1312 Tasting Notes

65

The success of the coconut cream pie inspired me to try one of the other ones I bought from the forgotten 52teas order. I’m not surprised I ordered this one and it was sort of screaming to me. Here’s the thing.

I. Love. Cherry. Cola.
Favourite soda (after orange) FTW.

Unfortunately it’s not something we can usually get here. I don’t know if you can over there on the other side of the water. I know you have Dr Pepper which to me is very similar, but also not available in Denmark unless you’re really lucky. We had it for a couple of years recently, but it was taken off the market again. Apparently it didn’t sell well enough. (I fear Mountain Dew has gone the same tragic way, because I can’t find that anymore either). Recently we’ve had a limited edition cherry cola from coca-cola which was yummy, but alas, that one seems to also have run its course. In my deprivation of proper cherry cola or similar beverage, I’ve found that I can make a relatively good substitute with ordinary cola and cherry cordial. It’s not the same, but it works okay.

What all this means is that I have VERY high expectations of this one. So high, that I’m likely to be disappointed. Anything below a clean 100 on this is not good enough. The question just is exactly how disappointed am I going to get?

The leaves actually do smell a bit like cola and something that I’m willing to call cherry-like. There is however also a note which to my own surprise I can only describe as vaguely menthol-like. This is worrysome.

After steeping, the tea has pretty much the same smell, only hot. The mentholness is sticking out a bit more here, which is a little odd to me because menthol (along with mints) is usually a cool sort of flavour.

Hmm… Flat cola with dusty vanilla. I can’t find any cherry outside of the smell. Something sour-ish, kind of citrus-soapy-like. So, yes, I did get disappointed. It’s just a question of how much.

This does require an amount of experimentation, but for a first experience, I cannot in good consciousness give it more than 65-ish.

fcmonroe

Too bad it didn’t satisfy that your cherry cola needs!! Have you ever tried Cheerwine? It’s a North Caroline (or a South Caroline) brand. You would probably like it as well.

And we have a cherry flavored Dr. Pepper sometimes. It’s really good too.

Angrboda

No, I’ve never heard about that before. Is it a wine? We have this cherry dessert wine here, which I don’t much like. I find dessert wines way too sweet.
Over here it seems like traditional cola, orange and sprite-like sodas are doing best. Other types of flavours are usually made by danish brands. I don’t know, maybe we’re just too set in our ways to try new types of soda when they become available.

Peggie Bennett

This almost makes me want to ship some soda out to you. :-)

Angrboda

Awwww, that’s sweet Peggie. :) It’d probably be shaken flat by the time I got it though.

Ricky

Dr.Pepper is sooooo different from Cheery Coke. Maybe they make it different in Denmark. But Cherry Coke is pretty common here in the States. All soda is actually.

Angrboda

Yes, I know it’s a different flavour, but for me it’s sort of pointing in the same general direction with the fruityness. A lot of it, for me, is probably also the similarity in colour.
I want your soda selection. :( The danes are too set in their ways.

Ricky

Ahhh, I wouldn’t know. I don’t like Dr. Pepper =P. I stay away from that and Cherry Coke. If I have to drink soda, it’s coke, ginger ale or ice tea.

Angrboda

I’ve seen ginger ale around here, but only in these specialty bottles and really expensive. They seem to put them nearer to ciders than to sodas. I’m not very fond of ginger, so I haven’t tried them. I tend to go for cola or orange soda myself, even if the orange flavour tends to be rather artificial. I can handle a low quality orange soda much much better than a low quality cola. (Given Coca-cola and Pepsi, though, I can’t tell the difference. I can’t even tell if it’s light or regular). Other than that, I drink a lot of carbonated water, but I don’t really count that as a soda due to it not being sweetened.

Ricky

You have to come down to the States one day. Soda tastes different ;)

I can’t really tell the difference between coke, pepsi and sprite, 7up. Some people hate one and love the other. Neh, they’re all the same to me. Orange soda isn’t bad. I haven’t had one of those in the longest time. Ummm, maybe next time.

Angrboda

I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t. I always get all O.o when people say things like ‘I love Coke, but I hate Pepsi’ because they taste exactly the same to me. For the longest time I thought it was more a question of brand preference rather than taste preference, but then I saw a guy on tv doing test on tv with several kinds of cola. He was blindfolded but he got all of them right. It was amazing.

Ricky

I think it’s just that some people prefer one over the other. I mean there are difference, but I really don’t care enough for them. To me it’s the same soda.

Angrboda

For most, yeah, I think it’s brand preference. I’m guilty of it myself, but I can’t tell you why. I have NO clue why I gravitate towards one rather than the other. I just do. I do it with milk too. I prefer organic milk, but if I can’t get the one with the drawing of the cow with flowers around it, then I’ll pick an ordinary non-organic milk over a different brand of organic. Even though they all taste the same. I just like that drawing.

Cofftea

Angrboda, maybe steep it highly concentrated, chill, and then add carbonated water?

