1806 Tasting Notes
Sipdown, 144. Today was a rough day at work, and I didn’t get to sit down and drink a cup of tea until the very end of the day. I was very grumpy about the whole thing, so I wanted a comforting tea. I actually drank a session of this gongfu this past weekend, which I didn’t log but was delicious, and I was left with a small amount that would work for a western brew. I didn’t plan to drink it up today, but it seemed like it might help me feel better.
Mmmm, just smelling this made me really happy. I love super tippy golden bud Yunnan teas, and this definitely fits. Brewed western style it is somewhat more chocolatey than gongfu, which I don’t normally associate with Yunnans. Sweet and malty and just all around tasty. I will have to drink a cup of Golden Fleece tomorrow to compare.
Sipdown, 145. I had two sample sachets of this one, one that came in the monthly newsletter and one that came with my handy cooler. For some reason I thought this would be a green tea (not paying attention), but no, it was a black. I cold steeped them both in my new handy cooler; two sachets and 500ml of water worked out well.
I think I was never initially interested in this because of the papaya. I am of the opinion that fresh very ripe papaya smells like feet (I’ve had to deal with them lots in East Africa and Madagascar) so I typically avoid papaya anything. But I do like guava, and fortunately this doesn’t taste like feet. It’s actually quite delicious, and I would consider buying more of it for iced tea. The guava is very tasty and the other flavors just make it nicely tropical. Glad I got a sample of this one to try out!
You know there’s that current discussion on the numerical scoring teas going on now (when you’ve been around as long as I have, you’ve seen it pop up several times), where people are like, if you know in advance that you don’t like the flavors in a tea, why are you drinking it?
Here’s one reason: I got a free sample of this tea with my Instant Thé order. I am not the biggest fan of lavender in my teas, and have had some truly awful ones, but I will always try a tea out just to see if the flavor is well done by someone. This is an interesting one as well because it’s not just lavender, it’s lavender and orange and lemon and cinnamon. My boyfriend insists it smells altogether like ginger and I can kind of see where he’s coming from, even though there’s no ginger in this tea.
I brewed this a boiling before I realized it was a black/dark oolong blend, but hopefully it’s a robust enough oolong to take it. What an interestingly odd tea! Honestly I think the cinnamon saves it for me. It provides just enough spice to really cut through the lavender and keep it from being soapy. The citrus also provides a bit of an edge to the sip. It’s just an odd mix and hard to really pin down. This is totally not a flavor combo that I will ever go for again, but it’s not as bad as I feared.
Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample. I requested this one because it is new and it’s a green oolong. A note of personal preferences: typically I don’t LOVE osmanthus oolongs, but I do enjoy them quite a lot. They are tasty teas to drink but I don’t swoon over them usually.
I followed Teavivre’s steeping directions on this one, and it seemed pretty done after a minute so I pulled the leaves instead of letting it go for two. It smells nicely floral and sweet, with lovely osmanthus notes. The flavor is sweetish, with slighty spinachy bottom notes and a thick floral flavor over all. This is an extremely floral tea, so if you are not down with florals you are probably better off giving this one a pass. If you do like florals, however, this is a nice example of an osmanthus oolong.
I actually had this one once before, but it was when my water was kind of off so I never even logged it. Now I feel like I can write an accurate review. Thanks so much to Angel and Teavivre for the sample!
I decided to brew this how I usually brew jasmine pearls, which ended up using half the sample pouch for my 12 oz mug. The dry tea looks just like jasmine pearls but smells delightfully peachy. Steeped, the aroma is similar… peach, with a hint of floral jasmine behind it. I do mean a hint, though, as peach is the dominant aroma. It is kind of more peach juice than fresh peaches, but it’s not really candy. The flavor is nice and fresh, with strong peach and light jasmine. The overall sense I get from it is less peach and jasmine than peach blossoms. Floral peaches, really. It works well for me and I definitely enjoy the combo.
When I first got my pile of Dammann teas my boyfriend said I couldn’t drink this one (and another) because it’s not Christmas. What I have to say to that is :P. Also there is nothing particularly Christmassy about lemon meringue and toffee too me, but I have never spent Christmas in Venice.
I could immediately smell the lemon meringue and the toffee from the dry leaf. Brewed, this definitely reminded me of another tea I’ve had. It took me a minute, but then I realized that the flavor combo was very similar to Harney’s Indian Nimbu: lemon and caramel. At one point I loved that one but then darjeelings fell out of favor with me. This, however, has no darjeeling, so I am optimistic.
Yeah, I’m pleased with this one. It’s lemony and caramelly, and I like the base on it. I wouldn’t say I get a distinct lemon meringue, but the whole thing has a creamy flavor that I guess fits with that idea. All in all a tasty tea, although I would agree that it doesn’t quite “pop” for me for some reason. I mean, it’s delicious, but I’m not swooning. Still, I will happily be drinking the rest of this tea.
I can’t believe that I’m still the only person who has reviewed this tea. I guess it’s still pretty new! I had a cup of this earlier, this time my water was for sure fine. The tea did turn out a bit fuller and more nuanced than last time. Incidentally I used half my sample pouch in a 12oz mug, and brewed at the recommended temp.
This is quite a nicely done scented tea, as I would expect from Teavivre. It’s also been done with a deft hand; the rose is subtle but present enough that you know you are drinking a rose tea. But really it is more like a pleasant accompaniment to the dian hong. The dian hong is on the earthy side of things, with light notes of sweet potato. The whole cup was slightly sweet from the dian hong. For me, I tend to favor the not-so-earthy dian hongs, so the black base totally my style, but it is a lovely tea nonetheless. I will definitely enjoy the rest of my sample pouches.
Backlog from earlier today. I bought this one a while ago and it’s one of those teas I just hadn’t broken into. Well, it got opened today. This tea is super hyper melony. It really is like a very ripe melon… it would possibly border on candy-ish if I had ever actually had fake melon flavoring, which I have not. But it’s not really fakey, just sweet and intense. I really enjoy this one for an extremely fruity, tasty tea.
Backlog from this morning. I like the four red fruits combo of flavors, but it’s not one of those flavors I have to keep around. I’m not sure if I’ve had Dammann’s regular four red fruits (note: it appears that I have not), but I decided to throw 50g of this into my Instant Thé order to help get me up to free shipping. It’s actually red fruits plus vanilla.
This one smelled nicely of red fruits and perhaps a hint of vanilla. The flavor was very similar… this was a nice red fruits tea, but I didn’t get a ton of vanilla from it. Of course it is still delicious, but not super special. Still I won’t have any problem drinking this one up, it just likely will not be a repurchase.