Dammann Freres

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Recent Tasting Notes

85
drank Tourbillon by Dammann Freres
1361 tasting notes

Holy Tea Curveball Batman. What’s that flavour?! I’m sure it’s safe to say that no other tea in the world tastes like this.

First off, there’s no licorice in this, yet I both smell and taste it in here, along with floral background notes—which I will get to later. There is no licorice in here, however. In addition, we’re not talking about licorice root, red licorice candy, or your typical black licorice candy. Not salted licorice either. And no, neither fennel nor anise. It’s licorice but a very specific kind of licorice candy. I want to say Good ‘n’ Plenty, which I normally detest, as it has a much heavier, almost earthy undertone in comparison to other types of black licorice. This is like a mellower, more enjoyable version of that. So, I’m so excited to come on here, perplexed by this ghost licorice note, only to see Lala make the same observation. High five!

As for the background floral notes, I get a mixture of white florals but not an obvious orange blossom. I’m so damn dedicated to making sure of this that I pulled the orange blossom water out of the cupboard, added a bit to some plain Greek yogurt, and had that as an evening snack. Yep, mind refreshed. Definitely not an inkling of definite orange blossom in Tourbillon. Oh, I can recognize that wonderful flavour anywhere.

I can see why many Steepsterites aren’t crazy over this. It’s insanely unique, but I kind of like it. Dark heavy licorice combined with white floral notes makes for a very interesting tea. As this cools, it gets even more floral, and along with it at this stage comes thick golden honey. I think that is the apricot kicking in—honeyed apricot-like. But, I love edible flowers, save for jasmine. So it’s safe to say that unless you’re a floral fan like me, you probably won’t enjoy this tea.

Lala

“Ghost licorice” – LOL

OMGsrsly

The way you describe this tea makes me want to try it again SO MUCH. :)

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drank Caramel-Toffee by Dammann Freres
633 tasting notes

I had high hopes for this one. Caraemel-Toffee, I mean how could you go wrong? The base is cardboard and the only thing the flavor offers up is a little bit of sweetness to the cup. The sample is old and it is a sample so I will not write off the tea yet, but boo. Slightly disappointed.

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82

Oh, I love the scent of this tea. Delicate honeyed spices and sparkling citrus in the background. It doesn’t smell anything like those typical holiday orange/citrus spice teas you see floating around.

I agree with Lala that this smells/tastes slightly syrupy, and also with Dinosara that the said syrupy note is akin to DF’s fig.

As glorious as it smells, I’m having a more difficult time with getting the flavours out without the base going too bold or bitter. The spices and syrupy fruit are quite delicate and thus, struggle to compete with the base. I’m glad I got 50g of this in the group order because it’s giving me lots of room to play with this and figure out what works parameter-wise.

I tried this as an eggnog latte a couple times now. It’s alright but I find the eggnog flavours completely drown out the flavours in this tea, and steeping it stronger does not help. Even adding 2% milk to this places a damper on the flavours. So it’s best straight, which is how I tend to enjoy DF teas in general, but it comes back to the need to peg down those parameters in order to achieve maximum flavour.

Alyssa

Just wanted to say that you’ve inspired me to try their teas. My mom is living in the middle east at the moment and has a network of friends that can get me some without the high cost of customs. Woohoo! :)

Fjellrev

Yay, I’m looking forward to your future reviews on their teas!

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91

Being alone in the middle of nowhere on my birthday is a little sad, but at the same time, it has given me the opportunity to finally enjoy this. Being home alone all day + oolong = a chance for multiple steeping.

And boy, did this not disappoint. First steep had the heaviest salted caramel flavouring, unsurprisingly, and the base wasn’t too loud or vegetal. Just right. The steeped tea smells like caramel sauce? I think? Or the centre of a Skor or Almond Roca? Whatever! All I know is it smells like caramel heaven.

Second steep was still very heavy on the caramel. It floated atop the base. It’s like what I’d imagine making caramel in a pot, then diluting it with water would taste like. Or rather, like a diluted version of Bananas Foster…err, without the banana.

Lastly, the third steep was light in flavour on all accounts, whether it be the caramel or the base, but blindfolded, you’d still know that you were drinking this tea.

So glad I waited until now to try it. I needed some excitement today.

OMGsrsly

Happy birthday! Glad to hear such good things about this tea. It’s in my pile to try. :)

Evol Ving Ness

Heavenly. I very much enjoyed this review. My birthday was a couple of days ago. I celebrated with caramel too.

tigress_al

Happy birthday

Sil

i’m SO glad the flavour hasn’t gone away and you were able to enjoy this one. Happy birthday darling, hope it was relaxing.

