Dammann Freres

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drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
612 tasting notes

This was a ZOMG diamond prize in the awesome swap box Dexter3657 sent me—I’ve been DYING to try it; it’s the tea from Dammann that was the main motivation every time I’d go through the hoops of online shopping basket calculations and fretting about customs—huge THANK YOU! Every time I nearly pulled the trigger on an overseas or through-some-mysterious-North-American-vendor-and-still-expensive order, I teetered on that ledge and walked off just in time by reminding myself until I know for sure I love this or other similar gorgeous sounding blends from them it’s silly really.

So to be honest, I’ve been secretly hoping to be let down a little so I can breathe a sigh of relief and forget about all the hassle/cost. Well. Turns out not quite. There are not angels blowing trumpets in my mouth or anything, but this is quite good. It’s hard to find many fig teas at all, harder still to find any that really taste of fig, and then nearly impossible to find ones that taste of fig AND are tasty as tea. While not the rapturous perfection I was fantasizing about in my head (a perfect fresh fig is, for me, one of the most transcendent and dizzingly sexy gastronomic experiences one can have), this is good and grows on me the more I linger on it. I can see why the smell could be offputting to some—it’s a very ripe bordering on spoiled fig, or maybe like a jammy, cooked down or dried one. You know that aromatic element of extremely soft, sweet-to-bursting, floral-rot funk fruit gets, kind of wine skin-ish? It’s like that. What’s interesting is flavor-wise it does not taste overly sweet at all. It’s a bit woody-drying thanks to the Ceylon I think, and it fits well because it captures the seed-filled sticky quality of a real fig. There’s a subtle tartness too that works well with that texture. And I like that you can taste the tea, and it contributes naturally to the impression of figginess.

So. I rather like this. I’m not blown away though, so I’m thinking it’s a good thing I didn’t go crazy ordering DF for myself in full-size amounts just yet. Thank you so much Dexter3657 for helping me figure this all out. Super useful opportunity.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
NofarS

There is a huge fig tree near where I work, and we often pass it on our way to lunch. The smell of the figs in season is dizzingly uplifting. I love figs!

Dexter

Sorry that you weren’t blown away, but really happy to have helped you in the learning/exploration of this tea. Try before you buy is always a good thing – maybe you’ll find something else you like better that is easier to get a hold of. :))

ifjuly

Man Dex, I’ve been trying to no avail to leave comments on your notes all week but whenever I hit post they disappear into the ether and suddenly the page says I’m not following you. Ack! Anyway, I’ve been so happy to see you dig some of the stuff I sent—I haven’t tried the wine pu erh yet myself but now I’m even more excited to (let’s not go into what that even says about the sorry crazy state of affairs re: my out of control stash, heh).

Anyway, yes! I’ve really been enjoying the teas you sent me—had a bunch of the fancypants straight blacks last week and need to log them soon, and my husband and I have been enjoying the S&Vs for afternoon tea—and this was definitely the one I knew would be the most useful/game-changing for me, where it’d either convince me to part with a bunch of money and start stressing about DF ordering, or I’d be relieved, ha. I’m so glad I have a better grip on their tea now. I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve tried of theirs but not “spend a fortune to buy 100g” in love, which is perfect really. Thank you so much!

ifjuly

NofarS, as a fig fiend that is my idea of heaven! (:

Dexter

Not to worry – Steepster has been misbehaving for me this week too. Happy that you have been enjoying the package I sent you. :))
I don’t want to talk about the sorry state of my cupboard – I haven’t tried ANY not one of my BF teas – including this one. I haven’t tried any of the Fauchon I sent you…. out of control stash. I need to take a couple of days and drink some of MY teas.:))

__Morgana__

I remember finding this tea somewhat discombobulating when I first tasted it because I’d never had fig in tea before, but once I got past that I became a big fan.

MissB

Heh, you two and me as well with the out-of-control stashes! :) I have a huge fig tree in my front yard.. I should see about mailing them off when they’re ripe again, because literally pounds of them went to waste last year. I posted on Craigslist for people to come and get them, even.

ifjuly

Sooooo jealous! I would gorge on them ‘til I got sick if I could in the summertime, nothing makes me feel quite as languid and summery voluptuous as biting into a fresh fig, yum. A few friends here have had trees in the past at the apartments/houses they rented, but they’ve since moved on. I can’t grow anything that survives past a year to save my life alas, so I am fruitless.

I also always think of that cheesy-funny scene in the movie adaptation of House of Mirth with Gillian Anderson where the guy comes on to her by offering her figs and mentioning their, ehrm, evocative qualities. Haha.

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86

This tea was a revelation for me. Such a fragrant tea, smells like an orange macaron with hints of clove and vanilla which would usually turn me off since I’m not a big fan of sweet teas yet this tea was refreshing and smooth with just the right amount of sweetness.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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65

Sipdown!

