Dammann Frères

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90
drank Kiwi Fukuyu by Dammann Frères
3032 tasting notes

Sipdown! (31 | 378)

Another one from derk, thank you!

This has been on my wishlist for a while now, but I just haven’t gotten around to ordering it. Since Dammann only sells in 100g bags, I tend to restrict myself to only getting a few teas when I order from them, which doesn’t happen more than once a year. Plus this tea is quite a bit more expensive than usual, which probably deterred me a bit as well.

But my god, this tea is so good! You can smell the tantalizing fruity aroma immediately upon opening the package, and it just smells so juicy and intense that it makes my mouth water. And the taste is exactly the same! A juicy sweet-tart pow of fruity goodness over a bed of thick, buttery, slightly grassy sencha. Dammann uses a more conventional Chinese sencha for most of their flavored greens, but this has an actual Japanese sencha base and I’m loving it. It has a much deeper flavor, and a hint of savoriness to it that really adds a nice bit of dimension here.

The fruit though… I’m trying to decide what it reminds me of, because it’s not kiwi. I want to say a plum of some kind, maybe with some apricot as well? But not a fresh one, more of a concentrated and intense flavor, like those thick fruit leathers that come in bar form. I’m not sure what those are called, but hopefully you know what I’m talking about…

Anyway, this is definitely going on my to-order list for next time. Thanks derk! :)

Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Fruity, Grass, Juicy, Plum, Savory, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
LuckyMe

Yum…this blend sounds scrumptious!

Cameron B.

Sorry, I don’t have any left to share heh heh… But would definitely recommend it! The flavoring is fairly strong, but I know you’re used to cutting your flavored teas with straight teas anyway. :)

derk

I still have plenty to share, LuckyMe. Happy to send a few brews’ worth if you’d like.

LuckyMe

Thanks for the offer derk…would love to try a sample and maybe send you some too!

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I am shocked to see no tasting note from me on this one! This is to fulfill Mastress Alita’s November Sipdown Challenge prompt – a tea the flavor of a favorite sundae topping.

This tea was a gift from my eldest, Superanna, who always blesses me with marvelous teas!

I chose chocolate because my first real ice cream sundae was decades ago at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor. They brought your sundae in a tulip glass with a small metal cup on the side that was filled with thick, rich, hot fudge for you to pour over it when ready. I had never had anything like it! (When I was a child, we made chocolate ice cream topping by adding a tiny few drops of hot water to Nestlé Quik. I still think that is delicious, too!)

The chocolate flavor of this tea is very similar to my well-loved O’Connor’s Cream, a tea that was gifted to me by White Antlers. The base of both of these teas seems a little smoky or roasty to me, which is perfect with the rich, dark chocolate flavor. This does not taste like a milk chocolate candy bar, but rather like the cocoa notes of cacao nibs, or the chocolate notes in carob and coffee, rather scrape-y and rough and rich. I love it.

I wonder if this is a Keemun base? It surely tastes like one to me.

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88

Sipdown, though it feels like this one barely counts since I only had the one teabag. I decided to splurge this year and get the Dammann Freres advent calendar. Shipping cost a small fortune but it’s gorgeous and I’m really looking forward to it. This teabag was one of the samples they sent with it. I used it in a 16 oz teapot and brewed exactly to specifications. It came out delicious, though I couldn’t get a good second steep out of it. I’d suggest brewing the first steep a little longer for maximum flavor. As for the flavor itself, I found that the verbena, lemongrass, and orange blossom dominated. It tasted delicate and floral and, well, elegant. The orange was very specifically orange blossom and not a robust, juicy orange flavor. I really enjoyed this as an evening tea.

Cameron B.

Yay, I have the Dammann calendar too! Can’t wait to hear (err… read) your thoughts!

Kaylee

I was at a friend’s place the other day and she had some Dammann tea bags from some fancy hotel she had stayed at and I was like… you need to drink these and enjoy them asap. She didn’t realize what she had, just that the packaging and name seemed fancy (which, to be fair, it does).

So glad someone else got the advent! I might open it early since I’m not counting down to Christmas but I won’t post tasting notes early.

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90

Another great blend from Dammann Freres, while I loved this blend it is not for everyone. This blend has a lovely balance of orange, anise, and a touch of maple sweetness. If you don’t like anise, you probably won’t love this blend. I really liked it, it was perfect for me.

Flavors: Anise, Citrus, Lemon, Maple, Orange, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

Really lightly flavored, I really adored this blend. It’s a cherry marzipan-flavored black tea that focuses more on the almond flavors but tastes a bit like licorice too. I liked the soft cherry flavor it was really comforting.

Flavors: Almond, Honey, Licorice, Marzipan, Overripe Cherries, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

Tastes just like a panettone! I really enjoyed this blend… It’s citrusy, nutty, and a tiny bit sweet. My Panettone is such a nostalgic treat for me, lovely for the holidays.

