Dammann Freres

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Recent Tasting Notes

77

Day 17 of the Advent calendar. Confession: I gave day 16 to my mom when she was in town because she LOVES figs. Given how spot on the flavorings have been I really wanted her to have a chance to try it. So, no note from me for that one.

With THIS tea, I actually was able to identify a smell before looking at the description! And it was a weird smell to get, too. But the dry tea bag really did smell JUST like prunes. Kind of grapey, kind of raisiny, the boyfriend is convinced it’s fig, but NOPE. It is definitely prunes. I am super proud of myself. :)

Steeped at the below parameters with no additives.

The steeped tea still smells pruney, but there is a sugary sweetness in there, too – most likely the caramel. Caramel and prunes are a weird combination, I won’t lie. I would never in a million years have put them together.

Flavoring is chocolate/caramel first and then…prune. There is a citrusy note to it, though, kind of like stewed prunes that my mom makes (and incidentally, are really good). The ingredients also said something about vodka flavoring, but I didn’t think vodka had any flavor, and I’m not picking up on whatever that supposed flavor may be.

This was pretty good – I still can’t reconcile why chocolate and caramel and prune were put together, but if anyone can do that kind of blend, and do it well, Dammann can. I’m going to be so bummed when I don’t have a new tea from them each morning!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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74
drank Noël en Provence by Dammann Freres
863 tasting notes

Day 16.

I was again disappointed in this one, as I was last year. I feel like I am getting strong black licorice flavours, but I aam wondering if that is supposed to be the fig. I am definitely getting a creamy texture, but not so much strawberry. The black tea base is extremely bold. I only intended to steep for a few minutes but I am wondering if I lost track of time.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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74
drank Noël en Provence by Dammann Freres
863 tasting notes

Day 16!

I quite like rooibos de Provence, so I was expecting this one to be similar, but it isn’t really. In saying that, every company, I am sure, will have a slightly different blend.

This one is definitely a more smokey tea base, the smoke is subtle but present. I feel that this black base is a bit more bold than some of the other Dammann teas I have tried but it is not bitter or astringent or overpowering. I am getting notes of ripe strawberries and the cornflower petals. Not so much fig but the liquor feels quite thick and I equate that with how a fig tastes. It tastes and feels creamy as well. I do not get any lavender at all. Which is ok becuase I am not a huge lavender fan but I would have liked just a bit more lavender flavour for the Provence feel. There was a taste I was having a hard time putting a name to, but after reading the description, it is the honey.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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64
drank Orange Zen BIO by Dammann Freres
1416 tasting notes

SPOILER: Day 15 of Dammann Freres Advent Calendar.

I’m unsure what to make of this. It smells like an herbally green tea to me, and tastes little of anything orange until wwwaaaayyyy after the sip. Definitely a chamomile blend. I mean, it’s okay, but I just don’t get it at all.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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71
drank Orange Zen BIO by Dammann Freres
863 tasting notes

Day 15!

I double checked this one and it is for sure just a tisane, unlike the last one, day 1 or 2 (I think).

This one tastes strongly of the lemon balm and verbena. I am definitely getting a lot of citrous peel/rind flavours. I can taste the smooth rose underneath it all. I often think of describing rose petals as rusty tasting. Not that they taste like rust or iron, but just they way it feels in my mouth, I want to say rusty. I can taste and smell the chamomile which is a dead give away because for some reason I just don’t like that taste and can pick it out immediately. I seem to be getting a bit of heat in the back of my throat at the end of the sip, not sure from which ingredient though.

This one is definitely different from all the other Dammann teas I have had thus far, it is much more vegetal vs fruity or floral.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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70

Advent calendar, day 15.

The smell of this dry was herby and medicinal. There was orange, but also a lemongrass note (probably the verbena and/or lemon balm) and lemon grass is my sick tea so this doesn’t make me super excited.

I don’t know what it is about drinking sick teas when you’re not sick, but…

The top scent once steeped is orange, then that medicinal herb. Maybe it’s chamomile? I don’t know but I could do without it. Not really any floral notes, but I don’t mind. I don’t like drinking flowers, as a rule.

The taste is very much lemongrass. Maybe an orangey lemongrass, depending on the sip. It is quite soothing, and I imagine it would be a great sick time tea – but I have one of those from Upton and its cheaper and stateside.

As always, glad to try it, but this won’t be a tea that I order.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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79

Day 14.

