Dammann Freres

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Paul et Virginie by Dammann Freres
1816 tasting notes

My daughter has given me Dammann Freres teas several times over the past two years or so, and they always send samples. I am so excited about them, and then I forget to drink them! How many people wait for just the right moment to try new tea? I thought it was high time to taste this one.

It is a bag, so I used my eight ounce pot to steep it with boiling water and used probably only seven ounces of water. The aroma of the dry tea bag dismayed me because it smelled like rooibos….cherry cough syrup.

Happily that is NOT the taste of the tea. It is rather mild and the berry flavor dominates, mainly cherry, and caramel and vanilla are waaaay in the background for me.

The second steep was forgotten and I have no idea how long it steeped. It didn’t matter, though, as it was quite good. I only expected to get two steeps but I am tempted to try for a third and see what happens. This would not be a breakfast tea for me as it is far too civilized to get most people going, but is delightful for any other time of day!

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79
drank Velours nacré by Dammann Freres
347 tasting notes

This is another tea from MissB’s mystery pack. Thank you.

This one is probably my least favorite of the french teas that I have tried. I like it, but nothing about rang keep me forever. The almond in this hit me right a way with a twinge of chocolate and then a hint of orange at the end. I like it, but I think the chocolate in the middle caught me off guard a bit. A well balanced good cup, but not a favorite.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96
drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
164 tasting notes

What do you do when you’ve been stressed beyond belief for so long that you no longer remember what it’s like not to be in a constant state of tension and panic?

You make jam, that’s what you do.

Tonight, I took a punnet of blackcurrants and a punnet of cherries and added some caster sugar and a touch of vanilla and made a jam that takes me right back to the homemade blackcurrant jam my grandmother would make when I was a wee slip of a girl. GOOD GOSH, this is good stuff. It’s sweet without being overly so, and the vanilla lends it a little depth running through the sweet-tartness of the currant and it’s just dark and rich and gorgeous. And I had a cup of this tea while I was making it.

And GOOD GOSH, this tea is still really good too. It’s got a nice medium weight to it, and a buttery sweetness with that almost dried fruit thing happening around the periphery alongside the pleasant nuttiness. Boy, do I wish I knew I was going to have enough money to pay rent this month, AND enough to put in a Dammann order and get myself a giant-ass bag of this comforting stuff. Soon, baby. I don’t know what I’ll do without the joy that comes from knowing this is in my cupboard.

Sil

oooooooh i could beat something right now.. that would be good :)

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96
drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
164 tasting notes

Whoops, I kind of fell off the radar there for a bit. To be fair, I also wasn’t drinking nearly enough tea, and was mostly drinking PG Tips when I was down in Oxford (where I stayed for an extra day, whoops) and then I started my new job, so yeah. Busy bumbly bee.

Remind me to bring a small pantry of teas next time I’m down at Gentleman’s for the weekend. I can’t take it anymore. Plus, I practically half live there already, so it’s only right I have my teas with me!

As for this one, a gift from the lovely sil in our exchange. Oh hellooooooooo, baby. It’s actually been a few days since I had it and hadn’t had time to write up a note, but its beauty has stuck with me. What a cozy, delicious wonder. There’s a very true vanilla and lovely hazelnut that sit in perfect balance over the base, and it’s creamy and comforting. And then there’s this sort of lovely, perfumed almost fruit flavour that’s hiding under there, that’s really difficult to describe at this distance from it, but MAN, it was like a hug from the inside, like a really gentle party in my mouth. You know, the kind of party where it’s just three or four of your best friends just chilling out on the patio of an evening with soft music and conversation that stretches on far into the night. That kind of party. That’s this tea. Yeah, it’s a good ’un.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

awesome. So glad some of the teas i sent were the sort that make you happy to just have new tea friends lol

Sami Kelsh

So joyous! You’re awesome!!!

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78

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Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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78

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Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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82
drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
1268 tasting notes

From the queue, written March 29th 2014

Husband is out today at a whiskey fair, so I’m home alone all day. I’m going to take this opportunity to have a lot of flavoured stuff as, with the exception of the occasional EG, he’s been quite disinterested in flavoured things recently.

