Dammann FreresEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh, dear rooibos, this is amazing. Lots of fruity notes (cherry, strawberry, maybe raspberry and blueberry), sweet rooibos, cream, caramelised nuts, almond, sugar, and vanilla. These are all my favourite things put into one blend. Best of all, no hint of tartness if you leave it steeping too long.
I honestly can’t think of anything to improve this. Everything about it is lovely. It also resteeps well and makes amazing lattes!
Flavors: Almond, Berries, Berry, Black Currant, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Cream, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Nut Fruits, Nuts, Pastries, Raspberry, Rooibos, Strawberry, Sweet, Toffee, Vanilla, Walnut
I am obsessed with all things poppyseed, so naturally I had to get my hands on some of this—to my knowledge, the only tea out there to incorporate these little specks of goodness. Unfortunately, of the many promised flavor notes, poppy is the only one I’m not getting. There’s that sweet undertone DF passes off as biscuit—while that’s not quite how I’d characterize it, it’s certainly very pleasant—and a little bit of marzipan. It’s a very sweet blend, and as much as I’ve complained about the ever-present DF Ceylon base, I have to admit it works pretty decently here. I’m enjoying my cup, but it’s not what I expected—while I was hoping for something super unique, it’s actually quite similar to some of the other DF black blends I’ve tried, like Charlotte aux Fruits minus the fruits, maybe. I’ll just have to keep hoping that someday someone comes up with an actual poppyseed-flavored tea.
I was hoping this one would be delicious — it is! I just wish DF would list their ingredients. I often find fruit pieces that aren’t listed and unidentifiable. I love the green tea with this one. It is refreshing but also sweetly vegetal but with a creamy smooth quality. Then there is subtle sweet candy strawberry flavor and just the tiniest hint of pistachio. Such a unique but fitting combination, especially with this base tea. I can’t really tell if the green tea has matcha or if it’s just broken green tea leaves but it’s delicious. I could almost wish for more flavor from the strawberry and pistachio, but then I’d notice less of the green tea. I’m glad I bought some of this one — I would again! It reminded me a little of Lupicia’s Strawberry Vanilla. I must have steeped this quite well.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 27 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 28 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Another from Christmas Eve!
After breakfast/opening presents we decided we were gonna head to the mall because mom wanted to spend some of her birthday money from her mom, and my sister and I still had to grab some last minute things for her Christmas stocking, as well.
While we were all getting ready to head out, I decided to make a cup of tea because that’s just what I do. This was one of the free samples from my Dammann Freres calendar, and now that the advent is all done it marks the last DF tea in my cupboard, currently, that I’ve yet to try, which is kind of sad…
The tea was good; very smooth for a jasmine green, especially a bagged one. For anyone else, I imagine it would have been a perfectly normal/average jasmine green. For me, there was something more unique about it though, and that was that when I drank it I didn’t get grape notes at all. That’s really strange for me because usually jasmine and grape come hand in hand for me, so it threw me a little bit.
I’d have loved to see if that weird absence of grape carried throughout the whole mug even as it cooled, but sadly the last third or so of my mug got spilled. My siblings were fooling around in the kitchen and one thing led to another and, well, my little sister ended up sprawled on the ground underneath where I was standing and then my brother made me laugh so hard I not only dropped my mug of tea (the mug is fine!) but also spit out the tea in my mouth, as I was mid sip. Both the mouth tea and the mug tea landed on my sister who was under me… Oops.
She was fine, though.
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Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Pastries, Sweet
Advent Calendar Day Twenty-Four
Well, sadly my advent calendar experience came to an end yesterday – but on a very positive note! When I saw this was a “Christmas Tea” I was really worried it was going to be the non herbal version of Tisane de Noel, with an array of spices. Instead I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the ingredients/main flavours were caramel, pineapple, and maraschino cherries! Kind of weird as an overall pairing, but also not? Doesn’t make much sense to me as a Christmas flavour but that cherry/pineapple pairing is basically Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which has never led me astray in tea form, so…
And yes; this DOES taste a lot like most Pineapple Upside Down Cake tea blends I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying (and DAVIDsTEA’s Coffee Cake which also uses pineapple/cherry). The key difference that I’m gathering is that while the caramel in the blend does provide some extra sweetness/dessert scrumptiousness this blend is overall a lot less cakey with milder brown sugar/molasses sponge cake notes. Instead, where PUDC lacks any defined fruit notes, this has rich candied cherry and pineapple notes that are sweet, fruity and bursting with life/character. It’s just so smooth overall, as well.
