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82
drank Balthazar by Mariage Frères
325 tasting notes

I went tea shopping, oh it was fun, but I run out of tins and containers. I really got to continue the purge.

This was one of my new buys, and maybe the one I was more enthusiastic about. The dry smell is just sublime – almond, a bit of cinnamon, something gingery and something fruity (the passion fruit I guess).

Brewed, it is lovely, but I screwed up making it. The MF website says 95 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes. I was afraid of putting such hot water in a mix of green and black tea, used colder water and well I got to test doing as they say.

The taste is slightly different brewed up, the almond is still very much there but tamed. The cinnamon (and other spices?) go to the background. The fruitiness is dry rather than sweet, reminds me a lot of this maracujá, passion fruit, liqueurs which are typical from Madeira and which I rather like. I misguidedly put some brown sugar on it and that was a mistake. The almond and spices puts this firmly in my mind in Pleine Lune territory, and honey does wonders to that tea, but Balthazar is just a different personality, Pleine Lune´s older cousin rather than her twin sister.

Ah, I think this would make an awesome Christmas tea, if you do not require a lot of body from a Christmas tea. Its scents are so Christmas-y to me!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

never tried this one, it seems nice :)

cteresa

It is nice, but a warning, if Pleine Lune is your tea (and it is, IIRC) this might fall short. It is green tea with black, and the flavouring is just more subtle. I loved the description that it was flavoured like pain d´épices and loved the scent in the tin (plus they sold me 50 grams, yay! ). But it might not compare too well with Pleine Lune and be redundant with it. But let me have it a few more times! I have not gotten the brewing right yet.

Ysaurella

the point with Balthazar is the blend is looking (as a pic !) exactly as Prince Igor which is one of my Darling.
And I adore le pain d’épices… Mariage mentions however almonds (as in a frangipane…galette des rois)

cteresa

Oh yes, almonds, very clearly and strongly. And a hint of cinnamon and they say passion fruit, but I am getting more of a dry passion fruit thing not like fresh juicy passion fruit – there is a traditional Madeira liqueur made with passion fruits which IMO tastes sort of like fruity Drambuie, and the note here is like that.

I can not believe I am offering to send Mariage Freres to Paris, but OTOH I can buy this on 50 grams dose (as long as I do not mind flimsy inadequate bags! the serious bags are expensive and why they do not like to sell it by the 50 grams. I did not mind and found some tins as soon as I got home). I can send you enough for a couple cups if you want to try it – one condition, I want your opinion :p

Ysaurella

I’ll be happy :) have a look in my cupboard as well I am sure there should be something (and even more) you’d like to taste, my pleasure to send it(s) to you

cteresa

That is a deal then! I will try to send you a message – and give me some time to get this on the mail, this week has a holiday right on the middle and oh early days of the month are scary at the post office. Do you have enough of your Prince Igor for a cup or two? Now you mentioned it I am pretty curious and seems like a lovely swap, a Mariage Freres Wise King for a Mariage Freres Russian Prince! And check if I got anything else you might like to try. I am running low of Pleine Lune (not sure you need it :p) and Wanderlust but everything else I think i got plenty of. And oh, have you tried MF´s Vert de Provence yet? I just got it, and it smells so incredibly sublime.

Ysaurella

no probs I have everything you need. I’ll send you a PM.
No worries for the mail, as a catholic roots nation we share the same bank holiday here :)

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Comments

Ysaurella

never tried this one, it seems nice :)

cteresa

It is nice, but a warning, if Pleine Lune is your tea (and it is, IIRC) this might fall short. It is green tea with black, and the flavouring is just more subtle. I loved the description that it was flavoured like pain d´épices and loved the scent in the tin (plus they sold me 50 grams, yay! ). But it might not compare too well with Pleine Lune and be redundant with it. But let me have it a few more times! I have not gotten the brewing right yet.

Ysaurella

the point with Balthazar is the blend is looking (as a pic !) exactly as Prince Igor which is one of my Darling.
And I adore le pain d’épices… Mariage mentions however almonds (as in a frangipane…galette des rois)

cteresa

Oh yes, almonds, very clearly and strongly. And a hint of cinnamon and they say passion fruit, but I am getting more of a dry passion fruit thing not like fresh juicy passion fruit – there is a traditional Madeira liqueur made with passion fruits which IMO tastes sort of like fruity Drambuie, and the note here is like that.

I can not believe I am offering to send Mariage Freres to Paris, but OTOH I can buy this on 50 grams dose (as long as I do not mind flimsy inadequate bags! the serious bags are expensive and why they do not like to sell it by the 50 grams. I did not mind and found some tins as soon as I got home). I can send you enough for a couple cups if you want to try it – one condition, I want your opinion :p

Ysaurella

I’ll be happy :) have a look in my cupboard as well I am sure there should be something (and even more) you’d like to taste, my pleasure to send it(s) to you

cteresa

That is a deal then! I will try to send you a message – and give me some time to get this on the mail, this week has a holiday right on the middle and oh early days of the month are scary at the post office. Do you have enough of your Prince Igor for a cup or two? Now you mentioned it I am pretty curious and seems like a lovely swap, a Mariage Freres Wise King for a Mariage Freres Russian Prince! And check if I got anything else you might like to try. I am running low of Pleine Lune (not sure you need it :p) and Wanderlust but everything else I think i got plenty of. And oh, have you tried MF´s Vert de Provence yet? I just got it, and it smells so incredibly sublime.

Ysaurella

no probs I have everything you need. I’ll send you a PM.
No worries for the mail, as a catholic roots nation we share the same bank holiday here :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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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.

- Teas -

I like all sorts of tea, flavoured and unflavoured, though I am picky. I am always willing to try anything new. I am now particularly interested in single origins.

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 trying to make sure …

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,Thé-o-Dor and Yumchaa.

Location

Portugal

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