390 Tasting Notes

drank Vivaldi by Mariage Frères
390 tasting notes

Yesterday I went to a Mariage Frères tea room with my daughter and I picked this one out from the biiiiigggggg tea card.
I wanted to taste it for ages and it was in my shopping list.
Let’s say it was perfectly brewed as Mariage knows to do so.

I was weak to me, weak tea base, weak raspberry and blueberry flavours. I had a hint of Vanilla. I was very disapointed by this experience tea.
Especially as well because having a tea at MF is very expensive 10 € for a full teapot (it was 9 € 3 months ago ! and it was already very expensive !)
So I was upset against myself to have made a wrong choice.

It is not a bad tea but it is a meh tea for me.
At least I can take it off from my shopping list


That is always disappointing when you pay a lot for a tea and it doesn’t live up to expectations. But “meh” is better than “bleh” and you know you don’t need to try it again. :)


Oh nooo, that’s really sad considering that price tag ): I wonder if that might be because of the preparation rather than the tea itself, maybe the water they used wasn’t hot enough? So often do I order one of my favourite teas in a tearoom only for the staff to ruin it!


I think MF did a good steeping and I am afraid this is the blend…sure now I know I won’t buy it :)

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drank 7 Parfums by Dammann Freres
390 tasting notes

Thanks to Dammann, I know by now what a pitanga is, as I had to search for that :)
What an ingredient list…I was expecting something more parfumed regarding that point but it wasn’t so perfumed.

The dry leaf scent is really lovely, a mix of flower scent and citrus to me.

Same DF base, I won’t speak again about their unique base (which is good).Pourquoi changer une équipe qui gagne ? hummm to get more personnality and tea exploration pershaps ?

Liquor : I was expexting something more perfumed as well but it is really nice : I get the cherry blossom for sure (the famous pitanga !), fig, citrus.
The flavours are recognizable, this is really a nice surprise , I was daring having a kind of global flavour without subtility and it’s not the case.
More complicated to me : get the flowery notes separately _I don’t manage to, sorry.

It was my first cup of the morning but I strongly recommend to have it in the afternoon.It’s a very delicate and quite complex tea.

I don’t think I’ll repurchase it but I am happy to have 50g to enjoy.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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Ok, let’s say right now : I’ve never heard about this company before – it’s the only tea I ordered along my 15 other which is not a Dammann Frères.

I wrote to the website to know the tea brand just to give the right informations here and they mentioned it was Comptoirs des thés et des épices.No way no find anything about this brand on the web.The website argues this is a very old and very high quality import brand -They even mention “teas of Exception”
Gosh…I was quite dubitative even if I have no reasons to doubt.

Opening the bag…the scent is so lovely, for sure natural blueberry.
I had no recommendation for steeping so I tried with 3 minutes and a half and 96°C.
I was searching a blueberry tea and found this one, I wasn’t expecting a lot of this tea except having a lovely taste of blueberry.I had very much more. The taste is more than lovely, very refined and once again so natural.

The tea base is really smooth and present, to me it seems to be a China black.The blueberry goes so well with the tea base, this is really a very very very good surprise.

I am very glad to have ordered this one !

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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It seems I am the very first to review this tea, damned…had to create the tea in the database as well.
I was curious about this tea especially because I like very much nutty teas.
Of course I wasn’t searching something similar to Pleine Lune as Amande Amaretti is a simpler tea, with a single flavour : almond and even bitter almond.

The dry leaf scent is really strong bitter almond, like the amaretto cocktail. It reminds me childhood as well as we got in France a glue with this scent, the glue Cleopatre.The problem was some children were eating it !!! Anyway it was inoffensive :)

So no worries, my tea has not a glue taste ;)
The way the almond comes on the tea base is lovely, they perfectly pair together.The balance is really perfect.

For sure it won’t replace my dear Pleine Lune but this a tea I will drink again with pleasure.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Hm. I love amaretto cocktails… Might have to check this one out.


i do love almond and marzipan flavour….


I wish their delivery wasn’t the equivalent of $20something, they have some teas I wouldn’t mind trying. Maybe I’ll order from Romania when I’m there. I wish I could drop by.


Haha you are trying all the teas that are on my list for Paris! Glad to hear your thoughts about these before I go. :D


Well Dinosara, as you I never had a bad Dammann Frères tea, there are just some I prefer to others.I still have 7 other Dammann teas to taste and as you are coming in Paris in July, you’ll get all my reviews before :)

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I have decided to add this tea to my order because of the high ratings here on Steepster and because your notes here were really enthusiastic.