I’ve dug through my box of untried things and picked out a number of little baggies. Steepsterites, I have an itinirary! Well, actually I strongly suspect it’ll be impossible to get posts done about all of them today, but having this smaller pile to choose from makes it a little more manageble to choose something.

This is also where I’ve realised that I’ve got the EU TTB samples from the first and the second round mixed up because I’ve forgotten to number them. All is not lost, I can go back to the discussion thread and work out which is from which round, but it’s a little annoying to have to do it. I haven’t the faintest idea why I never numbered the first round samples in the first place. That was stupid.

Oh well. This one is a tea that Anna shared with me, and I’ve been a little scared of it because the name sounds so flowery. I don’t like floral scented teas much. At least not if ‘floral’ is the only thing it’s been flavoured with. (Halfway through the word ‘flavoured’ my brain apparently decided it liked ‘scented’ better. I ended up with ‘flented’…) Therefore I decided to start with it and then it would be over with.

In order work out whether to use boiling or just under boiling water (I prefer flavoured teas just under boiling. I feel the flavouring behaves better that way) I looked it up in the database and was highly pleased to discover that it was actually vanilla and hazelnuts. Hooray! I love vanilla and I’m rather interested in nut-flavoured teas as well, so this sounds just like something for me. It also rather explains the flowery name, since we must remember that vanilla is an orchid.

For people who can understand French, this may all have been painfully obvious from the name. I don’t know any French, save a small handful of random words, so I had nothing to go by. This brings me back to the whole pondering of whether or not to translate non-English names. I WISH all these French blends that are very fashionable around Steepster at the moment had names that I could actually read. How else am I supposed to know what they are? I’m not really super keen on having to take French lessons in order to read about other people drinking tea…

Now, small pet peeve aside, this smells lovely. More vanilla-y than nutty, but the nuts are definitely there as well. I can’t pick up any notes of the base tea, though, but I can sort of feel that it’s there.

The flavour is quite creamy. I could actually convince myself that it’s cream-flavoured. I think it’s the vanilla that does this, but in this cup I’m experiencing the vanilla as cream more than as vanilla, which I find a little disappointing. I mean, I like this as well, but… I want vanilla-y vanilla.

The hazelnuts, however, are very pleasant indeed. Sweet and nutty, and I can pick up the base as well. Again, I can’t say anything about the base, other than ’it’s tea’. It’s just sort of a default tea-flavoured black tea, but I’m fine with that. I don’t need a whole lot going on in a flavoured base. I just like to be able to tell that it’s there.

In spite of earlier fears, I’m enjoying this.

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55
drank Violette by Dammann Freres
514 tasting notes

Sipdown #16

Another DF sample courtesy of the ever generous JustJames!! As with Oolong Châtaigne, I found this tea very subtle, especially for a floral tea. There’s a faint whisper of violet flowers and black tea. But it’s like I drank the tea in a dream and once I woke up, I can’t recall exactly what it tasted like. I added a tiny bit of Truvia and that helped awaken the floral aspect.

Overall though, this is another one that is rather underwhelming. These teas are too subtle for my liking. I prefer them to sock me in the mouth with flavor. Where did that expression come from anyway? “Sock me in the mouth.” That’s pretty weird, isn’t it? Maybe someone was kidnapped once and they were forced to endure the pungency of a ripe, sweaty gym sock stuffed into their mouth to muffle their cries. You never know. That could be the correct origin. :P

Suffice it to say, my problem with DF teas is that they simply don’t stand up well to the test of time and environs. I do my best to store my teas under ideal conditions, but time is never on my side. These samples are from November. I guess that’s too long to wait and still expect grandeur, although the Butiki Teas’ sample held up perfectly fine.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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50

Sipdown #17

I’m disappointed in Microsoft Office. I downloaded a trial on my new laptop and then bought a license a couple days later. Once my trial expired, it asked for the product key which then it wouldn’t accept. After an annoying conversation with a Microsoft customer service rep whose native language isn’t English, I finally got my answer. I have to remove the software from my computer (uninstall it and then reinstall it) all because it won’t accept the product key code. Are you serious? This is such a stupid solution. And of course, it took several hours to get all this sorted out and then another hour to do it. I’m so annoyed. But FINALLY it’s done and I can get back to blogging.

