862 Tasting Notes

95

This was one of the three teas I got from Dammann recently. I steeped this up for myself while I made the boyfriend Noël à Venise (lucky guy is working from home today, because it was “icy” this morning).

I like figs. I like figs and I like tea and there really aren’t any straight fig black teas that I’ve seen anywhere else, plus my mother LOVES figs and her birthday is coming up. Since Dammann seems to be really good at producing natural flavorings I was willing to bet this would be a good choice to spring for 100 grams of.

The dry leaf is sweet and fruity, yes there is fig but also kind of strawberry-ish notes. No chemical notes, just fruit. Simple and to the point.

Steep notes: 2.4 g (1 heaping teaspoon) leaf to about 8-10 oz. water, no additives, below parameters.

Sometimes with DF the scent changes a lot from dry to steeped tea. That wasn’t the case with this one at all – it was that same lovely fig/strawberry smell, only magnified out of the cup to our entire breakfast nook. YUM.

The steeped tea itself is also very dark and looks a bit more viscous than tea usually does…almost like a prune juice. The taste, though, is perfect: fresh juicy fig, in a smooth, chewy black tea. This is quite a solid, unique offering from Dammann and I’m glad to have sprung for it!

[Boyfriend liked the Noël à Venise, btw. Wants to try it iced, even. DF is a miracle worker, because this guy doesn’t do flavored anything unless its mint or earl grey. I feel like I should move to France to thank them, haha].

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Dustin

The French have such interesting flavor combinations for tea! There was a The O Dor tea I had that has fig and something else in it, but I can’t remember the name now. Not much of a recommendation, is it? :)

JustJames

this is a brilliant tea…… you’re tempting me to get into mine, lol!

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100

Noël à Venise!

I liked the DF advent calendar but I felt that all the other teas were a bit samey after a while. Orange, chocolate, cloves, or caramel. This one technically is toffee but all I get is buttery vanilla and meyer lemon – quite a difference to the other teas in the box. It was the only one from the calendar that I considered a must order. (which just meant I got to order some new to me teas and hope for the best – so, silver linings!)

I’m not sure what it is about this tea, but it feels specifically designed for my palate. I was that girl who sucked on lemon wedges just because and I like vanilla and cream anything over chocolate, any day.

I was nervous about the transition from tea bag to loose leaf, though. Mostly I was worried about the teaspoon/gram amount. I solved this by weighing one of their sachets (2.4 grams) and just weighing out the dry leaf in a strainer. I don’t know why I was so nervous, I think it was because I’d had such a perfect first experience and didn’t know how subsequent ones would measure up.

It’s like I’ve forgotten Tea Lessons 101: loose leaf is always better.

Dry leaf – still sweet/tart lemon with a heavy cream undertone. The boyfriend, who rolled his eyes at me having to go outside the country to support my tea habit, did grudgingly admit it smelled good – a pastry tart, was his description. To me it’s also strongly reminiscent of Earl Grey Cream, but lemon and not bergamot.

The taste is just as perfect as I remember, too – great without additives, warm and comforting but not super heavy since the lemon is such a bright counterpoint. It is just fantastic, and the fact that I was able to replicate the experience is what is nudging it up to the 100.

Welcome home, Noël à Venise. You will always be a staple in my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
yyz

I’m so glad you found one you loved out of the experience! What else did you pick up?

Anna

Those eyerolls? They’re eyerolls of LOVE.

Sil

seriously..what else what else!

caile

Sounds perfect.

greenteafairy

This sounds wonderful!

JoonSusanna

I ended up going with this (which is now out of stock according to Dammann… WAH!), Figue Fraîche, and their Moroccan mint since it uses the traditional nana mint. The smallest amt. you can buy is 100 g. so with that in mind I only went with teas I was sure I would like. I’ve had all of them now though so I’ll be putting up notes in a minute!

yyz

It’s still available at cadeau- deco-vendome and the other place I listed. I’m glad you got yours though!

JoonSusanna

@yyz – thanks, I saw that, and it appears to have been restocked at DF’s website as well. This is good, because I had a slight throat-clutching panic stricken moment that this would be a seasonal offering only. Glad that’s not the case!

yyz

I hate that! Especially as this tea really has a year round flavour.

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93

I’m home with all my teas! I’ll be honest, that was the first thing I looked at when I walked out the door. I’m not ashamed.

Also, my Breville turned 3 yesterday! I do love my little tea machine. To honor it, I went ahead and steeped a tea I hadn’t had before while watching the Downton Abbey Christmas special. I’d been dreaming about this one for the past few days so I it was the one I went for.

The dry leaf is so pretty! I love the green and the blue. It also has a nice creamy vanilla smell – almost caramel. I steeped it at the below parameters as recommended, with no additives.

I do get the distinct scent of Bailey’s in the steeped tea…Bailey’s in combination with the smell of Taiwanese Assam, so it’s pretty amazing and comforting on a cold night. The first taste was initially kind of disappointing – it was strong and a touch astringent. I think it would have benefitted from milk, if we’d had any, or sugar, if it hadn’t been all the way across the room from me, haha.

But as it cools it actually seems to get a bit smoother. I pick up more on the irish cream though not so much on the cheesecake. It hasn’t stopped me from powering through the cup, and I suspect when I do add some sugar to future cups I will love it that much more.

Ah, so good to be home, just in time for the New Year. Maybe I’ll have time for one last cup in 2013…

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Anna

I love that Steepster always makes me feel less loony about bringing half a suitcase’s worth of tea to Rome. And after my travels, I am always so excited to be back with my adjustable temp kettle, haha. Happy new year!

Starfevre

Oh yes, a stovetop kettle was killer during my week and a half trip.

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77

Another tea from my expedition to the Blue Turtle tea shop yesterday.

