59 Tasting Notes

82
drank Noël à Paris by Dammann Freres
59 tasting notes

2020 Advent Calendar – Day 22. Finally caught up with this advent calendar! And just in time too. This one smells very much like cough syrup but the almonds show up beautifully in the cup. Thank goodness. It’s still very much about the cherry but the artificial medicinal cherry flavoring disappears and I get this almondy, cherry pie. I get some “pain d’epice” vibe from it but I can’t say that I can pick out the individual winter-ish spices.

It would have been a great Thanksgiving morning tea to put you in the mood for a fun day of cooking and a hint at desserts to come. It did go down easy (and fast)

Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Marzipan, Overripe Cherries, Spices

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2020 Advent Calendar – Day 21. Ohh, how I wanted to try this one! It sounded right up my alley. I LOVE chestnuts. They remind me of my childhood in Paris. Coming out of a Metro station and getting roasted chestnuts wrapped in newspaper paper from a street vendor. Add maple syrup, chocolate, apples and clementines and it sounds like an unexpected twist. In other words, it was love at first sight (on the website at least).

But in my sleepy state this morning, I forgot it was a green tea and brewed it too hot and too long. Argh… So annoyed with myself. I’m trying to take the bitterness out of the equation since it’s probably my fault, but even then, I can’t find the deliciousness I was anticipating. I do get a sort of candied chestnuts which makes sense since I sweeten my teas, and a light bright citrusy zest. The licorice is also present and I don’t know what to do with it. I actually love anis but it’s a little confusing. And as for the chocolate, I smelled it but I barely tasted it. I feel like this tea and I are miscommunicating. It wants to tell me something, and I’m getting something else entirely. And it doesn’t help that I started this “conversation” on the wrong foot entirely.

I’m going to try to do a second steep to see if I can still pull off a good cup of tea. I do wonder if it’s too late now that I have burned the leaves on the first steep. Finger crossed.

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75

2020 Advent calendar – Day 20. Another one where I am in the minority. Lime and bergamot. Light, fresh, and not heavy in the bergamot department even, and yet it’s still not for me.Intellectually, I know this tea is good. Husband and daughter both love it and we even have a full can of it, but it’s just not my taste.

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83
drank Rooibos de Noël by Dammann Freres
59 tasting notes

2020 Advent Calendar – Day 16 This is a rooibos that wins me over every time and makes me forget that I don’t like rooibos very much. The orange comes through first and foremost, and then the Christmas spices, and last a little bit of rooibos.

I don’t know if it’s because the orange dominates the rooibos and forces it to take a supporting role or if by adding sweetener, I mellow the rooibos a bit, but I like this one. I am in the minority here, because both my husband and daughter handed me theirs gladly. lol. It’s actually perfect since I couldn’t possibly drink 100g by myself. So these little samples will do nicely.

Flavors: Orange, Spices

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70
drank Tisane de Noël by Dammann Freres
59 tasting notes

2020 Advent Calendar – Day 19 I know this one is supposed to be a sort of spiced chocolate herbal tea, and I remember sort of liking it 2 years ago, but not so much this year. In fact I did not finish my cup. It was more spice than chocolate and it wasn’t bad per say but it was a “meh” cup for me.

Flavors: Spices

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70
drank Mint Chaï by Dammann Freres
59 tasting notes

2020 Advent Calendar – Day 12. For someone who’s not in love with chai, this was not bad. The mint was soft and gentle. But it wasn’t really a chai tea and that’s probably why I drank it happily. Here’s maybe a good way to describe it… You know how you have a movie “inspired by a true story” vs “based on a true story”? Well, this one is a cup of mint herbal tea inspired by a chai tea" :p For me, that’s a good thing. For my husband who loves chai tea, it might be a bit of a let down, I suspect.

At the end of the day, I would much rather drink Hoogly’s Chill Out Mint. It’s delicious (and slightly addictive).