So basically; it’s exactly like PUDC from Della Terra but also not at all because the ratio/balance of flavours is pretty well totally flipped. I’d love to have this in my cupboard though, however the name probably would both me just a little bit if I was drinking it year round. Though I guess no more than the “Noel a BLANK” blends from DF do…
I’m not sure it’s my favourite from the calendar – but top three for sure.
Advent Calendar Day Twenty Two
So, I’m behind on posting advent calendar notes – but only ‘cause I’m at my mom’s for the rest of the holiday now. So, for everyone here on Steepster celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or anything in between or otherwise: Happy Holidays! May they be spent drinking good tea in good company!
This tea was alright – it’s a spicier one, so not my favourite from the calendar by a long shot. However, it’s much heavier on the fennel and clove, and those are some of my preferred of the different ‘spice in tea’ options so it could be worse. The finish is very licorice root-y, though. Which is kind of… meh?
But not the worst tea!
This is an enjoyable tea. The primary flavors I am getting are caramel and fruit. The fruit smell fits with papaya for me, but the taste may be closer to the Grand Marnier spiked plum jam I used to make each year. The black tea base lets the nice flavoring down, so next time I’ll try adding a bit of high grade black tea with some caramel and chocolate notes to see what happens.
Advent Calendar Day Twenty-One
Tragedy has struck, tea friends!
I slept in this morning, so in my rush to get out of the house and catch my bus I didn’t have time to brew my advent tea, so I grabbed the sample and tossed it in my bag. I had intended to drink it at work for lunch. However, when I went to do so the bag of tea was missing! I figured that I’d probably left it on the counter and, in my sleep deprived state, had maybe only imagined I’d tossed it in my bag.
Well, I just got home from my second job and… the tea is no where to be found.
So, this is basically a tasting note to say that I didn’t get to taste the tea. I have absolutely no clue where I lost it; but it’s gone and I’m incredibly bummed out/sad because I feel like my advent experience is incomplete now! Something that’s been a key part of my day for twenty days in a row now is just gone.
So on that notes…
If anyone, perhaps from the group order(?), happens to have any of this on hand I will HAPPILY pay you to send me a sample of it. I don’t need much – just a cup or two worth. It’s really bothering me that there’ll be ONE tea from the advent I wont have tried though so if I can get my hands on some that’d be great!!!
Advent Calendar Day Twenty
Ok, so I 100% understand the need to incorporate a no frills Chai into the advent calendar because the flavour profile definitely does fill a gap flavour wise. Plus, it’s hard to argue against Chai being seasonally appropriate…
So, I get it. I just don’t like it.
And really that’s no surprise; I’m not a lover of Chai and this one is very clearly a bold, classic style Chai. The best I can do is focus on the elements of the blend that I DO like; that primarily meaning I trying to hone in on the clove flavour. It’s hard to do with how balanced this is, though…
Not rating; clearly I’m too biased to give this a fair shot.
Interesting that this is the only Steepster result when you type in ‘Prague’. Whoa was this a unique flavor. First, I love the little purple flowers. I couldn’t tell from the fragrance or from sipping it WHAT it was supposed to be. It seemed vaguely fruity, but something very uniquely fruity…. definitely no cherry here again like two of the other Noel teas! So looking at the description, what should be here is: caramel, prune, “vodka”, chocolate, clementine, papaya bits and flower petals. I guess what I’m tasting is a very interesting flavor that combines and results from all of these ingredients. I definitely taste a prune-like flavor that could be like a rummy plum or grape. But also hints of other fruits in the background that could be the papaya. Sweetness from any caramel. I don’t seem to taste any clementine or chocolate, but maybe it’s in the overall taste. Very interesting and I’m glad it isn’t another cherry cup! The second cup was much weaker on flavor though. I think all four of the Noel teas I’ve tried have the same black tea base, though I might be wrong.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug// 12 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled//5 minute steep
Flavors: Grapes, Plums, Rum, Sweet
This is one of the teas I was most looking forward to from the DF group order, but instead it’s turning out to be one of the bigger disappointments. I’m mostly just tasting the sencha base, with a hint of candy strawberry and no pistachio to speak of. I think strawberry and pistachio make for a fabulous flavor combination, in general, and I was hoping for a tea that captured both components in all their glory.
I did steep it for 4 minutes, of a suggested 3-4, so I’ll try it at 3 next time in hopes that the strawberry and/or pistachio come through more strongly. I’m starting to wonder if DF’s greens just don’t work for me—and my feeling that what this company does best is old school European flavors is definitely getting stronger.
