Dammann Freres

Recent Tasting Notes

70

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 17th

I admit, I’m always a tiny bit disappointed inside when it’s a green tea inside the little door. I generally prefer a black or even white tea as a base for flavoring. That being said, the green teas in this calendar so far have been fine, I’ve even liked some of them. :P Inside this sachet are large green leaves and pieces of dried strawberry. Dry scent is delicious strawberry and cream with vanilla!

Mm, the steeped tea smells like whipped cream and strawberries. The taste is actually a bit heavy on the base tea, which is a bit grassy. There’s a little bit of tart strawberry, but mostly I taste a lovely creamy vanilla flavor, which unfortunately does not go well with the grassy base. There’s a weird tart aftertaste as well that comes off as a bit artificial. I need to try the black version of this one!

Flavors: Artificial, Cream, Grass, Strawberry, Tart, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sami Kelsh

Oh man, this sounds like it smells so good. I’m sorry it didn’t taste as good as it smelled!

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71

Day 17.

Is this a new tea? I had to add it to the website. There is black version on steepster but not a green. Hopefully this is getting posted in the right spot.

On first smell of the dried tea, all I could think of was cherry cough syrup green tea. Not exactly appetizing.

The taste is much better. It is a smooth, creamy, green tea. The creaminess may be a bit of vanilla or a bit of caramel but I can’t quite place the source of the creaminess that I am feeling on my palate. I am getting some kind of fruity flavour which I attribute to cherry but I am a bit unsure. There is also a nice floral component to this tea. It is just very slightly sweet. There is a very tiny touch of astringency to the green tea at the end of the sip. The flavours of the tea feel a bit watered down.

I did not look up the description of this tea before I postd about it. So I could be way off taste. But that is what I am tasting.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 16th

Woo, back to Christmas teas! I have to say, the first things I think of when I see a tea with “Provence” in the name are lavender and ick. The description for this one doesn’t actually mention lavender, and I didn’t see any inside my sachet either, so hopefully I’m safe. Dry scent is figgy and sweet, yum!

Mm, the steeped tea smells like figs and strawberry jam… Yummy. It totally tastes like some kind of fig & strawberry jam combo. I think the honey and fig and so intertwined that I can’t tell them apart, since fig is kind of a syrupy sweet fruit. There’s a little bit of an earthy quality to the base tea, especially in the beginning of the sip. Thank goodness, no lavender! :D

Flavors: Earth, Fig, Jam, Strawberry, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Bali by Dammann Freres
827 tasting notes

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 15th

Time for another flavored green! And looking at the ingredients… this one may not be for me. But that’s okay, I’m willing to try it anyway. It has fruits that I really love, like grapefruit and lychee, and then it also has a double dose of floral. We shall see! The sachet itself definitely smells very heavy on the rose. I can see the green tea leaves along with large pieces of flower petals inside.

The steeped tea actually smells quite nice – yes, I can smell the jasmine and rose, but they’re tempered a bit by the sweet lychee and peach, and a touch of grapefruit. You know what? I don’t hate this. In fact, it’s quite tasty. Luckily for me, the rose is somehow kept very light and non-heady, perhaps from the citrus and jasmine? And the lychee complements the flowers so well, but at the same time it keeps them in check with its sweetness and allows me to taste the other fruits. I think the grapefruit is really the saving grace for this tea, it’s so light and refreshing that it completely neutralizes any perfumey quality this tea could have had. I could still do without the rose here, but at least it’s not overpowering the entire blend. Progress! :)

I really need to get a grapefruit tea in my cupboard… Anyone have any suggestions?

Flavors: Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lychee, Peach, Rose, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Although I haven’t tried it yet, many West Coasters have been raving about Bayswater’s Grapefruit Earl Grey. I recently tried Acquired Taste Tea Co’s Grapefruit Sencha and I liked it more than I thought I would since I’m not a huge fan of sencha.

Red Fennekin

If you can hack the shipping, the “Blue Sky Blend” by J Atkinson and Co. is absolutely incredible – it’s another Grapefruit Earl Grey and it’s spectacular! :D It also isn’t overly bergamot-y, so it may suit you.

