1106 Tasting Notes

drank Paris In Love by Mariage Frères
1106 tasting notes

Mariage Frères Advent 2021 – Day 7

Another “blue” oolong! The flavouring is a lovey berries & rose cream – subtly tart, floral, and juicy. The base is pretty light – coming out more as the tea cools down for +10min; I’d say indistinct floral, grassy, and mineral notes, with maybe a hint of cream. It’s velvety smooth and has an aroma that makes me crave pastries and jam. I think I like this one.

Flavors: Berries, Blueberry, Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Jam, Mineral, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Rose, Strawberry, Tart

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I see my advents are another green and oolong today, so I dived into my stash for some morning black tea. Because it is winter and I want black tea (ok, it’s still technically fall). It tastes a little like a root beer float and it doesn’t even need milk or ice cream!

Zzzz… winter torpor. Here’s a video of a hummingbird snoring (BBC):


Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Malt, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

That hummingbird snore was way too cute.

Mastress Alita

My cat has a snore like the world’s tiniest trumpet, which I’ve always found quite cute. But that hummingbird was another level of the cuteness.


Cats are undeniably adorable too, even when they don’t intend to be :)

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Dammann Frères Advent 2021 – Day 6

Decent almond chocolate tea. The aroma is in silky praline/mousse territory. “Chickpea Nutella” dessert comes to mind (so good, like all chickpea things). However, like all liquid almond things, I find this a bit thin. Almond may be my least favourite nut. I look at Mon Petit Praliné sitting over there, and its glorious hazelnut profile, and wish I had that instead, so..

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Nutty, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Evol Ving Ness

I think Mon Petit Praline is coming up.


(Flips over to the back of advent) Yay!

Are our advent teas lining up Evol, or are we still a little out of sync?

Evol Ving Ness

I’ve been kind of ignoring mine, but just checked and Mon Petit Chocolate is coming for Day 10. Not that it matters because rebel child.

Evol Ving Ness

Oops, today was Carrot Cake Rooibos for me.


Ah, we are totally in parallel dimensions. Neat.

The first time (also, second and third time) I got a tea advent calendar someone gave it to me as a Christmas gift. Drinking them in order and on their days is overrated! :P

Evol Ving Ness

Excellent Christmas gift. Essentially a sampler. I like it. Next year, I hope to be a bit more ambitious with the calendars, not that I will follow them day by day. Probably.

Evol Ving Ness

Are you happy with the MF advent?


So far, yes! Most of my nitpicking comes from the tea satchet form and being a snob (oolong.in.teabags.).. Otherwise, MF is doing what I hoped they’d do: surprise me with their elusive (dare I say, pretentious) approach to tea ingredients and catalogue selection. Although I jest (and wonder) about the lack of black teas so far – it helps that I generally love floral, fruity profiles as well as white, green, and oolong teas (3/7 days of flavoured green oolong is a “me” advent). :P

Also, this DF one is a really complimentary advent pairing – giving me the holiday-themed blends and dessert profiles that I’m so far not getting (and didn’t really want) from MF.


I’ve actually been doing these calendars with my mother (waiting to try today’s until I see her later on sigh). She’s loved all of the MF teas she’s tried so far; Apollon, which I gave a 65 on here and others said lacked distinctive flavour, she gave a “10”. Mileage varies :)

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks. Seems like a good balance. I am not all that familiar with MF teas. I also have issues with teabags. For me, it is more a matter of control. I tend to overleaf with the DT’s perfect spoon, steep fast for several steeps. It’s a habit now which works for me.

A tea bag requires a whole different level of tea planning. It gives maybe two good cups (maybe maybe a third weak one).

Evol Ving Ness

Doing it with someone can be fun.

it’s lovely that you can share this with your mom, regardless of her tea preferences.


Yeah, besides the fact that tea bag leaf is usually broken (sometimes this is great for a good, brisk tea) – there’s not as teas as I’d normally use myself for a pot, especially in the case of the oolong. I think that was part of Apollon tea’s problem. I’ve managed to get some pretty good cups and multiple steeps out of them but it’s a lot of tinkering.

