1254 Tasting Notes

65
drank Christmas Punch by Die Tee Familie
1254 tasting notes

Queued post, written May 25th 2014

MissB shared this one with me. It feels a bit weird to have a Christmas themed tea at the end of May, but I have a box to empty and I can’t just have it lie around until December. Normally Christmas blends don’t really appeal to me much. They’re usually far too cinnamon-y and I don’t really care for cinnamon in my tea to be honest. I find the combination of tea and cinnamon a little strange, which is also why I’m having such trouble with chais. I find that the typical Christmas blend is usually in that same sort of category as chai.

I’m not certain what’s Christmas-y about this. It doesn’t really taste like Christmas to me. It’s an orange tea with some sort of spice in it that makes it quite sweet, but I can’t really recognise it as any particular spice.

It’s pleasant enough to drink but not something that has me falling over with glee.

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82
drank Rhubarb Green by Fru P Kaffe & The
1254 tasting notes

Queued post, written May 24th 2014

This one is from the Christmas calendar, actually, and I’ve only just got around to trying it myself now. I’m using the rest of the tea, having given most of it away and also made some of it for Husband once when I was having something else myself. He thought, if memory serves me correctly, that it was a very pleasant tea. I’ve shared it with MissB and Courtney, and MissB in turn shared it with Jump62359. All of them thought it was pleasant, although MissB found it triggered one of her allergies, so I’m quite confident that I’m going to like it.

I used the rest of the leaf that I had, and that turned out to be a bit more leaf than it looked like because it brewed up fairly strong. No matter, I like a fairly strong tea, so it hasn’t lost anything on that account.

It’s very rhubarb-y in flavour. I can’t comment on the aroma, because my nose is running a bit. I hope I haven’t caught anything. Or rather, I sort of hope that I’ve caught something, because I’ve never suffered from pollen allergies of any sort in all my life and I don’t much fancy starting now. But it’s got lots of rhubarb flavour and it actually tastes like rhubarb. It also tastes like green tea. It’s about equal parts flavour and base and they are flavours that seem to go quite well with each other, finally ending on a sweet note.

I might actually purchase some more of this if it’s still summer when I’m allowed to buy tea again. I doubt it is, to be honest. It seems like there’s still lots left in the box I haven’t tried yet. Next year, then!

Marzipan

I know Fru P is the place in Aarhus, do they do their own blends? Or do you know where they get their teas? I’m wondering if it’s worth having family send me some of their teas.

Angrboda

No, she’s a delicatessen shop rather than a tea shop. She’s just one that happens to have a lot of tea. She’s also got a lot of specialty beer, wine, coffee, fancy chocolates, fancy biscuits and so on. Lately, on her facebook, I saw that she now had some kind of french cordial which I’m reminding myself to get a bottle of next time I come past there.

I don’t know who her supplier is (and I don’t really like asking either, tbh), but I expect it’s one of the same large bulk suppliers that supply a lot of these little shops in Europe. I did once see the original foil bag that she had received her stock in because I wanted to know if there were any more details on where from Sri Lanka their Ceylon tea had come from, and we found an estate name on it. Sadly I didn’t pay attention to whether there was any other information on the bag at the time.

Actually, given the names of some of these blends, I strongly suspect you could also go to Hans&Grete and get the exact same blend. I just tend to prefer Fru P. I’m not keen on the row of enormous coffee mills H&G have constantly churning away in their shop window so close to their tea. I can’t actually taste any difference if there has been coffee near it or not and at this level of quality I’m not sure it matters super-much either. I don’t even know if there is coffee in them all the time either. For all I know it might be mostly for show that they’re running. It just leaves a very bad impression on me.

Angrboda

Oh gosh, long answer. Sorry. O.o

Marzipan

No thank you! I just wondered if it was something super special. One of our nephews works downtown so it would be easy to have some sent.

Marzipan

I had to go look up where, he works at Inspiration.

Angrboda

Ha, we were there just yesterday buying new plates. Different shop, though, but same chain. :) At last I can serve more than four!

Marzipan

I remember really liking it last trip to DK.

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86

Queued post, written May 23rd 2014

Auggy’s shared this with me in the most recent care parcel. I looked it up when I added it to my cupboard, but I don’t recall now what it is. It smells a bit raisin-y and fruity though. Berry-ish, I thought. After steeping it’s more floral, but not very floral like it was scented. Just a thin layer of floral on top. It’s sort of wood-y underneath that, but neither cocoa-y nor really grainy.

