331 Tasting Notes

90

Dear America, I think Mariage Freres loves you, to make you such a breakfast tea.

Dear Wedding Impérial, you are fired, sorry.

I was smelling all the MF breakfast mixes, and it is interesting – I can not imagine some of those blends really working as a breakfast mix. This was the no competition win – a chocolate breakfast mix. A malted chocolate with vanilla breakfast mix. I just made it, added some sugar and a smidgeon of milk, oh my this is indeed a lovely tea.

I think there are some honey notes as well, and this is not a very strong breakfast mix IMO which is fine with me (though a lot of the other MF breakfast mixes seemed even less likely to be strong breakfast mixes). But oh so lovely.

Not kidding about Wedding Impérial now being put off rotation.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
yyz

sounds good!

Sil

now i need to try this.. i love wedding imperial!

cteresa

yyz, it is good! Sil, I like wedding imperial very much, it was my very first MF tea (and its tin, lol, already been refilled and was now the tin I just refilled, after very well steamed and aired, with this very one). But I find it a tricky tea to brew just right and somehow this american breakfast has supplanted it. Mind you, French Breakfast also smelled heavenly.

And a very different, more afternoon like, chocolate tea I also love is Thé-o-dor´s Thé du Loup.

Excelsior

It it similar to CHA THAI also from Mariage? I loved their Mt. Cameroon they used to carry maybe 25 years ago. Since they had difficulty in the supply, the manager of Mariage steered me towards CHA THAI which was very similar with it’s chocolate malty taste.

cteresa

Excelsior, I had not even heard of cha thai till your comment (though I think it is going on the shopping list). Sounds lovely indeed and am putting it on shopping list.

Cameroon tea, ah that sounds interesting indeed! I wonder if stocks of african teas have gotten more difficult or if it was a marketing decision. On the MF book there is for example photos where you can see tins of Mozambican tea (Gurue, I think) but that must have been an old photo, they had none on stock, so maybe they need the space for new blends (or decided against).

But thank you for the tip about Cha thai, sounds precisely like something I want to try. One of these days!

Excelsior

Remind me to send you some Mariage Freres Darjeeling Tea in 2014, Spring. I am hopeful Mariage will have some better Darjeelings next year. I was really disappointed with the Mariage 2013 Spring Darjeelings and although I have a lot of tea, I don’t have anything that may change your opinion of Darjeeling teas. Even the First Flush Margaret’s Hope was marginal at best.

cteresa

That is a very kind offer, thank you so much! Not something I can say no to, I think if I am ever going to get Darjeelings you would be the perfect guide.

Ysaurella

this one is in my shopping list for a while ! good to know it is really a good one

cteresa

Ysaurella, I would be glad to send you some, so you can try before buying!

cteresa

And Excelsior, same offer applies to you as well!

Ysaurella

you’re awesome :)

cteresa

Nope, just a tea consumption enabler! I will write you about it, give me a couple days!

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64

I bought this tea because I am (almost always) looking for good new rooibos, it was not pricey (5 euros), and the package was very cute. I had absolutely no idea what the rooibos was about, package exclusively in German which I do not read. It smelled berry like and due to the name was hoping for some kind of champagne grape-like note.

With the help of google translate, it´s elderberry rooibos! Google says, Rooibos, elderberries, elderberry blossom (?), carrots, rosehips, aroma. What a lovely idea for a rooibos mix, elderberry is one of those unappreciated berries.

In reality, it smells nice enough though I would probably never spot any champagne or be able to be more specific than “berry” from its flavour. I will drink whole of it with pleasure but it´s rather a meh mix. The rooibos base underneath is not quite to my taste, no way around it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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87
drank Adele H by THE O DOR
331 tasting notes

This tea is still a fabulous idea, but just to add a note I had total beginner´s luck with it. It´s a fussy b*tch to brew just right. Or maybe it´s me and Assams, we do not get along. Still a lovely lovely brew when right, it´s just I am getting a bit tired of making it wrong.

That is it, Mélange de Galice rather than this to the re-buy list.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C
Ysaurella

I saw yesterday at Theodor’s shop a sooooo beautiful vintage tin of Adèle H but I managed to resist !

cteresa

I like their old tins even better than the new ones I admit. I like all their tins to be honest (the pile up safe! they close really well. instructions specific to each tea), pity about the price! I like their bags also actually and can afford much more teas if I ignore the tins, so will try to be good.

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90

I am not totally sure this is the one I got – no year mentioned, but it´s from a sampler pack, which I got a couple months ago, so probably 2012 indeed.

