1339 Tasting Notes
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 24
This is never going to be my favourite but I can’t deny it’s festive. I don’t recall drinking it over a month ago but I must have. I do recall my mom liking this one both in 2021 and 2022 though. Different teas (and tisanes) for different folks.
2022 Advent Summary: I continue to love how solid and affordable DF is even if I don’t love their actual orange-cherry-spice Noël blends (everything else is tasty or at least interesting). Also, we go into 2023 knowing they are unlikely to leave Rooibos de Noël to the last advent day two years in a row, so hurrah! The future is bright.
Flavors: Bubblegum, Cherry, Citrus, Orange, Spices, Woody
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 25
Another catch-up note. The penultimate day was the blue version of this tea; I noted it would be lovely to try that spicy flavour profile on a black tea base and MF delivered. Memory is foggy now but I recall enjoying it a lot despite having difficulty describing it. It’s spicy, bready, and fruity but not remotely sweet; it’s like a christmas cookie-scented incense, which is apparently something I like. My mom shared a cup with me and thought it was magical, so vague tea.
2022 Advent Summary: MF really surprised me this year. I thought this was a far superior selection to 2021’s hyper focus on “Rhapsody” and “In Love” collections (both are meh imho) – even though it still leaned heavy on green and oolong blends. if I wanted to stock up on most of them I’d have to opt for expensive but pretty tins. I’m admittedly more than tempted when it comes to a few; there were some pretty neat teas!
Flavors: Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Cookie, Ginger, Malt, Spices, Vanilla, Woody
12th Tea of Christmas 2022
Woops! I never wrote notes for my last day of advents so let’s fix that (and now I must gather my fuzzy memory of a tea I drank over a month ago).
I recall enjoying this but also finding it a tad tricky. Sometimes the chemistry was spot on with the almond cookie bliss, while other times I steeped it a couple seconds too long – resulting in an astringent cuppa (confounded by cranberry antics). That was ok because then I happily added milk and had a decent brisk (for me) mug.
Anyways, I enjoyed my 12 Teas of Christmas a lot this year (as usual) even if not all the blends matched my preferences exactly (majority votes and I get out of my comfort zone lol). Looking forward to next Christmas 2023! :)
Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Brisk, Cookie, Cranberry, Malt, Marzipan, Nutty
Happy belated New Year, Steepsterites!
This one smells like it should have notes of cocoa but I mostly get sweet, dark malt, sweet potatoes, powdered sugar, and stone fruits – so sweet and deep but not chocolate-y like some of the yunnan teas per se. Still, it’s delicious and I’m glad Martin facilitated bringing these Georgian teas to my attention. Thank you!!
Steep Count: 3 – Western Style. The third steep is where I start to pick up the powdered sugar; there’s even a hint of pepper and spice. It’s a thinner cup but packs a lot of flavour into it.
Flavors: Dates, Malt, Pepper, Plum, Powdered Sugar, Smooth, Spices, Stonefruit, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tangy, Winter Honey
11th Tea of Christmas 2022
I had to chug this while heading out the door yesterday and am a little sad about that. It was tasty though – as I remember it being in the past. More of a candy rum than real rum, which is fine by me! I still don’t love that vegetal base (Chinese Sencha) but it doesn’t show up completely empty-handed and grass-stained; it also decently amplifies the butter and citrus notes. I enjoyed this one in the past and still enjoy it now but need a little more time to savour it (maybe Boxing Day?).
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Steepsterites! Now back to hovering over the turkey.
Flavors: Allspice, Butter, Candy, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cut Grass, Marine, Molasses, Nutmeg, Rum, Spices, Sweet, Vegetal
10th Tea of Christmas 2022
Still not a great lover of rooibos, but it’s nice to have something so unabashedly chocolate orange in the evening. Also pairs well with actual chocolate!
Probably going to use the rest up in a latte, later tonight. Should be good.
Flavors: Candy, Chocolate, Citrus, Orange, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Woody
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 24
While not particularly sweet, this festively flavoured oolong still tastes a lot like gingerbread! The oolong is green but thick enough to play with the citrus and spices; it does naturally well with the vanilla. Still.. I wish this was on a black tea base! It’s just thick enough to handle the earth and wood-oriented spices – but the floral-veg-butter profile doesn’t lean into the “bread” enough for my liking. I want bread (and the black tea version).
Otherwise, if I ignore my bread fantasies, this is a pretty tasty Christmas Eve tea :)
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Cookie, Earthy, Floral, Ginger, Mineral, Silky, Smooth, Spices, Vanilla, Vegetal, Woody
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 23
I was looking forward to this one too! I love raspberry – and this is a good jam-like raspberry. The grassy, creamy, and nutty profile of the oats is a cozy yet hearty change of pace too. It’s a good tisane to drink while hiding under a blanket from the weather (there was snow, then there was ice rain and wind, and now the city is a giant ice rink).
Flavors: Berries, Creamy, Grassy, Jam, Nutty, Oats, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 23
Initially smells and tastes a little like a Christmas potpourri: citrus fruits, vanilla, cinnamon, apple, and possibly a dash of cranberry and rosemary (there’s definitely something herbaceous in here). It’s busy, but it’s also nice to see a holiday-themed blend in this eclectic advent selection.The apple-like flavour is kind of a dry unsweet cider variety that’s actually my thing; the citrus is zest and rind rather than sweet. The blend is creamy, fruity, and spicy but only has the ghost of sweetness- which is a nice change of pace from all these sugarbomb fruit teas. The tea is growing on me a lot as the cup sits a bit! Cream and butter galore. Mmm…
Flavors: Allspice, Apple, Butter, Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Cranberry, Creamy, Herbaceous, Malt, Spicy, Tart, Vanilla, Woody
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 22
I often struggle with cherry and plum teas – finding them overly sweet, candy-ish, or medicinal. However, a fruit blossom-inspired tea appears to be a good work around for me. The stone fruit flower notes are still on the sweet side but subtler and lighter.
The plum is a deep shade to the cherry’s brighter high note – working in tangent to provide extra scope and depth. The flower hues are a good match for the Japanese sencha base – rich in sweetgrass and umami notes (and more than a little marine air). The addition of chrysanthemum may or may not be influencing the blend; it’s been a while since I had the flower and I don’t know if MF is using it in a way that would impact the blend much, if at all – beyond aesthetics (which are completely lost in a tea satchet). There’s definitely a sweet, almost sunflower nectar-like, floral note though.
The tea makes me think of spring and new beginnings. It also pairs spectacularly with the salami & cheese spread I’m munching on. Like, it’s totally annihilating that special lingering salami aftertaste with its sweet flower power. What a gem.
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Cherry Wood, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honeysuckle, Marine, Nectar, Plum, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Umami