The flavour is quite floral as well, and also quite wood-y. Again, neither cocoa-y nor grainy. It’s not hay-y either. There’s a bit of a fruity aftertaste to it, which reminds me of cherries.

I honestly can’t tell what this stuff is. It has none of the characteristics of the areas I know best. Could it be some completely new to me area?

I have to look it up.

Oh, it’s from Taiwan! That is indeed a fairly unknown region to me. That explains why there were no recognisable elements to it at all.

As I drink and it cools a bit, I feel the flowery notes get a little more pronounced as do the fruity notes. The fruity notes actually expands a bit, no longer content to being merely an aftertaste. I still think it’s mostly a dark cherry, but I see on Steepster that others have likened it more to plums. Oh well, they’re both stone fruits. Close enough for jazz.

Cooling a little further, we’re at gulping temperature now, the floral note has changed and turned from floral into something more spicy. I felt like it was reminding me of something particular, but I couldn’t think of what, so I nipped off to the kitchen to have a snuffle around the spice shelves. This didn’t yield any positive results so if it is indeed something I ought to know, it’s not a spice we currently have. I did, however, narrow it down that I think it’s a bake-y spice rather than a cooking spice. Others have mentioned cloves and cinnamon, but I didn’t really think that was a match for me either.

This is a very interesting tea. It’s not that often anymore that I get to have a completely new region’s tea for the first time where it doesn’t remind me strongly of a neighbouring region.

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75

Queued post, written May 21st 2014

Another green tea for Green Tea Day. Apparently it’s not only Green Tea Day, it’s also Ancient Tea Day because this one came from Auggy and it’s even older than the other two. Well. By a couple of months but even so. Still older. In my defence she sent me a few of these and I’ve only got one left. I just haven’t written about it until now.

Smells lovely of green tea and cherry. A very fruity juicy sort of cherry. The sort that I hope some of all the myriads of cherry trees in our garden will produce. (Little hope there, though. Husband’s father thinks it’s a decorative sort of cherry, not an edible one. And he’s worked with plants in some way or another, both at his job and in his garden, for 40 years, so he should know. Still. When there is fruit, I will test it the best way I know how. By biting one.) It strikes me that red fruits generally go quite well with green tea. I think a 4 red fruits blend on a green base might be rather lovely, but I expect that already exists somewhere out there.

The flavour is very floral, reminding me that this is scented with cherry blossoms, not flavoured with cherry. Isn’t it funny though how the flowers sort of smell like the fruit? The green tea is fairly strong compared to the other two I’ve had today, and it’s got a smidge of bitterness to it. No, not bitterness… But a note that tells me that if brewed hotter or longer, it very likely would turn undrinkable. It’s borderline. At the point where it is now, though, it lends body and strength and is quite enjoyable.

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75
drank Green Darjeeling by Kusmi Tea
1254 tasting notes

Queued post, written May 21st 2014

The second green tea today and the second ancient bag. This one was also from Fleurdelily and therefore a couple of… years… old. By a funny coincidence when I posted from the queue this morning that was also a post about a green darjeeling, a much newer one than this one, and having just read that post again, I can totally recognise it in this cup as well.

I’ll take that as a sign that this one carries its age quite well, then. It’s got that lemon pith-y bite to it on top of something that is sort of generically green tea. I shared some of the other green darj (the one I posted about this morning) with MissB who found it apricot-y. I can see what she means with that now. I think it’s mostly lemon pith-y, but I think it’s the same note that we experience slightly differently. I can totally see how it could be apricot-y.

This has a bit of a floral touch as well, which I thought the other one didn’t so much, but that could be differences in the harvests.

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92

I’m skipping the queue with this one, because I want to show the GTT team that I am actually gratefully writing and drinking the things they shared with me. Sort of like a proof that I’m keeping my end of the bargain, even if the other two samples will likely wind up in the posting queue and turn up in due course. I just didn’t want to have the first post wait that long. The oldest posts in the queue at the moment are from May, you see. (I haven’t been adding to it nearly every day though, so it’s not as long as one might fear.)

Shortly before I went on holiday, I received an email from Green Terrace Teas, inviting me to try a few samples from them and writing about them. This put me in a bit of a dilemma, because you may recall that I have this box on my desk of things I haven’t yet tried and the goal for 2014 is to empty it. Completely. So empty that you could turn it upside down and nothing would fall out. As a consequence I am strictly prohibited from adding to said box.

