Dammann Freres

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60
drank Clair de Fruits by Dammann Freres
303 tasting notes

Okay, so I’m going to curl up in bed with a cup of tea and a few articles I have to read online. Bed, because it’s where the internets are strongest in this apartment… also it’s warm. And there are fresh linens. So it’s just a really good place to be right now.

I have a theory about tea making at Dammann Frères. I think I already dramatized enough for one week in my Mamma Mia review, but imagine the exact opposite of what happened at the David’s Tea headquarters – instead, try to remember that scene in Love Actually where Rowan Atkinson is putting together the gift package for Alan Rickman’s disastrous, horrid little extramarital fling. These very elegantly dressed men who throw in a pinch of this, and a pinch of that with an expert flick of the wrist and then step back and reflect and then add another pinch and then it just goes on like that forever.

Because, in the end, all these blends are almost exactly the same. They have nice bases and high quality ingredients, but they’re the same bases and high quality ingredients – they’re just put together in different manners. I would have a very hard time telling any of the DF teas I’ve tried so far (with a few exceptions) apart in a blind experiment.

This is one of my favourites of their same-same-but-different teas, though. I have a hard time writing a tasting note for it, as I constantly want to refer to their other teas, ’It’s the almond used in X, and the berry used in X and the…’ But that seems unfair – instead, let me declare this a tremendously well-balanced green with notes of berries, exotic fruits and really elegant florals. Would I be able to tell it apart from any other fruity and floral DF tea in a week? Probably not.

Oh, and speaking of Love Actually, here’s a brilliant and hilarious takedown of that sexist-beyond-comprehension cringefest of a movie: http://jezebel.com/i-rewatched-love-actually-and-am-here-to-ruin-it-for-al-1485136388

[From my epic Instant-Thé order to Rome, October 2013.]

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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45
drank Thé des 2 Chinois by Dammann Freres
303 tasting notes

This is a sample that came with my order. It looks like a nice enough blend on paper, I mean – mango, rose petals? Other delightful fruity things?

But then there’s Dammann Frères’ ginger. And boy, is their ginger not for me. It’s a faux-exotic ginger. It’s a dirty ginger. I don’t know if I can explain it better. It’s just so medicinal.

Furthermore, this tea isn’t at all as well-balanced as I’ve come to expect from DF. Both in the bag and in the cup, and both in terms of scent and flavour, the ginger overpowers everything else.

In additional news, tonight’s game is killing me.

[Sample from my epic Instant-Thé order to Rome, October 2013.]

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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60

Alright, time for this Anna to do some Dammann damage. Dammannamage? No. Let’s not even go there.

This smells absolutely lush and lovely. There’s peach and a hint of orange and a vague, smooth fruit base. Brewed, the orange notes become more present, but without overpowering the peach.

In the cup, the tea reflects the scent profile quite accurately; I’m surprised by how much I enjoy the peach/orange combination.

A typical Dammann experience for me – a complex, pleasing blend that I wish packed far more punch. For my tastes, it’s just too subtle, but I do understand why most people love these teas.

[Sample from my epic Instant-Thé order to Rome, October 2013.]

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
JustJames

for the most part i appreciate dammann beyond their own advised steeping parameters, at least with blacks. 6 minutes steep makes me happy usually.

Anna

I like the blacks the way they are, though, mostly – but how long would you (over)steep their greens? I have experimented, but find it makes no difference, really.

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96

Este es un té negro saborizado, que mezcla variedades de té de China y Sri Lanka. Es un té muy aromático y floral, tiene un sabor dulce, achocolatado y con un leve toque licoroso.
Es una variedad ideal para darse un gusto refrescante, ya que aparte de tener flores de azulejo y pétalos maravilla, tiene un intenso aroma que mezcla frutilla y ruibarbo.
Si bien las flores le dan el cuerpo a este té, las frutas tienen notas que perduran por un largo rato en el retrogusto, sobretodo el ruibarbo, que queda dando vueltas en el paladar.
Es un té muy agradable, y que me llamó la atención por la presencia del ruibarbo, que cierra magistralmente las notas frescas de este blend, dejando este té de hoja de gran calidad (que viene en bolsa de cámara única), con carácterísticas muy equilibradas y dignas de la temporada estival.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Elégie Pourpre by Dammann Freres
998 tasting notes

I’m really enjoying this one tonight. It’s full of berry/vanilla goodness. The pu’erh is there but it’s more in the background adding depth rather than out front screaming “I’m a pu’erh”. I’m surprised at how well the blackberry is going with the pu’erh. I normally think pu’erh with cinnamon or with chocolate/coffee notes. This is a new experience, but one that I’m really liking.
Thanks Sil for another wonderful tea. I’ve had a really good day exploring some of the teas from your box. :))

Sil

Yay!

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Not sure what I did wrong with this one. It just seems flat to me, watery on tongue. I’m only getting a hint of berry, and it’s a little bitter.
Not sure if this is user error or it’s not as good as the other Dammann teas I’ve tried. Strange – oh well – moving on…
Thanks Sil for another interesting tea!!

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I could have sworn I smelled cherry in this, but I guess it is that almond/cherry crossover smell! I’m really not getting much flavor from this at all which is disappointing considering how delicious the ingredients sound.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Anna

…and yet, the black teas are the ones I think are the most flavourful of DF’s blends. The greens are just too wimpy for my tastes.

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81

A generous sample given to me by Sil! Thank you so much!

Just got in the door from work and it was 25 degrees outside. I wanted to go straight to sleep but first I had to thaw out. With Dammann, of course. Because they are my new favorite thing lately.

Dry leaf smells of the a chemical/fakey caramel and red fruit. I’m sure it will settle out when the water hits it, but this wasn’t something I was too fond of smelling dry.

Steep notes: 2.4 g. leaf, 8 oz, water, no additives, below parameters.

There is still a kind of fake caramel note in the smell. The fruit seems more authentic, though I can’t pick out specifics. Mostly I want to say raspberry, which is unfortunate because I don’t like raspberry all that much.

The taste is a caramel (it does taste a little fake, which surprised me) and then a jammy fruit spread flavor. This has a very thick mouthfeel, it really reminds me a lot of preserves or something. Yep, raspberry jam and caramel in a nutshell.

I do really like how thick and chewy this is…it’s just a darn shame there wasn’t strawberry or cherry in the forefront. For a raspberry tea, though, it’s still pretty drinkable. And it helped warm me up.

Sigh. Now off to bed before going back to work again tonight.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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69
drank Noël à Londres by Dammann Freres
1441 tasting notes

Dammann Frères calendar day I-forget-which.

Smells strongly of marzipan, and little else. I think it likely needs some sort of sweetener, but I just left it as-is. It’s okay, however I found it really one dimensional.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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drank Atomic Lemon by Dammann Freres
767 tasting notes

haha suprise mate and tea. it says tisane on the bag and it lead me to assume wrong.
and here i am trying to stop drinking caffeine after 2pm. well, at least it’s a friday. !!!
i’ve been trying to play viola more. i am very much a uber beginner. and can’t read music or anything. i just figure out the main melodies to songs i like and then play them poorly.
my fortune cookie on new years day read “Do it because you love it”.
that’s a pretty nice reminder.

keychange

don’t let the music snobs spoil your love of music—reading music can come in handy for sure, but also handy (if not more necessary, imho) is having a great ear and a lot of fun! My fiancé is almost completely blind (as am I), and although he can read braille music, he doesn’t read it at all anymore and learns everything (very quickly) by ear, and works as a music therapist (his primary instrument being the piano). I sing, and when he and I are learning pieces/songs together, it’s all about ears! :)

JustJames

sounds like you’re doing the kodaly method. very good for strings, very good for emphasizing intuitive playing. =0)

Shmiracles

hey thanks for the cheerleading! yay!
i play bass by ear because that’s what you do in bands. but when i started viola the first time a few years back i took lessons and tried to use a book and it just basically sucked all the fun out of an instrument that is already WAY difficult! i quit lessons and put it away for a few years. so now it’s time for a re-do! 2014!
if all i do is play the Hobbit Misty Mountains song and Lykke Li’s ‘I Follow Rivers’ on repeat then so be it.

keychange

attagirl!

OMGsrsly

That’s awesome. :D I did Suzuki method, which is a lot of listening to tapes with the printed music as backup.

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86

Decided to try this iced, but made it the traditional way (boiling water, then add sugar, then cooled). Added a little less than 1/4 cup of sugar to 1/2 gallon of tea.

This was actually too sweet, even though I used my normal sweetening parameters when making iced tea. I think it could have gone down to about 1 tsp. per cup (so, less than 3 tbsp.) and been okay. The mint added a bit of sweetness on its own which is why I think I can be a little more lenient on the sugar.

I also think I’ll steep it for an extra minute or so, since mint was at the forefront of the flavor and I would have really liked to have some green tea, too. Mostly these are notes for next time, since I know I’ll be making more of this iced before the summer’s over.

Not bad, which is good because I have a bunch of this to use up!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 8 tsp 64 OZ / 1892 ML

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86

The third of the teas I ordered from Dammann, and a backlog from last night.

(I know that I am the queen of needless verbosity so I’m sorry in advance, but I’m including the backstory to keep it all straight in my head for future reference.)

