1642 Tasting Notes
I nabbed a sample of this to cold brew from the Traveling Tea Box (A) before I sent it off today. I have very little interest these days in flavored green teas made hot (with a few exceptions), but I do enjoy them cold.
The cold brew was pretty decent, although at first it was a little perfumy. It just occurred to me now that it was kind of a dead ringer for this DKNY Delicious green apple perfume that I have. Probably good I didn’t think of that then. Anyway, after a few sips the perfuminess faded a bit and I was left with a decent green apple tea, though it was somewhere between green apple candy and actual granny smith apples. But I love green apple candy, so it worked for me.
Oh my oh my. Dammann, I love you so. This tea is just so delicious.
First off, thanks to Shmiracles for sending me some of this. I had initially wanted just a sample of the Mariage Macaron tea, but she offered a sample of this one and I am SO GLAD I took her up on it. I should have known!
Dry, this tea smelled like caramel heaven. Once its steeped up it also smells like caramel heaven, but also a little nutty and a teensy bit fruity, almost like a caramel apple? Don’t know where that is coming from, since there isn’t any apple in this blend. I think there must be some fruity note in the base tea that is coming through.
The tea is suuuper smooth, sweet, and rich. It tastes like caramel in the sip, but the real treat comes immediately afterward when I could be convinced I just ate a sweet, buttery piece of toffee. I do get a hint of a fruity note still, but it is exceedingly light and it works with the richness somehow. This is one of those delicious cups of tea where I want another cup immediately after the first one is gone. Love you, DF!
TTB-A sample! I accidentally put too much leaf in this, but it’s a rooibos, so can you really overleaf it?
I realized why the mint rooibos appealed to me, because this has a medicinal almost minty smell of the dry leaf, and it appears in the taste as well. It works ok in this because this is chocolate so mint it errs on the minty side instead of the medicine side (like some fruity rooibos blends). I mean it isn’t super chocolate but it’s enough, and it kind of reminds me of a minty white chocolate truffle, sure. Pretty decent overall but having tried this and the mint one I think I prefer the mint since it really owns the mint flavor. Maybe I’m just suggestible but my throat is getting a bit of scratchiness in the back like Kittena described after drinking this, so that’s a bit unpleasant. Eh, rooibos.
Yum yum yum. After having the macaron tea by Mariage Frères, I thought of the two macaron teas I have from Dammann. They are on a green base, so quite different from the MF blend.
I said a fair amount about this one in my previous note, and I drank it earlier today while working, so I don’t have any specifics right now. But as much as I haven’t been feeling flavored greens lately, this is the exception. Sooooo delicious… Violet and cassis (black currant) are such macaron flavors, too. They pair perfectly with the light almond cookie-ness. Mmmmm.
My days lately have been starting out ok but then taking nosedives in the afternoon. Not good for my productivity, which makes me more upset and down (since part of my anxiety is about finishing off my dissertation). I needed a tea this afternoon that might improve my mood, and my intense love of macarons made me grab this one.
Surprisingly enough this is not my second or even my third macaron-flavored tea. And even though I had kind of written Mariage Frères off after a number of failed attempts with their teas (there is something about the black base they use for most of their flavored blends [eta: that I have tried] that I dislike), I jumped on the chance to get a sample of this from Shmiracles. Thanks so much!
The first thing I smelled in the dry leaf was almond, but then when I sniffed closer it was slightly floral and a bit fruity. I didn’t even realize that there was both apple and amaranth in here before I opened up the Steepster entry for it, but I guess they’re coming through! Steeped, it smells similar but more appley. Perhaps like an apple-almond pastry, which is to say not much like a macaron to me, but I’ve also never had (or seen) an apple-flavored macaron (side note: now I am thinking about macarons at Laduree and my mouth is just watering).
Hmmm, innnteresting. This reminds me of another apple tea I had once, I think it was a “sweet apple” blend from a tea house in London. Also, a bit like the Trois Noix from MF that I had. Nutty, yes, not particularly strongly almondy (but it’s macaron, not marzipan, so that follows), and definitely appley. Also, I’m afraid that it has a bitter aftertaste that I just can’t get behind. I mean, the main part of the sip is pretty tasty (though I would argue not particularly macaron-ish to my tastes), but the aftertaste grows out of it and it isn’t meshing with my tastebuds. I don’t think I have the courage to steep it for 13 minutes like Shmiracles who said that took care of her issues with the aftertaste, but maybe I’ll try it. I might also cold steep the rest of it because I always have prefered MF teas cold-steeped! :P
ETA: I just took a huge drink of this while also breathing in deeply through my nose, and suddenly got macarons. This tea has like a weird inverse parabola of tastiness for me where when hot it was tasty (no bitter aftertaste), then when it was warm it was not so tasty (strong bitter aftertaste), and now that it’s cooled further it is tasty again (waning bitter aftertaste). Oh, MF, pretty sure I’ll never “get” your teas.
