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709 Tasting Notes

75
drank Noël à Pékin by Dammann Freres
709 tasting notes

Day 13!

The dry sachet smells so much like grapefruit to me. I thought immediately I would like this blend. I didn’t actually look up the ingredients in this blend until after I brewed it. So I was surprised to see there was no grapefruit, and that there was jasmine in it. I probably steeped it at a little too high temp.

This one tastes not too bad. I find the jasmine to be quite dominant. I am getting a bit of citrous which could now be the pineapple. I don’t get any grapefruit flavour like I was getting in the dry scent. I think there could be some mango in there as well. I am not sure what red passionfruit tastes like and if it is the same as regular passionfruit, but I am not getting any flavours I would describe as passionfruit.

This tea reminds me of an exotic oriental tea. It is a good tea, and it is extremely well blended, but is not my preferred flavours. I think I would have loved this tea if there was no jasmine in it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

Mad Tea Experiment. YES. Its been a while.

So a few days ago (I think), someone made a comment or a tasting note (I think) about adding ginger to lapsang. It was Sil or Terri (I think). Sometimes things just all meld together.

Anyway I had this bright idea, that I had to do some experiments. I took this lapsang and brewed it mixed half and half with a Darjeeling of unknown origin. (I think it was from bulk barn – I think. Ha ha.) Then I added a slice of ginger. I had also wanted to add an orange slice but I could not for the life of me find a single orange for sale. Let me clarify, I could buy a 4 or 8 lbs bag of oranges, but I really just wanted one. And a real orange, not a mandarin. Anyway, all of the bagged oranges were gross looking, bruised with rotten spots. So I just went with the ginger.

The half and half mix of tea, toned down the smoke a bit. I am not a huge Darjeeling fan but I thought it would work for the experiment. I didn’t want to use of the prized assam (also from bulk barn – I think) in case it didn’t turn out. I didn’t taste the Darjeeling much. The lapsang was quite strong but not as strong as if drank straight. I just used one slice of ginger because I didn’t want it to get too spicey. I hardly tasted the ginger at all. It did add a bit of sweetness to the tea, but not that little spice that I would have liked.

So I now have an orange, an excellent looking orange to be exact. So I have some ideas for the next experiment. Stay tuned…I think :P

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

awesome! I think it was me and then terri echoed the same sentiment! I look forward to reading about more of your experiments!

MissB

What a great idea!

Terri HarpLady

Lapsang & ginger is one of my fantasies, & actually one of the 2 teas I entered in the Butiki blends contest. I’ve been experimenting on & off with it for months. Lapsang, ginger, vanilla, & caramel (or maple). I’ve also tried diluting the lapsang with keemun, because I want smoke, but not the whole BBQ! :)

Sil

mmmmmm…… terri…custom stacy blend?

OMGsrsly

Ooo, that sounds good, Terri!

Terri HarpLady

That is one of 2 blends I want, but the first one will be Irish Breakfast, vanilla, caramel (or Maple), & cinnamon.

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68

I had put my name on a wait list for this tea a super long time ago. So when I got the email saying it was back in stock for Black Friday, I thought, I don’t really want that. Then I thought about it for a bit and if I put my name on the list I probably want it. And if I don’t get it now, then I will kick myself. So I ordered it. This one is also one of the higher rated 52 teas on steepster, so it must be pretty good. For some reason I thought this was a black tea, there is a black tea version of this, but this one is the honeybush version.

I have tried enough 52 teas to know that I do not like the honeybush base. It tastes so peppery to me.

The dry tea has the usual 52 teas alcohol smell, but there is a chocolate and nutty smell as well.

I brewed this up with 1 tsp and a few pieces of rock sugar. Initially when hot, right after steeping, I could only taste the super peppery honeybush. After about 5 minutes of cooling, it began to take on a chocolate taste. And after about another 2 minutes of cooling, there was definitely a peanutty taste. The peppery honeybush is still strong but there is still the chocolate and peanut taste with it. The peppery taste mellows a bit the more the tea cools. This one reminds of Kirkland peanut butter cups (Costco’s brand).

I think next time I brew this, I am going to use a bit more leaf and a bit more sweetener as well.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
MissB

I am so excited to try this! My ‘personal blend’ with the Kickstarter has elements of this in it.

