For the longest time I had this one filed under ‘herbal’ because I just saw those great big buds and thought ‘this is some kind of flower’. It was sent to me in the days of yore and from whence I cannot recall, but eventually I had a proper look at it and got it put back in its proper place. Actually I think it’s gone back and forth between white and herbal a few times, as I distinctly recall at least one instance of ‘what are you doing here?’

I used most of the sample in a combination with something else, a magnolia scented yellow that I thought I had a lot more of. Nothing more annoying than emptying a sample pouch into a large pot and finding that, GOSH! That’s not even enough for half a small pot! It felt like so much more. So I grabbed a random white that I knew there would be plenty of to boost it up a bit, and ended up with a result that was…

Let’s just say I poured it out and started over. Dill and pickles are also flavours I don’t much care to find in tea. Good time to try the rest of this sample though. Properly mind.

First thing that I notice is that when this is gently steeped, it’s very very pale in colour. Second thing I notice is that my tea strainers need replacing, because pale tea + old strainer = grey tea.

There is a herbal sort of aroma to this, reminding me a bit of licorice root and spearmint. I suspect this is the element that interacted so badly with the yellow as mentioned above. Also quite floral, but primarily licorice root and spearmint-y for me.

Okay, all I can taste is licorice root. Seriously, this doesn’t even taste remotely like tea. It both tastes and feels like chewing licorice root. If I hadn’t actually seen the leaf, I would be dead certain that’s what it was.

So at this point I cheat and look at the company description and other people’s reviews, and I just can’t recognise anything. Anything at all. All I can find here is licorice root, complete with that specific flavour at the back of the tongue that you get when you swallow a licorice root infusion.

I did eat licorice earlier today, but not right now and I haven’t touched a licorice infusion for months. I only drink that when I’m sick!

I will put this mysteriousness down to the age of the sample which as you can see is a bit on the iffy side. I really ought to learn to throw things out before I let it get this old. Or even better, use it up.

I’ll just pretend the rest of this cup is a licorice root infusion, because that makes it easier to deal with.

On the upside I’m now down to 28 teas! O.O

Pamela Dean

Lacking temperature and time parameters for your steep, I can’t comment on the lack of complexity it produced. Gongfu treatment can unlock the layers of this rare, wild cousin. If you have any of your sample left and are curious to go beyond licorice … a Western cup infuser setup in a small cup with high tea/water ratio and a couple of short steeps would probably widen the palate without the demands of a full gongfu session. To go further, the gongfu steeping suggested in the tea description worked well for me. Then there is the age of your sample … aging any white tea, even in a tin or packet, can substantially change its qualities; often the result is increased complexity. I’m aging this ya bao in a white paper (food grade kraft) bag alongside the green sheng and am keen to find out what awaits, a year or two hence, in the sheng pumidor.

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Pamela Dean

Lacking temperature and time parameters for your steep, I can’t comment on the lack of complexity it produced. Gongfu treatment can unlock the layers of this rare, wild cousin. If you have any of your sample left and are curious to go beyond licorice … a Western cup infuser setup in a small cup with high tea/water ratio and a couple of short steeps would probably widen the palate without the demands of a full gongfu session. To go further, the gongfu steeping suggested in the tea description worked well for me. Then there is the age of your sample … aging any white tea, even in a tin or packet, can substantially change its qualities; often the result is increased complexity. I’m aging this ya bao in a white paper (food grade kraft) bag alongside the green sheng and am keen to find out what awaits, a year or two hence, in the sheng pumidor.

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014

Location

Denmark

Website

http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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