Had this tea like two months ago and I hated it so much.
BUT I USED THE REST OF MY LEAVES AND HAD IT AS A COLD BREW AND IT IS SO MUCH BETTER OKAY.
Just don’t have it hot. It’s like.. it’s too sweet and medicine-y hot, and it’s much more tame as a cold brew :)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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65

I was intrigued by this tea because white peony petals and marzipan and wow so many things going on in one tea I just //had// to try it!

Opening up the package and wow. Overwhelmed by the fruity/sweet/candy-like smells.
Brewing… oh. It smells like medicine. I don’t know what to expect from it now…
Tasting it… oh oh no. Now this is just a bit too sweet for me. I’m sure it’s good to some people! But this is just too much and it’s leaving a weird sweet aftertaste in my mouth.

I was kinda disappointed with this tea? Usually the sweet teas lose some flavour when you steep, but this just got stronger. I was so excited for this tea, but sometimes less is more. I really want to love this tea, but I’m sorry, I took two sips and I can’t finish.

Five minutes later and the aftertaste is still there. I’ll try this tea again later on. Maybe balance out the sweet with a bit of milk? Just not tonight.

Shmiracles

wow it’s kinda surprising that you didn’t like this one very much, but that’s okay because MOAR for MEE!
it’s one of my faves. i mean, i just think it tastes like jammie dodgers so how could it not be in my tops.

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drank Thé des Poètes by Dammann Freres
2217 tasting notes

From MissB. I could NOT find this tea this morning, and then I thought: ACCENTS! So here we are.

This is so delicious. I couldn’t tell what the flavour was, besides fruity. It’s so good. I’m steeping it again now that I’m home from work.

The remainder that’s cold in my mug from this morning is still good, honestly. The resteep is fantastic. The flavours are more muted, but it’s still delicious fruity black tea.

Thanks, MissB!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec
MissB

I have SOOOO much of this, if you’d like more. Had to grab 100g minimum, and then another 200g for CelebriTEA for her portion of the 12 Days of Christmas swap. It’s really good, however I’m sure I can part with an ounce or two. :P

Courtney

Hahaha ACCENTS. :P

Yvonne

This sounds absolutely wonderful.

OMGsrsly

LOL. Just 300g of tea? That’s it? You surprise me, MissB.

OMGsrsly

Well, Steepster does not link The and Thé when searching…

Sil

May have to swap you for some MissB I might actually like this one haha

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79
drank Velours Nacré by Dammann Freres
1779 tasting notes

And this is a sipdown! Somehow the almond flavours seem warmer and more comforting today than before. It’s almost thick in my mouth with all that flavour. Very nice! Definitely beats Boston Blend (H&S), although I don’t know that I would order any.

(152)

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79
drank Velours Nacré by Dammann Freres
1779 tasting notes

Thanks MissB for letting me try this one out! It’s a nice almond tea, but I’m not really getting much else from it. It seems well suited for such a cold day, but I don’t think it’s one I’d crave as I’m not so much into nutty teas. ;) Glad I tried it though.

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The dry tea smells like cherries. I used about half the water than I usually do in my David’s mug, hoping for a more concentrated taste and I think I got that. I’m reading the description now because I have no idea what I am tasting. Poppy and peony?! I have never tasted those before! Maybe the cherry I was smelling was the marzipan. This is probably the best DF cup I have gotten so far! Even so, it isn’t a must have, but I would enjoy drinking it again sometime.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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The dry tea looks pretty and Xmasy. Red, green and white bits. My first sip was strange tho. It was almost medicinal cherry. Like those sore throat lozenges that leave the back of my mouth and throat feeling odd. I was hoping their white teas might sit better with my palate, but this one is actually worse than the blacks.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I can smell a faint chocolate scent in this dry tea. It is still faint when brewed as well. It tastes lightly of chocolate, but there really isn’t any kind of wow in this tea either.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This was the last tea with a description that sounds intriguing on the back of the advent calendar. I enjoyed the experience of the calendar and the chance to explore a new brand of tea, but I do wish they had put more of their regular or best seller teas instead of special holiday blends full of varying degrees of citrus.
This has the scent of a nice black base. At first it seemed cherry scented, but now I think I can pick out fig instead if I work really hard at it. A few sips in and the individual flavors just fade and I get a nice but indistinguishable cup. Nice but unimpressive.

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90

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drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
2217 tasting notes

Sweet, juicy, fruity tea.

Thanks so much, MissB!

I’ve really enjoyed this one, but I’m not sure I’d ever pick any up. It’s just not a flavour I think I’d reach for a lot. But you never know. Maybe in the future… :)

(252)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
MissB

I pretty much feel the same way about this tea. :)

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drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
2217 tasting notes

My sample is a little mushed, so it’s gone a bit to astringent… but wow! This is really tasty! Nice and sweet and fruity.

Thanks, MissB!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec
__Morgana__

I love this one. Now I want some. But I have to remember where I put it. LOL.

OMGsrsly

My Dammann Freres shopping list is growing… :)

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drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
2217 tasting notes

Yum.

Nothing added, a little less water than usual, and so fruity and tasty. My last caffeinated tea of the day.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
2217 tasting notes

I’ve re-steeped it today, and it’s all strawberry. Quite delicate, but delightful.

Definitely need to get a fresh version of this. :)

(Ooh yeah, strawberry tea.)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres
2217 tasting notes

While I like this tea well enough, I don’t get strawberry or rhubarb. More citrus. I think it’s been contaminated. :( Oh well. I’ll still drink the rest of my sample from Sil, and would be willing to try again!

It’s tart citrus to me, so… yeah.

JustJames

i would have to agree…. i don’t personally get citrus from this. i get curls of strawberry and rhubarb and, and…. so much in this tea!!! oh, i am sad for your cup! =0(

Sil

doh. that sucks :(

OMGsrsly

Oh well. I’ll just have to try it again. :)

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81

The tea leaves are beautiful, the resulting tea is mild, and the fragrance is amazing.
The tea leaves are whole enough that it doesn’t impart bitterness to the tea even if left to steep for longer than the recommended time.

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90
drank Violette by Dammann Freres
90 tasting notes

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90
drank Violette by Dammann Freres
90 tasting notes

This tea made my whole dorm room smell like violets; it is delightful! It tastes just as well too :) Today was particularly exhausting due to unpacking, grocery shopping, and driving for a few hours to the airport and back to pick up a friend; such is college life!
Anyways, This tea was a swap sample sent by James. It has a rich violet taste, very thick but not overdone. The black leaves underneath give it a very woodsy fragrance and a lightness to contrast the violet. I don’t think I would put this in my stash a a staple but it might be a “I need something different in my stash” kind of tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
JustJames

so glad it arrived!! this is a staple for me, but more for memory than for anything else =0)

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In case anyone out there doesn’t know already, Sil and Terri are the best. I just got the BBB box in the mail and it is filled to the brim with not only an amazing amount of awesome teas, Terri put in her Christmas CD so I can actually hear the Harp Lady in action! Sil, in typical Sil mode, put in an insane amount of tea. Her generosity is seriously enormous. Loving my tea ladies today!

To the tea!!! So I’m not a fruity tea gal, but lately my tastes have been changing. Not sure why. Maybe it was spending so much time in the dark roasty corners of laoshan and fujian teas that the pendulum has now swung the opposite way. I’m actually really enjoying this! Not gonna lie, I put a tiny dash of whipped cream on it and it’s super good. Like a berries & cream dessert. Thanks Sil!

Sil

Go go trying French teas heh

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89
drank Mangoustan by Dammann Freres
2189 tasting notes

Another from this smallish order. I had to order this one (#38) when I found out it existed since mangosteen is such a rare flavor to find. There are pretty much no other mangosteen teas that I’ve found (I did try one blend once, but it wasn’t very good)! This one is pretty mangosteen-y. It comes across as a nice tropical blend. I bet it would be fantastic cold brewed.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89
drank Mangoustan by Dammann Freres
2189 tasting notes

This tea I drank just now. Yum. The base on this tea seems a bit more keemun-y than Dammann’s usual blend. Not sure what it is about it, but it reminds me a touch of the keemun base on Lupicia’s Earl Grey.

Love drinking my tropical mangosteen tea. This one I don’t crave like some of the other DF teas, but I think that’s because it’s a bit simpler. It’s definitely still very tasty, and it captures the mangosteen flavor well. I should probably try cold brewing this one, I bet it would be awesome.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89
drank Mangoustan by Dammann Freres
2189 tasting notes

I love mangosteens but they are just such a hard fruit to find. They don’t travel well, so finding a fresh one in the states is next to impossible, and they just haven’t taken off as a “superfruit” so you rarely find them dried. That extends to tea… I have almost never seen a mangosteen flavored tea besides a few blends from grocery store teas trying to cash in on superfruit status. But I found out that Dammann has a mangosteen black, and I finally got around to ordering some (since CDV carried it).

The dry leaf certainly smells like mangosteen, that hard-to-describe, tropical, peach-passion fruit-banana-pear flavor. There are also clearly chunks of dried mangosteen in the blend. Steeped up, it retains that scent and flavor, with the addition of Dammann’s traditional Chinese/Ceylon tea base (people who dislike that blend will find the same flavor here; fortunately, I love the blend). The flavor is nice, slightly creamy, sweet and tart. Very pleased with the faithfulness to mangosteen here.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

You’re right, they must be hard to find, because I haven’t even seen them anywhere, and consequently, have never tried them before.

MissB

I pretty much lived in the US the past two summers, and I’ll readily admit I find it much harder to find fresh produce there than I do here in Canada. Mangosteens are a regular offering at the Asian grocery stores nearby, as well as some of the larger chain stores, depending. I have yet to have one however, I think. So cool that DF has one that honors the fruit well!

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