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Recent Tasting Notes
Tea of the completely wrong time of the day…..I don’t usually drink tea in the evening, so lets hope I can go to sleep later…..
Tea 21 of 24……..This is from Dinosara from her world travels, and I feel so lucky to have a chance to sample the teas she brought back from Paris. Thank you! I usually find blood orange to be overpowering, but in this tea it is perfectly balanced with the chocolate and the tea base. I could not detect the hazelnut as a standout flavor, but I do think it was kind of the flavor that smoothed all the other flavors together, rather than being able to taste each on its own. I am definitely much more impressed with the flavored teas from Dammann Freres than the flavored ones from Marriage Freres.
Not your typical Christmas tea! But it just might be a nice one for thinking of warmer times when it’s cold out. It’s just so bright and cheery! I love the jasmine in combination with the mango/passion in this one. This is also a black/green blend that really works. Some people might be missing some of the black tea notes, especially when brewed a this temperature, but I’m cool with them laying low in the flavor.
Did a pot this afternoon and let it go the full recommended five minutes. The mild sweetness I got when at three minutes is now downright rich and almost milky-creamy, but it’s making the oolong base a little more bitter than I care for. All the same, this is a really, really good pastry-ish tea.
Next time I’ll put time right in the middle zone and expect nothing but awesome.
I tried this without consulting any previous tasting notes and, evidently, steeped it on the light side (I don’t generally leave oolongs more than 2-3 minutes). So what I was tasting was surely on the light side—-I was thinking caramel and thoroughly enjoying it.
Now I’m reading that this nice sweet little additive is chestnut. Obviously, I wouldn’t recognize a chestnut if it exploded in the Yule log fireplace and bonked me on the head. But now that I’ve made its acquaintance, I’m looking forward to getting to know it better. Can’t wait for a revisit with correct steeping time!
I think, after what happened friday and yesterday, we all need a bit of a calming cup. The actual drama bit wasn’t particularly nice, but I appreciated the things that were brought to light afterwards. It was very informative.
So here’s my calming cup. This one came to me from Dinosara. It has blood orange, chocolate and hazelnut in it. That sounds like a rather wonderful combination, doesn’t it? I can’t believe it was allowed to sit and be almost forgotten in my cupboard. (I think it’s because of the french name. I don’t speak french, so it doesn’t stick in my head.
I shared it with the boyfriend, who thought it smelled like christmas. I can sort of see where he gets that from, but personally I think it just smells like sweets. It’s very heavy on the chocolate and hazelnut in the aroma. Like a melted chocolate bar. I’m not sure I can find any orange in the aroma, because I can’t work out if what I’m smelling is really just another aspect of the hazelnut.
With the aroma being so thick and heavy, it’s almost a surprise to take a sip and find it not having the texture of aforementioned melted chocolate bar. Instead I find the orange is coming through here on the first half of the sip and then the rest of it being all hazelnutty astringency. I’m not sure about the chocolate, though. I can’t really peg it down but I feel like it’s there somewhere. Or rather, I feel like there would definitely be a difference if it wasn’t there, if you know what I mean.
This is not nearly as sweet as I was initially expecting, but apart from the very initial disappointment about this, I have come to decide that it’s probably for the best. If it had been sweet, I think it would quickly just have become rather cloying.
As I made a large pot to share with the male of the household, I used all the leaves I had been sent. Had I not done that, I might have used the rest in an experiment involving vanilla. (Lately I find that it’s all sorts of fun adding vanilla black to… everything.)
Tea of the morning……
And Day 1 of my 24 teas of Christmas. I am just trying to finally get to a good portion of the samples generously sent to me by my Steepsterite friends, so it also becomes a counting of blessings, really. (And yes, I am counting up to Christmas, just because that is the way my family celebrates the season. Please don’t take that as a slight that I don’t respect how you spend this season.)
This tea is really good…..berry notes, a little almond, a little breadyness. Full mouth feel and a tea base that complements the flavors. A little lighter than something like Paris or Fruits de’Alsace from Harney, but still very present. Well done. I have a few more samples from this company sent to me by Dinosara along with this one , and I cannot wait to try them all!
