Dammann Freres

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79
drank Pecan Pie by Dammann Freres
4109 tasting notes

Advent Calendar Day One

Hooray; it’s finally time to start drinking my advent calendar teas! This is the first year I’ve done a Tea related advent, and I’m super excited that this is the one I’m doing as I’ve admired this one specifically ever since I got into tea in the first place.

And this is a wonderful choice for the first tea as well because, when I placed the order for the advent as well as other teas, this was the one tea I didn’t order that I was REALLY back and forth on. So now I get to try it anyway! Can’t complain about that.

I really enjoyed this one a lot; but there was definitely something about it that missed the “Pecan Pie” mark for me. I did taste pecan notes, for sure, but more than anything else this one reminded me of almond/marzipan and pistachio. Actually, a whole lot of pistachio in particular. That really sweet nutty note was delicious but in my opinion is sort of lacked the almost “maple-y”/caramel sweetness that the filling of a Pecan Pie has or any of the bakery/confectionery notes you might see in a tea in order to replicate the flavour of the crust.

Though, this wasn’t completely devoid of nuance. While it didn’t do much to strengthen the idea of pecan pie in my mind I did feel like there were some more general warming spice undertones beneath all of the almond/pistachio sweetness. The kind of spice notes you get naturally from tea though, and not the sort that would result from added spices like cinnamon, etc. Still – it was a nice added layer of flavour.

As a “Pecan Pie” tea I think maybe this one is in need of a little bit of rebranding? I just don’t get that flavour drinking it – but as a nut melange sort of thing, I think it was really quite nice and smooth. I enjoyed the cup a lot! It was a really lovely way to start off the calendar…

Nattie

Gah, I’m so jealous! Next year. Next year I will get that calendar! I’m glad you mentioned that this tea misses the mark – I’m always looking for maple pecan teas to replace Butiki’s and now I can take this one off my list!

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93
drank Pecan Pie by Dammann Freres
2184 tasting notes

I bought this tea a while ago, but I never wrote a review for it. It is the first tea in my Dammann advent calendar this year, though, so it seemed like a good time to do it.

This is pecan pie, but it’s really more a melange of nut pie. It smells a lot like almonds and hazelnut, and a bunch of other general nuttiness. I like this one better than the standard almond one because I think the other nuts give it depth. There is maybe a hint of custardy flavor, but it’s mostly all nuts all the time. Pretty tasty all in all.

Flavors: Almond, Hazelnut, Pecan

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Welcome back!

Roswell Strange

Yay advent calendar buddies!

Dinosara

I can’t resist the advent calendar!

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97

Oh my gosh, this tea! I can’t believe there aren’t more blackberry pu-erh blends, because it is a wonderful combination. The blackberry is perfectly balanced with the dark pu-erh. It’s even the perfect ripe pu-erh flavor to pair with the blackberry. Awesomely balanced! The pu-erh is very dark but has none of the unpleasant pu-erh qualities. I’m not tasting much from the vanilla or the rose petals but the blackberry is good enough for me. I think this will become a pu-erh staple for me, especially if the flavor really lasts.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min steep

greenteafairy

You’re making me wish I’d gotten some of this one! I kept going back and forth on it but ultimately decided to pass because I’m not that much of a pu-erh drinker. Next time!

tea-sipper

It’s a very pleasant pu-erh even for those who don’t normally love it.

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93

Thanks SO much Zennenn for all the work you put into the group order and thank you to everyone who split teas. This is enabling me to try so many of the DF blends. Though I’ve been sipping teas for years, DF is pretty much new to me. I wanted to try this one first, as it was the blend I wanted most. It was also a little pricier than most of the other blends I bought. Luckily, it is as delicious as I expected. A lovely bergamot over a blend of assam and yunnan teas. I love the briskness from the assam but would have loved more yunnan. I was hoping it would have been one of those lighter, golden Yunnans to better balance the strength of the assam but I suppose I could always add some light yunnan of my own! The Earl flavor was perfect in the first cup (note to self: steep it this way next time) but I think I should have waited a little while after boiling to brew the second cup. I’m happy with this one!
Steep #1 // heaping teaspoon for a full mug// 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

greenteafairy

This one sounds so good! I was tempted to go in for 25g, but the price was a little off-putting given that I have a bunch of (slightly) more affordable EG favorites lined up already.

