Black Opera Black Tea from Mariage Freres

blackoperaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Mariage Freres

Tea Description:

Our heart has long beaten for this lyrical elixir. Its enchanting beauty now glides across the stage as a round black tea in high spirits, harmonising with the aromas of red fruit and noble spices crowned by a dash of vanilla. In this magnificent polyphony, the register that rises above is that of sensuality and, of course, the pleasure of taste. Bravo Maestro !

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I tried this one blindly, by which I mean I didn’t look up any of the ingredients or the tea description prior to trying it. For me, doing this is like a challenge to see how on point my palate is – I like to compile my thoughts and then go back and see how many of the nuances I picked up, and how accurately I was able to identify the ingredients/flavourings in the blend. It’s also a way to taste a tea without letting the description influence how I perceive it.

Dry; I can tell this is a fruit blend of some sort – but based on dry smell alone I can’t really narrow down what ‘type’ of fruit; berry, tropical, stonefruit, etc. I am pretty confidant it’s not going to be a citrus blend, though. I didn’t get any of the usual citrus tip offs like sourness, pith or tart tones.

Taste wise, this was more flavourful than I was anticipating. All my other Mariage Freres experiences have been mildly disappointing because the flavours have been duller than what I enjoy or too subtly flavoured. As such, I expected this to have the same really subtle flavour. It was distinct though, and relatively robust. There was a really sweet jammy quality, but not something simple like strawberry or raspberry. This reminded me strongly of grenadine which to me has a distinctly rich pomegranate or cranberry like quality; but sugary sweet. This strong jammy/grenadine cross reminds me of a fancy Monk’s blend. For those who don’t know, I love Monk’s Blend a lot.

Yeah, there’s not really much about this blend that’s really complicated or fancy, but it’s really enjoyable and smooth with such a great, sweet flavour! And it’s so smooth; no astringency or bitterness at all! I’m impressed by this one more than probably any other Mariage Freres tea I’ve had and I greatly enjoyed my cup. Gonna go back now and see how accurate my interpretation was…

…Red Fruit. Spices. Vanilla.

Well, I can see how the combination of red fruit and vanilla definitely read as similar to Monk’s blend to me given a traditional Monk’s blend is grenadine and vanilla. I really didn’t taste any indication of spice though; whatever they’re adding into the blend must be very subtle. So for those who, like me, aren’t big into spices this is very likely a safe blend for you to try.

Well done Mariage Freres!

Roswell Strange

Hello; my name is Kelly. I’m a nearly twenty tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchablah, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually a little over a year ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious, serious obsession. Typically I drink flavoured blends more that straight but one of my mini goals this year is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends, but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall. My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives; so unless I mention otherwise you can assume that’s how I’ve prepared my tea!

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