So I guess I pretty much didn’t like this last year. I wish that when you make subsequent posts on a tea you can add additional ratings. Because this year I am finding it not too bad. So I am going to change the rating. But that doesn’t change the experience I had last time. So in short, I wish I could give a tea a different rating each time I had it to reflect my experience…

Also I find it quite amusing that on this teas page, the English translation description of the tea is different from the French one.

This tea smells very delicious. Creamy cherry with almonds and rose petals. The taste of the tea is a fairly nice white base. Slightly astringent. There are notes of cherry and definitely some almond nuttiness. I feel like I am getting rose this year, although I don’t think rose petals are part of this blend.

As I noted above I am bumping the rating up from 60.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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79

Day 14!

The dry tea is so very pretty. New colour scheme for my house maybe? Ha ha. The dry sachet smells of delicious cherry candy and maybe some vanilla, or at least something creamy.

I made this to brave out shopping with me. Wasn’t even shopping for me. My brother keeps texting me with his shopping list. I have been done my list for a month now. I hate holiday shopping. And the roads are super bad today, winter bad. Guh! Anyway, my contigo mug kept is super warm so I am drinking it now to de-stress from my outing.

Anyway, this one is sadly reminding me of soap. Like if you are staying at a kind of fancy hotel and they have delicious smelling little soaps in the bathroom. It tastes like cherry and lavender to me. It is definitely a very thick and creamy liquor. The cherry is sweet and artificial candy like.

Unfortunately I am not liking this one a whole lot. Well still almost half of the calendar to go so I am not worried, ha ha.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Weird, I hope the other teas in your advent calendar won’t disappoint!

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70

Dammann Advent Calendar, Day 14

This is not one of my favorites. I find it super cherry pow in the flavoring, which is probably my least favorite flavor ever. That said, I don’t mind it quite as much this year as I did last year. It’s still very cherry bomb, but somehow not as offensive. Still, I won’t be reordering this one ever!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70

Dammann advent calendar, day 14. Yay, another one I haven’t tried! I am excited about the almond and spices, but perhaps not so much by the cherry. Well, I’ve had other cherry Dammann teas before and enjoyed them pretty well.

However, this is just a big nope for me. Very cherry candy. I drank about half the cup and couldn’t finish it. Just not my type of flavoring!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i always worry a bit about cherry evolving into robitussin…. =0(

Dinosara

Fortunately not robitussin, just cherry candy, of which I am not a fan.

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67

Advent calendar, day 14.

Per usual, no additives, because the tea doesn’t need it. Served with German Pancakes for a really awesome Sunday breakfast

The dry leaf definitely smells like cough syrup. It’s the cherry flavoring, I’m sure. Anyway, I have learned not to put too much stock in their dry leaf scent because it always turns out okay once the water hits. I will say this, though – the pink flowers in this blend and the white tea leaves looked absolutely beautiful while steeping. I’m not a particularly visual person (auditory learner, don’t know how to accessorize a room to save my life) but I had to stop and watch for a while just because of how pretty it was.

Yup, the steeped tea has a beautiful clear, pale yellow liquor and a slightly more natural cherry scent. Taste wise the cherry is at the forefront ant it surprisingly a fruity, bright pie cherry flavor. I excepted the spices and more of an almond cherry, but I prefer this so I’m not complaining. I guess there’s a hint of cinnamon trailing behind the cherry notes, but again, it’s more like pie filling than anything else.

As it cools the white tea becomes a little harsh/astringent but that may be the effect of the nuts becoming more prominent in taste as well. Either way, I prefer this more when its warm but there isn’t much left to drink up now.

Eh, it was good for a one tea bag attempt, but I’m not really clamoring for more.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

what is a German Pancake ?

JoonSusanna

Kind of a more eggy, crepe-like pancake that you bake in the oven. They’re super easy to make. Here’s the recipe I used: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/12/loopy-breakfast-goodness/

Terri HarpLady

I’d like to come up with a gluten & dairy free version of these :)

Ysaurella

Thank you :)

OMGsrsly

I’ll know in about half an hour if they work with coconut oil, almond milk and 50/50 almond meal and tapioca starch… I hope they do! I used to make them all the time.

OMGsrsly

Pretty good, but not perfect. :) I devoured it anyways. These flours brown really fast, so keep an eye open. Maybe 15/5 instead of 20/10.

JoonSusanna

I find that even with the regular flour I can only do about 20 minutes total. I must have a really hot oven. :) But I’m glad that it worked for you- those substitutions are good to know!