I am ambivalent about mint teas in general, so this was a tea I mostly ordered for the boyfriend, who goes through Moroccan Mint in 250 g. increments. He really liked the Teavana version (which uses spearmint) but that is needlessly expensive, and then I switched to buying Upton (which uses peppermint) because it was cheaper and we both really dislike the ambiance and price of Teavana.

When I was looking for DF teas to buy I found that this one uses nana mint, a spearmint varietal that is actually what a Moroccan mint tea SHOULD contain. Since we needed a restock anyway this was a no brainer.

Which leads us to last night. The dry leaf didn’t have too much of a smoky note to it, which is good because I prefer less if possible. The mint was also very mild -definitely spearmint, but a little bit shyer.

Steep notes: below parameters, 2 tsp. leaf to 500 ml. water in the Breville, and no additives.

This is a well blended tea in that I taste the mint and the green equally. It doesn’t shout mint and it doesn’t do that cooling trick in your mouth that an overload of mint tends to cause. Nice and muted, and up the boyfriend’s alley. He’s most pleased with it, actually.

As for me, its good. Mint greens aren’t my thing and are pretty interchangeable, but I wasn’t getting it for me in the first place. He will go through it, and that’s all that matters.

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

what else did you pick up!

Terri HarpLady

Inquiring minds want to know! :)

JoonSusanna

Haha- I did this one, the Figue Fraiche and Noel A Venise. I’ve reviewed them all now, and I’m such a slow drinker that 100g. of each of those is going to last a long time.

Sil

nice!

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95

As always, this is a TASTY cold brew. It really gets more apple-y that way and it reminds me strongly of apple juice. Super refreshing!

I will say that for whatever reason I must have messed up the leaves this time because the resteep of this tasted wrong/moldy. I spit it out and dumped the rest down the drain, but its a mystery why this happened since its not like it came in contact with anything besides water, which was freshly filtered before I put it in the fridge.

I should try to make iced the traditional way just to see if there’s a difference in flavor, but I do enjoy it very much this way. I was very hesitant about buying 100 g. of this because it is quite a lot for me to drink but at the rate I’m having it iced a sipdown is NOT going to be a problem – if anything the problem is going to be how sad I am when I run out!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 25 OZ / 739 ML
Leah Claire

Gonna have to try it! Where do you order your Dammann Freres from? The place I used to get it shut down :(

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95

This really is amazing cold brewed. I can always get two steeps out of it and it doesn’t need sugar to be fruity and refreshing. One thing I have noticed is that the fig tends to resemble more of a prune in flavor when it’s cold. I like either fruit though so it’s not a big deal.

This is fast becoming one of my favorite teas to drink cold, which is good because I have quite a bit of it to drink up!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 5 tsp 25 OZ / 739 ML

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95

Do you know what happens when you put 5 tsp. of this in a DAVIDsTEA mason jar (25 oz. volume) and let this cold brew for about…oh, 18 hours?

Well, first of all, you get the most fabulous fruity iced tea that there ever was. The base Dammann uses here allows for the juicy fig note to take center stage but this is still very much a good black tea that does not need sweetening to be awesome.

Second of all, you can use the leaves twice and get a lighter black tea with even more sweet figgy notes that is just as amazing as the first go around.

This was a definite win – the mason jar (I love it so hard), the tea, everything. I’ll be experimenting with other fruity teas cold but honestly this may take over peach tea as my cold tea of choice this summer.

Dustin

Does the metal filter fit into all mason jars or just one it comes with?

JoonSusanna

I would say yes, though I don’t have any mason jars of comparable size to check for sure. It doesn’t snap in or anything, though – really it’s just like their smaller stainless steel strainers that I use with any mug.

Dustin

Ah, I see. It looked like the lip was smaller than the perfect mug strainer when I checked the website. I do a lot of cold steeps in the fridge in mason jars over the summer, so it could be handy to have.

Plunkybug

Sweet! I want the mason jar for cold brewing especially!

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95

This was one of the three teas I got from Dammann recently. I steeped this up for myself while I made the boyfriend Noël à Venise (lucky guy is working from home today, because it was “icy” this morning).

I like figs. I like figs and I like tea and there really aren’t any straight fig black teas that I’ve seen anywhere else, plus my mother LOVES figs and her birthday is coming up. Since Dammann seems to be really good at producing natural flavorings I was willing to bet this would be a good choice to spring for 100 grams of.

The dry leaf is sweet and fruity, yes there is fig but also kind of strawberry-ish notes. No chemical notes, just fruit. Simple and to the point.

Steep notes: 2.4 g (1 heaping teaspoon) leaf to about 8-10 oz. water, no additives, below parameters.

Sometimes with DF the scent changes a lot from dry to steeped tea. That wasn’t the case with this one at all – it was that same lovely fig/strawberry smell, only magnified out of the cup to our entire breakfast nook. YUM.

