354 Tasting Notes

91
drank Chandernagor by Mariage Frères
354 tasting notes

I rebought this, and making my first new cup of it, chai-style, maybe I was lucky, maybe I overbrewed it or overleafed it (in a good way!), but it was much more spicy and piquant than I remembered. Awesome for the sinus, but just leaving a note, not nearly as mellow as I used to think!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Pepper

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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92
drank CHA THAÏ BOPF by Mariage Frères
354 tasting notes

still loving this, this is really an incredibly good morning tea.

OMGsrsly

This is the one that’s such tiny little balls that it’s almost a powder? I have some, but I’ve been logging it as something else I think…

cteresa

This is very tiny tea, looks like a ctc, but MF calls it a BOPF so I believe them, looks like powder almost (which is probably what gives it its kick). But they are not tiny balls, they are not rolled and are not unrolled, the leftovers are almost like ground coffee or something.

It does not sound appealing, and they sell it for noticeably more than other much larger leaf teas, but this is just fantastic as it is.

OMGsrsly

I’ll have to look at what I have then. It’s just labelled “thai chai” on my package, but my package is a ziplock baggie from some unknown source… :)

cteresa

Chai this is not, nothing else added and possibly it´s not a bad idea, a thai themed chai.

this has no added flavour, just pure black malty tea! with a lot of caffeine I think!

OMGsrsly

Chai just means tea, so I think it’s “Thai tea”. I’ll have to dig it out and have it soon. Maybe post some pictures on Instagram. :)

cteresa

Maybe it will mean the same to some people including who labelled your sample, but in general chai is not the same as cha.

Cha is the original cantonese word, and countries which got tea directly from China tend to use it. Chai is the word, based on cha used in India-Persia area, and at least in the western world now mostly means a type of spiced tea like chai masala. But it´s not universal. Notice how MF called this “cha”, not “chai”!

OMGsrsly

After looking at the website, and inspecting my tea, I think mine is just a misspelling on the baggie. :D

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77

Now this finally a sample whose donor I can identify – thank you Ysaurella.

I liked the oolong-quality of this a lot, the base was lovely and smooth. I think I must have kept it too long, the caramel notes were there but somewhat subdued, and that was not necessarily a problem, I enjoyed it very much just as it was.

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68
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
354 tasting notes

another sample from lost provenance (Ysaurella? sorry unknown donor), and a nice tea. A fruity black tea. It reminded me of Dammann teas weirdly, the base. Can´t say much about it, but it was nice.

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67
drank Cinnamon Diletto by Della Terra
354 tasting notes

I got to confess, this was a sample I got in a swap and it was so long ago i forgot who i got it from – sorry! The package was fantastically hermetically sealed and this was in great condition, but still finally giving this a try.

Rooibos with cinnamon, or spices in general is right up my alley and this time of the year, I am always putting the kettle on, but mid-afternoon I got to swap to rooibos or tisanes, so this sample was a nice re-discovery. There is a right time of the day/year for every tea for me.

This is interesting, because it´s a perfect example of how americans and europeans (or the rest of the world?) call cinnamon to different spices. This is the sharp, almost hot, cassia taste, which I confess reminds me inevitably of cinnamon chewing gum. I am used to Ceylan cinnamon, which is rounder somehow. But cassia does work really well as a flavouring, I added some sweetener and milk and it´s very pleasant. Just, and I knew about it, could not help expecting a different cinnamon because of the name.

Preparation
Boiling

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78

This was a present from a friend, and a very propitious one – I had just finished a tin of one of my staples, Lady Grey, and finding surprisingly difficult to buy more locally. And this Gout Russe to me smelled a lot like Lady Grey – an earl grey tea with lots of orange.

Supposedly there are 7 citrus on this tea. Obviously the bergamot rules and orange is also very important. The other citrus I am less certain of. It´s somewhat delicate, somewhat astringent. I think I prefer my old staple, but this tin will be finished with pleasure.

Flavors: Bergamot, Orange

Sil

welcome back my friend! :)

cteresa

Thanks! though as you can see, only partially. But am finishing samples, must make an effort.

Sil

partially is better than nothing at all :)

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75

This was a sample I got from Lupicia in France, it´s not labelled this, it is instead labelled PECHE BLANCHE OOLONG SUPERIEUR, ref 8231, which I think in english is this precise tea.

The Lupicia sample was an hermetically sealed teabag. I was absolutely dubious about the brewing instructions (boiling water, 90 to 120 seconds) but I checked and decided to follow those just the same, and they are right about the instructions, it did work.