OMGsrsly

I couldn’t post earlier, but the grapefruit EG is really good. And for an herbal, “The Tea Guy” has a grapefruit that’s nice, especially cold brewed in the summer.

Nicole

If you want a black grapefruit, you might give Single Origin Tea a try. They are at least very inexpensive if you find you don’t care for it. :)

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66
drank Bali by Dammann Freres
806 tasting notes

Day 15.

This tea smells delicious. But I am scared to try it becuase the deliciousness appears to be quite perfumey. There are scents of sweet jasmine and lychee.

This tea is interesting. There is definitely a jasmine base. It is not as strong as I would have thought in comparison to the smell. There are hints of lychee flavour. Lychee fruits are delicious. But the bad thing is that often in tea is comes across as very perfumey, and I am getting that in this case. This tea is strongly floral. Strong hints of rose. The tea liquor is light and thin, but the flavours remain quite strong.

My snippet review for this tea would be: smells perfumey, tastes perfumey.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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81

The scent of this tea reminds me of Fruit Stripe gum. I also get this weird mint that pops through occasionally. I love the pretty white and pink/red flowers that are mixed in with the white tea. Very festive!

Sipping… this tea actually tastes a little bit like Fruit Stripe gum to me, but with the addition of a white tea base. There is something a little tingly in the tail end of the sip, that makes me think of spices.. but it’s so faint that I don’t really notice it. While this tea has lovely flavors, it’s very delicate. I do wish that it had a little more strength.

December 14 – Advent 2014

Cameron B.

Jealous! Mine tasted like a ginger tea. :(

darby

I love fruit stripe!

Fjellrev

Wow, I can’t even remember what Fruit Stripe smelled/tasted like!

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Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 14th

Yah more Christmas teas! I got to try the green version of this tea earlier in the month. Though I didn’t love that one, I have higher hopes for this, as green tends to be my least favorite base for flavored teas. There are red and white flower petals mixed with the greenish white tea, which certainly looks appropriately festive. Dry scent is sweet cherry with perhaps some almond?

The tea steeped up a lovely light golden color, and the aroma is mostly ginger along with some sweetness from the cherry. Hmm, I’m a bit saddened that my cup of this tea seems to have come out as mostly ginger (especially since I don’t really like ginger). None of the other reviewers mentioned ginger, they seemed to taste strong cherry. No fair! I can taste a touch of cherry in the background, but mostly it’s ginger tea. :’(

Withholding my rating because my sachet was clearly not a good indication of what this tea is supposed to be.

Flavors: Cherry, Ginger

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Lala

I wish mine tasted like ginger, I got nothing.

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85

This tea smells like jasmine, passionfruit and peach – very much reminds me of summer.

Sipping… this has such a nice fruit flavor. I love the passionfruit paired with the jasmine. The jasmine isn’t too strong, but sits in the background. It gives off just enough flavor so you know it’s there, but not enough to overwhelm the cup. While this tea is light and refreshing, I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to drink such a summery blend. It would be perfect for the warmer months, but not for the winter.

December 13 – Advent 2014

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Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 13th

Happy Saturday! I’m excited to try another of Dammann’s Christmas teas, as I’ve heard good things about most of them and I enjoyed yesterday’s. The packaging tells me nothing about the tea besides that it’s black. I can see jasmine flowers mixed with the black tea inside the sachet. Dry, it smells strongly of grapefruit and perhaps bergamot? Mouthwatering, really.

The steeped tea has a sweet jasmine aroma mixed with a touch of bergamot and sweet tropical fruits – I can definitely smell the mango and passion fruit. Wow, this is an interesting one! The jasmine and the fruit flavors seem to have actually melded together, so much that I can’t distinguish them individually. I can taste the bergamot, but can only venture a guess at the types of fruit here. I think I can taste passionfruit, and perhaps pineapple as well? The jasmine is actually a little too perfumey for me in this blend, probably due to the combination of it and bergamot. It almost tastes like rose? It’a shame, I was quite excited for this one based on the smell of the sachet… Withholding rating.

Flavors: Bergamot, Jasmine, Passion Fruits, Perfume, Pineapple, Rose

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Ah, I could see, with a flavour combination like that, jasmine completely taking over the more subtle fruity notes. Too bad!