Angrboda

Cofftea, yeah I’ve considered that as one of the ways I need to experiment with it. It’s just a shame that I can’t boil carbonated water and have it stay carbonated.

Fcmonroe, I think you’re right, I think I’d like that a lot too.

.snowglobe angel.

I feel your pain. I relocated from the US to UK a few years back and the only lament of culture change is the loss of my fav things (i.e. rootbeer and celestial seasonings tea). Anyway, you know if it was kosher I wouldn’t have a problem sending you cherry coke/dr.pepper/(mt. dew is around but not so much where I live now). Anyway, just thought I’d put it out there, since a girl on another forum was like my magical lifesaver and sent me the teas I was pining for. :)

Angrboda

Yeah, Peggie Bennett said that too, but it would probably go flat before I got it. :)
CS has come to danish stores in recent years. A pretty limited selection though, just a handful of kinds. We don’t even have a very large Twinings selection here. There might be hope for you yet. :) I take comfort in the fact that you lot don’t have my little local shop (Luka Te) and that AC Perch’s in Copenhagen charge heart’s blood to ship abroad. So I do have some advantages. :)

S

Mmm, cherry coke sounds SO good right now…and orange soda…and Dr. Pepper…laments giving up soda

Angrboda

Shanti, come over to the dark side. You know you want to. :p

Mac

Wait, people can’t taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi? Srsly? o_O

Angrboda

Yes, srsly. :)
Or, should I say, wait, people can taste the difference between coke and pepsi? O.o

Auggy

Hehe – I actually like Pepsi more… to me it is sweeter. Though I usually just drink diet sodas (or at least I used to) so maybe the difference is more obvious in the no-cal versions.

Cofftea

The only 2 sodas I like are Jones green apple and the old coke blak… I was SO P!$$&&D when they discontinued it! Oh 52 teas…. LOL! Seriously though. I’d love a coffee coke flavored tea!

Peggie Bennett

I don’t drink soda at all, except for the occasional Limonata, and that’s even very rare. But what about those Italian sodas? We have those here, you can probably buy the flavored syrups online, then mix it with your soda water.

S

Mmm, Italian soda…I would love to drink those, but regular soda water is also pretty bad for your teeth (acidity).

Jillian

Hmm, you know I can’t remember the last time I had pop (soda to you guys, I guess). I pretty much swore it off a couple of years ago and honestly I haven’t missed it. I never drank much of it as a kid, my mother being big on healthier drinks like fruit juice and milk. /random post is random

Mac

But they taste completely different… mind is blown

Peggie Bennett

You don’t think you could get a syrup/fizz ratio the right way to make taste like a soda? Or is there a way to buy soda syrup, like the stuff that comes out of the soda fountains? Maybe not name brand, but it could come close.

Cofftea

I agree Jillian. I just don’t like carbonation. Both coke blak and jones soda seem to be quite light in carbonation.

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80
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
1312 tasting notes

Ah, so I did make an order with 52teas. The one I couldn’t remember if I made or if I had changed my mind. Either that or someone decided to send me a present which would be cool but also kind of improbable.

I’m starting with this one, mostly because the picture on the pouch looks like something that would be right up my alley. The leaves smell lovely sweet of coconut. Not so much of tea though. Dessert-like.

After brewing I’m finding an odd note of raisins… it sounds weird but somehow it fits. Again the coconut is prevalent. There is also a creamy smell which suggests that I ought to try this with milk also.

For now, I’m sticking to plain. Coconut, defintiely. Sweet, but not cloying at all. I can pick up the tea underneath too. It’s a strong base. Somewhat malty. One that would carry a little sweetener well, which is probably why it’s doing so well with the coconut.

I shall definitely have to try this with a little milk, but on its own as I’ve got it now, it’s quite nice too.

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61
drank Bai Hao oolong by TeaSpring
1312 tasting notes

Here’s another one from my recent Teaspring splurge. Another tea that I have fond memories of. If I recall correctly it was on my first ever Teaspring order. I remember liking it a lot and then when I wanted to reorder, it was sold out. For a long time it kept saying ‘out of stock’ and eventually I gave up and forgot about it. But now we’re back in business.

Apparently, according to Teaspring, Queen Elizabeth really likes this oolong and is the source of the ‘oriental beauty’ name it also goes under. For a royalist like me, that’s a big selling point. :) Note how it doesn’t even have to be the royal family of my own country.

I can’t give a great description of the leaves at this time, other than they’re large, twisty and ranging in colour from black to almost whiteish, the reason being that I open the bag a little awkwardly and now it’s slightly broken. I need to handle it as little as possible, so that it doesn’t break further until I have a free tin. (Note to self: Buy more tins. I’m at least five tins short.)

