65
drank Earl Grey by Twinings
1278 tasting notes

Also backlogged. This is what I had this afternoon with the boyfriend. You may regard the following post as a collaboration.

Apparently these bags are getting a wee bit on in age, most likely, and haven’t been stored all that strictly according to what is best for the tea.

I could definitely pick up a citrus-y flavour, although it reminded me a bit more of lemon than of anything else. Something acidic, definitely, thought the boyfriend. We settled on citric acid.

The tea itself was rather bland. After a short while when it had developed a bit, read: steeped a little bit longer, it developed a little more character although not very much.

It did bring on the question of ‘astringency’, though. WTF is that? I’ve searched high and low for a proper easily understandable explanation of what this is supposed to taste like. I know it’s one of them ‘official technical terms’, but it has just never ever been a word that I have associated with any sort of flavour.

On the contrary, I work in a hospital lab, and when we talk about ‘stringency’ it has something to do with the environtment in which a given test is conducted being EXACTLY identical each time. Temperature and reaction times and such things. ‘Astringency’ sounds like the opposite of this and in the lab it wouldn’t really be all that good. It’s just the first thought that pops into my head, and it’s really confusing when talking flavour.

Hence, it’s really difficult for me to wrap my head around it not only being a sort of flavour, but also something good. I know that it has something to do with how tannins affect the mucus membranes of the tongue and such. But still.

Anyway, to make a short story long, we decided that this particular sensation that we found in it must be what people meant when they talked about astringency. I described it as something that could be mistaken for bitterness and the boyfriend, apparently having more imagination than me, said slightly like soap but not. After some consideration the soap was the conclusion we went with.

And then the boyfriend said he would award it 3 out of 5 chainsaws, which I thought on a 1-100 scale would translate to 60. And then he haggled me up to 65 on the grounds that chainsaws are cooler.

(It may take a couple of tries to make the slider hit 65 exactly. Bear with me if I have to edit a few times.)

teafiend

I whole heartedly agree with the soapy comment, and that chainsaws get bonus points for being awesome. On the astringency thing, I’ve adlibbed that its like how dry my mouth feels after drinking. But, I’m not 100%, just like I’m trying to figure out “malty” tea.

Carolyn

I believe that astringency is that sensation of your mouth being dry after drinking something. If you touch your tongue to a very astringent substance that is the sense. We did it in chemistry (and this is about the only thing I remember from chem class).

Carolyn

Interestingly enough, I just happened to be looking for information on green teas and came across this on astringency in the FAQ from Den’s Teas:

Q: What is the taste of astringency? Is it different from bitterness?

A: Astringency is a feeling rather than a taste. It’s something you can feel in the body (a feeling in your mouth) of the tea. It is also the “puckering” sensation. In the medical definition, astringency is the tendency to draw together or constrict tissue, to pucker. People confuse the taste of bitterness and astringency. Bitterness is one of four tastes – bitter, sweet, sour and salty – that are picked up in the mouth and sent to the brain. The bitterness in tea comes from caffeine, and astringency comes from catechin (tannin). The astringency overlays the tastes and adds a weight or thickness to the tastes.

Auggy

I always think of Sea Breeze toner/astringent when I think of astringency. Which could be why I have negative feelings towards astringency. But I think that fits in with what Carolyn found so maybe I wasn’t too far off.

Carolyn

So much of this seems to be “I’ll know it when I taste/feel it”. For myself I wish I knew what the “malty” flavor was supposed to taste like so that I could detect it.

Angrboda

I keep thinking of beer when people say malty. I have to say that I am deeply forever grateful that I have never encountered a tea that tasted of beer. I sincerely hope such a tea does not and will never exist. Needless to say I don’t like beer at all, not one little bit.

teaplz

Astringency… the best way to describe it is the feeling of all the saliva in your mouth suddenly disappearing. The best example is if you bit into a banana peel. Some wines have a “drying” feeling on the tongue as well!

CHAroma

I always think of malted milk balls when I hear “malty.” Haha!

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teafiend

I whole heartedly agree with the soapy comment, and that chainsaws get bonus points for being awesome. On the astringency thing, I’ve adlibbed that its like how dry my mouth feels after drinking. But, I’m not 100%, just like I’m trying to figure out “malty” tea.

Carolyn

I believe that astringency is that sensation of your mouth being dry after drinking something. If you touch your tongue to a very astringent substance that is the sense. We did it in chemistry (and this is about the only thing I remember from chem class).

Carolyn

Interestingly enough, I just happened to be looking for information on green teas and came across this on astringency in the FAQ from Den’s Teas:

Q: What is the taste of astringency? Is it different from bitterness?

A: Astringency is a feeling rather than a taste. It’s something you can feel in the body (a feeling in your mouth) of the tea. It is also the “puckering” sensation. In the medical definition, astringency is the tendency to draw together or constrict tissue, to pucker. People confuse the taste of bitterness and astringency. Bitterness is one of four tastes – bitter, sweet, sour and salty – that are picked up in the mouth and sent to the brain. The bitterness in tea comes from caffeine, and astringency comes from catechin (tannin). The astringency overlays the tastes and adds a weight or thickness to the tastes.

Auggy

I always think of Sea Breeze toner/astringent when I think of astringency. Which could be why I have negative feelings towards astringency. But I think that fits in with what Carolyn found so maybe I wasn’t too far off.

Carolyn

So much of this seems to be “I’ll know it when I taste/feel it”. For myself I wish I knew what the “malty” flavor was supposed to taste like so that I could detect it.

Angrboda

I keep thinking of beer when people say malty. I have to say that I am deeply forever grateful that I have never encountered a tea that tasted of beer. I sincerely hope such a tea does not and will never exist. Needless to say I don’t like beer at all, not one little bit.

teaplz

Astringency… the best way to describe it is the feeling of all the saliva in your mouth suddenly disappearing. The best example is if you bit into a banana peel. Some wines have a “drying” feeling on the tongue as well!

CHAroma

I always think of malted milk balls when I hear “malty.” Haha!

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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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