359 Tasting Notes
This was another 50 grams of Mariage Freres teas from a recent splurge, and the only one of the small 50 gram packages which really is a a hit! The concept of it is fantastically alluring (to me), it has been on my wishlist for ages: green tea with violet and menthol and named after Alexander the Great. I had sniffed at it before and not been sure I wanted 100 grams of it, but this time I did risk it, and I am glad I did.
I brewed it not too hot (and I must try it as a cold steeped tea, they do sell it as a summer tea), and decided to when smelling it to sweeten it, and I am glad I did. I don´t usually sweeten tea, but it really brings out the violets, like violet candy (or maybe it is just my brain thinking if I am ingesting something which smells of violets it must be sweetened). And I do love it, floral (mainly violet, maybe some unidentifiable others), with menthol very discreet, at the end of it, and in the tongue, if that makes any sense. And I might very well be imagining this but it also seems fruit-y, red berry-ish, to me.
Really lovely tea
Flavors: Menthol, Violet
Thanks to Ysaurella´s guidance I was able to buy this, and a few other MF teas of which I was very unsure, in just 50 grams. And in the two cases I have already tried the tea, I am glad I only got 50 grams.
This is a very pretty rooibos, huge rose petals. The description sounds fantastic. But brewed up, it tastes like an earl grey rooibos – maybe with a bit of orange in the background, but the bergamot is overpowering, I do not get any of the fruits or floral notes. I already got another earl grey rooibos around, and since I am not an earl grey lover, I am also not a big fan of earl grey rooibos.
I think I would like this better as an afternoon non-caffeine tea – earl grey usually feels to me like an afternoon tea, not an evening tea. And I want to try it maybe cold steeped or or at least with water not as hot, I used almost boiling water and I am picky about bergamot and water too hot. But so far, nice enough but not a tea for me to love.
Flavors: Bergamot, Orange
What a strangely wonderful tea. A recommendation from Excelsior made me very curious to try it, the blender´s description seemed tempting, and it was the very first tea listed on their chart (ah that chart….), I had smelled it before on their breakfast tea shelves, and was on my list for my next Mariage Freres spree. And it´s the first tea of that spree I try and I am a bit in love.
This is a breakfast, morning tea, no way about it. It´s absolutely tiny, dusty (cleaning my infuser is going to be messy), a BOPF tea which sells for 9 euros a 100 grams (and it´s not because it is Mariage Freres, on that chart they have single origin teas starting at half this price). It´s natural, not flavoured smells incredible when dry, like malt and chocolate, yes, maltesers almost, and maybe like honey as well.
And it tastes like it promises, I added milk and sugar and it made a fantastic, traditional morning tea cup.It reminds me of their American Breakfast blend, but somehow more natural. And possibly with more caffeine as well, I am writing this note as I finish it so too early to tell but I think this is going to have a real punch. What a great black tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
I have not had a lot of genmaicha teas. The first one I tried was from a purchase, from probably one of those generic german blenders. I thought it quite strange at first and downgraded it for gardening tea, tea I have while doing some (lazy gardening) on winter weekend mornings (when it´s not raining or TOO dreary. lazy…). And somehow it really worked for that purpose, the toastiness and the green energy, I have been quite fond of it. I was very curious about what a better version of genmaicha would be like, and Ysaurella was kind enough to send me some.
And this is probably going on my shopping list. It really is a different, much more refined, hints of floral genmaicha than the one I had before. Really lovely, I am converted. Though I am also wondering about Lupicia´s genmaicha teas….
A sample from a swap, which has been languishing for a while – it´s winter, and I am craving tea and new teas but trying to watch caffeine intake which is annoying.
This was a perfectly nice earl grey, just the right level of bergamot for me. I can not particularly noticed the vanilla, but I was absentmindedly enjoying it.
A sample from Ysaurella, and a great idea for a rooibos team.
The dry tea smells just heavenly, like coconut yes and cookies and maybe a bit of vanilla. The rooibos itself was a bit smaller than I expected, but it turned out to be a very smooth rooibos base. Good for those who do not love plain rooibos. And full of beautiful whole coconut shavings.
The brewed tea, makes for a very pleasant cup. I don´t know how long ago the tea was blended is, but coconut oxidizes and I think I got a hint of that in the background here – not going to rate this because of it. In all a very good idea for a blended tea, a beautiful balance of flavours.
I love Lapsang Souchong teas. Theodor is probably the tea company I find more interesting currently. When Ysaurella offered to share her Theodor Lapsang Souchong with me, I jumped at it, and was the very first tea of the very tempting package I tried.
Much as I love LS, I wish I was more educated about the differences regarding those, to understand better the (very obvious) difference s. My inevitable comparison of this Lapsang Souchong was with my current favorite, Mariage Freres´s Lapsang Souchong Imperial and the dry leaf of both smells unmistakably different. Like totally different tree smokes – the MF is sharper, maybe more piney. This reminds me of something else, something almost eucalyptus like or oak (not the same at all, but I truly can not describe better), a smell almost umami-rich. It was so different from what I expected I was sure at first sniff I was not going to like it! But no fear, that old magic of lapsang souchong tea, the ability to taste so very different was at work – this is just wonderful, extremely smooth. And now the first shock of not recognizing the smoke smell, I love the smell at least as much as the other Lapsangs in my collection.
A very lovely tea and perfect for a rainy afternoon…
I was interested in rooibos earl grey last year, at the Thé-o-dor shop, while smelling all of their sublime rooibos blends. With limited luggage space, I ended up restocking a few other favorite blends, thinking this simpler idea might be easier to find, and test, from other blenders. And did find this one. It was a bit cheaper, a reasonable around 5 euros per 100 grams. And that kind of shows – the rooibos is not as smooth as from some other brands, the bergamot is a bit too-much. It still makes for a very nice cup of tea, if I am careful to not brew it too hot (bergamot goes bitter) nor too weak. It´s just perfect for a late afternoon cup of tea, when I am already weary of too much caffeine but want something more tea-like than a mere tisane.
This is the last, the little bits at the bottom of the tin – am clearing a lot of teas, I have a totally unprecedented number of available tins. Weirdly with no compunction to have a large mega order yet, almost as if I am not really sure what teas I would really love to have. I have been trying so many flavoured things, I might have tired from the concept a bit, at least in general. So for now, am just happy to be drinking what i got at home.
This is one which is no chore to finish and might be a rebuy though I need to see how much I will miss it now I have finished it . There is something so perfectly civilized, so elegant and smooth about it, the smoke I love so much, the bergamot just a hint.