27 Tasting Notes


This is perfection. I drink this all year round, even in the dog days of summer but it’s got this magical blend of clementine, spices and almond that absolutely embody the holiday season. I adore this. It’s fresh and crisp and the perfect cup to make you wish it were a little colder outside. Gorgeous stuff and one of my favourites teas.


Not sure about wishing it were colder, that’ll come soon enough for me, but great note anyway.

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Big thanks to the lovely Darby for this – since Adagio’s international shipping costs are ludicrous, a swap was the only way for me to try their stuff.
I seem to be in the minority, but I really like this, and this is surprising for me seeing as I don’t like chocolate.

You would NOT believe the kind of abuse I get for saying that I don’t like chocolate. Good lord. ‘Oh my god that can’t be true/you’re lying/How is that possible?/Do you mean, ever?/That’s because you haven’t tried the RIGHT one yet!/Are you sure/You’ll change your mind/More for me!/I’m not speaking to you again/We can’t be friends anymore/So, what do you eat then?/But, do you go out and stuff?/Oh my god do you watch TV?

I wish I were joking. I don’t like chocolate. Do you like oysters? I could live on them. There’s no accounting for taste. Now leave me alone.

This is great because the chocolate is really there to smell more so than to taste. It makes the chai a little bit more bitter than what I’m used to but it’s not a bad thing at all. The base isn’t the strongest and frankly isn’t spicy at all, it’s a mellow chai with just a hint of a woody feel because of the chocolate. I’m really enjoying my cup.


You’re very welcome!


there are a lot of people who aren’t very fond of chocolate and even don’t like chocolate at all. I was very reticent to the idea of tea flavored with chocolate and I just had one this week end and I should admit it was nice. But I don’t recommend it to you because it was really a pure chocolate taste.

Ruby Woo Scarlett

I saw your review of the chocolate tea you tried, Ysaurella and it definitely would be too much for me. If you ever find a chocolatea that has a top flavour that’s something else, I should really like to try it. In tea in small doses it seems to me it just sweetens the base and I enjoy that.


I get the same sort of thing when I tell people I know for certain sure that I don’t want to have children, not now, not ever. “You’ll change your mind!” No. I will not. Trust me.

I went to school with a girl who didn’t like ice cream. I believe she was met with much the same comments as you get.

Ruby Woo Scarlett

I’m childfree by choice too and get the same comments as you. It’s baffling that people ask me if I’m sure or promise me that I’ll change my mind when they wouldn’t say the same thing to someone who told them they did want children. I mean surely the decision that you need to be absolutely sure of and that has the most consequences on the world and yourself is having kids, not not having any. Sigh.


I agree. It’s like it’s not a valid choice and people just can’t seem to accept that some people just don’t like children. I don’t even want to babysit if I can help it. I don’t understand how some people can bring themselves to have children just because it ‘seemed the thing to do.’

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It took me a while to review Pleine Lune because it’s my favourite tea. I can’t get enough of it. Some bestsellers I’m flabbergasted are even appreciated but this deserves all the praise and then some.
And I already know I can’t do it any justice but let’s try and convey ALL THE FEELINGS.

It’s a beautiful tea to look at (cornflower in tea really is my weakness), smell and drink. It reminds me rather foolishly of an impressionist painting – it’s a striking landscape full of colourful pieces which, when put together, magically become greater than the sum of their parts. There are no harsh lines in Pleine Lune, the blending is perfection so that you don’t know when one flavour ends and another begins.
I would describe it as an almond flowery tea, and this is one of the few teas that tastes exactly as good and strong at it smells, which is complex (it’s an unusual combination), grown-up (the flowers, surely) and nostalgic (I blame the sweet almond oil my mother used to wash my hair with when I was a wee child).

Pleine Lune, to me, is what tea is about. You can’t get this sort of fantastic aroma of such different food categories as nuts and flowers from any other beverage. And the comfort that comes attached to a mug full of hot Pleine Lune with just a drop of milk and honey is unparalleled.

I credit this for getting me through the year. I know that whatever happens during the day, I’ll at least be able to truly enjoy something in it. I always allow guests to choose which tea they’d like to drink from my stash when I offer hot beverages and everyone’s always picked Pleine Lune; and for some reason every time someone smells it for the first time, it always reminds them of a memory long forgotten. Pleine Lune, it seems, is a lot of people’s madeleine.

I love this so much.


gorgeous review!


