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.]