791 Tasting Notes

67

Advent calendar, day 14.

Per usual, no additives, because the tea doesn’t need it. Served with German Pancakes for a really awesome Sunday breakfast

The dry leaf definitely smells like cough syrup. It’s the cherry flavoring, I’m sure. Anyway, I have learned not to put too much stock in their dry leaf scent because it always turns out okay once the water hits. I will say this, though – the pink flowers in this blend and the white tea leaves looked absolutely beautiful while steeping. I’m not a particularly visual person (auditory learner, don’t know how to accessorize a room to save my life) but I had to stop and watch for a while just because of how pretty it was.

Yup, the steeped tea has a beautiful clear, pale yellow liquor and a slightly more natural cherry scent. Taste wise the cherry is at the forefront ant it surprisingly a fruity, bright pie cherry flavor. I excepted the spices and more of an almond cherry, but I prefer this so I’m not complaining. I guess there’s a hint of cinnamon trailing behind the cherry notes, but again, it’s more like pie filling than anything else.

As it cools the white tea becomes a little harsh/astringent but that may be the effect of the nuts becoming more prominent in taste as well. Either way, I prefer this more when its warm but there isn’t much left to drink up now.

Eh, it was good for a one tea bag attempt, but I’m not really clamoring for more.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

what is a German Pancake ?

JoonSusanna

Kind of a more eggy, crepe-like pancake that you bake in the oven. They’re super easy to make. Here’s the recipe I used: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/12/loopy-breakfast-goodness/

Terri HarpLady

I’d like to come up with a gluten & dairy free version of these :)

Ysaurella

Thank you :)

OMGsrsly

I’ll know in about half an hour if they work with coconut oil, almond milk and 50/50 almond meal and tapioca starch… I hope they do! I used to make them all the time.

OMGsrsly

Pretty good, but not perfect. :) I devoured it anyways. These flours brown really fast, so keep an eye open. Maybe 15/5 instead of 20/10.

JoonSusanna

I find that even with the regular flour I can only do about 20 minutes total. I must have a really hot oven. :) But I’m glad that it worked for you- those substitutions are good to know!

OMGsrsly

It was more custardy than crunchy. I remember the wheat flour ones being kind of crunchy where they browned.

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64

Well, at first today started off awesome because my Butiki order was out for delivery early. But then I was sad because the mailman delivered it to the front office, which closed before I got home. That sadness didn’t last for too long though, because next to the delivery notice was a package from Sil! A really generous package, too- it’s like a European tea invasion in my apartment. :)

It couldn’t have come on a better day – it was rainy and cold out and we’d been out in the weather for a few hours so a warm cup of tea sounded perfect. The boyfriend wanted tea too, which kind of limited me to this one as he doesn’t do any “crazy” flavors.

He also doesn’t do milk or sugar, which in this case made the tea a no go for him. I went a little conservative on the steep time (the recommended parameters are 3-5 minutes, and 4 minutes is what I usually go for with black teas) but WOW. Astringence city! It has that beautiful earthy black tea smell and it certainly stood up to milk and sugar but I like my black teas to be drinkable either way, and this is definitely not something you can drink plain. Not the way I brewed it, anyway.

I should have enough for one or two more cups (see: Sil and her generosity) and I’ll try to bump down the time even further but as it is, I can’t see this competing with Frissy, my most favorite breakfast tea. I loved being able to try it though – it’s officially the first Fortnum & Mason tea I’ve ever had!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

Missed seeing this note…..try 2.5 mins and just slightly under boiling…this is NOT my fav breakfast blend but it’ll do in a pinch. Bellocq has a wonderful breakfast blend I got to try via fuzzyp. :)

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64

Sample sent with my Dammann order. The name of this is so much fun. I think ‘coquelicot’ is now my favorite word ever.

I have to admit I’m very intrigued from the description of this tea. Poppy? Biscuit (I’m assuming cookie-biscuit more than, say, dinner-style biscuit)? Marzipan? These things just don’t compute.

The smell of the dry leaf is very strong. Like, pull yourself back immediately because it’s overwhelming strong. On second (further back) sniff, I get syrupy cherry and cookie. This is really highly reviewed on here but I’m not quite sure how I feel about it so far.

Steeped at below parameters, no additives.

Brewed tea smells much the same, if less strong. A lightly floral cherry/raspberry sugar cookie. I don’t get strictly marzipan but I imagine this is because the nuttiness blends in with the cookie notes. This is just how it tastes, too… unfortunately, I don’t enjoy raspberry and that is probably why I am not overly in love with this.

The quality of the blend, like all Dammann teas, is outstanding. The tea has a great texture, the base is perfectly complimented with the flavoring. Apparently poppy tastes like raspberries in my mouth, though, so I won’t be buying more.

I will, however, try to work the word ‘coquelicot’ into conversations as much as possible…

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

And, for us rubes out in the country, how to you pronounce coquelicot properly? Instinct leads me to COKE-lee-coh. Am I even close?