Opening the bag, I get a delicious smell of toffee, really toffee, not caramel.
Drinking it, it’s a pleasant caramel and toffee tea.It’s not a complex tea, it’s a pleasant tea.
For me, it is a kind of “lack of character” and I was probably expecting too much from this tea.
I have now a lot of caramel teas and from far my favourite one remains Wedding impérial from MF.It’s a totally different tea and they cannot be compared but I cannot forget its strong character each time I have another caramel tea…complicated…

While cooling, the toffee taste is much present and overtakes the caramel, I prefer that.
Very nicely blended tea.
Caramel-Toffee you may have been my lover if I haven’t have met Wedding Impérial first :)

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Tourbillon by Dammann Freres
390 tasting notes

The dry leaves smell exactly like Luxury of Betjeman & Barton.
They share 2 ingredients : chestnut and China black tea base and are belonging to the same tea group.
I definitively smell chestnut in this tea and the same “perfumed” oil I got with Luxury, but less heavy,for the best.

Tourbillon is much complex : I can get candied chestnut for sure, this is the main guest here. But candied apricot is there too.
The brand argues there is toffee as well and orange blossom.
To me orange blossom is present only on the aftertaste and really lingerates along with candied chestnut.I am not able to detect toffee in this blend.

The main impression with this tea is really good.There is no bitterness at all, it’s a sweet tea. But I’m not in love… because of the tea base, I find it too weak for the flavours of this tea.I’m pretty sure this is the same habitual DF tea base but I would have prefered a stronger one to welcome these rich flavours.
But this is a small reserve, it’s really a beautiful tea

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I was curious about this one, I’m glad to read your review!

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If you read my notes regularly, you know I am always quite suspiscious about green teas.
This one is the only green I ordered along 15 others (50g of each) – all the others are with a black tea base.

As often with green flavoured teas, it smells incredibly good. Berries are there for sure with a floral shadow.

I made a quick steep to avoid any bitterness especially because in addition of being a green tea, this is a sencha.
I brewed it for 3 minutes not more and this is just perfect for me : none bitterness nor astringency : it is a mellow green (yes ! I found one, I’m so happy !) even a very mellow green tea base.
The flavours are just incredible : blackcurrant is the main note but violet is still detectable (the Dammann Violet, closer to the violet candies rather than a typical flowery violet tone)

It is a delicious green tea, very sweet, very fresh.I imagine it can also make a wonderful ice-tea.
I am very glad to have chosen this one in addition of the black teas I ordered.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Mmmm yes the Dammann greens I have are some of the few flavored greens I like these days!


Happy that you found such a nice green to please you Ysaurella! It sounds really yummy…


it one is really a hit tea :)

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drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
390 tasting notes

This tea just arrived with my order of 16 teas…yes I know 16 teas…:)
I found a lovely website selling Dammann Frères teas by 50 g ! So I was able to order more teas for the same amount.

This one wasn’t in my wish list but I decided to take 100 g to reach 39 € to beneficiate of the free shipping.
This is a great surprise because I like it so much.
As usually the tea base is the same Ceylon +China and the aromas are vanilla and hazelnut.Really nice for breakfast.

So sweet, so mellow, so YUMMY without being exceptional…just YUMMY and that’s really nice enough to me.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

Oh wow! 16 teas! I smaller quantities! Yay!


yes :) the website is really cute and the service professional :http://www.instant-the.com/
most of the teas are Dammann Frères ones


That IS cute!


Nice website! It’s great that your first sampling was an unexpected hit!


Ooh, awesome about that website! I am still trying to decide what teas to buy when I visit Paris in July! Having to buy 100g makes it difficult to choose.


@Dinosara : you may order from them during your visit in France (or before)and request a delivery to your hotel or place in Paris.It took 2 full working days to receive my parcel.


@ Hallie : yes it decided to buy from this website because I loved the website design. and of course because I wanted to taste more Dammann Frères teas !


Aw, it looks like they don’t ship to North America. Darn!


they can do but this is expensive, I asked them in the past for a person living in Canada. That’s why you may request them to deliver in Paris to the place you’re going to live during your visit.
But you can also find small tea shops inside Paris which sell Dammann teas by 50g. The only point is they often don’t have more than 15 teas from DF (because they sell as well other brands)


Ah yes, I see. Do you have any recommendations for shops in Paris that sell various French teas (including Dammann) by 50g?


you have this one which has various tea brands : Compagnie coloniale, Dammann Frères and Kusmi teas :http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/pros/05368333?idContext=1405718383&portail=PJ#onglet-infos


be careful it is closed on Sunday and monday :)


if you want to taste japanese teas, Linfield teas (French Brand) or George Cannon teas (French as well) I highly recommend this shop :http://www.themerrymonk.fr/


and there is a shop thé et chocolat where you can buy Mariage Frères ones by 50g BUT only during the week (not the week end) :http://dismoiou.fr/p/fra/paris/7AO5W1/the-et-chocolat
but teas are almost 15% more expensive than in a MF shop (where you can only buy by 100g)


Thanks for the recommendations! Hopefully I’ll be able to check some of them out! :)


Funny that a tea called fleurilége is vanilla and hazelnut and not flowers! Glad it was a good surprise.

