91
drank Casablanca by Mariage Frères
1928 tasting notes

It has been a long time since I’ve had a Moroccan mint tea. My favorite in the genre is Samovar’s Moorish Mint, and I remember it being exquisite. Damn near perfect, really.

From the moment I opened my tin of this, though, I thought it was a definite contender. A wonderful minty smell — but not too minty, not so minty that it overpowers everything and makes your eyes water. It smells to me like spearmint rather than peppermint — which makes sense because I think that is what is typically used in Moroccan mint tea. But it is also a gentler mint in general, and tends to blend better. I also smell the bergamot, which is a nice touch — it cuts through any tendency the mint might have had to be overpowering.

The tea steeps to a pretty, apricot color with some suspension in it and smells divinely minty (but not overpoweringly so). The bergamot has a heightening effect that’s hard to describe. It’s like a freshening effect, I guess.

The flavor is gently minty with slight bit of citrus around the edges. The tea base is a juicy, vegetal green that peeks through every now and then.

It is not as perfect as Samovar’s. But it is quite good.

Flavors: Bergamot, Spearmint

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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