40 Tasting Notes
Well, I was brave and put both a whole teaspoon of tea leaves per cup, and steeped it at boiling temperature, AND left it in for 4 minutes. And no bitterness – hoorah!
I am definitely getting what a bunch of folks said about the jamminess of the tea. I don’t quite get strawberry jam or fig jam, more like a combo jam. But – I still don’t really like it very much. Which makes me feel bad. I really really want to like this tea! I think I may actually not like the base very much. There is a flavour that seems to overpower the jamminess, and it kind of just tastes like tea. Black tea that’s not bitter, but also definitely not my preferred kind of black tea.
I tried adding some honey, but it didn’t really change much. Sorry, tea. I think I’ll need to find a better home for you.
I split my last Dammann order with two tea-loving friends, and one of them gave me a sample of her Old Man Tea. I have to say, I was primarily in love with the name (because – how could you NOT be?), but I was a bit sceptical because it very much sounds like an ‘autumn’ tea of the kind I thought I’d love until I bought both Noel en Provence (Dammann) and Autumn Blend (Betjeman & Barton) and …. didn’t really like either one. They just felt too heavy and black tea-ish that kind of way that I associate with getting a headache. And they were sweet in a way that didn’t work for me. Which was sad.
BUT – I kind of rather like Old Man Tea. For one thing, it is very strong on the grape note. It smells just like hot grape juice, which I love. And it also tastes very strongly of grape. It was definitely the dominant flavour for me, and it was rather pleasant. Also, it didn’t feel too heavy even though it was decently strong. So, go Old Man Tea. I will be trying you again, what with my very generous sample. And knowing me, I’ll be doing a triple side-by-side tea comparison, cause hey, why not?
Like cteresa said, Yumchaa doesn’t tend to make actually bad teas, but this one isn’t quite my thing. (ha! Avoided a pun there.) It is, however, that got a bunch of my former colleagues into tea. I took my jar of Enchanted Forest to work because I wasn’t that into it and thought it might work as a work tea (you know, when I have something else to think about other than tea), and I made it for everyone and they were quite wow-ed. Then again, they didn’t have any idea that tea could be awesome. I do enjoy being a tea evangelist…
Anyway, it’s a perfectly fine tea. It smells nice, rather sweet. It tastes like berries. I’m not even sure which ones, since there’s so many in there. I think blueberries or blackberries, maybe? And then I feel like I can tell there’s cream in there, since there’s a kind of smooth quality to it, not sour. I don’t really know what else to say, really. There it is.
Btw, Dammann’s Souffle Fleuri has similar ingredients but tastes rather different and I liked it better. Feel free to mosey over to that review if you’d like :)
Flavors: Blackberry, Blueberry, Cream
So, I just accidentally deleted the first two paragraphs review. Gah. And since I hate repeating what I just wrote, I’m going to summarize. Basically, I’m not that great at detecting different notes in tea, and the best way to start to get them is by doing a side-by-side comparison with a supposedly similar tea. So, with the rhubarb and berries and flowers business, I thought of Yumchaa’s Enchanted Forest right away.
The first time I tried this tea (which was yesterday?) I have to say I was disappointed. It just tasted like floral oolong to me. Very familiar and not particularly special. Reminded me of Jardin de Luxembourg (also Dammann), which has a ton of mostly unusual flowers. I was mostly going for the rhubarb note with this one, so that was a bit of a downer. Also just the fact that I couldn’t really notice anything unusual about it.
Then I did my side-by-side, and boy – flowers! And unusual flowers at that. It also had one of those 1-2 punch flavours, where I first strongly taste one thing and then quickly another thing. I have no idea what, but I’ve never tried tea with either Tulip or Lilac before, so I’m guessing something to do with those. Also, the smell of this tea really started to stand out after comparing it with Enchanted Forest. I’m guessing it must be the lilac, because it smells rather wonderful and I love lilac. Also, tulips don’t smell.
I’m also pretty sure I taste some rhubarb now. It’s got a bit of that lightly sour note somewhere in there, which gives the tea an interesting complexity when mixed in with the florals. I’m also pretty sure I can smell it a bit. I can’t find any raspberry in there, though. But then again, raspberry is also a tad on the sour side, so maybe it’s participating in the slight sourness going on there.
No astringency here, by the way. I don’t usually have a problem with that with Oolongs anyway, but it’s nice to know I keep not having it :)
Still not sure how to rate it. Will be back. Oh, but I definitely like it better than Enchanted Forest. Seems I was right – I’m getting over Yumchaa…
Alright, this is weird. I just clicked on this tea because of how pretty it looked (while I was looking at Yumchaa’s Enchanted Forest tea), and I realized that it has exactly the same ingredients as TeaBar’s (Amsterdam tea company) Zoete Amandel Thee. And it’s a rather unusual ingredient mix, too! What’s up with that? Are there some fancy tea combinations floating around the world under different names? Are there tea mix thieves? I’m confused… and intrigued!
By the way, I love Zoete Amandel tea, so if this is anything like it, thumbs up.
I just got this one, but my first try wasn’t that great. I did have it after Fleurilege, which was yummy, so I think there might have been some disappointment from comparison. Still, I’m pretty sure I can make this taste better, so I’ll have to play around with brewing methods. I’m thinking more tea, more time. It wasn’t at all bitter this time, so I’m hoping it can handle more.
I am always quite impressed by all the Steepster folk who make their black tea with a tsp per 250ml and 4 or more minutes and then say it’s not bitter. I don’t even know how many times I’ve dared to even try that… but I may need to, especially with the really good, low astringency blends.