1340 Tasting Notes

Dammann Frères Advent 2021 – Day 12

DF originally included this as a sample and now I get to revisit it again! This time I didn’t add milk, and it’s as pleasing without. Apple will never be my favourite fruit but I think fans of it would be pleased with this. There’s ginger and almond here too but they are total supporting characters to the force that is cinnamon apple.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Fruity, Ginger, Malt, Nutty, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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90

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Sunday, December 12th: Universal Health Coverage Day

2018 Harvest
Ok, this isn’t technically a true health tea, but going through my past tasting notes shows a clear correlation of me drinking this tea and talking about health issues, either directly or indirectly (food poisoning, haha. I can laugh at the memory now). It’s one of my happy teas but it’s getting older, so I’m working on finishing it off this December. Still a staple but one I can let go and replenish when the time’s right (need to declutter cupboard).

Steep Count: 2

Also, a shout out to everyone on here who may be effected by the recent tornado disasters. Thinking of you and hoping you’re OK; drop a line if there’s anything I can do for you from afar.

Flavors: Butter, Drying, Grass, Milk, Popcorn, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Best of Summer Oolong by 52teas
1340 tasting notes

Summer 2021 possibly August or September.

Sipdown – goodbye summer! I’m glad someone’s playing around with the natural stone-fruit notes in roasted and red oolong teas. I’ve said it many times recently, but I think roasted oolong teas are sorely underutilized in flavoured blends. They have such great potential: roasted/toasted malt, fruit, flowers, almost cloying levels of dark honey.. my brain tends to translate it all into ice cream cone tea with various toppings! It’s baked goods in a cup.

Here, we get some lovely stewed apricot and peach (I think) that perfectly compliments the base tea – the result reminds me vividly of my Grandma’s warmed canned peaches; and isn’t it so fitting that I’m tapping into this out of season? I think so. The (stronger than I usually like it ) toasted notes are near coffee-like, and are also so close to turning into a stone-fruit cobbler or turnover. I think my Grandma would’ve liked this one; I know it would’ve fit right in on her kitchen table.

Steep Count: 3

Flavors: Drying, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Peach, Powdered Sugar, Stewed Fruits, Stonefruit, Sweet, Toasted

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

I’m just going to put this here: <3

CrowKettle

Thanks, Evol <3

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drank Tokyo in Love by Mariage Frères
1340 tasting notes

Mariage Frères Advent 2021 – Day 12

The third advent tea that’s part of the “In Love” series – which consists of bagged green oolong mixed with blue pea flowers. sigh This is not my favourite collection (make oolong looseleaf), but I also feel super pampered with this focus on green-ish teas.

This one says it contains notes of plums and cherries (as per tea satchet label), and rose petals (on the website description). It’s all pretty light and, at first, indiscernible from the past fruity oolong teas. But then it opens up for me; the stone fruits are bursts of subtle honeyed fruit sweetness, and provide a less subtle signature tangy sour quality to the finish. These flavours build as I continue to sip, as does the dryness. Halfway through, the fruity floral sweetness is near candy-like (and I am thinking of Japanese sweets now – especially rose flavoured hard candies). The floral and vegetal base is hard to discern from the blush of added flowers, which possess similar notes.

Steep Count: 2 – this tea is not great when it cools. Nope.

Flavors: Butter, Candy, Cherry, Drying, Floral, Honey, Mineral, Nectar, Pepper, Plum, Rose, Smooth, Sour, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

I think it would be great to have loose leaf advent calendars. They’d also be easier and cheaper to produce.

CrowKettle

I’m looking forward to starting 52teas “12 days” just for the switch-up to loose! In most cases I’d pay more if I knew I was getting reusable tea tins or packets for loose leaf storage..

Evol Ving Ness

Yes! Or even wee envelopes with two or three servings of tea. Anne’s taster sizes are perfect.

I am considering doing the cheaper version of F & M’s advent next year because I like the tin idea. So far though, the reviews of the teas have not been stellar.

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Dammann Frères Advent 2021 – Day 10 because I skipped it yesterday

Another spiced Christmas orange tea (with “gingerbread”). Once again, the orange is the most powerful player. Clove takes a backseat to the ginger and peppercorn here, which is a good call. Rooibos is being itself – a sort of tobacco flower-like quality, and nutty sweet whatever. It’s a nice non-caffeinated blend that suits the season!

My Mom’s opinion: “It’s the smoothest, loveliest tea. Like silk. Even good cold.”

Flavors: Cherry, Citrus, Clove, Ginger, Orange, Peppercorn, Spices, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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drank Love Story by Mariage Frères
1340 tasting notes

Mariage Frères Advent 2021 – Day 11

I cheated and peaked at this one before going to bed last night; the sugary red fruit aroma is so vivid it stuck with me until I faded out.

This fruity floral black tea feels like a sibling to Marco Polo – all red fruits and a relatively robust malt base. The finish though is sweeter than I remember: like cotton candy, strawberries covered in powdered sugar, and a sweet red apple. I think I also pick up some vanilla but hard to judge on one pot; it creates an almost cream pastry effect. It’s lovely, and after a couple sips couldn’t bring myself to add milk; it’s perfectly smooth and balanced to my tastes already.