Flavors: Almond, Cake, Citrus, Honey, Nutty, Orange, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

The perfect caramel blend, I have never had such a spot-on blend that wasn’t too sweet and delivered the perfect caramel-toffee flavor. This blend was malty, sweet, and indulgent. It tasted just like some hot melty caramel swirled in a creamy, malty, and bold black tea base.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Candy, Caramel, Cream, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

Mom and I are enjoying a pot of this blend and watching Christmas cartoons! I know its a bit early but its her birthday and the birthday girl does whatever she wants <3

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95

Another winner from my swap with Cameron! I typically don’t love Christmas blends because too much spice tends to give me headaches. However, what I’ve found with Dammann Freres Christmas blends is that they’re mainly subtly fruity and a bit woody which I love. Even though this is a Christmas/ seasonal blend I think I might grab some for my all-year-round stash ( yes I liked it that much!)

Flavors: Cherry, Fig, Honey, Malt, Orange Blossom, Vanilla, Wet wood

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Their Christmas tea is a bit unusual in that it doesn’t contain any cinnamon or clove! I like it too. :)

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90

This is one of the many blends that my friend Cameron sent me in our first swap (thank you, Cameron!) Before our swap, I didn’t know that Dammann Freres existed but I haven’t explored many tea companies other than my go-tos. First off, I love the smell of this blend. The scent alone is so comforting and welcoming that I’d steep it just to smell it. Taste-wise, I love this blend! I love figs, Italian Christmas wouldn’t exist without something with figs in it so this blend reminds me of home. I love the subtle fruitiness and sweetness of this blend, I preferred it without any additions.

Flavors: Candy, Cream, Fig, Honey, Strawberry, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Ooh so glad to share Dammann with you, they’re my favorite French tea company and one of my faves overall too! Their advent is really good as well, though I’ve already ordered too many others this year… >.<

They have a big range of nontraditional Christmas teas, so fun to try!

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90

This is one of the first teas that I tried from the #svttb. Prior to receiving the box, I had only tried a blend or two from Dammann Freres from a swap with my friend Cameron and I haven’t had any complaints so far. I am so genuinely impressed with this blend, normally chocolate teas are hit or miss for me, and this one crossed off every box perfectly. It’s sweet, malty, rich, and packed with dark chocolate flavor with a hint of rose and marzipan.

Flavors: Almond, Amaretto, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90
drank Chamomille by Dammann Frères
754 tasting notes

Catching up on tasting notes, so there are about to be a few, bear with me!

We went away for a few days recently! It was the first time we’ve gone anywhere or done anything special since a year before the pandemic, so we decided to be indulgent and stay at a really nice hotel. We ate dinner at the hotel restaurant and I was a little reluctant to order tea because the quality of restaurant tea is always a crapshoot, even at high-end places. But I was genuinely pleased and impressed when they brought this out! Even in the sachet, it’s whole-flower chamomile of clearly high quality. It was absolutely delicious, a beautiful complement to dessert, and a great way to ease into the night. 

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Cold Brew!

This was really interesting because the body was pretty light but the flavour itself had surprisingly depth and complexity. It’s top notes were all soft citrus with aromatic bright orange elements that reminded me of the gentle spray of essential oils when you peel something like a Christmas orange. The flavour was darker and had a more heady and perfumed orange element. I know that’s coming from the neroli, but I’m not super familiar with neroli so my brain sort of interpreted it more like bergamot but with a sort of slightly caramelized sugar element? Not the sweetness of caramelized sugar though! I would definitely NOT call this is a sweet tea. More than anything it was the “maillard” part that just tastes kind of… brown? I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not because at times it was pleasant and refreshing but if I drank too much at once it almost made a film on my palate that got to be a little too floral and intense.

I’m so curious now to experience this hot and see how that effects the flavor.

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Hmmm…

I feel like the flavouring of this is too light, even by DF’s usual standards. I drank it and I couldn’t definitely taste something. Maybe a little bit nutty and a bit starchy with a hint of vanilla? However it was definitely imperceptibly banana to my palate.

I’ll try again, maybe with some neutral sweetener to attempt to lift the flavours a bit.

Dustin

That’s how I feel about most of DF’s teas. I strain to taste distinguishable flavors.

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Cold Brew!

Picked this up because I thought the cherry lemon combination was pretty cool to see come out of DF, especially on a mate base. It didn’t feel very traditional DF in flavour direction, and it’s always really interesting to see what companies do something a little outside of the box that they sort of build around themselves…

It is majority yerba mate, which shouldn’t be a surprise. The dry leaf aroma is very light but does smell a bit like lemon and some sort of red fruit. I wouldn’t call it cherry, necessarily. As a cold brew I really only got the yerba mate in the taste with maybe just a hint of lemon. It made me think of La Croix, actually, as I drank it because it was sooooo mildly flavoured that it was sort of that “the memory of XX flavour” or “XX flavour in the other room” vibe that La Croix gets made fun of for a lot. The mate itself was nice though; grassy and naturally sweet with a bit more of a smokiness to it than I’d expected.