And this link list is going to be so useful to me! Thank you. Must bookmark.


@ Teresa : there are some sunflowers in the blend :) but the tea name is clearly playing on words : fleurilège for florilège which means collection,anthology…

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drank Iskandar by Mariage Frères
390 tasting notes

I requested a sample of Iskandar during my previous visit in a Mariage Frères shop.And hopefully.
I have already drank it in the past but never purchased it. In my memory it was a nice tea but is it good enough to me to purchase it ?
The answer is NO.

I can taste some astringency, tolerable. The point is tolerable is not a synonymous of enjoyable for me.
The first sip is incredible, so strong , so powerful : flowers flowers and flowers. Mainly violet but not only even if I am not able to say which other flowers have been used here.
There is a hint of mint as well.

It’s a lovely cup but too much “parfumey” for me. I don’t know if you see what I mean but sometimes the flavours seem more like perfume rather than aromas and this is the case here. Alas this is something I have difficulties with.
I can recognize this is a very lovely and well blended tea but not for me.
It can probably be a beautiful ice tea because while cooling the astringency is diminishing.

EDIT : almost cold, there is almost none astringency and the perfumey taste totally disappeared – I really prefer it like this

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 15 sec

They do sell it as a tea to make iced, in thise fabulous glass cannisters (it makes me go tut-tut at the tea being exposed to light, but they are sooo beautiful).


Black glass though! I know this wouldn’t be a tea I’d like and I know I wouldn’t spend that much on a glass jar, but oh Teresa, you’re sooo right. I shouldn’t have looked but couldn’t stop myself. :)


they are doing their macarons with this tea as well…and they are just delicious :)


I got a couple of the french “summer teas” in regular packages, thé sur le nil and casablanca and admittedly they are fabulous teas. But 40 euros for 160 grams, yikes. But I keep fantasizing about those cannisters – a local store has a few of them, they are smaller than I expected but still I keep feeling the pull for it. but 40 euros!!

Hallie, the cannisters for thé sur le nil


and casablanca


are just as pretty and I think you might like those…. And I think I am going to try to cold brew rouge sahara, just to see if that works.


They ARE just as pretty! Why, Teresa? Why would you show these to me?? No, just kidding! I always want to see the beautiful tea wares.


Ouch, sorry. A word of advice though, don´t ever check out their teaware (bastards). The prices are unbelievable, but then again it´s also unbelievably fabulous (though they are IMO pretty obsessed with glass cups for tea, which is not my favorite, though I guess most of their client base might not be european)


MF is very popular in Japan, that’s right Teresa.
You also can get the teas without the jars…;)
personnaly I prefer these jars…http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/FR/ft+the-a-l-opera-fruit-tea-infusion-de-fruits+TFBF952.html
I know Hallie….I’m an horrible person :)


Heh, had seen those already when looking for the Iskandar, so no worries, Ysaurella! They are gorgeous too.

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Thank you so much cteresa for sharing this 4 red fruit tea with me.
I already mentioned in the past my daughter’s favorite jam is the brand Bonne Maman’s 4 fruits and I think this tea is just his twin in a tea version.

As habitual with Dammann Frères, the tea base is their classic base of Ceylon and China teas.

The way the red fruits comes is lovely even if I cannot really detect each flavour separately.
Anyway this is not important, I love its mellowness, the global flavour of red fruit is very natural.
There is just a little hint of tartness so typical of red fruits (especially red currant -groseille).
Don’t think this tea especially needs a 5 minutes steeping as 3 and a half were enough IMO.

Gorgeous, thanks again cteresa

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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First, please forgive me for my English and all the grammatical mistakes you’ll find in my posts.
As English isn’t my mother tongue it sometimes makes things more difficult to express cleverly and accurately what I feel.

I was mainly in black flavoured teas, green as well if not bitter.
I’m now drinking much straight teas because my palate is now developed enough to appreciate them .

My favourite brands are : Mariage Frères,Theodor,Butiki Teas,Dammann Frères, Betjeman & Barton.
My ratings are as follow :

100 to 95 : my darlings; always in my cupboard

94 to 90 : Excellent tea, often in my cupboard

89 to 80 : very good tea, a pleasure to drink it

79 to 70: not bad even nice, why not having it sometimes, but well, not so urgent !

69 to 50 : Meh, deceptive or just not for me – but has some qualities

49 to 30 : I just don’t appreciate it

Under 30 : is this tea ?!?!?

My tea blog (in French)


Paris, France



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