Dammann Freres

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Recent Tasting Notes

I steeped this one up hot this afternoon and it’s akin to liquified raspberries. Very tasty, but I’m struggling to find any passionfruit. I’ve had this cold before, but naturally didn’t make any notes. I’ll have to cold steep this one soon as I vaguely remember getting more passionfruit that way.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 13 OZ / 384 ML

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I enjoyed this as my first cup of the day, steeped for 3 minutes with a splash of soy milk. I haven’t been able to drink my normal morning ice coffee since getting sick because it tastes horrid, but ventured today to try milk in my tea.

This is a string malty breakfast tea that takes milk well. I’ll be sure to leave another note for how it is without milk as well.

I ordered this one as a potential replacement for A.C. Perch Kenya, but Kenya has a ‘cleaner’ taste overall and does slightly edge this one out.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 13 OZ / 384 ML

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Another sample found during my tea reorganization. I thought I might like this one best, but I really feel like it just left me confused. Some reviews say it was too sweet, but I didn’t find it that sweet, and I don’t add sugar or anything to my hot tea.

The blueberry is nice, and I found the chestnut rather strong, just nothing close to the overwhelming taste of one or two other chestnut teas I tried. (I’m looking at you, Adagio Chestnut.) I didn’t get the maple much. The blueberry and chestnut were shifting and eclipsing each other throughout the cup, thus my confusion.

Not one I am likely to order, but I enjoyed this cup. It’s probably just me.

Cameron B.

I think I have yet to try this one, but it sounds like a yummy combination!

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Looking at tea-sippers review this morning, I nodded my head and said, “Same, same. All my teas are pretty visible so there aren’t any I have forgotten. How will I fulfill this prompt?”

Then I started moving a small bookcase we are repurposing and a chest full of tea and….guess what I found? TEA I HAD FORGOTTEN!

Granted it was only two samples that came with a gift on Mother’s Day, but I had completely forgotten they existed!

I was super excited at first because I knew banane was banana and I have never had a banana tea and so many of you are wild about them. But then I saw reviews that said, “Where’s the banana?” And I must concur.

The tea is lovely and has great blueberry flavor, but I didn’t taste banana. There was a moment, eyes closed, thinking hard, searching the flavor, where I THOUGHT that maybe, just maybe, the ghost of a banana floated by, but I wasn’t sure.

So it was a great tea and I am glad I had it to enjoy with my lunch, but I don’t think I can say I have really tried a banana tea yet.

Cameron B.

ooooooOOOOOOOoooo (ghost voice) XD

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67

Another 100g gone mostly to iced tea; this is only my second cup hot.

This tea is clearly flavored to play on the character of Chinese sencha. Forward note of winey-catpissy black currant joined with a cool, subtle note of CHowards violet candies (I wouldn’t say this is a floral tea). These mix well with a touch of bitter almond and the toasty, pastry-like note of the Chinese sencha. I do think about macarons. There is also a bright and tangy quality like a glass of white wine. That sunniness combined with the grassy, slightly bitter and earthy quality of the green tea really connects with the black currant and violet in a way that conjures the feeling of having tea in a garden. This is a pleasant, delicately flavored experience in a cup.

Flavors: Alkaline, Black Currant, Cut Grass, Drying, Earthy, Fruity, Grassy, Juicy, Marzipan, Pastries, Tangy, Toasty, Violet, White Wine

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The majority of the 100g was made as pitchers of thirst-quenching iced tea. Flavorful and just Dammann Freres in style.

I had only 1 serving of this prepared hot. Difficult to describe because the blending of flavors is so subtle, but it definitely tastes like summer fruits on a black tea base with a perfect level of bergamot. Is the pitanga responsible for the tangy fresh strawberry-cherry taste?

It’s a good tea but I’d really like the lotus to stand out. The rose feels like an afterthought.

Flavors: Bergamot, Cherry, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Juicy, Lemon, Orange Zest, Strawberry, Tangy, Tea, Tree Fruit, Wood, Woody

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drank Carcadet Fragola by Dammann Freres
1202 tasting notes

Hot: This has a jammy strawberry taste with almost no hibiscus tartness when hot. It’s quite lovely and I always end up finishing my cup without even realising it.

Chilled: This one has a scent almost like those strawberry Campino candies (does anyone remember those?) — like a creamy, strawberry. The taste is much more hibiscus mixed with strawberry. The hibiscus is definitely toned down and I really get any tartness. The overall flavour is quite nice.

Preparation
3 g 13 OZ / 384 ML
gmathis

I had to go look up Campino—they aren’t what I thought they were (which was the hard candy filled with a liquid center my grandpa kept all the time).

Courtney

I know ones like that too! There were delicious strawberry ones in a red and green wrapper (these may be different from the ones your grandpa kept): https://www.google.com/search?q=hard+strawberry+candy+with+soft+center&tbm=isch&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwpcvV1tf3AhUaATQIHarHARUQ_AUI-QcoAQ&biw=1440&bih=692&dpr=2#imgrc=fxsiE_tsFRCydM

ashmanra

I have had the same ones as gmathis, but never heard of Campino. I will check World Market for them!

gmathis

Yep, those are the ones, although he also kept tins of assorted hard Christmas candy—both filled and plain—that got kind of sticky and hairy in the summer ;) Didn’t keep us grandkids out of it, though!