But if they’re offering to give me stuff which I didn’t ask for first… Then technically I’m not the one adding to the box. So that must be okay, right? I mean, I can’t be held responsible for other people’s actions, right? So I said yes please and chose three things. Well, actually I chose two things and dithered on the third to the point of saying ‘surprise me’. I chose the two black teas (of course) and also wanted to try an oolong, but I haven’t had much experience at all with these green type oolongs in recent years, so apart from a couple that I was already familiar with, I didn’t even know where to begin. Hence, ‘surprise me.’

Now, this particular tea is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most.

Both the steeped tea and the dry leaf have a strong note of something which is very hard for me to place. It’s sweet and malty, but I’m not sure I would say it was necessarily honey. Maybe a very concentrated honey note, but I’m leaning more towards honey with something else. It’s the something else I’m having trouble with. The malty note is quite strong though and it’s only enhanced further by the honey note. As it cools to a sippable temperature, the honey note develops further, gradually making it stronger than the malty note. At this point the something else is also developing a bit, and I’m starting to think berries. A fairly tart sort of berry, possibly dried. Black currants and/or blackberry are the first things that come to mind. Perhaps also a little bit of plum, but I’m uncertain about that one.

The tea itself is surprisingly strong. It’s not strong in the overleafed or oversteeped way, it’s just a naturally strong tea by it self. The first and foremost note that I notice is something sort of wood-y, like how a dark oolong can be quite wood-y in flavour. Not the dark sort of oaky wood that black tea can have but something a bit lighter and sharper. I have a specific type of wood in mind that it makes me think of, but unfortunately I don’t know what kind of tree that’s from… It’s a light wood with a sort of pinkish-golden colour and the wood grain is very well defined. Anyway, it tastes to me like wood that looks like that. (Bring on the synesthesia. Why can’t I have this phenomenon in a normal way?). As a result this whole tea kind of tastes like that pinkish-golden colour, complete with wood grain and everything.

Along with the weird wood note, I’m also getting a strong note of honey. It’s amazingly sweet this and the honey notes is very clear. A little spicy and hay-y too, which reminds me of Yunnan teas, especially the sort.

These naturally occurring notes (rather than flavourings) are always rather subjective, so I was uncertain about how much honey I would actually find in it, but I’m very attracted to things to do with honey. I’ve had supposedly peach-y teas before and not found even a whiff of stone fruits, so I tend to take that sort of thing with a grain of salt. This one, however, definitely delivers. There is a bit of astringency on the swallow, but the aftertaste is all honey.

If bees drank tea, they would drink this.

Buzzzzzzzz!

MzPriss

This sounds really really nice and like something I would like very much. I hope it is in my sampler.

Angrboda

Did you not choose your own?

MzPriss

Um no, I didn’t realize I got that option – I just chose a black sampler – I should go look at my order and see what it was.

MzPriss

Oops! I posted on the wrong thingie. The one I got was the Good Life one. I’m going to go look into this one because I really want to try this one.

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I have returned from the wilds of Cumbria, where a ‘large road’ is any road that is wider than single track. And the wilds were indeed wild. Especially that time we got a little bit lost. Or the time the satnav were supposed to take us to the Lakeland Motor Museum and deposited us in front of Holker Hall. (Which coinkidinkally we had visited earlier in the week) And mountainous. Very mountainous. I climbed two little ones. Husband claims they were hills and that he could have done it in flip-flops. HA! I know a mountain when I struggle up one and these were mountains. And he never proved the flip-flops statement either.

Have earned my mountain goat badge and my map reading badge, I think.

Oh, and I posted this without actually pasting in the actual post. Here you go.

Queued post, written May 21st 2014

Let the green tea day commence! Well. That is to say. How many green teas can I drink before I have to choose between making a black or going crazy?

I’ve started with an effort to do something about the tin of random bags. I’ve got a handful of bags and I’ve put them in a tin in order to stem chaos. Trouble is, I forget to look in the tin when searching the box of untried things for something new, which is why the ones I’ve taken out and hope to be using to day are a bit ancient. This one, for example, was shared with me by Fleurdelily in 2012! O.o So were a couple of the others.

Hopefully they will still produce some flavour then.

