mostly of strawberry. The flavor is malty and fruity, with a fresh berry aftertaste. I completely agree that this tea tastes just like strawberries and cream, and it even has a creamy mouthfeel. It is really well blended, nice and strong black tea but with the perfect amount of flavor. I will definitely be picking some of this one up the next time I go to Chapel Hill!
-Muslin tea sachet with string.
-Teabag smells like sweet fruit. Tea liquor aroma is of strawberries and cream.
-Tea liquor is a cloudy dark brown color.
-Malty and fruity flavor and finish. Fresh berry aftertaste. Creamy mouthfeel.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Fresh strawberries and cream flavor.
Three minutes in boiling water make this black tea bitter. I wish these teas came with brewing instructions on the box or tin so I wouldn’t have to guess. It smells really nice, a chocolate scented tea. The bitter taste is less as it cools, but it is still not smooth. I’ll have to try a lower temperature next time. For some reason instead of dumping my cup and trying again I’m making myself drink it. Penance for ruining a cup of expensive tea? Life is too short for bad cups of tea.
SIPDOWN! This is the last of my sample from momo – it will be missed, but not for long as I definitely will be getting more of this one! Like last time, it is all strawberries and cream. I had a touch more leaf than I wanted to use for 12 oz., but there wasn’t any bitterness despite the extra tea… yay!
I’ve had both Strawberry Zabaglione by 52Teas, and Strawberry shortcake by DAVIDsTea, and both of those are similar in taste profile to this, but this edges both of those out on three points. One, it’s actually available for me to buy again. Two, it was consistently good both times I had it – both other teas seemed to be touch and go, sometimes when the parameters didn’t even change. Three, it has a good resteep where the others did not. Definite must buy!
And now for something only marginally related to tea:
There are so many things I’m happy about right now that I think I’ll list them:
2.) 4 days off – all on a weekend, no less!
3.) It’s raining.
4.) My tea station has wheels!!!
That last one is especially awesome, and I really need to be extra nice to the boyfriend for it. I didn’t think I would particularly NEED the luxury of just moving my entire collection/set up into another room but it is REALLY awesome to just sit it near the couch and lazily reach over for refills.
Aside from a quick grocery store run and some laundry, this is probably what my day will look like: couch, books, Steepster, and bathroom. One more day until Taurus starts – I can’t think of a better way to welcome it!
Another from CrowKettle. Also, sipdown!
Dry, this tea smells like dusty floral sour dried apricots.
Steeped, the tea smells like floral sour dried apricots.
Honestly, I’m a little scared to take a sip.
Huh, that’s not bad. Not bad at all. It’s not sweet candy like many of the stone fruit teas I’ve had, but the flavour is pretty good. Definitely sour apricot or peach (I know, it’s supposed to be peach, but I like my peaches ripe and my apricots sour).
This one is really hard to describe, as it’s sort of sour dried apricot, but then not really. But I don’t know what it reminds me of other than that.
It didn’t go bitter or astringent like Marco Polo. The black base is delicate, yet present. I should have probably steeped 4 minutes, but I like 3 for unknown black teas.
I added a little milk and sugar like always (seriously a little. 1 tbsp creamer and 1/4 tsp sugar for a 20 oz mug). It works, but I think I’d like it better without the milk.
Definitely a tea I’d like to try again. Not buy… try.
Definitively not a tea for me but I know it is BECAUSE I am not very green tea.
However it may come from the tea base too.
I know this tea is a best seller of the Brand and people who loves greens really enjoy it.
The citrus flavours are really uncommon and unique, really nice.
I won’t rebuy it but I can understand why it is one of my best friends preferred teas.
I tried this one cold brewed today and i think i might prefer it over the hot brew. Jury is still out though. I like that the cold brew brings out more of the fruity flavour and smooths out the base just a little. I understand why this is one of MF’s most popular teas, though i suspect there are others that i will prefer more than this one in the long run of trying various MF teas.
Meh. This green tea base seems to be the typical cheap Chinese sencha base that I don’t like. The oddly cooling mentholy and piney lavender is retry well balanced with the sweet fragrant rose. If you like rose and lavender, you’ll like this. And it’s all enhanced with berry flavoring. I’m tasting cherry.
