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Recent Tasting Notes
Getting to the end of Summer and also at the bottom of the pack of Jardin Vert tea, and it´s been nice, really nice iced tea. I desperately need to clean out the teas I still have to see whether there are others which can be used for iced tea with a similar result…or just wait until next Summer, and see what´s to be found (and approved) in the tea shops. There seem to pop up quite a lot of them in Madrid these days, and some have an impressive collection of green teas, so I might opt for this 2nd way around. Any recommendations are welcome, of course.
Thanks to Ysaurella I know now that this tea might just well be Dammann Frères after all. I´m not a huge green tea fan, but I somehow seem to like it more 1/in Summer, and 2/ cold in iced tea. This year, I started using Tibetan secret, then I finished off another green tea (with banana), and now I´m using Jardin vert. I make a pot of tea, let it steep for an hour or longer, fill a bottle and put it in the fridge…and it´s part of my summer tea routine : I take water with my meals, but when it´s too hot, water is “boring” and I have cold tea. All three teas I used this year are green, flowery, and doesn´t go too grassy or bitter when steeping this long.
Flavors: Flowers, Green
The tea I have at home (and I bought it in a tea shop in Pau, France) isn´t from Dammann Frères (as far as I know), but the blend in the picture really looks like it, and the name is the same as well. After I finished the tea I was using for my summer ice tea, I needed another one and this works perfectly. A bit dryer in the mouth but nonetheless very refreshing.
Flavors: Flowers, Green
This is my very last sample from Dinosara, d’aw! I don’t have a lot of experience with figs, only having had dried ones before, but I did enjoy the experience I had. And this just sounded interesting! Dried fruit is one of my favorite flavors in straight blacks, so I figured one specifically flavored that way would be fantastic. The leaf itself has no visual indication of being flavored, which is actually a nice change of pace after trying so many teas with flower petals in them. Dry scent is very sweet dried fruit with honey, yummmm! I did my usual 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.
The brewed tea also smells quite sweet with a syrupy dried fruit aroma. I must admit, I am always hoping that the sweetness in a tea’s aroma will carry over to the taste, though it rarely does. I miss my sugar! :P Anyway, this tea is quite good! The base tea is mellow and somewhat malty, flavorful but unobtrusive. There is a lovely caramelized dried fruit flavor – I’m not sure that I would specifically call it fig, but like I said, I have little experience with the fruit. It’s quite rich and nonspecifically fruity, which seems a good description for dried figs to me. The sweetness is augmented by a lovely mild honey note with the slightest floral edge, like wildflower honey. Overall, this tea is quite delicious and I’ll put it on my list to order. Thanks Dinosara!
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fig, Floral, Honey
Having conquered the Fauchon samples sent to me by Dinosara, I am now moving on to the two Dammann Freres teas that she also sent samples of. Isn’t she so generous?! :D The dry leaf is mostly just black tea with a few scant pieces of flower petal mixed in, I assume for aesthetic effect. Yum, dry scent is mouthwatering! It smells just like almond paste or marzipan, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I did a 3 minute brew at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma is still marzipan, though it’s a bit less full than it was in the dry leaves. Hmm… The base tea is quite nice, mellow but flavorful in a somewhat woody kind of way? I don’t taste a lot of flavoring in the beginning, but as I near the end of the sip, I can definitely taste the marzipan. I can imagine that adding some sugar would amplify the sweet almond taste, and adding milk would make it lovely and creamy. However, I did neither, as I’m trying to get out of the habit of adding sugar to my flavored teas. :P
I don’t think this has quite enough flavor to be my perfect almond tea, but it’s the best contender I’ve tried so far.
Flavors: Almond, Marzipan, Smooth
I’m so behind. I still exist!
I drank this the other night, super old sample from Shmiracles, I guess I was kind of clinging to my samples of fancy French teas.
I enjoyed it, though not enough to buy. Definitely got a fruity cherry with a sweet note sort of taste, though I wouldn’t say chocolate specifically.
It was tasty, I could see how it might be an Easter related tea.
My new goal is to get through the rest of my fancy French tea samples that I’ve been hoarding, to see which I truly love.
BUT, now I have a nasty head cold so it will have to wait.
Strangely enough, for the last couple of days my favorite teas haven’t tasted right to me. Must have been the head cold creeping up. Yuck.
Note 1400, plus sipdown!
I really enjoyed this tea this morning, with a splash of cream. Nice and strong and rich. Definitely caramel and vanilla. Mmm. I steeped just over 4 minutes, too. (My usual is 3!) I needed something delicious and comforting, and this worked quite well. :)
Thank you to… Dinosara for sharing the sample with me!
