362 Tasting Notes
A surprise from a swap with Mel (thank you!) which I saved till it was just the right occasion. And oh this is nice and also feels very british. A very nice Christmas tea indeed – I got orange, lemon and cinnamon, and also crazily something apricot like? A very strong base though still smooth. For somebody like me who seems to have a prejudice against Christmas teas this was a winner!
I am a Yumchaa fan since I accidentally found one of their market stalls a few years ago. In the meanwhile I have made my way through a lot of their teas – I might be on my 4th or 5th 100 gr pack of Berry Berry Nice for example! Some have been samples from friends or tried in their tea shops, and a few of the new ones I never had a chance yet but I have been trying as many of their teas as I could. This is one of their old tea blends which I left for last. A friend (obrigada!) brought this for me with my nth package of Berry Berry Nice all the way from London and oh it was a great seasonal choice. And a tip : those two packages together smell wonderfully. Unbelievably good. one of these days I will even try brewing them together. Might be a mess, but the scent is just too alluring to not try.
so Christmas and this chai, I picked this by accident because I am so into chai right now and I had never tried this one, but this is IMO a sort of perfect Christmas tea – the spices making it festive, the spearmint candy making it uncloying, and the Yumchaa nice sencha base underneath it all. A really really nice take on green tea with mint or green chai or christmas tea, however you would like to class it, it´s a good one!
Another café cup of tea, and I think brewed unfairly hot. A generously sized teabag in a mug with water from the cofee machine and it was OK. And actually pretty nice, even brewed that hot it was not bitter.
Not really a tasting note, but just a small note to remind myself this was actually nice and a decent choice.
The wolf, the big bad wolf is as sweet as any golden retriever and a perfect gentleman, oh I do love it.
It´s chocolate and hazelnut tea, on itself a wonderful idea, but not a sickly sweet combination, more like dark chocolate type. And magically the underlying tea can stand up to the flavor, without being bitter, tanninic (or since I experimented having it at night, not too much caffeine I think). And it is one of those magic flavored teas where I can be so careless when brewing it, it is not fussy about temperature or steeping times. I love this wolf tea, and everybody who I have served it to seems to love it as well, this is not going to last very long here. A re-buy for sure.
Another so kind sample from ysaurella, many thanks!
Oh this is nice, nicer than the other violet tea I have, smoother base and more delicate flavour. Base has some ceylon on it, no? And this smells so strongly and sweetly, I had to segregrate the ziploc containing this from the other samples, even on the ziploc it perfumed the cupboard where I put it.
It is a violet tea, not sure how to describe it other than that. Base is strong enough, I think maybe with some Ceylon on it (as well as chinese teas, maybe?). The scent is violet, not quite as strong as in my other tea, but more delicate and I do prefer this one. And that is it, tea with violet. Violet is almost certainly a specific taste for food – I like it, love violet candies and love violet perfume notes as well. But it´s always a strong scent, maybe the essence of floral (along with roses and jasmine, maybe) so beware of violet teas if you are not already know you love violets.
Dragon well (Longjing, Lung Ching, whatever) is one of my favorite teas. When infussion so kindly offered 3 samples to steepster users (the other 2 samples I have to figure out how to use, not being tea-tea!) this was a no-brainer choice. Longjing, I am always interested in!
And this does not disappoint. I am trying just the first infusion with plenty of water and a 3-something minute steep and it´s dragon well magic, intense, sweet, buttery and nutty.
Another opera tea by Mariage Frères, this one so kindly sent in a sample swap by Toitoi (thank you! ).
This tea is totally a half sibling or close cousin to Thé au Tibet – though I think not such an easy one to brew! Thé au Tibet is a magic tea for me, one I do not seem to be able to spoil and which always cames out so refined and just right no matter what time or steeping temperatures I used or how careless with it I have been. Elixir d´Amour is a similar tea, a bergamot tea with flowers and vanilla, but not such a forgiving one – I think I brew slightly wrong, the bergamot came out slightly bitter. Must try a shorter steeping time!
The MF website describes EdA as black tea with citrus, rose, lotus and osmanthus. Is there some green tea in the mix as well or am I projecting from the similarity to Thé au Tibet ?The citrus include with total certainty bergamot, it´s an unmistakable note and the dominant. I think I detect as well some orange underneath. The florals are unmistakeable, rose indeed and a lychee-like note from I believe is the lotus, as well as some sweeteness which is probably the osmanthus. Not mentioned in the official description but there is some vanilla in here as well, it´s particularly noticeable when the tea cools.
Very lovely tea. Very similar to Thé au Tibet, and I think a tea which people who love flowery creme earl greys will love.
Wow, just realized I got at home right now samples from none less than 3 different Mariage Fréres teas named after operas : Prince Igor and Aïda (thank you Ysaurella) and Elixir d´Amour (thank you toitoi!). And I knew there were a few more operas, just went checking and they got even more teas named after operas – Madame Butterfly, Parsifal, Bal Masqué, any more? Plus of course, cheating a bit Swan Lake and Thé à L´Opèra. Hmm.
Aida, I am not going to rate right now, if I can manage to not rate it. I think I brewed it too cold and just come out wrong. It is totally and completely a citrus tea and for me, weirdly this would be a russian tea – citrus and black tea (Far more than Prince Igor, which is to me is a very french tea!). Lemon and oranges, and somehow, maybe because of the temperature used, so sweet! Amazingly sweet (no sugar added or anything) on its own. Another tasting note when i brew it hotter.