Cameron B.

It’s a shame, I think I would have really enjoyed this one if they’d left out either the jasmine or the bergamot. Both of them together was too much!

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85

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 12th

Hooray, a Christmas tea! :D I know Dammann has a lot of these, so I’m happy to see one even though Christmas is still a couple of weeks off. The packaging tells me nothing about what Christmas in Venice actually means, however I did happen to see Dinosara’s note so I know it involves lemon and some form of caramel. Sounds delish! Mm, the dry sachet definitely smells like some kind of sweet lemon dessert.

I can definitely smell lemon and cream in the steeped cup, and possibly a very light caramel. Mm, so tasty! This tea reminds me of lemon pudding or cake – the main flavor is the lemon, but it’s a sweet lemon as opposed to a sharp one. There’s also a fair amount of cream, hence the pudding. I’m not necessarily getting any caramel, but I’m not too terribly upset by that. Definitely adding this to my list of things to purchase from Dammann when/if I ever make an order! :D

Flavors: Cream, Custard, Lemon, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
806 tasting notes

Day 11.

I would not associate the name jardin bleu with rhubarb. But nevertheless…

The dry tea smells like rhubarb and cream.

The brewed tea very eerily makes me think Harney’s Paris. I had no idea why. But I do a double take every time I take a sip.

The tea is thick but the flavours are not bold, this is a light and mild tea. There is definitely rhubarb in this tea. There is a hint of artificial strawberry in the background. Very minimal sweetness to the tea which I actually think makes it taste better. Sometimes too much sweetness can come across as artificial. There is a slight floral flavour. I know this is a black tea but I would not be surprised at all if the base was actually a white tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I was confused by the name as well… Maybe it refers to the blue flower petals?

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78
drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
827 tasting notes

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 11th

A black blend today! It’s a strawberry-rhubarb tea based on the description. Sounds lovely! I can see small black tea leaves and some flower petals inside the sachet (I guess it’s called Jardin Bleu because of the blue flower petals?). Dry scent is fruity with both sweet and tart notes.

Once the tea is steeped, I can smell the tarter rhubarb a lot more. I’m surprised that I can clearly taste rhubarb in the flavor as well (cooked rhubarb, like in pie). The strawberry that I’m tasting is a bit like strawberry candy as opposed to the actual fruit, which makes sense since the rhubarb is already providing tartness and it could easily go overboard with more tart. It does have a touch of that powdery taste that I often find in French teas, which I could do without.

Flavors: Candy, Fruity, Powdered sugar, Rhubarb, Strawberry, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

While I’m excited to see a rooibos blend, I’m not really sure if I’m going to like this one. It smells very much like children’s Motrin.. liquid orange in a small plastic cup.

Sipping… oh, good! It isn’t as weird and medicinal as I thought it would be. The orange is light, fresh and pairs beautifully with the wood from the rooibos. It seems that the dry sharpness from the rooibos works really well with bringing out the tangy bits from the orange. I also love that there is a bit of sweetness in the background that makes me think of cheap, watery orange juice – that comforting hit of sugar and citrus.

I am enjoying this tea much more than I expected. Would I buy this again? Possibly, but it seems like it’s one of those teas I would enjoy in smaller amounts and only when the craving strikes.

December 5 – Advent 2014

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89

The scent of this tea reminds me of Marco Polo from Mariage Freres… strawberry candies with black tea in the background.

Sipping… I was expecting a stronger strawberry flavor, but this is actually very nice. The strawberry sort of blossoms on your tongue after the sip and leaves you with a bright tartness. The black tea seems more on the earthy side, but that could be because rhubarb is present. Rhubarb always tastes a bit like earth or dirt for me.

I’m really impressed by this cup and would possibly buy more of this in the future. A great first cup of the day!

December 11 – Advent 2014

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84

I was a little disappointed to see this tea bag only because I recently had a similar tea yesterday. I think that I would have been more okay with two similar teas if I spread them out over the course of a few days, but I’m playing catch up.. so now is the time to drink it!

