Dammann FreresEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
The 8-year-old kid next door had a birthday this week. Hence, the adults surrounding the kid had to get wasted and party through the night.
And now there is more joy. They’ve set up some sort of video game with various repeated pings, dings, and doorbell sounds alongside my living and dining space, so just yay! And then, there are the considerate joy cries of the whole family when the kid scores a goal or hit or whatever the aim is. Hurray for considerate neighbours. Gee, thanks.
Tomorrrow is Family Day here, so I expect more of the same. And then after that, for quite some time. What are the chances that this kid is going to be enjoying this quietly while wearing headphones? I am doubtful.
This tea is a comfort though. The scent while steeping was black currant with hints of caramel. I really hoped that these scents would translate into flavours in my cup. And they did. Black currant and various red fruit and jam flavours, such as red currant, perhaps a bit of strawberry tartness.
Thank you, VariaTEA, for the sample. It is making my day far more pleasant.
Flavors: Black Currant, Caramel, Red Fruits
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
I picked this up years ago during Anna’s stash sale but somehow haven’t drunk it much over the years. I do like it, though. Today I paired it with some galette des rois to complement the frangipane (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd3oUrhla5d/). It was a good match! The floral violet flavor works really well with flaky almond pastry. I couldn’t taste the macaron note but it might have just been drowned out by the actual almond in the cake or have faded with age. In the second steep, the blackcurrant note comes to dominate the cup.
Another good way to enjoy this blend is to make a tea soda with it! Brew with double leaf, add a little sugar, allow to cool and/or add ice, top with seltzer. This brings out the floral and fruit notes and results in a vibrant, refreshing beverage.
There are still quite a few teas from the awesome DF group order that I have not yet written tasting notes for. The keemun base is perfect here, perfect with these flavors: chocolate! almond! The chocolate flavor blends seamlessly with the chocolate notes of the base tea and I can’t tell where each begins or ends. It’s a lovely cocoa, dark chocolate flavor. The toasty almond flavor makes it even more delicious. Definitely a winner from DF and a tea I’d definitely order again. I’d love to try more chocolate flavored Keemun and I’m surprised I don’t find more of them out there in the tea world.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate
TBH I am not really sure why I picked this up. Between the cherry and the almond, this is marzipan and medicinal and basically not what I look for in a tea. However, I feel like I should have seen that coming with this flavor profile. I am wondering if I confused this with one of the other Noel teas.
Looking through my cupboard I was shocked that I had never reviewed this one. It is one of my new favorites! Rectifying that now.
This tea, amazingly, fills the hole left by the dear, departed Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black from Verdant, since they no longer blend their teas. No, the base tea isn’t as good as Laoshan Black, but it is distinctly different than DF’s normal black tea bases and does seem to be a high quality Chinese black with long wiry leaves. It is so fluffy it didn’t fit in one of my standard 100g tins that all other DF teas fit in, I had to use an extra large tin. The flavors are chocolate, rose, and bergamot, which is pretty much heaven for me. In the end, this tea may be BETTER than BRLB because I taste more of the bergamot and rose, which is always something I had problems with. There is really not much more I could ask of this tea, and I hope they never stop carrying it.
Flavors: Bergamot, Chocolate, Citrus, Rose
Fruity McFruiterson. I’m not an herbal tea person, but I’m happy this does not have the full punch of rose hips that usually come across as really sour to me. It’s sweet, somewhat jammy, totally orchard fruits. Brews up a lovely warm pink/red and smells great. Again, I’m not an herbal tea fan but will definitely hold the rest of this tin for when I have herbal tea drinkers over because I think it would be a hit with herbal fans. I also could see myself maybe reaching for this one in the summer to make iced tea, I think it would lend itself very well on a hot summer day. It has a richness and depth to it that I usually don’t experience with herbals…….a bit velvety and very smooth.
I realized I never reviewed this tea, and yet I recently drank it down. I used it for cold steeping, which is how I do pretty much all of my green teas these days. I really enjoyed the orange blossom flavors: a little bit of citrus, a little bit of floral. Would probably purchase this one again for cold steeps.
Flavors: Floral, Orange, Orange Blossom
The caramel here came off a bit astringent. Sour isn’t the right word but it did carry aspects of what I associate with it. May have let it sit too long in the cupboard although I made a small cup of this ages ago and it was more of the same. The oolong part was rather soft as well. Definitely done in more of the traditional way than the “green” oolong style… which isn’t my favourite (really gotta be in the mood to enjoy).
Overall, rather tasty, all considering. Might have done better as a latte?
Thanks for the sample Sil!!
Just finished this one off as a midday cuppa. It’s not really anything fancy or extravagant; just your run of the mill green tea with sweet spearmint notes. Just the tiniest step up from the even more common/run of the mill green tea and peppermint pairing. I will say, for whatever reason, this read as especially sweet to me when I drank it – not that spearmint isn’t already pretty sweet.
Like usual I’m maintaining my position that, while this was a good tea, if you ARE going to shell out the money for some Dammann Freres it’s much more worthwhile to go for something more unique to the company. You can find a recreation of this at more than a dozen places…
Finishing this one up right now while I wait for the bus; I didn’t realize until literally just now that 2/3 of the teas I brought with today for work were Dammann Freres ones. Usually I try to vary things a little more than that…
This one was a free sachet sample that came in my most recent DF order. I wasn’t excited about it per say, but it is a step up from the very generic “English Breakfast” or “Green Tea” sachet samples that usually seem to come with DF orders.
