60
drank Christmas Tea Vert by Dammann Freres
300 tasting notes

Again, one of those Dammann teas that exploded with tasting notes after I added it to the database. It’s been a lot of fun reading reviews of teas I acquired completely blindly.

In the bag, I get a strong, well-balanced cherry-orange. Definitely a nice combination for a Christmas tea, but, as always, the Dammann Frères tea smells like something very-tasty-but-not-for-me. It’s like most Italian pastries. Everyone goes crazy over all these cakes and cannoli and Sicilian anything, but I honestly wouldn’t get out of bed for any ricotta filling. This country is the country of the worst croissants (or, you know, ‘cornetti’) ever. I get better croissants in the Midwest, for crying out loud. No. French pastries, though? I don’t even want to imagine a world without them. (This is my bible, available in English now, too: http://www.amazon.fr/P%C3%A2tisserie-Lultime-r%C3%A9f%C3%A9rence-Christophe-Felder/dp/2732442119/)

So when I go to my favourite bakery here, to get some unassuming, basic almond cookies, and I’m surrounded by all these tourists devouring cannoli and more cannoli, loudly expressing their delight, I feel exactly the same way I do when fellow Swedes get really into soccer, or when friends get together for a Lost marathon, or when I read reviews of these Dammann Frères teas. I’m glad everyone is pleased, but I’ll be over here in my corner, eating my pain aux raisins, wearing my 49ers tee, watching Veronica Mars, and sipping something that isn’t a Dammann Frères tea.

It tastes nice enough – with some cherry and some orange and a little cinnamon, but we just fail to connect, this tea and me.

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

Let’s say Italian pastries are often a little dry to my opinion but for me the worst croissant on the word I found it in an hotel in Lisbon !

Anna

Ugh, yes, I remember the Spanish croissant attemps, too – not so good. But in Italy, they’re not just bad, they’re offensive. There’s always this lemony aftertaste, and they put powdered sugar on them.

Ysaurella

des croissants belliqueux…I need to try that !

Anna

Haha, yes! But you don’t try them, you battle them.

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Comments

Ysaurella

Let’s say Italian pastries are often a little dry to my opinion but for me the worst croissant on the word I found it in an hotel in Lisbon !

Anna

Ugh, yes, I remember the Spanish croissant attemps, too – not so good. But in Italy, they’re not just bad, they’re offensive. There’s always this lemony aftertaste, and they put powdered sugar on them.

Ysaurella

des croissants belliqueux…I need to try that !

Anna

Haha, yes! But you don’t try them, you battle them.

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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

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