Well, you all moved me to have a sip of Paris this evening.
And you know what this tea is?
Marco Polo’s little brother.
Do you know what I love about this tea? The fact that it’s a flavored tea that almost tastes like an unflavored tea. It tastes like the flavors are inherent in the leaves instead of coming from outside agents.
But anyway, let’s get to the tea itself. Paris smells amazing. If the city smelled this good, I’d probably never leave. I’m getting lots of strawberry notes, mixed with a bit of bright fresh notes, and yeah. It’s less strawberries-and-cream than Marco Polo, but it probably smells equally amazing. I’m serious. MMMM. SMELL IT. LOVE IT.
Anyway, this one steeps up a very pretty burnt amber color, and the smell coming off the cup is surprisingly not that deep. There’s mainly the smell of black tea, and… that’s about it. There’s the faintest of berry tones in the background, but if you gave this to me without me knowing if it was flavored or unflavored, I’d lean heavily towards unflavored.
So let’s move onto the taste, because there’s some damned complex things going on here, and it’s all pretty subtle. In a wonderful way.
There’s definitely a taste of black tea. I don’t know what to peg it as, but it’s probably Ceylon? A nice, high-quality one if it is. The berry taste, even though it smells like strawberry to me, is more evocative of raspberry. It washes over the tongue then bottoms out into a bean-y vanilla flavor that’s almost reminiscent of cocoa beans. And the finish? Something citrus! It’s not exactly bergamot flavored. It’s an echo of bergamot. Like someone sprayed it in the air yesterday, and you’re still catching the tiniest wiff of it in your nostrils the next day.
Overall, it’s a similar flavor profile to the famous Mariage Freres blend, but I’d give Marco the slight edge. Marco’s quite a bit more floral as well.
But I’m most surprised at how well the flavors meld together into the actual flavor of the tea itself. If you know me, you know that I love unflavored teas that evoke flavorings of their own organically. Paris is sort of like that. It tastes like an unflavored tea that’s calling up all these flavors inherently.
The tea’s cooling down now and the bergamot is coming out a bit more to the forefront, a sparkling fresh slight-tartness that complements the slight astringency very well. It’s about evenly matched with the berries at this point. And the berries are definitely more in the aroma as well. There’s a juicy sweetness as well.
Okay, this is totally nom. And I mean totally. Thank you to the always lovely takgoti for giving me a mini-mountain of this to sip and mull over and enjoy in all its wonderful glory. And thank YOU, Steepster, for getting me to drink this delicious concoction tonight!