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Recent Tasting Notes
This is another awesome share from Cameron!
This smells exactly like a red Live Saver (are these even a thing anymore?)! And it tastes like one too! My brother and I ate far too many of these are kids! Since I don’t know what cherry blossom is meant to taste like, I am not offended by this haha. Honestly, I think I will enjoy this whole cuppa! I don’t really eat candy anymore, since it’s rarely vegan, but I don’t know that I would need a candy-like tea in my cupboard, but once in a while it might be nice to mix it up and have a cup of this.
P.S. This probably dates me, but here is the roll I’m thinking of, because apparently there’s been some new iterations in years gone by: https://www.oldtimecandy.com/collections/walk-the-candy-aisle-life-savers/products/life-savers-5-flavors-roll
Adventaggedon Bonus Day
Merry Christmas to those on Steepster who celebrate!!
Drinking the extra day from the MF advent this morning – I was definitely wrong because this isn’t anything like yesterday’s tea. For one, it’s an oolong – and yet another oolong with butterfly pea flower in it. However, this is the first one that’s actually steeped blue! The flavour is hazelnut? It’s kind of weird drinking a blue hazelnut tea but it is pretty tasty. I do think yesterday’s cinnamon tea felt more festive in flavour though.
And with that… advents are done done until next year!
Adventaggedon Day 24 – Tea 6/6
Last advent of the day – technically the second to last of all the advents because I do have one more day of the MF advent left – they included a tea for Christmas Day. This was probably the most festive tea of the day – I’m curious to see if MF can “up” the festive feeling tomorrow, but my money is on it being the same profile on a different tea type. Maybe green tea or herbal!?
The smell of this is intoxicating – it smells like super cinnamon heavy Christmas baking. I haven’t done any Christmas baking since moving to Montreal, and I used to bake pretty much every Christmas so I kind of miss it. It made me nostalgic for Christmases at home in Saskatchewan – which, with the pandemic, isn’t something I got to do this year. I’m all alone in Montreal for the year; no family and even if I had friends who wanted to do something for the holidays it wouldn’t be an option with the lockdown…
I steeped this one up with some whipped cream and a bit of candied cranberries on top and it felt luxe and fancy! It’s one of the most flavourful blends in the MF advent so far; definitely a bolder and sweet cinnamon note but complimented by a brisk, slightly tannic and malty/grainy black tea. Tasted sort of like cinnamon buns and with the whipped cream on top that only emphasized those flavour qualities/comparisons.
Super yummy – and I great penultimate tea from MF.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJM0NCOgiTR/
Adventaggedon Day 23 – Tea 6/6
This was really nice – sort of more in line with what I expect from Mariage Freres but just at its peak execution. Also, is this the first white tea in the advent so far? I can’t remember…
The main flavour here is definitely the mint, but it’s a very soft and soothing herbaceous mint complimented by equally soothing florals like lavender and rose. The overall tea is very peaceful, calming and relaxing. I felt like it was well balanced, smooth and flavourful while still keeping that feeling of being delicate/elegant. It can sometimes be a real challenge tasting flavourful and being a delicate type of profile.
Not sure if I would buy this – the pricing would likely play a large factor since I know that MF can be quite pricey, but I’d certainly drink it again or swap for it/get it on discount!
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJJ74z9gBd4/
Adventaggedon Day 22 – Tea 5/6
I was a bit surprised to see the iconic Marco Polo again as this is the third iteration of it in the advent – I do love the profile though, so I wasn’t upset seeing it again. I’m trying to understand what separates this version from the OG – at least with the rooibos one that change was very obvious.
Without doing a side by side tasting of the OG against this version, it honestly just tastes like regular old Marco Polo to me. Delicious, don’t get me wrong, but the same standard rhubarb sweet and tart notes that are usually present. Oh well, another excuse to drink some Marco Polo is more than welcome!
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJHkg9EA3im/
Adventaggedon Day 21 – Tea 4/6
This was a nice tea, but I don’t think being on a Darjeeling tea base really added anything special to it at all. In fact, I think I prefer the Earl Grey from earlier in the advent better. It was more full bodied, brisk and flavourful – this one was smooth but a little bit thin in body.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJFCQREg2g5/
Adventaggedon Day 20 – Tea 4/6
This was a very unexpected tea from MF today, but I thought it was okay. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a Chai from MF before – and for it to not just be a boring old traditional Chai profile but a Coffee Chai was really interesting to me! I feel like I’ve seen a real emergence of spiced coffee inspired tea blends this year, and I’m not sure where that came from but it’s been fascinating to watch get a bit more traction.
I know some tea drinkers also drink coffee, but I am not one of those people – in general I just don’t tend to enjoy the flavour very much. That’s pretty much true here, but I do think it’s a really well done/balanced version of this profile even if it wasn’t my cuppa. It’s more of a coffee flavour than a spiced one, and it’s a pretty dark/roasted coffee note without really any sweetness to it: bold, thick and sophisticated with a slight bitter edge. My impression was that it would be pleasant with a spot of milk, but I also really appreciated the heavy roast notes without reliance on sweetness. The spice creeps up after the initial hit of coffee – mild, and warming. Sort of a “Dirty Chai” vibe, but again with way more weight put towards the coffee notes.
