Dammann FreresEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I am finally getting around to posting notes about the wonderful teas from Dammonn Freres from the group order that Marzipan coordinated. Thank you, Marzipan! When my husband offers me tea in the morning I get to say, “Something French.” :). It has been a lot of fun.
I looked up the Charlotte-style dessert this tea is based on, wow, I am looking forward to making some gorgeous summer desserts! I have liked all the DF teas so far— they are all so comforting. Steeping time is key (the low recommended end) to avoid the base overwhelming the rest of the flavors. I don’t sweeten my teas, but I took a sip after a bite of cake and found the fruit flavors really popped. There is a stewed fruit quality, like jam without the sugar, and that awesome biscuit taste, reminds me of ladyfingers. A solid choice for a fruity black.
Flavors: Pastries, Stewed Fruits
Ordered this a couple of months ago and managed to forget about it. It’s good. Very fruity in flavor, kind of a nutty note too. I don’t remember what is in this one but it’s good.
I brewed this once in a Teavana 16oz Glass Perfect Tea Maker with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.
Memorial Day Weekend!! We’re in Zion National Park the next few days for some canyoneering and hiking and this morning it is freezing and raining!! Not good hiking or canyoneering weather… There’s something about slot canyons and rain that just doesn’t go together unless you have a death wish!! But it is perfect weather to drink lots of tea and read a good book!! I’ve just started reading The Nightingale, has anyone else read it? So far it’s absolutely fantastic, like ’can’t put it down, eyes are burning and I’m exhausted BUT MUST keep reading’ fantastic!!Highly recommend!! Of course I bought some of my tea stash with me and since we had no milk this morning I decided on the milk oolong from Damman Freres – at first I wasn’t super impressed as the tea didn’t have any of those real milky flavors I’m so looking for in a milk oolong and then I suddenly realized, there is no milk in this tea and it is the creamiest tea I’ve ever had! A little nutty, super creamy, this is almost perfection in a cup!! Yum!!
Finished this one hot in my timolino on the way home from work.
It was actually really nice; the mango was very smooth and juicy with an appropriate level of natural sweetness. Additionally, it actually didn’t seem to have any pine/sap notes this time around which was really pleasant and an interesting switch up. The floral notes were mild but still present which made this feel more nuanced and layered, and the black base had a touch of malt and honey notes to it.
For a blend I really took a gamble with when picking out (there was like only one review on the site, and I’m not a huge mango person) I actually found it to be an incredible success – and if I didn’t have to buy it in a 100g quantity
unless I was doing another group order it’s more than likely one I’d want more of. It’s really nice, makes a refreshing cold brew, and is quite consistent.
I actually don’t recall much about drinking this one; I was in a foul mood all day and didn’t really give much attention to anything except just kind of being a bitch. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t get any complaints at work about people upset I was, well if I’m being honest, practically throwing their groceries into their bags. I probably, at the very least, horribly bruised someone’s pears or something. Yeah, pretty unprofessional of me.
It was honestly just the result of a bunch of stuff. My best friend, at work and outside of work, Bobbi put in her two weeks notice a few days ago; I’ve been working with her for over a year now – for those who don’t know, we were hired together at Dollarama for the same position and trained together and supported one another as we dealt with the drama/poor management there. And when the company decided to reduce both of our hours from a full 40 a week to down to >20 without ANY notice we both quit within the same week and were hired at Sobeys together. Sadly, she lost her roommate a few months ago and now cannot afford the house she lives in so she’s moving back to the small town just outside of the city where she grew up for, at a minimum, the summer to work/save and regroup. So that obviously upset me.
And then add on top of that the frustration of watching cashier after fucking cashier, all of which I trained, getting promoted to supervisors is so frustrating. It’s not that they aren’t qualified; because they all are and they all deserve the promotion. I’m just frustrated that not only do I never receive recognition for the work I do but I’ve been at my store since before we even opened to the public, have a much more open availability than the people they’re hiring and have the experience from past jobs, unlike the people they are promoting. I just feel so overlooked. I’m the kind of person that, at work, needs to feel recognized for the work I do (even if that’s not by being promoted but just by being told I’m doing good work) and that craves the opportunity to continually grow and learn. I am not a cog.
The hardest part about leaving Dollarama was going from a position of authority (which I have ALWAYS had at any job I’ve worked) to a ground level position and, on top of that, not even being able to cross train within multiple departments.
