For 50 euro, this is was truly disappointing. For anything more than 20 dollars this would have been disappointing. First of all, for such a price you’d expect Mariage Freres to provide a tin; it didn’t. Second, the leaves are coarse, unpolished, filled with yellow highlights, and unfragrant. I’ll attribute it to the fact that this is “organic.” The same goes for its lack-luster taste. I brewed it at 175 ‘F for 50 seconds with a slow pour but this might call for 160’ at 1 minute 20 because my first brew was lame. There was no umami-filled creaminess characteristic of a high quality tea. The steeped leaves were a brownish green as opposed to the vivid uniform green of better quality teas. Overall, don’t be fooled by the beautiful photo of dark needles; this tea is of poorer quality than the $12 Sencha Yamato from Upton Tea.
Update: I did actually try 164’F for 1 minute 20 with a slow pour and it was so much better. Still definitely not worth the price, but much better nutty, slightly roasted, rounder vegetal flavor. But you can still taste a certain “swampiness” that makes this tea markedly inferior.