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83
drank Noël à Venise by Dammann Freres
709 tasting notes

Day 12!

This one dry and brewed definitely reminds me of lemon meringue pie. Mmmm.

The brewed tea to me tastes like strawberries and toffee. The toffee is the dominant flavour. I know there is no strawberry in this blend, but that is how the “fruit” flavour is coming out to me. It also tastes creamy. As usual the black tea base is light, smooth and not at all astringent. For me, this one is sweet enough on its own, no need to add anything else.

While this one was hot, I found it did not taste like much other than hot water. But after it cooled a few degrees, the flavour really started materializing.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

OMG! My dashboard has not updated all day and all of a sudden this appeared. You are slowly fixing steepster, Lala!! haha.

Lala

I do what I can. Ha ha. I just suddenly popped up on mine too. If you ever want to see the reviews when the dashboard is frozen, just go into the explore tab, and closer to the bottom of the page click on tea reviews.

MissB

Mine too! I thought perhaps everyone was out working or shopping and logging later tonight. Yay!

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60

Day 11!

Hmmm. I am reluctant to say I am disappointed…

The dry tea sachet smells lovely. It is dark chocolate, sweet orange, and nuttiness. Maybe hazelnuts. Reminds me of Nutella. I am not a huge chocolate tea fan or a chocolate with orange fan, but this smell is very good.

The smell of the brewed tea is odd. I am not getting any of the chocolate-y, nutty notes. I get a strong sweet Ceylon tea smell. Maybe a hint of orange.

The taste of the brewed tea is what is disappointing. I am not getting much out of it. I can definitely taste the Ceylon part of the base. There is a bit of sweetness from a citrus. There is maybe a light nutty note, but hard to discern what kind of nut it is. I am not tasting any chocolate or orange. I may not have steeped for long enough. I did my usual 2 minutes, although it was probably around 2 min 30 sec by the time I got the tea bag out of the cup. The only problem is I am at work so I threw the teabag directed into the garbage so I can’t even try to resteep.

As the tea cools to about luke-warm temperature, there is a bit more of a thick orange flavour. Maybe some chocolate, but not quite. I think I am just trying too hard to taste these flavours.

I guess I can’t like all of Dammann’s teas, but I am not sure if this one is really their fault. After reading some reviews on this one, I am in the minority.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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88

Having this today at work after my sencha fiasco yesterday. It is delicious.

I feel like I am playing word association here but this is what is coming to mind: sweet grass, sweet boiled cabbage, poppies, tulips, canola flowers.

I am finding this one to be quite naturally sweet. Not my preferred after lunch green tea (at work I always have a small 4oz teacup of green tea, I just put a few leaves in the bottom of the cup and sip around them), but it sure is good. I have two small sample packs from Teavivre, at work they will probably last me a few weeks.

The dry tea is beautifully light but vibrant green. The leaves are not broken. There are no stems or sticks or little bits floating around.

Any suggestions on a good Japanese sencha (my preferred after lunch drink)?

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Dune d'épices by Dammann Freres
709 tasting notes

Day 10!

I feel like with every Dammann tea I review, I find myself thinking this smells/tastes like bubble gum. That’s the scent I get from this one. Delicious fruity, juicy, bubble gum.

This tea tastes like candied oranges. I was expecting it to be more tart based on the description on the tea. I am tasting sweet candied oranges and cream. There may also be a bit of candied ginger flavour in here too, but I do not get gingerbread at all. The sencha is buttery and creamy, but does not overshadow the flavouring. It is blended perfectly. This one is definitely a great fruity tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

This is my first real dessert type flavoured matcha. I have been sticking to mostly the single fruit flavours or the flavours like French vanilla, etc. So this is my first “complicated” matcha, being of more than one flavour.

The dry tea smells nutty. Like nutty peanut butter. There is definitely a pastry smell to the dry matcha. I made this cold shaken in a water bottle. 1tsp for 8 oz cold water. At first I could taste chocolate notes. Not quite milk chocolate, maybe a bit of dark chocolate but still sweet. Almost like dark chocolate chips. Then I could taste the nuttiness. It is definitely peanut but I would not say it was peanut butter. It was missing that smooth butter part. The liquor, even though it was cold shaken, felt thick. There seemed to be a bit of a spice taste, maybe nutmeg or something. I added a bit of white sugar to sweeten it up a bit, but it was actually quite sweet on its own. I would compare this one to a peanut butter cup, more than a peanut butter pie. I think this one would be delicious as a latte as well.

