734 Tasting Notes
wow i’m kinda obsessed with steepster today. i must REALLY wanna avoid real life.
plus it’s rainy and monday and weekends are never long enough. every monday i have a small existential crisis where i question what the purpose of life is and what my purpose is, if any, and where the value in our time and experience is and if it even contributes to society at all just by trying our best. or if it’s all kinda meaningless but we should still try our best cuz that’s where the value is in itself, just by trying. or if it’s all egotistical to think that there is meaning at all. and that the effort to find meaning is just a self-soothing exercise. (aka should i read history books or just go drink pints at the bar haha) (joking) (i can do both at the same time!)
okay okay okay…
i had this tea at the museum after outdoor yoga.
it’s a free class given to anyone who shows up during spring and summer. the problem is that the class is HUGE. and it makes you feel small and a little trite when you are trying to take yoga instruction from a guy wearing sunglasses and holding a microphone as you are squeezed between a fountain and a fern in the far edge of a man made park (even though it’s IS a pretty museum park) with everyone’s yoga mats squished up against each other in all other directions. not as connected to nature as i wanted to be.
there was a moment when we were relaxing at the end and the fountain was generating cool air on one side of my body and the sun was very very warm and relaxing on the other side of my body and i had my eyes closed and i know i was supposed to be focusing on my breath but i’m not good at that and i kept thinking of Sherlock instead. so that was a highlight.
the tea tasted more orange than jasmine. but i got 2 good steeps out of the loose leaf bag. and my sister shared her scone with me.
i finished this tea yesterday and i wanted to update my post and say that this tea completely grew on me.
i understand it better now and love it.
i’ve even considered trying all the other Heritage Gourmand flavors.
somehow it’s extra special when a tea starts out as a mystery and ends up a best friend.
let the experiment commence!
i’m trying to duplicate my accidental steep experience. i really wanna figure this out.
i just steeped 12 oz of water with 1.5 tsp worth.
i tasted it at 2 min, 3 min, 5 min, 7 min, 10 min, and 13 min.
all i can say is DO NOT steep it for more than 7 min. but if you do add some more hot water to your strained cup.
the steeps from 2 to 7 min were all mildly bitter but also almondy and still slightly soapy.
the 10 & 13 min steeps were awful. but then i added more hot water to the strained cup and they were actually great.
all i can say is maybe i steeped it for 13 min with fairly cooled down water.
at least that seems more likely, and i wouldn’t put it past me. i’m a flibertyjibbet sometimes.
i hate this freakin puzzle.
and i feel like all i’m doing is confusing the situation for everyone else.
i’m weary of liking a tea more due to reputation than actual experience.
or due to a pretty hot pink canister.
but when i smelled this tea in the store i HAD to have it. it smells spectacular.
maybe i’ll just put some in a baggie around my next to wear haha
i’ll probably delete this entire note soon.
i’m totally annoying myself today.
please DISREGARD this 13 min steep bullplop written below.
i have no idea what i’m doing.
okay wow something cool just happened.
i kept waiting to review this tea because, though it seems like something i would love, every time i tasted it something seemed off to me. and i just didn’t want that to be true. i know it’s not how it’s supposed to go, but i really just wanted to like this tea.
then this morning i accidentally steeped it for 13 minutes. and now the tea makes sense!
i mean WTF you can steep a tea for 13 minutes and it still tastes okay??
sure i know good chinese black teas can hold up really well to long steeps but i still think 13 minutes is a bit extreme don’t you?
so yes, the long steep made this tea great for me. it made the tea a bit more dry in the mouth and gave the sweet bits time to really disintegrate and dissolve. at first when i tasted this tea it gave me a strange soapy & floral aftertaste that i could NOT get down with. but i figured if i kept tasting it that weird flavour would eventually make sense. the brew did seem kinda nutty but that aftertaste always got me down.
but NOW after the long steep it’s all blended. it’s almondy. and lightly sweet. and has notes of sugar at the top with cakey almondy notes at the back. and perhaps the dryness the long steep creates reminds me of dark bitter chocolate or something. i don’t know why really, but i’m happy about this mistake.
so if i sent you enough in the sample, and you don’t love this tea immediately, try steeping it long. i guess that’s my advice.
what a good day!
late night. a rare occasion that i’m alone at home. watching Merlin and drinking a Mousse au Chocolat latte in my brand new tea cup.
and here are the strawberries we picked from the garden!
wow there are huge chunks of chocolate in this tea. mega decadent!
and dark. a dark decadent tea. it’ll be easy to drink this one up.
and i bet it will be AMAZING as a latte. like it should be outlawed or something.
(further notes redacted)
holy crap imperial wedding!!
i only steeped it for 2.5 minutes because everyone seems to comment on how strong it is.
and it IS only our first date after all.
and yes, though i will try longer steeps just to see, i think for me 2.5 minutes is very good. definitely malty and hearty assam. and i can smell the chocolate caramel notes on the nose very easily.
i guess it’s darling subtlety is what has gotten Mariage Freres it’s reputation over the years.
i did buy two capital D dessert teas while i was there, plus 2 straight teas (one black and one green).
this will probably turn into a pre-run staple during the upcoming race season. i can see it already.
i was in Paris in the Dammann Freres tea shoppe with no sense on smell. i had been trying many different sinus remedies over the past few days and that morning i bought a nasal spray. i had used it a few times by the time i was tea shopping and it was SLIGHTLY working. i mean, i could finally slightly glean really strong scents. (whomp whomp)
so when i smelled this tea, i got a vague whiff of peaches and immediately started carrying my box to purchase around the store. now, i’m a gal who flocks to black dessert teas. but i think that is because of the weather. and as winter turns to spring all of my oolongs are suddenly more bright and brilliant and delicious than before! i knew i needed to buy an oolong. even if the dessert teas knew me by name.
this tea is beautiful. i KNOW i am bringing my shopping experience into my tasting, but i can’t help it.
also, idk why i smelled peaches. i blame the sinus goop. but now i know that osmanthe is a flower and this is basically a delicious take on a jasmine oolong.
i will post a picture of the store once my boyfriend uploads it.
until then i will fantasize about buying these 2 things someday… (not gonna happen)
my favorite tea picture!
definitely inspired by the Magritte Museum in Brussels
and i mean, look at the creme cake!
ok so i don’t LOVE chais. they’re fine enough.
and i don’t LOVE mate. though it’s fun for variety.
but i’ll try ANY tea once. maybe even twice. :)
i got a local running friend into tea and she came over to my house SO excited about this one. which is the cutest thing. and i already knew we had very different taste in tea (among other things; ie; i went to art school and she is in the military) but i told her i’d gladly take a sample anytime!
so. i tried it.
‘if you don’t have anything nice to say…’ so, um, i liked the lemongrass very much :)
haha OKAY OKAY i’m joking! this was actually a very nice mate. i’m not gonna buy any, but it’s a cup that the label and smell would have me thinking i would hate, and i actually truly enjoyed it.
it’s good and sweet spicy balanced. invigorating is a good word for it. lemongrass and licorice. but still light and bright. i might even take another sample if it’s offered to me. cheers.