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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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