71

My days lately have been starting out ok but then taking nosedives in the afternoon. Not good for my productivity, which makes me more upset and down (since part of my anxiety is about finishing off my dissertation). I needed a tea this afternoon that might improve my mood, and my intense love of macarons made me grab this one.

Surprisingly enough this is not my second or even my third macaron-flavored tea. And even though I had kind of written Mariage Frères off after a number of failed attempts with their teas (there is something about the black base they use for most of their flavored blends [eta: that I have tried] that I dislike), I jumped on the chance to get a sample of this from Shmiracles. Thanks so much!

The first thing I smelled in the dry leaf was almond, but then when I sniffed closer it was slightly floral and a bit fruity. I didn’t even realize that there was both apple and amaranth in here before I opened up the Steepster entry for it, but I guess they’re coming through! Steeped, it smells similar but more appley. Perhaps like an apple-almond pastry, which is to say not much like a macaron to me, but I’ve also never had (or seen) an apple-flavored macaron (side note: now I am thinking about macarons at Laduree and my mouth is just watering).

Hmmm, innnteresting. This reminds me of another apple tea I had once, I think it was a “sweet apple” blend from a tea house in London. Also, a bit like the Trois Noix from MF that I had. Nutty, yes, not particularly strongly almondy (but it’s macaron, not marzipan, so that follows), and definitely appley. Also, I’m afraid that it has a bitter aftertaste that I just can’t get behind. I mean, the main part of the sip is pretty tasty (though I would argue not particularly macaron-ish to my tastes), but the aftertaste grows out of it and it isn’t meshing with my tastebuds. I don’t think I have the courage to steep it for 13 minutes like Shmiracles who said that took care of her issues with the aftertaste, but maybe I’ll try it. I might also cold steep the rest of it because I always have prefered MF teas cold-steeped! :P

ETA: I just took a huge drink of this while also breathing in deeply through my nose, and suddenly got macarons. This tea has like a weird inverse parabola of tastiness for me where when hot it was tasty (no bitter aftertaste), then when it was warm it was not so tasty (strong bitter aftertaste), and now that it’s cooled further it is tasty again (waning bitter aftertaste). Oh, MF, pretty sure I’ll never “get” your teas.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Shmiracles

YAY glad you could enjoy this!
hahaha ummmm maybe don’t 13 min steep it just yet. i MAY have spaced out completely and not used boiling water? i’ll get back to you on that hah

Ysaurella

which MF teas did you try ? it is really strange because they rarely use the same bases for their flavoured black teas.

Dinosara

Of straight black bases I guess I’ve only had Marco Polo and Trois Noix (and now this one), but they both had the same weird taste that I tasted but apparently not many other people do (they were from different sources, the Trois Noix direct from their main shop in Paris). This one doesn’t have that taste (a weird tart/acidic flavor), but I did get a bitter aftertaste. I’ve been told their flavored blacks vary in the base tea, but I’ve never really explored it (and I haven’t sought them out based on my previous experiences). Interested to see how the Mousse au Chocolate from this collection tastes to me.

Shmiracles

i will say that i fell immediately in love with the Dammann Freres teas i bought. (especially the freaking caramel-toffee.) they are so easy to brew and adore!
but Mariage Freres tea have taken a bit more navigation and delicacy. also, i may be maturing but i’m still a punk. and as a traveler in paris with a septum piercing and less than fresh clothes, i was treated much nicer at the Dammann Freres store than Mariages Freres. not that these are the only two worth comparing, but their product design is somewhat similar and stuff.
idk.
i’ve had too much tea today. haha i’ll probably delete this note too! more BLERG!

Ysaurella

@ Shmiracles :I love both brands but Dammann more than often use the same tea base for black flavoured, it may be the reason why you can find them easier to brew because once you get the correct brew for you, you get it for (almost) all.

Ysaurella

@Dinosara : Trois noix has a certain bitterness due to the walnuts (to my opinion) – it wasn’t my best experience with MF teas (it’s quite an obscure tea in the MF tea card !)
Regarding Marco Polo, this is the inverse, as often with a best seller…they are sometimes over estimated (to my opinion). but I didn’t get the tartness you mention – If you want in June I’ll be able to send you some MF black blends as you taste more of them.

cteresa

I appreciate very much Dammann as well, which are much more sensibly priced, but having had some 20 or 30 of Mariage Freres teas and maybe some 6 or 8 Dammann teas (a large percentage thanks to Ysaurella), I think as well it is the Dammann which often uses the same base. Mariage Freres is a lot more diverse bases IMO – wedding imperial is a totally unique base, Thé au Tibet as well, the greens varying a lot as well, as a lot of blacks (Mandalay is not the same as Chandernagor. Or the unbelievably mellow Black Orchid which in no way is the same as Pleine Lune). In fact if I was going to mention a company which reliably uses different bases for different flavours, Mariage Freres would be maybe the first company I would say (plus a tiny London company, and Théodor. If you would want to argue about Théodor being better at using different bases, I would maybe agree. But Dammann, IMO 4 fruits rouges is the same base as paul et virginie which is the same as pomme d´amour which is the same as Nosy Bey)

Dinosara

@Ysaurella – yes, perhaps in June we could do a swap and I could try a few more MF blends. I’ve tried a few others (non-black or black/green blends) but have never had that much success. :/ Maybe I just need to try more of them.

