I’ve got a thing for tea, and at this time of the year, I really enjoy Christmas tea. Now different teamakers all do Christmas tea differently, however, they all seem to follow a formula that involves a spicy, bursting-with-flavor brew that’s warm and cozy. You just want to pour some into a ginormous mug, get under a blanket (or a snuggie!), sit in front of a fireplace and sip away. Or if you don’t have a fireplace, at your desk. Or on your couch.
So, Dammann Frères does Christmas tea like a boss. The Paris-based tea company has been making tea since 1962 and the founders’ third generation runs the show. What I love is that they don’t just have one Christmas tea, they have many, a plethora of brews named for several cities and regions, like Paris and Provence.
I recently attended a demonstration by Aline Guglielmino-Taillefer at their Milan shop. We learned some tea-making intricacies, getting to smell different essential oils and guessing which tea they were used in by our sense of smell. It was tricky, yes, but so fun!
We sampled several Dammann Frères Christmas teas and got to pick one as a parting gift. Given my love for Vienna, I chose Noël a Vienne.
White Christmas Tea: White tea with flower petals and aromas of cherry, gingerbread, almond and ginger.
Rooibos di Noël: A Rooibos with spices (red pepper, ginger pieces and cloves), orange peel and the aromas of orange and gingerbread.
Noël a Vienne: A black tea with orange peel, pineapple and apricot, chocolate and vanilla aromas.
Noël a Londres: Black tea with cinnamon, vanilla, apple and bitter almond aromas, flower petals and scented with essential oil of ginger.