Red Fennekin

Awh, well I’m glad you got to enjoy this delicious tea! Happy Birthday :D

keychange

Happy birthday! I’m sorry you’re out in the middle of nowhere and on your own, but happy that this tea felt so wonderful to have.

Rosehips

Happy Birthday!

Evol Ving Ness

Oh, and Happy birthday!

Fjellrev

Thanks, everyone!

And happy belated birthday to you, Evol! Us Scorpios and our caramel celebrations.

Alyssa

Happy birthday!

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80

Now this is a dark, roasty oolong. The base reminds me of something I had from… I want to say Teavivre? It’s been so long. Without looking at the ingredients, I thought this was chocolate almond more than anything else, but the chocolate notes fade away once steeped.

The scent of the steeped tea has shifted to almond vanilla. Perhaps the chestnut is blending in seamlessly with the roasty base.

Flavour-wise, I’m getting mostly roasty oolong and toasty nuts. I like it but I’m not enamoured of it.

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I was sure I had reviewed this before, but no notes to be found. I have had this tea for a year. My eldest daughter, Superanna, who must love me very much if I can go by the tea she buys me, bought this for me in Amsterdam and then presented it to me in Derry, N.I. It has travelled a bit!

The dominant flavor today is orange, loud and clear, and it is a nice, natural orange. The tea is only lightly smoky to me.

One special treat today is that I am drinking this from a big sterling teapot. I have never used one before, and I am making storage bags for a relative’s silver and cleaning it to put it away for a little while. I was told I could use it, and in fact, told I could keep it here if I wished, but I will be storing it elsewhere. It is over $100 to buy the special storage bags but I got the fabric for $20 and I am hand sewing bags for her.

In the meantime, I thought it was a good chance to see if it is true that tea tastes better from sterling (well, it tastes GOOD but I am not sure if it tastes BETTER) and also I read that it stays hit longer. It is certainly staying warm for a long time, but I need to time it side by side with a ceramic pot to know for sure.

I do know that if I ever buy a silver pot, it will be smaller. This one is about forty ounces and I think I would be more comfortable handling something about half this size. So maybe I need two! One large and one small!

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83

I steeped this tea for about 5-6 minutes with 70C starting heat and the tea came out just perfectly. I say this because i learnt white tea needs to be steeped at 70C degrees.

The tea was fruity and very smooth. Never had apricot peachy taste in tea before, and it was surprisingly very good. Make sure you don;t burn the leaves by steeping it 75 or higher as it will be bitter as others said it before me.

The tea itself was a delight, i would recommend to others and will reorder as it is a nice taste in my rotation.

Flavors: Passion Fruits

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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91
drank Bourbon by Dammann Freres
1361 tasting notes

There aren’t any tasty (or tasting, you choose!) notes for this one yet? Blasphemy! I think I started with 50g of this from the group order and here I am with only a few cups left. My mom has fallen in loves with this. Head over heels. This and Butiki’s Lemon French Macaron are her two favourites now, she says.

I steep around 4g in a Nordic mug with water that has been cooled off for a few minutes after reaching boiling point. Then I leave it for 3-4 minutes. And the caramel vanilla notes really pop out without getting drowned out by a bitter base note, which as we know, can happen with teas like this. It’s seriously like vanilla caramel. It reminds me of Harney’s Vanilla Comoro (I haven’t tried their caffeinated version so perhaps it is kind of like that one too). It’s like I dropped in a square of vanilla caramel into my teacup, which has melted and left a rich swirl of vanilla in every sip. I don’t taste bourbon in here, about which I am relieved. Actual bourbon personally tastes too smoky to me. Any whisky/rye renditions do, for that matter.

So, this is a definite repurchase. Let’s hope I’ll have a useable credit card that DF will actually accept this year, as last year, I had a screw up which led to no Advent calendar.

Angrboda

I think it’s supposed to be bourbon vanilla rather than the spirit.

Fjellrev

That would make a lot more sense. I guess my brain sometimes thinks of the spirit + vanilla in this context just because I’ve seen so many “bourbon vanilla” dessert recipes which call for both vanilla (bean) and a shot of the spirit.

yyz

Nice. I’ve thought about getting this one sometime too.

sren

Advent calendar is up at DF, by the way. :)

Fjellrev

Thanks for tempting me, sren!

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85
drank Breakfast Tea by Dammann Freres
209 tasting notes

I had one of these left from my trip to Paris and had it this past weekend. It was alright, but not anything special as far as breakfast teas go, in my opinion.

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81

Sipdown (121)!