Now, this one. I usually have a black tea in the morning and usually an unflavoured one. Since it’s Green Tea Day, I couldn’t have that today. Then I saw this one said gingko on it, and if memory serves me correctly that’s one of those things that are supposed to be refreshing and providing a bit of a mental boost and energy and whatnot. Seemed a good choice for the morning, then. Or am I confusing it with ginseng? Either way, I have no idea what it’s supposed to taste like.

This is a fairly mild tea (or it has become a fairly mild one) and the lemon flavouring is quite strong, but not sour. It doesn’t taste like biting a lemon, but it has a very pleasing lemony aftertaste.

I can’t say anything about the base though. It might have faded into almost nothing which makes lemon all I can taste because it’s all there is to taste, but even so this is actually a very pleasant blend. Husband, being a lemon fiend, would probably have enjoyed this greatly, but I only had the one bag.

I shan’t rate it, though, because of the sheer age of it and then flavour being such as I can’t tell if it has changed over time. Sometimes you can sort of taste the ghost of what it could have been with a faded tea (or an accidentally mis-brewed one for that matter), have you noticed that?

yyz

I’ve seen the flip flop up the mountain thing at great speed in the Himalayas. I went hiking /tea stand sampling up a mountain near Mcleod Ganj in India. There was a Tibetan Youth Group that basically ran up the mountain and had a decent start at setting up camp before I reached the highest point of my hike, and yes most of them were in flip flops. I was too come to think about it. That’s about all I wore in India. Sounds like you had fun though and several adventures!

boychik

This tea is meh even when fresh

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86

This post is skipping the queue, because I want one more post in, mainly to say that I’ll be away for a little more than a week as we are leaving for the UK tomorrow. I shan’t have time to access Steepster before then and internet access may be sporadic while we’re away because I don’t know if there will be wifi and I’m not made of money if there isn’t. The EU may have forced phone companies to lower roaming charges, but that hasn’t magically made it cheap. Just less expensive.

This is the one of two Assams that Husband and/or my Dad bought for me in Germany. I’ve had trouble describing the first one. There is a post about it in the queue and you’ll get the story of the purchase of the tea in that one. The words to describe it just wouldn’t come to me. I’m afraid I’ve got a similar problem with this.

The trouble is though that I’m having it at a moment where I’m fairly stressed as we’re going on holiday tomorrow and I’m not ready. I’ve got to do my packing and also have to cook dinner and also have to go to work tomorrow and leave on time and we’ll set off as soon as I get home. Argh! I won’t even have time to think between then and now.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a Life-Giving cup of tea, and it is, because it’s good and strong, but without being bitter or very astringent. There is some, but only of the pleasant sort. It’s very flavourful. It’s quite Assam-y with that funny cardboard-y note that is so characteristic of Assam and it even has a bit of raisin-y notes on the finish. In between it’s malty and a bit wood-y.

This is a very good tea and just what I need right now. I just wish it could also pack my suitcase for me.

Right. I’ve got a list of things to get on with. I feel like I’m having to work quite hard in order to go on holiday.

Sil

have a great time!

OMGsrsly

Have a good trip! :)

Jillian

Enjoy your trip :)

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83

Queued post, written May 18th 2014

Here is another one from my recent Auggy parcel. I’ve seen this one around before on Steepster, but it never really caught my interest enough to check it further. It just got lumped automatically into the ‘sounds nice but unavailable to me’ box and so I put it from my mind.

Now I get to have some anyway. I find the name of the blend attractive for reasons that I don’t even understand myself. If I were shopping somewhere and saw a black blend of that name, it would make me have a closer look.

This is one of those rare blends, where not only have they listed what goes in it, they’ve also done it in a more detailed way than usual. Many companies would just have put ‘Indian, Ceylon and China tea’. Some would go a little further and put ‘Assam, Ceylon and Keemun.’ This one actually specifies the two Ceylons used (Uva and Dimbula)! It made me go YAY! I wish more companies would take heed of this.

Now, Uva is a highgrown tea and Dimbula is as well. I don’t actually care much for the high-grown Ceylons although I find them easier to drink than a Darjeeling. As is my experience, though, a Darjeeling in a blend can become quite acceptable in a blend because it is tempered by the other ingredients, and this is the case with the high grown Ceylon in this blend as well. Assam and Keemun are both fairly strong teas for me. Some people classify Keemun as mild, but for me it’s not that mild. I think maybe I measure strength differently. Something with that much flavour in it feels strong to me. They both do an excellent job with keeping the Ceylon in line in this blend. It is primarily a Ceylon blend, though.

