408 Tasting Notes

drank Se Chung by Mariage Frères
408 tasting notes

Another tea I have the chance to taste thanks to cteresa , obrigada Teresa .

It is an Oolong and an highly oxidized variety .

I decided to brew at 100 ° c as Teresa wrote no indication and because I am a phenomenal lazy people and don’t want to go to check on MF’s website (which by the way often gives wacky brewing indications on this site)

The liquor is quite dark for an Oolong , meaning we are drinking an highly roasted variety.

The taste is strong too. The flavours that emerge in the first place are earth, malt, wood.

The aftertaste reveals some cocoa notes and a fairly pronounced fruity note . I am unable to identify the fruit, stone fruit but which one?

It is not a great roasted Oolong but it is more than respectable .

Ultimately the site Mariage gives no recommendations for infusion , incredible isn’t it?

Pics of the session are available here :http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/se-chung-mariage-freres/

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

This is a very strange tea – I got it from a local retailer (and to be frank, it was not expensive, for a Mariage Freres tea), they had just a little. Even the site does not have much info. I have the Mariage Freres teas, with photos of the shop 10, 20 years ago and I kind of suspect it´s a bit like the teas the old mariage freres company used to sell. even its catalogue number, quite older than more modern blends…


yes it is quite an old blend for the company.But it is still a nice one. I’m glad you gave me the opportunity to drink it.

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I love this tea. Betjeman says it is supposed to remind English Pudding.Thanks God , no ! I hate English Pudding but love this cinnamon, apple, almond and ginger tea !

Pics are available here : https://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/il-etait-une-fois-noel-betjeman-barton/

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

Cute name! Is “Once Upon a Christmas Time” correct?


absolutely :)

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I found this little sample in my sample box. I never had it, stupid me.
So first and last time with this tea.
It is an organic green tea Huangshan Mao Feng embellished with pieces of apples cut in thin slices and potato cubes.

Let’s say it is extremely subtile . nice, buttered – subtle but very mellow , it is rather focused on the apple. The potato gives a little body to the overall architecture of this tea. The base is very noticeable.

I liked it. I prefered the first steep.

Thank you Stacy & Butiki Teas for her creativity and the sample.

Pics of my session with Potato Pancakes & Applesauce are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/potato-pancakes-applesauce-butiki-teas/

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

Love the second pic down. It looks tasty.

Cameron B.

Cute Christmas mug! :)


@Stacy it was absolutely tasty.
@Cameron thank you :)

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Morning tea and God knows I prefer black teas or super oxidized Oolongs in the morning … but for one time I decided to try this sample offered by Angel Teavivre .

This tea has a beautiful pale green tea colour, translucent. The infusion lasts 5 minutes but it can be up to 10 minutes according to the information provided by Teavivre .

The coloring process is very slow .

The leaves are whole leaves of course and look pretty “dry” after the infusion . They do not seem to hold water. Funny.

The taste of this tieguanyin is floral, light and extremely refreshing but in my opinion it contains a type of flower I particularly like : the rose.

It also has a creamy texture , slightly buttery . The finish is clear , light , “clean” . An afternoon tea for my tastes and an exceptional tea.
Strangely it is not my favourite from all my Oolong samples kindly sent by Teavivre but I like it.

Pics of this lovely tea are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/nonpareil-anxi-qing-xiang-tieguanyin-oolong-tea-teavivre/

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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It annoys me every time to have to classify a Darjeeling into black teas . Yet it is … technically . But the heart of Darjeelings remains green in my opinion. Darjeeling Chameleon should be the real name of these teas .

This Sungma is quite exceptional . At the same time I really like Sungmas …

The liquor is really orange , a dark amber.

This Sungma is not bitter , just a touch . The taste is sweet and fruity . Muscatel is indeed the guest of honor in this summer Darjeeling and normally of most of summer Darjeelings and I am absolutely delighted because this is what I love . It does not have a too green taste. The texture is light, almost Sparkly .