Thank you for the sample TeaNTees! I honestly thought I’d tried this one at some point which is why I’ve never felt compelled to ask for it in a swap or order it because in my mind it just ’hadn’t made an impression’. Then you sent it along, and I added it to my cupboard and realized that, in fact, I had not ever tried this tea! No wonder it hadn’t made an impact…

I cold brewed my sample because I smelled the dry leaf and thought that based on how sweet and almond-y it smelled it would probably made a solid dessert tea cold brew. And I was right; while I’m sure this is lovely hot I also really enjoyed the cold brew! It was very sweet and decadent with lovely, balanced notes of vanilla, almond/marzipan, poppy, and kind of a ‘pastry butter’ type note? All in all, it REALLY reminded me of Poppy Seed Danishes. And while I’m honestly not a huge fan of the danishes themselves the flavour works well as a tea!

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80
drank Velours Nacré by Dammann Freres
1361 tasting notes

Almonds cannot get any toastier than this. Toasted almond skin, to be more precise. That is the star of the show.

Steeped, the liquor smells like chocolate almonds, particularly those World’s Finest Chocolate ones clubs here in Canada sell for fundraising. I used to sell them when I figure skated for six years, and my family alone would buy an entire box of these because they were so delicious. There is something about them that separates them from the other chocolate covered almonds you can find in stores. I swear it’s the level of toastiness of the almonds.

Each sip transports me back to the hours I put into practicing the Canasta Tango dance pattern for an exam, and all the other hoopla that would come with a practice session.

There’s one thing missing in the flavour, however. The chocolate! I can smell it but not taste it. I rather get a mixture of toasted almonds and orange when it comes to the flavour. Maybe if I steep it at a lower temperature for a slightly longer time, I can coax out that chocolate.

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83

Ah yes, figs and strawberries, that makes a lot to sense. I pulled this out of my DF box because I wanted something French to go with my maple creme cookies after going for a walk. I couldn’t remember what was supposed to be in this one but I figured, hey, Christmas! Hey, it’s coming soonish! I should try it. Finally.

The fig note is already oh so familiar to me after having a few cups of Figue Fraiche. And the strawberry tastes like jam. I picture scones as I’m sipping on this. I wish the base were a little milder, though, so the flavours can shine through more. I was afraid of steeping this any longer than two minutes because I’m sure it could go bitter relatively quickly.

Hope all the Canadians had a fantastic Thanksgiving! What did everyone have for dinner?

Kristal

I had a lovely Thanksgiving :) I made a turkey with stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, carrots and asparagus :). I also was lazy and bought an apple caramel pie pre-made lol. That was good too.

Evol Ving Ness

I also had a lovely Thanksgiving, but it was a quiet and productive one. Celebratory, nonetheless. I did have a pumpkin pie though, with a ginger snap crust. And tea, a lot of tea. It was delicious.

Fjellrev

Both celebrations sound great to me!

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93
drank Amore by Dammann Freres
1361 tasting notes

Oh my, this is such a sophisticated blend of floral, fruit, almonds, and chocolate. The dry leaf smells like a blend of chocolate-covered almonds, bergamot, and rose.

Can I wear this as a perfume, please? I imagine Marie Antoinette’s tea party to smell like this. Everyone’s dressed to the nines in their wigs and gowns. I can taste every single note in here. Nothing gets lost. The base is bold but I managed to prevent it from going bitter.

I’m so glad I got this one in the group order, and grateful to Marzipan that she was willing to split this one with me. It’s a winner.

Patricia

Sounds delicious!

Fjellrev

It’s pretty classy if you ask me!

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73

Compared to the black tea version of this, this is more flavourful. That is, the orange spice stood out a little more. No bitterness from the base. It’s nice but not their best. Thanks to MissB for including this one in my grab bag!

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73
drank Christmas Tea by Dammann Freres
1361 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample, MissB! It’s great to be able to try this since it has so many notes that catch my fancy. However, I wish I could get the orange, pineapple, and caramel notes that others are listing. I rather get mostly cinnamon candy and a hint of generic fruit in the background. Plus all the flavours in general are muted. It’s good but not outstanding, you know? I’m still very grateful to have tried it because I know that when I make a future DF order, I will no longer have to wonder about this one.

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80
drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
1361 tasting notes

Sipdown deux. This is extra scrumptious when brewed properly. You really have to make sure you don’t use too much leaf, steep for just the right time, let the water cool, etc, in order to really bring that fig out. I may want to grab more when I order, hopefully, someday.

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80
drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
1361 tasting notes

What did I do? This tastes extra awesome today! I can really taste the fig in this, plus there’s a sweet honey-like note accompanying the figs. It’s all in the parameters.

I don’t have a variable temp kettle, neither do I keep a close eye on the steep time, but I did measure 4g of tea for my Nordic mug, and poured the water in a couple minutes after the kettle turned off. Then I let it steep for a couple minutes? Maybe 2.5 minutes? I’ll try this again with the last of it, and with more DF teas to see if I can pinpoint my optimal steeping parameters for these teas.

