Dammann FreresEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Was given this as an afterthought in a café in Lyon, where I’d purchase a set meal (the only thing available on a Saturday or Sunday) that included an additional pot of tea. I think because they were busy and I was the “demanding Amercian”, I was given this. It’s been a few days now (feels like a lifetime ago! it’s been four days) so I tried it.
Well, it’s nice. Nice for someone else. (All I got was a faint apple thang, maybe something like a Shirley Temple. Is there grenadine in here?)
Flavors: Apple, Grenadine
Now that I have a kettle that heats water to specific temperatures, I thought I would revisit this one to see if all the fuss I made about it was true.
I still love it, though now with less bitterness! A touch of sugar still calls to me though, I think it mellows out the perfume aspect and bumps up the fruit, leading to a much more balanced and AMAZING brew! Once again, I have Dinosara to thank, she donated the last few cups of her stash of Bali to me! I absolutely cannot thank you enough!
Flavors: Flowers, Lychee, Nectar
Oh, man. I knew I would love this tea. Dinosara has become my source for the best samples! The flavor is clear, sweet fruit with a soft rose component that melds perfectly. I may even like this better that the Rose and Litchi of Fauchon, since, though I totally roasted both samples, this green took to my noob mistakes better, and the flavor character was strong enough to shine through. Since I roasted it (really need to get a variable temperature kettle), there was some bitterness on the swallow, but a touch of sugar remedied the situation and brought out the fruit a little more. I need this in my cupboard!
Flavors: Lychee, Nectar, Rose, Sweet
I don’t really know what I expected from this rooibos. Another sample from the gracious Dinosara, may she ever hate rooibos so that I may try all of her samples! The sachet smelled a little like a sweet, chewable vitamin c tab. The brewed tea, while not bad, smelled so strongly like the fly spray I’ve used on horses that it made it particularly unpleasant for me. The citrus flavor was definitely medicinal. Not the best think I have drunk.
Flavors: Citrus Zest, Medicinal, Wood
Smelled way better than it tasted. Unoffensive green tea with light generic fruity flavor that gets a little sweeter as it cools. I added a bit of sugar after the first few sips. I liked it, if I had a large amount of it it could be an every day afternoon tea but I wouldn’t seek it out just now.
Flavors: Fruity, Grass
Backlog. I went to afternoon tea in San Francisco, and this is the tea that my mom ordered. Our waiter said that this was his personal favorite as well as a popular pick among customers. My mom did seem to enjoy it, but I did not like it so much. First, there were some floral notes that verged on being too perfume-y for me. The main problem, though, was the strawberry flavor. It came across as very artificial and almost medicinal to me. Once that hit my taste buds, I couldn’t really tease apart any other flavors in there because I kept getting distracted by it. I just think that this tea was a little too all over the place for me, personally.
Backlog. My mom and I treated ourselves to an afternoon tea in San Francisco, and it turns out that they had Dammann Freres teas. I picked this one because I always like a nice, bold breakfast tea. Unfortunately, by the time they brought the teapot out, it was oversteeped. Now usually, I don’t add anything to my tea ever, but the bitterness was a bit too overwhelming for me, so I added some milk. Surprisingly, it turned out to be quite delicious. The malty flavor of black tea was still there yet the bitterness and astringency were tamed by the smooth milk. This experience is making me think that I should experiment with adding milk to other teas!
Last DF sample! Thanks again to the lovely and generous tea friend who sent these to me. This one is a mix of smallish black tea leaves and cream-colored dried flower petals. Dry scent is sweet and creamy and vanilla-ish, which makes sense considering it’s supposed to be a hazelnut/vanilla tea.
The steeped tea smells delicious – creamy, sweet, nutty with vanilla notes. Hmm… I’m actually slightly disappointed with this one. The vanilla flavor here is similar to bourbon vanilla or vanilla bean, which I think seems wrong for this blend. I feel they should have gone with a more creamy, confectionery vanilla flavor. It’s not a bad tea, just not what I expected from the aroma. Still yummy though.