No brewing instructions here, used half the pack and am doing multiple steeps – it´s an amazing high quality tea, it´s giving and giving. It expanded incredibly as well. And it is wonderful but I am totally baffled by it, I am getting very very floral notes, unlike the description and other reviews. It smells to me like spring bulbs, hyacinths maybe or daffodils, very sweet and sort of wild. A bit tangy, yes, but very floral to me, which is just weird when reading the descriptions.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

whatever it is it sounds really nice

cteresa

It is lovely, really high quality, high class tea. Just strange that my experience (hyacinths! really. I love hyacinth scent so not a problem) is so different than what i was expecting.

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90
drank Tribute by THE O DOR
331 tasting notes

This is the very last of the very generous sample Ysaurella sent me, and ah, this is one of those teas I keep loving better and better every time I had it. It´s almond, sort of pure, not truly bitter but with a hint of bitterness to warn you this is for grownups. A truly smooth base which is just not wimpy (nor too loud it is rude), and this was a major hit. A tea which normally would have been not a shopping priority and which I am definitely going to buy one day – though still unsure if I go with this proven tea or risk Je t´Aime on my next (soon, my preciouses…) Theodor order…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec
Ysaurella

I need to buy je t’aime as well, last time it was out of stock…grrrr

cteresa

I will take whichever is on stock gladly – trust them by now!

JustJames

what an excellent review! ‘warning you that this is for grownups…’ aptly put!

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58
drank Minty Mint by Haas & Haas
331 tasting notes

A cold brew infusion I believe, or at least that is what I have been using it as. A good idea for flavours, but a bit underwhelming – though that might be by anti-hibiscus bias at work!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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87
drank Mademoiselle by THE O DOR
331 tasting notes

I am saying goodbye to the sample Ysaurella gave me and well this was a lovely surprise. I would never have put it on my shopping list, me and lavender earl greys, no not for me. Except wrong, apparently this one works and very well for me, enjoyed all of the sample very much (do not brew it too cold, though!) and this is going to my shopping list for one of those days.

Hallieod

It’s so funny how a tea can surprise you, for good or bad! This doesn’t sound like a cteresa tea, at first glance. :)

Ysaurella

yes it sounds like an Ysaurella’s tea and I was surprised not being in love with this one even if very nice

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82
drank Notting Hill by Yumchaa
331 tasting notes

Just adding a new taste note, this is another leftover from the back of the closet – two years old at least. And despite Yumchaa´s paper bag packaging not being a favorite of mine (well, I think it is lovely in a spare cool look way, just not air tight enough), this black tea survived so much better than the green teas. Still as fragrant as it was when I bought it – a simple fruity black tea, one I can hardly think what to say about (good smooth black tea base with a strong natural apricot and strawberry flavour) but a really lovely one.

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90
drank Rouge Sahara by Mariage Frères
331 tasting notes

Eureka, finally found a way to prepare it – cold brew. It is absolutely lovely (to my taste buds) that way. Minty, but without bitterness and some rooibos body. With a bit of brown sugar it was even better.

Normal amount of rooibos, cold water, put it in the fridge for a couple hours, added a tiny bit of brown sugar. Might be the most stomach friendly drink ever – rooibos AND mint.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Hallieod

Yum, sounds lovely!

TheTeaFairy

Cteresa, I’m not a fan of Rooibos (red rooibos that is, I don’t mind green but there isn’t many green blends out there). I find the medecin taste in the backgroud always ends up ruining the experience for me! But rooibos and mint sound like a harmonious combination somehow :-)

cteresa

TeaFairy, I like rooibos (normally. Some bases I find horrible, some I love and would take plain), so I am coming at this tea from the other direction, so to speak.

As a hot brew tea is really not working for me because I dislike the bitterness (not quite, but can not think of the right word) gets in boiling water. So yeah, this cold brew really works!

And cold brew, you get rooibos as a base, very fresh mint and a hint of the roses…

Ysaurella

happy you finally managed to have the best of this rooibos

LaFleurBleue

I also tried it steeped directly in cold water and loved it too – but I have never been inconvenienced by steeping it in almost boiling water either.
Glad anyway that you found a way to enjoy it.

cteresa

I think it is definetely the boiling water and mint which is a big bit personal turn-off. In cold water it is not just palatable, it is the best (so-far) cold brewed rooibos I have tried! Speaking of which should go make some today!

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85

This is just exquisite – I might have to review my line “don´t like flavoured whites”, because it seems if the flavouring is right, I do!

How peculiar that the pairing of a herb with a flower produces such fruity notes – like strawberry almost. Really lovely.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

this one is really lovely, I loved it really much too.

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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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