Steep Count: 2

Flavors: Astringent, Candied Apple, Floral, Malt, Powdered Sugar, Red Apple, Red Fruits, Strawberry, Tannic, Vanilla

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

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60

Dammann Frères Advent 2021 – Day 11 (I accidentally skipped 10. Whoops! but it’s also non-caffeniated)

We can’t all be winners! Steeped in milk because the ingredients lists said "chai’ to me (tasting it without milk, and yeah I prefer it with). It’s alright this way but I prefer other cocoa spice herbals; It has so many rich ingredients that I want it to be thicker, maybe. Also, not a huge lover of the combo of chocolate and licorice.

Flavors: Cardamom, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Cocoa, Earthy, Floral, Ginger, Herbs, Licorice, Pepper, Spices, Spicy, Sweet, Woody

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Evol Ving Ness

Oh no. No chocolate and licorice.

CrowKettle

It’s decent, soothing herbal but I’m a hard sell for those two ingredients.

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, we’ll see. Licorice is not a favourite.

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92

Winter 2020 Harvest

I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a black tea or white tea today so I went with a happy medium, and one of my much hoarded staples. “White Rhino” contains characteristically white tea notes of hay, citrus, flowers, and cucumber while also supporting a notes akin to a Yunnan black tea – like sweet potato, cocoa/caramel, malt, and a peppery finish. I’m also picking up some cranberry today. Good stuff.

Steep Count: 4

Flavors: Cocoa, Cranberry, Cream, Cucumber, Eucalyptus, Floral, Fruity, Hay, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Malt, Melon, Molasses, Nectar, Pepper, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Evol Ving Ness

Much hoarded staples, hehehe. Tea people, sheesh.

Daylon R Thomas

That one used to be one of my hoarded staples. Too much money spent on Jin Jun Mei’s lately lol

CrowKettle

I think I’ve reached a point where, as long as I’ve a good spread of teas from What-cha or similar quality, I don’t need to stash up on specific “variety/type staples.” I think I’m in discovery mode right now; all these loved old friends are holding me back (until they’re gone and I miss them). :P

I haven’t had a Jin Jun Mei in like a decade. Ugh.

Evol Ving Ness

I keep trying to remind myself that there are a gazillion fine teas in the world and I might not need to have them all today. A good spread of excellent teas is enough.

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80
drank Bouddha Bleu by Mariage Frères
1340 tasting notes

Mariage Frères Advent 2021 – Day 10

Oh, hey! I’ve had this one before, and lots of it! (was gifted a tin back in 2011).
I hoped to see this one again but was a little apprehensive about distorted memories, but nope – it still tastes exactly as I remember it. Except now I’m older (if not wiser), and this is bagged (and more generously leafed compared to other MF advent days lol). I’ll keep my old rating.

This is an easy-going, almost buttery, green tea – with notes of flowers and ripe Asiatic persimmons (nectar-like sweet finish). Don’t know how to describe persimmon in the flavour/scents box – sort of like a cross between a mango, peach, and honeydew? Possibly bubblegum.. I love persimmons, and got a Diospyros kaki sapling for the yard last year (it’s an experiment). There’s almost a spice to the finish. It leaves a drying astringent mouth feel, like a lot of MF and bagged teas in general.

Steep Count: 3

Flavors: Astringent, Bubblegum, Butter, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Honeydew, Mango, Nectar, Pepper, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Mariage Frères Advent 2021 – Day 9

This has a similar vibe to Alexandra David-Néel – an “almost chai” that’s too delicate to handle milk. This has an earthy profile that’s a huge divergent from the bright citrus and berry fruit teas of the last 8 days! However, while I like the spice level (clove dominant), coffee teas are never going to be my favourite.

Flavors: Cloves, Cocoa, Coffee, Earth, Pepper, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My favourites are teas like Milk Oolong, Silver Needle,and Japanese Sencha/Gyokuro, or fruity and floral flavoured ones. However, I generally enjoy ALL the teas, including a good old cup of Earl Grey or Breakfast blend.

FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS/NOTES:

DESSERT FLAVOURS
Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan, Butter

FRUIT & BERRIES
Citrus Fruits, Passionfruit, Banana, Pineapple, Melons, Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Elderberry, Persimmon, Rhubarb..

SPICES
Ginger, Turmeric, Clove-forward chai, Cardamom

AROMATIC & HERBACEOUS NOTES
Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Mints

FLORALS
Lavender, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Violet, etc.

VEGGIE/GRAIN NOTES
Spinach, Grass, Hay, Cucumber, Rice, Sweet Potato

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:
Stevia, Apple, Cocoa Nib, Almond, Licorice, Cinnamon-forward blends, Chinese Sencha

Subjective Rating System:
I don’t give a lot of low ratings out, since a) I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me, and b) I don’t have a lot of strong dislikes.

90-100: Favourites. The Desert Island Teas.
80-89: Loved teas. Possibly staple-worthy.
70-79: Good teas, but I’m less likely to repurchase. Minor quibbles.
60-69: Ok teas. Likely a few preference and/or quality issues.
50-59: Cup of meh. Will do in a pinch.
11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea.
1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, an unholy abomination. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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