Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dammann Freres Tea Sampler

On a recent trip to Washington DC, in an Illy Cafe where I was blasphemously sipping a cappuccino, I noticed Dammann Freres tea for sale. I of course had read about the tea, the highly regarded French company competing with France's other best known tea union, Mariage Freres. I'm a big fan of Mariage Freres teas, and I would probably go so far as to say that Mariage Freres is some of the best and finest tea in the world. However, I have only read extremely good things about Dammann Freres and I decided to give this other elite French tea purveyor a try.

I purchased the sampler, so I could try a wide variety, which comes in a very nice box. When you open it, it is almost like a fancy filing system, the black teas separated from greens and herbals by little card spacers with information on each one. The company already had points within the realm of presentation and this just added to it.

The teas that the sampler includes are:

Goût Russe: The blend ""Goût russe"" is a preciously treasured receipt with a blend of special Chinese teas. The addition of citrus fruits essential oils gives an attractive character to this blend.

Darjeeling 1st flush: This Darjeeling First Flush comes from gardens which are situated on a height of 2.000 m, in the south of the Darjeeling province. Aromatic and astringent at the same time with slight green notes in the aftertaste. This tea last tasted and delights lovers of strong and flowery Darjeeling tea.

Jardin Bleu: The blend Jardin Bleu combines Chinese unsmoked tea with rhubarb and wild strawberry flavours.

4 red fruits: A blend of China and Ceylon black teas flavoured with cherry, strawberry, raspberry and redcurrant and embellished with strawberry bit and redcurrants resulting in a fruity bouquet.

Green tea mint: The green tea mint offers a green tea leaf of Chinese Gunpowder tea, sprinkled with «Nanah» mint. To be drunk very hot and sweet: the desert tea.

Earl Grey: The Earl Grey is a traditional oriental blend of unsmoked Chinese teas. It casts a spell on all lovers of the fine bergamot from Calabria.

Breakfast: The Breakfast blend combines Ceylon, Darjeeling and Assam tea. Tea, milk: the perfect first cup for early risers.

Jasmine: This green Jasmin tea is naturally perfumed with Jasmine flowers. A tea that fits excellently to the oriental cooking.

Being a lover of black tea, I have started with the blacks and have so far sampled the Breakfast bled and the Darjeeling. As expected, the tea is amazing. I don't even want to compare it to Mariage Freres. The breakfast holds milk and sugar very well and is strong for the morning, but not astringent. The Darjeeling is so fine and delicate with aromatic notes coming from every sip. Definitely drink it as is, no sugar. I am excited to get into the more interesting blends as well. Although I usually don't love fruity teas, the combinations presented look divine!

You can find Dammann Freres tea at Illy Cafes or online directly through the website! Happy Tea Tastings!