1938 Tasting Notes
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.
One of the few non-black teas from my Dammann/Instant Thé order. I went back and forth about picking this one up and eventually decided yes because I love passion fruit and florals, and have been liking white tea more lately. There are not really steeping directions for this one, just a suggested time but no temp. So I went with my now-default white tea temp, and 3 minutes.
At first I thought I had ruined this cup because when it was still pretty hot it had a sharp bitter flavor. But somehow, against the odds it mellowed out and by the time the cup cooled a bit it was basically gone. Still, I think I will brew this one at a cooler temp next time. The white tea didn’t give the hayish, honey flavor of some of the whites I’ve been having recently, more just a very light base for the flavoring. This is passion fruit and apricots, and it is nicely fruity… perhaps more passion fruit than distinct apricot, but nice nonetheless. Not particularly strongly floral, but they provide a nice accompaniment. I’ll hold off rating until I brew this one again, but right now it’s a like not a love.
Back to normal days at work, and normal tea habits. Also back to working my way through my Dammann teas. I ordered this one mostly to pad my order and because I was ordering pretty much any tea that Instant Thé stocked that sounded like something I might like. I am not usually one for strawberry in my teas, or the potential for lavender, but I am one for fig and honey.
This smells mostly like strawberry jam, figs, and honey. No lavender, which is fine with me. The flavor really reminds me of preserves, both strawberry and fig. With honey! This is definitely one of those blends that seems ‘sugary’ without being actually sweet. It’s really quite nice, and I’m definitely enjoying it. The usual Dammann base complements the flavors really well and is smooth and tasty. A strawberry tea that I really enjoy, how about that!
Second comforting tea of the afternoon. I wanted to have this one before making my Butiki order for the TWMB. In the end I decided not to pad my stash of this one right now, but not because I don’t love it. Mostly just because I still have some and I didn’t want to restock a tea before running out of it. This was very sweet today. Malty, delicious. I drank it while working so I’m afraid I didn’t think about this one too hard. But it was tasty, and very comforting.