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Once upon a time someone, I forget who, shared a sample with me of a charcoal roasted TGY, I forget from where. I don’t think that one was aged, but I do remember that I really liked it and that I was going to do some investigation about whether it was something I could buy for myself, some shops being, as we all know, out of my reach due to geography. But then I forgot about it.

When I went to look at Verdant Tea’s site, to see what else other than the Laoshan Northern Black that was leaving half of Steepster in fits of ecstacy, I came across this one and was reminded of aforementioned charcoal roasted TGY. So obviously I had to have some.

The idea of roasting oolongs that would otherwise be on the greener end of the spectrum really appeals to me. I do generally prefer the darker oolongs, so that’s probably the reason. Here’s a funny fact. The darker end of the spectrum and the greener end, I like those. Oolong that are more halfway between the two? I just don’t find them very appealing at all. Not plain, anyway. I just can’t figure out what it’s trying to be, because to me it’s neither here nor there. The infamous Raspberry Oolong is based on one of those in-betweens, but that’s okay because it’s flavoured. The perfect oolong of this sort might be out there, but I haven’t found it yet.

But leaving that tangent, let’s return to the tea at hand. The aroma is really nice here. It’s a sort of mixture between cocoa and coal. The first association I got when I poured water on the leaves was burnt toast. Maybe it’s my affinity to smoky teas that make me really enjoy this aroma in a tea. Not so much in toast, though. It doesn’t actually smell smoky, but it sort of smells like it could be, and I find that really nice.

The flavour is really woodsy and again there is a hint of burnt toast. The note of cocoa from the aroma is still there in the flavour, but it’s not very noticable.

Actually, the flavour kind of reminds me a little of pears. There is definitely some sort of fruity sensation going on somewhere in here. It’s all juicy and not quite but nearly sweet, and it results in an aftertaste that covers every mucus membrane of the mouth. I can actually feel it on my gums! It’s sort of slightly cool and a bit prickly, a little like mint does. Not quite as heavily as actual mint, of course. Just exactly enough to be noticable.

As the cup cools, I find the cocoa comes out more and there is a little astringency. And suddenly I notice a very strong note of hazelnut. It’s right there in the front waving a big flag and shouting “I AM HAZELNUT! HEAR ME ROAR!” I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before I was halfway through the cup! I could have sworn it wasn’t there in the beginning. What sort of switcheroo magic stuff is this?

Finally, let’s come back to that burnt toast aspect, because that’s interesting. As mentioned I have a certain affinity to smoky teas, and although this doesn’t have even as much as a hint of a smoke note that I can find, I would still place it, mentally, on the outskirts of that group. It’s that burnt toast that does it. It creates the idea of smoke, but then when you look closer there’s nothing there. It’s like an optical illusion for the tongue.

I’m enjoying this, and it totally lived up to my memory and expectations from that other one I mentioned.

The real mystery, though, is this. How can burnt toast in toast be so unpleasant, when in tea it’s so nice?

CHAroma

I always thoroughly enjoy your tasting notes. This is another great one, and so I must add this tea to my shopping list!

Angrboda

Thank you, CHAroma, that was very kind of you. :)

CHAroma

I only speak the truth. Plus, you have Sleipnir as your picture. AWESOME!!!

Geoffrey

Hey Angrboda, do you brew teas gongfu style? I think this one in particular is fascinating and mysterious when prepared as such over many many short steeps. When I brew this tea out beyond 20 gongfu infusions, it’s like I’m observing the tea go backwards in time through the full span of it’s 10-year life. It starts out with that great smoky roast and ends like you’re drinking a fresh spring Tieguanyin. Also like traveling far over dramatically changing landscapes: at first around the fire of a chieftain’s camp in the Arabian desert surrounded by tents of luxurious textiles, then back along the silk road until wandering through the lush green mountains of Fujian.

Angrboda

Sometimes I do, but most times it’s western style. I have to be super-inspired to do that many infusions of the same tea in one day, because I get bored easily. So it depends on how inspired I feel, whether I’ve got all day or if it’s a work day, whether I’m sharing it with the boyfriend, and on what I’m doing that day. I find that gong fu style is excellent when I’m writing, because if I make a whole mug and the writing is going well, I forget about it. (Unless it’s the tea I’m writing about obviously)

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Comments

CHAroma

I always thoroughly enjoy your tasting notes. This is another great one, and so I must add this tea to my shopping list!

Angrboda

Thank you, CHAroma, that was very kind of you. :)

CHAroma

I only speak the truth. Plus, you have Sleipnir as your picture. AWESOME!!!

Geoffrey

Hey Angrboda, do you brew teas gongfu style? I think this one in particular is fascinating and mysterious when prepared as such over many many short steeps. When I brew this tea out beyond 20 gongfu infusions, it’s like I’m observing the tea go backwards in time through the full span of it’s 10-year life. It starts out with that great smoky roast and ends like you’re drinking a fresh spring Tieguanyin. Also like traveling far over dramatically changing landscapes: at first around the fire of a chieftain’s camp in the Arabian desert surrounded by tents of luxurious textiles, then back along the silk road until wandering through the lush green mountains of Fujian.

Angrboda

Sometimes I do, but most times it’s western style. I have to be super-inspired to do that many infusions of the same tea in one day, because I get bored easily. So it depends on how inspired I feel, whether I’ve got all day or if it’s a work day, whether I’m sharing it with the boyfriend, and on what I’m doing that day. I find that gong fu style is excellent when I’m writing, because if I make a whole mug and the writing is going well, I forget about it. (Unless it’s the tea I’m writing about obviously)

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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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