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91
drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
255 tasting notes

The dry tea smells bake-y and figgy and very much like a Fig Newton. The steeped tea is a medium black with a flowery figgy flavor. The aftertaste is very pleasant. It is like a fig-infused flower—but I cannot id the flowery taste precisely. Midway through the cup I added some milk and a little bit of sugar and that really did not change my opinion. The milk did not diminish the flavor. I am glad that I have this and will wait to judge it again when I feel more emotionally grounded.

5 minutes later: there is a very satisfying and rich aftertaste lingering on my palate. It must be this tea; my breath alone does not smell so sweet!

LATER: This tea stands up very well; I am enjoying it right now and revising its grade upwards. Since I wrote my original note I have been revising some tea grades based on those which I will NEED to buy again when my original stock is low. There are a lot of French teas which are very amiable but somewhat “same-ish”. This one has got a unique thing going with its strong fig taste. I prefer it with milk and a touch of sugar for full luxury.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
0-30:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

56-70:
Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

71-80:
Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

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“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style

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In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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