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Recent Tasting Notes
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
I can’t really believe that it’s the last tea of the calendar. I still have quite a few to drink still.. But it’s hard to believe that Christmas is tomorrow!
I smell mostly cherry and the black tea base. I can’t smell the pineapple or orange… Maybe they’ll be more evident in flavor.
Sipping… First I taste the cherry, then the black tea, followed by a very light pineapple note. It’s nice, but doesn’t really make me think Christmas. I suppose it faintly reminds me of a fruit cake.. But the flavors aren’t all that festive in my mind.
Here’s to a safe and happy Christmas Eve!
December 24 – Advent 2014
oh. god. omgsrsly sent this my way, and she received it from dinosara. Can i just say that i love you both…of course now i want moar! I’ve had a couple steeps of this one this morning and it is amaaazing. Seriously…not a fan of oolongs as a general rule but holy mother of all that is caramel, THIS is delicious….it smells divine! it tastes like liquid gold… yum. yum…and did i mention….yum? thank you so much ladies! (now to find some that i can buy)
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 23rd
Hooray, finally caught up! I’ve been quite happy with this calendar, and there are several teas that are now on my to-buy list. I would really like to try all of the different Christmas city teas, perhaps I can find someone to swap with (or maybe they’ll be in next year’s calendar). Anyway! This sachet is filled with black tea leaves and a few pink flower petals, and it smells heavily of maraschino cherry. Looking at the description, I see almond and gingerbread listed as well.
The steeped tea is also very heavy on the sweet maraschino and marzipan flavors, and I don’t smell any gingerbread. The taste of this tea makes me think of how Jergens cherry almond lotion smells. It’s a good concept, but it comes out tasting a little bit odd. The cherry and marzipan flavors are strong and heavy, a little bit too heavy I think. I can taste the ginger, but find it to taste out of place here and it makes the cherry go towards the medicinal side of things. There’s also a weird dough-y flavor that comes off a little bit like homemade Play-Doh to me. Overall, this one is a miss for me. I would have liked to have tried it without the gingerbread factor.
Flavors: Candy, Cherry, Ginger, Heavy, Marzipan, Medicinal, Sweet
This blend smells a little funky. It’s quite heavy on the fruit and light on the spices. Certainly not a bad thing as I prefer my spices to be in the background.
Sipping… I taste juicy fruit gum and that strange “doughy” thing that I get in some of Dammann’s other blends. It’s not bad, but it’s sort of a fruity and strange blob that sits on my tongue. I can’t pick anything out, unfortunately. I think this blend reminds me of a cup of juice in that it tastes decent, but lacks any sort of dimension.
December 23 – Advent 2014
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 22nd
Ooh, I think this is the only tisane in the calendar. To be honest, I’m not sure what to expect. Inside the sachet I can see crushed green leaves along with cardamon pods, red peppercorns, and cinnamon bark. There are also some other things and some flower petals. Dry scent is sweet and spicy.
The steeped tea’s aroma reminds me of gingersnap cookies. I’m actually surprised by how mellow this tea is, especially given all the spices in it. And it really does reminds me of gingersnap cookies! I’m surprised that I can’t really taste the licorice root here, not even the sweetness from it. Yummy!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cookie, Sweet
I am drinking this cup of tea while wrapping my Christmas gifts; one of my favorite things… :)
I was excited to try this tea because it sounded like it was a most delicious combination of fruits. Now that I’m sipping it, it’s perhaps a bit too subtle. I don’t taste individual fruits, but more of a medley, similar to fruit leather. It is tasty, but perhaps not a re-purchase for me. As always, happy to have tried this one!
December 16 – Advent 2014
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 21st
Hmm… I was not excited when I saw this one. Any tea with Versailles in the name immediately makes me think of roses and other florals, so surely this one will not be for me. Thankfully, reading the description assuaged my fears a bit. There is no rose in this tea, and the florals that are involved (orange blossom and violet) are sweet and not overly heady ones. There are certainly a lot of flower petals mixed in with the green sencha leaves. However, the dry scent is strong on the bergamot, with perhaps a touch of fruit.
The steeped tea smells very lovely – a nice balance of bergamot, fruity sweetness, and light floral tones. Wow, the base tea is very strong here, and quite grassy. The bergamot is, thankfully, nice and light as opposed to overpowering. For some reason, this is coming off a touch bitter to me, and I’m not sure if it’s because my sense of taste isn’t quite all there yet or if possibly 3 minutes was a touch too long this time. I don’t taste much peach until the very end and the aftertaste, though there is a light floral presence throughout the sip. Overall, it’s not bad, but not my favorite. I don’t think I particularly enjoy bergamot on a green base.
Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Grass, Peach