1339 Tasting Notes

85

Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 19

Feels like I’m swimming in bergamot and other citrus flavours this advent season. I don’t hate it (in fact, I kind of love it) but I’m also low-key laughing to see even the chai throwing bergamot at me too. Et tu, Brute?

Besides that, I’m all for a chai on this snowy day. The cinnamon, clove, and peppercorn are most forward to me; next in prominence is the cardamom, and then the ginger. The bergamot makes a bright flash of a finish, with flairs of spicy zest, and is also very much there. It all makes for a surprisingly tasty and rounded chai, that doesn’t need a lot (or any) milk. Although, I expected nothing less after thoroughly enjoying most of MF’s past chai offerings.

Flavors: Bergamot, Bright, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Floral, Ginger, Juicy, Malt, Peppercorn, Spices, Spicy, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Bananas Foster by 52teas
1339 tasting notes

5th Tea of Christmas 2022

Taken with milk. While still piping hot, this tea is all smoky rum and burnt sugar notes; the banana and any sense of sweetness is strangely absent, except in a vague savoury plantain kind of way.

However, when the tea becomes lukewarm (after around 20min) the profile does a 180. Caramelized banana pops out while the smoke and rum fade into the background -becoming more of a hot buttered spiced rum. Now that’s more like it!

Flavors: Banana, Burnt Sugar, Butter, Caramelized Sugar, Cinnamon, Earthy, Malt, Rum, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

I have never had plantain. Tea has made me try so many new foods. Maybe that should be something I shoot for in the new year – trying more new foods.

CrowKettle

Mm, plantains are one of my favourite kinds of starchy side! I see them more as “platanos fritos” but they pop up in a lot of culinary traditions. https://www.laylita.com/recipes/fried-ripe-plantains-or-platanos-fritos/

Getting into tea, specifically the greener teas, taught me appreciate vegetables. I hated cucumbers before acquiring a taste for silver needle :)

Michelle

Target makes a decent salted plantain chip

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 18

Despite being blue-dyed, the first steep had a profile of a delicious red oolong – notes of amber honey, flower nectar, and a hint of roasted sweet malt. The second steep tastes more like a milky green oolong – floral, buttery, silky, and rich. It’s quite lovely and I’m kind of curious about the discrepancy between steep one and two. I want to gongfu steep this one, despite the blue peaflowers, but not enough to pick up more. I have a lot of amazing oolong in my life.

Steep Count: 3

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Milk, Nectar, Orchid, Silky, Sweet, Toast

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Bella Blanca by Dammann Frères
1339 tasting notes

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 18

Same mango almond biscuit flavour as my much loved Mango Lassi – so that’s a plus! It also smells amazing.

Bai mu tan isn’t ever going to be my favourite white tea but the natural notes of blueberries, hay, and honey take the fruity flavouring in a ovverripe, jam-like direction. I actually don’t get much bergamot at all; I do get a citrusy strawberry-mango juice medley though.

I’d rather this have a black tea base. Or try it iced! It’s very sweet as is.

Flavors: Almond, Blueberry, Citrus, Floral, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Jam, Juicy, Mango, Musty, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart, Tropical Fruit, Woody

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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4th Tea of Christmas 2022

Somehow effervescent and refreshing despite being a hot beverage. Like Roswell Strange, I’m also picking up lemony and sprite-like flavours. Not getting too much pomegranate, beyond a red berry note, either.

I have a cold steep batch overnighting in the fridge; looking forward to trying this tea cold too! It’s tasty, even if I’d prefer a bit more pomegranate.

Flavors: Berries, Bright, Citrusy, Effervescent, Fruity, Red Fruits, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 17

A good cup of bright earl grey. The bergamot is almost juicy. I’m totally drinking my cup cold (by accident).

