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Hello Steepsterites! Remember I did Project Ceylon earlier this year, in which I tried a bunch of different Ceylon teas and tried to work out if there was a pattern to which ones I liked and which ones I liked less? That was fun. Let’s do it again!

I spent some time pondering whether to do Project Africa or Project Assam. Both sounded interesting to me. African teas have interested me for a while, but I’ve never done much about learning the area, and I’ve been in a bit of an Assam-y mood recently. In the end I decided Project Africa sounded more interesting. We are seeing more and more single estate loose leaf out there, and from more and more different countries it seems. Kenya still heavily in the lead, but others are definitely getting out there as well. It’s a shame I didn’t decide to do this yesterday, since I just discovered Jenier Teas yesterday and accidentally AHEM WELL, moving right along! At any rate, they had a LOT of different Kenyan teas and a few from other African countries as well, so samples shouldn’t be too difficult to find.

I already had this one that Sil very generously shared with me. And it was generous because it was actually a sample that had been shared with her by Terri HarpLady, so I had told her to only send me some if there really was enough to share. Lucky for me, there was.

This tea comes from the Kaproret estate, which was highly difficult to find on the map. All I got when searching for Kaproret were two different primary schools that weren’t even that close together, and I couldn’t see anything on the sattelite photo that looked like tea fields. That was a great help during Project Ceylon, because tea fields are pretty easy to recognise from the air. Turns out that they aren’t so easily recognisable in Kenya, because they have a layout which is much in straight lines on square fields, making them look like any other kind of green field. Further Google investigation then revealed that it’s part of the Kericho tea districts, where I found a name tag that just said ‘Tea Gardens’, but no further explanations of which gardens were there and what they were called. So I put the marker there. Seemed to be the right area and as good a place as any. And nowhere near those other two primary schools. While searching I did find a different and name-tagged tea estate, so I put a pin in it, just in case I need to find it again later.

The aroma is quite grainy and malty and it has a sort of Assam feel to it somehow. It’s like it just has a something that tells me Assam. Seriously, you could totally fool me with this. If I’d been given this without knowing what it was, Assam would be my first guess. Makes me wonder if I should do Project Assam hot on the heels of Project Africa… The grain is stronger than in most Assams though, so it does stand out. A little bit. Not enough that I’d notice if I didn’t know better, but there is a small difference there. It smells like it can really pack a good punch.

The flavour is surprisingly fruity sweet right at first. Reminds me a little of plums or apricot, although that still feels a bit like a stretch. Then the grain and malt comes into play and it is indeed a quite strong tea. It’s no wonder ctc-ed Kenyan is often used to beef up the blends in certain inferior teabags that we could mention. It’s strong and it lays down a heavy bottom.

Underneath the flavour there is a mild to moderate degree of astringency, which once again reminds me of Assam. That and the strength are really the only things about the flavour that reminds me of Assam, unlike what I noticed in the aroma. It’s not so much, though, that it feels like drinking ashes and it’s fairly well balanced with the strength of the flavour.

As it cools down a little more, it changes character completely. It loses the fruit-y sweet aspect I noticed right at first and instead takes on a strong Yunnan-like note of hay. The very note that makes me less interested in golden Yunnans. Where did that come from?

This is a different beast entirely from my usual Chinese blacks. I’m quite enjoying how strong it is, but I think I could have lived without the Yunnan-y aspect. This is one that I preferred while it was still piping hot.

Reference map: https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=211803378882467968316.0004dd9c2591ff5d7d6bf&msa=0&ll=-0.394539,35.252938&spn=0.014741,0.021651 (This is what I get when I check the ‘short URL’ box. Deal with it…)

(Edited to add in a forgotten word, the absense of which totally changed the meaning of the sentence)

Sil

Yay! I enjoyed this one but I think you’ve captured it much better than I :)

Angrboda

I’m a little disturbed that I scored it twelve points higher than Auggy did, though. Normally we’re taste twins… O.o

ashmanra

Awesome!

Skulleigh

Awesome idea for a project :)

Terri HarpLady

So glad you got a chance to try it! Excellent description, & I love that you looked up the location (I’m way to lazy/busy to do things like that).

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Comments

Sil

Yay! I enjoyed this one but I think you’ve captured it much better than I :)

Angrboda

I’m a little disturbed that I scored it twelve points higher than Auggy did, though. Normally we’re taste twins… O.o

ashmanra

Awesome!

Skulleigh

Awesome idea for a project :)

Terri HarpLady

So glad you got a chance to try it! Excellent description, & I love that you looked up the location (I’m way to lazy/busy to do things like that).

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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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