224 Tasting Notes
oops, nope, not for me. i got apple oatmeal and no cinnamon whatsoever. i will refrain from a number, but this was a full out miss from the david’s teas hit or miss tendency. i’m afraid it wasn’t even an apple cider. just apple powder in water…. i actually returned it.
this blend gave me more than just an energy boost… it also gave me information and insight!
this is another of the blends i snagged for a return swap to Ysaurella in paris. it reminded me vaguely of a tea she sent me and i thought she might enjoy variations on a theme.
i had concerns actually trying it though…. i don’t tolerate the high levels of mateine in mate well and i am fairly certain i have the start of an allergy to rooiboos. HOWEVER there are exceptions to every rule. apparently i can handle the mate if it’s diluted and it appears i can tolerate rooiboos if it has a stimulant paired with it!
the tea, the tea: absolutely a bumble bee tea! warm, orange notes that aren’t bitter or overpowering. there is a fuzzy honey bee representation, and yet i do not feel as though i am drinking pureed bee, lol. it seems, somehow, to tap into my bee memory engrams. very cool!
thank you again to Ysaurella for giving me the excuse, and keychange for giving me the shove!
in am writing this most favourable review in honour of two friends: Ysaurella (who is the one ultimately receiving the sample) and keychange who wrote such a lovely impassioned review of this blend!
first thing’s first: keychange.
david’s teas was my first loose leafing source. i have mostly moved beyond them…. honestly i find them a tad too cutesy with names and sprinkles, etc. i could have taken that in stride to a certain extent… but, i began encountering discrepancies in the ingredients lists. a serious thing to be sure, especially for someone with allergies!
however, if no one gives us a second chance then it doesn’t matter if we get better. and if our efforts don’t matter, then why should we make them at all? bit by bit i have cautiously been trying david’s teas again.
they have a few blends that are superlative! bar none their blueberry jam is the best ever! true they have not been doing tea for 300 years like many of the apothecaries in france, but we all start somewhere.
never let us say that we are impervious to peer pressure— we all are under the right circumstances. my friends can absolutely influence me! so when shopping for some north american extras to tack into my return swap to the brilliant Ysaurella, keychange’s review of this tea came to mind!
what amused me most at david’s today was the gravity with which the diligent young manager absorbed what i was saying.
‘i have a tea buddy in france that sent me some beautiful damman freres and mariages freres samples…’
the young woman spluttered and coughed and managed to look both jealous and aghast at the same time, lol.
‘she what? wow. oh wow.’
as per keychange’s review…. indeed this is a very nice tea….. especially if you mix it with sweetened condensed milk! definitely a spice cake tea. although i can’t put my finger on it absolutely, i think it may be the carrot that persuades me that i am drinking cake! very nicely done.
why am i sampling Ysaurella’s samples? because i am not sending her anything that i haven’t tried, plain and simple =0)
a beautiful cold weather blend. don’t be afraid to let it steep for 7. thanks in part to keychange i am changing my david’s teas tune.
i had to write another note about this tea. let me explain why.
i don’t know whether you would refer to this an act of accidental masochism or an act of personal tea terrorism. you know the person that leaves half a square of TP and doesn’t change it because they didn’t “technically” finish it? or the person (kid usually) that doesn’t make more juice because there’s a micro meter left and it wasn’t ACTUALLY empty? yeah. that was me with this tea.
i’m the only one that drinks it. i can blame anyone but myself. i left myself about a half a teaspoon of this beautiful tea. … ….. ……. i have a 16 oz mug. i was so mad!
i still look like i got punched in the eye, the doctor thinks it’s a bite now and i rush off to see him shortly….. i just needed some tea, THIS tea before the madness begins!
know what? 1/2 a teaspoon in my giant cup and it’s still brilliant. not weak or flavourless. brilliant.
this tea was such a welcome surprise! i got no sleep and woke up looking like i got punched in the face— a deep infection in the eye socket apparently. no driving, no school, all i can think is ‘really? seriously? dammit’. came out of nowhere. however i find this tea a lovely distraction.
i don’t have a a lot of experience with green teas, though i am amending that bit by bit. i think the name ‘macaron’ had me thinking of macaroons…(definitely not!). this blend is light and refreshing. i get unexpected notes of cilantro and a hint of basil, a soft fruit component….a dark berry that isn’t black berry or logan.
the green tea is lovely and light: no smoke or pungancy. to me this is a savoury tea… though as it cools i detect some cassis.
i’ve never had a savoury tea. how lovely. thank you ysaurella!
i loved this sample from ysaurella…. it’s funny, when i look at the amount she sent me for each tea it’s almost as though she anticipated that i would mess up the first attempt! because although i messed up all of the damman first steeps, i had enough left over to try again and add the extra that made it perfect, lol.
as i mentioned in a review yesterday i am happy with damman freres blends with 1.5 times the recommended amount.
once i got the amount right this blend was exceptional. i am a fig fan, big time. i have a fig tree in the front yard… though sadly it does not produce fruit for me.
if i could design an old growth forest i would do it with fig trees… that as they aged bore immense pear sized figs that were light and sweet and tangy. the fruit would be harboured under the canopy of broad leaves. my forest would be hectares long and acres wide.
all the houses bordering my forest would be equipped with windows that had built in wipers because whenever there was a wind storm the great soft figs would splatter against the glass and no one would be able to see! (welcome to my world?)the deer and cariboo would also leave your flowers alone in this imaginary place because the grounded figs would more than satisfy! (we have a ‘small’ deer population in our area, lol)
with the blend amount amended this tea gave me everything: i got sunshine in the summertime, the mild tang of an italian honey fig, a sense of juiciness, ripeness, i even (somehow) gleaned the light taste of seeds!
all fruit, no floral. not creamy, not astringent. this tea very accurately reflects a fresh fig. beautifully done.
