Mark T. Wendell

Recent Tasting Notes

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

This was a far lighter Lapsang Souchong than the usual campfire variety. There was even a welcomed floral presence I wasn’t expecting.

Review: http://www.teaviews.com/2010/06/30/review-mark-t-wendell-hu-kwa/

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

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90

YUM YUM YUM! I was not expecting such a delicious oolong. I have a feeling that this tea could provide a lot of diversity in taste. Since I had such yummy results using boiling water with Samovar’s Wuyi Dark Roast, I went straight for the boiling water first. Apparently it was a good idea. I love it! I think the boiling water intensifies the roasted flavor. The liquor is dark amber. The taste is smooth and certainly robust…very flavorful for a dark oolong. The roasted notes are very prominent. I’m also picking up soba and a light sweetness like mild honey. There is also an earthy stoutness. I think if this tea was steeped at a lower temp and time, that it would yield a much different result. Milder and perhaps a little sweeter with heightened notes of orchid. I’ll have to play around with it. As it stands now, this is a power packed oolong…and great for breakfast.

Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for such a fantastic sample! :)

TeaEqualsBliss

Glad you liked it!

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64

Wrote a more eloquent review for future posting to www.itsallabouttheleaf.com. Okay, maybe not eloquent, but at least more wordy and full of adjectives and verbs and things and even a lame attempt at quoting Shakespeare. But at any rate, here’s the first sip:

My first experience with lapsang souchong was pretty disastrous—-reminiscent of sucking pork rinds—-so when I first opened this tea packet and the first whiff that hit my nose was souchong-like “smoke,” I was very apprehensive.

But, intrepid tea taster that I am, I persevered and was pleasantly surprised. The big, black loose leaves brew up a luscious, clear red-gold color. At three minutes with boiling water (again, I erred on the side of caution thinking this was going to be really strong) the smoke taste does lead the caravan, but the other teas in the blend add a little sweetness and balance.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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77

I agree and like what posters have already said. Kenya has these fine nuggets that feel like what I imagine the minerally, dry and delicate African soil it grows in.
It is a minerally, potent brew, cost effective and I keep it for when I am getting repetitive with other black-tea varieties. It is also on the cheaper side, so cost-benefit score is quite high. In my next life I want to be a broker at the Kenyan tea exchange.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 15 sec

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69

Stronger brew=much better! I’d like it better if there was less cinnamon and it had just a bit of black pepper, but it’s still good!

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69

Thanks to LiberTEAS for so many samples, and generous ones at that! I’m just “Meh” about this chai, maybe if I brew it stronger that will change. But as of right now it hasn’t knocked Tazo Chai off it’s pedestal. It is better than the Twinnings though!

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67

I love the smell of jasmine, and a good jasmine tea can be an absolutely wonderful thing. The aromatic quality of a good jasmine takes the normal scent profile of tea and ramps it up to an amazing place. Additionally, I really like pearl-style teas. Watching them slowly unfold as they brew is always a relaxing activity (which is why I tend to keep them at work, I need all the relaxation assistance I can get).

So being both jasmine and a pearl tea, I was really looking forward getting to try this sample. And it does not disappoint. It is definitely on the delicate end of the spectrum (the brew is almost colorless), but the aromatic qualities of the jasmine come through without tasting like you’re drinking perfume – a definite possibility for some of the not-as-good jasmine teas. The green buds forming the base of this tea are very subdued, but do provide the backdrop for the rest of the tea. Overall, it’s a great light flowery tea. Yum.

From http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/1173/tea-review-mark-t-wendell-downy-pearl-jasmine/

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75

I am trying this today as a latte. The last time I tried it, I tried it sweetened but without the milk. This time, I went the whole 9 yards with it.

It’s very good. The steamed milk brings out the vanilla note nicely, and it is really creamy and delicious. Spices are well balanced with the other components in the blend and do not overwhelm the cup.

Thanks to TeaEqualsBliss for sending this my way!

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75
drank River Mist Green by Mark T. Wendell
252 tasting notes

I want to thank you Doulton for an ample sample of this green tea. Very mellow Chinese green. No astringency. Great iced and hot. It isn’t a weak tea, but it’s mild, if that makes sense. The second brew was even more likable. If I could personify this tea, I would think it would be the Dude from The Big Lebowski. Just laid back, doesn’t care that it’s mellow.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

I hadn’t tried this in awhile, but glad I thought to pull it out of my cupboard. This is an amazing oolong, particularly for Fall. Somewhat vegetal on the palate, but then blooms into a sweet floral finish that is absolutely wonderful. Green, clean, delicious.

