111 Tasting Notes
This rooibos is puzzling…
It’s very lovely with ylang-ylang flowers : the flowers are complete with the petals still attached to one another; they tend to rise on top of the rooibos needles when I shake my bag. After steeping, they still are full and look like they were freshly plucked.
After this aesthetic interlude, let’s move to the tasting note. I believe I must have had this rooibos at least 10 times now. And everytime I start drinking it, I’m puzzled by some tastes that overpower all the other flavors. The first would be the nutmeg, followed by pepper, which is rather subtile and which I find as an aftertaste and especially when licking my lips. Too much nutmeg in my opinion as it covers the other flavors – I cannot identify the ylang ylang though I can smell it on the dry leaves, no passion fruit, no vanilla, though this one might explain the creaminess of the blend.
This is a very nice blend, though not as subtle as I’d like it to be.
pepper and nutmeg seem to be interesting tastes, Theodor often uses this kind of ingredients in their teas.Unfortunately for me this one is a rooibos :) But I know you love rooibos so much !
I just realized my last tasting note of this tea was so old and frankly outdated. I brought some of this tea at the office and had some usually with lunch and in the afternoon. The more I drank it, the more I liked it. I just know it will provide me with the perfect brew, quite delicate, slightly grassy, very mild though flavorsome. I never have had any problem sleeping even when I drank my last cup around 6pm. I did up to 7 brews with the same leaves and could probably have gone on for quite a few more rounds, as the flavor was still there.
The price was outrageous – I rediscovered the bill some time ago when tidying my papers and wide-eyed I checked that I was not mistaken, then I wondered how I could have paid such a price for 150g of tea. Thinking of it back now, I realize it was not that much, as a very small quantity (less than 5 beads for one cup) does the trick and works with as many steeps as more.
Every time I realized the number of beads in my office small tin were getting scarce, I had to restock it as I could not imagine not being able to drink it at lunch. That’s the only tea I brought to the office that made me do that – all the others (flavored all of them) I had to change and replace by a new one after a few weeks, even if I restocked a few of them once or twice before changing. This one, no, I really feel now that it’s a basic I cannot live without.
This explains my upgraded and almost perfect rating.
I’ll have to try other oolong, but I have to admit I’m wary of being disappointed.
For the first time since last Sunday when the haze started to hit on us, I managed late today to open my windows and breath almost fresh air. Since my living-room used to stink increasingly like a smoking bar the morning after, when all ashtrays are overflown, I was in a very good mood to have the stench removed by a nice and not too smelly breeze.
That was definitely an opportunity for a celebration. What could be better than opening a new and promising tea bag? I chose this one so that the exotic fruit flavors remind me of some great pleasures I enjoy living in Singapore.
I’m really glad I did that, as drinking this tea definitely made me happier. The flavors of tropical fruits are rather blended, but gave me the feeling that only the tropical fruits I prefer had managed to reach the bag. Isn’t that fantastic! I recognized quite early my favorite passion-fruit, some pineapple is also there and some fruit that taste both sweet and very tangy at the same time and that have a creamy texture, a bit like mangosteen but not exactly this fruit. I then decided to look over what was the mysterious guanabana and I realized it was the French corossol and the English soursop – then it was clear it was this last fruit that brought out this tangy sweet slightly sour but overall very interesting and multi-dimensional.
To be drunk hot or warm – it seems not as interesting once it cools down.
I made a second tea-pot, right after finishing the first. I’m quite sure the bag will empty itself very quickly and I’ll certainly restock this one after.
I finally managed to empty the small tin and will be able to fill it instead with a tea that I like much better.
It indeed is a bad sign, when I’m happy to be done with a tea:( Usually when I really like a tea, or worse when I even love it, I never can manage to finish it; I always want to leave enough to make another few teapots, in case I ever need this specific tea or the comfort that my favorites bring. It’s actually pretty stupid as I know that leaving a few leaves on their own for so long cannot really be good for the flavoring, but I feel bereft after I emptied completely the box or bag.
Not the case with this one, which rather inspired me a “good riddance, hope I’ll never meet you again” feeling.
you have managed ! I have managed as well to terminate this one too :) I didn’t even make a tea note about it….
you know when I love some brand tins, I try to find them empty on the second hand market…and I buy them to put teas I love.
I bought recently 2 collector kusmi tins edited in 2007 and I filled them with 2 Mariage Frères teas.
I have paid 8 € for 2 tins like this : http://www.linternaute.com/paris/shopping/selection/cadeaux-noel/3.shtml
Mine are blue and rose and I can pile them up as they are stackable !
Oh, they are lovely indeed. But to buy tins, on their own, there are lovely empty ones anyway – and I reuse a lot of tins which came my way, with paper and labels (or washi tape, which is awesome). Baking powder tins are great because they close nicely and got no smells, and while I was dubious about paprika tins, I washed one on the dishwasher and let it sit for a couple months unused and it got no smell either. I paste some pretty paper over it, some varnish on top, then a label, and a new tea tin to my own taste!
But there is something still irresistible about tins filled with tin in shops – will be strong!
yes I have 4 or 5 washi tin but they are expensive here (really much affordable in Sweden) I made my calculations and if was doing my own washi tin, price would be the same (15 or 20 euros).
Here washi tins are about 12 to 20 euros, so wow for sweden, that sounds lovely.
