1899 Tasting Notes
My daughter has given me Dammann Freres teas several times over the past two years or so, and they always send samples. I am so excited about them, and then I forget to drink them! How many people wait for just the right moment to try new tea? I thought it was high time to taste this one.
It is a bag, so I used my eight ounce pot to steep it with boiling water and used probably only seven ounces of water. The aroma of the dry tea bag dismayed me because it smelled like rooibos….cherry cough syrup.
Happily that is NOT the taste of the tea. It is rather mild and the berry flavor dominates, mainly cherry, and caramel and vanilla are waaaay in the background for me.
The second steep was forgotten and I have no idea how long it steeped. It didn’t matter, though, as it was quite good. I only expected to get two steeps but I am tempted to try for a third and see what happens. This would not be a breakfast tea for me as it is far too civilized to get most people going, but is delightful for any other time of day!
This is far from being the most refined or most expensive tea I own. I have written so many tasting notes on it and still it surprises me when I haven’t had it in a while.
Yesterday I had to work the election. That means getting up at 4:30 to shower, dress, have a glass of Instant Breakfast, load the supplies, and arrive for set up at 5:30 am. We open at 6:30 am and have to stay until about 9 pm.
Around 8:30 am I realized that I needed a mid morning lift. I asked my daughter to bring me a JoeMo of this and a Nonni’s biscotti. I don’t like drinking tea from any closed container as the aroma is limited and you miss out on a lot of the pleasure in my opinion. I had her bring a Beehouse cup for me to use and I am so glad I did.
As soon as I poured it, the Queen both comforted me and fortified me for the day. I had one of those hug-the-cup-shaky-knees moments where there is no one in the world but you and your tea. Ah, yes. Love.
Cocoa, light smoke, rich malty black tea. Body that let’s you know you have sustenance flowing into your body. I love you, Catherine. I guess I always will.
I had a cup in bed after my seventeen hour shift, and another this morning, and more this afternoon with tea time brownies and strawberries and homemade cookies. Yes.
I forgot I had this, so when I was digging around in the matcha drawer of the refrigerator I figured I had better finish up this tin. I needed some ice cold beverages to serve at lunch as we were hot and pretty wrecked from working in the garden and I hoped the matcha would restore some zip.
I put a teaspoon of the powder in a cocktail shaker that I scored for $5 at an estate sale. (It came with a bottle opener and something else, too.) I added a little sugar and some lime juice, rather a lot I thought so I was afraid it would be too strong. I shook it up and poured it – a nice, deep green!
Hubby came in to eat, looked at his glass and sarcastically said, “Well, that looks tasty!” Then he surprised himself by liking it very much.
I am satisfied with the quality of this matcha for the price, but the pricing confused me last time I reviewed it. Even now, the site shows the original price as 34.50 and says it is on sale for 24.50. It is a good price for this matcha and I am sure we will finish it off quickly now that I have a cold matcha recipe that most of the family loves.
This is a magnificent tea. It reminds me of the finest tie guan yin, but with even more flavor, more sweetness. Well worth the price, I will continue to buy an ounce or two at the time and cherish each steeping.
I shared some with my 18 year old male student who is rather new to “real” tea and he said it was his favorite so far. I don’t know when I should break it to him that he has very expensive taste in tea!
Backlog from last week: There is one student to whom I offered at every week, but he never took me up on the offer. He is eighteen, and when his mother and little sister used to come with him, they would always get a china cup and have tea together during the lesson.
He drives himself now, so the past few weeks I didn’t offer tea. But this time he came in and said, “I know you always offered me tea and I never took it, but today I really need some because my allergies are making me feel terrible.” Yippee! (For the tea, not for him feeling terrible.)
I steeped pot after pot of this and he said it made him feel better. It was his first time having tea other than fruit flavored black, except for the one time he accepted (and liked) some puerh.
He ended up staying an extra two and a half hours, watching YouTube with me. I introduced him to Steam Powered Giraffe and he introduced me to Foals and David Garrett!
This is a free sample that was sent by Teavivre for review. Thank you!
I was a bad girl. I took this packet out with the intention of having it later with a student. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted it NOW! I told myself I would just make one steep and save the rest. You see where this going, right?
So…for the first steep I ignored the package directions. I gave the leaves a ten second rinse, then steeped for about two minutes with cooler water than they recommend, around 204F. I was having this with some cantaloupe after a light lunch of ciabatta bread, toasted, and smeared with goat cheese, then topped with seasoned, diced tomatoes and pesto. My first thought was how much I was tasting a melon flavor in the tea apart from the cantaloupe I was eating. I think it was more honeydew than cantaloupe, though.
I love Dong Ding teas and usually purchase moderately roasted ones, but this one was good enough to keep on the shelf.
I made two steeps at a low temperature and then for the third steep increased to boiling and two minutes. Now it has a little astringent kick at the end of the sip. There is a light nutty aroma as I lift the cup but mostly….flowers! I am really enjoying this. I thought it would probably go about three steeps, but I am thinking I will get a fourth and possibly fifth out of this. Poor student. Ah, well, perhaps I will offer him a different tea…
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A couple of days ago I asked the kids if I could get tea for Mother’s Day. A day later I said, “I TAKE IT BACK!” I went through my stash and saw soooo many teas that I love that really need to be enjoyed before they get older, so I will try (just a little) to put myself on a buying restriction. We have managed a lot of sip downs lately. I do not include samples in my cupboard unless they are really large, so when I went through to delete some we had finished it took me down to 175, but then I discovered that some of my teas are not listed BAH!
Well, this one will be a SIPDOWN on the very next pot, so I am going to go ahead and remove it from my cupboard.
This is just the right strength for a morning wake up tea for me. I like to take my tea with no additions and this one is right there on the border of strong-enough-to-need-it but makes it just fine as long as I am having breakfast with it. By itself I would probably add a splash of milk.
There is a little fruity high note in this. Youngest takes milk and sugar, though she has cut back in the amount of sugar quite on her own (YAY!) and she quite likes this one. It has been her morning pot of tea every day for about a week now.
My eldest daughter and her husband just went to Williamsburg, Virginia and when they saw this tea they thought of their “little” traveling companion from last fall….her youngest sister. Youngest daughter loves hearty teas like Assams, Irish Breakfast, and Lapsang Souchongs….the stronger the better. They brought home a packet as a souvenir for her.
It is reasonably priced at 10.95 for four ounces. The dry leaf smell reminds me of smoked bacon.
Steeped, the clarity made me wonder if we should have given it a little more time, but the taste says we did it perfectly. This is light and sweet, with a clear, fresh water taste, like filtered cold water when you are thirsty. The smoke is present but not very strong. The base is sweet. It reminds a bit of Upton’s Black Dragon. I dare say this could be a favorite Lapsang for me.
I love this tea. Way back when I first got it, I had a sore throat, the kind that hurts when you swallow and means you are getting sick, not just a scratchy throat from allergies or drainage. I drank several steeps hoping the warmth would soothe my throat, and instead, the sore throat never fully manifested. I noticed that the pain stopped and didn’t come back.
A friend came over and tried it and I told her about what had happened. She said at first she couldn’t figure out if she lately liked the tea as it was very unusual to her, but then she couldn’t stop drinking it. She ended up ordering it…twice…. And still drinks it when she feels a cold coming on.
Yesterday my bestie came over and she sounded AWFUL. She has terrible allergies and was slurpy and sniffly and miserable. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons and made several steeps of this tea ( about a liter total) and served it with pound cake and strawberries. She stayed a really long time. When I called later that evening, she said that she felt really good for hours and hours after drinking this tea. Maybe it is the ginseng? She said she normally doesn’t like tea that leaves an aftertaste but she really loved this one.
I have offered her some of mine to tide her over through allergy season. This is one I hope I will ALWAYS have on hand. I tried one from another company once and it wasn’t even close to being as tasty and delicious as this one. It really turned me off, but this one is addictive.