Steeped the usual 24 oz teapot method.
Yup, there’s definitely something off today, because I’m getting a slightly bright metallic taste from this one too, except not quite as much as the Passionate Rose earlier. Not sure what it is because I had a cup of the water plain with lunch and I didn’t notice anything odd about it. Perhaps the kettle, or my steeping basket (but neither of them look different from normal)? Who knows, but I hope it goes away soon. I have a ton of new tea coming to me, and I want the best conditions to taste it!
Mm, I love the rich florals over the fruits in this tea. The citrus and the fig and the lotus and the rose all blend together so well. There’s something so luxurious about it; I think it’s partly the fig, which grounds what might otherwise be bright citrus notes, and partly the rose/lotus, which I think in general are pretty “thick” florals. This is no light flowery tea… these are heady, intoxicating aromas and flavors. Definitely recommended for fans of floral teas.
Going back and trying all of these teas is amazing because I’m pretty sure I forgot how awesome they were in the intervening time, but I also feel like have nothing to write for my tasting notes. But I still write them because I like tasting notes.
This one is almost sweet today… it’s a tantalizing, lingering sweetness that isn’t as much in the sip as in the aftertaste. The main part of the sip is mango-y and a bit floral and lightly almondy (like a macaron, of course), but I can taste the vegetal grassiness from the Sencha as well and it’s a nice grounding note. They combine well but also remain distinct, as if you were eating a macaron and drinking a cup of green tea at the same time. Delish.
Last Friday I said that this week I would be revisiting all my favorite teas, which I haven’t drank in a long while. Of course, this week I will only be around my stash for two days before traveling for Thanksgiving, so perhaps I will need to stretch my “favorites” resolution to after this week. In reality I’d like to revisit a lot of teas that I haven’t gotten around to in a while, not just my absolute faves, so I’m going to try to mix things up a bit in general.
Anyway, what better way to start out than this one? So almondy and floral. This is one of the few teas I’ve encountered that really does give me that sweet almond marzipan flavor I look for in an almond tea. I love this tea but I don’t want to drink it up so fast because I have to order it from France when I run out! On the other hand, that means an order to Dammann Fréres in which I can order all kinds of other teas as well. Maybe I should drink it up to make an excuse for myself! :D
This one has the potential to be phenomenal, but like last time, I didn’t watch the temp closely (did water in the Hot Shot and let it cool, but obviously not long enough) and messed up the green tea base.
Even so, this is the most unique set of fruit flavors I’ve ever had in a green tea. Bitter or not, I shall drink the whole cup and endeavor to get it right next try. Hmm. That’s not a bad life philosophy, eh?
This tea was a breath of fresh air today! I love my daily drinkers, but sometimes you want something different, you know?
This gem perfectly spans the seasons. Good black tea, with fruit and fig! I put in a little half teaspoon of sugar and was delighted with the results. An almost jammy or marmalade-y burst of sweetness, then good tea, and the undertones of the fig. Glorious!
This is all the sweeter for being a sample from Dinosara. It was almost better to have this little amount to savor. I’m sad that it’s now gone, but I enjoyed every tea leaf. Thank you Dinosara!
It is a gift from my friend Véronique. She asked for a tea who was like me. After having described me (I don’t know in which terms exactly), she went out of the tea boutique with Jardin Bleu. I loved it from the first smell opening the box. It is always the same pleasure drinking it, iced or hot. It is a candy, with no need of sugar. Perfect for summertime.
I can no longer say “I do not like green tea” after trying these French ones. Me-ow this is good! Subtle and delightful. No bitterness. I’d be hard pressed to name a single flavor – I would not say “jasmine!” or “mango!” or “almond!” but I would say “sweet!” and “nutty!” The only sencha I’ve ever liked comes in these French teas – I wonder what it is about them?! I’m so curious to try more!
Many many MANY thanks for Dinosara for showing me a new facet of my tea personality!