But are you sure making tins with washi paper is so expensive? I do not know how much those cannisters would be, and it´s expensive to buy supplies to just one thing (glue, varnish, whatever) but if making several I am surprised that the price would be so much. A sheet of chiyogami paper is about 4 or 5 euros and enough for a couple tins at least – and usually there are much cheaper papers which are also nice like italian papers, or origami paper or scrapbooking papers (like 1 euro a sheet and good enough for a tin). Worth checking about it! LOL, or maybe I am just trying to addict you to a an associate tea hobby ;)
lucky you ! here the half sheet is almost 8 € !
look : http://www.adelineklam.com/store/feuilles-papiers-washi-japonais/Fleurs
and the tin (with double cover) is near 6 € …
But I would love to do my own tins…I’ll check the italian papers :)
I already had one pot of this tea, kindly sent by Ysaurella. It was one of those days when other issues derailed my concentration from the experience.
Today, as part of my grand mission to empty all received samples, I decided to try it again.
When looking at the tea, it looked more like a normal MF blend, than to the picture used. Sure there are some small yellow and brown pieces, but in less quantity and with much smaller sizes than on the picture. It does not matter so much, MF usually does not care much about the look of the tea, just the taste, so I cannot hold that against this tea.
After brewing, my first impressions were quite similar to what I remembered: a mellow, strongly blended with no flavors really striking me out, though it indeed is flavorsome. A very pleasant blend, especially for the afternoon.
Then I got busy and forgot the remaining half of the teapot. When I came back to it, it was more cool than lukewarm, which does not bother me much, as I definitely do not need warming. Vanilla is there at the beginning of the sip, a nice very natural tasting vanilla. Then there’s a long lasting after taste staying all over my mouth and lips, that indeed is marron glacé: super creamy, sweet, really decadent tasting. My lips especially feel like I’ve just eaten some. Amazing!
Real marron glacé are not a favorite treat of mine and I usually cannot eat one entire. However it turns out that as a beverage flavor, I really like it and it makes for an unusual brew.
In my opinion, this is better at “room temperature” than hot.
I’ll most probably buy some, both for myself and for my in-laws who are completely in love with real marrons glacés.
It was my second brew of this tea generously sent by Ysaurella; the first one being a few weeks ago. It had not been love at the first sip. So I deliberately waited until I was in good condition and good mood to give it another real chance.
When preparing my pot, I was amazed at how lovely this tea is: sprinkled with blue and yellow flowers, with bits and pieces of almond, some pieces of what has to be cinnamon. It indeed is one of loveliest MF blends I’ve seen.
The brew remains crystal clear and is lightly fragrant. What is surprising is that the taste comes out as much stronger as I expected from the smell. And the main flavor I get, which I have trouble forgetting to try to identify the others is most definitely clove. All the rest, cinnamon, almonds, seems perfectly blended together, but a few two many buds have managed to get their way to my teapot, for my taste.
Once again I understand how this tea can be a favorite for many, but unfortunately not for me.
Thanks anyway Ysaurella; this will definitely help me avoid a purchase that I should have liked, as everything in the description seemed fine, but which would have disappointed me.
I generally brew it longer than you did – around 5 mn – It may change the main flavours tasting, but you probably already have tried several steeping times.
This morning is my second brew of this sample, kindly sent to me by CTeresa.
I’m not sure how long exactly it steeped, probably way over the 5 mn period, which worried me, as I remembered the bitterness that Paris tea took after a too long steep.
None of this here, the tea seems brewed to perfection. Ah I really love the non-fussy and easy-going blend that will not hold it against you, if you treat them badly.
It’s indeed the perfect afternoon tea for people who are not that used to tea or when you just want something easy to drink in any circumstances; its flavors are very accessible, quite rich both in quantity and quality, none of them overwhelming.
For my taste, the caramel tone is a bit too strong; I believe I’d prefer a blend leaning more on the red fruits, like Marco Polo is, from what I remember. It’s however really lovely. And way, way better than Paris, from H&S, in my opinion.
I ’m not sure that I will buy it soon for me, but this would certainly make a perfect present. I totally understand how this blend could become an absolute favorite to many people.
Once again I’ve been completely puzzled the first times I drank this, as it did not taste like what I expected. At the same time, TWG description of the blends can only be considered as simplistic or minimalist.
After a few surprising and almost difficult to drink brew, I realized this blend, though different from my usual rooibos, definitely grew on me. After believing I never would be able to drink it all, I changed my mind and realized it might be easier and easier to drink until it’s finished, as I like each new pot better than the previous, for now.
The rooibos in itself seems really nice, brews a very clear and bright color, quite fragrant.
Let me try to describe the fragrance and flavors, quite tough because I haven’t managed yet to really grasp what could be in. There’s nothing flowery, nor fruity or sweet in this blend, which favors much more vegetal and earth tones. Thinking of the Caribbean, those flavors would remind me of a walk through the jungle forest, definitely out of the seaside and out of blooming gardens.
There’s a clear nutty flavor to it, bringing both mellowness and a tinge of bitterness. The cocoa beans cannot be mistaken for chocolate, it’s clearly the unprocessed, unsweetened slightly bitter flavor that comes through. I still have not managed to be certain whether there is some vanilla inside, bringing additional mellowness to the nuts. Nor am I clear whether there is some coconut; in any case, if there is, it would be fresh and raw coconut, most probably just scooped from the nut, taking only the pieces that were closer to the bark and neither the milk, nor the soft flesh at the center of the nut.
I hope this rambling will make sense.
I may some day post another tasting note not too similar on this one, which still puzzles me…
Reviewing my rating. I wonder why I rated it so high. I really have trouble to finish the 25g mini tin, often get a too bitter brew and am not so keen on the overwhelming rose flavor.
I indeed tried it mixed with some of my Jasmine pearls. Overall I have to be careful to put twice as much rose green tea in comparison with the jasmine tea, otherwise the rose is already muted at the first brew. And even when I managed a successful first brew, it doesn’t allow for a resteep, the jasmine gets stronger and stronger and the rose seems gone.
Not a very interesting blend and too capricious. Not sure that I would recommend it, even to flowering / rose tea fans.