Mark T. Wendell

Recent Tasting Notes

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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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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91

I’m always happy to see new teas from Mark T. Wendell. Hartley is one-cool-dude!

This smells like a greener-type-black/darjeeling with crispy notes!

The taste is a little like cracked pepper and green veggies with hints of fruitiness trying to hide underneath along with a few floral notes as it tries to cool at room temp for 2 or 3 minutes.

This is a really good Darjeeling. The end-sip hints at toast – I really like that!

Hesper June

Cracked Pepper? Green Veggies? Yum-o!!!

ScottTeaMan

Bliss, I really enjoy Darjeelings…… ALOT!! Most of my reviews for teas that I like are as descriptive as need be when describing a tea. I try to do that, and inject something interesting, so they are not boring for me or you or any other steepie who cares to read them. With that said, they do tend to be long sometimes! :))

I like your reviews, but for some reason I don’t always see them in my notices. Yours are interesting and short compared to mine. I just think it’s interesting and fun to see how reviews can be so different, entertaining, & fun here on Steepster.

My comment is starting to read like one of my lengthy reviews. :))

TeaEqualsBliss

Thanks Scott! Some are long – some are short – I try to mix it up quite a bit. A few of mine today will be pretty long winded tho! I think I already did 2 or 3 that way :) I have LOTS more to write and review today…so…time will tell with those :)

Thanks for the kind words! Your reviews are interesting and awesome as well!

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84

Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this.

Not bad, it tastes like … well … it tastes like Guayusa. No big surprises here, but it is invigorating and that’s what I need. Vegetal, but also rich and earthy, reminding me a bit more like a thinned coffee today – more so than usual. Who needs coffee when we have Guayusa?

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92

Just tried it iced and it’s very good!

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92

It’s not a bad green tea, and it smells flavored, but there is no noticeable flavor of pomegranate once you actually brew it.

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96

Ahh. Sharp attack with intense fruit overtones. Evolves into a medium bodied, full mouthfeel. Leaves sugary astringency and a long finish. Smells floral. Exquisite.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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89
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
109 tasting notes

I pretty much wanted to try this tea once I saw their ancient-looking packaging. Look at that canister-it look a hundred years old! I only hoped the tea was new.

The bad thing about Wendell is their shipping is comparatively high (for tea merchants) and (as far as I can tell) you have to buy 4 ounces of most everything. However, I really enjoy Lapsang, and with all the good reviews, I figured there was little chance that I wouldn’t like this tea. The good thing about Wendell is that their 4 ounce teas come in their own tins-no looking for a tin and struggling to remove the scent of the previous tea-you are ready to go. The tins have their lids attached on back hinges and are filled to the brim so be careful not to spill any. And to be fair about the shipping, the tins are probably a little more expensive to ship than a pouch.

The dry leaves are medium in length, very tightly rolled, and mostly chocolate brown with some mahogany brown mixed in. I’ve gone into sensory overload comparing the dry leaf aroma of this to my other Lapsangs, so descriptors fail me now, but suffice to say it is unique compared to the others. It’s smoky of course, but spicy too, and I’ll leave it at that for now. Liquor is copper-colored and very clear.

Flavor is smoky and mild. Slightly sweet. Very smooth. It tastes like a Lapsang, but slightly different. Perhaps that is the Formosan base instead of a Chinese tea base? Perhaps they have a better technique of smoking their leaves. Maybe both. No matter, it’s delicious. Almost makes me long for 90 degree days-when I enjoy Lapsang the most. I have 6 Lapsangs in my house right now. 5 of them are one ounce or less, so Hu Kwa will be around long after I have finished the others-and I kinda like that.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
ScottTeaMan

I think this is Al Pacino’s favorite tea…….HUU KWAAAAA!

TeaBrat

ScottB – what’s your favorite lapsang so far?

Scott B

Amy-I think I am leaning towards Al Pacino’s tea being my favorite,but Teavivre is strong too. I think I need to have a Lapsang contest to see for sure.

ScottTeaMan

Scent Of A Lapsang :))

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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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87
drank Indonesian by Mark T. Wendell
109 tasting notes

Did you ever think you’d get buried under an avalanche of tea?

It seemed that might happen yesterday as package after package arrived. My dog was wearing her nose out smelling all the interesting boxes. When the torrent subsided the boxes were between knee and waist high and I was ready to brew.

This was my first order from Mark T Wendell. The only Indonesian tea I’ve ever had before was in TG’s disappointing English Breakfast blend, so it was nice to see an Indonesian tea get a chance to stand on its own.

