Mark T. Wendell

Recent Tasting Notes

92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
168 tasting notes

Backlogging from yesterday.
What a way to start the new year.
We arose to temps dipping to 10 below outside and our oil heater had quit during the night.
The house was freezing.
Hubby went out to fix it (yes, the problem was outside in lines or something)
He bundled up and went to grab the door knob and it shattered and fell apart in his hand!
No, we do not use glass door knobs and no my husband is not the Hulk.
So, we both looked at each other shocked and now there was a gaping round hole in our door allowing the evil cold in.
We shoved a rag in the door and went out and I huddled around an electric heater in the house.
After a bit, I decided that I would start some laundry because the dryer would help heat up the house.
SO, tossed laundry in the washing machine and then decided to shower and get ready for the day.
THEN, while in the shower, the washing machine water backs up into the tub.
The water keeps coming, so I have to shut off the shower water and huddle on a ledge with a towel around me, shivering and of course, shampoo in my hair (nothing ever happens just after you rinsed your hair, does it?)
Finally, the water went down and I was able to shower.
SO, my whole point that this was just our first hour of New Years Day!
I needed a good tea to counteract this craziness.
I opened up my tea sample drawer and grabbed this and dumped the rest of it that was left in my tea infuser (about a teaspoon and half).
I needed its wonderful strength yet, polite gentleman like qualities to give me courage for the rest of the day.
Whew! Thank you Amy Oh and Thank you Hu Kwa.
Read previous note for on this tea.
Oh, and Happy New Year…I guess.

gmathis

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Thinking warm thoughts for you!

ashmanra

Oh my! Well, it can only get better from here! :)

K S

Sorry. hoping things improve rapidly.

Hesper June

Ha! Yes, I actually find it all quite humorous.
My Mother’s saying “trouble comes in 3’s” came to mind yesterday…I just didn’t know all three would be within an hour of waking and all before tea!:)

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84
drank Cheericup Ceylon by Mark T. Wendell
2344 tasting notes

I found this tea in Baltimore and couldn’t resist picking it up.

It is brisk but not bitter, I am drinking mine with milk so I think that helps with the briskness. It isn’t my favorite Ceylon but is still pretty good. Slightly woody and earthy. I did try sipping on it plain and it was okay that way but I think I prefer it with soymilk. I also forgot how long I steeped this for so it got pretty strong, might try and steep a little less time in the future because it probably lost a lot of its subtlety.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

That’s just a happy little name…Cheericup.

Indigobloom

sounds delish!

TeaBrat

I like the name too!

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92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
168 tasting notes

Thank you Amy Oh for giving me the chance to try this tea.
What a elegant Lapsang Souchong!
The dry leaves smell of fine quality black tea and smoke.
Then when the water flows over the leaves, emerges this deep smoke.
If this tea were a Man, it would be a Gentleman, with some royal blood, yet totally is rocking a 5 o’clock shadow. Ahem, Anywho!
I have found since I started drinking LS’s, that each one has a bit different level of smoke, even a style of smoke.
Some LS’s are almost rough, others have a honey note, while others are not heavily smoked.
This tea is smoky, but the fine quality black tea shines through as well.
In fact, the first note I taste is the rich black tea, then the lovely smoke hits your tongue.
This tea is a delight to drink.
I also enjoyed reading about its rich history in my Mark T. Wendell catalog.
Thanks again, Amy Oh!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I’m glad you liked it!

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77

A pleasantly delicious tea and a first time trying this brand and blend of tea; good quality teas, you can tell in the taste.

I am not too familiar with this type of blend, but I expected a heartier flavor profile. It is very tasty but not what I thought it would be; I was expecting a smokier taste, not as much as Lapsang Souchong but at least contributing to the flavor. This Russian Caravan is smooth…actually, this is all I can say about it, there is really no depth or complexity to it. I am aware that this type of blend does have some Lapsong Souchong blended in for flavor and intrigue, but the only time you taste smokiness is in the aftertaste and then it’s only a whisper on the palate. When drinking, Russian Caravan is somewhat malty, again, not as much as drinking Assam alone but noticeable.

Not a hearty tea however, a good afternoon tea.

Would I recommend this blend, yes…for the afternoon or when you don’t feel like a heavy, malty blend. I would like to try this same blend from other vendors for comparison.

