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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea experience was provided by the gracious Ashmanra
All these teas that she sent me, make me hungry for some European pastry that I have never had.
Which I know makes no sense, but seriously they make me think of some delightful decadent morsel.
I read about this tea before I brewed up a cup, so I knew what it was supposed to smell/taste like, but was still surprised when I stuck my nose close and inhaled…Figgy goodness galore!
It brought an immediate memory to mind.
A few years ago, before I got married, I cared for a 90 year old blind woman named Mary.
She was originally a teacher from California, but after she went blind she moved to Idaho to be closer to her daughter.
Her son still lived in California, and he had a Fig Tree in his yard, and would send her fresh figs.
Opening that box for her was always a delight, the smell that hit your face was like sugar and sunshine.
This tea has that same delightful odor.
There is a definite floral note to this as well, but nothing overpowers the other.
It really feels like I am sitting in a Californian garden…although I can’t say for sure, since that is something I have never done.
This tea is fairly dark in color.
I just brewed it for 3 minutes, but it is a dark burgundy.
First taste is actually lavender, which was weird, because my nose kept smelling fig, but it was unmistakably lavender in taste.
After that first sip, I could taste the Yunnan tea and then floral notes, as well, as citrus mixed in with the sweet figgy-ness of it all.
What a beautiful tea, and for some reason I keep associating it with California.
Maybe they should have a State Tea?
Thank you again, Ashmanra for sharing with me!
I was a bit wary before drinking this one. The smell of the dry blend was obviously fabulous; but the advertised biscuit taste did not fully appeal to me. I was thinking it might have an artificial cake taste, like those flavored and overly sweet La Laitiere yoghurts.
I finally tried the sample offered by Isaurella this morning.
While taking the first sips, I was actually surprised by the tea base, which was stronger than I expected. Now it’s cooled, I think it’s quite mild, though not too weak.
Let’s now talk about the flavors: the very good news is that they all taste very natural, not something coming out of a bottle. The flowers complement well the sweet almond-marzipan underlying taste, and allow the blend not to seem overly sweet but rather really well-balanced.
Delightful; a perfect morning / late morning tea for my taste.
I had really high expectations for this one, following my first tastings of Dammann teas, thanks to Isaurella.
The tea base was fine, though not fantastic, better than that of Kusmi Anastasia. However to me the disappointment came from the flavoring, mild, really mild, I kept searching for it. I mostly found it in the lingering pleasant aftertaste left in the mouth after drinking.
I preferred Anastasia’s flavors to this one, which are subtle but not as subtle (ie. almost weak) as this one.
I’ll definitely have to try the second sample on a positive day, as I know I feel gloomy today and this might also explain part of my disappointment.
I drank this at a friend’s place. I chose it by default, as he offered me mainly Christmas spice-laden teas, totally right for the season but usually not so to my taste. I must confess I was not overly enthusiastic at first, at the idea of drinking a flavored green, as I often am wary of the green teas bitterness.
The smell was delightful, very tart and fruity. I had a cold so could not really recognize the different fruits among the flavors.
I would definitely drink it again, though I’m still unsure whether I’m ready to buy a flavored green and whether this one would be it.
Yesterday morning I woke up at quarter to three, courtesy of jetlag. I decided then to indulge in a nice teapot, while reading, before getting ready for the office, to make up for that way too early awakening. I picked up Jardin Bleu’s sample that Ysaurella had sent me, which kept calling my name but which I wanted to keep for a special day. Here it is.
The tea looks quite nice with little yellow and blue petals mixed with the tea leaves and also smells good dry.
Once brewed, the color is golden honey; the smell very pleasant.
The taste is very mellow, almost tart at first, very fruity, and at the same time there’s a bit of tanginess, a little something that makes it not overly sweet. The strawberry flavor is quite noticeable, but is however not domineering. I honestly did not recognize rhubarb, but I haven’t eaten any over the last 2 years and that probably makes it more difficult.
Overall it’s a very delicate brew, very easy to drink, and which I did not tire of. I could have brewed a second tea-pot right away, had I still been thirsty. While drinking it, I really had the feeling, blue was the perfect color to embody this tea: neither navy, nor baby blue, but sapphire blue, which is IMO neither cold nor warm, and very relaxing.
I’ve seen description of this tea as a morning tea. IMO, it’s much more an afternoon one.
I really look forward to my second and last brew of the sample and will most probably buy it sometime soon (after having emptied a bit my overfilled cupboard though).
This delightful brew comes courtesy of Ashmanra
My oh my does it smell lovely.
I was trying to decide which one of her delicious teas to try first and my exact words when I saw this one was “Oh! its so pretty!”
And it is, blue and pink floral petals mixed with the black tea leaves already promise something special is in store.
Then the smell! Oh! I want a perfume to smell like this! I would wear it everyday and I would smell so yummy.
Notes of floral but also a little candy-like, not a gaggy sweet candy but some sort of foreign confection that I probably could not even say the name of.
The odor of the tea itself turns more cookie-like upon brewing.
With maybe just small hints of almond, perhaps?
All this before I have even taken a sip!
The color is a lovely dark amber.
At first sip I taste the black tea, which is good.
Then floral, with a hint of almond cookie to finish off.
None of the flavors are overpowering, though they are there.
I appreciate the I can in one sip taste all the aspects of the tea, but none pushing out the others (how very polite!)
Well, what a lovely tea!
It makes me want to have a tea party:)
Thank you for allowing me to taste this fine tea, Ashmanra!
The last of Ysaurella´s sample and upping the rating a bit as well as putting this on my definite to buy list (one day! If i ever get to order from dammann or go to Paris anytime soon).
Violet tea, so pleasant, so smooth, a very good one and a type of tea i crave sometimes.
To buy for sure.
Another so kind sample from ysaurella, many thanks!
Oh this is nice, nicer than the other violet tea I have, smoother base and more delicate flavour. Base has some ceylon on it, no? And this smells so strongly and sweetly, I had to segregrate the ziploc containing this from the other samples, even on the ziploc it perfumed the cupboard where I put it.
It is a violet tea, not sure how to describe it other than that. Base is strong enough, I think maybe with some Ceylon on it (as well as chinese teas, maybe?). The scent is violet, not quite as strong as in my other tea, but more delicate and I do prefer this one. And that is it, tea with violet. Violet is almost certainly a specific taste for food – I like it, love violet candies and love violet perfume notes as well. But it´s always a strong scent, maybe the essence of floral (along with roses and jasmine, maybe) so beware of violet teas if you are not already know you love violets.
I think it was Ysaurella´s review of this a few weeks ago which has made me crave a peach and vanilla black tea. I was at the time ordering Thé-o-Dor teas and her review of Nosy Bey made me choose their Mélange de Galice. So an inevitable comparison from the start!
In the meanwhile Ysaurella oh so kindly got into another tea swap with me and sent me this as well (and oh so many other so fascinating goodies. Thank you so much!). I now got two dreamily-named black teas with vanilla and peach, not just one! And I do love to compare and contrast flavoured teas, how different companies can make such different takes on the same idea.
A warning: there might be a bias by previous acquaintance, that I would always prefer the first one I tried. Theodor ended up the winner but maybe I was biased because I had it first? Dunno.
The teas: Mélange de Galice is a mix of chinese and Sri Lanka black teas with peach and vanilla flavours and some sunflower/marigold petals sprinkled around (for prettiness, I guess). Nosy Bey is a chinese black tea, with vanilla and peach flavors with rose petals and I think tiny sugar cubes? (or is it dried peach?) Both teas smell divine when dry. I think Nosy Bey smells a bit more floral and bit more like orchard peaches, while Mélange de Galice smells a bit more like regular peach and orchard peach mixed together, and has a stronger vanilla scent with no floral notes. Honors even here, both wonderful scents, different but equally lovely.
Nosy Bey brews very much like a chinese BLACK tea. Mélange de Galice has (predictably) a bit more body and is (unexpectedly!) smoother as well, even when brewed at the same 85C that I brew Nosy Bey. I do not understand why a ceylon-chinese blend brews so so smooth while having some body, but there you have it, even at several temperatures it is always smooth and even naturally sweet.
And then, the liquor: and it is here that Mélange de Galice pulls ahead to win me, it just tastes more, a richer, more intense, more layered taste. But Nosy Bey is still pretty lovely on its own. And drinking peach and vanilla tea in December, oh it is so mood lifting!