TTB-A sample, yet another with only a bit yet, and I fear yet another contaminated one based on the scent of the dry leaf. It’s like those teas with only a cup left don’t have enough of their own power to fight off the scents from all the other teas in the box!
I do taste pomegranate and raspberry (sort of unexpected in a tea called just pomegranate, but whatever) in the main part of the sip, but they are joined by a host of other indistinct oddness. It’s getting quite bitter as it cools, but that’s definitely not the result of contamination. Ah well, moving on.
TTB-A sample, another with only one cup left.
I was briefly confused when I looked up the listing for this tea and seeing “berry” in the title, thinking it meant it was berry flavored, but no. I guess it is supposed to be a reference to the look of a whole globe amaranth flower, but at this point they are all broken into many tiny flower buds. I’ve had globe amaranth in flowering teas before but never by itself.
I think this tea may have been the unfortunate victim of sitting next to too many smelly flavored teas for too long. It kind of has that aroma that a box of flavored teas in ziplocs has when you open it, kind of a mishmash of all flavors at once. Many flavored teas are strong enough on their own to stand up to that, but this tea did not really. I mean, it’s still a pretty tasty white tea because its lightly sweet, but other than that I couldn’t pick out a flavor. I mean, there is maybe some chocolate in there? Haha. Oh well, I put it out of its misery. :)
TTB-A sample. There was just about enough for one more cup left of this one, so I snagged it. Actually a tiny bit more than I would normally use in my cup (but only barely) so I decreased the steep time to account for it.
I love black pearls so of course I was intrigued. These aren’t so much pearls as little wadded up leaves; the look of it almost reminds me of the shape of the Laoshan Black first picking. Steeped, it does have a bit of a chocolatey aroma but its tempered by some high fruity notes and a hint of… coffee? Well that’s weird, but it did pop into my head while sniffing it.
The flavor is pretty classic black pearl, which is to say pretty tasty. I’m not getting any sweetness in the first steep, and the chocolate is definitely muted. Definitely on the earthy side of Yunnan blacks, with a bit of woodiness as well. It was smooth and malty when I first started drinking this cup, but it’s getting a touch harsh as it cools, and as such my rating keeps dropping as I sit here writing this tasting note. I mean, it’s still tasty, but my desire to have another cup of it is waning. Maybe it’s because I just had my One True Pearls (Teavivre) the other day, so they are fresh in my mind.
Second steep, at four minutes, wasn’t really worth it for me. Thin and lacking in the flavors I like (cocoa, grains, malt), with more of the flavors I don’t (a weird darjeeling-like fruitiness). Ah well, so it goes. This tea wasn’t sealed in an airtight pouch, so there is always the chance of flavor loss over time, but the first steep was quite strong so I kind of doubt that. Glad I got the chance to try these but they won’t be replacing my faves any time soon.
Ahh, a nice evening Earl Grey, haha. Most people wouldn’t go for Earls in the evening but I decided to go for it because I was home early enough to drink it relatively early in the evening. We shall see if it keeps me awake at all tonight. I made this one strong with milk and sugar because that’s how I wanted to have the last of this one. And the bergamot is strong and easily cuts through the milk. As much as I love all my unflavored teas and as much as I drink almost all of my teas without additions, I do love a sweet and milky Earl. Mmm.
TTB-A sample! I had no idea when I pulled this out that it is apparently a combination tea and not actually a true rose congou (black tea scented with roses and rose oil)? In my experience rose petals themselves rarely impart a rosey enough flavor to keep up with other teas in the blend.
This is rosier than I expected but still relatively light for a rose black tea. There is a weird note to this base tea that I dislike; it’s one I’ve smelled/tasted before, but it’s not one I’ve ever associated with a ceylon. It’s kind of oddly bitter and weird in a way I’ve never been able to properly describe. But its there, so this tea is instantly not really for me. I think this also cements that I prefer Chinese-base rose black teas (really, true rose congou), because anything besides a keemun or fujian base just doesn’t sit right with me.