Mark T. Wendell

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Recent Tasting Notes

60

As some may be aware, I love Moroccan mint green teas, but I tend to be a huge stickler for traditional recipes. I do not want Mao Feng, peppermint, lemon myrtle, or anything else in there. Just give me a blend of Chinese gunpowder green tea and spearmint leaves. I’ll take it from there, thank you very much. When I saw this blend on the Mark T. Wendell website, I knew I had to try it. I assumed it would be right up my alley, but it really wasn’t. I just wasn’t blown away by it.

I prepared this blend two ways. First, I tried a single infusion. I steeped approximately 1 teaspoon of loose material in approximately 8 ounces of 180 F water for 3 minutes. After I logged the results, I decided to try a two step infusion. I steeped the same amount of loose leaf material in the same amount of 180 F water for two minutes and then conducted a second and final 3 minute infusion.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaf blend predictably emitted a powerful spearmint aroma underscored by a hint of grassiness from the gunpowder green tea. In the mouth, I found a powerful spearmint flavor that was underscored by faint notes of grass, lemon, and straw. The green tea did not seem to contribute much in the way of aroma or flavor.

For the two step infusion process, I noted more of the same on the nose prior to and immediately after infusion. The 2 minute infusion yielded a very mild, minty liquor with a touch of creaminess that I did not note in the single infusion. Unfortunately, the green tea seemed to be all but entirely missing in action. The 3 minute follow-up infusion allowed the green tea to come out a little more. I could pick up slight notes of grass, lemon, and straw coupled with what I thought were touches of hay and grilled vegetables, but unfortunately everything was still a little too faint for my liking.

Overall, this blend was pretty meh. While the spearmint aromas and flavors were nice and strong, they were overpowering. The green tea presence was so mild that it could not provide enough balance. I suppose that if you are the sort of person who likes a really sweet, minty Moroccan mint green tea, then this may very well be up your alley, but if you like a little more balance and a heavier green tea presence, then this likely won’t do as much for you.

Flavors: Cream, Grass, Hay, Spearmint, Straw, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

I like this. It brews up a clear, deep red. I don’t get a lot of aroma, but the flavor is exceptional. Slightly sweet, with no bitterness, or astringency. Very smooth. It’s like what tea is meant to be.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank China Yunnan by Mark T. Wendell
5 tasting notes

The more of this I drink, the more I like it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98
drank Assam by Mark T. Wendell
5 tasting notes

Since discovering quality tea this assam has been the real eye-opener. So to speak.

This has become my favorite tea and I Iike it more the more of it I drink. I brew to Wendell’s instructions and it comes out clear and red. I don’t detect any bitterness or astringency. It’s very smooth and very drinkable. When I finish my 8 oz tin I’m going to order a pound of this.

Flavors: Earth

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98
drank Assam by Mark T. Wendell
5 tasting notes

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90
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
5 tasting notes

While this is obviously a high quality tea, I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea, so to speak. The aroma of the leaves is smokey, but not overpowering. I brewed 5 minutes. It came out very clear, slightly dark red. It was smokey, but underneath you could tell there was high quality tea. I’ve never tasted anything like this before, it’s my first lapsang suochong.

Interesting.

Flavors: Smoked

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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88

This Tea is paradise, i really liked it and I will try it again but can’t find it

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drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
23 tasting notes

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85
drank Rose Congou by Mark T. Wendell
45 tasting notes

Second steeping.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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33

My mother received this as a gift from one of her co-workers. She is more of a coffee fiend, but does like a nice hot cup of black Lipton tea every so often. These little balls of desiccated flower petals that expand to double their size are a bit too much for her. She passed it along to me knowing that I am willing to give anything a try.

Smell: In the tin it smells vegetal. You definitely know this is a plant!

Taste: Less than what I expected. Although white teas are light on flavor, I truly didn’t expect it to be almost absent. I can imagine pairing this with fruit like pineapple or strawberry, but for the price tag I shouldn’t have to go through all that effort.

It IS really pretty when it’s allowed to steep in a clear glass – it almost looks like pink water lilies (if they weren’t pink, but dead instead).

Overall it is visually appealing and the aroma is nice, but on taste alone this tea isn’t worth the cost.

Flavors: Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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175, gongfu, first steep 1 minute. Lots of grass and hay, faintly sweet. Second steep 2 mins. Same. Not too great. It’s like drinking hay. Not my cup of tea.

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86

This tea is a famous staple at events hosted at my work, often served with lemon. I prefer my tea without sugar or lemon, generally, though the citrus is nice with this tea. It is definitely smokey, but less of the bacon-like smoke some brands of lapsang souchong seem to have, this is gentler and more woody. The smoke flavor is not as noticeable in the scent of the leaves or the tea, but comes through the most when drinking. There is a traditional black tea feel and taste to this, not bitter but full-feeling and with a sort of rich tanin flavor and texture. Some kind of spicy, almost cinnamon-like, secondary note comes in the aftertaste which really adds a coziness to the forward smoke flavors. I thought I had heard somewhere that this might be close to the kind of tea drank in Boston historically, but I could be making that up. Overall a bold cup with just the right amount of smoke. It’s famous around here for a reason!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Smoke, Tannin, Wood

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88

Copper outline around the word and concept of wisdom. Deeper and deeper with each sip you descend into a harmony with self and knowledge. Sip by sip you surrender and you conquer simultaneously. Booyah.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 tsp 1 OZ / 29 ML

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90

A campfire surrounded by friends or alone in nature. Each noise a background ambiance and melody and a mystery.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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98

I love this tea to wind down before bedtime. It has an amazing smell and tastes of Apple’s.

