344 Tasting Notes

88
drank Iskandar by Mariage Frères
344 tasting notes

I cold steeped this, and it works very well also (as it should from something they sell as a French Summer Tea) – smooth, intense and floral. But too floral for me to love it – the menthol is more noticeable in the hot version and it really does balance it the floral. On this iced tea, it´s violets and I think roses (why is it roses always feel stronger on cold steeper teas?) coming through and it is too much, like drinking perfume almost. Not my cup of (iced) tea, will save it for hot brewing.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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54
drank Yuzu Temple by Mariage Frères
344 tasting notes

This is a weird tea to judge. I have no experience with real yuzu so just judging the tea on its own. Very scented sour japanese citrus, sounded like a great idea. (I love sour candy….). And it smelled fantastic when I ordered some, but now I have it and brewed it 3 times I still do not quite know what to make of it. It does smell fantastic, like sour citrus chewing gum.

It´s s finicky to brew, I made it Ok (but a bit too cold for my taste) the first time, I scalded it to bitterness the second, this time there is a definite bitterness which I do not know if it´s from the yuzu or the tea, but it´s a bit more intense than the first time. But it´s still not very intense. It does smell, the liquor, fantastic (as I keep repeating), but the taste it´s a bit like that chewing gum after having already been chewed for a while – there is some taste and texture, but not a lot.

Flavors: Citrus

OMGsrsly

I really liked this one, but found there could be quite a lot of pith flavour. And yes, it was such a pain to brew right.

cteresa

It is difficult yes – I am going to try to cold steep it next, hoping it works. I might be unfair and mentally comparing this to Iskandar which is also green and which I bought at the same time!

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drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
344 tasting notes

A sample, from a pre packaged set of 3 teabags, which I shamelessly requested at Lupicia in Paris. And wow, I really doubt the translation in the package. BOILING water for this, as well as for an oolong and a darjeeling earl grey for 5 minutes? Seriously, you guys?

I also got their tea catalogue which has much more sensible temperatures and steeping times. I ignored the sample packaging instructions and while I could not measure the water temperature it should have been around 80-85 at most.

I have a problem with this tea, which is I do not much like grapefruit, nor the fruit not grapefruit flavours. Maybe it is a geographic thing, but coming from a place where citrus grows very easily almost wildly, there is so much better citrus than grapefruit. No, grapefruit is not a first, or even second, choice citrus for me. It´s so overpowering, so sharp. Not a favorite flavouring.

The teabag cames in a hermetical sealed envelope (I like Lupicia packaging very much) and it smells very intense, very grapefruit when opened. Thankfully for me the taste is much milder, very balanced in the liquor and there is a very nice, very smooth, Japanese (? seaweedy?) green tea underneath. Drunk with pleasure and a tea I would not mind repeating though not enough to include it in my shopping list.

Flavors: Grapefruit

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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78
drank Piccolo by Lupicia
344 tasting notes

I bought this in France, labelled as “Bambino”, number 9202. I do think it is the same tea.

I drink a lot of rooibos, after a certain hour, caffeine gives me insomnia, and rooibos is the tisane I feel closer to drinking real tea. I find it really digestive as well. Rooibos is something I keep needing to renew my stock of, and which I was looking for in my first Lupicia visit. The rooibos on offer did not seem too inspiring but this was the most appealing.

And at first brew it does not disappoint. It smells dry, very much of strawberry, vanilla and apricot. The apricot taste disappears in the liquour which is mostly berry -vanilla like (I sweetened this with honey, because I had a cold so don´t know how honey like it is without real honey added), but as it cools down it reemerges in the background again. The flavour is very intense. The rooibos base is pretty quiet underneath it all, nothing much to say about it in this first time.

A note, I really really like this hermetic packaging of theirs. It´s very tough and squashable (I bought a LOT of stuff in this visit), no smell cross contamination, and the tea is incredibly fresh when you open the package. 50 grams will probably be drunk fast enough to not get stale. I think we pay more for this packaging (I paid 5 euros for 50 grams, which would aka 10 euros for 100 grams, a bit more than Mariage Freres or The o Dor rooibos), but if we discount this type of packaging is expensive it might be worth it, for the extra freshness. More packaging to recycle, and maybe harder to recycle though, but to keep tea fresh, I can not resist.

Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Strawberry, Vanilla

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89
drank Cookie by Lupicia
344 tasting notes

I think this is Cookie. My package is actually called Biscuit Gourmand and labelled in French, since I did get it in France. And it makes sense that they translate their original japanese names for teas into both English or French, as the place of sale. Their catalogue number seems to be 5537 which googling leads to Cookie.

It fits marvelously all other descriptions of this tea on steepster, black tea, marvelous cookie, bakery type of smell, like sugar and almond and butter. My first attempt at making it, quite carelessly, because I wanted something to drink with lunch (yes, this is a weird choice, but I could not resist and it worked) and I loved it. I was struck also by how smooth the base was.
Ysaurella

seems lovely !

cteresa

It was, I really liked it! I think I might need to restock when I run out of it, already been investigating and the shipping within Europe is not unreasonable (and they let you pick 6 free samples!).

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88
drank Iskandar by Mariage Frères
344 tasting notes

This was another 50 grams of Mariage Freres teas from a recent splurge, and the only one of the small 50 gram packages which really is a a hit! The concept of it is fantastically alluring (to me), it has been on my wishlist for ages: green tea with violet and menthol and named after Alexander the Great. I had sniffed at it before and not been sure I wanted 100 grams of it, but this time I did risk it, and I am glad I did.