Advent Calendar Day Nineteen
So, I’ve had a really, really long and awful day. Without getting too much into detail now because I’m insanely tired/exhausted,
I haven’t gotten more than a hours worth of sleep in what’s coming up on two straight days now I spent the majority of the day in the emergency room and then, following that, the dentist’s office. I’ll probably write about it in greater detail tomorrow or in a few more days when I’m feeling better; but rest assured that I’m fine now. Just a little shaken and worn out…
One of the very few and far between moments of pleasantness during the day was in the few hours in between being discharged from the hospital and heading to the dentist’s office. I was on some pretty good painkillers; and finally managed to get around to drinking some tea. So, everything was on track to pick up.
It was good tea too! I’m sure the pain meds didn’t help in regard to mental clarity/focus when it comes to picking up on tea flavours/specific tasting notes – but honestly at this point in the day I could have cared less about that. I just know the tea was smooth and sweet, and tasted like honey, apricot, and good chocolate and that was more than exceeded the expectations I had for the day or the tea. Really, anything hot would have been comforting enough to suffice.
So yeah – this tea was a life saver today, at least in regard to my mental health.
This is basically a murkier version of DF’s black Pecan Pie. The flavoring that so clearly came across as marzipan with the tea base is definitely here, but rather than pure almond paste it’s just faintly nutty and very sweet. The pistachio note I picked up on with the black base is absent here, as is any hint of pecan or pie. The rooibos is rooibos, woodsy but not too medicinal. It’s just okay, but definitely not something I’ll buy again.
This tea is totally misnamed. Pecan pie is a lie; it’s all almond. Actually, there is a hit of pistachio in the aftertaste, but it’s mostly almond. It’s quite sweet, but in a marzipan way—there’s no caramel or pastry going on here. I was hoping for something a little closer to my beloved Butiki Maple Pecan Oolong (despite this not being an oolong), but this is decidedly something else. There’s that same thin Ceylon base DF seems to use for just about all of their flavored blacks, and, as with a bunch of others, I feel like Pecan Pie could’ve benefitted from something a little more robust. All that said, this is a very pleasant tea. It probably won’t be a restock for me, but I’m glad to have the chance to try it—yay group order!
received a sample bag of this with an order. was a bit apprehensive, since flavoured blacks don’t usually do it for me…
i was so wrong! this one smells so so good, and the liquid actually followed through. delicious, and the base didn’t get rough-and-tumble over the ~4-5min steep i gave it. just lovely fruity flavours, just like the smell. maybe i’m wrong about flavoured teas, and i’ve just had a lot of bad ones. ;)
this is the red-fruit flavoured tea i’ve always wanted but been unable to find in reality.
btw shoutouts to @roswellstrange for pointing me at dammann freres! :)
Advent Calendar Day Seventeen
Yes, Fig and Strawberry! A pairing I know very well.
So, there are two fig/strawberry things that I buy grocery wise that I absolutely NEED in my life because I will consume them on just about everything. The first is a Fig/Strawberry balsamic reduction which is my go to sauce/dressing and the other is a fig/strawberry balsamic chevre. So obviously I like fig and strawberry things; though it’ll be interesting to see how this fairs given it’s missing the balsamic component which is present in both my fig/strawberry foods…
Actually, the fig in this one is really familiar but unlike the frustrating Apple Ale white tea I had earlier today from Q2T I actually know why this is familiar. It’s familiar because it tastes exactly like the fig notes in Dammann Freres’ Fig Fraiche blend. So no surprises here: it’s smooth and well defined, as it should be.
Strawberry? Also check!
This one is bright and fruity, and it tastes a lot like the kind of strawberries you’d eat out of your grandmother’s garden – which is to say there’s an unrefined quality, and a bit of extra tartness/zippyness to them.
The pairing is, of course, delicious. As I expected it to be. But wait, there’s more folks…
Creamed Honey!? Extra check!
So, I definitely knew this flavour was supposed to be in the blend – but I was so caught up on the strawberry and fig that I really wasn’t looking for it. As well, honey is a flavour in tea which often merges with fruit notes/the other ingredients and then just comes off as extra sweetness. However, this is REALLY pronounced and well defined. It tastes like honey, and a lot of it at that. To me that doesn’t mean it’s cloying or over the top; it’s just super clearly there. More than the fig, if I’m being honest.
I REALLY loved and enjoyed this one! Definitely one I’d pick up for myself in future orders.