I have not had a lot of pu erhs before but this certainly would be at the top of the list. The vanilla and caramel are wonderful together. Very smooth and moth filling. Can tea be round? That is how it tastes to me. Fills up all the corners of my mouth. Yum!
Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla
This tea came from Roswell Strange. I always jump on any chance I get to try French teas, since they tend to be a pain in the ass to get here in the US. So anytime I’m browsing someone’s cupboard for swap requests, these always jump out at me. I’ve definitely had good experiences with French flavored/scented teas so far! This one smells like black walnuts, hah! So clearly there’s something that contaminated the teas around it, maybe the Candied Almond tea? Not sure, but I don’t really care as long as it doesn’t carry over to the taste. :P I brewed this one with a very level teaspoon because I wanted to get two servings out of the little baggie, but I also did a tad bit less water than I normally use.
The brewed aroma is very mild – it mostly smells like a mellow black tea with caramel elements and maybe the tiniest hint of spice. I do get a little bit of a licorice smell for some reason, although I don’t think there’s licorice flavor in here. I added a scant teaspoon of sugar. Hmm… this is a very subtly flavored tea. I think I taste the black tea base before anything else. There’s some caramel sweetness swirling around, and I definitely get a touch of sweet orange and lemon (more of a candy lemon than a fresh one). The cinnamon manifests as a lovely warming sensation, and I’m tasting something that reminds me of anise or licorice, although it’s extremely mild. The apple comes in at the very end of the sip and combines with the caramel for a lovely aftertaste.
Overall, I think this is the most subtly flavored French tea I’ve had yet, and even though there are several flavors involved, they do merge and play beautifully together. Very nicely done, Dammann Freres!
Aww… I am getting a little bit of a black walnut flavor as it cools… Sad day. I’ll be sure to drink the other half of my sample while it’s still hot!
Flavors: Anise, Apple, Caramel, Lemon, Licorice, Orange, Sweet
OK SO SOMETIMES I AM A BAD TEA DRINKER AND I AM SORRY.
So, thank you very much CelebriTEA for the sample from way back when in the 12 Days of Christmas tea swap. I honestly have NO CLUE why it took me so long to try this one, but it did and I feel terrible. If it makes you feel better though; I use the cute little hen pot holder pretty well every day. It’s on my table in my bedroom/the living room and it’s my go to coaster for hot cups of tea that I drink during the day or at night. It’s very, very well loved and used.
As for the tea itself; I don’t know how I feel about it. It was nice enough and I really don’t have anything negative to say about it – it just didn’t leave much of an impression overall and I think that, if it weren’t for the circumstances drinking it (having it for so long, and receiving it in the Christmas swap) it’d probably be relatively forgettable.
But anyway, I picked up on notes of lemon, licorice/anise, and caramel. Apparently there was lemon/caramel in this – but not licorice/anise. Hmm, weird. I didn’t really get much apple/cinnamon from the leaf – in fact, I didn’t get any apple and I guess maybe the cinnamon could have been misinterpreted as anise? Possibly. Black base was smooth; no bitterness or astringency. I feel like I should have loved this one; I just really only found it to be kinda decently good though.
Flavors: Anise, Caramel, Lemon, Licorice, Vanilla
Bought years ago at a tea/cofee shop in Louvain (Belgium), I cannot be absolutely sure it´s the same brand name of tea, but it´s very similar by looking at the picture. I loved this tea from the start (before rating teas on steepster), and I rediscovered a bit of it in a tin today, and enjoyed a nice cup of it ths afternoon. Very floral, with a subtle hint of smoke, it´s an ideal afternoon tea. An added plus : even when the cup cools, it´s still a nice tea (it actually might make an enjoyable iced tea as well).
Another tea from Shadowfall. Yay more Frenchies! I chose this as an afterthought because I didn’t want to make her ship $2 worth of tea to me. I love peach and I love vanilla even more, so I’m glad I get to try this one. It smells lovely, very peachy with lots of vanilla. There are a few chunks of candied peach and some rose petals mixed in with the tea leaves. I did the usual 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
This tea is delicious! It definitely blew away my mediocre expectations. Yes, the peach is lovely, but the vanilla flavor is done really well here. I would definitely describe it as a bourbon vanilla, I can taste that lovely woodiness alongside the sweetness. This is quite possibly my favorite type of vanilla. There’s also just a little whisper of rose, especially near the end of the sip. The aftertaste is lovely tart peach and that amazing vanilla. I added a little sugar and it’s just sublime. The base tea isn’t really detectable, which is fine by me considering how well done the flavoring is. Maybe it’s part of that bourbon vanilla woodiness? I couldn’t say.
