57 Tasting Notes

drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
57 tasting notes

The expectations that go with the name of this blend as well as the rather attractive packing leaves one utterly disappointed when it comes to the tea itself.

As soon one opens the tin an almost overwhelming smell of artificial flavors do penetrate the nose. Vanilla and Strawberry…not sure where to find the connection of those ‘fruity notes’ with China or Tibet.

After infusing the tea leafs the water colors nicely. But by now the whole room is filled with a scent that comes closer to American cotton candy or Jelly Beans then the Himalaya.
After drinking the first cup of well infused tea comes the conclusion that the taste of the actual tea leaf is very weak. The brew does taste thin. The aftertaste disappears far too quickly.
The awakening effect is surprisingly weak considering the cut size of the leafs.

This tea blend could however turn out to be interesting if tamed down with a adding of Assam leafs or a rough sort of Pu-Erh.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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…if one follows the tradition of Chinese tea drinkers then all leaves have to be washed before the actual infusions. That simply means that the fist brew gets disposed. This first brew suppose to wash out the dust, open or pre-soak the leaves and start to develop their flavors.

The color of this tea could be compared to a rich single malt whiskey.

Color: golden, bronze. Very appealing to the eye…
Nose: sharp, fruity, slight bitterness in the end (…fresh cut grass)
Palate: clean, smoky, hints of soft,creamy sweetness such as butterscotch
Finish: aftertaste does not manage to stay very long. Bitter sweet with a pleasant,refreshing roughness.

A interesting, complex tea. Not very awakening though. Nice to drink in order to get through the day.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
57 tasting notes

…very strong flavors. I guess the explanation of it’s profound taste lays within the fact that King Edward VII was a heavy smoker. Anyways, I do like it on my palate and love the awakening effect. I do recomment to try this tea with a slice of lemon. That transforms this blend into a refreshing summer tea. The Assam will still be able to push through nicely.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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Very nice tea that goes well with all kinds of sweets.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Gunpowder by Teavana
57 tasting notes

…the first brew always tastes fruity, smooth and gentle. Starting with the second infusion things tend to go down hill with grassy bitterness…
Not much awakening-effect here…expected more.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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drank Kashmir Tchai by Kusmi Tea
57 tasting notes

…excellent Chai blend. Does not need sugar or milk, in my opinion.

I would not suggest infusing it with boiling water. A lower temperature will sort of smoothen one’s drinking experience.

Although there a lots of seeds and herbs visibal I find it amazing how strong those flavors push through. Obviously Kusmi is not very shy when it comes to the use of ( hopefully natural…) oils to parfume their products. But then, in all fairness, who doesn’t, nowadays?
Anyways, my favorite Chai blend so far…

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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drank Sencha Lemon by The Tea Spot
57 tasting notes

I am not quire sure how to rate this tea.
The fragrance most certainly is of pleasant nature, even though one might feel inclined of suspecting that cheap lemon myrtle was used instead of lemon essence or zest.
The Sencha itself seems very astringent, very bitter and heavy on its tannins.
The ginger, very frankly speaking, only gets its way through to the taste buds because it is mentioned on the label of the packing. The warming nature of this spice used for this particular blend does not even come close in any way to what is available on the Chinese market. In China Oolong teas flavored with ginger are very popular. Especially during autumn until spring as it is warming the drinker’s throat all the way down to the stomach.
In Japan good quality Sencha is mostly the beverage of choice during breakfast due its awakening nature.
The tea leaves for this blend however fails to lift up the spirits of the drinker and therefore proofs itself to be pointless (…like caffeine- free coffee) to me.

155 °F / 68 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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A “Friesen blend” usually starts to unfold its character after the adding of cream or milk. It also is expected to hold up against the traditional sweetener, which in northern Germany comes as rough crystal sugar (Klüntje).
One will be utterly disappointed after finding out that all this does not suit this particular blend.
The matter of fact that the “Theodor Storm” blend is done with large leafs leaves the connoisseur in astonishment right from the beginning. Please do try to remember, it is a strong and hearty brew that one should hope for when it comes to tea blends from the stormy, German northern coast. Big leafs do hardly seem to be the right thing to go for to reach that kind of goal.
“Theodor Storm” is a very fine tea for the afternoon though. Special care seems to be advisable in regards of the portioning. It carries at lot of tannin. The smoothness of the actual brew tends to get unpleasantly overpowered by the rather harsh aftertaste. Hence one may reckon: small dosage of leafs and short infusing time.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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Passionate tea drinker since 1992…



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