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drank Fujisan Souchong by Dammann Freres
2778 tasting notes

This was part of my Mother’s Day gift from Superanna! Many thanks!

I am using this as my final May prompt for a tea with surprising (or was it unusual?) ingredients, because Japanese black is rare to me as is a tea being smoked over maple!

This tea is one of Dammann Freres’ Grand Cru line. I found only one other Japanese smoked black on Steepster and that was from tealyra, and it is smoked over cherry or sakura chips instead of maple.

I have had Dammann Freres’ L.S. Crocodile which is much smokier than this one, but this is still smokey enough for those who like that. I do!

Superanna and Ashman typically do not like smoke and I don’t even recall them getting past the smell to try it, but Superanna wanted to try this one. She liked it! (Ashman was taking a woodworking class from Roy Underhill and made me a Roubo bookstand which I have been VERY EXCITED about, so he wasn’t here to try it,)

I am thrilled that she liked it! I don’t know that I would have guessed right away that it was a Japanese black instead of a Chinese black tea as I have only had one or two other Japanese black teas and they were not smokey. You can definitely tell it is unique, though. This smoke was more campfire than smoked meat in aroma, and the tea was a little more drying than a Chinese base to me, which makes it go that much better with food. Yesterday we had it with Godiva chocolates that were part of my gift, and this morning I had it again with breakfast.

This came right on time, because I was nearly out of smoked lapsang!

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drank Dolce Riviera by Dammann Freres
1187 tasting notes

This one was a sample that came from Derk.
It’s a unique combination of flavors and the combination of basil, lime, and cinnamon is really nice on the smooth green tea base. It’s very balanced like so many of the Dammann Freres teas I’ve tried and I thought I’d already reviewed it otherwise I would have paid more attention.

Flavors: Basil, Cinnamon, Lime, Vegetal

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87
drank Citron-Caviar Rose by Dammann Freres
1254 tasting notes

March 2022 Sipdown Challenge – A French tea

Been making mostly ambient-brewed pitchers of this tea. Today was the first time I prepared it hot.

A medium-oxidized black, the tea itself is juicy and glassy with a mild sparkling astringency and woody taste. I really want to know if Dammann Frères selects for these qualities in brewed leaf or if it’s an added ‘natural flavoring’ that creates this glassy-juicy effect consistently for me with many of their teas. I love it.

If there is a cocoa note inherent to this leaf, it is very subtle. The bergamot takes center stage but it is not bold or brash. The finger lime floats the peppery notes of the bergamot very well and in a lively way, where the pepper also meets with rose and wafts out of the cup. I like rose that is spicy rather than perfumey and this tea’s representation of rose is just that. Fuuug, this is some balanced tea.

EDIT Looks like the new recipe has no bergamot peel or oil but uses lemon peel. I’m befuddled. It tastes just like bergamot. Maybe my bag was from the old recipe.

Ambient-brewed pitchers are fantastically refreshing. According to friend Jacques, when added to a glass of scotch, not only does the cool tea unbutton the scotch as a bit of water would, it adds something mysterious.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Floral, Juicy, Lemon, Lime, Pepper, Rose, Spicy, Viscous, Wood, Woody

ashmanra

I have tried hot, cold, and ice steeping but never ambient. No time like the present!

Leafhopper

I’ll have to remember I can ambient brew tea the next time the power goes out and I can’t use my kettle. I’ve been tempted to do this before, but thought it would just make watery tea.

derk

I leave it on the counter usually 8 hours overnight but 4 might do.

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drank Mangoustan by Dammann Freres
13674 tasting notes

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90

Having a tough month caring for my Pachinko kitty. She looks so healthy… Her fur is still so silky soft and she continues to groom herself but I know that she isn’t feeling well. So hard to believe that a vibrant healthy cat has cancer spread all over her body in a matter of months. :( The oncologist told me recently to let her have her little quality time left before putting her down since she is still eating and drinking well. It’s a difficult time for me as I am closer to my pets than people. I think it’ll be some time this month. The second that her palliative meds aren’t working, I’ll call an At Home euthanisia so she doesn’t have to be scared in an unfamiliar place and then I’ll send her to be with my other kitty Fushi who I lose 2 years ago. Thank you again for all your supportive words.

I really liked this tea. Warm, comforting. Cocoa, almonds, very slightly grassy for a yerba mate. I drank it with one of my bombilla sets. So kinda like grandpa style, using 170F (my typical temperature when I drink Yerba Mate) and filled it up all day, no timing… Etc. Many yerba mate have a very strong flavor but not this one. I felt the cocoa and almonds shined in this one. Highly recommended. Thank you Derk!! :D

Flavors: Almond, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Grassy, Nutty, Roasted Nuts

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Shae

Oh goodness, I am so sorry you’re both going through this. I’m closer to my cats than most people too. Can’t imagine how you must be feeling. Sending big hugs.

ashmanra

I am so sorry. I wish I could do something to make it better. I offer hugs from afar and love.

