274 Tasting Notes
Another opera tea by Mariage Frères, this one so kindly sent in a sample swap by Toitoi (thank you! ).
This tea is totally a half sibling or close cousin to Thé au Tibet – though I think not such an easy one to brew! Thé au Tibet is a magic tea for me, one I do not seem to be able to spoil and which always cames out so refined and just right no matter what time or steeping temperatures I used or how careless with it I have been. Elixir d´Amour is a similar tea, a bergamot tea with flowers and vanilla, but not such a forgiving one – I think I brew slightly wrong, the bergamot came out slightly bitter. Must try a shorter steeping time!
The MF website describes EdA as black tea with citrus, rose, lotus and osmanthus. Is there some green tea in the mix as well or am I projecting from the similarity to Thé au Tibet ?The citrus include with total certainty bergamot, it´s an unmistakable note and the dominant. I think I detect as well some orange underneath. The florals are unmistakeable, rose indeed and a lychee-like note from I believe is the lotus, as well as some sweeteness which is probably the osmanthus. Not mentioned in the official description but there is some vanilla in here as well, it´s particularly noticeable when the tea cools.
Very lovely tea. Very similar to Thé au Tibet, and I think a tea which people who love flowery creme earl greys will love.
Wow, just realized I got at home right now samples from none less than 3 different Mariage Fréres teas named after operas : Prince Igor and Aïda (thank you Ysaurella) and Elixir d´Amour (thank you toitoi!). And I knew there were a few more operas, just went checking and they got even more teas named after operas – Madame Butterfly, Parsifal, Bal Masqué, any more? Plus of course, cheating a bit Swan Lake and Thé à L´Opèra. Hmm.
Aida, I am not going to rate right now, if I can manage to not rate it. I think I brewed it too cold and just come out wrong. It is totally and completely a citrus tea and for me, weirdly this would be a russian tea – citrus and black tea (Far more than Prince Igor, which is to me is a very french tea!). Lemon and oranges, and somehow, maybe because of the temperature used, so sweet! Amazingly sweet (no sugar added or anything) on its own. Another tasting note when i brew it hotter.
Risking the danger of hopeless cultural stereotyping ( pardon aux français pour ce que se suive), wow, french and scents, they really get how to make things smell sublime. Mariage Fréres particularly included in that – I swear I would buy Vert de Provence to wear as perfume and this is another tea I would just buy and wear as perfume. It smells indeed sublime – some sweet green tea underneath, a bit of fruity cherry, and something floral and wonderful. I would call it roses, tea roses (no relation to tea actually) since I do not know what sakura smells like but it would make sense if it was sakura.
A warning, consider that I am in a mood where I do not seem to really love flavoured green teeas and this is of course a flavoured green. Despite that this of course, evidently wonderful. Cherry blossom green tea was one of the first flavoured teas I liked, and it has became ubiquitous companies now seem to have a take on it. The last few blends I have had of it have been quite bad, so much so they left me with a bias that no, I do not like green tea with cherry after all and have been avoiding it ever since. Trust Mariage Fréres to do sakura tea right and remind me how awesome the idea really is.
Brewed up around 80C and for maybe 3 minutes. It was a very very smooth base with a strong note of red fruits (the cherry) and a very strong rose-like floral note. Lovely.
At the time I am drinking this nobody else has rated it on steepster and I am a bad first taster for this. Liquorice! or Anise, or something of that sort. To be fair, a subtle ammount, but I hate stuff with liquorice with a passion.
I made this chai style, simmered in milk with sugar and it was lovely apart from the aniseed. I saved enough for a classic water brew, but poor chai, lovely as it is, it is just not going to me my cup of tea.
A very kind surprise from Mel (meliorate) and I wanted to love it. Real turkish tea! the oh so nicely exotic. But sadly it turned out to be way too much hibiscus for me. Interesting apple flavour, pretty strong and in your face, but the hibiscus was just too much for me.
this is still one of the nicest bagged teas I have ever had. Just a note to be careful with steeping times with it!
I think it was Ysaurella´s review of this a few weeks ago which has made me crave a peach and vanilla black tea. I was at the time ordering Thé-o-Dor teas and her review of Nosy Bey made me choose their Mélange de Galice. So an inevitable comparison from the start!
In the meanwhile Ysaurella oh so kindly got into another tea swap with me and sent me this as well (and oh so many other so fascinating goodies. Thank you so much!). I now got two dreamily-named black teas with vanilla and peach, not just one! And I do love to compare and contrast flavoured teas, how different companies can make such different takes on the same idea.
A warning: there might be a bias by previous acquaintance, that I would always prefer the first one I tried. Theodor ended up the winner but maybe I was biased because I had it first? Dunno.
The teas: Mélange de Galice is a mix of chinese and Sri Lanka black teas with peach and vanilla flavours and some sunflower/marigold petals sprinkled around (for prettiness, I guess). Nosy Bey is a chinese black tea, with vanilla and peach flavors with rose petals and I think tiny sugar cubes? (or is it dried peach?) Both teas smell divine when dry. I think Nosy Bey smells a bit more floral and bit more like orchard peaches, while Mélange de Galice smells a bit more like regular peach and orchard peach mixed together, and has a stronger vanilla scent with no floral notes. Honors even here, both wonderful scents, different but equally lovely.
Nosy Bey brews very much like a chinese BLACK tea. Mélange de Galice has (predictably) a bit more body and is (unexpectedly!) smoother as well, even when brewed at the same 85C that I brew Nosy Bey. I do not understand why a ceylon-chinese blend brews so so smooth while having some body, but there you have it, even at several temperatures it is always smooth and even naturally sweet.
And then, the liquor: and it is here that Mélange de Galice pulls ahead to win me, it just tastes more, a richer, more intense, more layered taste. But Nosy Bey is still pretty lovely on its own. And drinking peach and vanilla tea in December, oh it is so mood lifting!
This was an unexpected arrival, not the mate I wanted. I wanted toasted mate with red fruits, this is green mate with citrus and kola. But I now got 100 grams of it, not going to waste it.
I brewed it according to instructions, 75C for 3 minutes, a generous teaspoon of leaf per cup. And it is really quite nice, tastes of a blend of several citrus fruits with no underlying nasty notes from the mate, just a sort of nice base underneath.
It´s going to take me a few hours to judge properly the caffeine-like effects. And I think this might be very interesting brewed in cold water like tereré-style, except now is winter and cold drinks are not sounding that appealing! But if I still have some of this when summer comes, i got to try it cold brewed!