85
drank Noël à Pékin by Dammann Freres
300 tasting notes

Interestingly, if you compare the English and French descriptions for this tea, there is no mention of citrus (or, well, agrumi) oils in the translation – I picked this as the first to try from my Instant-Thé tea haul, as it smelled so strongly of blood orange – which I can never keep my hands off.

Green/black tea blends really appeal to me, as they are often so clear and light. My main issue with all-black (flavoured) teas are their muddiness, to be honest. But this turns a perfect shade in the cup. I steeped it for three minutes first, deemed it too weak and then gave it another minute. The recommendation was for 4-5 at 90C, and I think it could take the full 5 without any bitterness.

This is very peculiar. I’m not really a fan of jasmine (this was a free sample included with my order), but it works very well here – it’s a subtle, elusive perfume both in the nose and the cup.

Flavour wise, I get mostly passion fruit and blood orange, but a deep, rich blood orange – there isn’t any tartness to speak of. This all plays out against a very complex backdrop of intermingling fruit flavours, which is just lovely.

I find myself really enjoying this one, and I very badly want to try it with various forms of baked goods – it would be an excellent tea party tea, in all its complexity.

Some astringency.

[Sample from my epic Instant-Thé order to Rome, October 2013.]

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Nattie

“I’m not really a fan of jasmine” :O le gasp

Anna, how could you?!

Anna

Haha, that’s supposed to be ‘jasmine IN BLACK TEA BLENDS’. Honestly, sometimes when I edit these on my iPad they just go poof. Boarding now, will fix it later. Thank you! <3

Nattie

Hahaha I guess that’s excusable. Hope you had a safe flight!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Comments

Nattie

“I’m not really a fan of jasmine” :O le gasp

Anna, how could you?!

Anna

Haha, that’s supposed to be ‘jasmine IN BLACK TEA BLENDS’. Honestly, sometimes when I edit these on my iPad they just go poof. Boarding now, will fix it later. Thank you! <3

Nattie

Hahaha I guess that’s excusable. Hope you had a safe flight!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

Following These People