I would say try this for something different, quiet and refined.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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72

When I want an earthy but light tea I go right for this. It’s not as floral or light as I like my greens but it gets the job done without being too understated. Eating some plain jasmine rice with this tea is an excellent, simple meal.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Mandarin Rooibos by Mark T. Wendell
4840 tasting notes

So this tea, cold brewed? DELICIOUS! Sadly this is also a sipdown but this is a really enjoyable cold brewed tea. I’ll have to look into getting another similar rooibos sometime for those hot summer days. But for now this is just a great refreshing cold brew – with just a splash of sweetner to bring out the orange :)

Nik

Two of my favourite flavours! And I discovered from Della Terra’s Mayan Mist that they actually go great together, so I’m going to need to try this one. :D

Sil

on a side note.. i totally added some PAMA liquer to this one.. soooo good lol

Nik

Interesting, I’ve never tried that. As much as I love pomegranates, I haven’t yet found anything pomegranate-flavoured that tastes quite right. (And I really wish I would, because they’re such a pain to eat.)

Sil

seriously.. biggest fruit pain in the ass! To be honest it’s been so long since i’ve had real pomagrante i couldn’t tell you if it’s similar. I just love that liqueur. First had it at epcot in “france” pama + champagne! sooo yummy :)

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Thanks TeaEqualsBliss!

I’ve had a pretty full day, going to the allergist, mailing stuff, picking up a prescription, eating a $10 lunch (!!! never again), buying a couple dresses for my Halloween costume to only find I might have an even better dress at home already, and then learning that if you walk around Goodwill with a hockey stick, people get the hell out of your way! That’s for my boyfriend’s costume, not me, don’t think it works with a dress. I’m gonna be a Bond girl gone zombie.

And then best of all someone bought SIX lip balms from me, someone I don’t even know!!! YAY the ads work! So that was thrilling.

Now it is tea time. I should have probably got out a regular keemun since I’ve been wanting one for days, and the other day I had one that was more like lapsang because it wasn’t made properly (not by me!). This looks a lot like a Taiwanese oolong instead.

I steeped it in my gaiwan, 3 steeps of 15 seconds, 20 seconds, and 25 seconds and put all those steeps in one mug.

This is…weird.

It doesn’t taste like Keemun at all, it tastes like a roasted oolong. And when it comes to Taiwanese oolongs, I’m just not a fan of those types. Baked wood chips. That’s all I get. I think I’m going to add honey to it.

It’s such a pretty color though. I wish I could paint with it.

Well, honey makes it better but it’s still not my type of flavor underneath it all. I wish I could get into it but I just can’t.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I was also really confused and disappointed in this one. Definitely doesn’t smell, look, or taste anything like keemun. :(

momo

Yeah, that’s why I added honey. Didn’t really help, but now to the actual keemun!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m really confused why the name keemun is on it in the first place, being as it has no keemun qualities and doesn’t come from the Qimen County. I’m gonna have to experiment with it and not think of it as a keemun and maybe I can like it. Haha…but please, go brew yourself some real keemun! :D

canadianadia

Bond Girl gone zombie – what a fun costume!

DaisyChubb

I’m SO freaking jealous of that costume! pics after Halloween, pretty please? You will be amazing!

momo

Oh yes! My friends are DJs haha so they are throwing their party this year as their Friday night party, and are having professional makeup artists there so I am hoping they can do it for me and make it even more awesome!

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83

This tea is excellent with milk as well as plain, I’ve discovered today. I keep expecting this tea to be more smokey-tasting than it is because the scent is full-on BBQ à la lapsang souchong. Luckily the other teas in this blend seem to dampen it down a little.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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94

Goodness this is good! I love yellow tea! Thank you LiberTEAS for sending me some!
I am going to have to add this to my TO GET list as well!
A perfect example of yellow tea for those who may want to venture into yellows or anyone who is already a fan!
Sweet, buttery but not too buttery, creamy, slightly vegetal but not like a green, even a slight candy like flavor when cooled.
Full review on the 21st here: http://sororiteasisters.com/

LiberTEAS

Yay… I’m glad you are loving Yellows!

Azzrian

Oh I DO! I was lucky to be introduced to yellow tea the first time I ever purchase loose leaf! WOO HOOO its good stuff! :) Thank you for this!

LiberTEAS

You’re very welcome. :)

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80

Tea of the morning here, a nice standard black which is meant to be an afternoon tea, but is also good for the morning.

I also did a new blog post about tea and painting at the Zen Center if anyone wants to read it:
http://sanfrantea.teatra.de/2012/10/09/sumi-e-at-the-san-francisco-zen-center/

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83
drank China Yunnan by Mark T. Wendell
87 tasting notes

I can be an incredibly hard sell on green teas (they’re often a touch too bitter for my taste), but this one is mild, fresh, sweet, and agreeable. It also ices beautifully.

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80
drank Mandarin Rooibos by Mark T. Wendell
4840 tasting notes

So another sample from indigobloom who may have incidently gotten this from Liberteas, but I can’t say for certain, there’s just a note on the package which leads me to believe so :) This is a really nice tea. It reminds me of…wait I think i figured it out while having that thought. I’m pretty sure this is similar to african red bush with a bit more orange but i’m sure i’ll second guess myself on that one forever.