Flavors: Apple

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89

This was one of the first hot teas that I ever tried. That was about six years ago and it is still one of my favorites.
This is my go-to tea, any time of day. It is nice and strong, just perfect lightly sweetened with a bit of almond milk added.

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89

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92

Backlog:

An excellent pure white tea. Not a surprise, because Mark Wendell offers some super teas!

The flavor is delicate, but it doesn’t lack in flavor. It has a crispness to it that I find very enjoyable. This crisp note is very invigorating! Sweet with hay-like notes. Gentle and earthy.

This tea is good for many resteeps too!

here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/12/12/china-mutan-white-tea-from-mark-t-wendell/

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74

I decided to get all my Christmas cards done this morning.
Got the cards out and found my address book, and then went to fill up my tea kettle.
No water. What!??!
Apparently, my landlord came to fix some issues with our well and turned off the water.
Well, thought I, it should not take long, I will just get at these cards.
After a bit, when my card stack grew and my hand had a cramp in it, I thought surely they must be done.
It had been two hours and he was still out there.
I was starting to have a full on panic. You know…when you realize you have no water, suddenly the things you want to do most involve water usage.
Anyway, here it is, edging onto 1:30 pm and I am finally having my first cuppa of the day.
All my cards are written up and addressed and ready for the mailbox.
I have not had a genmachia in awhile, and when I placed an order with this company I realized I had a real hankering for Genmaicha, and I had not tried Mark T. Wendell’s as of yet.
Genmaicha is not a tea I drink every day, and sometimes a week or two will go by with me not even thinking twice about it, but I like to keep it on hand, because when I want some, I do not like to be without.
Mmmmm. When I poured the water over the leaves that cozy, toasty, nutty odor enveloped my nostrils.
Gosh, I missed this stuff.
Taste is more delicate than some of the genmaicha’s I have tried.
And the green tea is more sweet than a bit of a bite at the end, like in the others.
Tea color is a bright yellow.
Overall, very happy to have some of this tea in my cupboard as well as most of all in my cup:)
Will drink this more and see if it grows on me, at this point there is some other genmaicha’s I have tried that I enjoyed a little better than this one. This is still quite good though.
Happy Monday, Ya’all!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

heh and that is why there is always enough water in the fridge at my place for at least 6 cups of tea :)

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82

I am currently eating carrot sticks in the attempt to remind my body of a food besides the carbs I have been ingesting the last 24 hours and drinking this tea because…well, just because! I don’t need a reason to drink tea.
I am also browsing through a book I bought on my tablet called ‘How to speak like Jane Austen and Live like Elizabeth Bennet’ by Kaelyn Caldwell.
Its quite a delightful and fun little read.
Anywho, the name of this tea brought pine-y loveliness to mind and since its winter time and I live in the land of no trees (seriously) I had visions of snow covered pine trees in my head.
Well, I could have read the full description before my hurried purchase and I might have known that vision was incorrect.
However, despite all that, this tea is very tasty.
It’s smell reminds me very much of a Milk Oolong.
It smells creamy and nutty.
I am getting a bit of sugared nuts and whipped cream, with a roasted veggie note…perhaps parsnips?
Taste will remind you that this is an oolong, a nice sweet, bright vegetal taste cuts through the creamy aroma, rounding off to just a dash of dryness at the back of the tongue.
A lovely tea, indeed!
Perfect companion to a bit of reading and for tagging along to the workshop for a woodcraft project this afternoon.
Have a Happy Day, all you lovely people!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m about to create your vision. Thank you so much for the push :)

Hesper June

Oooo! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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87

Tea #12 from HHTTB2

Ever had steamed green beans with slivered almonds and just a tiny drizzle of butter?

That is this tea.

Vegetal, slightly nutty, and sweet with a creamy mouthfeel.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec
MissB

Wow! Very evocative.

TeaBrat

sounds yummmmy

tea-sipper

Darn, I should have tried this one when I had the teabox. :D

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83

Hello, all!
I have been absent as of late because I have been trying to dwindle down my ever growing tea supply.
Quite proud that I am down to approximatively 35 teas.
Since I have been doing so well, I treated myself to a few teas when I made a recent Christmas order.
And this delightful tea was one of those treats.
The dry leaves are dark in color and there is a crisp earthy-ness to the smell.
The tea brews up to a lovely amber orange.
The tea itself smells quite different than the leaves, there is still a earthy type odor, but what comes out more prevalently is warm notes of chocolate and a tinge of spice and bright citrus.
Taste is a milder version of the smell.
A little spicy, slightly citrus, earthy chocolate.
Nice mouth feel.
Really is quite lovely and different Oolong.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

go you! congrats on shrinking your cupboard :) Glad to see you back!

Hesper June

Thanks, Sil! Glad to be back..you steepster folks are just terrible for trying to eliminate large tea stashes. You lovely enablers, you;)

JustJames

missed you!

K S

35! I didn’t even know that was possible.

Ysaurella

the tins are lovely …I have at least 85 teas with the sample sizeq, I admire your determination !

Whispering Pines Tea Company

That’s impressive! :D I have like 40 teas in my “Daily Cupboard” :P

Hesper June

Thank you, JJ!
KS,Ysaurella, and WPTC, Well, I realized that I could not possibly drink all the tea that I kept acquiring before they started to age or change in flavor.
I decided that really did not seem fair to the teas, my palate or my pocket book. Sigh…I hate when I am sensible;)

JustJames

well, jane austen would be proud….. ‘sense and sensibility’ and all that! i’ve been sipping down fairly steadily. though i must admit i hoard my french teas in airtight containers. i sniff them, debate, and then put them away, lol.

i am amazed at the then and now of my tastes. where i began versus where i am…..

Hesper June

:)
Ah, yes, well, I think we all have those teas that we can hardly bear to drink as they just seem to special.

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