tea-sipper

Yes, I was a little hesitant about this one too, but it turns out I enjoy it, so I don’t regret buying it. :D

Zennenn

This one is really yummy!

tea-sipper

I’m glad you like it too, Zennenn. :D

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93

This is another of my new DF teas from the group order. I picked this one mainly because I was curious about the vodka flavoring. I mean, how can a tea taste like vodka? Alas, it looks like I may never know because that’s one note I’m not getting from this one. What I am picking up on, though, is all prune. I know it’s an old lady kind of flavor, but I happen to love it, and it’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a tea before. Fresh plum, sure, but never prune. The caramel is the next strongest flavor, with just a tiny hint of cocoa in the background. I don’t know about the clementine either, but it may becoming through in the tart brightness I’d initially attributed to the prune. My one complaint is that the base seems a little flat—it could be that I need to go a little heavier on the leaf, though; I’ve been doing my standard 1 tsp/8 oz water but next time I might go up to 1.5. Even so, this is a delicious and unique tea, and I’m thinking it’s one I’ll want to restock whenever my next DF order comes around.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Dustin

One of the many flavors in Dr. Pepper is prune!

greenteafairy

Wow, really? I would never have guessed! But I can kind of see it, I think.

Dustin

I may have to take that back! I have heard that from several die hard Pepper fans over the years, but I just googled it and Snopes is saying it isn’t true! :(

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drank Smokey Impérial by Dammann Freres
134 tasting notes

I’m a fan of smoky teas, so I wanted to give this one a try. Steeps out a deep amber color with a strong, smoky, Jasmine scent, both of which come through in the flavor, as well.

The Jasmine is too strong for me, as florals in general can really mess me up. I’m getting some acrid notes, as well, which I’m not sure should be attributed to the smoke or to the five minute steep. At 90C, however, I didn’t think that would be too hot.

Trying to finish this one feels like it could bring a migraine on, so I have to set it aside for the time being. Perhaps a quicker steep or letting the flavor fade a bit would help make it easier for me to drink.

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Noël à Prague by Dammann Freres
134 tasting notes

I think when we ordered this we expected more subtle blend. This is too strong for us. The scent is very strong and the flavor is definitely fruity and sweet. The scent in the empty cup afterward is also very sweet. The taste of the tea itself doesn’t really come through as much as we’d like. We’ll probably give this one another shot with hotter water, but it’s probably ultimately not going to be for us.

Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

My first tea from the DF group order Zennenn so generously organized. I’m always on the lookout for new and different caffeine-free options, and I’d been eyeing a bunch of the DF tisanes for a while now. But when it came time for the group order, it turned out I was the only one interested in just about all of them. I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted to risk ordering a whole 100g just for myself, but in the end this one sounded too enticing to resist and I went for it. Berries and rhubarb are some of my favorite flavors, and dates and orange flower are pretty up there too. Plus I haven’t had the chance to try too many (or possibly any?) linden-based tisanes, so it’s an educational experience of sorts.

So how is it? It doesn’t pack quite the punch I’d hoped it might have—the flavors are pretty muted, and indistinct—but it’s very drinkable. It turns out I like linden pretty well; it’s not too herbal-tasting and almost reminds me of a weaker, better version of chamomile. That’s the dominant flavor; I’m getting some general fruity and floral notes in the background but nothing I think I’d be able to identify had I not known what the flavor profile was meant to be. Though I don’t think I’l have any trouble drinking this one down it’s probably not something I’ll restock, partly just because of the difficulties of sourcing DF, but if and when I have the chance to place another order I’ll probably try another of their tisanes.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Zennenn

This one smelled so good as I was packaging. Another was Tisane de Noel.

tea-sipper

I’m sorry we didn’t help you with the tisanes more! I’m glad you liked this one though. :D

greenteafairy

Honestly, I suspect most of the tisanes I was eyeing taste pretty similar to this one—lots of linden with some faint fruits and florals—so I’m just as happy having a big stash of the one as smaller sizes of several, I think!