Flavours are harder to perceive when cold though, and there’s so much yerba mate in this that I think when cold brewing it was probably SUPER easy for it to quickly over power what small amount of flavouring has been used – so I’m not judging this one yet until I get a chance to make a hot cup. And, just to clarify, I don’t expect it to be wildly flavoured/sweet or cherry lemon flavoured in the way that I would from other companies. In know that with DF blends the base tea always comes first, and I appreciate that quality greatly. I just want to taste some flavouring.

Cameron B.

“Like XX, but with a low battery” is my favorite La Croix burn ha ha. Or “hint of hint of XX”.

Very interested to hear how this is hot though, it’s on my DF wishlist!

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Sipdown (1824)!

As I just said in another tasting note, I love the taste of straight rooibos. However, it’s not really something I would ever think to buy from another tea company because I have DT’s Wild Grown Rooibos so easily available to me and that’s the best straight rooibos I’ve ever come across. That said, I was pleased to see this as one of the free samples in my most recent DF order!

The little sachet actually seemed pretty generously leafed/portioned so I made this in one of my bigger mugs. It came it pretty rich, with a lovely woody and nutty profile. Not as red fruit leaning as some straight rooibos can be and not as nutty either – mostly woody/mineral but very clean tasting and with a good level of natural sweetness.

I’m happy to have tried it, but it doesn’t top my beloved Wild Grown Rooibos.

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Sipdown! (99 | 196)

I’m not sure what to think of this one, it almost tastes bland to me? There’s a light sweetness and a hint of hazelnut, but otherwise I mostly just taste the woody black base. Maybe a tiny hint of chocolate flavor?

Strange, because Mon Petit Chocolat is fairly strongly flavored.

Flavors: Caramel, Hazelnut, Nuts, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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70
drank Mangoustan by Dammann Frères
3032 tasting notes

Sipdown! (89 | 186)

I like this one a bit better than the l’Ôriental Noir from yesterday, but I still don’t love it as much as I thought I would.

To be fair, I’ve never had a mangosteen, so I was mostly just expecting some sort of tropical flavor. And this does taste tropical, though it’s difficult to place. The description calls it peach-pear-passion fruit, which I can sort of see. I would guess mango, but perhaps that’s the passion fruit tartness. I think I get some peachiness in the aftertaste.

Similar to l’Ôriental Noir, the base is a bit too earthy in my opinion, and it’s an odd combination with the light, tart, fruity flavor. Maybe if the flavoring were a bit stronger, it would stand up to the base better. I don’t remember having this issue with other fruit-flavored black teas I have from Dammann, so I’ll have to try those again and see if it’s a different base or if I’m just being crazy. :P

ETA: Forgot to mention, this was another sample from Courtney!

Flavors: Earthy, Mango, Passion Fruit, Peach, Smooth, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Deciding to pull out this tea to have something pleasantly soft, fruity, and floral to ease into my day with. I am really digging the way the banana has a creaminess to it but also still some of that greener edge, and it works very nicely with the semi-sweet and very floral notes of blueberry. Neither of these interpretations of the two fruits would probably fly in the mass/commercial North American market and it’s a shame because they’re both accurate to the fruits in very specific but very real ways. Definitely feeling the cozy, lazy morning vibes as I sip on this really lovely blend.

derk

Good interpretation. It’s not a North American profile in the expression of its flavors.

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This was essentially the reason I ended up placing a recent DF order in the first place. The idea of the combination of blueberry and banana was so appealing to me, and because this is a French tea company I knew the composition would be wildly different from anything North American facing – not heavy and decadent/sweet but probably softer, floral and very elevated in interpretation. I feel like I was super dead on with that expectation, too!

Because of the choice of oolong base, this would be a blend predisposed to tasting floral and slightly “green” already – but I think the exact blueberry flavouring they’ve chosen really leans into that. It’s not a jammy/syrupy or candy like blueberry in the slightest, and has a very fresh and floral natural taste to it. I get blueberry quite a bit more than the banana, but I do think the banana has a nice (but light) natural creaminess to it on top of its own unique greener note. It mostly appears in the finish of the sip, and is a nice way to round out the florals of the body.

Overall, this feels very sophisticated and nuanced and I’m really digging it!

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Similar to the cold brew I had not too long ago, I do feel like this lacks the clarity of flavour I would want from a lychee tea. In fact it’s very hibiscus forward and, though it has a bright citrus-y top note that could be lime, that flavour dominates everything else. It’s fine tasting but I just think so disappointing giving the potential for how light, juicy and bright a lychee and lime blend could have been.

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