113 Tasting Notes

70

Got this at one of those “OMG! Home Goods has Dammann Freres teas!” situations that I read about here on Steepster, but never experirenced IRL. That particular run was so fruitful I was positively glowing after checkout, carrying all that tea loot back home. Never thought I’d get lucky enough to actually find them in the wild, so to speak.

Although not a huge fan of Darjeelings – always found them to be a bit subtle for my tastes – I took this as an opportunity to try one. Tasty enough, good for when I want something straightforward and simple. There was some sweetness to it, very smooth and gentle, but more flavor than I’ve detected when drinking Darjeelings in the past. Could be that previously the water was too hot, or the steep time not long enough. Anyway, I really like it, and am happy I gave it a shot!

Flavors: Fruity, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This is a sample size I got at last year’s NYC Coffee and Tea Expo. It’s been on my mind and I finally had a little time to brew this up. I have a lot of respect for Camellia Sinensis, having gone to their shop in Montreal a couple of times and purchasing different kinds of teas from them (and begging them to open up shop in NYC). They’re completely serious about tea, so I take their recommendations to heart.

I brewed this up gong fu, with the new tea tray (yay!). A rinse, and four infusions. The liquor is pale, the flavors are on the subtle side. As others have noted, this tea is very floral. Buttery, creamy floral, actually. An aftertaste of candy sweetness that lingers. Kind of pleasant, but I don’t usually enjoy floral notes, and this one does get a little cloying after awhile. So, if I don’t like floral teas then why do I have this one? Because “trying new things.” All in all, pleasant enough, but I’m not in love. The quality is there, but the flavor profile just isn’t my thing.

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67

I was on the fence about reviewing this tea. I bought it almost 3 years ago, the company doesn’t even carry it anymore, it’s a sipdown for me, and it’s not like any of the other Steepsters have this one. But, for the sake of completeness, I’ll write some notes.

This is a Nepalese black. It’s a bit old, but I’ve stored it well and I think the flavor has held up pretty well. As for the flavor profile, the label says: “honey, geranium, peach, sweet corn” Um, OK. I get the corn, a little of peach sweetness, a tiny bit of honey. No floral notes. I found it a bit tricky – too little leaf and the flavor is meh. Too much and it turns tannic. I know I went nuts for it in the store, but since that store is in Berlin, it’s entirely possible I had “vacation mind” and got all carried away with it. I mean, the store is fabulous (see my review in the Places section), filled with beautiful teaware and paper goods. It was really quite the experience.

Anyway, I made this mostly for iced tea, after wrestling with the idea: wouldn’t it be kind of a waste for such a nice tea to be made iced? Shouldn’t I just sit down and do a gongfu session to at least appreciate a resteep? But then the tea languished in the cupboard and I decided that it should at least be drunk, even if not in the optimal way. It makes a nice iced tea, but the exact leaf to water ratio, as I’ve said before, I found troublesome. Mostly too tannic, as I tend to overleaf and oversteep, especially with iced tea.

Well, Summer Moon, you deserved better, but at least you’ve been consumed. And you were a pretty good tea, although I think with more deft preparation, you could’ve been great.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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85

I purchased this tea specifically to have it iced. It is absolutely true to it’s described flavor profile. I had no trouble at all identifying the peach, pistachio, lime and creme fraiche flavors as well as the base oolong tea. I thought that particular flavor combination would be really interesting and it was – and so delicious! The flavors work really well together and make a very enjoyable iced tea. I like this so much I may actually try it hot as well, but for now, I am very happy with it. No need to overleaf, and following the brewing instructions produced a perfect brew. Nicely done, August!

Flavors: Cream, Lime, Nuts, Peach

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

The cocoa-y, chocolate fudge notes are all there, strong and delightful. A bit of creamy vanilla, too. I can detect the cherry, but only if I really focus – maybe I’m willing the flavor into existence. Handed the cup to the husband for him to sip, only telling him, “It’s Cocoa Amore.” He gets the cherry flavor immediately. I’m jealous.

It brews up quite light in color, although the leaves are deliciously super dark and promising. Still, it packs a lot of flavor, regardless of the color of the liquor. Great tea, as expected, but I still love Golden Orchid more. I’m impressed, though, at the richness and complexity of this tea.

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

Wow – the cocoa notes in this tea! Rich, dark, cocoa that complements rather than overpowers the tea. Surprised that there’s only tea and vanilla in this blend, since it’s so full-bodied, earthy and complex. I shamefully did not do a second steeping, which is such a waste. Next time I brew it, I’ll make sure to get all I can out of it. Wonderful quality (as one would expect from this vendor), perfect for breakfast on a chilly day. Or after dinner on a chilly evening. Or anytime the mood for a bold tea strikes.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77

So very good. Not getting much in terms of malt, which is strange as I associate malty flavors with Assam teas. Doesn’t matter – it’s still really enjoyable. Perfect breakfast tea, even better with milk, as expected. I added evaporated milk to this, which made it heavenly. Nice and full bodied, with a hint of sweetness. Love!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

This is a wonderful Ceylon Nuwara Eliyah – nice and bright, with a honey-like sweetness to it. It’s the flavor that most represents “tea” to me, and comfort as well. Awesome with milk, even more awesome with a tiny bit of sweetener. Purchased from a charming little tea house in Stockholm with a limited online presence, so when it’s finished, that’s it unless I go back. I’ll enjoy it to the very last.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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30

I really want to like this tea, since Capital Teas only sells it in one pound amounts (very shrewd, CT, very shrewd). Despite their claim that this is a best seller, I find it insipid. Not much almond flavor to it, a little too much cinnamon, and apple from the apple pieces. I’ve been desperately trying to get through it, since I’ve got so much of it. Not sure what made me buy it – I think I really liked the sample and smell of it when I tried it at the NYC Coffee & Tea Festival a couple of years ago, but I’ve been struggling with it ever since. A little better hot rather than iced , but not by much. Strangely, there’s a little bit of viscosity to the brew that I find off-putting (hot or iced). Lesson learned – never buy a pound of ANY tea unless it’s something you drink all the time.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89
drank Pumpkin Chai by David's Tea
113 tasting notes

Sipdown (from last year!!!). Favorite autumn tea, perfect balance of chai spice and pumpkin flavor. I am an unapologetic fan and will be replenishing this shortly.

Flavors: Pumpkin, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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