1996 tasting notes

I’m getting closer and closer to having tasted all the black teas in my cupboard once with a note to show for it. By current count I have 15 still untasted and unwritten about including this one.

Two caveats, though. First, I went looking for the Upton Castleton darjeeling today and I couldn’t find it. So I suppose it is possible I put that one in there by accident, but I don’t know for sure. I’m leaving it in for now because sometimes things turn up. There may be others that fit that description as well. Second, I am hoping that after this long weekend, I’ll have reduced that number to nine. If I continue at my current pace, I’ll have gotten through them all by the end of the month, what with Thanksgiving falling in the middle there.

So yay.

I’ll be a little sad when there’s nothing left to discover for the first time with my black teas, though. This one for example.

Everyone says it tastes like Marco Polo by Mariage. I wish I had tasted that more recently,
though I clearly loved it because I gave it a 92. I got some strawberry with that one. I’m not really getting strawberry with this so much. Maybe a little.

In the tin I smell berry fruit, raspberry maybe. And a cocoa note. I smell even more raspberry in the steeped tea. Not much of a cocoa note, though, more of a cream one. The tea is chestnut colored and clear.

The flavor starts out like the smell, but there’s more to it than that. In the aftertaste there’s a pleasant caramel note that has a touch of sweetness.

Just a really wonderful taste to start the day with.

Flavors: Berry, Caramel, Cocoa, Cream, Raspberry, Strawberry

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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


Bay Area, California



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer