Dammann FreresEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is one of the teas I received for Christmas from my eldest daughter. She must have heard us throwing around the words Lapsang Souchong back when her youngest sibling was having withdrawals from it when we briefly ran out and the Steepster community pitched in and sent her lots of samples so she could choose a favorite to order!
Well, with “Crocodile” in the name, I was a leetle bit scared! I looked it up to see if there was some special reason for the name and the only explanation I found was that Crocodile usually comes from Taiwan instead of China, is the most heavily smoked, and that explorers and adventurers found it tasty. I guess they must be the sort of people most likely to run into a crocodile?
I never considered myself an explorer or an adventurer but I guess would fit right in with them because this is great stuff! I do not find it significantly smokier than Black Dragon. The tea base is nice, the tea overall is smooth, and there is a fresh, clean taste.
The smoke is…tarry? There are a couple of teas that I will drink but truthfully they smell like ashtray to me. Not this one. This smells like you have been grilling food that is marinated with a sweet sauce, like ham glaze and brown sugar, and part of it got overdone. This is that blackened edge – a little crispy but oh so good and still sweet to the taste, with chargrilled flavor mixed with the blackened, thick sugar sauce.
Doulton would love this. I miss her! Hey, maybe Hesper June should try it!
This was the first tea served at tea party today, and yes, tea party was a day late this week! My middle daughter had another commitment so we postponed because she really didn’t want to miss.
We served a wonderful type of fruit cake – and I don’t usually like fruit cake – called Southern Supreme “More Nuts than Fruit” Cake. It is soooo good and is made right here in NC. We actually went to the main store two years ago. We also had Fresh Market sugar cookies, White Fudge Oreos, and a couple of other kinds of cookies.
My guest and I both LOVED this. She picked up on the cherry flavor immediately, though I didn’t. It tastes just as a Christmas tea should taste when I imagine what should be in one. Somehow the French tea companies manage to put SO MANY flavors in their teas without the end result being a muddy mess. The different notes can all be teased out, but the black tea base is never covered up. It doesn’t end up tasting like a fruit tisane. Nice!
This is one of the teas given to me by oldest daughter at Thanksgiving! :)
Finished this today. It was on my list of teas that are getting some age on them and need to be cleared out. I didn’t look at what was in it, but we really thought we were having a tea with anise when we were drinking it at tea party today. I like anise so that wasn’t a problem, but I think we were supposed to be getting cherry from the flavor.
Nice tea, better than most Christmas blends I have tried which make me wrinkle my nose at their orange/clove/cinnamon sameness, with the orange usually being bitter to me. Beautifully packaged, I will be keeping the tins and box and repurposing them.
My daughter came to join us for Thanksgiving dinner today and brought a gift with her. She said this was part of my Christmas present but that I needed to open it now because it was something for DURING the holidays.
It was the adorable Dammann Freres coffret with two tins of Christmas tea! I made the white tea after lunch because I wanted to share it with her and she really does not like black tea….at all!
This is very fragrant and right away evoked memories of Noél a Londres by the same company, just with a white base. SQUEEE! After the tea is gone, I will have to repurpose this beautiful box and the tins!
I made an iced tea out of this today and it’s not nearly as good as it is hot. Well I suppose if you wanted to lose the floral notes of it, then this would work. It now becomes very fruity and I can taste more of the almond-ness of the macaron. And now I also want macarons. A couple weeks ago I figured out there’s a bakery with them right in the shopping center I live behind so…
Thank you so much to QueenOfTarts for this tea!
I am starting to think maybe two months from now I need to order the teas I want from Dammann Frerés because I am in love with this tea, just based on the dry leaf smell alone. It is very reminiscent of a macaron.
The violet is definitely not as strong as the black currant. I get floral notes upon first sip but then it becomes all berry. I thought maybe there’d be a weird almond taste given the macaron flavor, but it’s more of an added sweetness to the tea.
As it cools the violet comes out a bit more, I think this would even be good as an iced tea. Definitely a more spring/summery flavor to this tea, but that won’t stop me from enjoying this in the coming months. So good!
