336 Tasting Notes
Merry Christmas everybody.
This ended up being my Christmas tea – Dammann has a lot of Christmas teas, many of them smelling (and their descriptions sounding) very tempting, but this was the winner for me. Christmas in Vienna, why not?
For me the notes here are chocolate, apricot jam and tangerine (?). Vanilla as well, and the chocolate is kinda of liquorish, making me think of hazelnut liqueur as well. Both the base and flavouring are a bit weaker than I hoped for, but on the other hand being a milder flavoured tea, it is also a very pleasant christmas to serve anybody. Very nice
For some reason this tea sort of (unfairly maybe) came off to me as being the ugly stepsister of Thé du Loup. I love the wolf tea, I think the stepsister would be prettier without the comparison, if only I had not been reminded of it!
Lost count of how many packages of this I have gone through. My last one finished a while ago and managed to restock this – a nice rooibos is a very important winter essential for me!
And a just couple notes:
- they changed the packaging! “curators of immodest tea”, cute and yes this is a damn immodest tea blend.
- this is tea to be drunk fresh, not to be saved. The fresh natural flavourings are a total joy, always, but this is so much better when fresh. It is perfuming my whole kitchen, just from sitting in the paper bag overnight and then having transferred it to a tin.
- this particular package is slightly richer in strawberry and kiwi than previous ones (that I remember). Rose and vanilla and the other berries just rounding it off.
As good as I remembered, a total treat.
This was a tea which had been on my casual to-check-out one day list for like ever. I am not a big earl grey or citrus lover, but I am not a hater of those either and sometimes it´s just so delicious. Yesterday my cup of morning tea was plain old Lady Grey, from the blue Twinings tin and like meeting an old friend you had not seem in years and picking up seamlessly. I am in a (somewhat rare) earl-grey mood.
This is a famous Dammann tea, the story is beautiful, and Sil kindly swapped some of this with me. And dunno, but am a bit underwhelmed. Citrus-y bergamot-y black tea, a familiar black tea base.
And forgive me the heresy, but for this sort of thing, I prefer Lady Grey. Or preferrably Aïda….
This was on my shopping list, and Ysaurella so generously sent me a sample – thank you!
I have mixed experiences with a lot of highly rated on steepster teas. Not with this one, it is indeed absolutely lovely.
The smell of the dry leaf was on itself already intriguing, isn´t it amazing what tea leaves can smell like naturally? On first steep, it tastes amazing. Underneath it, the tea-ness of it, with hints of caramel and honey.
oh my goodness, this for me smellls exactly like dulce de leche icecream – now it would not be on a personal list of flavours i knew i wanted, or go in a list of my utmost favorites but dulce de leche, awww, how can anyone not love it? so love at first sniff.
but regardless of the wonderfulness of the scent, the weakness is a familisr one with Dammann´s teas – the base tea is their usual one, and while adequate for so many of their other flavoured teas, here it is just not up to the task. Too wimpy.
But am going to enjoy very much the rest of the sample (thanks Ysaurella!), though I confess this is making me very curious instead about Dammann´s caramel toffee rooibos, or what other tea companies whose bases vary more often would do with the idea of a caramel tea.
To do proper justice to this tea I had to clear myself of the misconception this is a black tea. Seller makes pointed references to Darjeeling, but I did not take enough notice, for some reason was expecting and treating this as a chinese black tea or say an assam. Nope. Not at all. But I have very little experiences with Darjeelings as well, some of this tea has been spoiled so far while I tried to figure it out. And for me it´s not too much leaf, cautiously hot water (80 to 85 would be my estimate) and some 4 minutes.
If you do that, it´s quite unlike all other teas (except you know, those famous darjeelings which I do not know well enough) and really quite extraordinarily lovely. Light, very light color, delicate flavour (seller mentions hazelnuts and cacao. Me nope, raisins, wine, maybe wine must), a bit of astringency underneath – I usually dislike all astringency but here is no flaw but part of the loveliness.
This was a restock, a sharper scent than the older tea I got my first time, and oh this is still so nice. It is so smooth, which does not always happen with rooibos, unfortunately, but is so essential for the rooibos to be drinkable. Almond underneath, loud strawberry and raspberry on top, and the rooibos making it all stand up. A staple.
And a tip, if the bit of loose leaf you used has one of those little cubes of crystallized almond, oh that is too good to throw away. Rescue it, rinse it, and eat it!
This was a sample, very kindly provided by the Theodor shop when I was not quite sure about the scent of this. And after dividing the sample in two and having it twice I am still a bit unsure about this but sort of glad I did not get 100 grams of this – in most shops it would have indeed been the best choice, but not in that particular one.
My first attempt at this failed, I used too much water. This my second and final attempt worked much better. It is a chinese dark oolong, with a definite personality. It is wonderfully complex and very smooth. There is this richness to its flavours, which OK yes reminds me of chocolate, dark (not malty) chocolate. And there is a note as well which reminds me of tobacco, raw tobacco (I do not mean smoke!), and this is where it baffles me. Like seaweed notes, I do not like tobacco notes.
I can not really rate this properly, it is a wonderful high quality tea, which I am drinking with pleasure but which just escapes being a tea I love, because of my own personal likes and dislikes.
Had a dozen roasted chestnuts a couple hours ago which made me crave this tea- And no, it does not really taste like roasted chestnuts on the street ( those taste tougher, smokier, more tough guy chestnut taste), not even Istanbul chestnuts which are presented like jewels and not scorched at all (and a bit too raw for my tastes).
But this tea does taste of chestnuts, maybe oven-roasted or even the famous marrons glacés. Just not street chestnuts. And it is a lovely delicate tea, a more subtle take than Mariage Freres´s one, but a lovely very well done tea.
Lupicia definetely now on my list of places to try. Does their Paris store ship within Europe?
My first sip of this and not quite sure what to make of it.
I certainly love it better than the first Nepal black tea I ever had (from david´s tea, a Angrboda sample). This is just smoother, more elegant. But either Nepalese black tea is so different from the teas I usually have I am a bit baffled by them and can´t really judge yet. But will drink my cup with pleasure! And finish that David´s Tea sample (but for once, the one I had before is not the winner. This Shangri La is just better even to newbies like me).
I get the woody and hazelnut notes from the official description – as well as something raisin-esque. Very smooth with just a hint of astringency which IMO is part of the charm.