92
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1282 tasting notes

Greetings Steepsterites! I have returned from the Big Wild Unknown, aka a summer house near the southern tip of the country with boyfriend and his parents. It was a good trip and we were there for a week doing a little touristing, some reading, and a lot of relaxing. Managed to finally get rid of my cough while there. Returned on friday, visited my parents saturday for the parents-parents meeting (went well also, it seemed) and then back to work monday. Boyfriend’s parents went back to the UK this morning. Boyfriend will also go to the UK next weekend, poor him. The weekend after that is planned out with no plans. This is sorely needed and has even been put in the calendar.

In other words, I’m pooped. Well, truly and utterly pooped. What I need now is a good heartening cup of tea, and as luck would have it I am now also in position to finally try some of the nommies that QuiltGuppy sent me before I went away on holiday. At last! A process, however, somewhat hindered by the fact that the kettle broke the other day, the on and off button breaking clear off, so making tea is a frightfully complicated business involving saucepans and good aim. (There are very good odds, though, that aforementioned boyfriend will bring home a new kettle from the UK on monday. There’s a long story behind this, which I will tell if you’re interested.)

I decided to start with Queen Catherine because it seems to be a steepsterite favourite and because other people’s posts on it previously leads me to believe that it is indeed a heartening cup.

I was surprised by the leaf aroma. It was much grassier and spicy-er than I had imagined it would be. A second sniffing also reveals something a little floral, a little grainy and almost a tiny bit pseudo-smoky, which makes me wonder what this tea is actually blended of. Right off the top of my head I would guess something involving a Darjeeling-ish type and a Keemun.

After steeping, I’m more thinking the hay-like notes of a Yunnan. How confusing is this! There’s still the grainy, semi-pseudo-smoky note, but the grassy note that reminded me of Darjeeling is thankfully gone. Self is not a Darjeeling fan, you see. All in all, it’s a very strong aroma, sort of forceful and serious. It really does smell like it will be just the heartening cup of tea that I’m looking for here.

The flavour was a surprise again. There’s that pesky grassy Darjeeling-esque note again! I have to say I was hoping my nose was playing tricks on my when sniffing at the dry leaf, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Oh bother.

That aside, though, it’s not a total disappointment. That Darjeeling-y note is subdued and tamed a bit by other darker and less perky notes. There’s something in here that has a resemblance to the very initial flavour of a medium-strength hot coffee. You know, the absolutely first bit of the flavour of the very first sip of freshly brewed cup of coffee, before the tongue really gets in on the business of tasting.

The grainy note is still intact as well, although without the touch of pseudo-smoke. It’s strong, however, and relatively sweet. Almost a little bit honeyed, I think. Possibly a wee bit fruity. This particular note is my favourite out of this tea’s flavour profile.

So we’ve got three primary notes here. Something that I’m not fond of, but which is held down and controlled by the other two, something which is basically more like putting down a base for the flavour in total than an actual note of flavour, and something which I’m very fond of and tend to look for in other teas, such as Keemuns or Tan Yang.

One should think these three, or especially the former and the latter, would even each other out and become something fairly average. This is not the case, though. That Darjeeling-like note, I can’t say I like it much, but when held in check by strong, grainy, bold notes like the other two, I find it surprisingly tolerable.

Queen Catherine reminds me most of all of Kusmi’s Samovar blend, only far less smoky. I’m quite pleased with it, and I’m glad I got a chance to try it for myself. You lot have all made me so curious about it and making it sound like it was right up my alley. And, it looks like, you were not mistaken.

The Purrfect Cup

Welcome back! Do tell of your kettle issues.

Angrboda

Well, it started at this last Christmas. The boyfriend had ordered for me a fancy Bodum kettle with temperature settings and what not. It wasn’t in stock in Denmark, so he didn’t get it in time for Christmas. Instead I got a card with a drawing of it. Sort of an ‘IOU one kettle’ or something.

We then assumed that eventually it would actually come in stock in Denmark so that it could be ordered, and we waited and we waited and we waited. As you know, it is know June. We are still waiting.

Apparently it has now disappeared completely from the Bodum website where he attempted to order it, which we take to mean that it’s just simply not available for purchase in Denmark.

Then the old kettle broke, as mentioned. I’m thinking that the knob must have taken a hit when we were moving and it’s just slowly cracked more and more, because it’s a clean break. Leaving us completely kettle-less.