OMGsrsly

It was more custardy than crunchy. I remember the wheat flour ones being kind of crunchy where they browned.

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drank Goût Russe Douchka by Dammann Freres
432 tasting notes

I’m enjoying this tea more and more as it cools and the flavours intensify at first it seemed a little mild. I really like strong Earl Greys.

The ingredient list is bergamot and orange essential oils, but the way they merge together reminds me of sweet lime, with sharp bright citrus notes.

Brewed, I smell light leathery notes from the base, mixed With hints of cooked lime mixed with bergamot. Maybe this is a tart orange like the ones bought for juice in Ecuador.

The initial flavour was not quite as strong a citrus note as I was expecting but the flavour intensifies as it cools. The flavour is bergamot with hints of ginger and spices,the orange oil tempers it and kind of removes the floral notes from the bergamot. The base tea is robust but is kind of innocuous after a 3.5 min steep. Enjoyable but not a must have for me.

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drank Violette by Dammann Freres
2586 tasting notes

Sipdown!! (161)

Though I am finding this tea better today than I did when I first tried it, it still is not really for me. The floral flavor and I are just not compatible. It was fun to try but I don’t think it will be missed. Nonetheless, thank you Cavocorax for sending this my way :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
JustJames

it is an unusual tea to be sure…. it gives me memory cues which is why it works for me.

VariaTEA

Unusual is quite accurate. I have another tea called Candy Rose which is a great combination of candy sweetness and delicate florals but imho this tea also has those two elements but they just don’t mesh together as well. It was still an interesting taste experience though – fun to try something new and unique every now and then regardless of whether I love it or not.

JustJames

i wonder how it would be as a reduction over vanilla ice cream…… hmmm.

VariaTEA

haha you would have to let me know. It has been months since I had ice cream and I have run out of this tea so I don’t think I could try that.

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drank Violette by Dammann Freres
2586 tasting notes

Cavocorax sent me a sample of this and I think that perhaps floral teas are just not for me. The combination of sweetness and floral in this cup is just not working for me. Thank you for sharing with me though :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Noël à Pékin by Dammann Freres
863 tasting notes

Day 13!

I think Damman has to get a little more inventive because several of the teas are the same day this year as they were last year.

I quite liked the smell of this dry tea. Reminded me of tart grapefruit. I was really looking forward to trying this tea. Same thing I thought last year. Then I read my review and didn’t seem to like this tea a whole lot last year.

I brewed it up, I am actually not getting too much jasmine at all this time, which is pleasant. The tartness now is definitely pineapple and not grapefruit. It is almost as if the jasmine with the pineapple makes grapefruit. The black base is fairly smooth.

Overall I wish this tea tasted a bit more like it smelled.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I smelled grapefruit too, and I was so excited! :P

Fjellrev

Aww, perhaps they gear these towards n00bs and don’t think to switch it up too much every year. But come on, who wouldn’t want a DF advent calendar more than once in their lives.

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75
drank Noël à Pékin by Dammann Freres
863 tasting notes

Day 13!

The dry sachet smells so much like grapefruit to me. I thought immediately I would like this blend. I didn’t actually look up the ingredients in this blend until after I brewed it. So I was surprised to see there was no grapefruit, and that there was jasmine in it. I probably steeped it at a little too high temp.

This one tastes not too bad. I find the jasmine to be quite dominant. I am getting a bit of citrous which could now be the pineapple. I don’t get any grapefruit flavour like I was getting in the dry scent. I think there could be some mango in there as well. I am not sure what red passionfruit tastes like and if it is the same as regular passionfruit, but I am not getting any flavours I would describe as passionfruit.

This tea reminds me of an exotic oriental tea. It is a good tea, and it is extremely well blended, but is not my preferred flavours. I think I would have loved this tea if there was no jasmine in it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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64

Sample sent with my Dammann order. The name of this is so much fun. I think ‘coquelicot’ is now my favorite word ever.

I have to admit I’m very intrigued from the description of this tea. Poppy? Biscuit (I’m assuming cookie-biscuit more than, say, dinner-style biscuit)? Marzipan? These things just don’t compute.

The smell of the dry leaf is very strong. Like, pull yourself back immediately because it’s overwhelming strong. On second (further back) sniff, I get syrupy cherry and cookie. This is really highly reviewed on here but I’m not quite sure how I feel about it so far.

Steeped at below parameters, no additives.