I’m not sure if this is an estate tea or not. The web site says it’s from Kertasarie Estate but the label on the tin says it’s a blend. Do estates ever make their own blends from different teas?

Anyhow, the dry leaves are short, twisted and fairly uniform in size. Their color is very dark brown with a few medium brown specks in there. Dry aroma is pleasant and subdued, with maybe a touch maltiness and a hint of orange citrus.

Brewed aroma is more malty with maybe that orange citrus note. Can you smell tannins? I swear I smell tannins. Liquor is nice and coppery.

Taste is good, if a little generic and nondescript. A little malty, but that orange citrus note doesn’t seem to have made it. Somewhat robust, but no bitterness. I think this could be a decent breakfast tea. I will brew this a little longer next time and see if I can coax a bit more flavor out of it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Scott B

Yes, their web site says it’s from the estate. But the label on my tin says “A blend of exquisite teas from the island of Indonesia..”. I am just unfamiliar with estates making their own blends-perhaps they do.

ScottTeaMan

I m still pretty sure it’s single estate b/c other websites have it listed as such. Where on the tin does it say it is a blend? I saw no notice of it on their website.

TeaBrat

Buried under an avalanche of tea, sounds like the story of my life. Ooh – I hope you got the Victorian Afternoon blend. :)

Scott B

Scott-The quote I included is from a label on the back of their 4 oz. tin. The description of it is sounds like it was written a very long time ago. Maybe at that time it wasn’t an estate tea.

Amy-I’m starting to think that what I am doing here is just living in a tea shop or something. Alas, I must have missed the Victorian Afternoon blend. Is it similar to Harney’s Queen Catherine?

TeaBrat

Scott – the victorian afternoon is a Lapsang blend, I quite like it.

ScottTeaMan

Here’s to living in & being buried in…….TEA! If it wasn’t so delicious, I’d probably bathe in it.

Scott B

“This vibrant blend of Indian, Sri Lankan and Formosan teas is further complemented by a slightly smoky character” Sounds very interesting.

Scott B

Scott-People have been known to drink their bath water!

ScottTeaMan

That sounds thirst quenching!

Scott B

gives a whole new meaning to the Nestea plunge

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83

I like this tea overall.
It’s nose is not untypical of the ‘breakfast blends’.
However what surprised me was how it tasted.
For some reason I was expecting something fairly strong maybe even hearty.
But, what I found was that it’s like a English Breakfast’s shy little brother.
It is very smooth and almost a bit of brightness?? (sorry I am new at this)
I like it, but I have been letting it brew a smidge longer as well as making my measuring spoon slightly heaping when I make it and have been happier with the results.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

Bright is in fact a term used to describe tea so good job! :)

Hesper June

Whew! Good, glad to hear it:)

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82

Backlog: I started my day with a cup of this. Very energizing, and I love the delicious spiced tone – not what I’d call hot or spicy, but, just warm and tasty.

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89

Tea of the afternoon…… (SRP #27)

This is my first yellow tea! It comes from my foodzie box from LiberTEAS.

Brewing parameters for this are very similar to green teas. Leaves are long, and bright yellow-green, and somewhat curled inward toward the center spine. I used about 170 water for three minutes. I am amazed how much this reminds me of Long Jing. I think similar to Long Jing but not nearly as vegetal. It has the buttery mouth feel, but not super heavy buttery like some oolongs. I can drink this one without adding sweetener which is a bonus.

Very lovey and enjoyable. Just what I needed was another kind of tea that I need to buy!

Mug method with 170 water for 2 minutes. No additions.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Nice – I was curious about this one also. Sounds tempting!

SimplyJenW

It is like green tea with no astringency. Dang…another type of tea to obsess about….looking at TeaSpring’s offerings….

TeaBrat

ha – I had one from Upton which I did not care for so much..

SimplyJenW

Second steep is good, too.

I did just order a yellow tea from Harney. I also needed some Decaf Paris!

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86

Ugh… I definitely overdid it on the caffeine yesterday because I couldn’t fall asleep until 2 am and then had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. I had to start the morning off with a coffee and now I’m drinking this brew, which I haven’t had for a long time.

Mark T. Wendell has some very solid teas, especially black teas. I’m surprised they aren’t more popular on Steepster. I was thinking about ordering some of their assam recently, but there’s so many places for me to buy tea in San Francisco it seems a bit ridiculous to have it shipped all the way from Massachusetts unless I’m ordering a bunch of stuff.