I only found 2 people who don’t like Pleine Lune ! They generally dislike almonds. That’s the reason.
Like you Ruby Scarlett Woo Pleine Lune is really my favourite tea. When I feel sad it is a good solace too.

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Thank you both for your comments.
Ysaurella, I agree with you, Pleine Lune is a great comfort. It’s just a great all-rounder really, it balances my mood :D

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I’m such a fool! See, I placed an order with Mariage Freres recently. I ordered two of my staples (which I’ll be reviewing next) in huge quantities and then I figured I might as well throw in 100g of a new-to-me tea. I saw Marco Polo, remembered that it was MF’s most famous blend and that it got a good rating on Steepster and I was sold.
Ruby – when will you learn to look at the description first? I can be so completely stupid sometimes. I like spicy, nutty black teas. I hate fruity teas with a passion. This is a sweet, strawberry cake tea. If you know me at all, you know that’s when the tiniest violin comes in. I detest berries in any form except their original form. I hate them in yoghurt, in tea, in juice. Love them whole, though.
I won’t be rating this because it’s entirely my mistake. If a strawberry cake appeals to you, this would probably be heaven. It’s very flavoured, as are all Mariage Freres teas. As it is, I’m stuck with my 100g which I drink when I need to focus on something entirely different, like marking papers or watching a film.
Oh, Marco Polo, if only I knew then what I know now! bursts into tears


Take this as a good opportunity to start swapping :)

Ruby Woo Scarlett

Yeah I’m considering it. Thanks :)

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The description for this tea is absolutely spot-on. This is what liquid cayenne pepper tastes like. It’s comfortable only thanks to the cinnamon, otherwise it’s pure fire. I appreciated the fact that even though it does burn you, the burn only lingers on your tongue, not in your throat, which makes it not quite evil and unpalatable. I received a sample of this, I won’t be purchasing a full bag but it was interesting while it lasted.

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I went to a Mariage Freres shop a few months ago and asked them if they had anything that might encompass all the flavours of Christmas. The shop assistant was lovely and offered two blends – Esprit de Noel and, after hesitating a bit, Chandernagor. I smelled both and went for Esprit de Noel, which has orange and is smoother than Chandernagor. I didn’t end up buying Chandernagor but I found the smell impossible to forget even long after. Fast forward to now. I wanted a tea that wasn’t an indulgence for once, a tea that would wake me up in the morning and make me instantly alert and ready to face the day. That’s when I remembered Chandernagor.

It’s a very peppery blend, by which I mean that it will tickle your taste buds and focus your mind. You can’t ignore this tea. You can’t take sips while working or thinking about your next meal. It draws you in. Chandernagor tastes as good as it smells, which is strong and interesting. I taste cloves (so divine, wow), black pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, in that order. It’s a rich tea that I prefer to drink really hot, the very nature of it just calls for a high temperature – I suspect it’ll burn you in iced form anyway.

4 minutes with milk and stevia works best for me.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Didn’t know this tea. Sure next time I’ll visit a Mariage shop, I’ll sniff it and probably buy 100 grams. I like very much Esprit de Noël I’m sure I’ll love it too.


Ysaurella, I just had some and loved it indeed! So lucky I could find it locally. But I think so far it is the chai most precisely to my taste, most balanced I have yet had!

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Sorry to contradict Melissa (see her review above) but this blend can be bought both with a black tea base and a rooibos base. I went for the rooibos version as I could tell this would be an afternoon tea for me and the less cafeine after noon, the better in my case.
It smells wonderful – it’s very sweet. I was disappointed with the taste as I think it’s lacking in complexity. Once you’ve hit the vanilla and the ‘candied’ part of ‘candied chestnut’, it’s all over. Needless to say the chestnut is lost in this sweet fest. It’s a shame, I was really expecting a lot from this blend but I’m guessing I’d get about the same taste with a mixture of vanilla, sugar and a touch of caramel. I’m finishing this but I won’t be repurchasing.

5 minutes with milk works best for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Love your bio, welcome to steepster :)

Ruby Woo Scarlett

I love your username & thank you! :)


Oops, my bad.

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I’m based in France for now, hence the overwhelming amounts of French teas I seem to accumulate. I like flavoured black tea the best and gourmand flavours seem to be all I look for. Dessert teas with nuts, chocolate, honey, vanilla. I also enjoy a good spicy tea (the hotter the better) and straight florals (especially rose).





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