Brewed tea smells much the same, if less strong. A lightly floral cherry/raspberry sugar cookie. I don’t get strictly marzipan but I imagine this is because the nuttiness blends in with the cookie notes. This is just how it tastes, too… unfortunately, I don’t enjoy raspberry and that is probably why I am not overly in love with this.

The quality of the blend, like all Dammann teas, is outstanding. The tea has a great texture, the base is perfectly complimented with the flavoring. Apparently poppy tastes like raspberries in my mouth, though, so I won’t be buying more.

I will, however, try to work the word ‘coquelicot’ into conversations as much as possible…

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

And, for us rubes out in the country, how to you pronounce coquelicot properly? Instinct leads me to COKE-lee-coh. Am I even close?

JoonSusanna

You are correct! I don’t know why but it’s just so much fun to say!

Terri HarpLady

And the question I’ve been meaning to ask: what does it mean?

JoonSusanna

Haha, it refers to the red poppy flower in the ingredients. I actually love it even more because it’s remarkably similar to a nickname my little brother invented for me – and I have red hair. He was quite ahead of his time, really. :)

greenteafairy

I think “coquelicot” is also my favorite (French) word ever.

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75

Advent calendar, day 13.

I am loving my little routine of getting up and trying new teas every morning. Such a fun little present to myself. I’m also loving all the different “Noel” blends. It brings me to their website every day, making lists for future orders. Honestly it seems as though they have enough teas to where I could make my own advent calendar for a year. I’ve never once felt inclined to visit France (despite loving the language, and wanting to see the rest of Europe), but now I know I’ll have to stop in just for the tea alone.

Steep notes: No additives, below parameters.

Black and green blends always make me nervous about steep temperature, but I’m less nervous since the Dammann teas seem incapable of bitterness no matter what you do to them. I don’t think I’m getting jasmine in the dry leaf, but I’m not good with florals. I am definitely getting pineapple, maybe mango. The tea, as usual, is not immediately discernible in the scent.

Steeped, the pineapple is 100% at the front of the taste. Surprisingly it’s the green tea that follows right behind, but I think it’s a perfect counterbalance to the sweetness. As it cools it takes on a more tropical flavoring, which I guess is the mango peeking out more. The very, very last sip was all passion fruit/guava. No floral (no biggie, not my thing anyway), and the black tea base is its typical mild, unassuming self.

I liked this – can’t say I would buy more, because green/black blends aren’t really my thing, but it was awesome for an unexpected, one teabag treat.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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83
drank Noël à Venise by Dammann Freres
863 tasting notes

Day 12. Half way there!

This one is interesting. Before I read my last years review I thought the dry tea smelled of burnt caramel pastry, the kind with a cookie crumble base. The taste of the brewed tea is quite strong lemon. Unfortunately it is coming across as artificial and a bit waxy. I would definitely use lemon custard with Graham crust as a descriptor. Not getting much caramel in the flavour. There is a bit of tartness in the flavour.

Then I read my last years review and realized I had a totally different experience last year. That is what I love about tea, it is different each time.

I would say I don’t think I enjoyed it as much this year as I did last year. I do however still want to spend a Christmas in Venice.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

Nooo, I don’t want to be halfway done with this calendar! :P Make it last forever please.

Fjellrev

That’s too bad. This one has always been the top of my list for when I place an order.

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83
drank Noël à Venise by Dammann Freres
863 tasting notes

Day 12!

This one dry and brewed definitely reminds me of lemon meringue pie. Mmmm.

The brewed tea to me tastes like strawberries and toffee. The toffee is the dominant flavour. I know there is no strawberry in this blend, but that is how the “fruit” flavour is coming out to me. It also tastes creamy. As usual the black tea base is light, smooth and not at all astringent. For me, this one is sweet enough on its own, no need to add anything else.

While this one was hot, I found it did not taste like much other than hot water. But after it cooled a few degrees, the flavour really started materializing.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

OMG! My dashboard has not updated all day and all of a sudden this appeared. You are slowly fixing steepster, Lala!! haha.

Lala

I do what I can. Ha ha. I just suddenly popped up on mine too. If you ever want to see the reviews when the dashboard is frozen, just go into the explore tab, and closer to the bottom of the page click on tea reviews.

MissB

Mine too! I thought perhaps everyone was out working or shopping and logging later tonight. Yay!