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80

Thanks to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me this one (yes, I got the huge box! Thanks SororiTEA Sister)

This one… scares me. It’s smoky. I gave it a quick rinse before steeping (which I have found helps me enjoy smoky teas more). The aroma of the liquor still smells smoky but not too smoky.

This is not too bad… and I say it like that, because I was expecting it to be much worse than it actually is, but I can drink this. I’m not gagging, I’m not repulsed after taking a sip… it’s actually good. There… I said it. It’s good.

The smoky flavor is there, it’s strong, but it is not overwhelming. The smoky taste has a nice caramel-y back note that I find intriguing.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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22

My heart filled with hope when I saw the post office guy brought a big tea package from Wendell. Tearing apart the package furiously (at the office by the way) I saw that I was sent a tea that I did not ask for as well- a vanilla flavoured tea.

Ok, perhaps I should put a disclaimer here that I absolutely positively hate flavoured teas, or rather smelling them. They smell artificial to me and overpower my – what I believe to be- overly sensitive smell buds. Moreover, I really really do not like vanilla flavours. So I might be biased here -just a little.

Nevertheless, I was determined to give it a try. At the very least it was Ceylon and Ceylon always deserves a try in my book.

I really do not want to base my review on the SMELL!, but I guess I am not that mature to see past the SMELL!. The dry leaves, for one thing, smell. A lot. If you can get past that smell (I could not) the steeped tea is smooth and the smell is somewhat placated.

Yet, after a day my infuser still smells like vanilla and that’s really cruel. Now I understand how some people might hate my beloved Lapsang Souchongs. If vanilla is your thing, though, you might like it. A lot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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

The smell of steeped Hu Kwa reminds of childhood memories – smell of a small pile of tinder just before putting them in the heating stove at my grannies in good old times. Dry leaves, on the other hand, attack you with their heavy smoke – just like sniffing the remainders of the last night’s campfire and remembering all that fun.

Unlike some other LSs, you can actually taste the tea under all the smoke. It is easily over-steeped which can result in an astringent aftertaste.

Overall, this is a great find for those who appreciate LS.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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80

Just finished another fine cup of MTW Dragonwell. I like to drink it out of a small cup to let the pot brew a bit. The first half cup is light and hot and as it cools in the pot it gets stronger. It’s never bitter, it just keeps improving right down to the bottom of the pot. The grassy smell and the pleasant taste are complimented by the wonderful feeling as the tea takes hold and I sit here saying to myself, this is really fine tea and the world is alright. 3 min minimum steep time and proceed from there…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Darjeeling by Mark T. Wendell
36 tasting notes

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t written a tasting note on this tea yet. This tea has become my favorite tea in the world. It should be admitted that good Darjeeling is at the top of my tea drinking list. I have tried many Darjeelings and I find the first flushes too light for morning tea and many are too coarse producing a cup that can only be consumed with milk or cream added to cut the excessive tannin. In the past I have had to go to the Extra Fancy grade to get a Darjeeling that has the aroma and smooth taste for my daily cup of tea. When I first ordered this tea two years ago I was immediately surprised that it was as fine as any of the Extra Fancy grade Darjeelings that I had bought. It has now become my daily morning favorite.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85

I’m sad to see this all gone…

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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75

Thanks to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a sampling of this to try!

This is a fairly decent Masala Chai. It has a delicious balance of spice. Not overly spicy, and it’s one that can be enjoyed with milk (I’m guessing here, because I’ve not tried it, but it does seem to me to be strong enough to withstand the addition of milk) or without (as I’m drinking it now). It has a slightly creamy note to it without the milk because of the vanilla in the blend.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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74

Mmm…finishing up my Jasmine Pearls! I have to be in the mood for these, but when that mood strikes, this tea tastes awesome! I think I’ll need to search out the perfect Jasmine Pearls to add to my cupboard. Any suggestions?

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec

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85

Slowly, very slowly, working my way through my TeaEqualsBliss tea gift bag.

I >love< Puttabong. That classic muscatel flavour that is everything wonderful about First Flush Darjeelings is abundant in Puttabong. Always a good choice. This leaf is no exception to my expectations, so I’m rather satisfied. Malty and fruity and divine.

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80

One of my favorite afternoon teas. Dragonwell to me is the king of green teas. This one is very fine. It makes a very substantial cup of beautifully scented and tasty tea. It is my tea of choice if I am working on a project that needs my absolute concentration. A small purple clay teapot with a teaspoon and a half of Dragonwell refilled periodically with hot water takes me through the afternoon. The scent alone is worth the price.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

Well, I love Jasmine tea particularly in the afternoon where it’s light liquor, subtle taste and indescribable scent waits to rouse you from the afternoon doldrums. I love it just as it is, straight from the pot preferably a Yixing purple clay Teapot which Mark T. Wendell sells. The tea pot makes a real difference.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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