I still love this one and it remains a staple.

Pics of my session with Sungma are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/sungma-ftfgop1-mariage-freres-2nde-revue/

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

i agree ysaurella!


Good suggestion! Darjeeling Chameleon"! Je suis d’accord! ;-)


I just have now to convince the Darjeeling producers to change the name of their label :D

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Warning ! I am tasting the second “monkey” of Teavivre . This is again a beautiful sample offered by Angel . Slighly roasted . Green . A teguanyin to sum up … but not just any!

A beautiful rolled leaf that unfolds entirely at the first infusion. It Looks like a salad :)

It is a so sweet tea , green , floral even very floral but also a little fruity. A nice fruit , peach, but not from a too sweet variety , too heady .

The long finish is impressive. The taste lasts and lasts … it makes me want to go directly to a second infusion. Let’s do that !

The body and texture of the juice remains intact for the second infusion but the peach is more present. The light creamy taste is still there too. Adorable tea. I don’t know which one I prefer between the first and the second monkey Teavivre . Alike and also dissonant . I like both .

Some pics are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/anxi-monkey-king-ma-liu-mie-tie-guan-yin-oolong-tea-teavivre/

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

You’re the adorable one! <3


thank you Cameron :)

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Well, I decided to make me a full teapot of this one . This tea as the brand will disappear and I must say that I try to keep it as long as possible because I really love it. Its scheduled disappearance , I consider it as a drama.

Since 2 months I do not drink this tea anymore whereas it brightened all my Sundays or Saturdays mornings. I now have the experience of this tea and it is almost impossible to spoil it . Its whole leaves are so long , dark and bright that I have the same impatience every time to start their infusion.

The simple fact of opening the box where I store Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black is a delight. Its dry smell is just unequalled : dried fruits , honey … it’s an extraordinary fragrance.

And it tastes absolutely wonderful. The first time my daughter tasted in my cup she thought it was a flavoured tea and not a plain tea . And yet for sure nature is full of flavours exacerbated , no need of additives.

Stone fruits are the guests of honor of this tea : apricot, peach, plum . The raisin is not forgotten and honey is flowing freely . Each tasting is both the same and another tea, natural flavors by thousand hide or reveal themselves infusion after infusion.

This tea remains the most greedy, the most decadent , the most opulent I ever drank. Although I think I found his replacement with Taiwan Tea Crafts and its Oriental Beauty Oolong Premium Grade lot 342 , there are still in this unique black tea some tones and notes that the Oolong does not have .

Heartache in perspective.

Some pics are available here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/taiwanese-wild-mountain-black-butiki-teas-le-chagrin/

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

yeah… a few TTC teas are close, but just not quite the same.


I’ll buy a full package of kleenex the day I’ll finish my tin of TWMB, really.


Maybe Butiki would be willing to part with their supplier to another tea vendor at some point? I only say that because the announcement said the closing was permanent.

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This very lightly roasted Oolong , I love it. It is exquisite.

Dark green oolong with rolled leaves go for 5 minutes into aboiling water.
The wet leaves look terribly like spinach branchs.

With the taste everything changes. Here is a festival of flavours . Peach succeeds honey, puffed rice to nuts and warm bread… It has also floral notes , characteristic of Tieguanyin but I prefer them in this tea vs the high mountain Oolong tea because these notes are not isolated here.

The texture is also interesting : fluid, light yet creamy , mellow . I really really love this tea.

I cannot resist to reproduce here what Teavivre explains about the name of this tea :
" Legend has it that the cliff is too abrupt for people to pick the Oolong tea leaves. Therefore, monkey is trained to climb the cliff and help tea farmers pick the Oolong tea leaves. Another saying goes that tea farmers need to tie a rope around the waist during the process of picking, just like a monkey. Hence obtains its name"

Lovely tea that offers a very pale yellow liquid.