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The dry tea smells very much like the dessert it’s named after! Brewed for 4 minutes, the brewed tea smells of chocolate, and amaretto infused with a touch of wood smoke, with the smoke and some of the cocoa coming from the base tea. The chocolate and amaretto notes are prominent with the smoke adding a note that reminds me a little bit of a mole poblano sauce. The bit of smoke helps to make th tea seem more robust and deepens the chocolate note. It makes me think of late fall, early winter evenings curled up by a fire place. Very nice, I can see why this tea is sought after.

Sil

sigh i love this one…

MissB

I love this one too. I need to find a supplier for it… still waiting to hear from Cadeau Vendome to see if they’ll stock it.

yyz

I know I’ve seen it at other sites than Df, but so far they either don’ t ship to Canada because of our food importation laws prevent them from shipping all of their stock to Canada, or the shipping is more expensive than even th MF site.

OMGsrsly

I wonder what is in the tea that they can’t import it.

yyz

It’s not the tea I think, these stores also sell other forms of gourmet foods. There are several restriction on the importation, of dairy products( especially unpasteurised), meats and some forms of plant goods. Some of them sell alcohol, which at least here in Ontario has to be done through the lcbo. I wrote one of the stores to see if they would be willing to sell me just tea but I haven’t heard back from them.

OMGsrsly

Oh, right. That makes sense. Please keep us informed if it becomes possible. :)

yyz

For sure! It is still available on the dammann site. It’s 14.50€ with shipping starting at 12.00. The other places that have it right now and that ship to Canada have had shipping at 20€ and up.

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I’m thinking of making an order with my Christmas money, but I’ll probably order from that other site because the shipping is less.

yyz

Maybe they will be able to get it in… So far they have offered a pretty good service. I Would have received my most recent order from them in 5 days if Canada Post hadn’t sent my parcel to the wrong sub station.

OMGsrsly

That is so impressive.

MissB

Yea, I received my package in less than a week from France. Still waiting on a reply to my email though, which I sent in both French and English. ;)

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100

Had a big mug of this earlier today. No additives, which is my usual. It felt a little light on flavor, though I didn’t steep for as long as I usually do.

This is just the best. Lemon and vanilla. I am going to need to order more soon, but I’m hoping to order some of their toffee or vanilla black varietals just because I imagine it’s done well. I’ll always be glad I got the Dammann Advent calendar because I found this treasure in it.

Flavors: Cream, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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100

UGH. I got the flu vaccine today (I have to, for work) and usually every time I get it a get a little sick, since that’s what a vaccine is. It’s definitely setting in a little – I just feel… off and my sinuses feel like they want to be congested, and I have a headache on top of that. Pffth. I HATE that this happens, and that I effectively have no choice but to subject myself to it every year.

Anyway, so I’m not in a great mood tonight and I knew that called for a special tea that always makes me happy. One of my old faithfuls. This one, with its lemon creamy goodness, was definitely it.

I had it without additives as usual and it was fabulous. This tea really shines as it cools down, which, since I’m a slow drinker, works out well. I’ve been spending most of the day looking up french tea companies on Steepster and trying to sort through the many blends they all offer. WHY isn’t there just one big superstore where I could buy each companies wares at once? That really would be so lovely.

Because seriously, if a hallmark of french teas is delicate, natural flavorings of consistently good quality like this one, then I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to get to this point.

Flavors: Cream, Lemon, Vanilla

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

Ever since I saw the Butiki discussion on their new flavor I have been REALLY wanting a macaron tea. I have been avidly reading all the tasting notes and the description of lemon and vanilla sounds amazing. Then I realized that hey, that sounds kind of similar to the flavor profile of the L’Hiver tea by Fauchon, which I also equated to a white tea version of this, my beloved Noel a Venise.

So naturally then I had to make this before going into work last night.

A lemon and vanilla pairing has to be one of my favorite things. I made this in the DAVIDs travel tumbler and was absolutely overjoyed to have gotten the same flavor in that vs. a mug. It kind of cements the fact that stainless steel travel mugs just aren’t going to work for me. Glass is the only thing that keeps the flavor as it should be.

I still really want to try the Butiki lemon macaron blend, but this, a black tea variation of it, is a classic for me. I’ve had no interest in visiting France before but French teas are some of the best I’ve ever had, so I’m starting to rethink my stance on that. I’d probably die if I could play around in a Dammann Freres, Fauchon, and Mariage Freres store all in the same day. Talk about tea heaven.

Maybe when I finish all of my Dammann teas I should go visit there to pick up more. :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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