71
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
1289 tasting notes

Hello there Steepsterites.

I bring to you a post that it took most of the day to write. I just took notes when drinking and figured I could write a proper post afterwards so as not to get distracted away from the cup by the forming of proper sentences and hopefully coming up with something witty here and there. I’ve been hibernating for most of the day, so I’m not really in any condition to be seriously posting about a tea I’ve never had before, but for some reason I was inspired to try this one today.

It’s a Bethany-tea and she sent me four balls. I used two for a glass cup and saved the other two. The pellets are large and tightly pressed. It’s hard to pick up any sort of aroma from the dry leaves but I feel like I’m catching a small whiff of cocoa. As I dropped them into the cup, one of them bounced off the edge and rolled off on adventures. Those little things can really roll! Found it again several meters away on the other side of the living room.

First Steep

Having thwarted the escape attempt, I poured water on and watched the cup while it steeped. The unfurling seemed rather slow and the occasional small bubble of air escaped to the surface. I resisted the temptation to stir the cup to see if I could get something to happen, but I could see a clear difference in colour around the leaves at the bottom and the water at the top of the cup. I didn’t want any thin nearly tea, I wanted a representative cup, so I waited until I thought it should be well steeeped and gave it a gentle stir, trying to not whirl everything around too much and let the leaves stay at the bottom of the cup. If I had made it in a pot instead this wouldn’t have been necessary since pouring would have mixed it up. It made the balls fall completely apart and the colour went from palest pale of paleness to a reddish amber that actually looked like a black tea. A bit cloudy, though.

Sniffing at the aroma I suddenly learned to recognised ‘malty’! I’ve noticed that particular taste and smell lots of times before, but I’ve never connected the two until now where it seems wildly obvious. I once upon a time found a tea glossary (here: http://www.chowbaby.com/10_2000/glossary/glossary.asp?synchpage=1&Z=4597646780) but I’ve learned that such a thing is pretty useless, because the only way to really learn how to recognise these things is by experience. To me, anyway.

Anyway, while waiting for some of the top water to get any tea into it, I managed to oversteep the bottom of the cup. Lovely. By the time I gave it a stir, the whole thing had acquired a slightly bitter bite. It had a malty flavour, but I couldn’t really find any of the cocoa notes that I had spotted in the dry aroma and remembered having seeing others mention. I even started wondering if it was something I had just imagined to be able to smell because I thought it was supposed to be there.

Given the slight bitterness, it probably would have helped with a little milk or a little sugar, but since it was brewed directly in the cup, that was not an option. I don’t really like the idea of those additives directly on my naked leaves.

Rating-wise I would say it was around 65, having knocked it down a bit due to the oversteep.

Second Steep

Second time around it was still a very malty aroma. An aroma that really filled the nose when sniffing it. I like that much better than the ones you sit there and smell and search for something TO smell.

It coloured up much quicker due to not having to wait for the balls to unfurl and it also meant that stirring wasn’t necessary. It had a more golden colour this time.

First thing I noticed on the first sip was a very sweet aftertaste. Almost as if it had been sugared. It was less malty that the first steep but I did find some cocoa notes this time, although still not as much as I had expected.

I liked the second steep a lot better, and I would rate this around 78

Third Steep

The colour is really pale now, and the aroma initially is just the smell of steam. I tried so hard to find some that I actually ended up dipping the tip my nose in it. Found nothing. Except, of course, a wet nose. After a really long steeping, mostly because I got distracted and momentarily forgot, some aroma showed up. No malt, but definitely cocoa.

Tastewise the third steep was very like the second, only much weaker. The sweetness was a little sweeter and the cocoa was a little cocoa-ier, but otherwise there wasn’t really anything noteworthy about it. I wouldn’t recommend bothering with a third steep at all.

This one was down at around 55.

Based on these three steeps, I’m landing at an average of about 66, but I’ll push it upwards a bit on account of the first steep having been a bit overdone.

teaplz

So great and detailed! Yay! Wonderful review, as always.

Angrboda

Thanks both. So it was worth it spending most of the day on it, then? Just my notes alone were nearly 250 words! dies

Ricky

Nice detailed review =], I’d say well worth those 250 words you jotted down. Also thanks for the glossary :)

takgoti

Hee, I really enjoyed this.

Angrboda

Thanks. :) Tooks ages to actually write the post. With 250 words down already it felt like I was writing it twice. I don’t think it’s sometihng I’ll be doing routinely. :p

Ricky, you’re welcome about the glossary. I haven’t used it in a long time myself, mostly because I couldn’t figure out what to use it for when I still didn’t know what the words actually meant taste-wise. I did grin though when I saw that *Auggy*’s ‘bakey’ was already on the list of words. :D

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Comments

teaplz

So great and detailed! Yay! Wonderful review, as always.

Angrboda

Thanks both. So it was worth it spending most of the day on it, then? Just my notes alone were nearly 250 words! dies

Ricky

Nice detailed review =], I’d say well worth those 250 words you jotted down. Also thanks for the glossary :)

takgoti

Hee, I really enjoyed this.

Angrboda

Thanks. :) Tooks ages to actually write the post. With 250 words down already it felt like I was writing it twice. I don’t think it’s sometihng I’ll be doing routinely. :p

Ricky, you’re welcome about the glossary. I haven’t used it in a long time myself, mostly because I couldn’t figure out what to use it for when I still didn’t know what the words actually meant taste-wise. I did grin though when I saw that *Auggy*’s ‘bakey’ was already on the list of words. :D

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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)
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Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014

Location

Denmark

Website

http://angrboda.livejournal.com

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