Well, if it had to happen, now was as good a time as any and it prompted us to actually do something about this new no-show of a fancy kettle. The boyfriend is going to the UK next weekend for his father’s retirement party, so he ordered one to have shipped to his parents’ house instead, which he will then take with him home on monday.

Turns out it was kind of lucky that it happened now, because in order to get it delivered to a UK residence, the website demanded payment with a UK card, for some reason. Or perhaps they just don’t do international shipping from that site or something, and therefore don’t accept international cards, what do I know? At any rate, as we had his parents visiting, the new kettle was charged on his father’s card.

It was ordered saturday morning, and today the boyfriend came home and told me that he had shipping confirmation on the kettle and was confident that it would arrive in time for him to bring it home next monday.

And then he said, “guess where it was shipped from.”

It turns out that the kettle that you couldn’t order in Denmark from a Danish Bodum site, and therefore subsequently ordered from a UK Bodum site for delivery in the UK shipped from…

Kolding, Denmark.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?!

I won’t pretend to understand one tiny itty bitty iota of that logic. I’m just sticking to the fact that we’re finally getting the fancy kettle, and ignoring all that other stuff.

There’s a funny detail though, because as mentioned the boyfriend’s father ended up paying for the kettle, but last night they took us out to dinner at a nice restaurant. It turns out, though, that the card his mother had ordered specifically for using internationally was declined at the restaurant. So while they’re paying for the kettle we’re getting for ourselves, we ended up paying for the meal they treated us to. It being a fancy kettle, I think we came out more or less even, though. I’m not sure on the exact price of the kettle, but I saw the price of the meal and it seems to me like something that kettle might cost.

The Purrfect Cup

Wow that is one epic tea tale! Hope you get your new kettle asap!!

Angrboda

Me too. This saucepan business gets old pretty fast.

The Purrfect Cup

I can imagine!

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Comments

The Purrfect Cup

Welcome back! Do tell of your kettle issues.

Angrboda

Well, it started at this last Christmas. The boyfriend had ordered for me a fancy Bodum kettle with temperature settings and what not. It wasn’t in stock in Denmark, so he didn’t get it in time for Christmas. Instead I got a card with a drawing of it. Sort of an ‘IOU one kettle’ or something.

We then assumed that eventually it would actually come in stock in Denmark so that it could be ordered, and we waited and we waited and we waited. As you know, it is know June. We are still waiting.

Apparently it has now disappeared completely from the Bodum website where he attempted to order it, which we take to mean that it’s just simply not available for purchase in Denmark.

Then the old kettle broke, as mentioned. I’m thinking that the knob must have taken a hit when we were moving and it’s just slowly cracked more and more, because it’s a clean break. Leaving us completely kettle-less.

Well, if it had to happen, now was as good a time as any and it prompted us to actually do something about this new no-show of a fancy kettle. The boyfriend is going to the UK next weekend for his father’s retirement party, so he ordered one to have shipped to his parents’ house instead, which he will then take with him home on monday.

Turns out it was kind of lucky that it happened now, because in order to get it delivered to a UK residence, the website demanded payment with a UK card, for some reason. Or perhaps they just don’t do international shipping from that site or something, and therefore don’t accept international cards, what do I know? At any rate, as we had his parents visiting, the new kettle was charged on his father’s card.

It was ordered saturday morning, and today the boyfriend came home and told me that he had shipping confirmation on the kettle and was confident that it would arrive in time for him to bring it home next monday.

And then he said, “guess where it was shipped from.”

It turns out that the kettle that you couldn’t order in Denmark from a Danish Bodum site, and therefore subsequently ordered from a UK Bodum site for delivery in the UK shipped from…

Kolding, Denmark.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?!

I won’t pretend to understand one tiny itty bitty iota of that logic. I’m just sticking to the fact that we’re finally getting the fancy kettle, and ignoring all that other stuff.

There’s a funny detail though, because as mentioned the boyfriend’s father ended up paying for the kettle, but last night they took us out to dinner at a nice restaurant. It turns out, though, that the card his mother had ordered specifically for using internationally was declined at the restaurant. So while they’re paying for the kettle we’re getting for ourselves, we ended up paying for the meal they treated us to. It being a fancy kettle, I think we came out more or less even, though. I’m not sure on the exact price of the kettle, but I saw the price of the meal and it seems to me like something that kettle might cost.

The Purrfect Cup

Wow that is one epic tea tale! Hope you get your new kettle asap!!

Angrboda

Me too. This saucepan business gets old pretty fast.

The Purrfect Cup

I can imagine!

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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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