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Recent Tasting Notes
I get four holiday teas to try from DF! This is the first. I’m going to try to guess the flavors before I look them up again and remind myself what they should taste like. This one turned out to be much different than it was supposed to. To me, the scent was more cherry. With apple pieces and roses in the blend. I was tasting cherry and almond, almost like a marzipan. The flavor should be anything but that basically. hah. The flavor isn’t bad but I would have loved to taste the peach, pear, and plum with hazelnut and chestnut that should be here. I guess DF is just setting up the disappointment with their lovely descriptions. Looking at the tasting notes of other Steepsterers, they were tasting more of the notes that should have been there. Maybe this was just an off blend of this one this time around.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3-4 minute steep
Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Marzipan
Advent Calendar Day Four
This is one of those Dammann Freres teas that I feel like I’ve seen it reviewed a million time, and always sort of gone “huh, that sounds nice” and then promptly forgotten about until the next time I saw it reviewed – so I’m quite excited to actually be getting around to trying it myself.
This is just so motherfucking good. That’s right; good enough to surpass ‘fucking good’ and go all the way to ‘motherfucking’! I took my first baby sip when it was still hot, and was like instantly drooling and ready to go back for a big gulp even though that would have most definitely burned my tongue.
The flavours just come through so well, in particular the sweet candied apricot with is just so sweet, fruity and uplifting. It almost feels like it’s just bouncing off my tongue; the flavour is so playful and juicy. The maple/toffee come through well too in the body of the sip, though I did feel like the finish was maybe a bit more like a soft honey note rather than maple/toffee/caramel. It also has complimenting notes of sweet, freshly sliced orange and light apple-y undertones.
Really magical, and smooth with such a lovely profile that’s clear and has rich, full bodied flavour while still feeling light and whimsical! This is my favourite from the calendar so far – though I’m hoping that I haven’t peaked at day four in this advent as there are many more teas to go…
Advent Calendar Day Three
Ooh, a tisane!? I don’t think I’ve actually had a Dammann Freres tisane before, so part of me was really excited to pop that cherry. The other part of me was all “Darn, caffeine free for my commute tea…” and somewhat bummed out. I’ve been F/T at both jobs this week, so I’m essentially running on fumes. Caffeine is pretty well my best friend in the whole world right now.
But this was SO good! The range of fruit flavours was just perfect because it featured several clear and distinct notes, but was harmonious and didn’t feel bogged down with ingredients either. I’d definitely have to agree with DF that rhubarb was the key note here; and what a note! I love rhubarb so much, so any chance to try a new tea with that lovely sweet and slightly tangy profile is bound to be a winner in my opinion. The linden in the blend was also quite strong. I think because I drink a lot of Bluebird Tea Company’s Lime + Cola guayusa blend I associate the flavour of linden with lime now because linden makes up such a large part of that blend. So mentally I kept flipping between tasting linden leaf and rhubarb and tasting rhubarb and lime. Funny how the brain works like that. Other fruity notes present were orange/fresh citrus, and a strawberry-esque note. I say “esque” because it wasn’t quite strawberry OR raspberry, but leaned a little more towards the former than the latter.
Medium bodied overall, and really fresh! Perhaps a little weird for a winter/holiday tea given the summery fruit notes – but delicious regardless. Only thing it’s missing, in my opinion, is the caffeine content.
Advent Calendar day 1 ! (3 days late)
so, i’m watching Fantastic Four. yes! the most hated movie of 2015 haha.
and i think its bad yes. and dumb. it’s pretty dumb.
i also have to go to a 4 yr olds bday party in 20 min and i’m really not interested.
i ordered a bag of the pecan pie when i ordered the advent calendar. i don’t hate it but i wish i liked it more.
i suspect it will grow on me though. you know how that can happen with a tea.
Advent Calendar Day Two
So, I was pretty rushed this morning getting ready for work which meant no morning commute tea, which is definitely how I plan to drink most of the teas from the advent calendar this year…
However, I do work at a tea shop in the evenings so I just brought the little sachet/bag with me to work and I drank it there – it meant crossing off one less thing from the Project Tea Wall list, but I didn’t get behind on my advent
and so early into the month too! so I’ll take it…
This was pretty lovely, I’ve gotta say. It basically tasted like gingerbread cookies without a super strong molasses-y note. For someone who doesn’t like ginger, I sure do like gingerbread. It’s gotta be the added sweetness, I think. And then of course that warming, sweet gingerbread flavour was supported by light, fresh orange/citrus undertones. I’m at the point in my “tea drinking career” where I’ve tried my fair share of gingerbread teas, but I’ve gotta say this is definitely one of the better ones! Plus, totally in line with the season/appropriately Christmas-y!
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s tea is!
I brewed 10 minutes with hottish water (just below boiling). It smelled a bit plain and like artificial pecan flavour, but it tasted much better. That caramelly buttery taste of pecan, as well as the butteriness, were present.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Creamy, Grass, Mineral, Nuts, Nutty, Pecan, Rooibos, Sweet, warm grass, Walnut
Although the spices like pepper, cardamom, ginger?, and cinnamon are lovely, the sickly sweet from the licorice root (or fennel?) is very off putting. I wish they had toned it back significantly.
Anyway, this brewed up smelling amazing (750 mL + hotish water, 10 minutes) and brews a pale amber yellow. The loose leaf is gorgeous with all those whole spices, seeds, and petals in there. Visually, this tea is fantastic.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Earth, Fennel Seed, Herbs, Licorice, Medicinal, Peppercorn, Sweet
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…
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.