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Superanna began a Thanksgiving tradition a few years ago of bringing a Christmas tea to serve after the meal when we are playing games. This year she brought this one and Christmas by Whittard’s of Chelsea. It will not be in my cupboard long because it is delicious and youngest is guzzling it.

This is a black tea with fig, strawberry, and honey flavor. The base is smooth and the flavors really have melded with the base for a seamless flavor. I love honey flavor in tea and it really complements the fig. We are loving it!

Thank you, Superanna!

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84

Cold Brew!

I have to say, of all the “Christmas in…” teas I’ve had from Dammann Freres which I THINK is four now? I find the appearance of this one to look the most pretty and appropriate. The pink petals in the leaf actually look like more of a red to me, and so this looks like it’s dotted with red and white flowers which just remind me so much of Santa Claus…

Drinking this is kind of a bit of a mind fuck; when I think about it/concentrate on it I taste each individual note. You know, the sweet red cherry, almond, and ginger with maybe a bit of a cookie type vibe too? However when I just drink it without the conscious thought it tastes A LOT like Cherry Cola to me. How weird is that!? And honestly, I think I actually like the cherry cola taste of the combined ingredients better than thinking of this one as individual flavour notes.

But regardless of how you view it, it was smooth, fruity and tasty!

Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Cookie, Ginger, Marzipan

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88

Last tea of the night, and just holy shit.

The dry leaf for this tea is like genuinely ‘drool coming out of your mouth’ delicious. It smells like the most buttery, gooey, creamy sweet toffee/caramel and it honestly makes me want to scoop out handfuls of the dry leaf and just… lick them, but I’m not a total animal and I have some self respect left so I’m not doing that. Instead I just made a big mug and had a bubble bath.

First note is smooth, creamy caramel. It really is very buttery and rich; but not overly to the point where it’s cloying. That’s probably ‘cause a lot of the initial richness, though not all of it, eases up when the notes of the base start to kick in mid sip. Typically I wouldn’t think to pair a greener oolong with caramel and would generally opt for something more roasty that would blend together a little more seamlessly, but this is actually really nice. The contrast between the vegetal and grassy character of the green base actually offsets the sweetness of the caramel which otherwise might have actually been cloying, and it also makes the buttery characteristics of that flavour stand out a little more as well. It’s a genius move.

And the base is quite vegetal and grassy; but it’s like fresh Spring time grass after a long winter; aromatic and well needed. The vegetal notes are kind of spinachy, I suppose? They sort of remind me weakly of bamboo too, though. I guess in the overall lightness, and refreshing factor. Some floral notes poke through also, but discreetly in the background.

Finally, the finish reverts back to a more basic, primitive version of the caramel notes that started the cup only the final, lingering taste on the back of my tongue is actually salt; just like you’d get on good salted caramel. Confession: I don’t actually like salted caramel that much. In fact, I don’t like salty foods in general. I’m one of those total weirdos who doesn’t add salt to anything. Corn? Nope. The water when I’m boiling pasta? Nah. So, this salt note that the sip finishes with? I’m actually VERY surprised that I’m finding myself appreciating and enjoying it. Huh.

Really, REALLY solid tea overall. I’m sure I will have many a pleasant cup with this one.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q5Zn_ZkehM&list=WL&index=2

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72

Sipdown (140)!

Even though I drank it at three in the afternoon, this was the tea I drank alongside breakfast today. At least, if you define breakfast as the first meal of the day and not the time of day that you’re eating…

It was one of the freebie teas from my DF order; not bad but basically just your typical English Breakfast type blend. Quite malty with sweet undertones, notes of bread, some raisin, and even a pinch of floral quality. I didn’t take this one with milk today, but I bet it would have been splendid with it.

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79

It’s almost time for my Dammann Freres advent calendar! I’m honestly just getting more and more psyched as the days go by…

Had this one cold brewed today; maybe it was the prep style or maybe it’s because I’m actually not sick anymore but regardless of the reason this tasted so different than that first time I had it. Not in a bad way; but like the orange notes weren’t nearly as strong and I really, really picked up on the sweet, dark, and almost ‘unrefined’ tasting cocoa notes. Sort of like baker’s chocolate, in a way? I think maybe some of what made it more bittersweet than rich/creamy was the vodka/alcohol undertones throughout the infusion though. Still don’t understand how they nailed that flavour so well.

