273 Tasting Notes
Having this again and this is just not for me. It sounded so very much like my thing I would have ordered it sooner or later. But it´s just too much, too strong, too floral. Like a lychee-geranium smell and sadly it´s just not my cup of tea.
So finally found a Mariage Freres rooibos I did not love, took me a while!
The weather has been so bad that somehow I am finding myself buying new teas in April! Picking new teas often is an autumn thing for me. But I was craving vanilla tea which somehow I just did not have at home, and found myself returning home with 50 grams each of vanilla tea and nothing less than 2 emperors. The vanilla tea, I will get to it because first brew has not been what i wanted, but this Tzar Alexandre, oh my, am sort of in love. Though a warning, this is a very personal love.
I love lapsang souchong but usually prefer the bergamot in earl greys to not be too strong. This is a light lapsang souchong with light bergamot and somehow tea body. It´s awesome, like how did nobody think of this before, where has this concept been all my life? BUT a warning, not sure if this is a tea for those who do not love lapsang.
The brewing details are not a recommendation, just a note. I brewed it slightly too hot and/or slightly too long, will experiment a bit with it. It survived wrong brewing details with honors, but I think it will be better with water some 5 or 10 degrees cooler.
I have certainly been having trouble making a taste note of this tea. There are no less than 3 entries for it on steepster, and I could not seem to add any taste notes to the original entry for it. (and accents on tea titles seem to just not work with steepster search). testing now….
And it worked, wow! to add the taste note now
This was a sample for a swap with Toitoi, thank you so much! This was a tea which had been on my wishlist for a while and which I was so glad to have a chance of trying. Ysaurella was the one which pointed out that it had hazelnut flavours, after I had already had a couple cups of it without identifying those, and she is totally right. Not sure where my nose was what, except that I think the brewed liquor smells quite different than the loose leaf. The dry leaf, particularly concentrated on the awesome foil bag Toitoi used smells intensely of sweet hazelnuts, with caramel and vanilla (that is: sublime). The liquor itself, at least how I brewed it, the hazelnuts meld and it´s the caramel vanilla which rules. And it is a lovely tea indeed.
But, I had my other Mariage Freres tea around and remembered to compare this tea´s scent with Wedding Impérial and Pleine Lune. Comparing just the scent of the dry leaf, Phénix wins it: smells much more balanced (Pleine Lune has that sharpness of the bitter almonds, Wedding Impérial that malty ovomaltine like smell) more delicious, just more right. But and this is a big but, the liquor seems to have less character, be less memorable than for those other more famous MF tea (and I also prefer Thé du Loup to Phénix). Not sure if this means the others are more justly famous, or if it´s me being biased towards the teas I have had more often and am more familiar with. Interesting.
This tea would, by the way, be a buy-more if I ever get the chance without being lured away from it from all the other so-alluring hard to find Mariage teas…
This is a tea which grew on me – at first try it was not what I was expecting (too mellow, too natural. Too classy… And yes, those are not bad things, just not what i was expecting somehow!) but each time I loved it best. So rebuying a new package of this how could I not love this at first sip? It´s even better than I remembered. Very smooth and mellow, a really classy flavoured tea.
Some brewing tips, this resteeps very well as long as you are using a bit more tea than usual (maybe 25% more) and do not use the first steep´s water too hot. If so, it´s definitely worth it to keep using the leaves till the tea stops being great – you can probably get a couple more good steeps out of it.
Seeing the other reviews, I think I was probably very lucky with brewing process or there was some magic in my water´s reaction to it. This is a bag very kindly sent as a surprise in a swap with Toitoi and it is (I think) the nicest bagged black tea with strawberry I ever had (must try ahmad´s though). It tastes very strongly and somewhat accurately of strawberries (or at least of strawberry flavoured stuff), the tea underneath is not particularly distinguished nor strong (at my brewing details) but wow, the strawberry really is nice. I like it very much and it is a bagged tea I would buy if I ever see it for sale, it´s a convenient portable cheering little tea.