Anyway, this tea doesn’t knock your socks off or anything like that but if you like orange and are ok with rooibos, it’s not too bad a tea :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

U R Funny!

Sil

Bonnie….naw just tired. Random stream of consciousness for the win. I did the gym today, then got home and the other half wanted to go for a bike ride… Loonnnnng day but it was good.

Indigobloom

hehe I believe this was from QuiltGuppy actually, but I could be mistaken on that!

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80

Thanks TeaEqualsBliss! This is a nice green tea :) slightly nutty but refreshing. Not a whole lot to say.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79

I don’t know. I can’t force myself to enjoy this as much as other Yunnan’s i’ve tried. I like that it’s a tad smoky and earthy, but there’s the bit of sweetness I love about Yunnan’s that that pepperyness covers up. Still a good tea, but so far this is my least favorite Yunnan.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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84

It’s been ages since I’ve had a breakfast blend! I’m relatively familiar with the English Breakfast, less so with the Irish Breakfast, which out of the two I prefer because it’s a little stronger and a little heartier. Scottish Breakfast, however, is new to me, so I’ve been curious about it for some time. It’s the completionist in me. Getting the British Isles rounded of, sort of. (I wonder if there’s a Welsh Breakfast out there somewhere too…?)

Hesper June shared this one with me and her parcel arrived at the same time as a parcel from Auggy did. Lately I’ve taken to keeping unposted about teas on my desk, and I had just got it almost cleared from the TeaSpring order when this happened! Since Auggy in particular went completely ballistic and shared a whole tea shop with me, it seems like, the desk is now littered with tiny tins and I have my work cut out for me here. It makes it very difficult to work out where to start! O.O Exploring the selection a little, however, I found this and thought, ‘Gosh! How ideal!’

I still haven’t got any new Roy Kirkham (I’m working on it) pots, so I found the really rubbish tea-for-one pot in the back of the cupboard and resigned myself to the fact that this pot requires pouring over the sink, while trying not to despair too much about the waste.

Now, according to Hesper June this is a blend of Indian, Ceylon and China teas, which made me sigh, because really, how hard is it to be specific? I get that they don’t want to reveal too much of their secret recipe, but I just want to know which regions we’re dealing with. There are HUGE differences between regions in India alone. But then again, I expect the average consumer doesn’t really care about that level of detail, and likely it wouldn’t mean that much to most of them anyway.

Guess the ingredient it is, then.

Well, from the aroma alone I’m already suspecting the first one and the flavour strengthens that suspicion. I think there must be Darjeeling in here. It has that grassy, spicy aroma and the same sort of grassy flavour to it, along with a certain mineralness. I don’t think it’s very much, though. I can’t find it on every sip, but in the aroma, especially while I was pouring it, it seemed very clear.

Then there’s something quite sweet in the aroma as well. There is the Darjeeling note, in a sort of fleeting way, at the top followed immediately by something floral, and underneath all that is the sweet bit. It smells not like caramel but sort of along those lines. A bit malty and quite heavy too, as if the weight of it made it sink below those other notes. It doesn’t show up so much in the flavour as such, but it stands out in the aftertaste, again as a caramel-esque note. It rather enhances the impression that it’s heavier than the other notes and that I might reach it better when I get closer to the bottom of the cup. I have absolutely nothing to base this on, but get a strong impression that this note is from the Ceylon element.

Now finally, I mentioned a floral note, and here I think we have our China participant. Keemun, I think, which accounts to the malty element of what I imagine to be the Ceylon note and that floral note. You know how Keemuns, dependent on quality and leaf grade, can have either a pseudo-smoky top note or a floral one, or even sometimes both, yes? I tend to prefer the smoky one over the others. The floral element here, however, reminds me strongly of the way a floral Keemun tastes, so I think that’s what it must be.

So Keemun and Darjeeling to give it character, Ceylon to give it body, I think. I can’t really region-guess on the Ceylon, I’m far too inexperienced with that area to do that. I’m puzzled, though, as to why I can’t find any Assam in here. I thought Assam was pretty much a breakfast blend given. Of course me not being able to find it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Me being able to find something doesn’t even mean that it is there.

Now, I don’t much care for Darjeeling at all, so when I first smelled that in the aroma my initial reaction was to be a bit wary, but as it turns out there wasn’t really anything to be afraid of here. Yes, it has the Darjeeling notes that I don’t like, but they are not on their own. In a blend, they get spaced out a bit and complemented by the other ingredients. This way, I find it much more tolerable, so I’m beginning to think my dislike of pure Darjeeling is simply due to an overload of these particular notes. It seems to be going down just fine in a blend.

Daniel Scott

Love this breakdown! I’m always curious to read about what other people have found to be common to certain regions. I’d love to feel like I could pick them out; but I’m sure that I cannot, so I tend to avoid straight tea blends like the plague. I feel like I need far more experience with single types. The one Keemun I have tried indeed had floral notes!

