1381 Tasting Notes
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – Day 9
We got our first snow of the season today. It was charming, but also kind of hilarious, because our area was seems to be one of the only parts of the lower mainland that saw serious snow accumulation and sticking. Vancouver was spared, but experienced the joys of sleet (everyone’s favourite form of precipitation).
It therefore seemed fitting to have an unflavoured snow-white tea to rally around this afternoon. I like this type of tea best when it hasn’t been flavoured.. or at least I’ve encountered very few flavourings that I like (maybe cantaloupe & cream?). Deceivingly full bodied.
Today was a good day for the advents.
Steep Count: 3
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Melon, Smooth
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – Day 8
An example of hibiscus used well as a tisane base (and creatively). I’ve had this one before and still think it tastes like mulled wine spices. Or sangria punch. I want this in jelly form.
Flavors: Cardamom, Fruity, Hibiscus, Nutty, Peppercorn, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 8
It’s not every day you see a green oolong paired with chocolate, almond, fig, and plum flavours. I don’t know quite what to think of it but it’s definitely unique! The combined flavours are somehow both woodsy (like incense and spice) and silky (almond butter, chocolate ganache, and spicy fruit compote). That multifaceted richness is probably fitting given the tea’s namesake.
Subtle fig and plum pops for me in the finish. How often do you see a fig flavored tea? Neat. All the flavours are kind of… a lot. The collective muddiness makes my mind scream “anise” for some reason — even though I don’t believe that ingredient is present. Also, blue pea flower colour is maybe not the right aesthetic choice for this profile lol.
Fascinating though. Going to resteep it a few times to see where it goes.
Steep Count: 3 – actually, this latest steep the next day is pretty tasty and better balanced (the blue colour is a distant memory). I do like this now.
Flavors: Almond, Anise, Butter, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Fig, Floral, Fruity, Incense, Nutty, Orange Blossom, Plum, Sandalwood, Smooth, Spicy, Vegetal, Woody
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – Day 7
While not what I consider to be the most exciting kind of tea, green mint blends are a classic for a reason. They’re perfect if you’re stuffed up or need something to settle your stomach after a heavy meal.
This particular blend looks like it employs spearmint and gunpowder (could be wrong on the mint). It also steeps up quieter than the dry leaf aroma implies and is quite smooth.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Mint, Smooth, Spearmint, Vegetal
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 7
Another repeat from 2021. Again, I wish the tea satchet didn’t use what appears to be broken silver needle (the loose leaf image looks promising though). I’ve also been forever spoiled by Butiki’s sublime “Champagne & Rose Cream” (Stacy used amaranth and vegan cream flavouring and it’s, hands down, one of my favourite teas to ever exist). This tea is not that. Not even close. However, it does deliver on its namesake – the rose and white tea. Resteeps nicely too.
Steep Count: 3
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Hay, Lemon, Rose, Vegetal
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 6
Finally, a blatantly holiday themed tea from this advent ( Dammann Frères did the same on Day 6, because apparently these advents are doppelgangers this year). That’s fun!
I recall trying the oolong and black tea versions of this tea last year and, unfortunately, I don’t like the festive spice thing as much on the green tea base (in general, not a fan of spicy green tea, regardless of quality). I think old 52teas had a Smaug themed cinnamon pepper green tea – and this is kind of like that? A nostalgic, cinnamon heart tea with fruity and vegetal hues.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Pepper, Spicy, Vegetal
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – Day 6
Advent calendars are fun because of the possible novelty of discovering new-to-me teas at random. But sometimes it’s lovely to be offered a well-established favourite. I adore this delicious passion fruit jasmine tea. Its profile is bright, energetic, and multi-dimensional; that vibe can be such a godsend on a December weekday.
Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Jasmine, Lychee, Mango, Passion Fruit, Sweet, Tart, Tropical Fruit
Mariage Frères Advent Calendar – Day 5
Mariage Frères does a good chai, some of my favourites that I’ve tasted. This blend is no exception and is a welcome surprise in this advent. Of course, it fits the (ambiguous) floral-fruity advent trend too – always an interesting dimension in chai.
The description says this blend would be good hot or cold, with or without milk. I felt unadventurous though, and took it hot with milk. It’s a lovely, velvety chai that I had to quickly finish off on the way out the door (boo). It’s tasty, but I still think I prefer the Chandernagor blend from this company (bought a tin of that with this advent order, actually).
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Spicy
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – Day 5
I’ve come to accept that I just don’t like rooibos all that much. Despite that, this tea tempts me with it’s lemony cake aroma. When I tried it last year I was undecided about whether I’d want 100g of it. Second year in the advent calendar and I’m still undecided. Dammann Frères obviously needs to send me another half a dozen samples…
Flavors: Cake, Citrus, Cookie, Honey, Lemon, Sweet, Tobacco, Vanilla, Woody