Hooray for continued exploration and observation, though!

Evol Ving Ness

Ms. Strange, what site did you order the advent calendar from?

Roswell Strange

@Evol I actually ordered it straight from Dammann Freres ’cause I was ordering from them anyway – but this site also sells them:

http://www.cadeau-deco-vendome.com/en/advent-calendar-dammann-christmas-xml-727_780-8638.html

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks! How was the shipping cost when ordering directly from them?

Roswell Strange

Not great but worth it for the teas – 15.00 Euros for a 45.50 Euro order, I believe.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, Ms. Strange.

Can I tell you how disappointed I was when I discovered that this is not what everyday people call you? :)

Maddy Barone

I haz a sad. The advent calendar is 20 Euros. Shipping is 23.7 Euros. Sigh. But I do have my David’s advent calendar. Maybe next year I can get the french one.

Evol Ving Ness

I will join you with the sadz.

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79

This was my commute tea from yesterday, one of the teas I ordered in my recent Dammann Freres order. I liked the idea of having these “Christmas” teas on hand for the holidays…

I was gonna wait for my first taste of these new teas, but when I woke up yesterday I felt so clear and unstuffed that I figured it’d be safe to make one right away instead of waiting. Of course, like clockwork, I started feeling stuffy again just as I poured the hot water over the leaf. Maybe I was in denial the whole time? The situation only deteriorated from there; so what flavour I got from tea was relatively muted/dull.

I found this had soft orange and raisin type notes; it was sweet but in a sort of ‘flat’ way, if that makes sense? A combination of it being a sort of ‘natural from the fruit’ sweetness and the head cold, I’m sure. I got little to no cocoa/caramel; hard to say if that’s the tea or the cold talking. Or both. What really fascinated me though was how clearly that vodka/alcohol taste came through in the flavour despite the cold. Like; it really truly tasted like someone had poured a shot of vodka into my brewed up tea. It was fascinating and added a whole layer of depth to the brew. How did they get the flavour of a liquor that’s generally known for being relatively ‘flavourless’ so perfect?

But yeah; not the first tasting I’d hoped for; darn cold! But intriguing and still enjoyable; it just makes me want to revisit this even quicker when I’m feeling better.

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62

Sipdown (143)!

So despite being sick, I had a good tea mail morning! The Dammann Freres order I placed less than a week ago has already arrived, and with it my DF Advent Calendar! It’s taking all my self control not to start it now. I mean, it’d only be half a month early; and of course I wouldn’t able to taste the tea well anyway ‘cause sick. I’m trying to have some self control, though.

They also added in a couple freebie samples, including this one! I don’t typically drink straight peppermint anymore after having a really unpleasant experience with some loose leaf peppermint where I found a maggot in the dry leaf. It’s just a bit of a mental block. This was a sachet though, and a clear one where I could see ALL the leaf before steeping it up though; definitely maggot free. Plus, I am quite sick so the serendipitous timing of free peppermint tea is not a gift horse I’m willing to look in the mouth.

It tasted fine; like peppermint. Maybe a little less sweet than some peppermint teas come off? But there’s a perfectly reasonable chance it tasted less sweet to me ’cause of my cold. Everything tastes at least a little less shiny and good. So to speak.

Typically I wouldn’t buy straight peppermint tea from a high end retailer like Dammann Freres anyway; there are so many other, better things to take advantage of from them if you’re going to shell out the money for the overseas shipping anyway like advent calendars. Bulk peppermint from your local grocery store is generally just as good, anyway. It is only peppermint, after all.

’Twas soothing on the throat and good for the sinuses though.

Mookit

Eek. I once found an infestation of moths in an unopened bag of rice. It was terrifying.

Fjellrev

Wow, fast shipping! Sorry to hear you’re sick though. Hope you’ll feel better soon.

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64
drank Violette by Dammann Freres
65 tasting notes

A charming and sweet blend with a powdery floral hint, holding light toasted notes.

Unusual. but not for me.