If this does not have hibiscus hidden somewhere on it, I will eat my hat. My non-existant hat, but there you have it. A tiny tiny little itty amount of hibiscus but that it does have it, oh I strongly suspect so.
Dry leaf or while steeping this smells divine. Peaches with berries on a rooibos base. LaFleurBleue who sent me this sample would know what I mean when I say this is a fruity rooibos like Berry Berry Nice instead of a blend fruit rooibos like Carpe Diem or Marco Polo Rouge.
But then you taste it and instead of mellow rooibos, the underlying taste is a sharp sour acid hibiscus like tang.I can not get either the peach or berries promised in the scent or the mellowness of the rooibos which should be underneath. Nope, there is something hibiscus and just does not work with my expectations. I will keep trying though.
I got this massive urge to go and separate the rest of the sample and just barely refraining from doing DNA analysis on anything which might be hibiscus to see if it really is. But really, I would swear I can taste the hibiscus right on the middle of my tongue. I have a test where I leave a little bit in a cup overnight and then seeing the color and shape of the residue, will check.
Thank you very much for the sample, LeFleurBleue, this smelled heavenly indeed and I think I am learning somethings about TWG blends!
PS – the overnight cup test hints strongly of hibiscus as well, the residue is blue-ish pink rather than orange-brown as it with most rooibos. Examining the dry leaf, there seems to be rooibos, little tiny pink berries (a filler? they look somewhat like pink peppers used in spice teas and which taste like nothing), rose petals and tiny little pink bits of petals which could be hibiscus. Hmm, enough evidence?
This tea was very kindly sent to me in a swap with LaFleurBleue – she is almost scarily a tea twin of mine. Or at least a tea sister, so far it is amazing how our tastes coincide. She was not a huge fan of this, but in her review she mentions a magic word, lychee. I love lychee black teas (while being indifferent towards real lychee fruits), and when we decided to swap I remembered this one and requested it. And while it is interesting, I am not a fan either.
It is a very very pretty rooibos to look at – not saying it is “the” prettiest since I have seen Rouge Provence which might win that beauty pageant. It smells like it tastes – very sultry. A fruity-floral which translates to the liquour and which smells almost perfume-y to me. Description is guava with blackberry and flowers, lafleuerbleue thought it reminded her of lychees and I agree with the lychee comparison, it does indeed remind me of the smell of lychee fruits more than anything else – with a flowery note which maybe reminds me not of real roses but of rose geranium. It´s, to be frank, really really girly and sultry. I find it, despite the smoothness of the base, cloying – but will experiment with the rest of the sample in case I grow fonder or change my opinion.
Lafleuerblue thank you very much for the sample, I would have bought it sooner or later just to try it, am lucky to be able to test it this way!
still loving it as much. Just a small note to add that while I can not bear to throw the leaves away after just one steep, the second steep is never as good as the first – maybe tweaking first brew would change that, but I love the first steep so very very much I am not changing it at all. A definite rebuy, getting to the very bottom edges of the tin.
The last of Ysaurella´s sample and upping the rating a bit as well as putting this on my definite to buy list (one day! If i ever get to order from dammann or go to Paris anytime soon).
Violet tea, so pleasant, so smooth, a very good one and a type of tea i crave sometimes.
To buy for sure.
No rating, because I think I screwed up somehow this.
A sample, so kindly sent by LaFleurBleue and my very first TWG tea (first singaporean tea as well). I am very fond of mangoes, am pretty fond of a green tea with Mango I have and love a black tea with peach and vanilla I own. And somehow mangoes and peaches have a certain similarity in my mind.
But something went wrong. The dry leaf smells like mangoes with a hint of sharpness I can not define. I brewed it up hot but not too much leaf and there was a pine quality to the tea which baffled me. Mango yes, but peculiar. As the tea got colder definite bourbon vanilla notes as well. Peculiar! Must experiment, I think it was probably too hot, will try much colder water and for longer.