60
drank Nosy Bey by Dammann Freres
300 tasting notes

This tea would have fared better if it hadn’t been the last stop on my Dammann Frères journey. It’s a bit unfair, I know – I will try my best to keep an open mind. It’s just that both the dry tea and the steeped tea are saturated with this – as I have now come to know it – unmistakable DF perfume.

I can’t really explain it, but it’s this opulent, contrived richness that just seems inescapable. It’s the tea equivalent of orientalizing, exoticizing 19th-century art, pretending to be something it’s not, glorifying something that shouldn’t be glorified.

I guess the evident response would be, ’It’s just tea,’ but I don’t think we should make it too easy on ourselves.

Either way, this is a beautifully scented fruity black. In the cup there’s a light peach-apricot presence, some floral notes, and a smooth vanilla to round it off. Again – and this is turning into a bit of a broken record, I know – DF’s vanilla isn’t really my favourite. It’s a little too much, a little cloying, and has the slightest aftertaste of alcohol.

For someone who’s into elegant fruity blacks, though, this would be a perfect choice.

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

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

:( I have my answer for black teas.
I loved this one, very refined and elegant but I liked the DF Vanilla and it is a very present vanilla in Nosy Bey

Anna

I would have rated it higher if I’d tried it last week, I think. There was another black, or maybe two, that got a higher rating earlier. Now they all just sort of taste the same to me. Why do they have so many similar teas? It’s the most frustrating thing for me, I think.

Ysaurella

they more than often use the same base (china and ceyton mix). Lazyness is a nasty sin…
but sometimes the flavours make them so different, it’s rare but it happens.
Never really tried their greens because I think now I am not a green lover (except for Oolongs)

Anna

I think it’s definitely more obvious in their greens – so many similar ones there. You don’t like MF’s greens either?

Ysaurella

let’s say I can drink them more than I like them.
Except Sakura 2000 I really love

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Comments

Ysaurella

:( I have my answer for black teas.
I loved this one, very refined and elegant but I liked the DF Vanilla and it is a very present vanilla in Nosy Bey

Anna

I would have rated it higher if I’d tried it last week, I think. There was another black, or maybe two, that got a higher rating earlier. Now they all just sort of taste the same to me. Why do they have so many similar teas? It’s the most frustrating thing for me, I think.

Ysaurella

they more than often use the same base (china and ceyton mix). Lazyness is a nasty sin…
but sometimes the flavours make them so different, it’s rare but it happens.
Never really tried their greens because I think now I am not a green lover (except for Oolongs)

Anna

I think it’s definitely more obvious in their greens – so many similar ones there. You don’t like MF’s greens either?

Ysaurella

let’s say I can drink them more than I like them.
Except Sakura 2000 I really love

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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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