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Recent Tasting Notes
This has been a fairly bad tea weekend, just in that I haven’t drank hardly any at all, and I forgot the bag of teas that I was planning on bringing home to continue my chronological cupboard tasting. I did have some genmaicha yesterday at a Korean restaurant, and this morning I decided to just have this tea.
Good decision, as this tea is delicious and comforting. Even after it has gone stone cold (distracted by vacuuming… see what I mean about bad tea weekend?) it is quite tasty. Hazelnut and vanilla is a wonderous combination!
Flavors: Nuts, Vanilla
I had (amazing) butter pecan ice cream not long ago, and so when choosing a tea I was in the mood for something sweet and desserty. I opened one of the drawers and saw this one and immediately wanted it. Then I thought I really should drink something older, or something closer to a sipdown, but nothing else was right. Finally I said screw it, I am going to have a cup of this tea even though I just drank it the other day.
Mmm, so delicious. I am bumping my already high score of this one because it is just that good. Creamy and nutty and sweet, this is totally dessert in a cup. So glad I got this one, and I forsee a permanent place for it in my stash.
Backlog from this morning. I love hazelnut spreads and liqueur, and even though I’ve fallen out of love with Harney’s Florence and have had only mediocre luck with nutty teas lately, I ordered some of this because it sounded so tasty. Unlike the typical pairing of chocolate and hazelnut, this is vanilla and hazelnut!
Man, I’m glad I ordere some because this is delicious. The hazelnut really reminds me of Frangelico, and these awesome hazelnut creme candies I made with Frangelico last Christmas. The vanilla is sweet and creamy and a tiny bit caramelized-tasting. And the tea base on this one really complements the nuttiness. Definitely very pleased with this one!
Mmm sipdown for this one. I’ve been cold brewing it because it covers a multitude of sins in the base tea, and for black teas it uses a lot of tea so I go through meh teas faster.
It was pretty decent cold brewed, but I’ve had better almond teas cold brewed too! In the final cup I had one perfect teaspoon less tea than I would usually use so I threw a scoop of Fauchon’s La Rose in with it, and it was quite delish. Almond and rose is one of my favorite combos!
Steepster seems to be up for the moment, so here are some quick notes.
I brought this one home to cold brew and try to use up since it isn’t one of my favorites from Dammann. I had it this morning as a pre-work tea, and I remembered why. It falls a little flat for some reason; it isn’t a great representative of Dammann’s good stuff. Of course I am sending a sample of this to Cameron B… thankfully also a sample of Figue Fraiche, which I believe is a better example. Don’t judge them all on this one, Cameron! :)
It seems like I can never truly find my perfect almond black tea. Just almond and black tea, nothing else. This one is pretty good, but it still falls short. What it does right is mainly in the aftertaste, which is super almondy in a marzipan/extract/amaretto way. But for some reason, the base for this tea seems thinner and less awesome than usual. Dammann uses the same base for almost all their flavored teas, and it is a base that I usually love, but on this one it doesn’t seem to have as much body or richness as it usually does. What I want is a rich almond flavor during the sip too, not just afterwards. To be fair, once you are drinking the cup for a little bit there is so much almond in your mouth that it becomes part of the sip as well, but it doesn’t quite pan out for me. Guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with my almond being party to other flavors for the most part.
Almond is one of my absolute favorite flavors. Marzipan is perhaps my favorite candy, and I love amaretto. And although I have been able to find a number of good teas with almond as one component of it, I have yet to find my perfect almond black tea. I’ve actually pretty much given up on finding one. I think part of my problems has been the base teas… they’re never any good. But I really enjoy Dammann’s standard black base, so this one has obviously been on my list for a while, and now I finally get to try it out.
Dry this smells a lot like some of the other marzipan/almond teas I’ve tried. Which is to say, not unlike amaretto. Steeped, the base tea really comes out more, although thankfully the almond is still a prominent note. And, unlike many almond teas, the almond is a sweet, prominent note in the flavor as well. For some reason in a lot of almond black teas the almond flavor doesn’t come through strongly, but that is not the case here. But it’s also go enough of the base to remind you that yes, you are drinking black tea here. For whatever reason the standard Dammann black base seems thinner to me in this one, and I would love it to be a bit more robust, but otherwise its quite lovely. Very smooth, no bitterness, nice almond.
Dammann Advent Calendar, Day 3
This is not my favorite Dammann blend, but I will drink it anyway because it is day three and I don’t actively _dis_like it.
I’ve said a lot about this tea before. For whatever reason the orange blossom and chestnut don’t work for me and get perfumy. If you ready my tasting notes often you should know that is a rarity for me, I love floral teas. Not this one. I ended up drinking my stash of this one down as a cold brew. This is actually less powerful in the sachet than loose, and I appreciate that.
Finally sipped down this one, one of my least favorite Dammann blends. There is just something overly floral about this, even for me. That said, I did enjoy it pretty well cold brewed, which is how I have been drinking it lately.
So that brings me down to 102, so close to my 100 goal! And yet it seems so far away. :) Of course I also just found out that Dammann was previewing their 2014 Autumn/Winter collection at an expo in Paris, so now I want to know if they might have new teas that I want before I order. Hmmm, dillemmas!
Lest you think that I am just a Dammann fan girl who loves all of their teas without reservation (which, to be honest, I almost am), there is this tea. I do like some chestnut teas (Lupicia’s Chauds le Marrons!) but this one falls a little flat for me. I think it’s the addition of the orange/orange blossom. It just becomes too floral for me, and a little too much overall. This is one of Dammann’s more powerfully flavored blends, and it bowls me over a bit. Probably I should mix it 50/50 with something unflavored to tame it a bit!
Lala and I are tea buddies today. :) Dammann advent calendar, day 3. I actually already own this tea so I used my loose leaf for this tasting and will save the wrapped sachet for traveling.