Thank you Ysaurealla for sending me so many amazing teas!!!! I mean REALLY THANK YOU! So many the box of teas smelled like something from heaven above!
I have had three this far – unfortunately will have to backlog the others when I get a chance.
This one is not my favorite of the ones I have had but it is good. Don’t get me wrong, this is just not in my flavor profile of choice. Not a huge fan of ginger teas. Although the ginger in this tea IS done quite nicely!
Its just not nearly as amazing as the other two I have had thus far!
Thank you again Ysaurealla I am loving what you have sent! :)
I’m coming back to tea life after a big cold.
I wanted to taste Nosy Bey for a while now.
The perfume of the dry leaves is absolutely divine : vanilla and peaches.
The aroma is clearly a vine peach head note (not peaches but really vine peaches- In France our vine peaches are almost red (pulp) and the skin of the fruit is more or less grey ).
We can taste a very present and opulent vanilla behind.The black tea base is absolutely sweet and has no hint of astringency.
This is a delightful aroma, vine peach is a wonderfully perfumed fruit and this tea reveals perfectly its qualities.The presence of the vanilla just sublimates it and makes it very generous and luxurious.
A great afternoon tea, almost a fruity dessert tea.
This sounds so irresistible. French caramel apples in tea. I never had any caramel apple, ever, but that just made it much more appealing – it was the idea of it, caramel and apple, oh yay. It really was something I wanted to try, particularly since I have recently been impressed by the first Dammann tea I tried (Paul et Virginie, that was). So when Ysaurella so kindly shared this with me, yay, thank you so much again Ysaurella!
I could not resist trying this before getting really better from the cold I had, so my first teapot was not really a fair trial (a waste, but could not resist). And here goes my second attempt – I was distracted by something else and brew it just a smidgeon too long. No harm done, still extremely drinkable, just adding the data point that it´s probably much better with shorter steep times.
The dry leaf smells totally divine – not like apple nor caramel, but some indescritable blend, fruity and spicy and yes caramelley. The liquor smells and tastes differently. Like apples yes, and this tea left me quite baffled. I think part of the problem is that never having any caramel apple I did not know what to expect. For example, yesterday I tried another marvelous sample from Ysaurella, Rouge d´Automne which tastes wonderfully of marrons glacés – which taste very differently from any other dish of chestnuts! If I had never had had marrons glacés I think I would not have known what to make of that taste. And I get this feeling from Pomme D´Amour, like I can not recognize what it is about. It is very nice indeed, but a stranger somehow!
My second tasting from the nice samples provided by Ysaurella…
The weather is hot and sunny; the clouds and rain should only come later in the day. However I felt like having comfort food today to make up for my almost gone cold and for the absence of Hubby.
Pomme d’Amour smelled like the perfect antidote to any gloominess.
I was afraid to have left it steeping a bit too long, as I’m not sure I was not on the wrong side of 5 minutes, and that I had put too much of it, as it had really swelled inside my strainer. The little apple pieces in particular had especially filled out.
The color was a nice caramel honey; the smell very sweet and candy-like.
Then I sipped and was relieved not to find any hint of bitterness. My first surprise was that the caramel taste was lighter than I expected, but fortunately tasted like home-made caramel and not like the fake-caramel flavor which is often used in industrial foods and beverages, especially herbal-dust in bags heavily laden with artificial coloring and flavoring that is sold in most supermarkets.
The tea base seems really nice. Pomme d’Amour tea has the very natural taste of real fruit heavily dipped and cooked in sugar. This is undeniably a very high quality product.
I have to confess that I have only one bit of a toffee apple once in my life, many many years ago. My cousin who had shared a part of her delicacy with me was not very happy when I told her I did not like it very much, as it was too sweet and sugary; and that’s about the only recollection I have of it.
I am not the biggest fan of desserts, especially cakes, and am really quite picky about those; however a good Tarte Tatin is among my favorites. So I tried to find out what differences there were between Pomme d’Amour tea with what I love about apple cakes and Tarte Tatin. I came out with those findings:
- I usually like the apples to be a bit tangy, as the fruit tanginess complements the sugar-butter caramel better;
- I also much prefer when the cake is prepared with salted butter, especially crystal salt. To my opinion, the twist added by the salt make all the flavors stand out.