It was refreshingly different from anything else that MF has included in the advent, and if you were a fan of a roastier coffee I think you would REALLY enjoy this one!
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJCZpVTAt6i/
Adventaggedon Day 19 – Tea 6/6!
Made a mini teapot of this while reading some manga this late morning and it was pretty good! Not the best rooibos in the world, but after a few days of more “meh” Mariage Freres tea blend it was nice to have something that felt different, distinct and pretty tasty.
It’s a tiny bit medicinal from the rooibos, but the deeped red fruit notes of the rooibos and slight honeyed graham qualities seemed to really compliment the sweet strawberry notes of the tea and perfumed floral undertones. I like the strawberry here because it’s a sort of “raw” strawberry without a lot of polish to it. By that I mean it’s not really juicy/jammy or candied, but also not really a tart or puckery strawberry either. It’s sort of just like the essence of a strawberry stripped down and at its most raw.
Hard to explain – but a nice taste, and a pleasant change up from other strawberry flavours…
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI_pDY_AA7m/
Adventaggedon Day 18 – Tea 4/6
The flavour of this tea doesn’t seem to match the name, in my opinion. Just reading it, I would have expected something floral or, at the very least, maybe fruity!? Instead this is a fairly generic nutty profile with some minor sweetness over the same black tea that’s used for many different MF blends – I can kind of see hazelnut if I think about it really hard while sipping, but I’ve had better hazelnuts blends quite recently so this is falling short for me today.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI9HTxrAALU/
Adventaggedon Day 17 – Tea 6/6
There was another tea earlier in the advent that was quite similar to this – down to the vanilla and the butterfly pea flower – but I can’t remember what the name was. I think I liked the flavour of that one just a bit better, but this was nice too. Smooth and silky, and a perfect compliment to the Earl Grey scone with marmalade that I paired it with.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI6lipOAskU/
Adventaggedon Day 16 – Tea 2/6
Apparently this is a mix of peach, apricot, and fig – but when I opened up the advent this morning all I could smell was mango and the steeped tea also tasted remarkably like mango to me as well. It was a little unexpected to see something so fruity and tropical tasting, but it’s probably been my favourite black tea from the MF advent so far & I would definitely order this one again.
Aromatic, full bodied and delicious!
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI4C7sbgyfh/
Adventaggedon Day 15 – Tea 3/6
I’m not totally sure if this is the correct tea from the advent – but I guess I can see how “Darjeeling Rose d’Himalaya SFTGTOP1” might be a bit of a bitch to fit on the tag of the tea bag. It’s a bit of a wordy name, after all…
I’m not actually totally sure that I buy that this tea isn’t either rose flavoured or rose scented because it is mighty fucking rose flavoured. Like, in a way that seems SUPER unnatural. With that said, if it is natural then holy hell that might be one of the most floral and delicious darjeelings that I’ve ever had. And, I guess, even if it isn’t natural it’s still a damn good tea. I had it during the afternoon and was immediately pulled in my the bouquet of sweet rosewater notes mixed with a complex black tea profile. Malt, tannic, muscatel grapes, and lilac. Super dreamy, delicious tea.
I’m adding this to the list with Sakura Sakura for teas that I definitely want to order!
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CI1bJQzAPNj/
Adventaggedon Day 14 – Tea 2/6
I think this is my least favourite MF blend that’s been in the advent yet. I’m not entirely sure what the flavour was supposed to be aside from the fact there was definitely some sort of citrus in it. It was very musty/stale tasting though – like an aged citrus note. It also reminded me of something else that’s been in the advent this year but without rereading tasting notes I can’t put my finger on exactly what tea. Worse than whatever it was, though…
This is another butterfly pea flower blend as well – but like the Blue Opera is steeped more of a muddy/swampy green colour.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIy5e4PAbit/
The aroma smells like Christmas to me with cinnamon, clove, vanilla, ginger, orange, red cherry and caramelized brown sugar. The tea seems like a good orange pekoe from somewhere. A classic ‘tea orange’ color and taste. I can also taste the incense the tea was shipped with ;P It sips brisk and mineral-woody astringent but turns thick before the swallow. The aftertaste is of warm spices and caramel; vanilla-cola syrup lingers lightly in the back.
I sense a faded opulence. Everything’s more faint than I expected or maybe that’s the style of Mariage Frères? Still, the bags from White Antlers went quickly and I’m glad I got to try another French tea :)
Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Mineral, Orange, Tea, Vanilla, Wood
Adventaggedon Day 13 – Tea 4/6
Shockingly, I’ve found a green tea from Mariage Freres that I would actually buy more of! I’ve been super strongly craving DT’s Cherry Blossom matcha and waiting for that one to come up in the advent, so when I saw this I kind of had a “Well, that’ll do” feeling about it. It was actually very delicious and more than satisfying for that craving!