After a half-day of drudge at my parents’ farm (neither of them is up to heavy housework or miscellaneous personal care sundries) and an afternoon of slamming out an overdue writing assignment, and another half-day of my own housework still staring at me (does that make three halves to the day?) I needed a moment for something wonderful and elegant. This was the first tea that came to mind.
The candy-sweet almond flavor sticks to your tongue several swallows after the tea actually leaves your mouth. Gives you time to close your eyes, forget you’re in a rumply t-shirt stained with household fallout and 99-cent flip flops, and pretend you’re well-dressed, beautifully groomed, and at least temporarily brilliant.
Cookies for breakfast!
At least that’s what this tastes like—those fine little tea biscuits that come in tins. And for a such a light tea, the sweetness stays on your tongue an amazingly long time. Enjoying mine straight up, but I’m thinking a little milk would make this spectacular.
Fine stuff. Not for hurry-up mornings. Enjoy this one on a Good Friday as you watch the fog lift from Turkey Creek and revel in a morning of cool spring sunshine while you listen to a sparrow sing. Count your blessings while you drink it. (This leisurely tea moment made possible by the always-thoughtful and encouraging ashmanra.)
This is a sample I received with my Christmas gift tea. The ingredients listed on the back of the pouch that held the teabag says it contains 87% green tea from China, 10% lemongrass, and lime, lemon, and ginger essential oils.
The dry tea did swell considerably as it steeped. When I did the last oolong bag they sent I set it free but this one I kept in the bag because it didn’t look overly constricted.
The scent is decidedly lemongrass. I feel like I am shopping at our local nursery and rubbing all the lemon mint and other lemon scented herbs. This is a wonderful aroma. The color of the steeped tea is very lemony in the cup, having a beautiful yellow color that isn’t too pale.
The taste stands up to the aroma and ingredient list. The green tea base is very smooth and subtle and the lemongrass really stands out. This would be a lifesaver when you have a really sore throat. I can imagine it would be very comforting and soothing. I do feel the slightest bit of warming from the ginger, especially in the aftertaste. This might be excellent iced as well.
If you love lemon or lemongrass herbal teas, this would be a real treat. Hubby agreed with the nursery herbs assessment, saying he found this to be good but he still prefers Silky Green by Bird Pick above other green teas.
This was one of the Wednesday tea party offerings that we served with our baked peaches and ice cream.
The liquor is pure gold in the cup, the gold of relics from a pharoah’s tomb. The tea has nice body and the aroma is sweet and almost heavy with the natural floral notes combined with the light osmanthus notes. (The only other osmanthus tea I have tried was an osmanthus puerh from purepuer.com. It was very good.)
It really seems to me as if this was a very floral oolong before it was scented. The scenting is light, and I think if it were served to me without me knowing what it was, I would’ve guessed that all of the floral aroma and taste here was natural to the oolong. So if you dislike floral scented teas like jasmines or rose teas, don’t be afraid of this one. It really is golden treasure.
Resteep of last night’s leaves: This oolong was made western style last night and I usually only make one resteep when I steep it that way. The first sips are slightly milky, something I hadn’t picked up on before. The liquor was a brilliant golden color this time. I think it was even brighter this time! The oolong is nice and the osmanthus is a little muted.
Tune: Lonely Boy by the Black Keys, celebrating being finished with geometry for the day even though youngest had an early dental appointment. Yay!
Oh, this is really hitting the spot tonight. The aroma is so….oolong! Greener oolong, with the body of roasted somehow. The osmanthus adds a lovely sweet and floral taste, but it doesn’t cover up the beauty of this tea. I am drinking it in a china cup that is white inside, and the liquor is golden and clear, really lovely. This is an excellent tea for when you want to unwind. Absolutely spot on delicious. Those French know how to do tea. Le sigh.
I realized rather late that hubby and I really had not had supper. I steamed a good plateful of asparagus, added a bit of butter and lemon pepper, and made a pot of this tea western style. It was very mild, almost too mild. I didn’t wash the leaves. Perhaps I should have awakened them. It was good, just….very quiet. I also understeeped a bit because I didn’t bother to read the instructions for this one.
Second steep: now it is a bit stronger! Boiling water, five minutes, just like their web site says, rendered a medium yellow liquor with a hint of orange color. The flavor is now more woodsy without tasting like a dark oolong. For some reason I thought this one had osmanthus flowers dried with it, but it does not. It has a natural osmanthus flavor. We have had 44 ounces of this and I must confess to having had the most.