@cteresa – Unfortunately I haven’t sampled MF quite so widely, but part of my problem is that the 5-6 MF teas I have had, with a variety of bases, I haven’t been impressed with. I mean, knowing that some of the bases I dislike makes me more hesitant to try others because I might not like those either, even if they are different. I LOVE the base that DF uses for its black teas, so their teas make me happy partly because of the consistency (and because I find them so delicious).

whatshesaid

I just had to google “parabola” because it rang a bell from high school but I couldn’t remember what it was, hahaha. Ugh, math.

cteresa

Dinosara, taste is taste, it is great you like the base that Dammann uses often. I confess it is not my favorite base in general though I love some of their teas more than others.

And Mariage Freres teas can be tricky to brew because they behave differently – Wedding Imperial has taken me some time to finally get right (it´s so good about steepster, that it can serve as notebook for when you finally get the code right. But just protesting the idea that Mariage Freres uses the same base often – no, or better said non! Though maybe they might for this range of specialty limited edition teas, but in general, absolutely no, not in my experience.

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Comments

Shmiracles

YAY glad you could enjoy this!
hahaha ummmm maybe don’t 13 min steep it just yet. i MAY have spaced out completely and not used boiling water? i’ll get back to you on that hah

Ysaurella

which MF teas did you try ? it is really strange because they rarely use the same bases for their flavoured black teas.

Dinosara

Of straight black bases I guess I’ve only had Marco Polo and Trois Noix (and now this one), but they both had the same weird taste that I tasted but apparently not many other people do (they were from different sources, the Trois Noix direct from their main shop in Paris). This one doesn’t have that taste (a weird tart/acidic flavor), but I did get a bitter aftertaste. I’ve been told their flavored blacks vary in the base tea, but I’ve never really explored it (and I haven’t sought them out based on my previous experiences). Interested to see how the Mousse au Chocolate from this collection tastes to me.

Shmiracles

i will say that i fell immediately in love with the Dammann Freres teas i bought. (especially the freaking caramel-toffee.) they are so easy to brew and adore!
but Mariage Freres tea have taken a bit more navigation and delicacy. also, i may be maturing but i’m still a punk. and as a traveler in paris with a septum piercing and less than fresh clothes, i was treated much nicer at the Dammann Freres store than Mariages Freres. not that these are the only two worth comparing, but their product design is somewhat similar and stuff.
idk.
i’ve had too much tea today. haha i’ll probably delete this note too! more BLERG!

Ysaurella

@ Shmiracles :I love both brands but Dammann more than often use the same tea base for black flavoured, it may be the reason why you can find them easier to brew because once you get the correct brew for you, you get it for (almost) all.

Ysaurella

@Dinosara : Trois noix has a certain bitterness due to the walnuts (to my opinion) – it wasn’t my best experience with MF teas (it’s quite an obscure tea in the MF tea card !)
Regarding Marco Polo, this is the inverse, as often with a best seller…they are sometimes over estimated (to my opinion). but I didn’t get the tartness you mention – If you want in June I’ll be able to send you some MF black blends as you taste more of them.

cteresa

I appreciate very much Dammann as well, which are much more sensibly priced, but having had some 20 or 30 of Mariage Freres teas and maybe some 6 or 8 Dammann teas (a large percentage thanks to Ysaurella), I think as well it is the Dammann which often uses the same base. Mariage Freres is a lot more diverse bases IMO – wedding imperial is a totally unique base, Thé au Tibet as well, the greens varying a lot as well, as a lot of blacks (Mandalay is not the same as Chandernagor. Or the unbelievably mellow Black Orchid which in no way is the same as Pleine Lune). In fact if I was going to mention a company which reliably uses different bases for different flavours, Mariage Freres would be maybe the first company I would say (plus a tiny London company, and Théodor. If you would want to argue about Théodor being better at using different bases, I would maybe agree. But Dammann, IMO 4 fruits rouges is the same base as paul et virginie which is the same as pomme d´amour which is the same as Nosy Bey)

Dinosara

@Ysaurella – yes, perhaps in June we could do a swap and I could try a few more MF blends. I’ve tried a few others (non-black or black/green blends) but have never had that much success. :/ Maybe I just need to try more of them.

@cteresa – Unfortunately I haven’t sampled MF quite so widely, but part of my problem is that the 5-6 MF teas I have had, with a variety of bases, I haven’t been impressed with. I mean, knowing that some of the bases I dislike makes me more hesitant to try others because I might not like those either, even if they are different. I LOVE the base that DF uses for its black teas, so their teas make me happy partly because of the consistency (and because I find them so delicious).

whatshesaid

I just had to google “parabola” because it rang a bell from high school but I couldn’t remember what it was, hahaha. Ugh, math.

cteresa

Dinosara, taste is taste, it is great you like the base that Dammann uses often. I confess it is not my favorite base in general though I love some of their teas more than others.

And Mariage Freres teas can be tricky to brew because they behave differently – Wedding Imperial has taken me some time to finally get right (it´s so good about steepster, that it can serve as notebook for when you finally get the code right. But just protesting the idea that Mariage Freres uses the same base often – no, or better said non! Though maybe they might for this range of specialty limited edition teas, but in general, absolutely no, not in my experience.

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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