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Once upon a time when I had only just discovered flavoured pu-erh someone told me that sweet flavours tends to go very well with that type of tea. It was the first time I had my orange flavoured pu-erh and I can’t remember who it was, but I definitely remember thinking at the time that they were somebody who ought to know what they were talking about.

Since then a long time has passed and the number of flavoured pu-erhs that I have seen have been very limited indeed. And I’ve never seen one of these sweet flavoured ones.

Not until Sil asked me, “what would you like to try?” and I saw this in her cupboard. I’m afraid my reaction might have been ever so slightly undignified. It involved gasping and flailing. I may even have begged a little bit. So yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this one a lot and I’m ever so glad that Sil was willing to share with me.

The aroma of the leaf reminds me of that toffee flavoured black from Le Palais des Thes. It’s obviously not the same base at all, but they both have that smell that reminds me of fudge. I’m not really picking up any notes of the base tea in this one at all. Just fudge. (Actually, that’s quite inspiring. I’d like to try and make my own. How hard can it be? I’d like to try and make my own caramel sweeties as well. We did that in school once, and it was totally easy)

After steeping the pu-erh comes through and mixes well with the toffee notes. I can see already now that whoever it was told me that about pu-erhs and sweet flavours really did know their business. These notes mix so well, it doesn’t feel like it’s added flavouring at all. A bit too much on the sweet side to be entirely natural, of course, but it smells like it could have been if it had wanted to.

If this stuff tastes as awesome as it smells, I’m going to be in deep trouble because I know of no way to source some for myself. I’m suddenly faced with the possibility of my perfect caramel/toffee flavoured tea not being a regular black at all. I mean I thought I’d already found my perfect one. Now I’m concerned that I’m in for a bit of a shock. O.o

So I took a couple of sips and have suddenly found myself at a loss for words. I don’t know how to continue. This has never happened to me before.

Either I’ve actually discovered a new perfect caramel-y/toffee tea, or it has an enormous flaw in order to be a candidate for perfection. And I don’t know which of these statements is true.

This is my very first impression of this tea. Complete ambivalence. How the plock am I supposed to even begin to determine the score??? O.o

I’m going to try and describe my experience of it here. Perhaps that’s going to help me.

I’m getting a lot of pu-erh flavour here. It’s a wood-y, kind of dry flavour without much in the way of earthy notes. It’s not the smoothest tea in the world at all and it feels a bit rough around the edges. I’m even getting something which, under other circumstances, I would describe as borderline pseudo-smoky.

Then the toffee flavour gradually takes over, and we are talking about a very seamless transition here. I really couldn’t say where one notes stops and the other begins. It’s vanilla-y and cocoa-y and it really suits the base flavour. It sort of feels like they’re the same ‘family’ of flavours, if you know what I mean. A bit like how various citrus fruits have very different flavours, but they are still all taste citrus-y.

The flavouring in this one is fantastic, but I’m not completely sold on the base. I would have liked a smoother base, I think, and that is at the root of my ambivalence. I should dearly love to see this exact flavouring on a super-smooth Chinese base, or a friendly Assam, perhaps.

So here I am. Wondering what to do about something I could rate at an absolute top score and feel I had scored it honestly, or I could rate it at 60 and still feel that I been honest. What to do? I’m going to go straight for the middle of the two with a bias towards the higher end because the flavouring is so extremely well done.

Conundrum in a cup.

Sil

english tea store also does a scottish caramel toffee puerh but i like this one better. I don’t like this one as it cools though….love it hot :)

Angrboda

Yeah, I’ve noticed the flavouring goes away and the base becomes a bit sharpish when it cools.

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Comments

Sil

english tea store also does a scottish caramel toffee puerh but i like this one better. I don’t like this one as it cools though….love it hot :)

Angrboda

Yeah, I’ve noticed the flavouring goes away and the base becomes a bit sharpish when it cools.

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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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