When I first started drinking tea, a European pal gifted me 4 tins of MF teas (2 green, 2 black teas). They were initially super tricky to steep up and rate; their “mysterious” perfumed profile is also different from British and North American flavoured profiles. Steepsterites on here gave me countless tips, so by the time I reached the bottom of all four I was sad to see them go. So, I’ve a bit of patience for MF.


Yep, love doing them with someone and lucky to have my mom close by! The year I split my calendar with a coworker was also fun but we didn’t stick to the dates (weekend teas, for example, we’d drink whenever).

Evol Ving Ness

What a sweet gift!

I may be up for the MF tinkering next year.

I kind of wish I had been around when Steepster was even more popular. But then, I’d likely be even more far behind in drinking up my teas :)

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drank Thé de Lune by Mariage Frères
1106 tasting notes

I’ve always wanted to try this, so I caved and added it as my sole addition on my Advent Calendar order (now I wish I’d indulged more). It’s lovely yet hard to describe, in typical MF fashion. There’s definite citrus, although exact varieties are hard to pinpoint (tangerine, kumquat, lemon?). Vanilla is also a confident yes.

Then there are the berries and fruits. MF berry/fruit flavouring and lack of ingredient list can drive a person mad and make them doubt their own sanity (how well do I know my palate? Magic 8 Ball says “reply hazy, try again”). It tastes like ALL the berries but also distinctly like specific ones (mostly darker ones, like black currant and blackberry). Is that goji? How about raspberry with a bit of tangerine? I wouldn’t rule out mangosteen, but I’m not super familiar with that fruit since I only had it once or twice. (Ahhhhhh).

There’s also malt from the black tea base. It’s a bright, semi-brisk one that boosts the tart, fruity notes. it goes well with milk and/or sweetener.

Taken with milk today, and loved very much by me for being bright, juicy, tart, and almost floral from vanilla. I’ve been reaching for it a lot lately.

Flavors: Berries, Black Currant, Blackberry, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Peppercorn, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Evol Ving Ness

Mm, that sounds tasty and on to the list it goes.

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Mariage Frères Advent 2021 – Day 6

A black tea! And just in time for our first snow (I need to shovel snow).

The sweet orange flavouring here is subtle, allowing the bright, orange-hued base to accentuate the citrusy notes to a point where it feels like a natural component of the tea. “OA” is making a good modified “breakfast tea-like” satchet – with enough robust malt and tannin to dry me out and remind me of my grandmas (both of them were big tea drinkers). Taken with milk and dark chocolate, which really brought it up a notch.

Steep Count: 2 (with milk there’s a bit of a chocolate orange vibe occurring due to malt).

Flavors: Chocolate, Citrus, Fruity, Malt, Orange, Sweet, Tannic

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

I am wondering if black tea has gone out of fashion of what. It does not seem to be making much of an appearance in advent calendars or in tea festival boxes.


Right? Except for a few obvious companies (ex- F&M) I’m seeing a larger spread than I’d expect of advent herbals and green-ish teas in everyone’s tasting notes!

In the case of MF, I suspect it’s more an instance of trying to push new and/or less popular teas – many of which happen to be green, white, or oolong blends. We’ve had to add pretty much every one so far to the database on here, and I haven’t seen any of their old “flagship” teas yet, except for a “upgrade” of their Marco Polo Green tea version. To be fair, I would’ve likely never picked these out for myself and I’m enjoying the novelty, if not always loving them to bits… :)

Evol Ving Ness

DF’s seems to be trotting out their new and/or more obscure ones too. I am pleased to discover the more hidden things, I suppose. That said, out of three tea fest boxes, I got only something like 60 grams of black (plus 50 grams of black from DT’s, one of the fest sponsors so I am not counting that).

Evol Ving Ness

I do have enough tisane to take me to the end of my days.


The good thing about tea bag portions is if you don’t love something it’s not sticking around anyways. Any tisane more than 3 servings usually stays with me for five years :P


Elsewhere (librarything.com), a tea enthusiast posted an article that does point that black tea is losing some market share: Unilever offloads black tea business as UK passion for cuppa goes cold (Guardian) As a lover of strong unleaded, this troubles me.


Oh, no! While white, green, and oolong teas are my personal favourites – black teas are still essential to me. If I’m in a social setting or working, the robust, brisk ones are my go to; I’ve been craving a nice CTC lately even!

Hope the market rediscovers their love for them.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks for that, gmathis. Massively troubling information.

I hope the market rediscovers their love for them too.

Another thing is that climate change and this ongoing COVId situation may influence tea supply, maybe not immediately. I suspect we will be feeling this at some point.

Black tea for me, flavoured and straight, is number one, with green and oolong coming up behind. Everything else trails behind.

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Dammann Frères Advent 2021 – Day 5

Yes, both of my advents thought I should be reminded of warmer regions of the world today. Thank you universe.

DF writes “for amateurs, a delicious drink prepared as a latte.” I’m no spring chicken to turmeric but you can bet I “simmered” this tea bag in oat milk before finally adding honey (maple syrup is also an excellent sweetener with this spice combo). It was delicious and warming, even though I over-simmered my oats. I’m also glad that, out of Dammann Frères three turmeric herbals, it’s the gingery one they included.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Ginger, Spices, Sweet


I’m most definitely a newbie when it comes to turmeric Curcuma tea and I chickened out on this one. My daughter opened hers, wrinkled her nose and handed it to me in total disgust, lol. I kindly (read cowardly) passed it on to my husband (sans wrinkled nose mind you) since he’ll eat and drink anything and I haven’t heard yet what he thought of it. But you make it sound good! I will look up “simmering” in oat milk and try to follow in your footsteps on this one.


Check out turmeric latte recipes! This is a teabag version of one of those – just add your milk choice and sweetener and you’re good to go (maple and honey are best, to your tastes). If you like or don’t mind masala chai (especially ginger-forward ones) this will fit right in, despite the fact that turmeric looks and smells like a lot. It’s profile is vaguely earthy spice; it is part of the same family as ginger.

Just fair warning though – turmeric loves to stain things.

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Mariage Frères Advent 2021 – Day 5

Ho ho.. another green tea (allegedly from Colombia), and another “nouveau” stamp. This advent is proving to be quite the adventurous trek through MF’s lesser known (ie – new, “green”) teas. Today’s route takes us on a tropical excursion and its hitting me where it hurts. This juicy pineapple/pomegranate tea is delicious and, even in tea bag form, has a smooth, complimentary base (possibly don’t steep this at MF’s suggested 95C @ 5min unless you like your green teas very astringent).

Maybe it’s because I’m not feeling sharp and my throat is like sandpaper, or maybe it’s a testament to how much I love pineapple teas, but I low-key adore this. The pairing of almost creamy, coconut-like pineapple with MF’s “red fruit” obession is working for me in a big way today. I want more of this.

Steep Count: 3. It also paired amazingly with Zotter’s chocolate advent for today – a white chocolate with black currant jam, which powered up the pomegranate flavour.

Flavors: Coconut, Fruity, Grass, Jam, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Soybean, Tropical, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Dammann Frères Advent 2021 – Day 4

I needed a simple black tea like this tonight. It’s mainly buckwheat (nutty, malt), with a whiff of maple; the combo gives the impression of Nutella or similar. There’s pecan, rice, goji, and grape flavour but I find they either contribute to the sweet syrup or nutty malt aspects. It’s a comfy if simple tea. The aroma wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for some nice coffee beans.

Taken with milk

Flavors: Berries, Butter, Goji, Grain, Malt, Maple, Nutty, Pecan, Toasted Rice

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Mariage Frères Advent 2021 – Day 4

I like Earl Grey. I like green oolong. But together?! Also Blue Pea Flowers again. Hmm…

I once again freed the oolong from the satchet. Steeped up, “Earl Love” has a much more vivid aroma than Apollon . The flavours and notes, while smooth, are also fuller. One again MF finds the perfect level of sweet (possibly peppery) rose, as well as a finely balanced (light) floral-citrus bergamot. The base is a little tough to make out but it gives me the impression of more floral complexity, and even some butter/milk smoothness (yeah, this one deserves to be called velvety). There are bursts of tangy jam-like sweetness to the finish (along with soft bergamot), which could be from the oolong, ingredients, or both.

Because of it’s blueish hue, odd sweetness, and floral-citrus profile, I’m vividly reminded of Curaçao – particularly a creamy take on a Blue Hawaiian cocktail. There’s no coconut, but there is a hint of pineapple note.

So, surprise! “Against my better judgment,” I like this one a lot and would love to try it in loose leaf form, where the tea leaf would hopefully be better quality (unfortunately, they seem to only do satchets for this one). I guess I’ll try for a second steep later too.

Steep Count: 2 ( No.2 at 5min. Blue hue is gone but the flavour is still pleasantly floral, creamy, and mildly sweet while hot. It’s also a tad drying).

On a side note, Mariage Frères hasn’t had a black or herbal tea yet this advent cycle, so I think we are due for one. Total so far: 1 green, 2 oolong (wow, my life), 1 white.

Flavors: Bergamot, Butter, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Grass, Honey, Jam, Orange Blossom, Pepper, Rose, Tangy

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Dammann Frères Advent 2021 – Day 3

Two white teas in one day! Wow – what are the odds? Is this a sign that our forecast for snow tomorrow is on the ball? We shall see (brr it’s cold out). White tea blends tend to be outliers in the flavoured tea world, but I’m not complaining at my luck. I enjoy white tea, even when the tea leaf itself isn’t the nicest (this one at leas has pretty colours). Cherry flavouring and earthy notes, on the other hand, are not always my favourite.

This one has the same quintessential white tea hay and citrus notes as MF’s Blanc & Rose offering, but the cherry is a punchier flavour than that delicate floral profile. Although candy-like, it’s a good cherry, that manages to avoid tasting like medicine (always a problem). The cherry and almond gives it a marzipan vibe (dessert qualities intensify). The ginger isn’t really here in a zippy heat capacity – it’s just sweet root stuff.. although, it does build zip as it cools.

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Almond, Berries, Candy, Cherry, Citrus, Creamy, Ginger, Hay, Lemon, Marzipan, Sour, Spices, Sweet, Tart, Wood

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I love that you’re doing all the French advents (and by all, I mean two). :P


I don’t even know how this happened, but I’m definitely enjoying my virtual trip through a couple of French tea establishments. Both MF and DF’s emphasis on aroma is a nice change of scenery for me :D

Now, I just need to work on my French language skills (currently non-existent).


I wish I’d managed to get the A.C. Perch advent, but two seems to be more than enough for me! Will live vicariously through you :P

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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, but I generally enjoy ALL the tea, including flavoured blends and a good ol’ cup of Earl Grey.

Subjective Rating System 4.0:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me.

90-100: Exceptional and all-time favourite teas. I struggle between hoarding these like a dragon and consuming them like a poorly adjusted black hole.

80-89: Favourite teas (usually flavoured) that I try to keep around when possible.

70-79: Good teas that I’ll happily drink up, but with minor issues.

60-69: Ok teas, but I may have a few problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry, and/or personal preferences.

50-59: Average to mediocre cup. Personal preference issues are apparent but still drinkable.

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.


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

Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry, Banana, Melon, Pineapple, Persimmon, Rhubarb, Passionfruit

Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Yuzu (orange is a hit or miss)

Anise (but not licorice), Ginger, Clove-forward chai

Musky, “Fresh,” and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper Eucalyptus, Mints

Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc. ALL the flowers!

Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:

- Stevia and most sweeteners
- Cinnamon-forward blends
- Prunes
- Dark Roasts (oolong)
- Orange (if it’s a creamsicle)
- Mango pieces (love mango outside of tea though)
- Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.


BC, Canada

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