333 Tasting Notes
This is basically a murkier version of DF’s black Pecan Pie. The flavoring that so clearly came across as marzipan with the tea base is definitely here, but rather than pure almond paste it’s just faintly nutty and very sweet. The pistachio note I picked up on with the black base is absent here, as is any hint of pecan or pie. The rooibos is rooibos, woodsy but not too medicinal. It’s just okay, but definitely not something I’ll buy again.
This tea is totally misnamed. Pecan pie is a lie; it’s all almond. Actually, there is a hit of pistachio in the aftertaste, but it’s mostly almond. It’s quite sweet, but in a marzipan way—there’s no caramel or pastry going on here. I was hoping for something a little closer to my beloved Butiki Maple Pecan Oolong (despite this not being an oolong), but this is decidedly something else. There’s that same thin Ceylon base DF seems to use for just about all of their flavored blacks, and, as with a bunch of others, I feel like Pecan Pie could’ve benefitted from something a little more robust. All that said, this is a very pleasant tea. It probably won’t be a restock for me, but I’m glad to have the chance to try it—yay group order!
After the disappointment that was The des Marquises, I’m happy to say this is a return to form for DF. It’s quite fruity, in a jammy sort of way, not unlike DF’s 4 Fruits Rouge. I don’t know that I would’ve pegged it as strawberry, necessarily; I’m getting more of a mixed red fruits vibe. I can’t say I’m tasting biscuit, exactly, but there’s a sweetness—and richness—that I suppose might be vaguely reminiscent of a delicate little tea cookie.
I still haven’t tried a ton of DF blends yet, but so far I’m getting the sense they do better with more Old World-y kinds of flavor profiles and less well with… I don’t know, modern ones? Tropical? I realize Charlotte aux Fruits does contain papaya, as did Noël à Venise—why does DF add papaya to everything, anyway?—but since I can’t detect it in the taste I’m still counting this one as an old school French sort of flavor.
This is a strange one—even by DF standards, there’s a lot going on in the description. And that’s really what drew me to it in the group order. And while quite a few of the crazy complex DF blends I’ve tried so far have underdelivered, in that only maybe half of the flavor notes promised are detectable, this one really packs it all in. Unfortunately, the result is more faintly chemical muddle than delicious melange. I’m definitely getting the kola, which is a strange but not unwelcome note to encounter in a tea, and blackberry, and clementine, and a sort of candy blueberry, plus a powerful bouquet of florals.
I can’t really say whether these flavors play nicely together or not, though, since the blend is dominated by a strong bitter and chemical-tasting note. I steeped this for 3:30 at 195F, but I’m wondering if a shorter steep and/or a lower temperature may be in order. I’ll play around with this one a bit before giving up on it, but I’m thinking it may end up in my swap pile.
This wasn’t one of Butiki’s standouts, but it was the best chamomile I’ve ever had. Chamomile’s not one of my favorite flavors, and I feel like this blend could’ve benefited from going a little stronger on the citrus, but even the subtle hints of fruit did a nice job taking the edge of the chamomile.
Another new tea from the DF group order. This one is really good! It reminds me a lot of Della Terra’s lemon chiffon rooibos (one of the nicest rooibos blends I’ve had by far), but nicer because everything is better with a base of actual tea. Both the lemon and the toffee come through nicely. There’s a creamy meringue note in there as well. I’m not sure I can detect the papaya, or what it’s even meant to be doing here—maybe for sweetness? It is a decidedly sweet blend, rather than a tart one. This isn’t quite as unique or complex as some of the other DF blends, but the fact that they don’t overpromise to meld ten impossible flavors here means there’s none of the letdown you get with some of those crazy blends that can’t possibly live up to their descriptions either. I feel like the base is a little thin—I had the same complaint about Noël à Prague—but that’s my only real complaint. I would definitely be interested in acquiring more of this one at some point.
This is a nice Chinese green—mildly savory and vegetal with a little nuttiness. I’m not sure I would pick this to order over some of the other similar Teavivre greens I’ve sampled, as it’s not super distinctive—but I’m not sure that I wouldn’t, either. It’s very mellow and drinkable. Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!
This is another of my new DF teas from the group order. I picked this one mainly because I was curious about the vodka flavoring. I mean, how can a tea taste like vodka? Alas, it looks like I may never know because that’s one note I’m not getting from this one. What I am picking up on, though, is all prune. I know it’s an old lady kind of flavor, but I happen to love it, and it’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a tea before. Fresh plum, sure, but never prune. The caramel is the next strongest flavor, with just a tiny hint of cocoa in the background. I don’t know about the clementine either, but it may becoming through in the tart brightness I’d initially attributed to the prune. My one complaint is that the base seems a little flat—it could be that I need to go a little heavier on the leaf, though; I’ve been doing my standard 1 tsp/8 oz water but next time I might go up to 1.5. Even so, this is a delicious and unique tea, and I’m thinking it’s one I’ll want to restock whenever my next DF order comes around.
My first tea from the DF group order Zennenn so generously organized. I’m always on the lookout for new and different caffeine-free options, and I’d been eyeing a bunch of the DF tisanes for a while now. But when it came time for the group order, it turned out I was the only one interested in just about all of them. I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted to risk ordering a whole 100g just for myself, but in the end this one sounded too enticing to resist and I went for it. Berries and rhubarb are some of my favorite flavors, and dates and orange flower are pretty up there too. Plus I haven’t had the chance to try too many (or possibly any?) linden-based tisanes, so it’s an educational experience of sorts.
So how is it? It doesn’t pack quite the punch I’d hoped it might have—the flavors are pretty muted, and indistinct—but it’s very drinkable. It turns out I like linden pretty well; it’s not too herbal-tasting and almost reminds me of a weaker, better version of chamomile. That’s the dominant flavor; I’m getting some general fruity and floral notes in the background but nothing I think I’d be able to identify had I not known what the flavor profile was meant to be. Though I don’t think I’l have any trouble drinking this one down it’s probably not something I’ll restock, partly just because of the difficulties of sourcing DF, but if and when I have the chance to place another order I’ll probably try another of their tisanes.
I got this in my closing down mystery box from Butiki, but since I already had some plain honeybush in my stash at the time I’m just now getting around to sipping it down. Not too much to say about this one; it’s your typical honeybush—very woodsy and a little bit sweet. Like drinking liquid cedar chips, but not in a bad way. I feel petty neutral about this tea. It’s fine in a pinch when I need something caffeine-free, but I definitely prefer some of the flavored honeybush blends I’ve tried to the plain version.