Well done, Dammann Freres! And I’m so glad that I have a decent amount of this tea. Many happy peachy, vanilla-y days ahead!
Flavors: Apricot, Peach, Rose, Vanilla
From Here’s Hoping Teabox 3
Woot, my first Dammann Freres tea! This has an amazing scent steeped – florally and fruity. Big black tea base that is slightly astringent. I’m getting apple, bit of tart with a bit of a licorice aftertaste. Not bad, but not fantastic either. I’d love to try more Dammann Freres tea and happy I was able to try one via a travelling tea box. (rest assured, there’s still more of this tea in the teabox!)
This has such a nice caramelized smell! Instead of adding sugar, I added a dollop of vanilla whipped cream that I had in the fridge and it really elevated the toffee flavor. This was a nice hot cup of creamy caramelized goodness.~
This is a sample that shmiracles sent me a while back but I never got around to making a tasting note. I’m already craving another cup! Thank you :)
Flavors: Caramel, Toffee
I wouldn’t call this a fruit tea, it tastes more like the chestnuts and biscuits to me! Maybe a little bit of floral fruit, but I added cream which can take down flavours like orange blossom.
I would like more, please and thank you.
hearts to Shmiracles for sharing it with me!
I got this from Anna when she was selling some teas a few months ago and after having plain teas this morning, I figured a flavored one would be a good mix-up.
The dry leaf smells like a peachy, floral bouquet. Not an ‘OMG FLOWERS!’ in-your-face sort of bouquet, but just lightly floral.
I wish steepster would let me put the 1.5tsp I use instead of changing it to 1 tsp. (just noticed it happening and it kinda annoys me. XD)
Brewed this smells divinely peachy with a hint of floral.
Taste wise this doesn’t live up to the smell unfortunately. It’s kinda peachy/floral, but it’s also got a green taste that I wasn’t expecting at all. Very strange. No hint of the vanilla this is supposed to have either. Even adding some truvia just makes it a kinda sweet, green, peach/fruit-ish tasting tea. It’s more drinkable with sweetener, but if I wanted a green fruit tea, I’d drink the only green fruit tea I have stocked in my cupboard. Lol!
Such an unfortunate miss.
Another lovely sample from Shmiracles. :) I adore the name of this tea. So much fun to say.
But.. poppy, biscuit and marzipan flavours? What? This is a sweet, fruity, floral tea to me. Are my taste buds confused due to the coffee I had earlier? What is going on? I LOVE marzipan, so why can’t I taste it?
But.. poppy, biscuit and marzipan flavours? What? This is a sweet, fruity, floral tea to me. Are my taste buds confused due to the coffee I had earlier? What is going on? I LOVE marzipan, so why can’t I taste it?Sorry, tea. I’m feeling kinda let down.
To be quite honest I didn’t find myself reaching for this very much as a hot tea, I think it was because of how the orange interacted with the base in such as way that it took away from the raspberry and made the tea a little bitter in such away that it demanded sugar to contract it.
As a cold brew it is a different story. I brewed this tea for just short of 7 hours. The brewed tea actually smells the same as the hiot tea with a sweet raspberry tone above a biting dried orange rind tone, but the taste is much different. The raspberry is the main event, it being sweet and tangy and very ripe tasting with the rose and orange blending together underneath it to give the tea a bit of a bite and a bit more of a complex nature. I quite like this cold and it does not need sugar! This will probably be the way I will finish up this tea.
Thanks again Sil for this sample! I never did get to try out all my DF blends on Tuesday, and I still have one more left to get to but I made sure to do at least one today! Had I not gone out, I probably could have done the other but I’m happy with how things ended up.
I really like Caramel/Toffee so this one excited me a lot! Taste wise I thought it was very smooth and creamy with the faintest fruitiness to it, and I enjoyed sipping at it very slowly. In fact, I sipped at it so slowly that I still had a third of the cup left by the time it was ice cold – and it was still amazing! Seriously, I could see a bunch of tea dust in the bottom of the mug, but yet it did not go bitter. That’s impressive to me.
So I like this as a nice, straight forward and smooth Caramel Black option but I don’t think I’d need this in any kind of quantity because there are always more available black caramel teas that taste pretty well as good as this does. Definitely wouldn’t turn down a cup of it if offered though! This blend was smooth!
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Vanilla