I brewed it not too hot (and I must try it as a cold steeped tea, they do sell it as a summer tea), and decided to when smelling it to sweeten it, and I am glad I did. I don´t usually sweeten tea, but it really brings out the violets, like violet candy (or maybe it is just my brain thinking if I am ingesting something which smells of violets it must be sweetened). And I do love it, floral (mainly violet, maybe some unidentifiable others), with menthol very discreet, at the end of it, and in the tongue, if that makes any sense. And I might very well be imagining this but it also seems fruit-y, red berry-ish, to me.

Really lovely tea

Flavors: Menthol, Violet

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec
OMGsrsly

That sounds really interesting. Violets and mint are not a combination I would have thought of!

cteresa

It´s actually menthol, like a throat pastille – just a hint, right at the back of the taste so to speak, but indeed very interesting!

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65
drank Rouge Ruschka by Mariage Frères
344 tasting notes

Thanks to Ysaurella´s guidance I was able to buy this, and a few other MF teas of which I was very unsure, in just 50 grams. And in the two cases I have already tried the tea, I am glad I only got 50 grams.

This is a very pretty rooibos, huge rose petals. The description sounds fantastic. But brewed up, it tastes like an earl grey rooibos – maybe with a bit of orange in the background, but the bergamot is overpowering, I do not get any of the fruits or floral notes. I already got another earl grey rooibos around, and since I am not an earl grey lover, I am also not a big fan of earl grey rooibos.

I think I would like this better as an afternoon non-caffeine tea – earl grey usually feels to me like an afternoon tea, not an evening tea. And I want to try it maybe cold steeped or or at least with water not as hot, I used almost boiling water and I am picky about bergamot and water too hot. But so far, nice enough but not a tea for me to love.

Flavors: Bergamot, Orange

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Ysaurella

Lucky you get only 50 grams of this one Teresa :)

cteresa

Thanks to you! That was a very nice shop, and it does not show up on google at all. Noted down for next time!

This will get drunk,and it is not bad and I still got to try cold steeping which sometimes totally changes the personality of a tea, particularly rooibos (Rouge Sahara, Lupicia´s Jardin Sauvage). But this and Yuzu Temple are not hits. Iskandar OTOH was weirdly fantastic – I noticed you did not like it much, but maybe I was luckier with some parameter or something, but a very interesting take on the violet tea idea.

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90
drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
344 tasting notes

What a strangely wonderful tea. A recommendation from Excelsior made me very curious to try it, the blender´s description seemed tempting, and it was the very first tea listed on their chart (ah that chart….), I had smelled it before on their breakfast tea shelves, and was on my list for my next Mariage Freres spree. And it´s the first tea of that spree I try and I am a bit in love.

This is a breakfast, morning tea, no way about it. It´s absolutely tiny, dusty (cleaning my infuser is going to be messy), a BOPF tea which sells for 9 euros a 100 grams (and it´s not because it is Mariage Freres, on that chart they have single origin teas starting at half this price). It´s natural, not flavoured smells incredible when dry, like malt and chocolate, yes, maltesers almost, and maybe like honey as well.

And it tastes like it promises, I added milk and sugar and it made a fantastic, traditional morning tea cup.

It reminds me of their American Breakfast blend, but somehow more natural. And possibly with more caffeine as well, I am writing this note as I finish it so too early to tell but I think this is going to have a real punch. What a great black tea.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Excelsior

I’m glad you had a chance to try it. I also like to drink this tea with milk and sugar which enhances the malt/chocolate taste of this tea.

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86
drank Genmaicha by Mariage Frères
344 tasting notes

I have not had a lot of genmaicha teas. The first one I tried was from a purchase, from probably one of those generic german blenders. I thought it quite strange at first and downgraded it for gardening tea, tea I have while doing some (lazy gardening) on winter weekend mornings (when it´s not raining or TOO dreary. lazy…). And somehow it really worked for that purpose, the toastiness and the green energy, I have been quite fond of it. I was very curious about what a better version of genmaicha would be like, and Ysaurella was kind enough to send me some.

And this is probably going on my shopping list. It really is a different, much more refined, hints of floral genmaicha than the one I had before. Really lovely, I am converted. Though I am also wondering about Lupicia´s genmaicha teas….

Arameya

I started a comment about how I found the green tea from MF surprisingly weak, then realised that your log is about genmaicha. Then realised I don’t actually know what green tea my partner got — to him, if the tea is green in colour, then it’s ‘green tea’. It’s MF — and that’s all I know!

Anyways, drink and garden on!

cteresa

Green teas from MF, ah, it can be all kinds of different. Some of the flavoured ones are really light (I just got yuzu temple and I am sure I am brewing it wrong somehow), but a few are not weak – Fuji-yama maybe as an example.

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Bio

Inconstant tea drinker – I mostly drink tea when not too hot. I hang around steepster much more frequently in (northern hemisphere) cold season. Experimenting with cold steeping, for summer.

- Teas -

I like all sorts of tea, flavoured and unflavoured, though I am picky.

I am one of those people who actually loves Lapsang Souchong. I am not crazy about Earl Grey, in general. I don´t quite get Darjeeling teas, but I am exploring.

I like rooibos, though not all bases. I loathe hibiscus. I do not like fennel/liquorice/anise in blends or teas with chicory. I am picky about what I consider true cinnamon.

As you can probably tell from my cupboard, the brands I find more interesting right now are Mariage Fréres and Thé-o-Dor.

I am always willing to try anything new. I am now particularly interested in single origins.

Location

Portugal

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