2189 Tasting Notes
Another tea bag sample from the cafe. I am not the hugest fan of lavender in my tea so I wasn’t expecting to be really into this one, but it turns out it i’s pretty pleasant. Same somewhat generic sencha base as á l’Opera, but it’s relatively smooth, not too grassy, and inoffensive. I didn’t realize that there was berry flavor in this when I brewed it up but after looking at Steepster, apparently so. It is fruity, but it’s fairly subtle. The lavender isn’t too strong, either, but is defintely present. I would have liked more rose but I suppose it is contributing to a general floral sense.
I accidentally left my kettle set from the last tea and brewed this at 195°F instead of 180°F like I usually would for a green tea, but it seems to have suffered no ill effects.
Jumping around a bit this morning on the chronology because I didn’t want to start the day with a green tea (one more MF sample to drink). But now we come to some of Sil’s swap package, including this tea. Oddly, I got a comment last night from Hugo Tea Company on my previous note (written quite a while ago).
To forstall any bitterness while hot I brewed this one cooler this time, and it seems to have taken care of it. Now the tea is just nicely chocolatey, malty, slightly honeyed, and with nice lightly-toasted grain notes. I was definitely glad to drink this one this morning. A nice example of the kind of Chinese black tea that I tend to enjoy.
When I bought my tin of Full Moon Party at the cafe in Pittsburgh, the owner came out a few minutes later (while we were eating our crepe) and gave me a few sample tea bags of some other MF teas they carried. How nice! I’ve had this tea before, a long time ago, but it’s always nice to revisit.
I wasn’t sure how much I would like this one because I have been iffy on flavored greens of late, and it smelled like it would be not quite up my alley. But I actually quite enjoyed the cup anyway. I had rated it pretty low (for me), and I think I had adjusted it at some point when I went on a lark about lowering my ratings across the board, but I’ve come to terms that most teas I will rate in the 70–99 range. Anyway, this was fruity with a touch of vanilla and an ok sencha base (they’re not my favorite). The berries are a bit candyish for me, and I think it’s kind of brought out by the vanilla. Not my fave, but I wouldn’t refuse a cup if offered.
I thought that I would forever be a Mariage Frères doubter, but this tea proved me wrong. SUPER almondy today (like drinking marzipan), sweet and smooth with a nice amount of spices. Sadly this is one of those limited edition MF teas that only comes in an expensive tin, but I will enjoy what I have of it. Who knows, one day I may find another MF tea that I love.
A brief note, since I’m busy today, but I don’t want to forget about writing these tasting notes. I thought I remembered wanting to change my steeping parameters on this one last time I had it and sure enough, I wanted to try it with more leaf. So this time it was 3tsp of leaf for 12oz water instead of my usual 2tsp.
I was a little worried it might come out too strong for me, but it was fine. Strong, yes. If you don’t LOVE bergamot, don’t brew it at this level, because it was powerful. But regardless it was never bitter or astringent, and the base remained smooth and solid. I think perhaps there was a bit more shortbread/cookie flavor in this cup, but it wasn’t super noticable. This remains a solid EG, although not as mind blowing as I wanted it to be.
This tea is well named because drinking a cup of it always makes me happy.
As I have lamented before, this tea always sells out on the Vente-Privee sales before I get to them. Last time I managed to snag a sample tin so I at least have a little. Guess I need to go to Paris to buy some more! :D I like this better than other “red fruits” blends I’ve tried, and I think it’s the addition of the citrus, which really brightens the blend. So happy!
Also I am really surprised that I am the only reviewer of this one. I thought there were others? I got my original sample from Toi toi but I guess it’s just a rare blend.
I had to skip a few teas in my cupboard chronology that were herbals and/or at home, so that brings us to this sample from OMGsrsly. I looked at my past note and bumped by tea amount to 1.5tsp for 12oz fo water today.
I definitely like this ratio better (who would have thought I would like it stronger?). There’s no bitterness to this so I could possibly even go to my normal ratio (2tsp per 12oz); maybe I’ll try it next time. But in any case this is a pretty tasty cup of tea. I think it’s the (unknown) base tea that makes this tea so unique. It tastes like bergamot and vanilla, but it also has some interesting other elements. I think the bergamot and vanilla are a little more subtle in this cup than the last one… the extra leaf is bringing the base out. It’s not a highly flavored tea. The base has a maltiness, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a good blend, and definitely a nice change up from a typical EGC.
Another mango tea from the Happy Bag, and another I was happy to try. Whereas I am not on the lookout for a good lychee oolong, I am on the lookout for a good mango black tea. The dry leaf smells intensely mango-y, like mango candy for sure. If you like mango candy, it’s mouthwatering. It also smells like the base tea, kind of malty, which also smells good.
When I first tried a sip of this tea I was like “blech! bitter assam! too robust for me!” and that’s how it was when it was still really hot. But as it cooled way down, the bitterness faded away and it was a pretty tasty mango tea. I think this tea will be really delicious iced. Perhaps if I want to drink it hot I should try it steeped at a lower temp, although honestly assams never really get that palatable to me. I think if I want mango tea I will go with Lupicia’s Ripe Mango Oolong, and forgo the black tea base.
So continues the list of teas from my New Years Happy Bag that I haven’t gotten around to trying. This was a tea that I was interested in because I do enjoy Lupicia’s flavored oolongs, but then I could tell from the photo that it is actually a roasted oolong (unusually for them) and probably an Oriental Beauty base (flavor seems to confirm that). They aren’t my favorite oolongs and as a base for flavored teas they can be really boring. But! I got this in my happy bag so I got to try it anyway.
The good news is that it’s a decent tea. Lychee is definitely present, although I think I get it more immediately before the sip in the scent, and then as a lasting aftertaste. I definitely get the flavor of somewhat generic Oriental Beauty oolong in the main part of the sip; not quite roasty, but not green either, a touch minerally. I would prefer more lychee in the sip itself, although more does come out as it cools. I bet this would be good cold brewed. Wish they had put this one on a pouchong base, but then again I already have my perfect lychee oolong so I’m not too sad to not be in love with this one!
I was pleased to see this tea in my Happy Bag from Lupicia this year. It’s always been one that I have been curious about. I love mangos, I love oolongs, and Lupicia tends to do a good job with flavored oolongs. I think that I have actually drank this once since I got it but I never wrote a tasting note for it.
There is something about the scent of the brewed tea that is really familiar, but I can’t quite place it. This seems to be more of a pouchong (long wiry leaves) than a rolled high mountain oolong like many of their other flavored ones. The flavor on this is quite good. It’s a bit mango hi-chews, which are some of the best mango candy that I’ve ever had. That still means its a bit more candy than fresh mango, but fresh fruit is difficult to capture in a tea. Then again, maybe if I had tried a ripe mango fresh from a market in southeast Asia, maybe I would tell a different story. Still, this is very nice and the oolong does add a freshness to it. Overall I am glad I have it around.