I’ve decided that Earl Grey teas are a once in a while tea for me. Two teas that are Earl Grey-ish in a week may be a bit too much. That being said, I think this would be a great choice for someone who loves orange/citrus oils and black tea.

It’s bright and smooth. This cup even leaves that tingling feeling that you get after eating an orange wedge. I can see a splash of milk adding a more comforting dimension, but it’s lovely without. Given the choice between this one and the Earl Grey Yin Zhen I had yesterday, I think I prefer Gout Russe. It’s mild, sweet and citrusy.

December 6 – Advent 2014

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65

This one smells weird right out of its package. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it… faintly smells of green tea, orange, spices and something doughy? Luckily it doesn’t smell like Play-Doh, but it still smells strange.

Sipping… I taste a light orange flavor and the mild green tea base. The spices/doughy bits hide behind everything and really just contribute a strange flavor. It’s not terrible, but it’s very weird. If I gulp down this tea, I do get more of a sweet fruit flavor and something that reminds me of bubblegum.

I wouldn’t purchase this tea in the future, but it’s nice to try something interesting.

December 10 – Advent 2014

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65

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 10th

Ooh, it’s a green tea today! I must say, I really do appreciate the distribution of teas in this calendar – it’s at least half black teas, which I love, but there are also green, white, and red teas to keep it interesting (not that I would complain about a 100% black version either!). So thanks, Dammann, for making an awesome calendar so far. :D

Any, on to this tea! Based on the description, it seems like the green version of Flocons d’Épices, which I had earlier in the calendar. The tea inside the sachet actually look exactly like the picture, which is pretty rare! It smells very happy and orange-y with perhaps a hint of spice.

Hah, the steeped tea smells and tastes like bubblegum to me! I remember that being a thing with the black version, but to nowhere near this extent. I feel like I’m drinking a cup of lightly orange-flavored Bubblicious. It’s not horrible, just strange. And I don’t taste any spice! I guess maybe it’s combining with the orange to make that weird bubble gum flavor?

Flavors: Candy, Orange

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sami Kelsh

I’ve had this experience with a green tea where for some reason spice + fruit flavours (in that case, cherry) = BUBBLEGUM. Not spice, not fruit, total bubblegum. I tend to be really cautious about what fruits pair with what spices as a result!

Cameron B.

Yeah, I noticed it a little bit in the black version of this tea as well, but in the green was magnified by a billion. :P

Roswell Strange

Green tea + Cherry often translates to bubble gum for me.

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80
drank Earl Grey Yin Zhen by Dammann Freres
806 tasting notes

Day 9
I managed to make it 6 days before I forgot to bring my daily advent tea with me to work again. So this is for yesterday.

I love Earl grey. And to be specific, I love bergamot. So I was quite excited for this tea.

This was smells strongly of bergamot from the dry sachet. Once brewed it has a sweet citrus bergamot scent.

The tea tastes lightly of bergamot. The citrus essence is nice. The black tea base is moderately bold, is lightly dry but not stringent. I think the silver tips bridge the gap between the bergamot and the black tea. It adds a hay like taste and thickness to the tea. The flower petals smooth it out and add a faint hint of sweetness and pastry.

This is quite a good and interesting Earl grey. I would prefer a kick in your face black te and bergamot type Earl grey but this one is still tasty.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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57

The plain tea bag smelled like Play-Doh which wasn’t a good sign. After water has been added, it does smell much more like Christmas – cinnamon, spices .. maybe some orange thrown in. Not sure how I feel about this one, to be honest.

Sipping… hmm.. there’s a lot going on in this blend. I taste cinnamon and orange, but also something that reminds me of a cookie? I’m not sure.. there’s something doughy tasting in this cup.. it’s almost like completely plain dough with spices and orange. The Play-Doh scent remains, sadly, and really dominates everything. The green tea base is smooth, not astringent and very soft. I’m happy to have tried this one, but it’s far too strange for me.

December 7 – Advent 2014

Kittenna

Yuck – I’ve had teas that smell like play-dough before. I haven’t figured out what it is, but it’s happened to me most often with white teas.

QueenOfTarts

This is the first time I’ve smelled Play-Doh.. but I’ve read that others have experienced it before! It’s really strange to have such a gross smell in a tea!