Flavors: Bergamot, Bright, Citrus, Floral, Malt, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Earl Grey Cupcake by 52teas
1339 tasting notes

3rd Tea of Christmas 2022

Smells like advertised. Also tastes like advertised (cake; bergamot; vanilla; tea)! Yesterday, I added milk but felt it drowned the “cake-ness” out somewhat. Today I drank it plain and, yes, it’s creamy enough on its own. A little strange to have a creamy earl grey latte experience without the milk but here we are! I’m a fan though.

Flavors: Bergamot, Cake, Citrus, Creamy, Floral, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83

Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 17

The satchet smells potently like coniferous trees, and not much else. Once it’s steeped up it’s clear that the tree flavour is coming from tree syrup – specifically spruce; it’s rich, sweet, and… tree-ish. It’s hard to discern the actual tea underneath the force of nature known as “tree” but, being a lover of evergreen notes and tree resin, I’m all over this anyways. Probably because of that overlap flavour with citrus fruits.

Also, can’t argue that “spruce tea” isn’t on point for an advent calendar! I wish there were more blatantly frankincense, sandalwood, or conifer-infused teas like this one for the holidays

Steep Count: 3 – the second steep is silky, almost creamy, and perfectly balanced.

Flavors: Bamboo, Bright, Caramelized Sugar, Citrusy, Evergreen, Herbaceous, Incense, Lemon, Pancake Syrup, Resin, Smooth, Sweet, Woody

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 16

It looks like this lavender-heavy blend used to have a black tea base; it appears that MF has since subbed it for a green oolong with blue pea flowers. The first cup I had late last night was maybe too potent – lavender, citrus, and vanilla perfume is soothing but also a lot, especially when the tea broth is so blue…

The second steep this morning is more aligned with my preferences. The lavender is toned down but still dominant – whilst the vanilla and citrus (could be yuzu, grapefruit, bergamot, a mix, or neither) add brightness and and decadence to the cottage flower. The oolong base magnifies the milky, floral, and incense notes. There’s a fresh mouthfeel and a hint of something peppery; it’s a surprisingly round cup and I like it.

Steep Count: 4 good subsequent steeps!

Flavors: Berry, Butter, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Lavender, Milky, Mineral, Perfume, Smooth, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 16

I both a) oversteeped this so the earthy roasted notes of the mate are in full power, and b) am drinking it in a rush. Sorry mate!

Ignoring my blunders, I get lots of citrus on the back of cherry, cranberry and lemon. For me, cherry is the dominant addition to the mate’s muskiness (it reminds me a little of pot – that green funk; but it’s also kind of “fresh” like mint). It’s also a bright contrast to the base. I don’t dislike it, but the earthy bitterness of the oversteeped mate and tartness of the fruits give the blend a medicinal bent, and are infringing on what would otherwise be a solid cup.

I may have enjoyed this more if I had payed attention to steeping it. I’m definitely enjoying the juicy cranberry-cherry-with-lemon finish, regardless.

Flavors: Cherry, Citrus, Cranberry, Earth, Fruity, Herbaceous, Juicy, Lemon, Medicinal, Menthol, Roasted, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more
Nattie

In England, we say ‘mate’ as slang for friend, similar to pal. So I read ‘sorry mate’ like that and it made me chuckle.

CrowKettle

Ha… I can’t feign complete ignorance about the resulting pun. I was too lazy to put on the acute accent, read the result of my laziness, and thought “still makes sense.” Now I’m one of those terrible people who goes around making puns. :P

Nattie

Haha, I love a good pun! :’)

Cameron B.

I also read it as Nattie did, and I was like huh, I didn’t know Crowkettle is British… XD

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.

FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS/NOTES:

DESSERT FLAVOURS
Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

FRUIT & BERRIES
Citrus Fruits, Passionfruit, Banana, Pineapple, Melons, Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Elderberry, Persimmon, Rhubarb..

SPICES
Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai, Cardamom

AROMATIC & HERBACEOUS NOTES
Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

FLORALS
Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc.

VEGGIE/GRAIN NOTES
Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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