The steeped tea itself is also very dark and looks a bit more viscous than tea usually does…almost like a prune juice. The taste, though, is perfect: fresh juicy fig, in a smooth, chewy black tea. This is quite a solid, unique offering from Dammann and I’m glad to have sprung for it!

[Boyfriend liked the Noël à Venise, btw. Wants to try it iced, even. DF is a miracle worker, because this guy doesn’t do flavored anything unless its mint or earl grey. I feel like I should move to France to thank them, haha].

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Dustin

The French have such interesting flavor combinations for tea! There was a The O Dor tea I had that has fig and something else in it, but I can’t remember the name now. Not much of a recommendation, is it? :)

JustJames

this is a brilliant tea…… you’re tempting me to get into mine, lol!

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Sil just informed me that another box is on it’s way! I’ve barely touched the box she sent last month, so I guess I’d better get my act together! This one is from that previous box, probably meant to entertain me during the HoliDaze season, but I was so busy in the month of December that I pretty much stuck to teas I know & love, for familiarity, comfort, & caffeine. This week I’ve been enjoying a reprieve, & it feels so good to just sit around a little bit. It’s almost noon, & I do have a some things to do, a few errands to run, some desk organizing work. But for now, I’ll enjoy a cup or 2.

This tea makes me think of a lovely lemon curd with a little crust under it, but it doesn’t quite capture what it’s aiming for, in my opinion. It’s not bad, but I would like a base that is a little thicker & chewier, if you know what I mean. Still, as an afternoon tea I can see that many people would enjoy it.

First sipdown of the New Year! 363!

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82
drank Paul & Virginie by Dammann Freres
1779 tasting notes

Thank you Sil for the sample! (155)
I steeped it up by mistake but I’m not regretting it! It’s fruity and sweet and has a nice base.

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drank Fragola by Dammann Freres
767 tasting notes

how nice of dammann to put their hibiscus tea in a red bag. so i can easily know which teas to — RED ALERTSTOPNOT drink.
not even dammann can make hibiscus less hibiscusy.
just not my thing ya know.

VariaTEA

I am the same with hibiscus. I look at ingredients and if there is hibiscus in a blend I learned I probably won’t drink it. Herbals are especially upsetting because they always smell so sweet and fruity and then taste so tart – it’s always a letdown.

JustJames

you and Anna have bonded i am sure, lol. you won’t even sip for science? ;0)

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free sample from dammann.
do your worst rooibos!

not so bad! real mellow rooibos. and real mellow vanilla.
keep’n it classy dammann.

Fjellrev

I lol’d too. :)

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78
drank Velours Nacré by Dammann Freres
8261 tasting notes

mmmmm thank you missb! another almond flavoured tea that i quite like, though i’m not sure this surpasses the others from Damman freres that i love. Another smooth tea with a base that i enjoy. I don’t really get the blood orange taste that is supposedly in this one, so maybe thats why it seems similar to the other DF almond teas that i’ve had. However, still a pleasant tea :)

Edit: 163…whee!

Anna

Can’t I just give you my Dammann Frères teas, and you send me an equal amount of Lupicia teas? Everyone happy.

Terri HarpLady

She’ll probably do it, Anna!

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i like licorice root teas. they are warming and comforting.
they remind me of the days that i sang in bands and would drink cups and cups while on our scruffy tours in our rattly van.
it sounds more adventurous and fun than it really was. just trust me on that.

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drank Earl Grey by Dammann Freres
767 tasting notes

a classic tea from a classic company, brewed on the last day of the year.
this is tea tasting # 599.

important baby update, i live with a family and the baby took her first steps a few days ago. and somehow it’s totally made her EXTRA stoked on life! i mean, she was already stoked but now she reaches hyper proportions of excitement. it’s contagious and i feel lucky to be able to hang out with her so regularly.
future highlights will include choreographing dances and tea parties (duh!)

Lala

I remember when my twin nephews figured out how awesome it was to stand at the baby gate and throw things down the stairs. They thought they ruled the world.

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drank Noël à Venise by Dammann Freres
437 tasting notes

This tea tastes of lightly floral lemon pie filling with a sweetened aftertaste from the caramel. There is a hint of vanilla and cool sugary meringue note. A smooth base underneath, adds a bit of depth and a touch of bitterness and pastry. This tea has a sweet aftertaste. More tartness from lemon appears as it cools and as Lala noticed the flavour intensifies. The flavour was very light when hot. A nice sweet lemon tea with the caramel adding a warmth and richness to the tea.

Sil

mmmmm…

gmathis

Mercy…these people need to hire you to write their catalog copy. I’m drooling on the keyboard.

Fjellrev

You seriously make this sound wicked fantastic.

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