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76
drank Bourbon Vanilla by Kusmi Tea
1191 tasting notes

Hi all.

First of all, I had a little accident buying Kusmi the other day, so if anybody out there is fond of cinnamon flavoured black, I have a proposition for you. I shall post this on the boards as well. (Basically, I just grabbed a brown tin that looked exactly like the caramel… It was not caramel.)

Secondly, this tea is from aforementioned ill-fated Kusmi purchase and this one was not a mistake. It’s one I’ve been wanting to try for ages. Actually ever since I had that fantastic vanilla Nilgiri that Chi of Tea had and I became really interested in finding my perfect vanilla tea. Well, my second favourite anyway, as I’m giving up hope of the Chi of Tea vanilla ever getting back in stock.

What I like in a vanilla flavoured black is clearly present vanilla, and preferably with some leather-y undernotes of something akin to coconut. And it must be SMOOooooooooth, with a captial SMOO. The Chi of Tea one had all of this. I have yet to find the same flavour profile, fulfilling all requirements elsewhere although I have found some very acceptable alternatives.

This one had the right sort of aroma of the dry leaf. Not super sweet and obviously vanilla-y to the point of near cloying syntheticness, but something more rough and wood-y and leather-y. After steeping the vanilla flavouring smells subdued and the Chinese base is coming very nicely through. It smells grain-y and I wonder if there is some Fujian black involved here. Since they don’t say anything about it other than ‘Chinese black’ I’m assuming they’re using some sort of standardised blend of several to ensure a consistent flavour. There’s just something about it that smells rather Fujian-y.

Full marks on aroma, then.

The vanilla flavouring is extremely subtle. I’m getting a whole lot of ‘black tea’ and only a smidgen of vanilla. The funny thing is, in the Caramel from Kusmi, this subtleness is something I really like, but here I’m finding it vaguely disappointing. I mean, I don’t want a vanilla flavoured tea to be only sweet, but I do want there to be some sweetness, and I really think this could have benefited from a tad more of that aspect.

It does have potential, though. This would be one of the few that I might bother experimenting more extensively with the parameters to see what happens. A full boil heat, for example, in spite of what Kusmi says, and shorter or longer steeping times and less and more leaf. I think the steeping time would be the best place to start. It tastes that way.

I’m giving it a relatively low score to start with, then we’ll see later on if it can redeem itself under different conditions.

LadyLondonderry

Sounds delicious, and I LOLed at “capital SMOO”!

Angrboda

That is a totally completely stolen quote from Red Dwarf. :)

ashmanra

Heehee! I gave my hubby a season of Red Dwarf for his birthday!

Angrboda

We have the box set, I got it for Christmas last year. We’ve been watching it lately, an episode with dinner. :) Currently we’re in Season 3.

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LadyLondonderry

Sounds delicious, and I LOLed at “capital SMOO”!

Angrboda

That is a totally completely stolen quote from Red Dwarf. :)

ashmanra

Heehee! I gave my hubby a season of Red Dwarf for his birthday!

Angrboda

We have the box set, I got it for Christmas last year. We’ve been watching it lately, an episode with dinner. :) Currently we’re in Season 3.

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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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