Flavors: Ginger, Mint

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88

2020 Advent Calendar – Day 18 Love at first smell! This one is right up my alley. My daughter’s comment is spot on: “Basically it’s like drinking a blueberry scone!” Decadently “dessert-ish”, it’s not shy or very nuanced for that matter. It tastes like summer. The oolong’s buttery flavor makes it instantly feel like a pastry, and I get much more blueberry than banana —which I’m grateful for. The banana lends some creaminess, but it doesn’t take center stage. The description makes reference to a smoothie and that also rings true for me maybe because I’m used to making smoothies with bananas and it’s that smoothness that I recognize.

Loved it both warm and cold! It’s a win for me!

Flavors: banana, Blueberry, Creamy, Pastries, Smooth, Vanilla

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75

2020 Advent Calendar – Day 13 I am not a fan of rooibos at all so I was expecting to hate this one, but it was an enjoyable cup. The carrot cake flavors were remarkably on point and even though the rooibos was unmistakeable, it didn’t overpower everything thankfully. The spices were right and the cakey flavor made everything work. Both husband and daughter liked it as well and voted it a 75.

Flavors: Cake, Cinnamon, Honey, Spices

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82

2020 Advent Calendar – Day 8. I liked this one, but for full disclosure I don’t mind the fruit infusions carcadets from Dammann. In fact over this past year I have developped a liking for plain hibiscus tea (I fast periodically, and when I do all I can drink is water and herbal tea including hibiscus tea, so I have come to like hibiscus’ tartness). Here, no surprise, the hibiscus was front and center but the tartness was not bad at all (unlike the Samba version). I liked the cardamon a lot — warm and wintery. It reminded me of spiced fruit punch candy. It’s probably my second favorite Carcadet after Framboise Passion.

Flavors: Cardamon, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Hibiscus, Spices

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75

2020 Advent Calendar – Day 17 – Well, I don’t really know how I feel about this one! Unfortunately I oversteeped it so that might be the issue, but boy, this one is very roasted! It’s not at all a taste that I would reach for, but I enjoyed my cup. And if someone loved roasted flavors, I would think they would like it a lot. It’s smooth and lightly fruity. The vanilla is very light and I couldn’t pick out the pear necessarily but there was a sweetness there so that could be it. Mostly it’s reminiscent of a piece of toasted bread with a very thin layer of a subtle sweet spread. It’s well done. It’s just not my thing. But I wonder if after a few tries, it’s the kind of taste that grows on you.

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla

Cameron B.

I love hojicha, but it is definitely roasty!

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Bio

I started drinking tea 5 years ago when a friend introduced me to flavored black teas. Since then, I have developed a bit of a tea addiction. I never want to be without the teas I love, but I’m perpetually compelled to try new ones… I’ve never been a collector of anything, but it seems I do have a tea problem. Still, I work as a web designer and digital marketing specialist so I always have a tea cup by my side to keep me happy as I stare at my screen all day.

Being French and living in the US, I started with French tea companies like Mariage Freres, Dammann Freres, Kusmi, Nina’s and TheOdor (it has been a way for me to stay connected to my roots), but I’d love to find tea companies I love as much on this side of the Atlantic.

I love dessert teas. All kinds of dessert teas. Although most of my favorites are black teas, I love a few green teas, oolongs, green rooibos (I dislike regular rooibos) and I’m always searching for an infusion I can drink at night. So far, I have found very few fruit teas or herbal teas I love, but I’m still looking.

In terms of flavors, I adore almond, pistachio, biscuit, nutty types, as well as caramel, cream, cake, vanilla, toffee, chocolate, and cookies. For me, it’s all about drinking my dessert!!! I also like fruity teas like peach, melon, mango, raspberry, strawberry, figs, and even grapefruit flavored teas. I like it all except for lemon. I also love black licorice candy so licorice tea works for me.

I am discovering more floral teas and testing the waters there, but I don’t care for earl greys or chai. I have not expanded into unflavored teas yet but maybe one day.

For full disclosure I usually add a little bit of stevia to my teas.

Location

North Carolina, USA

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