I’m just fed up, and I can’t shake the feeling that it’s time for a change of pace. I don’t even know what that would be; another job? Maybe, but it’s intimidating knowing that I’d be going from above minimum wage (pretty significantly above minimum wage) pay to probably minimum wage or just over. To a new city? I’ve given it some thought; either moving back to Regina (though I really have nothing to go back to) or someplace even farther away…
All I know is that I feel I’m in a rut, and I need to fix that.
I thought that the flavor of the mango and black base were pretty on par this time around. The finish was maybe a bit drying, though this did get a very, very long brew time so perhaps that affected things. I’m still really enjoying it, but not enough that I’m going to delay this inevitable sipdown.
Tea Things (But not related to this tea):
I’ve got three tea related things in the mail right now; a Red Leaf Tea order, a Camellia Sinensis order (which equipment for my sommelier class), and the first batch of teas for Part One of the Sommelier class!
Really hoping the Camellia Sinensis order comes in first so I can properly do my cuppings for class; I need a scale so I’m not eyeballing gram amounts/relying on tsp. measurements (which is how I normally do things). I’m very excited for class to start though! My first session with my instructor is Tuesday, and I’ve gotten my ‘text book’ already, and done this week’s reading.
Honestly, I feel like 90% of the reading was stuff I knew already from Steepster (tasting terminology, a break down of what differentiates each class of tea, some other stuff) but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. And the stuff I didn’t know was cool too!
This last week seems to have been unintentionally themed around mango teas; it honestly feels like I’ve had more of them now than I have had in the last two or three months. That’s probably because I’m a picky person when it comes to mango, but because it’s such a summer flavor there’s a surplus of mango teas around which equates to more that I’m easily swayed into wanting to try out.
This one was done as a cold brew; it had a very natural and realistic mango flavour. I personally find that the actual fruit mango has a very pine like and sappy flavour. I know I’m not the only person to have observed this; and it seems to be commonly observed with unripe mangoes but even ripe ones have this flavour to me. However most teas with mango as an ingredient don’t seem to convey this flavour and as someone who always tastes it when they eat the fruit it makes me feel like something is missing. Thankfully, I did taste is here! While I loved it the vast majority of people might not given than mango ’isn’t supposed to taste like pine’.
There were also floral notes here, probably from the black base and I thought that added a nice depth to the flavour as well. While the fruit might not have had a robust, juicy flavour like I expected that didn’t stop this from feeling complete. I am, however, wary of how other people would feel about this; like mentioned it has that “undesirable” pine taste. It worked well for me, though.
The tea description on the DF site is flower petals, poppy, biscuit and almond paste. The packaging also says raspberry, violet, vanilla and cherry. I am getting definite raspberry, and a tiny bit of floral. Nothing that is overpowering. I have learned that I love any DF blend that mentions their “biscuit” flavor, and that’s biscuit in the sense of a European cookie – not an American biscuit. Any blend that has that flavor is going to have a bit of aftertaste that makes it like a dessert, even if it isn’t a sweet dessert tea. I have also learned that one thing DF does really well is a tea that has many different flavors versus the ones that are just one flavor and a base. Those are good too, but the ones that have a lot of things blended are just masterful. This is an example of that.
Full review and photos here:
Drank this in sachet form – it was an extra sample that Marzipan tossed in with the stuff from our DF group order. I can’t say I’ve had the ‘regular’ black version for comparison.
I don’t know if this one really left a whole lot of an impression; while it definitely smelled very richly of vanilla the taste was rather subdued. I don’t get too huge into straight vanilla teas anyway, but this was kind of weak even for my tastes. However, the flavour of the rooibos was equally muted so I guess that balances out overall. It’s kind of creamy too, which helps. It’s better than an extremely rooibos heavy blend, anyway.
Sweetener might make this one pop a little more, but I’m not gonna go through the effort of finding out.
Finished off in my timolino with a splash of milk ‘cause why not switch things up for the sipdown? I’ve done this hot and cold brewed now but there’s always room for exploration.