The teabag smelled incredibly true to a real fresh white peach (peche de vigne). It translates well to the liquor which is very smooth. A nice cup of tea, but not something I feel the need to have again. White peaches are not even my own favorite peach, and while I admire the delicateness and purity of the flavour here, I do prefer other peach teas I have had which had more pizzaz like Adele H or Peché Mignon.

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Rouge Opera by Mariage Frères
354 tasting notes

I regret having bought this. It´s in no way awful and I will finish it, but having made it hot brewed and iced, in both occasions my overwhelming feeling is that it tastes kind of like strawberry bubble gum. The vanilla and red berries, together, their particular relationship just feels bubble gum-ish. And sadly it is not the flavour I am looking for in a tea. I wish I had restocked on Rouge Sahara or Nil Rouge instead.

Flavors: Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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85

This is a tea which I had never paid attention to when seeing the descriptions of teas. Flowery green tea with candied (?) ginger, it never made its way to my enormous wish lists, not even the long list of teas I wanted to smell. But both Paris airports got Mariage Freres shops, and when killing a lot of time, I managed to sniff my way through all the teas one of the shops had (apart from top most row and a couple expensive things they had on canister but not outside). It was an interesting experience, it struck me again how the special edition tin teas seem to almost all (exception to Mousse au Chocolat maybe, which I would buy if the tin was not so expensive and seeming so flimsy for the price as well) all seem so uninspiring compared to the regular range teas. And of all those teas I sampled, besides my old acquaintances I knew already, it was La Route du Temps which absolutely fascinated me . I decided no, that I had enough tea already and then kept thinking of it and then had to backtrack to get some (it was a LOT of time to kill). Also teas with ginger, a lot of ginger do have a place in my kitchen, I find ginger extremely soothing when I have a cold, though so far I have only had caffeine free tisanes.

And surprisingly this impulsive, indulgent buy really worked for me. The flowery note mentioned is jasmine, in my opinion just jasmine. The ginger is extremely strong, a sweet candied ginger which feels spicy piquant in the tongue and somehow it goes incredibly perfect with the tea underneath and the sweetness of the jasmine. This is an unexpected tea flavouring combination but which somehow works extremely well for my palate. The tea underneath is very smooth, very large leafed though with two such strong flavourings difficult to say much more, except it does stand up to the flavours without being overpowered by them. And the blend is just filled with dried ginger and jasmine flowers, be careful to up dosage a little bit to take that into account, and also to mix it well occasionally to make sure you are not overdosing on the flavouring which “floated” to the top.

I have brewed this a few times. Be careful with water temperature, too hot will make it bitter, and make the jasmine taste “cooked” and the ginger overpowers the jasmine. I am using relatively cool water for it, and prefer it like that, it seems to bring out the jasmine in a livelier way which just balances itself. It does seem quite forgiving of being forgotten for a few (many) extra minutes! And a warning I will repeat, because some will love this but not all – this is spicy, the ginger is sharp, and very much there!

A very unexpected addition to my tea stash, but this is one tea I am going to enjoy a lot. A very original tea, totally different from any other I ever had.

Flavors: Ginger, Jasmine

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Ysaurella

sounds like a great tea Teresa !

cteresa

Not sure other people would love it like I did, but it was a nice surprise indeed, a very original tea which works! And if you must wait in an aiport, a chance to smell a lot of MF teas is a silver lining.

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54
drank Yuzu Temple by Mariage Frères
354 tasting notes

I made this again, this time a cold steep, and this is sadly still not a tea for me.

The cold steep is still quite bitter, as a steepsterite mentioned to me, there is a lot of pith in here somehow. And very strangely maybe there is a touch of cinnamon here? a hint of a spice, lurking in the cold infusion? I sweetened this a lot, iced tea seems to call for it, and it does improve the tea a bit, but still a frustrating tea for me.

Ysaurella

It wasn’t a tea for me neither Teresa.

cteresa

It is an interesting idea though. Glad I only got 50 grams! (thanks to you).

I got to tell you about Route du Temps though, but I must make it again, for a proper taste note and it´s hot (hot is overrated) and I am being wary of caffeine so it might take me a while longer to do a proper taste note of it.

Ysaurella

I’m looking forward to get your opinion about Route du Temps Teresa.

cteresa

I finally wrote a note! It is a very unusual tea IMO, but one I unexpectedly liked very much.

I had fun on that airport shop – it was small, but they did not mind I opened every sample tea. I thought of you, they had The de Paques en vrac, and I also got (for myself) Rouge Opera en vrac which they did not have in the Marais shop except in tins. Though that was a dud, it turned out.

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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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