You can see pics of my session here :http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/taiwan-monkey-picked-ma-liu-mie-tie-guan-yin-oolong-tea-teavivre/

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I love this one! I’m becoming quite attached to these light-medium roast oolongs. :)


it is absolutely a fantastic medium roasted Oolong

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Yesterday I went to the post to take what I thought was a letter (that is that the postman had written on the document ) and they brought me a small package … cute with Chinese inscriptions . It was my packet of Oolongs samples generously sent by Angel at Teavivre .

I get nice little oxidized leaves, from an emerald green. After 5 minutes into a boiling water , the leaves swell very impressively.

The liquor is of an exceptional transparency, very pale yellow/ green.

The texture of this tea is very light. It has no velvety body, it’s not smooth at all . Sometimes we get small spikes of bitterness that soar … and immediately fall , caught up , channeled through a certain sweetness .

This is an extremely floral and green tea. The aftertaste is essentially herbal. It leaves an intense feeling of purity . An extremely green and pure tea.

It will delight fans of Oolongs with a low oxidization. I’m more a fan of semi and highly oxidized oolongs , but I must recognize that this tea is from very high quality and very pleasant to taste .

Thank you again to Angel for allowing me to test this tea and to take me out of my comfort zone. It ’s thanks to Angel I am knowing by now I am really enjoying pu- erh teas. I need to be a little pushed and shoved in my convictions and preferences sometimes .

you can see some pics of my session with this Oolong here : https://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/taiwan-high-mountain-oolong-tea-teavivre/

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Very nice pics & nice tea ware as well. I wish I spoke French. I also love the generosity of Teavivre with their samples. I just made a nice sized Black Friday purchase with them I’m excited to be getting soon.


I was going to send you a PM about trying a lower temp but I guess you’re not following me, not that I’ve been around for 2 years to ‘follow’.


resolved ! you’re followed :) I had problems with steepster during the last 4 months and it seems some of the people I was following were no more…probs with messages too..


^^ Steepster has been so buggy lately. Sigh.

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Another Mariage Frères arriving to me straight from Lisbon : obrigada cteresa.

It had been super wrapped by Teresa to not contaminate the other samples and it was so right because that Lapsang Souchong has a smoke smell really stronger regarding the others I had until now.

I have a very soft and mellow cup of Lapsang Souchong , medium bodied. This is a very nice tea, very smoky so rather not recommended for novices in Lapsang Souchong unless you have an highly developed taste for all that is smoked.

Smoke , despite its strength, is extremely refined – the wood used was probably selected on high profile and one can clearly feel it in his cup. It is extremely enjoyable. I just finished my full teapot .

you can see pics of my session with this tea here : http://thevangeliste.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/lapsang-souchong-imperial-mariage-freres/

Flavors: Smoke, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

This is my favorite lapsang souchong – though maybe the theodor one which is completely different will replace it. They are so marvelously mellow aren´t they?


they are absolutely marvelously mellow oh yes ! I loved both – hard to make a choice

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First, please forgive me for my English and all the grammatical mistakes you’ll find in my posts.
As English isn’t my mother tongue it sometimes makes things more difficult to express cleverly and accurately what I feel.

I was mainly in black flavoured teas, green as well if not bitter.
I’m now drinking much straight teas because my palate is now developed enough to appreciate them .

My favourite brands are : Taiwan tea Crafts, Teavivre, Mariage Frères,Theodor,Butiki Teas,Dammann Frères, Betjeman & Barton.
My ratings are as follow :

100 to 95 : my darlings; always in my cupboard (or very often ! )

94 to 90 : Excellent tea

89 to 80 : very good tea, a pleasure to drink it

79 to 70: not bad even quite nice, why not having it sometimes, but well,it’s not so urgent !

69 to 50 : Meh, deceptive or just not for me – but has some qualities

49 to 30 : I just don’t appreciate it

Under 30 : is this thing supposed to be tea ?!?!?

My tea blog (in French)


Paris, France



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