I actually really liked this with milk; it reminded me so strongly of a Coca Cola float which is definitely the lesser of floats when compared to wonderful things like Rootbeer Floats but still a solid creation. The vanilla/creamy aspect was well conveyed with the addition of milk and one of the things that most bugs me about Cola flavored teas (the “flatness”/lack of carbonation) was essentially solved. I don’t know about other people, but for me personally when I have a float I like to stir the ice cream into the soda to the point where it’s just one thick, creamy soda slurry – which of course makes it lose it’s carbonation and that’s what this tasted like for me.
I had it late at night, and I was super worried that it’d keep me up all not from the caffeine; it wasn’t until I was finished sipping on this that it clicked that it’s not actually caffeinated; I don’t know why I couldn’t for the life of me remember that for essentially the entiritey of having this in my possesion. It’s basically right in the name of the tea…
Surprisingly, I would probably pick this up again where I ever to visit Dammann Freres in person or participate in another group order; though getting more is definitely not an immediate concern of mine.
The cold brew still reminds me of those shiny metal cola ball candies; though a bit fancier with notes of lemon zest and possibly pear. However, I’m ready to sip this one down; it was a neat experience trying it – though not something worth hoarding.
VariaTEA I’ve been meaning to compile a package of stuff for you; is this a blend you’ve tried before? I’m nearly out of leaf so it you want to sample it give me a shout and I’ll save you some.
I lied in my Just Peachy review; I have a few more minutes before I have to be in bed so I’m going to do some of the shorter reviews/notes in my queue…
Had this one yesterday hot in a timolino; I actually surprisingly really liked the cold brewed version. In fact, I’m looking at my rating of 76 right now and I can’t help but feel I didn’t give the tea enough credit. However, the hot version is probably more deserving of that rating…
I found the black base picked up a slight astringency, and the cola flavour was not as potent. Plus, it just doesn’t work as well, as a taste, hot. I’d never drink my Coke heated up; even at room temperature that drives me really crazy (and if I’m being honest I’m more of a Pepsi person anyway). Some of the other nuances, like citrus or pear notes, were lost as well though I did kind of taste vanilla and I don’t remember picking up on that last time – or at least, if I did, not so clearly.
Overall it wasn’t bad though – I’m just gonna be doing cold brews to finish this off, ‘cause it’s clearly better that way.
Prior to trying this blend, I’ve had exactly three cola flavoured teas: Cola Matcha from Red Leaf Tea, Cherry Cola & Cake from Della Terra Teas, and DAVIDsTEA’s Cherry Cola black tea. I remember that so specifically because all of them were super memorable experiences, and not for a good reason. In fact, DT’s Cherry Cola blend may actually be the worst black tea I’ve ever had. Cola just seems to be something that doesn’t apply well to tea, so I’m going into this tasting with extreme reservation and fairly low expectations.
I probably wouldn’t have purchased this one at all if it weren’t for the fact I got some in a group order, and therefore got to pick up a small size of it. It also helps it’s from Dammann Freres – I’ve yet to really find a “flop” from them, though there have been a few blends that just didn’t click because of personal taste. I have faith that if any company can pull off a cola tea they’re likely to be the ones to do it.
I’m cold brewing this – I just personally think that cola flavor kind of only works cold. I’ve had hot coke before (it was a dare) and it didn’t go over well. I have to say, the dry leaf of this smells pretty wonderful. It definitely conveys the smell of coke without any of the chemical/artificial qualities that I’ve experienced with every other coke tea. I don’t know how they do it! There’s even a whiff of vanilla to the smell as well!
I’ll come right out and say it; this is easily the best cola tea I’ve had. Simply put, it tastes like those shimmery silver cola ball candies that are basically pure sugar – though not as cloying as you’d imagine. There’s a really nice freshness to the tea and more natural notes as well like very mild citrus and possibly also pear. It’s ‘fancy’ cola ball candy! Definitely no sweetened needed with this one though; it’s just barely treading the line between natural sweet and ‘cavity’ sweet. I like that the base is also pretty strong, but not overly brisk. The fact it’s decaffeinated is a huge plus – as a generalization black tea is my favourite type and being limited with how much I can drink at night without the jitters is definitely a concern of mine; this will fit seamlessly into my evening routine.
I can totally see why this is marketed towards children as well; it’s something familiar flavor-wise, definitely sweet enough on its own, obviously healthier than actually giving a child a bottle of Coke, and what parent is going to complain about the lack of caffeine!?
