Mark T. Wendell
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Recent Tasting Notes
After Narwhalclub turned me on to this I had to get my own individual tin from Mark T. Wendell.
San Francisco weather was beautiful today and we went for a 3 mile hike in the Presidio. I haven’t been walking much since my plantar fasciitis diagnosis but I’m hoping I am on the mend now.
We are going to the theater and dinner later tonight but I needed a mid-afternoon pick me up. This tea smells so strong in the tin but after you brew it up it’s delightfully sweet, clear and less smoky than you’d think it would be, and yes it still reminds me of barbeque sauce. I can’t believe I am turning into a lapsang fan. I had to raise my rating today – Too bad they are not all this good!
I also owe my sample of this to Narwhalclub! I’ve been wanting to try this tea for a while after I read about it in “The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide”.
This was very smoky and I was already scared of it since you could smell it through the envelope… :)
I steeped this for 5.5 minutes and then let it decant according to the instructions of the website. I was not overly generous with the leaf – I had about 2 teaspoons for a 16 oz teapot. I knew I wanted to share this one with my boyfriend. He says it reminds him of cigars or single malt scotch, specifically Laphroaig.
I don’t drink scotch (ick) but I agree with the reviewer that mentioned this was like barbeque sauce. It’s smoky but also a bit sweet at the same time with some molasses/honey type of flavors in the finish. I figured this would knock me over with smoky flavor but I’m happy it isn’t too strong. I never thought I’d find a Lapsang Souchong type of tea I would even remotely tolerate, but this is good! It seems like according to the other reviewers it is also a bit on the lighter side. The flavor is a bit intoxicating the longer I sit here and sip on it. I might have to pick some of this up someday…. and on the list it goes… :)
Tea of the morning…. (SRP #43)
This is the end of my sample of this tea, and I loved it while I had it. Thank you, again, narwhalclub!
It is probably about the smokiest I could handle, but it is very good with a little sweetner. I do have others that I like better that have a slightly smoother, more cocoa-noted base, so I will probably stick with one of them for the future. There really is only room for about 1 or 2 versions of Lapsang in my cupboard for the amount that I actually drink it.
Teapot method at 3 minutes. Lightly sweetened.
Tea of yesterday afternoon…..
And thank you so much to narwhalclub for this sample. I have been curious about this tea for a long time.
This is a very good smokey tea. I don’t think the blend of teas in the base is quite as sweet as Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon from Upton, but it is still great. I love how smooth it is, and how balanced the smokiness is. I don’t feel like I am drinking a bitter campfire like the first few lapsangs I sampled. This one is definitely a keeper.
Usual mug method.
So I tried this a while ago when I first got it last September, and it made me super nauseous because a bunch of leaf-bits slipped through the holes of my strainer in my teapot and I drank them. Recently though, I discovered that I have a teaball (I know teaballs are lame for the most part, seeing as the leaves don’t unfurl properly, but this tea doesn’t have that problem) in my house that has small enough holes to prevent that from happening. Since then, I’ve had a few cups of this almost every day, and I really like it. It’s very bold and invigorating, and makes for a great morning tea. Too bad that I wake up around noon on most days and don’t get to drink it in the literal morning :P I like it with a bit of lemon, but I like almost all of my black teas with a touch of lemon, so that isn’t saying too much.
On a side note, the reason I ordered this tea in the first place was that it comes from the base of Mount Kenya, and I actually flew over Mount Kenya in a small passenger airplane when I visited Kenya years ago. So I actually got to see where it comes from, which gives me a sense of a special connection to the tea, which I think is rather cool.
Tea of the afternoon…….
And my first tea out of my Foodzie Box from LiberTEAS. OMG! What a wonderful box of samples! Really, this is a fabulous deal if you are new to tea, or have been around the tea table a few times. I received well over 20 samples, and only one out of the bunch is one I have tried (and I have tried a bunch of teas, and that particular one is an absolute favorite!) I highly recommend this for a fun tea adventure. I cannot wait to try them all.
This is the first tea I have selected. I purchased a gift for a friend from Mark T. Wendell last year. The service was great, and the friend loved the tea. I have not gotten around to ordering there myself, so I requested that LiberTEAs add some Mark T. Wendell if she had some. Here it is.
This is really good. It is a lightly smokey tea. Very well blended and rich. It kind of reminds me of Upton’s Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon. Both are perfect for beginning smokey teas. If I ever do order from Mark T. Wendell, I will probably get this one. TeaEqualsBliss called this Hu Kwa’s pretty little sister and suggested that it was lighter than Hu Kwa. I will probably have to check that out for myself at some point! Very good! Thank you for including it in my LiberTEAs Foodzie Box!
Usual mug method for 3 minutes.
Wow! I am loving this tea. It is so bold and invigorating. Delicious, with a caramel-y sweetness and a malty tone, the tea that immediately comes to mind to compare it to is an Assam, but this one lacks the bitterness of an Assam and is sweeter.
A wonderful CTC tea with LOTS of gusto!
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending it to me.
Wow, this tastes JUST like Teaopia’s Kalahari… one of my very first loose leaf teas!!
Maybe it’s my sentimental self talking here, but oh baby, welcome home :)
The orange is really mild, sort of in a rindy bitter way. It needs alot of agave to really pump up the flavour, sadly. But I am curious what it would taste like with some milk…
Big thank you to QuiltGuppy for sharing!!!
So, so, so delicious. Perfect degree of smokiness as well as smoothness. I like Lapsangs a lot, but I feel like I never have to try a new one again, (except maybe Upton’s Black Dragon Lapsang), because it’s going to take something beyond exceptional to beat this one. I could drink it everyday, and in fact, I think I just might.
I think MTW’s Earl Grey is one of the best Earl Grey’s I’ve had and their Decaf version holds true to the original. Flavour is similar, with a good bergamot floral/citrus smell and flavor. I have noticed that the Decaf version brews a little lighter and slower than the regular version…I add a little extra tea to the tea ball to compensate (or I’d have to be even MORE patient).
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea. YUM!
This Vanilla tea totally makes up for the tea fail I had a bit ago. This tastes so rich and smooth and creamy that at first taste I didn’t immediately recognize the black tea base as Ceylon… I thought that maybe it might be something a bit heftier… maybe a blend with Assam. I don’t taste maltiness from the Assam, but the black tea base is pretty substantial and supports the powerful essence of vanilla. There’s no mistaking that there is vanilla in this blend. It’s POWERFUL … and really yummy.
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me this Darjeeling – it’s awesome!
My first impression after the first sip or two was “fruity” – it has a beautiful grape-y flavor to it, and as I continue to sip, I also notice an apple like flavor develop. By the time I’ve reached mid-cup, I taste spice notes.
There is less astringency to this Darjeeling than I’ve come to expect from a Darjeeling, instead, I find the finish here to be remarkably smooth and pleasantly sweet. This is a fantastic Darjeeling.