It’s like fig jam. Really, it is.

OMGsrsly

I like the DF teas steeped a little shorter I think. As in, I time 3 min before pouring instead of after. Since my timer doesn’t do seconds. :)

Marzipan

I do them all at 4. Funny!

Sil

yeah… i tend to brew my fancy french ones at 3.5-4 mins. but lower the temp a little (so no omg..i don’t do EVERYTHING at boiling)

Marzipan

Oh yah I do 195.

OMGsrsly

Hehehe. I steep most things at 195 or cooler though. I find most others use hotter water than I do.

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80
drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
1361 tasting notes

Oh boy, let me tell you how much it stung to be apart from these DF teas for 2.5 months. Had I known I was going to be gone for that long, I would have brought them along with me (and more of other things too like clothes)! This one was already near the kettle when I got back, so I thought I’d go with it.

The dry leaf doesn’t smell like fig to me right away, more like a fresh plum. Very juicy, but fig? Not sure about that.

This is the second time having this, actually, and if I may recall, I wasn’t too impressed with it last time. Once this is steeped, I can taste the fig in this. Fig for real. The base kind of gets in the way, however. It’s a little too bold for such a soft flavour like fig. With each sip, I initially get a light smokiness, which goes away after a couple seconds, leaving me with the fig. To note, I’m quite sensitive to anything smoky, even if it’s a pinch, so I doubt most people would even notice it. And even for me, it’s practically not even there.

I wouldn’t buy more but I’m still so glad to have tried it, and am still ever so grateful to Marzipan for organizing the DF order a few months back, making it possible to try all the stuff I wanted to without having to commit to 100g of something.

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76

Nice but not flavoured enough

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drank Nosy Bey by Dammann Freres
512 tasting notes

Thanks again to the amazing TeaNTees for a sample of this delight. I had to do a double take on the ingredients because I swear this tea tastes like red rooibos. Not sure why that is the flavor I’m getting out of it. I’m going to try again later tonight with a cold brew.

TeaNTees

I would never send you red rooibos! I know you don’t care for it at all. If I ever did it would be a crazy accident. :p

Nichole

Oh my dear I know! I don’t know what is going on today. My taste buds are out of whack I think!

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90

A sample from Roswell Strange. I’ve not tried many fig teas before, largely because they seem to be a relative rarity in the UK. I think I’ve maybe come across one or two before, but certainly no more than that. I like figs, though, so I’m always glad to have the chance to translate that into tea form! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it three minutes in boiling water. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-red-brown; the scent sweet with notes of dried fruit.

To taste (and as I’d hoped) the fig is the real star! It’s so true-to-life, and very fresh tasting to the point of juiciness. It’s hard to describe fig as anything other than “fig”, but I suppose raisin or fresh date come into it a little, although milder and sweeter. It makes for a great mid-morning cup! The black base is very smooth, with absolutely no astringency. It’s a tiny bit malty (although not overpoweringly so), and really just lets the fig flavour shine. This one’s a real winner with me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

I used less leaves, just a tea spoon in eight ounces, and it was much better. Still syrupy and sweet with the caramel and toffee being the doubtless flavor, but it didn’t need any sugar or honey to sweeten it this time. It was what I was craving, though I’ve been craving caramel in general. I still taste the papaya and I ate it again. I’d recommend this to a lot of people, and for a black tea, it looks a lot like a Hojicha and tastes very similar to one. More than likely it’s an Ceylon, but still it’s good. I actually liked it better this time, though I still think it would be great with as a Pu-Erh or a Hojicha. Interestingly enough, there is an oolong like this on their website. I would recommend this to a lot of people except tea purists. Otherwise, the caramel flavor is sweet enough for a palette craving candy and the tea base is decent enough for an experienced drinker.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

So this is pretty good, and surprisingly syrupy for a tea. I had this straight western and it is what it says. I could also taste the papaya and loved that aspect to it…and I ate it. It is a little too sweet, but somehow sugar ties the sweetness together. Probably good with cream but I prefer it as is. I think I would probably like a Pu-Erh version of this….they are every where a stores.

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90
drank Bali by Dammann Freres
218 tasting notes

From the Here’s Hoping TTB

I keep reading about Damman Freres teas, but this is my first. Now I see what the excitement is about.

From the name, I expected tropical fruit, but the dominant flavor is more spice than fruit. It does seem like there is a bit of fruit hiding under the spice. This is a very rich and complex tea. Very subtle, with different flavors coming to the fore at different times as I sip. Long finish. I can see what all the excitement is about.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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