This one was robust flavour, basic grade.
You can find this matcha here:http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/peanut-butter-matcha.html

MissB

Ah, so glad you got this robust! I grabbed it delicate, and while I like it, it’s one of those that definitely need a stronger flavoring. I’ll definitely grab it at robust next time, thanks to this review.

Lala

I get most of my red leaf matcha with robust flavouring. I have found it doesn’t work for everything though. Some of the fruit flavours (peach) and the earl grey tasted pretty chemical to me as robust.

Sil

I managed to drop down to dinstinctive for most and still really enjoy it, though some of the fruit flavours need to be delicate of, like lala said they are stupid chemically..

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79
drank Rooibos Vanille by Dammann Freres
709 tasting notes

Received this as a free sample from my Dammann Freres order.

At first the smell of the dry tea sachet was medicinal rooibos. I was a bit worried. Would Dammann blend their rooibos tea to just as delicious and exceptional as all the others?!?

The brewed tea tastes lightly of vanilla. It is not super vanilla to cover up the taste of the rooibos. It is vanilla that works with the rooibos. The rooibos is woody, but it is not medicinal or peppery tasting. It is creamy and the liquor is thick. I am not a huge rooibos, or vanilla tea, but Dammann did not disappoint (as usual) :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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50
drank Japan Sencha by Nina's Specialties
709 tasting notes

I was super excited for this one but now that I had it, I am disappointed.

I used to love sencha green tea, well I still love it. A long time ago, I used to drink Tetley’s bagged sencha green tea, and loved it. Then they stopped selling it in my area so I searched forever to find a decent alternative. So fast forward a few years, I was out on a family vacation and stumbled upon a small family owned tea shop in a small town. I asked if they had any sencha, they served me a delicious, buttery, creamy, brightly coloured sample of sencha green tea, so I bought (what I assumed to be) a package of the same sencha tea.

Upon opening it today, I was disappointed, many of the tea leave were broken and there were a lot of “sticks and stems” mixed in it. There is not much smell to the dry tea. Now to be honest it has been languishing in my cupboard for about a year and a half. I kind of forgot about it, then I wanted to finish my other opened green tea first before I opening this one. But it was in a well stored and sealed package though.

The brewed tea is pretty lacklustre. I kind of anticipated that as it is not as fresh as it could have been, but there is also no sencha taste. I mostly get a metallic type taste. A slight vegetal sweetness. The colour is very pale darkish yellow brown. I usually get a bit of a salt taste with sencha tea, but not getting that with this one. It is not like any other sencha I have tried. To be honest, it is not like any Japanese green tea I have ever tried. I am going to try it a few more times. I am at work so my steeping method may not have been great. But I am pretty sure any variations in steeping is not going to change the stems in the tea, or the lack of sencha taste.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

oh bummer :(

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Profile

Bio

I am a lifetime tea lover.

I did foray into the world of coffee for a period of time, but I returned to my true love. I still, however, enjoy a good cup of java.

My all time favorite tea is Earl Grey, which I drink every morning, the stronger the bergamot the better. I definitely prefer natural oil of bergamot to artificial flavouring.

I mostly like black and dark oolong teas. My current favs are Fujian blacks, Keemun and Assams, and Wuyi oolongs. I gravitate towards anything with lychee in it. I also drink a lot of herbal blends but am wary of hibiscus. I do not favour mate, or pu’erh tea, although I have found a few blends that I like. (I so badly want to like straight pu’erh tea but it all tastes gross to me. I keep trying though). Rooibos, green and white teas fall somewhere in the middle. I find myself gravitating towards heavily roasted oolongs and teas from Paris/France based companies.

I love iced teas and cold brews.

My current tea goal is to make the perfect cup of chai from scratch – almost there…I think.

I am in love with the whole experience of tea.

Location

Saskatchewan, CANADA

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