For full review: https://www.tastethetea.co.uk/2016/11/09/214violette/

Flavors: Floral, Smooth, Violet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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85

This is a nice fruity blend, though I wish I could detect the individual flavors—I just get a generic, if pleasant, fruitiness. I also feel like the fruit flavorings could be a little more assertive, but then I always like my flavors super bold. As it is, the fruits and the smooth, slightly malty base are pretty evenly balanced. I love fruity teas of all stripes, but in general I find these sorts of flavorings work better for me with green (or even oolong) bases than with black, and nice as this blend is it’s no exception to that rule.

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83
drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
105 tasting notes

I smell a bit of sweet strawberry. I could compare it to Four red fruits from Kusmi which is another strawberry black tea with a stronger strawberry scent. Very good but I would rather go with Noël à Prague and Coquelicot gourmand from this house, they have more personality whereas Jardin bleu is more average (but still good!).

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25
drank Bali by Dammann Freres
105 tasting notes

Feels like I’m drinking a bitter perfume or a pot-pourri infusion. You know, as in something artificial and inedible. I regret buying a 100g tin of this, it is taking me forever to finish it. It says on the website that it is made of Jasmine green tea and Sencha but I don’t get the grassy taste that I like from sencha. As if the sencha was too old and lost all its flavours and all we could taste was the added rose essential oil. Is rose essential oil even edible?

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91
drank Vanille by Dammann Freres
3004 tasting notes

Sipdown (133)

I am having what I have not had in a little while…a hot cup of tea. Lately it has been all smoothies and lattes or cold brews and iced teas. I decided just to relax with something warm and comforting and this definitely fits the bill. Now having tried it without any additives I realize just how amazing the vanilla flavor is – like fresh vanilla beans: clean, fresh, sweet, and creamy and just all around awesome.

Also, this tea is soft. That sounds weird to say but the overall mouthfeel is round to feel like you are actually enjoying something and not just water with some flavor while still remaining delicate. Hopefully you guys get me because it is hard to describe clearly but certainly worth mentioning as it is really contributing to my positive experience with this tea.

Thank you Sil for sharing this one. I am definitely grateful to try it as it is so simple and yet so elegant and rich.

Sil

awesome. glad you enjoyed it!

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91
drank Vanille by Dammann Freres
3004 tasting notes

Thank you, Sil for sharing this one with me. I used it today in my daily smoothie and maybe that wasn’t the best way to actually taste the tea but it certainly made for a tasty treat. The vanilla actually came through by toning down the chocolate in the smoothie making it almost lighter while still being very flavorful. It went down fast…and easily which is a good sign though I dont really remember specific qualities as I was distracted by online shopping.

Sil

haha nice

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83
drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
1858 tasting notes

GCTTB I was mildly skeptical about how ‘fig-like the flavour would actually be considering that it’s a bit older. Maybe Davids Tea has me jaded. ;) But as it turns out I was pleasantly surprised but how authentic the flavour was. It tastes more like the dried figs I eat around Christmas-time, than fresh figs to me, but that’s hardly a bad thing.

A great way of having your figs…without the wasps. ;p

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Fjellrev

Ha! My mom won’t even eat figs due to said symbiosis.

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78
drank Rose de Mai by Dammann Freres
1537 tasting notes

Sipdown! I think that brings me down to 33? That’s insane. Yesterday, a co-worker mentioned a new perfume that came out with Rose de Mai so that reminded me that I had one more cup of this left. A day off means being able to drink tea so this was first on my list. I absolutely love the fresh rose note in this but have grown a little tired of oolong bases over the past year. Don’t know why. Maybe I just over oolong’d myself. Would I buy more? No, but I would most definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of rose and/or green oolongs.

TeaKlutz

Sounds quite nice!

tea-sipper

Only 33 teas?!?! That IS insane. I would be panicking.. not enough choices for me. :D

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78
drank Rose de Mai by Dammann Freres
1537 tasting notes

Had a cup of this earlier in an effort to finish it up. I do enjoy it but somewhere along the way (maybe sometime last fall?), I slightly lost interest in drinking oolongs. The rose in this is gorgeous but I think at this point, I would rather go with a white tea base.

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