Dammann Freres

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80
drank Réglisse by Dammann Freres
4 tasting notes

A very pleasant, light liquorice tea. It’s recommended by Dammann Frères that it be allowed to steep for 6 minutes – the resulting liquor is still fairly light and the tannins remain mild. The black liquorice is present but not overbearing. A pleasant after dinner tea.

Flavors: Licorice

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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83

During a walk in Florence, Italy, I was delighted to spy a small shop with wall full of canisters of my favourite tea company, Dammann Frères’ tea. Oronero sells a nice, broad selection of their own line and Dammann teas, as well as chocolates. We decided to try a few new ones in addition to our original favourite, Jardin Bleu, which is a good introduction to their fruit and flower infused teas.

This is a nice winter holiday tea, with rich, warm notes of caramel and vanilla, and essences of dark fruits. The tea is smooth with a medium-coloured liquor, and a lingering note of cherry on the finish.

Flavors: Caramel, Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 48 OZ / 1419 ML

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71
drank Noël à Londres by Dammann Freres
1440 tasting notes

First sipdown in what seems like ever. The last couple cups were extremely heavy on both the (astringent) almond and fiery hot cinnamon. I’ve had a couple cups which tasted like mostly just the latter, but either way, I’m not terribly impressed. It’s slightly two-dimensional and uninspiring, especially for DF.

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71
drank Noël à Londres by Dammann Freres
1440 tasting notes

Had a damn good job interview today and now I’m back at home chilling out watching Scrubs and drinking tea. So exhausted. Went to bed at 12:30am, which is early for me, hoping to get a good night’s rest, and kept tossing and turning until past 5am. Ugh.

This is pretty good but not amazing or unique. The dry leaf and taste are very heavy on the cinnamon, like cinnamon heart candies. And the almond is trailing close behind and seems rather astringent too, almost like almond extract. These two notes are so strong that it’s almost too difficult to even tell which one you’re smelling/tasting since it’s an ongoing battle between the two. It reminds me a lot of holiday spice candles, or the smell of craft/Michaels stores, you know?

OMGsrsly

Woo! Yay for the damn good job interview! Here’s hoping you get the job. :)

Fjellrev

Thanks! It’s only a 3-month temp position, but better than nothing, and would be a sweet experience so we’ll see.

Sil

YAY! i will cross my fingers for you!

OMGsrsly

I’m temping right now! Nothing to sneeze at. :)

Indigobloom

Good luck!

tigress_al

Good luck!

Fjellrev

Thanks, I’m seriously going to need it since the hunt has been brutal!

OMG, it’s definitely good stuff, but it’ll be so annoying to have to do this all over again in a few months. What can you do, though!

OMGsrsly

Make sure you get a written letter of recommendation before you leave. Haha. That’s the biggest tip I got. Written letters from previous jobs.

Fjellrev

Yeah, good point. I luckily got one from one of the profs I TA’d for so that’s something. But I was wondering if a person were to work somewhere for three months, if that would be long enough to justify asking for a reference in general.

OMGsrsly

Yes! I was actually looking up recommendations for temp employment on resumes and the like, and apparently 2 weeks is a “long time” if you’re working for a temp agency. So it’s recommended that you make it a line item on your resume, as in, “Office Administration for ABC Corp, 2 weeks, June 2015” underneath the temp agency header. And asking for a reference is always OK IMO. Especially if they really like you.

Fjellrev

Interesting! Here I was thinking it wouldn’t be long enough. Technically, this isn’t through/for a temp agency, but it’s nice to know that employers recommend any kind of temporary work as legitimate experience no matter the length of time, really.

Fjellrev

recognize*

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85
drank Tourbillon by Dammann Freres
1440 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
636 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

Sip down! The last cup was quite astringent since I overleafed (the whole too much for one cup but not enough for two dilemma). I tasted mostly astringent black base with a hint of spice in the background. The unfortunate thing about this tea is it smells so freakishly scrumptious, especially fresh. Spicy yet effervescent from the citrus, but it doesn’t taste nearly as amazing as it smells. At least it makes things slightly easier for me when I place an order.

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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

Sip down cold brew style. Totally the most flavourful this way but it’s not going to be missed.

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80

This makes a surprisingly good cold brew. I wasn’t sure how the notes were going to translate this way, but you know what? I say it’s more complex this way. Cold brewing in the fridge for nearly 24 hours has allowed the chocolate and nut notes to develop more as opposed to when I prepare this hot. The aftertaste is still predominantly the roasty base but there’s more going on here. I swear I just caught a whiff of Amaretto as I was taking one of the last swigs. I’m finally getting chocolate covered nuts. I’ll definitely enjoy it this way from now on.

A delight after spending 75 minutes on the elliptical. So tired and want to go to bed but must shower. Tea gone, thirst successfully quenched.

tigress_al

75 minutes! Whoa that’s dedication!

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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
1440 tasting notes

Sipdown! This is definitely a repurchase and has thus far been my favourite vanilla black tea. It’s creamy and vanilla caramel-like, sort of like H&S’s Vanilla Comoro but not as cloying. Teavivre, Bayswater, and DF have been on my order list for quite some time now and yet it seems like it’s taking me forever to sip down enough to place these orders!

Have a job interview this afternoon so I wanted to choose something comforting to sip on as I just hang out before leaving. It’s only for an assistant manager position at a retail store, but hey, with the terrible job market right now, one cannot complain. I have friends my age who have been laid off from their engineering and nursing jobs and can’t find anything. One even applied to freaking Tim Horton’s and still can’t. So guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself for spending all those years in grad school rather than gaining direct work experience right after my undergrad. These friends of mine did that and look where they are too. :/

Dexter

Good Luck with the job interview. :))

Gooseberry Spoon

Yep, too overqualified for most jobs and no positions open for qualified people out there. If I have one more shocked interviewer ask why I could possibly want to work there I amm going to shake them. Good luck!

Evol Ving Ness

Break a leg!

tigress_al

Good luck!

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91
drank Bourbon by Dammann Freres
1440 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
221 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
1440 tasting notes

Sipdown! This was so good when it was fresher. The almonds were so toasty, although I found a hard time coaxing out the chocolate note regardless of age. For that reason, I don’t know if I’d want a full bag of this whenever I get around to placing an order. These nutty, pastry, desserty ones of theirs are tricky for me. They’re not as symphonious as their descriptions make them out to be.

Evol Ving Ness

Symphonious!—-is that a word? :)

Fjellrev

Prescriptively? Yes. Descriptively? Most definitely. :D

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80
drank Velours Nacré by Dammann Freres
1440 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

Sipped this down cold brew style the other day. My DF stash has been dwindling, but I’m glad since some are starting to show their age. Would I get more of this? No, but it was packed with yummy fruits and was good hot or cold.

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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
1440 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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