The flavour is very direct and straight forward cherry blossom, with a round floral quality that overtakes the mass of the green tea. The slight hint of oceanic, grassy green tea actually compliments well and breaks up a bit of what might otherwise be a pretty perfumed profile. What really sells the tea, though, is the pleasant and lingering sweetness on the palate after each sip. Heavenly!
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIwUJTwAreh/
I’ve been watching a lot of Danganronpa lets plays lately, so I thought I was pretty clever with this photo. If you’re not familiar with the game series, the character on screen in the background of the photo is named Sakura.
Adventaggedon Day 12 – Tea 1/6
Definitely a pretty basic tea and not really anything going on here aside from your typical Earl Grey flavours. From my understanding the “twist” to this is in the visual of the dry leaf, but given that the advent teas are tea bags that’s completely lost…
Is it a bad Earl Grey? No, and it was actually a nice way to start my day. However, Mariage Freres blends are pretty pricey – even their “cupboard staples” like Earl Greys. Since I’m not a big drinker of them anyway, I’d never shell out the dollars or go out of my way to get this one.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIt0BTTAlN9/
Adventaggedon Day 10 – Tea 2/6
This was pretty nice, and a good break up from sweet or otherwise intense flavour profiles from the day – mostly chamomile and mint, but with an undertone of citrusy/lemony verbena I thought this silky herbal profile was an unexpectedly pleasant cuppa!
Nothing I’d go out of my way to have again, but I probably would have ignored it if I was just browsing the MF website so I appreciate having it introduced to me!
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIov0XiAU8T/
Adventaggedon Day 9 – Tea 5/6
At some point where I’m not cripplingly tired/exhausted, I want to look at the ingredients list for this tea. It was my first tea of the morning, and I thought it was pretty tasty but also very weird. The little tag described it as a sunny citrus flavour, but I thought it seemed pretty dense and indulgent/sweet (by French tea standards). The first flavour that came to mind was actually chocolate and the second was bergamot.
I liked it, but it didn’t seem to match with the description at all.
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIl-_dtAlPw/
Advent from Dustin Day 9
Very excited to open this selection this morning as it has been on my tea wishlist for awhile! I was also craving a black tea, so this was absolutely perfect.
The base is malty and has a bit of a chocolate note, which is wonderful with the caramel/vanilla flavoring. I’d imagine this would be excellent with a bit of cream.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla
Adventaggedon Day 8 – Tea 3/6
Japanese green tea!? Nooo…Toasty teas like Genmaicha/Hojicha aside, Japanese green tea is sort of my nemesis. I wasn’t thrilled for this cup, obviously. However, I kept my water temperature SUPER low and my steep time SUPER short and the result was an incredibly soft and delicate take on those oceanic flavours. Pretty smooth, and a gentle way to ease into the day that ended up being okay.
Advent Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIjkTExg-d5/
Adventaggedon Day 7 – Tea 3/6
This is the first tea from the Mariage Freres advent that I’ve had to add to the database, and to be totally honest I’m just too tired tonight to fill out the entry properly – maybe tomorrow if I have more energy…
This is what I started my day with though, with a little bit of matcha honey added after trying a few sips of it. It’s basically another green with with florals – pretty jasmine heavy as well, but a smidge of something citrus-y. It reminded me a lot of Jasmine in Love from earlier in the week. I wasn’t huge into Jasmine in Love, and I liked this one even less because it didn’t have the same rose notes. Not that it’s bad – it’s not. It’s just not really my jam. I feel like that was true about a lot of teas today – most are fine teas, but just really not my thing…
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIgyLwTgXrz/
Adventaggedon Day 6 – Tea 5/6
Ask and you shall recieve! I said earlier in the week that I wanted to try Marco Polo on other tea bases, particularly white and rooibos, and today’s tea was the rooibos version! I was definitely very excited digging into it this afternoon.
It’s very nice – the same sweet and robust rhubarb from the OG Marco Polo but maybe a little less floral/perfumed in its undertones!? The rooibos used here is smooth and has a honeyed graham/hazelnut quality that is delicious and works well with this fruity flavour. I think I actually enjoy this version of Marco Polo much more and I would totally buy this to add to my ever growing line up of rooibos based rhubarb teas…
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIeSOftgdHs/
Adventaggedon Day 5 – Tea 2/6
This was my least favourite tea from today’s advent round up – it really just tasted like a very straightforward jasmine green tea with just a hint of rose. Now, both the green tea and the jasmine seemed quite fresh, and good quality – but I just really don’t like jasmine green tea at all. Maybe more rose could have made it at least a little bit more appealing to me personally?
It’s a shame – I had to look up the tea on MF’s site to make the Steepster entry for it and the loose leaf is actually really pretty and seems to have a lot of rose in it. Maybe I just got a poor representation in my teabag from the advent today…
Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIbj3zAAE0C/