I’m not too impressed with this but I’m grateful to have tried it, thanks to Dustin’s generosity. :)
I wish they’d noted what kind of tea base this is, China or India… either way, it’s brewed to a fairly dark colour and smells gorgeous. Nearly candylike, which is surprising, since I always associate ylang-ylang with bath products. Never had it in a tea before!
Although… taste-wise, it does remind me of a bath bomb or a shower gel. Possibly only by association – the strong floral taste isn’t off-putting or soapy-tasting. It’s rather like the way rose tea tastes strong without being medicinal. The aftertaste is sweet like a syrup, an unmistakeable natural flavour (I’m starting to love MF’s use of flowers! mallow flowers, rose petals, violets-!) and there’s minimum dryness on the tongue. Love it!
Another from CrowKettle!
Made this for my BFF tonight. She’s keeping me company while I struggle and swear through more math problems, so I thought I’d hydrate and caffeinate her!
I managed (somehow) to not oversteep this one, or use too hot of water! Yay! The citrus flavour is really neat, but I love yuzu so that’s to be expected.
It’s a super neat floral and delicate citrus, and I actually really like this one.
Thanks so much, Crowkettle!
Edit: As it’s cooled down to room temp it’s become bitter. Maybe 1:30??
Having this one tonight but I am not in the mood for it apparently.
I brew it the right way and time but get a slight astringency, very very very little BUT present…
This is what I dislike with green teas, this sourness, this almost hidden sourness, on the aftertaste…spoiling your tea joy…
Green teas can be perverse…
Sourness here is the Phantom of my Thé à l’Opéra…
I’m not in a good mood for tea tonight : Hugs from France for America tonight – We are crying with you tonight.
Bonsoir Steepster! I’ve just returned from another trip to Paris, a daytrip this time, and again I’m loaded with various teas I’m all excited to try :)
First off: I bought this tea because of the name. As a classics student anything with a mythology or ancient language-inspired name is going to catch my interest. However Artemis seemed too similar to another rooibos I had which I didn’t like, and Apollon was out of stock – so this is the next best thing! Métis, which called to mind resourceful Odysseus’ cunning plan when he told the cyclops that his name was ‘me tis’, “nobody”. Turns out Métis is also the name of Athene’s mother whom Zeus swallowed. The more you know!
The scent is very pungent, not purely because of the rooibos base, but there’s a hint of spice and, dare I say it, the lavender seems to be the root of that floral liqueur, as well as the sharpness of the red berries. The taste is overall very complex and floral and sweet without being like a perfume (as lavender and mallow flowers can be!) – more like a sweet, candied-flower dessert? Apparently spices are in this tea as well but they aren’t coming out as strongly as they do in other MF rooibos teas such as Nil Rouge – if they’re there at all I wouldn’t say they do anything other than round off the flowery, fruity flavours to something clean and fresh-tasting.
Something different, and with such a pretty name I don’t think I’ll have any problems getting through this :)
So the notes on this one are that it’s a “floral and fruity black tea”. Again, from CrowKettle.
Dry, it doesn’t smell like much, but as soon as I added the water, the fruity and floral scents started coming through. More of a general berry scent, really. I can’t identify anything specific, although I’m holding out for strawberry flavours!
And I can already tell, just taking the basket out of my mug, that it’s oversteeped at 3 minutes with non-boiling water. Sigh. Foolish, finnicky teas.
Oh man. If I hadn’t almost ruined this cup I’d get strawberries. Not strong, and more the smell of growing strawberries – blossoms and ripening fruit – than the STRAWBERRY flavour I’m looking for in a black tea.
Hopefully I remember to steep for 2:30 next time. This has potential (But yeah. Really expensive.)
This may be my favorite flavored black tea! Wow this is a nice cup of tea. Thank-you Ashmanra for sending over a sample, so I could finally try it!
Vanilla, Almond, and a little spice (& liquor) flavors thrown in. Absolutely delicious. After i get my samples under control, I will definitely order a tin of this.
Cteresa packed a teabag of this tea by way of a surprise with the swap we had agreed upon. Thank you, Cteresa!. While I was sipping this tea the first thing that came to mind was that I would really like to order some of it…
This tea actually has what I miss in Theodor’s Place Saint Marc: balance between the tea base (a very smooth green tea), the fruity top note (red berries) and the vanilla impression in the aftertaste. Everything comes together beautifully in a well rounded and balanced taste.