Of course, this tea did not promise to be “Tarte Tatin” flavored, but Pomme d’Amour and I believe the promise to be perfectly met.
If you have a very sweet-tooth, it should be a bullseye hit.
If you have more of a sweet and sour tooth, it might not be so convincing.
I’ll drink a second batch of this tea with great pleasure (and the first one did not linger long in my pot), however I know that I will not buy it, as I probably would not finish the batch, and that I have to be careful selecting candy-sweet flavored teas.
Trying this sneakily as I bought it for my housemate over the summer to replace his Lady Londonderry tea (our favourite local stockist no longer does it!! I’ve managed to source it somewhere else, nonetheless… a tragic loss!) – it’s not exactly the same, obviously, this has vanilla and caramel and more berries, but I’m intrigued.
This tasting is off a mug brewed to a deep orange, although I tried it a clear pale orange in a teacup last night. It smells intensely floral even though the flavours are mainly fruit – is this a Dammann Freres feature? In the first sip there is very little actual floral taste, however, and the first fruit to jump out is… cherry, with a hint of caramel, and a vanilla aftertaste.
Despite being brewed so strongly this isn’t as dry as other black teas. The further I get into the mug, the more raspberry comes out, too… It’s all delightfully sweet, I wouldn’t mind a splash of milk or drop of lemon in this!
Well this one was in my shopping list but I am happy my mother gave me some to taste because now I know I don’t have to buy it.
It is not a bad tea but it is just not enough fantastic to me to decide buying it.
Almonds are there (but the sweet ones, not very strong on taste, exactly the same as the ones used in Charlotte au chocolat- so weak), weak cinnamon too on a just correct black tea base.
The ingredients seem to be all on the same level, no one to take an advantage on the other – sometimes this is a strength and we can say the tea is so well balanced- here is it just not the case.
It is just a nice cup…I am becoming terrible with tea…it’s no more enough for me, I want more and expect more especially from Dammann Frères.
Really not very impressed by their Christmas teas for the moment; but I only tasted 2 so I am keeping hope !
Tried another time, same opinion …
This is my first Dammann Fréres tea and I am quite impressed, this is delightful.
I noticed the other day and pointed in another tasting note that I had nothing less than 4 well know tea blends, from different blenders, all with the same notes – red fruits and caramel (and two of them added bergamot to it); and all those teas are among the most popular for each of their blenders. I am talking of Harney´s Paris, Kusmi´s St Petersbourg, Mariage Frères´ Marco Polo and this very one. And it´s easy to see why it´s so popular: it works, the caramel gives something to the red fruits and vice versa. The Fred and Ginger of taste pairings? He gives her class, she makes him sexy.
Of those 4 teas mentioned I like this better than Paris and St Petersbourg. It´s the fruitiest of those 4 with the most recognizable, juiciest fruit scents and for once I can detect clearly all the fruits mentioned – the raspberry, the cherry and even the strawberry. The vanilla is also quite noticeable in the scent, the caramel gives it an extra depth, and I found it particularly noticeable in the aftertaste of the tea. The tea base used is a mix of Chinese and Ceylon teas, and it´s very right for these flavours – it´s not too strong though or at least not as I brewed it (relatively cold (90C) for not too long (3-4 minutes) with a generous scoop of tea). I think this is definitely an afternoon tea. It was very quick to disappear!
My friend Jackie sent this to me as a surprise sample. She knows my tastes so well. This is the most gourmand tea I’ve ever tasted. I’m really surprised there isn’t a single fruit in this (according to the description at least) as it smells and tastes of candied strawberry to me (what?) I would hate that in any tea (I like berries but I think they just taste gross hot) but this is so complicated. I could see a child absolutely loving this, it’s like a bag of sweets with a slight edge coming from the flowers.
Quite a captivating tea, if you ask me – there’s so much going on, I just spent my whole cup analyzing every note. I strongly recommend milk and the sweetener of your choice with this, though you can go without sweetener (it’s a dessert tea on its own), I feel it just ties everything nicely. I’m frankly surprised I like this, it’s very very sweet, but it’s also very very lovely on the tongue and smells like teen spirit.