C’est grace a ma chere ysaurella que j’ai eu la chance d’essayer cette beaute!
i have done it! i have worked out my algorithmic happiness with damman freres blends!
with each sample that ysaurella sent me of damman freres i have loved the smell of the blend, but each time the steep fell short!!!
as predicted, operator error…. and now i know how i like it.
1.5 five times the recommended amount, with a 6 minute steep. precisely. each time. and i love them that way!
under these parameters i got all of the expected brilliance of this blend. i got creamed roasted chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts… a very gentle floral contribution without perfume.
i liked this one with cream and sugar.
and now i know how to prepare it!
what a dramatic day! i got 90% on my first heavy assignment (yay) and the touchscreen laptop provided to me by the province YESTERDAY died tonight! needless to say i am thinking all sorts of words that i can’t say here, lol. although it was warranted for every single eventuality….. i just really really hope i have by monday for school.
the tea! first time round was very ‘meh’, which surprised me. mariage freres is really not affiliated with that colloquialism in my head…. and yet that is what the tea evoked.
‘give it a few days…. try it again,’ i sagely advised myself. tonight: 1.5 tablespoons for 6 minutes in my 12 oz mug. the dry blend reminded me of a chai (sortof) so i treated it that way (cream and sugar) and it worked very well! reminds me very much of a flower scented chai… something exotic smelling.
not my favourite of the samples from ysaurella, but still very nice!
i bought this tea as the finishing touch for an upcoming project in my human geography class. the mission? choose a sub saharan country, identify a SPECIFIC aspect (ie the UN millenium goals, or an outstanding issue within the country).
our prof was clear: ‘choose something you’re passionate about.’ well that made it a bit tricky. i began to dig.
i really want to get a good mark on this, which meant advanced planning and study. i went to TED online and stumbled upon a brilliant ugandan speaker, andrew mwenda, who gave a talk entitled ‘aid for africa? no thanks.’ http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mwenda_takes_a_new_look_at_africa.html
he made the point that aid usually finances government corruption and that even when it doesn’t, poverty reduction is by no means the same as the creation of wealth. one of the ways to create wealth was to find a vendor with whom to do business.
the gears began to turn. mwenda’s lecture had convinced me that uganda was who i wanted to look at, but what did i want to look at? ‘choose something you’re passionate about’ echoed in my head— i began to look into ugandan tea farms!
if i’m not very careful here i’ll start to take you through my whole presentation! so instead i’ll move on to the tea and the estate that it came from.
this tea is unlike any other i’ve tried: absolutely no floral or fruit notes. instead it is a blend of sweet tobacco and wood notes reminiscent of honeybush crossed with the smell of balsam.
this tea pulls no punches! definitely high test. a certain amount of caffeine stick, but a remarkably smooth execution. definitely an unashamed booyah!
must admit the appearance of the tea threw me a bit, lol. the tiny curled leaves made me think very much of coffee grounds (didn’t quite know what to expect!).
nicely done mitiyana! the mityana estate has cleverly diversified. it produces resources for tea manufacturers like lemon grass, but also essential oils like rosemary.
my specific focus is looking at how fair trade practices have effected tea farming in uganda…. i haven’t been able to confirm whether mityana is fair trade certified or not, though i would lean towards not. when i know for sure i will update! (i’ll let you know what mark i get as well at the end of the semester too). i can tell you the prof seems rather thrilled that tea is going to be served!
FYI: i bought a ton to serve with presentation, but aside from that i am more than willing to share out samples!
you can get this tea through tweed and hickory, but i really wanted the kudos to go to the tea pluckers and farmers. uganda needs more press if they are going to create more wealth.
this sample was a bittersweet gift from ysaurella.
my grandmother was the dearest person in my life. i remember being a very little boy staring at a bowl of purple sculptures on the glass table in the livingroom— tiny, delicate…. she popped one into my mouth! light, perfumed, crunchy and sweet. the flavour of violets will always make me think of her.
she died almost two years ago, and i will always miss her. finding bits and pieces that take me back to snapshots of memory is something significant to me. this tea is a direct link to her: not because she’d like it, lol! she was a purist tea-wise… assam, unflavoured, no sugar. in a pinch, lady grey. but we’re talking about my memories here!
lovely. and i must have some.
ysaurella, thank you so much.
candied violets, perfectly captured. seamlessly executed.