Angrboda

It’s something that comes with experience, I think. I didn’t sit down and learn it, really. It all started with, ‘hey this reminds me of…’ and then I started wondering why it gave me those associations. (But yes, it does help to familiarise oneself with various regions first)

Hesper June

This tea had me slightly puzzled as well.
I just was expecting something of a more hearty nature.
But,was met with this tea,which I thought tasted more like a afternoon blend.
Very good review,you are much more experienced at tasting than I.

Angrboda

Perhaps it’s a breakfast blend for A type people? :p

Hesper June

Perhaps :-)

Auggy

Interesting breakdown! And it is surprising to have a breakfast blend with no Assam. I thought that was standard!

Also, yes, I might have been a wee bit enthusiastic. But I had been holding on to some teas specifically to send to you but I knew I was going to wait until after my LPdT and ATR orders… so you got bits of those, too. I was a bit surprised when I saw how many ended up in the pile, though. I had more new(ish) tea than I thought!

Angrboda

I know! It’s totally puzzling me. And it’s not like there’s anything else equally strong in there instead either. And yet somehow it still worked, although I would agree with Hesper June that it felt more like an afternoon blend.

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80

This is a staple in my tea cabinet. I never run out of this one!! Dragonwell to me is like ambrosia/medicine. My body loves it as well as my senses and my taste. It just feels so good drinking it in the afternoon. I sometimes forget I’m drinking it and wonder where it went!

I often get a second steep off the leaves which is less grassy and rarely a third but it still shines.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85

I can’t believe that I haven’t reviewed this tea yet. For me it was one of those sleepers. I bought it and tried it many times, but only realized how much I loved it when I ran out. At the time I was abroad and could not get any more until I returned several months later. Bummer!

It is a brisk tea as others have noted, but since I don’t use milk in tea it is still not too brisk for my taste. It has a wonderful taste/aroma that I can’t really find words for, perhaps floraly woody? All I know is I treasure it and love it as a break from my more often drunk teas. I do tend to steep it around 4 minutes to keep it from getting too brisk.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Darjeeling by Mark T. Wendell
36 tasting notes

This is still my #1 favorite tea even though there are so many others that I like. On a day to day basis, this tea is wonderful. I just spent 2 weeks drinking an Assam tea because I ran out of my Darjeeling. It was so good to come back home and have a cup of this fine blend. Love it!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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90

I’ve been drinking this tea for a few months now, and I dare say it’s my second favorite green tea. First is Xin Yang Mao Jian green from www.drinkyourtea.com, a friend’s website, and followed shortly by my third, a good dragonwell.

I love green teas that brew very light and sweet cups. This one is just beautiful. Very vegetal aroma and taste, along with the extremely nice sweetness. I also enjoy that this can be brewed upward of 8 times and still produce a nice cup.

A solid green tea. I just bought 1/4 lb of it :)

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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80

Tea of the morning! Designed to be an afternoon tea but still quite good in the morning. See previous notes.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!!!

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83

I’ve had this tea in my cupboard for so long that I’ve forgotten where it came from. It must have been from a trade as I don’t recall ever buying from Mark T Wendell.

I really enjoyed this blend, it’s a great afternoon tea that’s light and smooth enough to be drunk without milk, but is still full of flavour. It’s not nearly as smokey as, say, a lapsang souchong, instead being more like a light Russian Caravan. It’s more than just a one note tea as well, there’s a fruity sweetness that blends nicely with the smoke and gives the tea more body and character.

Thank to whoever sent me this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Indonesian by Mark T. Wendell
109 tasting notes

Ok, I got 3 orders of tea in yesterday and I felt so overwhelmed over which tea to try first I felt like Imelda Marcos trying to pick out a pair of shoes.

So, I punted and chose this as my first tea today. I’ve developed a lot of affection for this tea since I first reviewed it about 2 months ago. It’s kinda Assam-like which is good for first thing in the morning. Malty and tannic, but not bitter or astringent. I feel there are some notes of nondescript spices in the tea-as if there were spices growing near the tea garden. Somewhat robust, but not too strong. It’s full leaf which means it’s higher quality and not insane on the caffeine. It appears to be an estate tea so I usually get 2 steeps out of it. Other than that, it’s nothing fancy, but it’s reliable. This is my “first cup” tea more than any other. Upping the rating.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

You know you need just one more tea… or 50. :-P

Scott B

I think I’ve given up the fantasy that one more tea or one more order is all I need. I could stop drinking tea tomorrow if I wanted to-right.

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95

Gifting the rest! Azzrian, perhaps!
LOVE the mandarin flavor here :)

Azzrian

Oh I do love mandarin!

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83

More swappin’ ammo…nice green cuppa! See previous notes :)

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