1851 Tasting Notes
I have been craving black dessert teas lately. Particularly caramel/vanilla types, for some reason. At first I really wanted to make a cup of Dammann’s Caramel-Toffee, but then I decided to have a cup of this because I just bought some and I’ve only had it once before.
I orginally wasn’t going to order more of this right now, particularly because I do have the Dammann Caramel, which I love. But that is very toffee, and my first note on this says that I found it to be more dulce de leche. Different caramels are different! So obviously I needed both.
Ok, so I overleafed this cup a bit. Well, it was still delicious, just edging a hair toward astringent. Anyway, I do feel like the vanilla in this is mellowing the caramel to a caramel creme type thing, versus chewy caramel candy or further to toffee. So I do have to edges of the spectrum. This is also a less buttery caramel, but again, more creaminess. Glad to have both, and hopefully I won’t power through either of them too fast.
I drank the second of three sample pouches of this one today. It was quite tasty; the jasmine is certainly present but not super strong, letting the bi luo chun shine a bit as well. I’m quite pleased with this one for an everyday jasmine green type of tea, and one that has a bit more interest than a more generic jasmine green.
Sipdown, 144. Thanks to Stacy for including a sample of this one with my order!
This one sounded interesting to me, but I was unsure about whether I would really dig all the flavors together. Toffee dragonwell sounds amazing, ginger is a plus, but strawberries I’m not huge on (actually it’s one of those things where I love fresh strawberries but not so much in other forms). Thankfully Stacy graceously sends out samples and I asked for this one.
I ended up steeping this for three minutes instead of 2min 30sec because I might have added a bit more than 8oz of water. As it is it it brewed up very pale but also with a good amount of aroma. It smells pretty much like dragonwell and strawberries. Those are the primary flavors I get, too; light buttery and slightly vegetal dragonwell, sweet strawberry, and perhaps the barest hint of a gingery note at the end. I don’t taste any distinct toffee notes, but perhaps they are blending in a bit. Overall a fairly tasty tea, especially if you love strawberries.
Finally back to my teas, yay! I had been waiting for this one to come into stock and then made my order. It’s pretty hyped, but luckily for me I don’t have a problem with auto-disliking something because it is hyped.
The smell of the brewed tea on this one really reminds me of the Mi Xian black, which makes sense because both are made leafhopper-bitten leaves that produce honey notes. I get honey and apricots, I think. The texture of the liquid is nice and robust; it’s smooth and doesn’t seem thin at all. The flavor is sweet and honeyed for sure, with fruity notes. I don’t get a distinct pastry or waffle note from this, but it is certainly delicious. I’ll have to try it at four minutes as well just to see how it turns out (I usually don’t steep black teas for four minutes, but those are the steeping instructions). I am finding that the fruity blacks are not exactly my preferred variety, but I do enjoy this one a lot and I’m very glad to have gotten some.
Sipdown, 143. Cold brew. It seems like most of my sipdowns these days are coming from cold brews… I am pretty much out of 1-2 cup samples and cold brews are a good way to use up a lot of tea at once.
This was a pretty tasty cold brew but not perfect. I’m a lot more tolerant of tea bases that taste off to me when they are cold, but it’s still not quite as enjoyable. But the bergamot and hint of rose is nice.
Finally getting around to trying this one with my new gaiwan that came in the mail today.
I did a bunch of short steeps with 190°F water, combining two steeps at once because my cha hai (serving vessel) is 6oz and the gaiwan yields about 3oz of tea. I definitely enjoyed my session with this tea. I also was just enjoying it while I drank it and wasn’t thinking about it too hard, so I’m afraid this tasting note won’t be too detailed. It was nice and buttery and a touch nutty, perhaps a little less savory than some dragonwells that I’ve tried. Not as much sugar snap peas as the non-flattened Laoshan Green that I’ve tried. My steeps were pretty consistent, perhaps because of the averaging, but it was a nice session.
I had (amazing) butter pecan ice cream not long ago, and so when choosing a tea I was in the mood for something sweet and desserty. I opened one of the drawers and saw this one and immediately wanted it. Then I thought I really should drink something older, or something closer to a sipdown, but nothing else was right. Finally I said screw it, I am going to have a cup of this tea even though I just drank it the other day.
Mmm, so delicious. I am bumping my already high score of this one because it is just that good. Creamy and nutty and sweet, this is totally dessert in a cup. So glad I got this one, and I forsee a permanent place for it in my stash.
Ugh, started writing this tasting note and then was forced to refresh all tabs, thus losing it. Oh well. I officially finished sampling all the teas in my Instant Thé order, but I still have a couple that I bought at the Dammann store in Paris. This is one of them.
The dry leaf on this one smells very bright and citrusy, but also with a darker non-citrus note that must be the mango. Steeped, it smells citrusy but also kind of herby in a hard to describe way. Almost like thai basil? Oh, checking the ingredients list here there is ginger, which makes sense. Still getting a somewhat basily note, which is possibly the oolong interacting with the rest. The flavor is nice, slightly sweet, citrusy and gingery. The ginger is not super strong, but it’s enough to give it a slight kick. Definitely very much enjoying this one, but I’m not surprised as flavored green oolongs, especially citrusy ones, are some of my favorites.
Had this one earlier this afternoon. This had been high on my list of Dammann teas to try despite my waning interest in flavored green teas. I do still like rose or jasmine greens, and I do still like my Dammann greens, so I figured I would give it a shot. It wasn’t until today that I realized that the flavor profile is pretty similar to another French tea I recently acquired, the Rose et Litchi from Fauchon. This has a bit more going on, though; besides rose and lychee, it has jasmine and grapefruit flavors as well.
This was nicely fruity and floral. It is definitely predominantely lychee, with the complementary rose that merges so well with it. I do get bright, citrusy grapefruit as well. No distinct jasmine, but it kind of adds to the overall floralness I suppose. I will have to try Rose et Litchi again in comparison, but this is quite tasty and I will definitely enjoy my pouch of it.
This is the other flavored puerh that I got from Dammann/Instant Thé, besides Pu Erh Gourmand. The flavors on this one are blackberries and vanilla, with heliotrope (which is a flower, but I expect that it may be more for looks). The dry leaf smells very sweet and fruity, I’m going to say like blackberry jam.
Of course immediately upon the water hitting it, the puerh aroma really somes to the foreground. Definitely earthy woody puerh, much like the puerh in the Pu Erh Gourmand. I’m not sure whether my 2 minute steep time made a big difference relative to the Pu Erh Gourmand or not, but the woodiness of the puerh is less prominent in this one. It’s really quite nice. Rich, almost syrupy blackberry with smooth vanilla, and the puerh giving it a slight grounding, earthy tone. It’s really more evident in the aroma than the flavor. I’m not in love, but I’m glad I tried this one out because it is quite tasty.