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Black Fruit Blend
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  • “I wanted to try one of MF special tea blend for the evening low in theine, of which there are not many and their description is at best brief. This one seemed appealing, its smell in the shop was...” Read full tasting note

From Mariage Frères

Evening blend
A nostalgic blend of teas from distant lands.
Very low in theine.

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1 Tasting Note

111 tasting notes

I wanted to try one of MF special tea blend for the evening low in theine, of which there are not many and their description is at best brief.
This one seemed appealing, its smell in the shop was rather pleasant. It required a bigger than average bag, as the leaves are bigger than average, with different colors.
I first brewed it tonight. And I cannot say the experience is very conclusive.
I followed the MF instructions for brewing and believe I should leave it brewing for a shorter period of time, as there’s a hint of bitterness underlying the tea flavor. It’s basically a black tea, with probably Darjeeling inside, not sure exactly why ones, some I like and some I do not like so much and I would guess one type of citrus – only one as the flavor is rather basic and unvarying over time.
Not bad but nothing to make it special or interesting. MF Rouge Ruschka (rooibos with a few different citrus) was a much more interesting and tantalizing blend than this one.
Now I definitely hope it contains a low level of theine; otherwise I’ll downgrade again my rating tomorrow for false promises;)

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

LOL, wishing you luck with it!


If we wake up tomorrow morning and see there’ve been lots of notes and comments from you overnight, we’ll know it was false promises! :)


Good news, it did not prevent me from sleeping
Bad news, I brought a small tin at the office, there was less citrus peel in my cup and the taste was even worse than what I remembered. This one was a bad choice ;(


Low on caffeine or theine tea almost always is, dunno, just wrong in taste. Lapsang Souchong IMO is not too bad at keeping awake which is good because for me it´s an afternoon or evening tea, but that is just about it and not helpful for people who do not love LS!


Sorry CTeresa, not sure that I understood correctly, you mean that LS seems to be rather low in caffeine/theine and never prevented you from sleeping even when drunk in the afternoon?
Surprisingly, Le Palais des Thés sells some low-caf blends that are more than decent, ie. similar to their normal caf tea, with some successful blends, and not a big step below, like it’s often the case. However I have to admit their best teas are not exactly up to par with other brands.


Yes, I mean Lapsang Souchong because of the type of leaves used or time where they are picked is naturally low on caffeine usually and does not bother me much, even when i take it relatively late – that does not happen with other teas usually! Good white tea which I love and looking all innocent and light is probably the strongest acting on me.

I will keep that in mind regarding PdT – I have never been very lucky with their blends, but I always keep trying.


Now I know I can finish your small bag of MF LS also in the afternoon, while I was scared to drink it even just after lunch, convinced it would be as potent as the smoky flavors are strong.
Totally agree with the white tea, looking so delicate, light-colored, with a refined flavor and a mighty second effect. I also did the mistake to drink some in the afternoon and reproached myself until late at night.
For PdT, the two low theine blends I prefer are Thé des Songes and Lime Wu Long. None is really fantastic, but I never had difficulties to empty those generously filled bags.


I was not impressed by a tea shop in town (they’ve been selling tea for a while but only opened the shop recently) when I asked for the strongest blend they had and got tea that was still too weak. When I said that while asking for a second cup, I was offered Lapsang Souchong which she said smelled really strong. Good grief – smoke aroma does not keep you from getting a caffeine-deprivation headache!

Scary about the white teas, which are always said to be low caffeine, though I gather that you only know for reals about any type of tea by lab test (or the hard way at home!)


Actually regarding the white teas, most people believe it’s low caffeine but a few tell the exact opposite, that it is indeed the most caffeine-laden of all, supposedly because it’s not or very lightly oxidised. I’m not so sure of the explanation, because the oolong I drink very often in the afternoon is slightly oxidised (15% only according to the box) but never prevented me from sleeping, even when I drank some around 5 to 6 pm. Maybe it’s only because I use very little tea when I brew it?
@ Hallieod: agreed, it’s frustrating when the salesperson either does not know what he/she sells, or more or less deliberately misunderstands the question asked, to push another inappropriate product, sometimes to avoid acknowledging that they do not have what you want. It’s very common practice all over Asia.


I think with white tea, or gyokuro is a matter of the time when the leave is picked, very new top leaves when just unfurling so it´s all very concentrated on all sorts of compounds. I think gyokuro is supposedly highest of all teas, though checking wikipedia apparently the trick of covering it makes caffeine increase http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyokuro

last weekend I was making herbal tea with brand new leaves from lemon verbena, and OMG is was so good, those tiny little leaf buds are so much more strongly scented, so much better than normal leaves (the bush needed to be pruned anyway. No plants were seriously harmed to make tea for me).

Somebody who thinks lapsang souchong is high on caffeine, or color or body corresponds with caffeine is sadly not too knowledgeable about tea – but often tea salesperson are not!


Ah and an interesting article, http://elmwoodinn.com/about/caffeine.html

looks somewhat scientific, though they did not test lapsang…


This article is indeed interesting and seems serious enough. Of course the sample could have been bigger – I really would have liked to see a decaff-tea in the sample in order to check whether it was indeed that efficient.
I would also have appreciated different measures for the same tea, according to different steeping times and quantities – to check whether it’s actually better in terms of caffeine intake to brew one whole teapot or to resteep leaves.
This article confirms however that my resteeping my oolong sometimes many many times until very late in the afternoon is not something that should turn against my beauty sleep.

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