72
drank Elderberries by Nothing But Tea
1311 tasting notes

Dear foreigners! Have you ever had elderberry soup or is that a German and Scandinavian thing only? When I saw that I could by dried elderberries to use as a tisane, elderberry soup was the first thing that popped into my head. Elderberry soup is a treat for dessert in autumn, I think. Piping hot, and possibly with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream. Clearly then I had to try this.

That combined with the fact that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen elderberries (or elderflowers for that matter) in conjunktion with tea or tisanes. I don’t know why it’s so rare.

So obviously I had to try this. I really very much had to try it.

I went in to ask Husband if he also wanted to try a cup and he gave me a thumbs up sign before I had the chance to tell him what it even was. So we shall see where that bit of bravery will take him. Or foolhardyness, possibly. We shall see.

The berries are just berries. No leaves, no additives, no nothing. Just berries. They smell a bit like dried cranberries, actually, but then again elderberries do have that same sort of tartness to them.

After having been steeped, the aroma is elderberry soup alright, although it’s obviously not as viscous as the soup. It’s not quite as violently purple either which I have to admit came as a slight disappointment to me. Half the fun of elderberry soup is eating something with that colour.

The flavour is much milder than the soup too. I admit I was a bit worried, because if it was as strong as in the soup, it might get to be a bit much pretty quickly. I like the soup as an occasional treat, as mentioned, but I can only eat so much of it at the time before it gets to be too much.

I don’t think there’s any danger of that with this tisane. It’s quite mild and pleasant. Fruity, slightly tart and kind of semi-earthy in flavour.

You know, I really don’t understand why this berry doesn’t get used in flavouring tea! To me a strong flavoured berry like this seems totally obvious to flavour things with. With the amount of flavouring that comes out of these dried berries alone, however, it should be totally easy to make my own. Any otherwise dull tea should be spruced up considerably but adding a spoonful of these to the leaf. Elderberry soup usually has apple in it as well, so an apple flavoured tea without probably be awesome to use as well.

I’m not sure I would buy these again, just to drink them on their own like this, but I could totally see myself buying a small stock to experiment with mixing in other teas.

Husband, bizarrely, thinks it tastes like tomato soup. I don’t know, Steepsterites… Tomatoes??? O.o I can’t even!

Nicole

I have not heard of elderberry soup. Wine, yes, soup, no.

Angrboda

Funny that, I hadn’t heard of the wine. :) I’m not surprised that it exists, though. :)

cteresa

I got, well had because i finished it (but would rebuy) a tea with elderberries, Yumchaa´s (I keep getting to this theme with you! only you somehow) Walk in the Woods http://steepster.com/teas/yumchaa/17306-walk-in-the-woods a lovely one IMO. not sure if I still had any when i sent you some samples, so not sure if I sent it to you. It is a sort of would-rebuy for me, but not right now, am working on decreasing stock (ah!)

Angrboda

Oh that’s interesting. I believe that doubles the amount of teas flavoured with elderberry that I’ve ever seen. :p I’ve put it on my shopping list, but I’m having to be slightly careful with non-necessary purchases these days.

gmathis

I’ve had elderberry extract—my husband’s mom and grandma swear by it for winter flu prevention, and do a tablespoon faithfully each day. I like it, so this sounds quite good.

cteresa

I am very fond of Walk in the Woods – but am trying to finish lot of teas I got standing and also be careful. In a way 99% of the tea I buy is non necessary, but now and then need to get some new things – but before I must use what I got!

eldeberries are lovely indeed. I also got a 5 red fruits oolong ( which I might prefer to your raspberry oolong and be the reason why I did not fell in love head over heels with it) where one of the berries is elderberry. I agree eldeberries are underused in tea.

Angrboda

Gmathis, I’ve head that about elderberries too. I mean before reading about it in NBT’s info.

Cteresa, if I am to be completely honest, I think I’m getting close to being finished with the raspberry oolong for a while. I’ve kept it constantly at home for a long time now, and we’ve also got a tin at work. The work tin is really enough to suit my needs these days. On the other hand, Husband appears to have discovered it and has chosen it twice now in a relatively short time, so I might change back to finding it indispensable. :) But if I was out and ordering tomorrow, I’d probably skip it this time.

cteresa

A break is good sometimes, even from your favorite staples. Sometimes you are not outgrowing them and just end up appreciating them more when you come back to them. Maybe that will be the case, dunno! I think the idea of red berries and oolong is a winner for sure for me :)

gmathis, ricola makes some elderberry throat lozenges which are just lovely. effective as well, though not sure if quite as effective as their plain yellow original ones which sadly do not taste quite as good. But oh well, medicinal things are often like that!

Angrboda

I had some elderflower ones from ricola, but those weren’t very effective compared with the regular sort. I have to say though, I do also like the regular sort, because they remind me of “kur-a-kof” which we sadly can’t get in Denmark any more. Those really worked for me! These days I swear by the blue Fisherman’s Friend. I like the licorice ones best, but I use the blue ones because the others I tend to wind up eating like sweets. They taste too good. :) That’s also the reason I never buy the flavoured Strepsils.

cteresa

Oh, ok, now that is a useful tip! I will go and check Fisherman´s Friend now (and not even tempted by liquorice, so that will be easy. I tend to consider liking liquorice or salmiakki a northern perversion :p )

Angrboda

Om nom nom salmiakki. Sadly I missed seeing Husband’s face at his first salmiakki encounter. :p

cteresa

good, if you had given him salmiakki without warning he might have not have forgiven you. Salmiakki shudders

meliorate

Never had soup, but elderberry is just a little less common than elderflowers are here in the UK. Elderflower gets made into drinks and elderberry into jam; I’d love to see an elderflower tea ;_;