I’m actually getting very little of the characteristics of the Keemun and Assam. No grain-y notes, but a little bit of floralness which may or may not be part Keemun and part Ceylon. No cardboard-y notes from the Assam, but a great deal of body. It’s like the Assam and Keemun work to enhance the deeper notes of the Ceylons rather than add their own flavour to the mix. I find I quite like that. It makes the blend taste very balanced. It reminds me strongly of low-grown Ceylon actually.

I’m quite pleased with this one.

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76

Queued post, written May 17th 2014

Auggy shared this with me in the yearly care package. It’s not yearly by design, btw. That’s just how long it happens to take collecting good things. The care package is largely about sharing really good and/or interesting things. Mine to her is nearly ready I think.

This year, due to a number of things, the care package is a little different because I suspect it contains things that were ‘cleaned out’ because she can no longer have them. There are certainly a couple of head-scratchers in here. :)

Anyway, there is also some really good stuff, this one included. Auggy pretty much keeps me in A&D as she has shared samples of most of it with me. I can purchase this myself, the shipping being below my limit, but the times I’ve done it it has been a bit of a hassle because their site wouldn’t accept my foreign address, so I had to go the email and paypal route. It’s possible, obviously, I did it with Joseph Wesley recently and I did it with Shang Tea a few years ago as well, but it feels like such a hassle. Good thing I’ve got Auggy to show me what I would otherwise be missing then.

I had to choose a tea for the morning and I couldn’t remember what was in this one, but it was A&D and so therefore couldn’t be completely off the mark.

It smells… red. That’s all I can really say about it. It smells red, and I can’t think of any other words. Perhaps a bit wood-y? Maybe with a smidge of honey? I’m not certain at all. It just smells red. Hello synesthesia! Haven’t seen you around in a while. Why is it only sometimes? Why is it only certain smells and flavours? You’d think it would be all the time, wouldn’t you? Perhaps I haven’t actually got it really, and the colour/shape/gender thing is something that just steps in to hide the fact that my imagination is failing me?

I think there’s Darjeeling in this. Or a high grown Ceylon. It tastes strongly Darj-y with the floralness and the grass and the slightly sour aftertaste. The latter there is tempered by whatever else is in there. Something stronger and maltier. Maybe Assam and/or Keemun. It’s not very grainy so I’m leaning more towards Assam. I can even catch a bit of cardboard-y notes in it as well. That’s usually an Assam tell-tale. I just really think there’s a third thing in here as well. The more I think about it the less I think it’s Keemun. I think we’re in Ceylon territory here. A mid- or low-grown one. Unfortunately when people add Ceylon tea to something, though, they don’t bother stating which area it’s from. I wish they would. Just look at all my Project Ceylon posts, the differences are HUGE between high-, mid- and low-grown and Sri Lanka produces tea at all three altitude ranges. Anyway, Darj, Assam and Ceylon is my guess.

I should have liked it better without the Darjeeling, but that’s hardly news. I find it quite tolerable in this blend, though, because the other teas mute the things I dislike about Darjeeling somewhat. It’s a bit like the Afternoon Blend from Jeeves and Jericho, which I recall as being very similar to this one. I can happily drink a tin, but then I don’t need to buy another afterwards.

We got two steeps out of this one, the second steep being just as strong as the first one. That’s unusual for Indian/Ceylon teas in my experience.

boychik

This tea grew on me. I wasn’t impressed at first, but I like it a lot now

Skulleigh

I have a tin, but it hasn’t made much of an impression on me yet. I feel like I should brew some up now because we just saw a hawk sitting on our neighbor’s back fence, but I’m still full from lunch. I’ll probably brew up a few pots here and if it doesn’t talk to me much, I’ll take it into work and drink it there. That’s the fate of all of my lesser loved teas in any quantity.

Terri HarpLady

Skulleigh, that sounds like a great reason to brew the tea! :)
This tea is not my favorite of the A & D collection, & not a tea I can drink on an empty stomach because of it’s brightness & astringency, but for people who like ceylon & darjeeling teas, I’m sure it’s loverly, & I’m thinking it might make a good cold tea.

Skulleigh

Oh yeah, it does make a good cold tea – I forgot I iced some leftover tea I had of this a couple weeks ago, with lime juice in it (I was out of lemon) and it was really good.

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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]
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Find Ang on…
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Bio last updated February 2014

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