69

French Friday! Pulled this from the sampler bag from Dustin this morning, thank you!

…I had very little time to prepare tea this morning, so instead of coming to Steepster to look up the tea first, I just ran straight over to the kettle to start preparations. And for whatever reason, in my uncaffeinated state, the leaf looked like black leaf to me, so that’s how I prepared it… only to come back to Steepster, look up the tea for logging, and see this is a green tea. So basically, I’ve just scorched the hell out of these leaves (at least the second cup for the thermos will be the right temperature…)

Dry leaf had a strong grape aroma to me… a bit like grape, black current, and cranberry? It was pleasant. The steeped cup smells pretty much the same, with an emphasis on the grape note. It doesn’t taste too bad for dunking green tea leaves in 205F water, though there is a sharpness/brassiness coming out. It’s pretty subtle under the flavoring, which is strongly berry; purple grape candy, black current, blueberry… without any of those flavors being particularly distinct, but a fusion of each other. A bit of astringency on the end of the sip, it is more of a sharpness at the back of the tongue than bitter persay, with some mild drying. Hard to tell if that is a result of my brewing, or the tea itself. I’m attempting to carefully sip from the work thermos which was brewed at the proper 175F, and I’m uncertain if I can tell much difference. At least not enough that I see no reason to combine my cuppas in the thermos before leaving for work. Despite the harsh brew, I’m not in sink territory yet.

This one feels slightly more waxy on my tongue… I remember having that issue with Marco Polo too, and wonder if I’m more sensitive to the kind of scentings Mariage Freres uses compared to THEODOR. The flavor is very pleasant, I’m just not as much a fan of the mouthfeel compared to some of the other French teas I’ve tried thus far.

Flavors: Astringent, Berries, Black Currant, Blueberry, Candy, Drying, Grapes, Grass, Thick

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Cameron B.

I haven’t tried much Mariage Frères due to the price and so many things only being available in fancy tins.

Mastress Alita

Well, I am only now getting to dip my feet into French tea at all. Maybe it is the particular strength/way that Mariage Freres scents that doesn’t sit with me, but it could be the flavorings themselves; it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had sensitivities/reactions to certain flavorings. I think I’ve only tried two Mariage Freres now and both have left this sort of heavy, waxy feeling from their flavoring on my tongue that I don’t like. But I have never gotten that with the handful of THEODOR I’ve sampled thus far.

Cameron B.

I’ve only tried a couple of their teas as well, but I don’t remember noticing that? I’ll have to pull one of them out to have next.

Mastress Alita

It could very well be a “Sara’s weird tongue” (the same tongue that likes straight, unfettered hibiscus, mind) thing. I know I’ve had some flavorings (from other companies) in the past where I got weird metallic notes that pretty much no other tasting note noticed or had any issues with. (Even more mind-boggling is it often is only certain flavorings and not all flavorings by a single company when I do get weird reactions). Since the chemical makeup of flavors is not disclosed (they are just “natural” or “artificial” with no real idea what is in them) I don’t really have a way to pinpoint what it could be my body seems to react to.

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Comments

Cameron B.

I haven’t tried much Mariage Frères due to the price and so many things only being available in fancy tins.

Mastress Alita

Well, I am only now getting to dip my feet into French tea at all. Maybe it is the particular strength/way that Mariage Freres scents that doesn’t sit with me, but it could be the flavorings themselves; it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had sensitivities/reactions to certain flavorings. I think I’ve only tried two Mariage Freres now and both have left this sort of heavy, waxy feeling from their flavoring on my tongue that I don’t like. But I have never gotten that with the handful of THEODOR I’ve sampled thus far.

Cameron B.

I’ve only tried a couple of their teas as well, but I don’t remember noticing that? I’ll have to pull one of them out to have next.

Mastress Alita

It could very well be a “Sara’s weird tongue” (the same tongue that likes straight, unfettered hibiscus, mind) thing. I know I’ve had some flavorings (from other companies) in the past where I got weird metallic notes that pretty much no other tasting note noticed or had any issues with. (Even more mind-boggling is it often is only certain flavorings and not all flavorings by a single company when I do get weird reactions). Since the chemical makeup of flavors is not disclosed (they are just “natural” or “artificial” with no real idea what is in them) I don’t really have a way to pinpoint what it could be my body seems to react to.

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JjlpjQ94UyoryaDRMIeqnPHObgvCtmRp/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited outbound gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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