Mark T. Wendell

Recent Tasting Notes

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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92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
2586 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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92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
2586 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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92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
2586 tasting notes

After a long week and a quick swim at the pool (trying in vain to get some exercise!) I am at home now. I can’t say what made me want to brew this one up but I was really craving it for some reason. Well, for one thing I was worried I might fall asleep before dinner started!

It is funny how tastes change. I never thought I would like a lapsang type tea OR a darjeeling, but thank you my Steepster friends for broadening my horizons & shrinking my bank account at the same time. :))

I think I made this a bit strong tonight as it seems extra dark and smoky but I am still enjoying it a lot… I still want to try cooking with lapsang one of these days!

Now someone please tell me how to get the water out of my ears!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Azzrian

While hopping on one foot – tip your head to one side – as you are hopping gently mind you GENTLY tap your ear (the ear that is up not down) with the palm of your hand. It takes a little practice but it works. You have to “pop” the ear essentially.
If you need to get rid of hiccups ever – drink water upside down – works 100% of the time – I can explain this better if need be. :)

Thomas Edward(Toad)

The Hu-Kwa is yummy, i like it.

TeaBrat

@Azzrain – I tried that… boo hoo. I’ll keep tryin’!
@Tommy – it really is, isn’t it?!

Missy

I use rubbing alcohol. Very small amount, let it go until you feel the water bubble break, then dump out your ear.

ScottTeaMan

Whatever you do, leeches are not the answer. :)) I always thought Lapsang and eggs would be good, or with rice or noodles.

Scott B

I wonder if some hydrogen peroxide would help your ears-it’s great for cleaning stuff out of them.

I’ve really been wanting to try this tea (1904 packaging and all), but shipping is kinda high.

Bonnie

Nah I was a swimmer so get stuff at store for swimmers ear (drying ears) . Want to be careful or you get infections which I was sensitive to in 9 years of competition.

Missy

@ Azzrian I’ve done the hiccup thing. It’s still pretty tricky for me though. It just feels wrong lol.

Charles Thomas Draper

Use an ear candle.

TeaBrat

@Charles, I’ve heard ear candles can actually be dangerous, I think I’ll just go to the doctor. :)

Bonnie

Yes go to the doctor and if it does not clear up go back. The regular meds I was allergic to and my regular doc didn’t catch it for 6mo. The ENT Doc caught it right away and in 24hrs. relief!

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92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
2586 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!

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92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
2586 tasting notes

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… :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I like the sound of this one….

TeaBrat

I think you would like it…

ashmanra

Have you tried Baker Street Afternoon Blend by Upton? It is yummy. My youngest daughter loves it.

TeaBrat

no. have not had that yet. :)

ScottTeaMan

I’m all for a lighter LS. :))

narwhalclub

I’m so glad that you liked it!

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87
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
974 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I broke down and got the whole tin of this! I think it will take me a really long time to finish it off though.

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87
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
974 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

ooh, I still need to try mine :)

ashmanra

Thanks for reviewing this one! I have been curious about it also, and have wanted to try Black Dragon as well. This will help me choose who goes first!

narwhalclub

I’m so glad you liked it! :) And I eagerly await your samples to try.

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80

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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84

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

ahhhh, I’ve been wanting to try the Hu Kwa also but am afraid I’d end up hating it after buying a tin…

SimplyJenW

Well, I know who to share it with if/when I order. Oh, who am I kidding? It is “when”…..

TeaBrat

lol – I would be glad to share an order with you if/when you place one. :)

narwhalclub

If you order enough other tea from MTW you get a free sampler of a tea of your choosing. That’s how I first tried (and fell in love with) Hu Kwa. Now I need to try some of this Victorian Afternoon shiz. It sounds delicious.

LiberTEAS

I am so glad you’re happy with your box! :)

narwhalclub

Amy oh/SimplyJen – If either of you want to try the Hu Kwa, I could send you some, though I need to find someplace to get something to seal it in. I have a half pound or so of loose-leaf and 50 teabags of it, so I have more than plenty to spare.

TeaBrat

@narwhalclub – that would be awesome! maybe we can swap for something. Follow me so I can send you a P.M.!

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94
drank Mountain Kenya by Mark T. Wendell
4650 tasting notes

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.

ScottTeaMan

I agree Kenyan teas are less tempermental to steeping times, and I like them!

TeaBrat

sounds good… I was eyeing the Mark T. Wendell site yesterday, :)

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84

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!!!

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95
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
15 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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86

I think this is my favorite blend of black tea: malty, sweet, smooth, and absolutely delicious. I bet this would pair exceptionally with some sort of pastry.

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88

Tasted very similar to Peet’s Ti-Kwan-Yin. I think I prefer this, though that might just be because it came in a fancy box in the mail. Nevertheless, definitely a delicious and calming cup, one of my favorites.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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74

Runa but repackaged for MTW. Going into this one I thought I knew what it was going to taste like – the stereotypical Guayusa lima bean/pea taste but this was rather good. Nothing too overpowering, but, calming, and nice.

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88

Rich, sweet, smooth yet floral, a bit juicy! Great! The aroma alone is memorable! Still trying to think of what the smell reminds me of!

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91

Important. Wendell says steep for 4-5 minutes. DONT. Do 3 minutes. Thank me later. Worlds better with the shorter brew.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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82

Nice. Nutty. Green. Simple. Smooth.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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96
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
11 tasting notes

SO MUCH BODY. SO smooth. For such a long brew time, you’d think you would get a really strong, bitter cup. But I got a super nice smooth brew with a nice, sweet, light smoky tang on the sides of the mouth. Brilliant.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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88

For me this was a much stronger tea than the description would suggest, but it’s grown on me. A nice wakeup in the morning.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

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).

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86
drank China Yunnan by Mark T. Wendell
4650 tasting notes

Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a bit of this tea.

Nice! Very hefty Yunnan – strong and peppery, but with a smoky tone to it too. Earthy. Very rugged.

I like this a lot.

ScottTeaMan

My first Yunnan was a peppery, earthy one and I loved it. A touch of milk adds a little smoothness without spoiling the flavor.

LiberTEAS

This one doesn’t even need milk. It is remarkably smooth for a Yunnan. A very pleasant cuppa.

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97

Awesome! I’m so excited that Mark T. Wendell has added yellow tea to their ever-expanding collection of tea. And this yellow tea is fabulous!

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