My opinion on cola teas has been completely changed; and I’m already imagining interesting ways to try this one: tea soda, as a latte (because ‘floats’), and possibly even hot…
Sipdown! (32/368) Thank you so much for sharing this tea with me, Miss B!
This tea has been in my sipdown box for a while now, and I’ve just never been in the mood to finish it off. This morning I’m feeling a bit under the weather, and this was the perfect tea to soothe me. I did a bit of a double take when brewing this, because the scent is so strong and fills up the whole kitchen. If I remember rightly it usually smells like a baking apple pie, but this time I smelled… Sour cherries? Definitely. I even double-checked the ingredients because the scent was so dead on! Maybe it was just contaminated in the box, though, because the taste is unchanged. Plain, the caramel is prominent with a hint of apple. Adding sweetener brings out the apple, so it’s a delicious cup of gooey toffee apple. The cinnamon is a lingering note towards the end of the sip, and there’s also a mild citrus note which rounds it out. I added a splash of milk to make it more comforting since I’m not feeling too well, and this brings out the base more so that the fruity flavours aren’t as dominant. The cinnamon and citrus notes actually seem to hold their own a lot more when milk is added, too. I’m not sure it’s settled my stomach, but it’s definitely taken my mind off it! Thanks again, MissB!
I wasn’t sure about this one. The smell reminds me of peaches and cream instant oatmeal. Which does not sound like a compliment, but there was a year in life where I ate nothing for breakfast except off brand peaches and cream instant oatmeal. I still crave it sometimes too :P
All in all I was impressed and surprised by this tea, It’s a really good peach black tea. I can’t wait to try it iced!
This is a very tasty tea and they swear it is gluten free so I am drinking it despite my suspicions. One of the ingredients sounds like gluten to me but they swear it isn’t. European standards on gluten are generally tougher than American. They swear it is gluten free according to the standards of the European Parliament. They tell me the biscuit is a “flavor of synthesis” whatever that means.
In any case it has a deep rich chocolate taste. Perhaps the most chocolaty tea I have had yet.
I steeped this once in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 4 min.
Intriguing and contrasting tea! I am not used to yellow tea and this one felt like it had been flavored by a mad man (although it’s natural!), with a clear and sharp set of apparently contrasting notes: lychee and fig for the sweet & fruity core, smoke and mild bitterness at the beginning and end (long-lasting along the lower gums). The smell matches, plus dry forest leaves association.
Flavors: Fig, Lychee, Smoke
Dry leaves give a light and floral impression upon discovery, and the brew later pinpoints on elderflower. With a light body and a sweet raw almond taste, you can’t expect it to last an exceptional time on the tongue, but it is still very balanced and satisfying, with a very quiet astringency. Reminded me of cooked cauliflower, but then again I love cauliflower…
Flavors: Almond, Asparagus, Butternut Squash
A complex yet not entirely unexpected 1st flush.
The leaves smell of dry apricot when you open the bag, which indeed translates to the palate in the same sweet note tending towards toffee as the brew cools. In a quirky yet pleasing fashion, asparagus and praline fight for dominance to the nose . Mild astringency with a fresh aftertaste, which doesn’t age gracefully if you leave your cup for a while.
Unusual discovery with this upper class rolled green tea. I steeped it twice like an oolong and wasn’t disappointed although I had only tap water at hand. The sweet and creamy smell leads to vanilla and white grape palate notes, with a slight astringency. The silky body tails into a fresh aftertaste that lingers a long time. On second steeping (5min) the freshness intensifies while notes of unripe fruit (green apricot) develop towards berries (blackcurrant).
Flavors: banana, Cake, Milk, Vanilla, White Grapes
This tea is good with a very strong smoky flavor, so strong I had to add creamer. I don’t as a rule add cream to teas with the exception of strong Lapsang Souchong. This is a tasty and enjoyable tea. It is rapidly waking me up.
I brewed this once in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.
I need to start working on some of the tea bags that i’ve picked up via swaps, travelling tea boxes, MissB and my travels. This is one from my recent trip that i grabbed from the hotel room. Gotta love random DF tea bags every day :)
This likely would have been one that i might have thought about picking up and i’m glad that i didn’t. this is less lime and more “woody” than anything. Nice that it’s a herbal but in the grand scheme of things if the tea has the word LIME in the name of it, i expect full on lime flavour…even from a fancy french tea :)
Final Count: 129 (+various tea bags)