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83

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 9th

Ooh, an earl grey today! I’ve actually been craving bergamot teas a bit lately, especially since I bought one on a whim at Target. So this is perfect timing! Apparently this is supposed to be a mixed black & white base, but I don’t see a single silver needle in my sachet, or any light-colored tea matter at all. There are a couple of flower petals, but otherwise it just looks like black tea. Dry scent is strongly bergamot. I lowered the steeping temperature just a tad, just in case there is secretly white tea in there.

The steeped tea has a much milder bergamot aroma, along with a touch of sweetness. Hm, I don’t think I taste any white tea here. It did come out on the milder side, but I think that’s just because of the lower temperature. And I’m not necessarily complaining, as some earl greys are way too strong on the bergamot for me! This tea strikes a nice balance between an unobtrusive and smooth base tea and the citrusy bergamot oil. I’m enjoying my mellow cup. I think perhaps there’s a hint of white tea hay/honey flavor at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste?

Flavors: Bergamot, Hay, Honey, Smooth

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

Dammann Advent Calendar, Day 9

Hey, it’s a DF tea that I haven’t had! Seems like a rarity these days. They seemed to have switched out the standard EG for the Yin Zhen this year.

I never quite know what to make of black teas with silver tips thrown in. Do they make a difference? Should I compensate for the fact that most white teas don’t really like boiling temps (at least western style)? For this one, I dropped it to just below boiling to make sure I wouldn’t shock them.

I find this to be a very tasty Earl Grey. Bright and citrusy, with a smooth, nicely blended base. It’s been so long since I had DF’s regular EG (or avec fleurs) that it is impossible for me to compare the two, but I remember liking them but wishing the bergamot was a bit stronger. I don’t really have that complain here, but I also don’t know if it’s really that different. I’m not sure I can pick out anything that says white tea to me; perhaps a slight added creaminess? I just got a sip that maybe had a hint of hay, which is definitely white tea. Overall a tasty Earl, though I’m not sure the silver tips provide any added value.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Anlina

I’ve had so many blends where the white tea seems completely pointless, aside from maybe looking pretty in the dry leaf, and bumping up the price significantly.

Dinosara

Yeah, I was actually going to make a comment about pricing but then I checked and this blend is no more expensive than their “Earl Grey avec fleurs” blend, and hardly (like a dollar or two per 100g) more expensive than the plain EG, so at least they’re not jacking up the price because of it.

Kittenna

Ahahahaha, I saw a review for this a bit higher up on my dashboard, and was curious as to whether you’d just grab your looseleaf tin of this too! :P Seems not, which is a good thing!

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88

This tea smells so yummy! It reminds me of a juice box I had when I was a little kid… some kind of fruit punch, only more delicate. I get the feeling that this one could get very bitter if oversteeped.

Sipping… mmm, the flavors in this tea are so special and so unique! I taste the passionfruit, but also the lovely rose. The two blend together flawlessly! They are so well balanced that the tea doesn’t taste like perfume when it very well could. The white tea stays in the background and really only comes out at the end of the sip. I’m glad that it’s not bitter, but adds just a little sharpness to the fruit and flowers.

I never would have thought to purchase this tea, but it’s delicious and unique! Quite tasty.

December 8 – Advent 2014

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83

I’ve been falling so behind on the advent calendar days, so I will be drinking some in reverse until I’m all caught up! This is today’s tea, though, so at least I can begin with this one.

I’m not a huge fan of Earl Grey. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood and it will be delicious, but most of the time, I’d prefer something else. This cup smells rich and the black tea is strong. I can’t pick up on the white tea yet.

Sipping… the first thing I taste is a bit of bright, bitter orange peel quickly followed by the black tea. It tastes a bit like your standard Earl Grey only it is perhaps a bit smoother. For someone who isn’t wild about Earl Grey, it isn’t bad, but perhaps a little boring.

December 9 – Advent 2014

Cameron B.

Ooh, excited to see another Steepsterite doing this calendar as well! :D

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I am drinking a cup of this right now, and today it tastes to me like champagne. Huh?

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