805 Tasting Notes


YAY! A tea advent calendar! I’m a few days late starting because I just got it last night but I imagine I’ll catch up soon. I’ve never tried any Dammann Freres teas before so I figured this would be a good way to get a sampling and have a bit of surprise to it as well.

This is day 1, and it is December 6th today. I need to catch up as quick as I can so I don’t get any surprises spoiled for me. That, or stay off Steepster, which, let’s be real. This is practically my internet home.

Dry leaf smell is very sweet, cloyingly so. Mostly I get the mallow and the vanilla. It’s the kind of strong that I think the hot water will dilute, though. I couldn’t imagine drinking it if it smelled this strong when steeped.

Steeped: sure enough, much more toned down marshmallow notes. Still it’s the dominant smell, though. I’m trying to search for a bit of the fruity components, but maybe that will happen more once it cools off.

More than anything there is a creamy thick texture. Herbals are usually always too thin for my liking, so this is fabulous! There is still an indistinct sweetness in the flavor. It is a sweet, creamy tisane that has a slightly woody undertone as it cools…maybe licorice if I look hard enough. I think that speaks to the skillfulness in blending more than anything else, though – this was a smooth and unique mixture of ingredients that just worked.

Well, first impressions of Dammann Freres are favorable so far. Now it’s on to tea #2!

Boiling 5 min, 45 sec

Oh man…never had DF before? Send me your Addie and I’ll send you a few others just for kicks. Consider it repayment on ether teas you sent cavo and I when you were clearing your cupboard. :)


OMG you are too kind. You also clearly have the memory of an elephant. :) PM’ing you now!


perfect! I may wait until i get my order from DF but there will be treats in the mail :)

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BOO for being sick. But YAY for having this tea when I am.

I still mix this with Upton’s spearmint whenever I have it, but the ratio today was 4 tsp. lemongrass to 2 tsp. spearmint with some honey to help quiet this ridiculous dry cough. I worked Thanksgiving night and I still want to make a Thanksgiving dinner but unfortunately this cold is not making that possible. Maybe the tea will help turn things around and get me my energy back.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Backlog from a few days ago. I know it’s redundant that I keep noting this one, given that I always like it and it can do no wrong, but I’m a ‘log every tea I drink’ kind of girl.

This is always a sure bet to reverse any bad tea luck I’ve been having, or to end any kind of tea rut. I love it to pieces.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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drank Red Velvet Cake by DAVIDsTEA
805 tasting notes

Well. Keep this in your cupboard for too long and it turns quite disappointing. Too thin and watery (even when following parameters. Even when you add milk) and there’s a really cloying note in the back of your throat similar to when you’ve had too much sugar.

This one was an accidental decupboarding but nonetheless it’s gone. The steeped tea is getting tossed – yuck. Bad luck for tea today I guess!


I think it’s the alcohol in the sprayed on artificial flavorings. That’s how they flavor tea like this…it can taste sour too.

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SIGH. Darn keemun ruins this for me every time.

I wanted to give this another shot because I’m quite tempted by Butiki’s Black Lotus, but apparently I’m just that sensitive to the Keemun that I won’t be able to enjoy it like I want to. Grr. I so want to place a Butiki order this weekend and may give it a try anyway to see how that compares to this.

As for this tea, I need to give it away. Actually I have a couple (read: most) of my David’s Tea collection I want to give away/throw out. I’ve found after a cup or two of a blend the novelty wears thin/quality doesn’t measure up and I lose the drive to finish what I’ve got. They have such great marketing that it’s a shame. Oh well, I’ve got plenty more tea companies out there to try, I guess!

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

have you tried adding a splash of maple to keemun?


i’m not a big fan of keemun either, just tasted like dirt to me


agree on David’s Tea also, I almost never shop there


david’s tea = great intro for the masses…if you like tea, move on quickly. at least in my opinion, especially for straight teas. I also don’t like their additives and it’s a little scary how often their ingredient lists seem to be wrong…


The ingredients lists. headdesk I still like getting samples of everything, although I prefer other flavored teas.