It’s not bad – a mix of floral lemon notes and generic herbaceousness. Of course, that’s essentially all that there is to Verbena in the first place. I’d call it delightfully average overall. Probably good as an option for before bed. However, like I’ve said with many DF teas – I associate the company with really nice quality flavoured teas. For the price you’re paying, I definitely wouldn’t waste my money ordering something as simple as Verbena when I can get the equivalent quality from a different company for a better price.
If I’m spending money at DF it’s for something fancy I can’t get elsewhere.
So I’m on holiday in the limousin, France. No Internet signal so I didn’t have my phone but found a dammann freres.
My French is terrible but the lady didn’t have bai mu Dan but said this is ‘a grade up’ from it.
Not sure how bad their bai mu Dan is, but this is not what I would consider a grade up from mine.
Its also a different tea altogether, being greener and thin wiry compared to the image on their website. But they describe the dominant note accurately : ‘plain’.
Its very plain, with gentle green bitterness. No florals or any complexity, no white wine, no white tea even.
Just didnt know what to make of it, very boring.
Iced, with a tiny spot of honey.
I felt like iced you could really, really tell this was a tea with red currant in it. It was just very bright as a flavour overall both in the top notes and the body notes, with such a lovely ripeness to it. Lots of cranberry notes as well, but more in the undertones and providing a bit of ‘baby crispness/tartness’ in the finish. Nothing unpleasant, but just enough to diversify the overall profile and give this a nice clean finish. Malt notes from the black base.
This continues to be a very solid red fruit/berry black tea option for me that I’m happy to have in my stash.
Hot tea immediately before bed. I know there are a ton of fruits in this one, but this time I only got cranberry. Cranberry jam, more specifically. It was good, though.
I’ve been working on building up my caffeine tolerance again; it’s coming along though not perfectly. It’s a process. More tea/more caffeine will gradually get me there, though. I am finding if I drink something caffeinated and then immediately go to bed afterwards (like within ten minutes) that I’m fine though! It’s just not enough time for the caffeine to really ‘set in’, so to speak.
Hot cuppa from a few nights ago.
I was really in the mood for berry, but a darker/full bodied berry that wasn’t overly sweet or sugary. This was a really good pick because it had beautiful, natural currant and raspberry notes but still a strong, present black tea flavour for backbone. Malty, and jammy all at the same time!
It would have been really good with scones or tea biscuits for dunking, as well.
Trying this one hot, this time around, and actually paying more attention to the flavour!
It’s a little bit weird knowing how many different red fruit elements are in this tea if I’m being honest, because I mostly just taste the cranberry. It’s a good balance between quite sweet but also a little bit tart. It’s not a bad thing that this flavour is the majority of what I’m tasting though, in fact cranberry is probably actually the red fruit note that I like the most in tea; and specifically in black teas. It’s very likely my taste buds are just hard core honing in on it because of this fact…
Apart from a heck of a lot of cranberry, I do get some of the other elements though! The raspberry is the next strongest flavour to me, and in more of a jammy way. Apart from that, the rest of the fruit notes just meld together as this mixed red fruit undertone. I’ll take it though! All of these elements combined are still VERY lovely.
The black base is nice too; a mix of present but light floral, malt, and sort of pine wood notes!? The pine is the most surprising, but not unwelcome. Like a much beloved friend/relative unexpectedly popping by for a visit.
So, I didn’t really notice much about this tea – but I think the reason for that is pretty justifiable! I was drinking it while the not-boyfriend was over at my house and we were watching shitty d-list horror movies. I was far too distracted by him and his reactions to the movies to pay next to any attention to the tea I was quickly downing.
He was just too adorable.
I do remember thinking it reminded me of DT’s Superberry tea in some way – but now I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that made me think of that tea. I did like Superberry a lot though, even if it wasn’t one of DT’s more popular blends. I’d love to see it come back as one of the New Years/Feel Good teas!
Anyway; I’ll get to experience this one again – I did buy 100g of it, so plenty left to sample.
Doing a bit of experimentation with this one…
Brewed it up as an iced tea, but in even less water than I would normally use for iced tea to make more of a concentrate/intense red hued liquor to pour over my ice. Then, after I’d poured it over ice I topped up the mug with lemonade. I was trying to get a little bit of a red to pale yellow gradient going but it didn’t work visually because it all just blended together to make a lighter red colour.
However it was fucking AMAZING flavour wise! The taste of the tea didn’t get covered at all; it was still very bright, sweet candied strawberries/strawberry jam with nutty pistachio undertones except there was a sweet and semi-tart lemon top note to compliment the rest of the profile! Obviously strawberry lemon works quite well together as a pairing because it’s complimenting fruit notes while having the contrast between sweet and acidic, but I wasn’t sure how the nutty pistachio would play into the overall flavour. It was great, though! It added a different kind of sweetness, and I liked the nutty quality with the citrus.
So good! Probably more tea lemonade experimentation to come…
As an iced tea, this time.
I definitely didn’t use enough leaf for this iced tea so I know the flavour was a little off. I had premeasured it at home before hand, and then brought it to work in a sample bag but as soon as I had poured it in the Steeper I realized it wasn’t enough tea. Couldn’t do anything at that point though…
Taste wise, it was very apple heavy with mild, delicate strawberry and hibiscus undertones and a bit of a sweet, candied pistachio finish. It did still taste good, but no where near as rich and full bodied as it would have been brewed properly. Plus, while apple notes can be nice, they’re definitely not supposed to be the main flavour in this tisane and not what I was looking forward to when I selected it.
Live and learn.