I have been a sucker for lemon teas since Noel A Venise (which is, incidentally, making it to my apartment as we speak). I’ve also become quite the snob and I’m VERY finicky about smells, apparently. They had a Monk’s blend I’ve been wanting to try (grenadine + vanilla) but the chemical smell made me quickly put it back.

I’ve also become quite picky with what type of tea I’ll drink. Rooibos and honeybush are no longer something I have in my cupboard, the only herbals are lemongrass and mint, for when I’m sick. White teas are growing on me but I still don’t drink them with enough regularity to really justify a purchase.

But I had to pick a tea there (I was with the boyfriend’s mother, and she wanted to get me something). The smell of this was such a creamy lemon that I was willing to get 1/2 an oz. to try it with the white base. I was hoping it would be as yummy as Fauchon’s L’hiver, and the dry leaf smell was promising.

Steep notes: no additives, 1.5 tsp. leaf, 8 oz. water, below parameters.

The leaves turned such a pretty bright green when they were steeping! It also smelled like fresh lemons, though the creamy/vanilla smell was gone. Initial taste when it was hot was mostly just the white tea flavor – very delicate, to the point where I was worried I’d underleafed.

As the tea cooled the lemon came out – no vanilla/cream, just a lemongrass type lemon taste. I was kind of hoping for a little less herby and a little more citrus…as it stands I would pick the Fauchon blend over this hands down. I only have half an ounce though, so that’s what – 4 more cups? Enough to play around with it and see if I can get it more to my liking.

We’ll see, I guess!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83

Got this from a place in Columbus, OH where I’m staying for the holidays.

This really reminded me alot of Yogic Chai’s masala chai in looks, smell, and taste. But I misjudged the Breville and overleafed so it was SUPER strong. Milk and sugar levelled it out but it still gave quite the kick. The boyfriends brother likes strong tea so he drank most of it, but everyone else liked it okay too. I’m kicking myself for not bringing the Yogic Chai blend to compare for sure – I just need a tea TARDIS or something so I can have my stash wherever I go.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Mmm. Frissy. My most noted, Old Faithful tea. You can never do any wrong in my eyes.
Which is a good thing because you are all I’ve got for the next 4 days…

Preparation
212 °F / 100 °C 3 min, 0 sec
El Monstro

I just ordered a sample of this.

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67

Advent calendar day 24. Backlog from this morning.

Cherry almond, yep. That’s the scent I get from the dry leaf. I wish I could pick up on the ginger, though – I am guessing that I won’t get it in the flavor if I don’t get it in the scent.

Steep notes: no additives, below parameters.

Sure enough, cherry and almond are at the forefront in the taste. It’s a pretty flavorful blend, too. I feel like I’ve had some iteration of this before in some of their other blends, though. No ginger to speak of, and I went the longest I could while steeping.

Eh. It was good to have (especially because the only other tea I have is my beloved Frissy and I’m traveling until Dec. 31st) but it’s not the Noel a Venise that I was so hoping I’d get for Christmas. (Sigh – guess I’ll just have to order some!)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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74

Day 24, but I had it this morning.

Merry Christmas everyone! I am sitting at the airport trying to reconstruct the memory of this tea that I bolted down before heading out the door.

The smell of this dry was familiar from all the other DF teas in the advent calendar. I think it was the caramel flavoring, but it doesn’t actually smell like caramel- it’s more an indistinct sweetness.

One steeped I get orange (another signature DF flavoring). I drank this without looking at the ingredients and interestingly tasted cranberry orange. I guess that was how I interpreted the maraschino cherry. Oh well- cranberry orange is more festive.

I wasn’t too careful with the steeping on this so it did come off a bit astringent. I can’t say I’m overly in love with it but as always it’s nice to try something new.

I have one or two teas from previous days that I need to drink and log but otherwise I’m done with the advent calendar….it was super fun and I got an awesome introduction to French teas, so a win all around!

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59

Advent Calendar, day 21.

This smelled of apple cinnamon – so, heavenly – when dry. Unfortunately even with the steeping parameters I’ve used with all the other DF teas, this just tasted weak and thin. Even as it cooled nothing really changed. Maybe a nutty undertone to the tea if I REALLY concentrate on it, but still just too watery for my tastes.

This one is just a ‘meh’ for me.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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56

Sample sipdown – unfortunately :(.

So I tried this on Wednesday with the intention of coming back to do resteeps later that night. Yeah, Wednesday ended up being my stupid 12 hour day due to jury duty. That didn’t happen.

I did keep the leaves though, and with the knowledge that the tea was good but could have used a little more leaf, I just went all in on the sample and intend to suck the life out of them through resteeps today.

Steep one: 2 minutes, 10 oz. water. The smell of this is what kills me. If you were to take a cinnamon roll and unroll it, and stick your nose right next to the filling and breathe in, that’s what this tea smells like. There are even light notes of bread in the smell. The liquor is very very dark opaque brown (because I went heavy on the leaf) but the taste isn’t bitter or astringent. It has a great mouthfeel and the bready notes are present, but I went ahead and added milk and sugar because I felt like it needed some help bringing out the sweetness.

Once you do that its like you took a cinnamon roll and liquefied it. This cup was finished pretty fast on account of CINNAMON ROLL. IN A CUP.

Steep two: 3 minutes, milk and sugar again added. This tastes much the same as the first cup, though I did try a sip plain and it was a touch weaker (this is not a bad thing, that first cup was STRONG). Still tastes like a cinnamon roll in my cup. I honestly am impressed. This actually takes the urge to eat a cinnamon roll away completely because the flavor is so right on.

Okay, I will be back once I spend some time with the other steeps just to keep a record of this….but as it stands right now this is a definite buy for my sugar cravings. :)

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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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Medford, OR

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