1340 Tasting Notes
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 22
I often struggle with cherry and plum teas – finding them overly sweet, candy-ish, or medicinal. However, a fruit blossom-inspired tea appears to be a good work around for me. The stone fruit flower notes are still on the sweet side but subtler and lighter.
The plum is a deep shade to the cherry’s brighter high note – working in tangent to provide extra scope and depth. The flower hues are a good match for the Japanese sencha base – rich in sweetgrass and umami notes (and more than a little marine air). The addition of chrysanthemum may or may not be influencing the blend; it’s been a while since I had the flower and I don’t know if MF is using it in a way that would impact the blend much, if at all – beyond aesthetics (which are completely lost in a tea satchet). There’s definitely a sweet, almost sunflower nectar-like, floral note though.
The tea makes me think of spring and new beginnings. It also pairs spectacularly with the salami & cheese spread I’m munching on. Like, it’s totally annihilating that special lingering salami aftertaste with its sweet flower power. What a gem.
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Cherry Wood, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honeysuckle, Marine, Nectar, Plum, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Umami
9th Tea of Christmas 2022
Just a solid candy cane black tea with satisfying chocolate element. I don’t know if it’s the chemistry of the tea base or what but I love the chocolate flavouring more than I normally do in “chocolate teas”; it feels almost natural and compliments the sweetness of the peppermint candy so well.
Sadly, this tea didn’t last out yesterday. Didn’t even get the chance to try it with milk or eggnog.
Flavors: Cacao, Candy, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 22
Not the biggest fan of apple teas, although I kind of like that this is a baked spiced apple with hints of caramel, maraschino, and vanilla – albeit a perfumey/mustier baked apple than I prefer. It’s a bit too muddled for my liking; I think I want a nippier base tea.. or something.
Flavors: Apple, Candied Apple, Caramel, Cinnamon, Maraschino, Perfume, Smooth, Stewed Fruits, Sweet
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 21
Ok, I like this one. The black currant is jelly-worthy and the peppermint near-creamy. It should also be said that I really like both of these ingredients, even on their own; together, I think they make for an interesting sweet chutney thing – or a possible twist on a mojito. The hibiscus and rosehips are doing their thing too, but I’ve never had a problem with either of these flowers. I thankfully can’t pick out the apple today, so all is good.
Flavors: Black Currant, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Hibiscus, Juicy, Peppermint, Rosehips, Sweet, Tart
8th Tea of Christmas 2022
Ok, I generally find 52Teas’ mango flavouring a bit green for my liking. Last subscription box also had an amazing Toasted Coconut Genmaicha, and I loved that blend just a bit more than I do this one.
That being said – I still enjoy the combination of pudding-like toasted coconut rice infused with green mango’s tangy juiciness (really pops to finish). In today’s session, all of the flavours balance out nicely as the cup sits for a few minutes. I think I like it more now then I did two years ago! Makes me crave Thai food though.
Will probably resteep later; I know it does that well from past experiences.
Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Fruity, Mango, Nutty, Rice Pudding, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Tropical Fruit
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 21
Yay! A smoky black tea! For me, this type of tea is the epitome of the fall and winter seasons – and my favourite cold-weather commuting tea.
This is one of the lightest lapsang offerings I’ve had in a long time; even my mom, who hates smoky teas with a passion, was able to enjoy this one. It would make an excellent beginner Lapsang Souchong (and for 11€ / 100g the price is right).
The tea contains the familiar lapsang notes of wood, sweet smoke, and black tea malt. What surprises me are the vivid flavours of woody cinnamon spice, gold honey, sweet potatoes, and a touch of cream. The spice level is such that I thought that the tea had been contaminated by the advent’s Chai – but the slots where nowhere near each other…
Whether the additional flavours are the result of a “happy accident” or the innate profile of a decent Chinese black tea, the result is delicious and I adore it.
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Hay, Honey, Malt, Pepper, Smoke, Smooth, Spices, Spicy, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Woody
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 20
More bergamot? I’ve had so much of it this week. So. Much.
White tea base with roses, bergamot, something to dye it red (hibby?), and trademark “red berry” flavouring makes for a particularly perfume-like concoction. The result is tangy, tart, hay-ish, bitter-floral, and vaguely berry-sweet. I like the smell better than the taste.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the “rhapsody” series MF showcased last year, and this is no exception, but I do have a slight weakness for the French “red berry” thing.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Hibiscus, Perfume, Red Fruits, Rose, Strawberry, Tangy, Tart
7th Tea of Christmas 2022
Apparently I’ve tried this blend before! Huh.
Despite not being the biggest fan in principle – Carrot Cake blends are a massive nostalgic trip for me. The flavour profile, which this tea nails, is one of the first dessert blends I tried years ago (in a 100g tin); it transports me right back to my years living in Victoria.
Various spices, buttery cake flavours, and a hint of maple-like syrup and frosting goodness make for a cozy and hearty blend – and one I was grateful for after shovelling the drive-ways and sidewalk. We got hit with about a foot of snow last night and it’s both magical and physically exhausting. We don’t normally get that much snow here at once, and my hands are still in spasms (hurrah for a good workout); thankful to hold a hot mug of tea to help sooth them!
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Allspice, Bread, Butter, Cake, Carrot, Cinnamon, Frosting, Maple Syrup, Nutmeg, Powdered Sugar, Smooth, Spices, Vanilla
6th Tea of Christmas 2022
This is a nice breakfast combo! Either the maple-blackberry flavouring or oolong base is contributing to a toasty, dark sugar-malt note that I quite like. As the cup cools, a greener oolong note of floral-butter come out. It’s pure syrupy berry goodness that would go great on top of waffles or pancakes!
I’m sad that there’s no maple cheesecake oolong but this is more than a consolation prize :)
Steep Count: 3
Flavors: Berries, Blackberry, Blueberry, Butter, Floral, Malty, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Pancake Syrup, Smooth, Sweet, Toasty, Winter Honey
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 20
Another green tea with fruit and bergamot flavouring… DF should’ve mixed up their selection a bit more this year (only green tea and tisanes remain, I believe).
It’s a nice mild bergamot, and not as jammy-sweet with the fruit as the last couple days – but still not my favourite. The green tea base has a more trampled-grass-field note then past days (Chinese sencha-like). The apricot flavouring is more tangy-sweet stone-fruit than under-ripe sour; the bergamot further brings out the tartness and brightness of the apricot. The vanilla adds an air of sophistication, and I’m glad to see it!
If this didn’t use Chinese Sencha I would like it more. The flavouring is good but I’ll never be a fan of that tea base.
Flavors: Apricot, Bergamot, Citrusy, Dry Grass, Floral, Fruity, Marine, Smooth, Stonefruit, Tangy, Tart, Vanilla