This tea smells exactly like its namesake — sweet, fragrant marzipan. I wanted to start scooping leaves into my mouth right there at the store, so I picked up 250g of it without ever tasting it brewed. I’m glad I did for two reasons — first, I went through about 30g of it before I found my “sweet spot” for this VERY FINICKY tea, but once I got it right I am glad I have a decent supply of it.
The more TeaGschwendner teas I try, the more I am learning to just ignore their ridiculous brewing recommendations. They pretty much just say “boiling water, 2 minutes, 1 tsp-8oz cup” for every flavored black in their book. On some of their teas, more than 2 minutes WILL result in bitter, muddled, or unbalanced flavors, and for me this was one of them… but at 2 minutes with boiling water, I still smelled the marzipan but the flavor was a bit weak for my tastes.
So, like a few other TeaGschwendner teas which disappointed me at first, I experimented with some varying temps and brew times “bracket tournament style” (I only have 2 of my favorite stainless steel infusers lol). After a morning of brewing several liters of this stuff, I have a kitchen that smells like a patisserie and finally a delightful cuppa marzipan goodness. I also have a small pitcher of this sitting in the fridge (a blend of the unfinished brews) to try iced just for fun, although without the strong aromatic effect from a hot tea I am guessing it won’t be as good as I imagine.
2 minutes wound up being the sweet spot for me, but at 200F and two heaping teaspoons of the leaf (probably about 2.5tsp). Anything over 2 minutes and the black tea starts overpowering the marzipan, everything goes out of balance and it doesn’t really even taste that great anymore, somehow the faint notes of marzipan fool my senses into sensing some straw-like notes you’d expect from a Dian Hong but not an Indian black, and it doesn’t go well with the almondy-marzipan in the background. But at 2 minutes, 1 tsp winds up being a bit weak for me overall.
So my recommendation is to go heavy on the leaf, bring the temp down from boiling to about 200F for me, and stick to the odd 2-minute warning and you get a delicious hot cuppa marzipan. There is a slight smooth sweetness to the brew unadulterated, but I just HAVE to add a bit of stevia (or other kind of sweetener) to really make it pop "hey, you’re drinking liquid marzipan!!). I have already tried this blended with a few other teas, it’s horrible with Mariage Freres Vanille Imperial, pretty good with TGSR’s Caramel and I love it with a few cocoa nibs. Still searching for that perfect “dark chocolate covered marzipan” blend so I can make this a permanent stock in my pantry.
Definitely one of my favorites from TeaGschwendner so far, still plenty of bags to open & try once a few tins go empty & free up ;-)