JoonSusanna

You are correct! I don’t know why but it’s just so much fun to say!

Terri HarpLady

And the question I’ve been meaning to ask: what does it mean?

JoonSusanna

Haha, it refers to the red poppy flower in the ingredients. I actually love it even more because it’s remarkably similar to a nickname my little brother invented for me – and I have red hair. He was quite ahead of his time, really. :)

greenteafairy

I think “coquelicot” is also my favorite (French) word ever.

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95

It is mostly Dammann December up in my tasting notes, but I did actually have something different yesterday for breakfast.

I’m still trying to hold steady to my no more than 75 teas rule, which presents a problem as I have a huge Butiki order coming in, and a need for all the Dammann teas. So, cleanout time has been commenced. This is not a sipdown but I only have a cup or so left and wanted something holiday-y and rich so it fit the bill.

Served with milk, no sugar. 2 tsp. to a 10 oz. cup.

The milk always helps this get more of a pudding-y texture. It is quite fruity with some good bread notes, a hint of spice. The sips aren’t consistent, some more flavorful than others, but it did give me a cozy holiday cup to celebrate that I will be off work for 5! whole! days!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec
JustJames

were you able to make this work??!!! i tried a million times!

Sil

75 teas… i’ll be there someday..maybe. Goal for this year was to get to 150 and stay there…next year maybe i’ll aim for getting to 100. heh

TheTeaFairy

Sounds great! The first thing that comes to mind when I get days off coming is : think about all the teas you’re gonna have!!!
(Sil, you’re dreaming! Down to 100, really??? Lol!)

Sil

haha teafairy…hey i managed to get from 350+ down to 150…

TheTeaFairy

Sil, That’s a MAJOR accomplishment, don’t let me take it away from you :-)

Sil

haha not to worry tea fairy! I just think i’m finally figuring out what i like, what i love and what i’d just like to try and move on with in terms of tea. My worry now is that i’ll start collecting puerh and it’ll be 100 teas and 100 puerhs lol

JustJames

@TheTeaFairy and see, you’re far kinder than i am….. i’m gearing up as we speak to send her stuff and boost that number. i’m not as nice as you.

Sil: puerhs and the de loup? lol.

JustJames

AND MATCHA!!!

Sil

haha i’m not sure i ever need to buy matcha again at the rate i’m struggling to get through what’s in my cupboard. I DOOOOO really want to place an order with MF and theodor…but i have to wait until next week when i get paid to see what my bonus is. I’ve already decided if it’s over a certain amount, i’m doing it!

JustJames

so exciting! i am chock full of justifications….. but i think i’m going to have to cool my jets a bit. well, who knows, maybe i’ll get money for christmas, lol!

TheTeaFairy

James you’re wrong, I can be a mean Fairy, watch your back now, lol.

JustJames

muwahahahahahaha =0)

now that just makes me like you more!

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75

Advent calendar, day 13.

I am loving my little routine of getting up and trying new teas every morning. Such a fun little present to myself. I’m also loving all the different “Noel” blends. It brings me to their website every day, making lists for future orders. Honestly it seems as though they have enough teas to where I could make my own advent calendar for a year. I’ve never once felt inclined to visit France (despite loving the language, and wanting to see the rest of Europe), but now I know I’ll have to stop in just for the tea alone.

Steep notes: No additives, below parameters.

Black and green blends always make me nervous about steep temperature, but I’m less nervous since the Dammann teas seem incapable of bitterness no matter what you do to them. I don’t think I’m getting jasmine in the dry leaf, but I’m not good with florals. I am definitely getting pineapple, maybe mango. The tea, as usual, is not immediately discernible in the scent.

Steeped, the pineapple is 100% at the front of the taste. Surprisingly it’s the green tea that follows right behind, but I think it’s a perfect counterbalance to the sweetness. As it cools it takes on a more tropical flavoring, which I guess is the mango peeking out more. The very, very last sip was all passion fruit/guava. No floral (no biggie, not my thing anyway), and the black tea base is its typical mild, unassuming self.

I liked this – can’t say I would buy more, because green/black blends aren’t really my thing, but it was awesome for an unexpected, one teabag treat.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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100

Advent calendar day 12. Well for me it was, anyway. The 12th day was empty and it must have slipped down into the row below (I could feel two bags) so it is either the 12th or the 24th day. I’m waiting to post this until I know for sure because I don’t want to be the girl who spoils the surprise. :)

I could tell from the description I was going to love it. I mean, lemon is one of my favorite things. Creamy lemon with a black base? Yes, please.

The smell of the dry leaf was PERFECT. Lemon and vanilla were what I got, mostly. Like an EGC but with lemon instead of bergamot. Given how much I love those two flavors I should really have thought of buying a blend like this before now. I will have to check and see if such a thing exists from other companies.

