This is a cheat note – I’ve had this numerous times already. It’s been this year’s holiday tea, as I got if for Christmas. Well, sticking with the theme, it was technically a cheat Christmas gift. Something I was supposed to get did not arrive on time and so I was tasked with finding a temporary replacement thing for myself (I’m sorry, but I really do love when this happens). No peeking! (I would like to emphasize I avoided the ‘no pekoe-ing’ pun here. Again – kindly award points accordingly.)
So T, who was visiting, kindly agreed to being dragged to Dagnino – that’s where you go if you need to get your Mariage Frères fix in Rome. There’s a nice full wall of MF tea on the upper landing – both tins and bags. I got a tin, but I think you could get as little as 50 grams. And yes, I know I should add this to the tea store review part of the site, but not today.
They made me a very pretty package and I expressed unparallelled surprise as I unwrapped it.
In the tin, this carries a nicely mellow note of caramel vanilla. I thought this would be a knockout, heavy vanilla – the Vanilla of Vanillas, because that’s what island vanilla is to me. In the kitchen, I use Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon, and I was hoping for something along those lines.
Alas, no – not in the cup either. But that doesn’t make it bad at all; in fact, it’s quite lovely – milky, almost; round, comforting and velvety. I’m surprised I like this as much as I do, considering how present the tea base is, but maybe I’m growing up, or something equally terrifying.
So the hunt for the perfect vanilla tea goes on, but I look forward to spending some serious quality time with this one while I look.
(And writing that made me realize these tea notes could be read as dating notes and now I will never be able to stop thinking exactly that as I scroll down my dash. Thick, sweet, lush, fruity, entertaining, playful, full-bodied. This is going to be so bad.)
[Purchased at Dagnino in Rome, December 2013.]