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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
Merci beaucoup to Dinosara for this lovely French tea sample!
The dry aroma smells sweet and fruity, not floral. Somehow, with a name like 7 Parfums, I was expecting something more perfume like, but it certainly isn’t.
Again, I steeped lightly, however, for me, it was somewhat daring. I went with a 2.5 minute steeping time. The fragrance is wonderful, light and fruity. It’s very reminiscent of Marco Polo, as is the taste, but lighter, and fruitier. It’s more complex than Marco Polo, but not as full tasting. I’d say this is more of an afternoon tea with its liveliness. The red berry flavor is what comes to the forefront. It’s followed by a light citrus taste, which is anchored by a smooth black base that isn’t astringent or bitter at all. This has soared to the front as one of my favorites.
Thank you again, Dinosara!
I was going to try one of my new tea samples today, but then I really needed a comfort tea after finding out that my credit card information has been stolen for the second time in 6 months! And that the thief apparently has a duplicate card, because it’s being used to buy gas and groceries (but my card is still in my wallet). Ugh.
A second cup of this tea solidifies it as one of my favorites. Floral and almondy and tropical mango-y… it’s the perfect nexus of flavors for me. Thank you, Dammann Freres, for making this tea because right now I need it!
Paris has come to New Jersey! Dinosara was the kindest, most generous world traveler ever, and sent me some of her Paris teas from Mariage Freres and Dammann Freres! I didn’t know where to start! I bet she thought I was kidding when I said I was going to do eenie meenie miney moe to decide, but that is what I really did! (but I said "catch a Frenchman by the toe! instead of a monkey. Monkeys are for Chinese teas!)!
So, the Frenchman chose this one!
Divine Decadence! I taste a nutty, chocolatey tea taste, and then PING the orange on the end of the sip. It’s really delightful, round, and yes, decadent. It’s amazing how sweetly satisfying it is sans additions!
I did my first steep at 3 minutes, and there was a little thinness. For my second steep, I put in a little more leaf, took it to four minutes, and yes. There it is. French Perfection! No bitterness, no astringency, great flavor. I love it.
I must say, though, it certainly makes me not want to work! It’s making me dreamy! I want to sit on a park bench and read and watch the world go by when I sip something so lovely. Ah!
I briefly considered not having a French tea for my afternoon tea… but then I stopped kidding myself and grabbed this one. This tea has a powerful scent. When I got it at the shop it was the only tea that I could smell very clearly through the bag without even holding it up to my nose. I think it scented my clothes in the suitcase on the trip home! The dry leaves smell overall very tropical. The first thing that hits you is the passion fruit, mango, and pineapple. Further investigations (i.e., sticking my nose in the pouch) yields jasmine notes underlying everything.
This is a green/black blend, which can be tricky to find the right steeping parameters, but I brewed it like a green this time. The color of the liquor is a dark shade of amber, and it smells like jasmine tea with a little something extra. I can definitely detect the sweet aroma of mango/passion, but it’s not as powerful as in the dry leaf.
This tea is in the same family as Oriental by Mariage Freres: that of jasmine with fruit flavored teas. It seems to be a very French family since I hadn’t really encountered it before, but it’s certainly one of my favorites now. This is one of those teas with a lot of flavors that just meld together. In this case, not all of them do: the jasmine and the fruit maintain their separate identities, and play well off each other. But the tropical fruits have joined and I can’t really pick out mango from passion from pineapple. Perhaps it’s a bit more mango/passion than pineapple, but it’s like a good tropical fruit juice blend: its just “tropical”. The flavors of this one don’t really hit one after another as some other Dammann Freres teas have done to me; I get fruit and jasmine at the same time, over the entire sip. I feel like these tropical fruits really play up the honeysuckle notes in the jasmine, too, unlike the orange Oriental where I didn’t get those.
Yet another amazing Parisian tea; I feel crazy that my 90-100 range is getting rather populous these days, but I can’t help it. I guess I’m finding that aromatic, complexly flavored French teas are the teas for me!
With a name like 7 Parfums, you know this one is going to be complicated. I chose it primarily because of the mix of floral with citrus fruits and fig. The dry leaf, unsurprisingly, has a lot going on, aroma-wise. I can pick out bright citrus notes, and I think I can find the deeper, richer fig notes with some rose and other florals, but they all mesh together very well. Not shocking, I know!
In the brewed tea the aroma has definitely changed, but it’s hard to figure out how it’s changed. I think the main thing is the citrus notes have faded substantially, and I’m mostly getting a mix of florals (it’s always hard for me to pick out any individual floral note that’s not rose or jasmine) bolstered by a rich, sweet fig underneath.
Now that I can drink it, its really quite tasty. Very floral, and the fruit notes act as a kind of base that has melded together. As others have said, it’s a very well blended tea, and very “French”. If I look really hard I can maybe pick out some individual notes, but why? They all work so well as a whole that it’s nice to just appreciate the tea almost as a separate, new, untasted flavor. It has both bright and dark notes, a kind of floral fruity sweetness and a thick herbaceous savour. Of the teas I’ve tried so far that I’ve brought back, this is probably the one that makes me think of Paris most.