Anyway, this is a blend of black teas with formosa oolong, and that gives it a lighter and more fruity taste. This is a good afternoon tea, or a lighter morning tea. I find it very flavorful. This morning I am getting lovely malty notes. I shouldn’t be neglecting this so much, it’s really a delightful cuppa. I’d get this again if I place another order with MTW.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

one of the reasons i dont get their teas is huge amount, no samples and expensive shipping. Sad, otherwise I would.

TeaBrat

It would be nice if all tea companies offered samples!

boychik

Agree. I wanted to order a tea fr them. $24 and $8 ship. Why? Also when they have sale in July on 1lb only. It’s probably for someone who drinks 1-2 teas and has to restock once a year.

Anlina

Sample sizes and reasonable shipping are always what make or break it for me.

TeaBrat

maybe we should band together and write them a letter? In other news I think the dashboard is stuck" again as I haven’t seen any new notes for 7 hours.

Skulleigh

Same here. One of my one notes from last night isn’t even showing up on the dashboard though it’s in my tasting notes :(

Nightshifter

Dashboard still frozen. One the bright side, this note has been at the top for 20 hours or so. :P

Dustin

Might be worth contacting them and seeing if they have anyone local to you who carries their line.

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86

This is an interesting tea I haven’t been drinking too much of lately. It has such a light base and it was really meant to be more of an afternoon/evening tea according to the company. I’ve been trying to drink my black teas in the morning and drink lighter things after noon. I find it is good with additions or without, it doesn’t really NEED them. Might be good with a squeeze of lemon also since it has a bit of a citrus-y note. I should really try this one iced to see if I like it that way.

Still feeling under the weather but need to find the energy today to do my homework for writing class – wish me luck!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
TheTeaFairy

Good luck :-)

TeaBrat

Thanks, I am an expert on goofing off. :-P

TheTeaFairy

Oh, that’s an expertise of mine as well ;-)

Veronica

Good luck!

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86

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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86

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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86

Mark T. Wendell claims this is a good after dinner tea but I’m trying it now anyway because I’m a rebel! No really!

This is a blend of Formosa, Ceylon and India tea (most likely Assam). I steeped my tea in a glass mug for 5 minutes. I still like glass for tea tasting and would have a glass teapot if I wasn’t so absolutely sure I would break it (I’m also a klutz)

I’m taking this tea sans additions today. The wet leaf smells slightly floral and earthy. I think perhaps the floral note is coming from the Ceylon. I’m not sure what kind of black tea comes from Formosa (now Taiwan) aside from the Sun Moon Lake Tea type variety. The Assam I think is lending a slightly malty and pungent flavor here. I do think this is a very enjoyable blend, although I’m not thinking there is anything overly unique or exceptional about it. May not repurchase this one but I will certainly finish off what I have. It’s also enjoyable with a splash of soymilk (or regular milk, if you prefer. :))

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Scott- lol. I think I prefer this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U16Xg_rQZkA

ScottTeaMan

YES!!.LOL…….That’s the song i was trying to think of. :)) I had actually never heard the GD song before, but the Bowie son, that’s the song I wanted.

narwhalclub

TOTAL REBEL. I’ll confess, I’ve never actually had any of this after dinner either (black tea=too much caffeine for that time o’ day), but I did have a pot after lunch today and it was yummy. I really like this one with a bit of lemon. I like almost all black teas with lemon though, so take what you will from that. I’d agree that there probable isn’t anything overly special about this blend, but it’s one of the first black blends I ever tried and liked a lot, so it will always have a nook in the corner of my heart.

TeaBrat

@narwhal I will try the lemon, thanks!

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93

This is a great tea for the afternoon if you’re up for something smoky and stimulating. I am trying to write a blog post and then do my homework for copy editing class, so I needed a good kick in the you-know-where!

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93

This is a great tea for the afternoon, especially when brunch involved drinking wine… hee hee.

I still like this one but it is a lapsang blend. Smoky, especially in the aroma but with a sweet aftertaste and very dark. I have a sensitive stomach and I’m not picking up on much bitterness at all. Nice for a pick me up, indeed but not for the faint of heart. See previous notes for more info.

ScottTeaMan

Can I safely assume that Hu Kwa is better than this one??

TeaBrat

They are different…

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93

yay, continuing my exploration of tea that are smoky but not too smoky…

I am finding this to be a delightful blend. I do see why people saw this is like Hu Kwa’s little sister. It has some of the same flavors as hu kwa, a slightly smoky barbeque-y type flavor but blended well with some other black teas – I think perhaps a ceylon and assam?