The first time I had this it was a little intense for me and I never really went back to it, but I am happy for the excuse to pull it out again. Actually I like it a lot better this time. Who knows why, but it is working for me. Chestnutty and floral, but not overpoweringly so like before. Yay, now I feel better about drinking up the rest of my 50g of this (although this one won’t be a restock, as I’m not in love with it).
There is no action that will sober you more about your tea collection than attempting to unpack it into something. I bought a small set of drawers just for my tea for the office and let’s just say there is still a cardboard box full of tea sitting next to it. I have a lot of tea! Somehow it didn’t seem like as much when it was just sitting in boxes. One thing I still have to deal with is the teas from my Instant Thé order, which all are in non-airtight bags, and of course I don’t have enough 50g tins. But if I do get tins from them they definitely won’t all fit in there!
Anyway, this tea. The scent is crazy and hard to parse. It definitely smells floral (orange blossom I guess), and I do get some chestnut, and perhaps a hint of caramel. In the flavor it is definitely floral and chestnutty. The florals are kind of odd; not definitively orange blossom, but intensely floral nonetheless. Perhaps its the chestnut that I am not used to that is giving this an oddness to it for me. It’s pretty good, but the flavor profile is a little out of my comfort zone. It probably doesn’t help that I’m suddenly feeling a bit ill this morning (nothing to do with the tea, it started before that; probably to do with getting up way to early this morning). Well hopefully tea will help me feel better!
Cold brew sipdown! I was supposed to sip this down on last Thursday before I went out of town but I ended up with an extra scoop of leaf. So I threw that in with a bit of Bali to amp the lychee and it turned out well. I prefer it with more lychee and less banana blossom, although the banana blossom is still there to give it a unique flavor. This was a fun one to try out but it’s nice to sip it down!
I am working toward a sipdown on this one too, and I’ve mostly been cold brewing it. But I forgot most of my sipdown teas at work this weekend (meant to bring them home so I could keep working on sipdowns) so I thought I would have a hot cup of this one.
I like the lychee in this one, and the Vietnamese green tea is fine (although a bit more grassy and vegetal than I would prefer), but the banana flower is… kinda weird. It’s not quite banana, more like a floral banana. So, weird. But it’s overall pretty tasty, even hot.
I think I enjoy this tea primarily because of the novelty of the Vietnamese green tea. I mean, the flavors are pretty nice too, but nothing that really captivates me. There is lychee, there is banana flower (so, like banana but not quite), and there is a pleasant green tea base. I should probably try cold steeping this one because it would probably come across really well. For a flavored green tea it is quite tasty, and that is saying something for me because flavored greens and I are not really that friendly anymore. But I do enjoy this one and it’s somewhat unusual flavor profiles.
I didn’t order many green blends since I haven’t been as much of a fan of those lately, but the ones I do still like are Dammann, so I figured it wasn’t too much of a risk. This one was especially intriguing because it is definitely not a sencha… it’s actually green tea from Vietnam, which I don’t think I’ve ever tried before. Cool!
The dry leaf smells like lychees and a bit of banana, but not too much. Kind of reminds me of a smoothie made with banana, in that you can taste it but it’s not the main event. This is actually supposed to be banana flower, so I guess that makes sense. The flavor is definitely floral, as lychees tend to be fairly floral on their own, plus the addition of other, distinct florals blends well. The banana florals are pretty neat; I typically am not huge on banana flavoring, but these are nice and banana-y without overkill. This isn’t a mind-blowingly awesome tea, but it is tasty and I bet it would also make a killer iced tea. A nice, light fruity blend for when I’m in the mood.
This is another one of those, if I loved puerh I would be in love with this tea. Still, I definitely enjoy it all the same; it just takes me a bit to reorient my flavor and scent expectations for a puerh.
I love the caramel-cookie notes in this, and how rich and sweet it is. I would actually restock this one as I do like to keep one puerh around. I have no problem drinkinga big cup of this one, which is not something I can say about most puerhs.
Another from my box of Dammann! I’m not usually one for flavored puerhs, or puerhs in general, but the chance to get only 50g of this (instead of the required 100g in store) was tempting enough to jump on. I mean, cookie, caramel, vanilla, and almond? How could I say no?
The dry leaf smells deliciously like all of those things. At first the scents coming from the brewing tea were mostly those as well, but slowly as it steeped longer more and more puerh notes were coming to the forefront. After steeping I find this to smell like a pretty woody puerh, like sawdust or oak bourbon barrels, without too much dirt/earth. As it cools more and more vanilla and caramel come out as well. Mmm caramel wood, haha.
I love Dammann’s caramel flavoring (see their Caramel Toffee tea, which I restocked in this order), and it is present in full force in this tea. So that works out pretty well for me. I can definitely taste the puerh, woody and even a tad minerally, but fortunately for me it is not too strong. I am definitely enjoying this tea; I guess I prefer my woody puerhs doused in caramel, vanilla, and a hint of amaretto-y almond. :)
There are a lot of greens and oolongs in this section of Dammann teas in my cupboard. I think maybe because a lot of the black teas got consumed already. I do have a bit of this one (#68) left! Om nom, figgy deliciousness. I love this tea, although in keeping with my recent trends I rarely crave it since it is a single-flavor tea. But still, delicious.
Speaking of simple teas that do one flavor and do it well, next we have this tea. I’m in love with many of DF’s fig-based teas, and this one is no exception. I love that it’s nice and figgy, smooth, well-balanced base tea, not too much going on. It would probably be fabulous iced but it’s also one of those teas that I don’t necessarily want to use it up that fast! But perhaps I will try it at some point. I would certainly consider keeping this tea around despite the fact I have many other figgy DF teas in my cupboard already!