If there’s one sweet I have to get when I’m in Paris, it’s macarons, usually from Laduree. The light almondy cookie sandwiched with flavored creams or jams—heaven. So when I was prepping for my trip by looking at all the teas on Dammann Freres’ website and saw that they had two teas flavored “macaron”, I knew at least one had to be mine. Mango and Jasmine was the obvious choice as I adore both flavors. This is the only tea I bought at Dammann Freres that I didn’t smell before I purchased (they didn’t have it in the bins for smelling), but it didn’t matter. Now I can smell it, and the dry leaf almost smells different every time I stick my nose in the bag. At first, tons of mango. Then, rich floral jasmine. Then again, a sweet almondy “macaron”.
The brewed tea added the slightly vegetal aroma of the green tea base to the mix, a floral jasmine-sweet almond scent has taken center stage. Occasionally I can detect a fruity mangoey hint to the mix, but it seems to be blending well.
Somewhat similar to Coquelicot Gourmand, the sip is divided into stages with a floral beginning, fruity middle and almondy end. The aftertaste is distinctly, strongly marzipan-style almond. I’m getting a hint of mango across the entire sip, but it plays differently with the jasmine and the almond. The beginning is very floral jasmine (influenced mostly by the aroma which is heavily jasmine at this point), which delivers a burst of sweet fruity mango that is initially more floral but then juicier as the almond comes in. The almond isn’t quite the biscuity almond of Coquelicot Gourmand, nor a straight marzipan; no, it’s pretty definitely macaron, though concentrated and a bit more almondy than the cookies usually are. The green tea provides a fairly solid background that seems to pull all the disparate flavors together.
Overall this is similar enough to evoke Coquelicot Gourmand in the tasting, but it’s also distinct and delicious. I’m sure the green vs. black tea has something to do with it, but it’s also the addition of a fruit flavor to the floral/almond mix. I don’t know if I can really choose one over the other, but I do know I wish I had gotten some of the Violet Cassis Macaron tea!
I think this was the only chocolate tea I bought in Europe, despite having several on my list. I love chocolate and orange together, and when you throw in some nuts too I had to choose this one. The dry leaf smells a bit like Florence (from Harney) with orange added. There’s some bits of orange peel, some cornflower petals, and a few nut bits mixed in with the black tea.
Brewed, the aroma is similar to the dry leaf, although I’d say that it smells even more like Florence, and the orange note isn’t as strong. But I’m definitely still getting it in the background, adding a fruity note. That chocolate hazelnut aroma is definitely the primary one, though.
It’s truly amazing the similarities to Florence in this one. Toasty chocolate (but not overly toasted, like I feel chocolate teas often are), nutty hazelnut, but this one has this extra oomph that comes from the orange. I feel like I want to steep this one a bit longer and see what flavors develop further; it’s certainly tasty as is, but it’s also not bitter at all and I bet more orange would come out with longer steeping. If so, I could see this tea being amazing; right now it’s really delicious, but not different enough from Florence to warrant reordering from Paris when I run out!
Ok, I’m back from Chicago and back to consistant tea drinking! I can’t wait to go through all my new teas from Europe, plus I just got a swap package from Jillian while I was away, so I have even more teas!
I was looking through my collection for a black tea for the morning(ish), and while I couldn’t recall about some of them, I was pretty sure this one was. True! I was of course intrigued by this tea because of the “marzipan” flavor that is part of it. When I was at Dammann Freres they said that it was a 100g minimum on teas, but that they could maybe do 50g on some teas if I was getting a few. It was pretty vague, but I ended up getting two teas in 100g and three in 50g packages (Mariage Freres was 100g no exceptions), and this was one that I went ahead and got 100g of.
The dry leaf on this one has an aroma of floral fruitiness which is surprising, with an underlying sweet almond to it. I got one huge pink peony petal in my brew this time. The aroma of the brewed tea is more almondy and that “biscuit” note is really coming out.
The flavor is… wow, complex. While still very hot, I get a powerful, intense rush of floral at the beginning of the sip, which quickly morphed into a calmer biscuit note, and then the tail of the sip and the aftertaste is decidedly marzipan. Wow. As it cools the floral notes calm down a bit, and stretch themselves out over more of the sip, lingering on the tongue a bit along with the marzipan. Well cooled (but still warm), it’s very almondy-marzipanny, but with an overlying floral taste that compliments it very well. Definitely an A+ tea for me!
This is a delicious blend of black tea with berry and vanilla flavorings. The description says there is also caramel, but I couldn’t detect that. It’s a nice, smooth black tea — no astringency, and not super-strong. The flavors are delicate, not “in your face” like some flavored teas, and there aren’t little bits of dried fruit and such in the tea.
This tea is kind of like Mariage Freres Marco Polo’s older, more reserved sister. The two teas are quite similar, but whereas Marco Polo is practically bursting with strawberry flavor, Paul et Virginie is content to let the flavors slowly build and achieve more of a balance with the black tea. Even so, I think I slightly prefer Marco Polo, because when I want a strawberry flavored black tea, I want the flavors to be bold. I’ll definitely enjoy the rest of this tea, though; it’s a real treat.