ON TO THE TEA!

Thanks to JustJames for this sample! The first infusion is subtle and tastes like an unflavored tea. Although it claims to be an oolong, it actually reminds me of a Darjeeling. The base doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor though. It’s rather lackluster and doesn’t strike me as particularly oolong-y. There are slight hints of woody elements and…I want to say roasted, but it’s not really a roasty-toasty kind of flavor either. I’m at a loss to describe this one.

The second infusion is no longer flavorful and seems just to be a cup of warm water and a mere whisper of what it used to be. I definitely am not getting chestnut or nut of any kind in either infusion. It has a flavor, but it’s very subtle and…I can’t describe it as delicious. It’s just…there, kind of like how nearly everything has a flavor but that doesn’t mean everything is edible.

Overall, this tea is unremarkable. It’s not something that I would probably seek out again in the future. Wow, sorry for my rather harsh criticism. I fear my bad experience with Office has tainted my view of the tea. I think I need a hug.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

Really nice, subtle tea. I don’t taste much almondiness, but to me, that’s a bonus. Just a mellow sweetness on top of the black tea base.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Anichaï by Dammann Freres
340 tasting notes

This is my first chaï made as an indian chaï.
I didn’t exactly respected DF’s instructions and put the tea directly in the milk while cooking and not after it boiled.
This is really good ! I didn’t expect to manage to make a good chaï at the first attempt but here it is.
The spices are really wonderful : cardamom is really the main one but the second roles have their partition to play as well.
Really love it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
cteresa

good on you, I love indian chai done chai style. or better I love expensive french takes on indian chai, the chai blends I get at the indian grocery stores do not compare at all.

have you ever had chandernagor? I love it crazily and curious how this one compares, seems like the same spices…

Ysaurella

I never had Chandernagor because once I was hesitating and finally I have chosen Mandalay.
I can send you a sample of Anichaï and of Thé des Mille Collines (a Dammann Chaï as well)I was thinking about that while doing this chaï

cteresa

Thank you very much for the suggestion, but I have no new teas to send and still many samples to try. Maybe in Autumn?

Chandernagor is lovely, my favorite classic chai. But that is one thing I like MF very much for, they have a few totally perfectly classic ultimate versions of classic things. Chandernagor is the chai for me, Casablanca is the mint green tea….

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I brewed some of Macaron Mangue Jasmin in parallel with a cup of Si Nancy m’etait conte, for a comparison, since both are green macaron teas. By the way, is there a difference between a macaron flavour and an almond one? I can’t tell.

Anyway, I don’t know if the temperature was too low for this one (72 or so), or if I didn’t put in enough tea or… but the flavours just didn’t come out. It tastes perfectly pleasant, but it also doesn’t really taste like much. Nancy, on the other hand, has a nice taste and aroma with the same temperature and amount of tea. Will have to play around with this one more before I give it a grade. I think I must be missing something, what with all the raves on here.

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I don’t know about these pu’erh teas guys. I try to be open-minded, but once they’re steeped, the pue’erh scent just turns my stomach. Regardless, I power through because sometimes that strong scent doesn’t come through as strongly in the taste.

Unfortunately for this tea, it did. I just couldn’t get past the pu’erh-ness.

Thanks for the sample VariaTEA!

But on the upside, I just finished a sipdown of French Butter Cookie in matcha milk, and this one is a sample sipdown.

caile

Yeah, I’ve only tried pu’erh once so far, and also found it was the scent that was hard to get past…

TeaBrat

you should try a sheng puerh, does not have the same aroma at all

VariaTEA

Okay to be honest, Sil sent this to me, and I really don’t like pu’erh either. I tried it, and it was very pu’erh heavy so I passed it to you because for some reason, I thought you were a pu’erh fan. Obviously not so I shall keep that in mind :P

Courtney

TeaBrat I will keep that in mind.

VariaTEA no worries, I appreciate getting to try new things, even if they don’t turn out.

