90
drank Noël à Pékin by Dammann Freres
1962 tasting notes

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!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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