The more I drink it the more i love it : It’s really an elegant earl grey spin off :)
I need to say it is near to mélange Hédiard regarding the scent of the dry leaf BUT so different after brewing – both are lovely but Aïda is the most elegant.
Having this again and this is just not for me. It sounded so very much like my thing I would have ordered it sooner or later. But it´s just too much, too strong, too floral. Like a lychee-geranium smell and sadly it´s just not my cup of tea.
So finally found a Mariage Freres rooibos I did not love, took me a while!
This was my after-court tea on way to the office. I so love my timilino that allows me to brew the tea at 7:30Am and its still piping hot at 12:30. I think I leafed more heavily this time and was getting a vanilla note that I had not noticed before. I am so in love with this tea. Yum!
This is a good green tea. While I often don’t drink green teas, this has a light astringency and leaves a really good taste in my mouth as I drink it.
The weather has been so bad that somehow I am finding myself buying new teas in April! Picking new teas often is an autumn thing for me. But I was craving vanilla tea which somehow I just did not have at home, and found myself returning home with 50 grams each of vanilla tea and nothing less than 2 emperors. The vanilla tea, I will get to it because first brew has not been what i wanted, but this Tzar Alexandre, oh my, am sort of in love. Though a warning, this is a very personal love.
I love lapsang souchong but usually prefer the bergamot in earl greys to not be too strong. This is a light lapsang souchong with light bergamot and somehow tea body. It´s awesome, like how did nobody think of this before, where has this concept been all my life? BUT a warning, not sure if this is a tea for those who do not love lapsang.
The brewing details are not a recommendation, just a note. I brewed it slightly too hot and/or slightly too long, will experiment a bit with it. It survived wrong brewing details with honors, but I think it will be better with water some 5 or 10 degrees cooler.
I was a little nervous trying this today, because of the previous experience with Butterscotch from the same company. But I decided to give it a try anyway…it’s been a few hours since I had some, and right now I am eating some yummy Victoria style cottage cheese, and I know if I had some sips right now, my taste buds might be a bit askew, so I am going to finish my snack, finish the rest of the tea, and do a second steep so I can get a better frame of mind of how I want to rate this…
Back later for more!
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Ok, back for seconds…
I can’t really pick up anything from the dry leaf, but I am a little stuffy, so maybe that is why. The liquor brewed up quite dark and mahogany in colour, and smelled a little smoky and astringent, so I wonder what the base is for the tea.
As for the taste, I am picking up the same kind of powdery taste that I got from the Butterscotch tea, but here it seems a little more vanilla or cream like, with the addition of the fruit flavour, which does seem very strawberry. As a black base, I do find it more astringent than some.
I did add some milk and sugar, and this second steeping is feeling milder than the previous one, but the berry flavour is there in the back. I may have added too much milk in this batch too. But at the end of each sip, I do get this juicy feeling over my tongue and at the back of my throat as I swallow. But I am not getting that massive pop of flavour that others have reported. Again, maybe the milk is hampering with that.
All in all, this is better than I thought, and I’m glad CrowKettle gave me a sample to try, but I know I would never buy this at full price. It’s tasty enough, but not tasty enough for me to fork over $30 for a tin.
And i have to say, i added a bit of extra leaf to this one today and man there are the chestnuts! totally nutty delicious in my travel mug today while i got busy at work. I am really digging this one :) Thank you so much ysaurella for sharing!
Everything violet flavored just makes me wish I could live in France already.
I think I prefer Violette to Kusmi’s Violet. It seemed to only taste right when I prepared it a certain way. This one smells so much stronger, which I was worried about at first. As it steeped, the aroma carried over to me and it was just SO GOOD.
So of course actually drinking the tea was amazing too. It’s far more floral, but not like soap at all. It’s sweet and smooth.
There needs to be more violet flavored things around here. I think there is a gelato shop here that does flower flavors, they must have one. I just have no idea when it’s ever open! And of course one of my favorite cocktails is the Aviation with creme de violette.
Thank you for sharing this with me, Ellyn!