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Tea of the morning! Also, thanks to Dinosara it is the first tea I’m logging on the iPhone app! I need to send off some feedback to the Steepster crew because this thing is GREAT!

Prep wise I added some milk and sugar and this really could have been breakfast by itself. It tasted so much like buttery syrupy pancakes. I use 1.5 tsp. of leaf for 10 oz water and this is the sweet spot for me. I love when I can nail down parameters to get a consistently good result.

Happy Monday-before-Thanksgiving everyone!

212 °F / 100 °C 4 min, 0 sec

So glad to hear the app works well! Your post looks great and totally normal – all the formatting and spacing and info is there :-)

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This is a backlog from a few days ago.

Yup, still fantastic. I hate realizing this as I have one or two cups left. Well, it couldn’t have happened at a better time. Black Friday’s coming and it’s also payday so this will be bought. :)

PS – Is anyone using the steepster beta app for the iphone? I like the look of it but I can’t figure out how to post notes in it yet. Maybe it’s not a possibility at this point?

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Yup, you can! If you search for a tea (top right corner) it will take you to the tea’s page and one of the options is “Log a Tasting Note”. FYI the timer is a little buggy so maybe don’t rely on it to time your tea (you can skip it and go right to the note).


Oh right, I still need to download the app!

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It’s not even 9 AM and I’ve started a sponge for bread baking, cleaned out the fridge and got dinner in the crockpot. To reward myself I made some cinnamon toast (using the last of my old homemade loaf) and had this tea to go with.

Steeped: 1.5 tsp. in 10 oz. water/milk with some sugar at the below parameters.

The custard/vanilla note is as present as ever. As in previous notes, it also still reminds me of coffee (yum!) since I think french vanilla is a common coffee flavoring. Still really well balanced, still flavorful and this is a blend I’ve had around for a while. I love when teas age well, because I am a SLOW tea drinker!

I think it’s an excellent substitute for coffee in the morning (if you like that kind of thing).

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

Wow! Want to come over to my house? ;-)


yup, what veronica said.

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I really need to stop ever buying other chais. Even the 52teas ones (as tempting as they sound). None ever measure up to this.

It is always perfectly spiced, strong, and never astringent. Doesn’t really matter how I prepare it, what amount of leaf I use, whatever. It turns out balanced and smooth each time.

This is another one I need to be taking home to visit with the boyfriend’s parents…

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

really…hmmm i’ll have to try this one out sometime.


mmm. I love chai and I have been very tempted by yogic chai!

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Good thing I checked that you can resteep this because it was too perfect to not have more than one cup.

This morning I made french toast (with my own homemade bread – that was soooo good) and wanted a nice breakfast tea to go with it. I feel like there are some times when you pick a tea and the stars align – it is the most perfect cup you could ever have. That’s how this tea was today.

First steep: 2 tsp., 3 minutes, 10 oz. water, 1 tsp. sugar.

Like I said, perfect. The smell of a black tea freshly brewed is one of my favorite things. Purely malt and earthy comfort. The sugar brightened this up so much that it had the citrusy brightness of a ceylon, almost. This cup was so smooth I was sad it was over. Hence the resteep.

2nd steep: about 4 minutes, no sugar this time.

I got more of the raisiny astringence with some cocoa notes and a slightly weaker brew, but that just made it mild enough that I could drink it with no additives. The lovely heady black tea smell was weaker too, so a little of the magic had gone, but it was still close to perfection.

My boyfriend and I are going to be spending Christmas with his family this year and they have a Breville one touch (we bought it for them because I love ours so much). I’m thinking I may put together an assortment of teas for them to enjoy, and if I do make that happen this will far and away be included. Hmm.. maybe I should put a list together and start getting on that….


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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. "


Atlanta, GA

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