Advent Calendar Day Sixteen
Hooray! My (first) White2Tea order showed up today which meant I finally had all the pieces to send off my Secret Santa package for the Tea Chat/Slack exchange! I was beginning to get really worried it wouldn’t arrive by Christmas – and at this point it may not make it there FOR Christmas, but should at least get there for New Years…
I drank this one on the commute in the work today; and like yesterday’s advent tea it was one I drank blindly/without ingredients. It was also one I was sort of disappointed to see because I had a late night yesterday at DAVIDsTEA and only had like four hours of sleep going into the day today – so I was really hoping for something caffeinated from the calendar this morning.
Nonetheless, it was REALLY tasty. I almost immediately was able to identify this as a spiced orange blend, or at the very least spiced citrus. My money was on orange though; especially to tie into the festivity of it all. I for sure picked up on the peppercorn in the finish of the sip; that light tickle is very familiar to me at this point in my tea drinking journey. Maybe a bit of ginger? And I got the sweetness of the clove, but couldn’t completely nail down that flavour on my own without the ingredients list.
The orange was very bright though, and it had an extra supporting sweetness to it that I just couldn’t quite place my finger on. Turns out I had in completely wrong; I think I was picking up on the cherry in the blend although I 100% interpreted it as more of a honey or even caramel note. So, definitely WAY off. But honestly the additional fruit note just merged with the orange so well that all I was getting was extra sweetness. Very nice overall though. Spiced Orange is sort of a played out flavour combo, but with how it’s done here it didn’t feel nearly so overdone. Which is a testament to the quality of the tea.
Though it would be interesting to revisit this one given I now know what the ingredients actually are supposed to be…
Another Noel tea from DF! Giving it a sniff I already knew it would taste like cherry. At least this one is SUPPOSED to be cherry, unlike the Noel St Petersbourg I had the other day that was supposed to be everything but cherry and was only cherry and almond. I also taste some almond/marzipan that should be here but no ginger or gingerbread that should also be here. So this one gets a higher rating from me for actually being what it should be, even if I’m not in love with the cherry flavor. BUT the Noel St Petersbourg and Noel a Paris is almost like having the same tea twice, they are so similar (these harvests are anyway.) I love being able to try them though!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 5 minute steep
Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Marzipan
After the disappointment that was The des Marquises, I’m happy to say this is a return to form for DF. It’s quite fruity, in a jammy sort of way, not unlike DF’s 4 Fruits Rouge. I don’t know that I would’ve pegged it as strawberry, necessarily; I’m getting more of a mixed red fruits vibe. I can’t say I’m tasting biscuit, exactly, but there’s a sweetness—and richness—that I suppose might be vaguely reminiscent of a delicate little tea cookie.
I still haven’t tried a ton of DF blends yet, but so far I’m getting the sense they do better with more Old World-y kinds of flavor profiles and less well with… I don’t know, modern ones? Tropical? I realize Charlotte aux Fruits does contain papaya, as did Noël à Venise—why does DF add papaya to everything, anyway?—but since I can’t detect it in the taste I’m still counting this one as an old school French sort of flavor.
Advent Calendar Day Fifteen
Didn’t check the ingredients prior to brewing this; I was relatively rushed on my way out of the house this morning. However, at least I managed to find time to brew this for my commute rather than leaving it for the evening ‘cause I ended up working an unplanned shift at DAVIDsTEA so I wouldn’t have had time to drink it in the evening…
Anyway; it was obvious as soon as I started sipping at this one (and really even as the water first hit the tea leaf) that it was a lychee tea! Damn, that lychee comes through REALLY clearly! However, I also tasted a lot of citrus – I would have said either a semi bitter lemon OR grapefruit, but I suppose the correct note is grapefruit. As for the jasmine? Well, I thought the lychee was definitely a bit more floral than it usually tends to come off in blends, but I’m guessing part of what I was tasting was the jasmine just blending well with the natural floral notes of the fruit.
Didn’t taste any peach…
This was nice! I enjoyed that it was tropical, sweet, fruity and floral and had very strong flavour notes that were still able to retain an air of delicacy to them.
Advent Calendar Day Fourteen
I’ve yet to miss a day/post a tea on a day other than when I’ve drank it for this advent calendar so I figured I best post the review for today’s tea before I drift off to sleep. I’ve been so tired all day…
Basically I think this is pretty much just the same as Noel a Paris but with a white tea base, right? The ingredients look identical with that one exception, and drinking it this morning that’s exactly what it tasted like. I will say, the cherry comes through stronger with the white base, but I don’t either it nor the ginger compliment a white base as well as they do the black one. So, I liked the black better overall – which is probably for the best given I’ve got like 90g left of Noel a Paris.
Definitely worth checking out though if you like the flavours in Noel a Paris but aren’t big on black teas, though.