The steeped tea smells just as heavenly as the dry – the tang of lemon and creamy notes are just still strong. And the taste- well. I have been overall very impressed with most of the Dammann Freres teas so far but this is my hands down favorite. Buttery vanilla (I guess this is what they describe as toffee) and a sweet, Meyer-esque lemon and actual detectable soft black tea base? SOLD.

I take it back, I don’t actually care if any other company makes something like this. This is the blend I want and I want a lot of it, right now. On my shopping list it goes…

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Sil

you’re probably going to hate me..
http://www.cadeau-deco-vendome.com/en/christmas-venise-100g-dammann-christmas-xml-727_780-3000.html

shipping is only 8euro, making it pretty inexpensive to order from them..though now that i think about it, you probably got the calendar from them..but anway, they have it haha

OMGsrsly

With all these amazing tea descriptions, my shopping list is exploding.

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89

Advent calendar day 11.

No additives, brewed at below parameters.

Holy wow chocolate. There was definitely orange in the dry leaf (and a nutty chocolate note there too) and that orange made it really seem vastly different from Harney’s Florence, even though they both are primarily chocolate and hazelnut.

The first sip of this was ALL chocolate. The scent was nutty and slightly citrus, but chocolate was pretty much it on taste. As with most of these teas, it’s pretty much all flavoring with no tea notes. Although, as it cools….maybe I get a hint of the tea more? OH, and orange does come out in the aftertaste.

Hmm, now there’s hazelnut first, then orange, then chocolate. WOW! This one is so fun because it literally changes with every sip! If I had gone on initial impressions I think Florence would have won hands down but this? This is a chameleon tea and I’m loving the surprise factor.

Oh, and since it is the 12th already – everyone else with the advent calendar, was your 12th day empty? It must have slipped into the column below (I could feel two bags so I pulled out the one on top) but now I’m not sure if it’s the right tea or not and I don’t want to post any spoilers if it isn’t. Sigh. Guess I’ll have to be patient and wait and see!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
yyz

It’s the correct one! It sounds nice.

Nightshifter

Ooo! Florence fan here and this one sounds like a must try. :)

Dinosara

Maybe I can post a hint without posting spoilers (since I won’t be posting my review of todays until tomorrow)… the 12th’s tea was a “Noél in [insert place]” tea. Does that help?

JoonSusanna

@ Dinosara – Yes! Excellent! I did manage to get the right one then! I’ll post my note tomorrow as well. :)

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78

Dammann Freres advent calendar. Day… 4ish? Though I’m actually having it on the 11th of December, so whoops.

On the plus side though I have gone through the backlog and am (mostly) keeping up. This advent calendar stuff is hard when you work nights and the days change up on you mid shift.

Dry this really smelled a lot like cherry candy flavoring. Once steeped I get what resembles apple cinnamon. It’s so fun how these things change with nothing but the addition of hot water. Though there is orange in the ingredient list, I don’t get any here. Just mostly that cinnamon with apple and then a vague creaminesss that I will assume is from the vanilla.

What a cozy Christmas tea! I was worried about liking it since greens usually aren’t the first tea I reach for, but it is surprisingly full bodied and comforting – I don’t normally think of greens as a winter tea but it works here.

A refreshing break from the citrus, really. And quite good plain – I will have to keep this in mind if I do place a Dammann freres order in the future.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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72

Day 10 on the advent calendar.

I think this will be the first green tea of theirs I tried. Still haven’t gotten around to the Christmas tea vert from day 5-ish. I also wasn’t as careful with the water temperature as I should have been. These teas don’t seem to be too fussy about that though (maybe because they are higher quality leaf?).

Dammann loves them some orange flavoring. Fortunately I think they do it really well. This one is no exception, and may even be that much better with the vegetal green base. The spices (mostly cinnamon) are confined to the smell for me but I kind of like the duality there. It’s fun to drink something and smell something totally different (albeit complimentary).

So yes, a variation on a theme, well done, and I’m glad to have tried it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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57
drank Earl Grey by Dammann Freres
791 tasting notes

Advent calendar 2013, day 9.

I love Earl Grey. LOVE it. Mostly the EGC varietals, but I have to admit this is probably the most excited I’ve been about a tea so far, since I kind of know what level of flavoring I like and have had enough other versions that I could really do a good comparison.

The results were disappointingly ‘eh’.

There is surprisingly little flavor from either the tea or the bergamot in this, despite following the recommended steep parameters. I’ve enjoyed all of Dammann’s other teas without additives but maybe that’s what is missing here? I guess I’ll give it a try….

Okay, with a bit of milk and sugar the bergamot peeks out but this is still a really lackluster tea base. It’s smooth, it’s just…barely there. I think Earls need a strong base to stand up to the bergamot.

So this one wasn’t too my taste. Still a good tea, just…I’ve had better Earl Greys for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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