Courtney

I’m sending hugs your way as well. We’re also closer to our pets than most people and losing one is always unimaginably difficult. I’ll be keeping you and your little one in my thoughts.

mrmopar

So sorry. This is a rough thing to have happen. Prayers for you.

Cameron B.

I also love my furbabies more than people, I’m so sorry and I hope you’re doing well. Miss you!

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drank Kiwi Fukuyu by Dammann Freres
2778 tasting notes

Another sample from derk to battle the gray sky and approaching storms!

I really thought it would be no contest and Fraise Pistache would be the winner between these two teas today. To my surprise, I really liked this one as much.

The first sip was so fruity! Not necessarily straight kiwi but sweet and fruity still. But the more you sip, the more presence the sencha asserts itself until I am not noticing the fruit hardly. This is definitely brisk and has the highly recognizable Dammann Freres grassy Sencha flavor.

A nice afternoon tea time with a couple of Verona cookies.

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78
drank Lassi Mango by Dammann Freres
13674 tasting notes

mmmm another tea from crowkettle super glad to try this since i adore mangos. This isn’t quite what i’d call mango lassi – too subdued for that, but then french teas are generally more subdued in their flavouring. Enjoyed this one though, even as it cooled (work distractions!)

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drank Fraise Pistache by Dammann Freres
2778 tasting notes

It is the umpteenth cloudy day in a row. I needed some sunshine in my life somewhere, and derk has brought me so much sunshine – in so many ways! She provided some more today in the form of this tea.

I spotted a couple of teas that derk sent me and thought they looked just the ticket to brighten up today.

I had this one with breakfast. I was expecting it to be quite nutty but instead it was quite fruity! The green base is not covered up at all though, you can taste it perfectly and the strawberry is well balanced with it to be quite noticeable without being overpowering. The nuttiness that I tasted was of a sort that could easily be attributed to the green tea base itself, and was more noticeable on some sips than others.

Since derk had mentioned that this one doesn’t do as good a second steep as some other teas, I did not follow my usual morning method of steeping twice and combining.

Thank you, derk!

derk

You’re welcome :)

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drank Cacao Orange by Dammann Freres
1202 tasting notes

DF Advent Day 23 (23-Feb 2022)

Sadly, this one had a serious lack of flavour for me. The cacao was barely there and the orange, even less! It was more like a cup of hot water. Ah, well!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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63

Sipdown. Was a purchase at the Midwest Tea fest through Emilie’s French Teas in KC MO.

Too much bergamot in this for me, plus it’s a green tea. I’ve had some okay cups of this but for the most part very cloying with an aftertaste I did not care for. Finishing this off today probably overleafed, probably too high a temp, but glad to be through it. Smells pretty good – bergamot, violet, floral. Just tastes like you’ve walked into a floral perfume cloud…bleh.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Orange

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DF Advent Day 18 (18-Feb 2022)

This one smells lovely steeped! I’m getting kiwi with hints of bergamot and rose.

This reminds me of a candy, but it’s not really candy-like (I seem to be lacking in actually describing things as of late). The green tea is a nice base for these flavours. I really liked this tea, despite failing to describe it in any way that will be helpful if I need to look back XD.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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DF Advent Day 17 (17-Feb 2022)

Wow — both the blueberry scent and taste here are strong, but well done and somehow not cloying or obnoxious. There is a maple aspect here as well that adds to this as well. There is a natural sweetness here, but yet not a sweetness? This is akin to blueberry maple syrup – delightful.

This is not one I need in my cupboard, but tasty nonetheless.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Blanc Myrtille by Dammann Freres
1202 tasting notes

DF Advent Day 13 (13-Feb 2022)

There’s a cross between grass and hay flavour here, with a nice blueberry flavour at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Nosy Bey by Dammann Freres
1202 tasting notes

This has a fascinating scent that isn’t altogether my favourite, but it really does smell like the components noted — vanilla and rose at the forefront with subtle peach.

I would say the taste is a mix of vanilla and peach, with the vanilla more predominant. Vanilla really isn’t my favourite and often causes my stomach to rebel. For someone who enjoys vanilla, this would be a good tea!

This came in my order in error instead of Pêche Abricotée, but when I contacted DF, they immediately sent the correct tea and let me keep this one — customer service for the win!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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Not sure whether this is the real origin of the Assam tea I´m reviewing, as I bought it in an independent tea shop, and I was told that they often get DF produce in.
Then another remark : it´s one of those teas I buy, put aside and open much later, so I assume it was fresher when I bought it, and I should have had it before.
Finally, saying that I´m only writing the review when the tin (as I moved the tea to a clean tin, when I “discovered” it ;-) ) is almost empty, so I had plenty of time to drink and enjoy it…because, yes, it´s still enjoyable, especially as a morning cup which I want strong and malty! Less complex now than before, due to its age without any doubt. Other people might drink this kind of tea with milk, I don´t, so I´m pretty sure some people might not have noted the loss in complexity.

Flavors: Malt, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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