Flavors: Hazelnut, Sweet, Vanilla
Another DF tea! This one sounds like the quintessential “holiday” tea with a blend of spices, orange, and a few others flavors including almond. To be honest, I’m never a fan of these teas, as generally they’re too heavy on the spice and not heavy enough on the other things. Visually, the tea is a mixture of black tea leaves and yellow flower petals. Dry scent is sweet and cinnamon-y.
First of all, I’m drinking this stone cold because I got distracted while making ramen for dinner. It came out really tasty! Anyway, this is mostly a mild cinnamon tea. It’s a little bit sweet and there’s perhaps a tiny amount of nuttiness, but otherwise it’s a cinnamon tea. Ho hum!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Smooth, Sweet
Good evening, dear tea friends! This is my first note of the day (at 8 PM my time) because I’ve been mostly working on sipping down some of my samples before trying new ones. However, I saw how few flavored tea samples I have and figured I should try to get through them, since I don’t crave flavored teas lately and I have several favorites in my cupboard already. So, time to finish off these Dammann Frères samples that a very generous tea friend sent me! This blend appears to be simply black tea leaves and flavoring. Dry scent is mildly fruity and sweet.
Hm, this seems to be a subtly flavored one. Mostly I taste the vanilla, and it’s nice and creamy and dessert-ish. There’s perhaps a little red fruits flavor, and overall it comes off as a decent “berries and cream” sort of tea to me.
Flavors: Cream, Red Fruits, Vanilla
This was odd. It has two of my favorite flavors in the whole world, peach and vanilla, but it tasted SUPER artificial and strong. I could have sworn I tasted the slightest alcohol bite to it. Drinkable, but not my favorite, so I will be rehoming the rest.
Still finishing up some of these teabags since I’ve been sipping on other teas. I am excited that this is another rooibos blend – always a nice caffeine treat to have at the end of the day. This one smells very much like strong, tangy orange and cinnamon. A little concerning.. but I’ll give it a try!
Sipping… I’m surprised that the flavor is a bit weak considering how strong the scent is. I taste something similar to Fruit Stripe gum in the sip and then regular bubblegum in the aftertaste. I do detect some orange, but everything else that is included in the blend is lost for me. It’s not a bad blend and it’s reasonably tasty, but the flavor combination is weird and a little confusing.
December 18 – Advent 2014
I enjoy a creamy vanilla rooibos, but I am very particular. Vanilla and rooibos, to me, need to be of really nice quality especially if there aren’t other flavors/ingredients involved. I thought this tea was decent, but not my favorite vanilla rooibos. The vanilla was sweet and actually rather strong. There was something about it that I didn’t really enjoy, though. Perhaps it was the aftertaste that ended up being a little too funky. The rooibos was also equally as strong, quite woody and a tad medicinal (I think as a result of the funky vanilla). I am very happy to have tried this one, but wouldn’t purchase more in the future.
Last French tea from ashmanra! I reduced the steep time to 3 minutes this time, just to make sure there’s no bitterness. This one has some lovely flower petals mixed in with the leaf, which is very Easter-y to me and the colors are well-chosen.
The steeped tea smells of sweet fruit and vanilla. Hm, surprisingly I can barely taste any flavoring in this one. It’s odd how some of DF’s teas are super subtle with the added flavors (or I suppose it could be old). The base tea is mellow and smooth, and I can taste a little bit of vague fruit as well as sweetness and a tiny bit of cocoa. It’s okay, but needs more flavor as the base tea can’t really stand on its own.
Flavors: Fruity, Smooth, Sweet
Another sample from ashmanra. This one sounds amazing, and it even has fig, which is my very favorite fruit flavor! The tea itself appears to be only smallish brown leaves mixed with flower petals.
The base here is somewhat earthy as well, maybe it has some Keemun in it. I can taste the fig, which is lovely and sweet and syrupy. I’m not sure whether I’m getting any clementine or nutmeg, but this cup also came out a teensy bit bitter, so it could be covering them up. Actually, I think I can taste a tiny bit of citrus. Overall, tasty.
Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Fig, Sweet
This sample came from ashmanra, who was kind enough to send me samples of some of her French teas. Apparently a charlotte is the same thing as an icebox cake, yum. The base tea here looks unusual for DF, the leaves are super small and super thin, and almost jet black in color. According to the description, it’s a Keemun. There are also some dried flower petals mixed in, which doesn’t really make sense given the flavors here.
The steeped tea smells quite earthy, which makes sense given the Keemun base. Whoa, for some reason this came out quite bitter. And other than that, I’m not a huge fan of this tea base. It’s very earthy with strong mineral notes and an almost smoky thing going on. I don’t really taste chocolate much, I think it’s somewhat lost among the similarly bitter base tea. I guess this one needed a shorter steep time, I’m used to DF teas being able to handle a 4-minute steep without getting bitter.
Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Earth, Mineral, Musty, Smoke
I actually have two samples of this tea – one from Stephanie and one from ashmanra. Sorry ladies, I dunno how that happened. I’m not the hugest puerh fan, but I find some flavored puerhs can be quite tasty. The loose puerh here is a dark chocolate brown color. Dry scent is earthy but sweet with a touch of cinnamon?
Hmm… I’m actually not getting a lot of additional flavor here besides the puerh itself. And I will say, this puerh is earthy but it’s extremely smooth and there’s no fishy taste at all. I can perhaps taste a tiny touch of caramel? I think the vanilla may be hidden by the fact that the puerh is pretty woody and vanilla is sometimes woody as well. It’s not bad, but it tastes like a straight puerh to me.
Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Smooth, Wood
This tea came from Stephanie. She was talking about it in Steepster chat and it sounded amazing! Luckily she was sweet enough to send me a sample in my holiday package. I’ve been pretty impressed with Dammann’s teas, especially after doing their advent calendar this past year. This one has small black leaves and there are pieces of dried fruit and some flowers included.
Steeped tea smells of dried fruit and a touch of booze. Flavor-wise, it’s pretty subtle. I can taste the prune, and it’s dark and rich and yummy. There’s also a little bit of a booze note from the vodka. Perhaps a little bit of almost-bitter cocoa? Overall, it’s yummy, especially for a dried fruit lover like me.
Flavors: Alcohol, Caramel, Cocoa, Dried Fruit, Smooth
Another 3 days of overindulgence for New Years, and now home again. I can’t believe it’s 1995 already, where DOES the time go?
I’m feeling the need for a) restorative; and b) digestion-friendly teas lately, as my stomach’s really suffering from so many days of eating the wrong foods. Pu erh usually settles me well, so I thought I’d give this one a go.
And yeah. YEAH. I sliiiiiiiiiiiightly worried about the marriage of pu erh and berry flavours, and when this brewed up and I got a strong whiff of dark, farmy pu erh goodness, my worry continued. But man. It’s nice. The initial aroma of earthy farm fragrance gives way to this juicy, almost jammy blackberry taste, and then transforms back into farmy, dark hay. How is this so good. Why is this so good? We just don’t know, but it is.
Like, you know those gorgeous, delicately flavoured, perfectly crumbly iced cookies Voortman makes? Man, those were my favourite when I lived in Canada. I didn’t realise how much I missed them until I had this tea, and it was the same gloriously biscuitty, just a hint of almondiness, buttery gorgeousness, bolstered by a really nice backbone of earthy pu erh. I’m on my second steep of this and having au naturel this time after trying it first with milk. Yeah. This is a winner. I expect this one will stay in rotation in my cupboard until you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 24th
Aw, the very last tea of the calendar! I must say, I’ve been very happy with this purchase and I would consider getting it again, but it seems like the majority of the teas are repeated each year… So I’m not sure I would want to pay the $40 to try all of the same teas again, even if it is a cool concept. I’m drinking this final tea two days late because I didn’t want to take it with me to our relatives’ house. So it’s “Day-After-Christmas Tea” for me! The sachet smells strongly of bubblegum… :(
Hmm, I didn’t expect this tea to be so mildly flavored, especially considering the smell. It does remind me of bubblegum a bit but since it’s more subtle it doesn’t bother me. I can also taste the caramel aspect, as well as the mellow base tea. Overall, it’s okay, but a touch disappointing as the finale tea of this calendar.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Candy, Caramel, Smooth