Aimee Popovacki

i get stomach aches from pu’erh’s … the only one i don’t is blood orange from davids, but i have to drink it in small quantities… i can bake/cook with pu’erh’s though and its been fine… i think when its just the tea and water though it does a number on me.

Sil

Hahaha all you puerh haters should try the strawberry chocolate one from lupicia ;)

VariaTEA

I have! Definitely one of the better pu’erhs I have had but still not for me.

Amariel

Strawberry chocolate pu erh….noms. I would love to try it. I’m gonna have to figure out a Lupicia order, I think.

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An awesome surprise gift from Dexter3657, who knows of my affection for the Frenchy teas, particularly DF and Fauchon. Thank you! :D

This is a boozy, sweet-tart cherry tea. As with so many DF blends, it smells amazing as soon as you open the bag and continues to be heady through steeping and finished cup. I love it—it reminds me a little of the liquor-steeped cherries I put in my highball drinks in springtime. Lemony tart like a Corpse Reviver, but a little plush and jammy too, where there’s a burst of juicy bright red cherry to balance it, keep it from being too puckery. It’s not like a dried fruit thing, nor like a straight fresh cherry…kind of like a pickled fruit (and Ysaurella ‘s right, it’s more like a red berry profile too, not just cherry). It’s weird, I hate tartness in tea with stuff like apples…but I don’t mind it with this jammy cherry profile…guess I’ve learned something new about my tastes!

I really like this one. Thankfully for me I’m not getting any cherry cough medicine associations (it’s nowhere near that kind of pinpointy plastic sweet), though I can kind of envision how someone could. It’s perfect for this afternoon—beginning of a long weekend, going to see a play tonight (feeling FANCY Anna! ha), another festival tomorrow, lots of time to just relax and chase each other around the house and play some more with perfume. A little luxurious but fun too. Exactly right for my mood.

DeliriumsFrogs

You and Anna are both SOoooooooooo fancy. :)
This review put me in such a happy mood….

Anna

I think this tea proves ifjuly is WAY fancier than me!

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From Sil, this is a little too tart for my tastes, although not undrinkable. Sipdown
353

Sil

go you!

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I swear I’ve reviewed this one before, but maybe I drank it & didn’t post a review. Or maybe it was one of those days where steepster wasn’t acting right & my review got eaten?
No matter. This is from one of my many trades with my dear tea sister Sil, or maybe from our BBBBox (still from Sil, either way).
I made a pot of this to share with a student & her mom, & they loved it! It is a mix of cherries, berries, & caramel, & although I am not particularly enamored with it, it is still very drinkable. I have just enough for one more cup, so I’m putting it aside in the sipdown box for little terri’s next Sipdown Extravaganza, coming soon! :)

TheTeaFairy

I love that they chose that name for this tea…
(There might be a duplicate? I know I have also reviewed it and can’t find my note either)

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drank Amande Amaretti by Dammann Freres
1425 tasting notes

Sadly this tea doesn’t do it for me. Still, I’m glad Shmiracles gave me the opportunity to try it, as I’m pretty sure I would have purchased it.

The tea is thin. The amaretto flavour is present, and accurate, but it is thin. This might be because amaretto = coffee for me. We always used to spike our coffee with it when we went camping (Yes, even as kids. I know, I know. Mom and dad would put ~1 tsp in a coffee or hot chocolate for us so we were drinking a “grown up” drink.). So those flavours are irrevocably linked.

So while this might be a good tea for some people, as the flavour itself is really nice, it’s not a tea for me. The almond tea I have and prefer is La Naissance by Fauchon. Almondy birthday cake.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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89

Oh wow, this is a lovely tea! Green tea with a floral black currant? YES!

I think this was from kaylee…thanks so much for the sample! This is right up my alley :)

Super classy, well balanced, and natural tasting.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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65

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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70

Got this tea from shmiracles and it’s so cute and adorable!
It was a wee little sachet and it smells really nice. I don’t know what’s in it, but it’s 9pm so I need my herbals this late at night.

It tastes… roasted. Like roasted rice and fruits? Oh it’s weird. It smells like a roasted Throat Coat from Traditional Medicinals.
So Throat Coat plus a smidge of spearmint? It’s an odd blend, but decent.

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80

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Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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80

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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80

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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