Angrboda

Husband is English and he had never heard about it before either. I’m not sure he had ever actually had elderberry in any form before really. His mother makes a lot, if not the vast majority, of the jam they eat herself and that has always been orange-y that I’ve seen.
Elderflower cordial has become quite popular here in the last couple of decades.

meliorate

Oh, I didn’t know that! Then again I only know elderberry jam because my friend’s family lives in the countryside and can make these things themselves. I meet a lot of Dutch and Belgian people who are big fans of elderflower and always try to stock up on products when they come to England…

Angrboda

Perhaps they have a tree? I’d love to have fruit trees! I have requested fruit trees for if/when we get to the house-buying stage. Some time yet, but really. I could save a lot of money just by having a good apple tree!
Coincidentally, I just remembered that I’ve got an elderflower tisane here as well. I’m expecting even more from that one than I did from this one. In fact, I’m almost afraid to try it. I really really don’t want that one to be disappointing.

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Comments

Nicole

I have not heard of elderberry soup. Wine, yes, soup, no.

Angrboda

Funny that, I hadn’t heard of the wine. :) I’m not surprised that it exists, though. :)

cteresa

I got, well had because i finished it (but would rebuy) a tea with elderberries, Yumchaa´s (I keep getting to this theme with you! only you somehow) Walk in the Woods http://steepster.com/teas/yumchaa/17306-walk-in-the-woods a lovely one IMO. not sure if I still had any when i sent you some samples, so not sure if I sent it to you. It is a sort of would-rebuy for me, but not right now, am working on decreasing stock (ah!)

Angrboda

Oh that’s interesting. I believe that doubles the amount of teas flavoured with elderberry that I’ve ever seen. :p I’ve put it on my shopping list, but I’m having to be slightly careful with non-necessary purchases these days.

gmathis

I’ve had elderberry extract—my husband’s mom and grandma swear by it for winter flu prevention, and do a tablespoon faithfully each day. I like it, so this sounds quite good.

cteresa

I am very fond of Walk in the Woods – but am trying to finish lot of teas I got standing and also be careful. In a way 99% of the tea I buy is non necessary, but now and then need to get some new things – but before I must use what I got!

eldeberries are lovely indeed. I also got a 5 red fruits oolong ( which I might prefer to your raspberry oolong and be the reason why I did not fell in love head over heels with it) where one of the berries is elderberry. I agree eldeberries are underused in tea.

Angrboda

Gmathis, I’ve head that about elderberries too. I mean before reading about it in NBT’s info.

Cteresa, if I am to be completely honest, I think I’m getting close to being finished with the raspberry oolong for a while. I’ve kept it constantly at home for a long time now, and we’ve also got a tin at work. The work tin is really enough to suit my needs these days. On the other hand, Husband appears to have discovered it and has chosen it twice now in a relatively short time, so I might change back to finding it indispensable. :) But if I was out and ordering tomorrow, I’d probably skip it this time.

cteresa

A break is good sometimes, even from your favorite staples. Sometimes you are not outgrowing them and just end up appreciating them more when you come back to them. Maybe that will be the case, dunno! I think the idea of red berries and oolong is a winner for sure for me :)

gmathis, ricola makes some elderberry throat lozenges which are just lovely. effective as well, though not sure if quite as effective as their plain yellow original ones which sadly do not taste quite as good. But oh well, medicinal things are often like that!

Angrboda

I had some elderflower ones from ricola, but those weren’t very effective compared with the regular sort. I have to say though, I do also like the regular sort, because they remind me of “kur-a-kof” which we sadly can’t get in Denmark any more. Those really worked for me! These days I swear by the blue Fisherman’s Friend. I like the licorice ones best, but I use the blue ones because the others I tend to wind up eating like sweets. They taste too good. :) That’s also the reason I never buy the flavoured Strepsils.

cteresa

Oh, ok, now that is a useful tip! I will go and check Fisherman´s Friend now (and not even tempted by liquorice, so that will be easy. I tend to consider liking liquorice or salmiakki a northern perversion :p )

Angrboda

Om nom nom salmiakki. Sadly I missed seeing Husband’s face at his first salmiakki encounter. :p

cteresa

good, if you had given him salmiakki without warning he might have not have forgiven you. Salmiakki shudders

meliorate

Never had soup, but elderberry is just a little less common than elderflowers are here in the UK. Elderflower gets made into drinks and elderberry into jam; I’d love to see an elderflower tea ;_;

Angrboda

Husband is English and he had never heard about it before either. I’m not sure he had ever actually had elderberry in any form before really. His mother makes a lot, if not the vast majority, of the jam they eat herself and that has always been orange-y that I’ve seen.
Elderflower cordial has become quite popular here in the last couple of decades.

meliorate

Oh, I didn’t know that! Then again I only know elderberry jam because my friend’s family lives in the countryside and can make these things themselves. I meet a lot of Dutch and Belgian people who are big fans of elderflower and always try to stock up on products when they come to England…

Angrboda

Perhaps they have a tree? I’d love to have fruit trees! I have requested fruit trees for if/when we get to the house-buying stage. Some time yet, but really. I could save a lot of money just by having a good apple tree!
Coincidentally, I just remembered that I’ve got an elderflower tisane here as well. I’m expecting even more from that one than I did from this one. In fact, I’m almost afraid to try it. I really really don’t want that one to be disappointing.

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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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