I got a tin of this by accident – thought I had ordered the Marco Polo black while trying to find a suitable alternative to my favorite TWG 1837 Black, which I usually pick up while on business trips in Asia. I was not disappointed one bit, however, once I opened the tin and took that first whiff of the leaves. The ripe and dark berry smell was magic!! Blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, black raspberries, loganberries.. all muddled with some flower blossoms… but, I thought.. will this go as well with green tea as with black?

Surprisingly well, it appears. There are two reasons this doesn’t get a 90+ score from me, however. The liquor has a lot more floral notes to compliment the berries when compared to my beloved 1837 black, which has caramel notes instead of floral. However, this is not a terribble thing because sometimes I want a bit more flowers in my berry-green but not jasmine, and this tea hits the spot perfectly. The second reason it’s not a 90+ is that I only really get 2 solid infusions out of this at 175 (2 mins, 1 min), and they need to be combined post-brew into 1 batch for a good balance. The first infusion has the green tea flavor way too faint, and by the second steeping the floral notes are mostly gone and berry notes completely gone. A third steeping (at 2 mins) produces a mild, weak green tea. I haven’t taken this beyond 3 infusions.

I can’t wait to try the Marco Polo black tea after this though…

Flavors: Berries, Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Musician, pilot, philanthropist, tea lover. Nothing beats a spiced oolong at 10,000 feet. Except maybe a cuppa dian hong with my feet next to the fireplace. Or some fresh bai hao yin zhen before bedtime. My rating system is pretty much like this:

1-20 : ‘Blech’ cuppa. Didn’t even finish the one I brewed, rest went in trash. That bad, at least for me.

21-40: ‘Meh’ cuppa. Finished it but threw away the rest of the tea or used it for other purposes like baking, gifts for in-laws, or serve to unwanted houseguests. Kinda like Twinnings or Lipton bag tea.

41-60: ‘Standard’ cuppa. Won’t buy any more, but will certainly brew all that I have left. Probably will use it to blend with other teas or as a base, or large quantities of iced tea for parties and such.

61-80: Good cuppa. Now we’re talking. Worth buying more if at the right price, love blending some of these too. Sometimes a few oddballs will find their way into this score just because I liked the fruity flavor or having it as an iced tea. Also my starting score range for new kinds of tea until I develop a good feel for my preferences or learn to better distinguish quality characteristics.

81-99: Awesome cuppa. You’ll probably find this in my pantry pretty regularly, unless it has been discontinued or I’m waiting for my next trip to Asia or Europe to pick up some more. Holds up well to multiple infusions (unless black/herbal), and will typically drink it unadulterated/straight. I’ll gladly pay premium prices and chances are I’ll be ordering and tasting a bunch of other teas this producer/company offers.

100: Cuppa bliss, oh where have you been all my life???! I will burn frequent flier miles and journey to the ends of the earth while paying nearly any price to make sure I have this stocked at all times. Over time as I discover some magical new teas, a few may fall off this list. Try to keep it max 1 per type of tea.

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