It’s a dark red lovely liquor to the tea. There is a lot of smoke but also a lingering sweetness in the finish. Mildly brisk but not overwhelmingly so, notes of tobacco present. This is another tea I would have to drink plain because milk or sugar would ruin it. I think between this and Russian Country from Harney I will have enough lapsang blends to last me for a while.

I did also do a second steep using the same leaves for only around 1 minute, the smokiness is mostly gone but it still has a light, sweet flavor kind of like a darker oolong. NICE!

This is really nice for an afternoon pickup! And yes, I really need to stop buying tea for a while. ;-)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
narwhalclub

I think I’m going to have to try this one next time I order from MTW, it sounds delightful. And I totally know what you’re saying about Hu-Kwa’s barbeque-y flavor. When I try to describe it to people that have never had it I always tell them it’s like really good barbeque sauce, not in the sense that it actually tastes like barbeque sauce, but every positive attribute that you would use to describe good barbeque sauce applies: smokey, tangy, somewhat honey-like, etc.

TeaBrat

Yep, that about sums it up! Hu kwa is not a tea I would drink every day but it’s really good… :)

Dylan Oxford

Man, where do all these tea companies come from! One more for the list!

TeaBrat

Hey, this company has been around since 1904! But I agree, so MANY tea companies are out there!

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80

I like this tea a lot. Hot, it’s a decent blend of black teas, nothing spectacularly mind-blowing, but good tasting and certainly hearty. The only problem I have with it is that I am prone to getting severe bouts of nausea if I drink it before I’ve had any food. The same applies to almost all black teas though, especially blends with an Assam in them. I find this tea to be spectacular iced. I’m not sure if I want to continually stock the 8oz tin that I have of this, but I wouldn’t mind it being consistently in my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I was interested in this one as well. Just ordered some stuff from MTW and it didn’t make it onto the short list. :)

narwhalclub

Ooooo, what’d you get?

TeaBrat

Hu Kwa, Victorian Afternoon and Manhattan Tribute (should arrive today!)

narwhalclub

Nice! I’m curious to see what you think of the Manhattan Tribute :)

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94
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
2466 tasting notes

This is definitely a nice tea for a rainy afternoon/early evening.

I admit I do not crave it often, but I love it when the weather is cold and rainy! And I’m happy the heat is starting to come on in my building. Can you say… brrrr?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
gmathis

Ouch…have you been without heat long?

Helena

Yeah always good when the heat comes on :D I keep a heater in my room and I have a pretty good heating blanket as my room is always the coldest in the house :D

TeaBrat

hi gmathis – no… we have steam heat in the building and it usually comes on at night but sometimes it gets chilly here during the day. SF buildings are not known for their insulation and tend to be drafty.

JC

I feel your pain!!! I’ve been freezing in my apartment several times. It really bothers me when I come in my apartment feels colder than outside. Old DC apartments for you.

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94
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
2466 tasting notes

I took a hint from Bonnie and steamed my brussels sprouts with a little of this smoky tea, then tossed them with a simple black fig vinegar and olive oil dressing. Topped with toasted almonds – very tasty!

Now that lunch is over I have homework to do, so I’ll be back later. :)

Kittenna

Lunch! You are clearly in quite a different time zone from me, hahaha… it’s 5pm here!

TeaBrat

It was a late lunch, but yes I’m Pacific standard time!

Bonnie

Sounds good Amy! I just went to buy more LS and the guys brewed up a pot for me. I’m smoked!

Scott B

You steamed it with brewed tea? Or you just had the tea leaves in the steamer basket with the sprouts?

TeaBrat

I put the tea leaves in the steamer basket, but perhaps I should try the other way too…

Bonnie

I initially made a mess and threw them in, then I put them under in the water, now I use a tea sac. CLEAN FREAK!

Scott B

I think whatever way works for you. One of these days I’d like to incorporate Hu Kwa into a homemade bbq sauce.

Joshua Smith

Mm, that sounds delicious! If you ever do try it, post the recipe or leave a few pointers.

Bonnie

I tried honey, vinegar, put a tea sac with some in pasta water, you can do sooo many things. Just strain it after or use a sac or metal basket for infusion.

Azzrian

Oh yummy!

Scott B

I have a good recipe for bbq sauce that I have used before. I could replace the liquid smoke with Hu Kwa in some fashion.

Charles Thomas Draper

Very creative recipe

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