After the asparagus was gone, it was sipped along with a Tibi marzipan creme chocolate bar that my daughter brought me from Hungary. Only two squares, though! I will savor this slowly! Delish!
My daughter ordered a couple of Dammann Frères teas for me for Christmas and they sent a few samples along as well. I thought the sample pouch for this one looked tiny, and when I cut open the little pouch, found a sachet instead of loose tea. The scent was mostly just oolong. We are not picking up much floral aroma.
I began steeping this in the sachet. The liquor was incredibly pale and a trial sip was very weak, so I decided to cut open the sachet to let the leaves expand more. The sachet was fairly bursting at the seams at that point. Once the leaves were released they expanded beautifully and are now huge!
Because of all the waiting, testing, cutting, the tea oversteeped a wee bit. The first cup reminded me of tender greens, something local farmers sell but I am ot sure if they are called that everywhere. I think it is a mix of baby turnip green leaves and bany mustard green leaves. This first steep is a little stronger than what I usually mean when I say something tastes like buttered veggies because usually I am thinking squash or bok choi.
The second steep is better since I can now time it accurately and the leaves are free. It is milder and still very pale. The osmanthus is so light that I would probably mistake it for a natural floral note rather than a scenting of the leaves with flowers. The oolong itself is filling my head with warm, woodsy flavor. There is a ittle roasty toasty something about this oolong. It is a somewhat drying, but not at all bitter. I recently read some Chinese tea reviews that indicate that this is often highly desired as a means of clearing the palate after a meal.
The third steep is still woodsy and tasty. I think this may go to five steeps, but I don’t expect to go much beyond that and still have flavor. We shall see!
I keep trying this tea, but I have come to the conclusion that it will never be a favorite even though it is very high quality. Chocolate tea used to be anathema to me, but I have found a few that are tasty.
I think it is likely that even the dessert for which this tea is named would not be a favorite for me. I read that the dessert has coffee in it, and I really don’t care for coffee.
Made by the usual parameters for black tea, this is too rough edged for me. There is a strong Keemun smoke, which I often like, paired with the rough scrape of unsweetened cocoa, another note I have sometimes enjoyed, particularly with sweets, but somehow it isn’t working for me in this tea. Cutting the steep time and slightly lowering the temperature, I get a cup of tea that I can drink and whose quality I can recognize, but it just isn’t something I really love. I plan to use the rest of this to make generous pots of tea my coffee loving friends, who I think will love it, and I will have my daughter’s fiancé try it as he loves chocolate teas and coffee, so the edginess may be right up his alley.
This was served at Wednesday’s tea party with oven-baked brown sugar and cinnamon peaches with homemade ice cream, and my guest liked it quite a bit, so I know that it is just me!
We enjoyed this one at tea party today. I have to cut the temp and time to drink this, otherwise it is too harsh for me. I used 195 degree water for 3 1/2 minutes. It paired wonderfully with our eclairs and cookies. It is not a super smooth tea like Coquelicot Gourmand, but has a bit of kick to it, which I like as long as I cut the time down!
I felt terrible for not loving this right away like other reviewers seemed to do. The first pot I made was so strong that I was certain there was Assam in the base. I looked at the review and saw that it is Keemun instead. Ah, that explains it. Though I love Fujian province teas, I have not yet developed a taste for the stronger Keemuns, and this is one of them. I love Harney’s English Breakfast which is 100% Keemun, but I take it with milk and sugar. I didn’t care for their Hao Ya A or B, though I liked Mao Feng. Hao Ya A from Southern Season is very mild compared to Harney’s, and youngest and I like it better, though a Keemun lover would be disappointed in it I expect.
I decided to reduce my steeping temp just a bit to around 205 degrees and reduce the time to 3 1/2 minutes. Now I have something I can drink even plain! It has less body, but is still quite bracing.
I have a good friend who comes over for tea who is probably going to love this one. It reminds me of coffee, and she is a former coffee drinker.
Youngest found it too sweet, but then she has never had a chocolate tea that she liked, and drinks very little flavored tea at all, preferring lapsangs and Assams.
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.