A chocolate tea this morning? I guess so. I wanted to have one of my Paris teas this morning, so I thought I’d give this one a try again. I steeped it a little longer this time just to see how the flavors would come out, and I think it smells a bit orangier this time. This tea stood up fine to a four minute steep time, with no hint of bitterness. It’s rich and choco-hazenutty, with the added fruity citrusy brightness (but not too bright) of the orange. It’s an excellent blend of flavors.
I tried this one with great trepidation today. After the last Dammann Freres tea from summit tea being so horrible I had to pour it out, I wasn’t going to serve this one at tea time unless I knew it was good. I tried a little sip prior to our guest arriving.
Oh joy! This was delicious! My guest thought so too, and even liked it more than Keemun Mao Feng, which is really apples to oranges bit tells you that this was pretty good tea!
As delicious as it was, and I had two or three cups of it, when it started to get cold it became astringent and it really wasn’t very good, but while moderately hot is was excellent.
I had a St*rb*cks *c*d C*ff** this morning (that’s Starbucks Iced Coffee, shhhh!), so I thought something with green tea in it would be lovely for the afternoon. I’ve started perusing the Dammann Freres website for the Future Order of October, so I thought what better tea to drink with that than a French one!?!? :)
Mmmm. I’m definitely getting jasmine and tropical fruit. I can’t really say which one, but maybe mango or passion fruit? The black tea is giving it a nice base, and the green a fresh taste. I don’t much care for green tea, but when it’s used in a blend I love the little oomph it gives – that little bit of grassy freshness is very nice, almost like another flavor in the blend!
Another bonus for a work afternoon is this reminds me in no way of anything Holiday-ish or growing up-ish :) In fact, I don’t think I had a mango until I was in college and living on my own!
Thank you Dinosara! This is so, so good! It makes me wonder how it would taste iced, too. I bet refreshing.
I had a cup of Emperor’s Red this morning, but was left wanting something fruity…nutty…something else, something more. I decided to put a scant teaspoon of Coquelicot Gourmand in my brewing basket to add a little je ne sais quoi to my second steep.
The tea itself is beautiful. I’m a goner for blue cornflowers in tea, and then the pink peony – oh!
Mmmmmmmmmm. Marzipan. Cake. That soft subtle indescribable French fruity flowery vanilla-ish flavor. This is so good. Thank you once again Dinosara for an incredibly delicious French tea experience!
I finally figured out that the addition of milk and sugar to these French teas is the thing that unlocks the nostalgia button, so being a glutton for punishment I am going to take the rest of these leaves home for a good sulk in Nostalgialand this weekend! Oh my.
It is so humid out – I was craving something light and fruity after I waded through the swamp, I mean walked to work from the train :) The French teas that Dinosara sent were calling to me from my tea drawer with their intoxicating fruity and flowery fragrances! I picked this one because I thought the ingredients included in the blend mixed with the Ceylon and China teas would really hit the spot. I took it with a half teaspoon of sugar – I seem to like these French teas with un peu! ;)
I’m getting good tea, then the sweet, slightly pithy, slightly powdered sugary citrus hits, and then I taste a sweet and delightful fig flavor. I was so afraid that this would be another tea that sent me on a reverie of nostalgia – figs are another flavor I associate with being a child. We always had dried figs for the Winter Holidays, and our neighbor directly in back had a fig tree that reached into our yard. Summers were for fresh milky delicate figs. Thankfully, with this tea, the citrus mitigates the figgy flavor enough so that I am smiling and remembering, and not shot through the heart!
Dinosara, thank you! This is a sultry summer day in a cup. I love it.
First whiff of this was—-wow! cotton candy! Fruity and sweet with the emphasis on sweet.
I should, however, not fuss with delicate teas first thing in the morning on a workday while two family members are talking to me simultaneously. Water was too hot and I didn’t time it, so the green tea base bittered out on me.
Even so, this is exceptionally good. It really does have that fruity, sticky, creamy carnival treat feel, and I could have sworn I detected a little banana. I am confident that when I actually pay attention, this one is going to be toe-curlingly good.