The tea brews up very dark, looking rather like a black tea, and it has a very strong aroma. You don’t have to search for the scent and it seems sweet and floral. For some reason my mind insists on marzipan. Which is odd because it doesn’t really smell like marzipan at all. The little grey cells (or not so little, actually. Brain cells and nerve cells are actually quite large because they stretch so far) are very stubborn and won’t give it a rest at all. What is that other smell I can smell, though? I know I’m supposed to be able to connect it with something, but the stretched grey cells won’t recall what it is. I think they’re just prissy that I’m not giving in on the marzipan issue. It’s floral, but I kind of think I ought to be able to get a bit closer than that. Maybe I’ll think of it later.

It is indeed very floral in flavour too! If I didn’t know any better, I would think this was scented. It’s very vegetal and flowery and exTREMEly girly. The flowers that aren’t really there are so dominant in this, and I find myself wondering what it was about it I was so taken with way back when.

Unlike the Bi Lou Chun, this one is just not living up to the memories I have. I’m not very impressed. How disappointing.

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73
drank Assam Deluxe FTGFOP by A C Perch's
1312 tasting notes

I’m falling asleep at my keyboard here, and I need a pick-me-up. So, a strong black tea, yes please. So I picked this one.

It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised that this was the tea that I had yet to manage to brew successfully. This time I was careful not to oversteep though.

This tea has two very distinctive primary notes, and they are entirely, it seems, independent of one another. There’s a very sweet, honeylike smoothness and then there’s a somewhat astringent malty kick. It kind of feels a little disjointed. As it develops, the malty note starts to take over, but with the promise that the sweet will be back with the addition of a little milk to smooth the astringency.

(Given how sleepy I am as I’m writing this, there’s NO WAY I’m adding milk to this. That would knock me out for sure.)

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87
drank Bi Luo Chun by TeaSpring
1312 tasting notes

Teaspring order is now home and unpacked. And yes, it did contain the beloved tie guan yin. phew! It also contained a load of other goodies (including a tibetan tea brick which I’m looking forward to trying as soon as I can persuade myself to break it to bits) and it was really difficult to choose which one to try first. Ippy-Dippy came to my rescue and here we are!

A lot of my Teaspring order appears to have been nostalgia. I remember this one as being one of the first ever green teas I had ever, and I remember being rather fond of it.

I love the look of the leaves. All thin and twisty and soft looking. Really they look like they ought to be downy but they’re not really. Cute leaves ftw!

It brews up, even slightly oversteeped, to a pale yellow colour. I tried with a short steep first, but after one sip, I poured it back in the pot and let it steep a little more because that was like just drinking hot water. The aroma was a strawlike grassy thing with hints of salted butter.

Due to the slight oversteep (I got distracted) it was a little astringent, but not bitter. It had the same sweetish strawlike notes as in the aroma. There was also a strong nuttyness that reminded me a little of the beloved pai mu tan.

The thing I remembered about this one, was a lingering, slightly minty aftertaste, and I’m pleased to say that I did not imagine that. It’s there too.

Towards the bottom of the pot it turned a little more buttery and vegetable-like and the minty aftertaste went away while drinking that. Strangely, now, several minutes after having finished the last cup, minty aftertaste is back with a vengeance. Cool.

This is definitely living up to the fond memories I have of it.

def living up to the fond memory

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94
drank Lapsang Souchong by A C Perch's
1312 tasting notes

::Sips::

::Stares at cup::

Sugar? O.o I did not add anything to this cup, where did that come from? In a lapsang?

::sips again several times::

Yes, there is an undeniable sweet note there. I didn’t brew it differently or anything. Weird. It wasn’t there before, I could have sworn! Or was it, and I didn’t notice?

I’M SO CONFUUUUUUSED!!!

(I’m also a bit over-tired at this point just in case you hadn’t guessed.)

ETA: Also, I did not ask for that bit to be in italics, what’s going on? O.o
ETA again: Evidently you can also make italics by use of double ?s…

LENA

odd. sweet & lapsang souchong usually don’t go together for me.

Angrboda

Not sure what’s going on with this. I had to go and check the tin, but I did have the right one. It’s going to be interesting to see if I can reproduce it.

Meg

faintly sweetened lapsang is good with dark chocolate.

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100
drank Black Powder Blend by Luka Te m.m.
1312 tasting notes

I have learned something crucial about this tea today. It can handle a magnificent oversteep relatively well.

My colleague made tea for me, but when she does, she just pours the water on and expects me to remove the filter bag myself after an appropriate steeping time. This is very easy when she makes it without telling me until half an hour later when she comments on the fact that I hadn’t taken any yet. Well no, I didn’t have time yet. And it took some two hours more before I had.

As is my habit, I always taste it before tossing it away, and while it is definitely strong and definitely astringent, it’s not bitter and it’s not at all undrinkable. It’s far from optimal, but it’s tolerable. It gained a coffeeish side-flavour which I’m not all that fond of, but it wasn’t completely ruined.

That’s good to know in other similar emergencies.

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92

My order from Teaspring.com is waiting for me at the post office, yay!!!

… I wonder what I bought…? I can’t for the life of me remember what’s in it. I do sure hope there’s Tie Guan Yin, because this is the last of the good stuff that Jillian sent me. Unfortunately what with the closing times my local post office has, I can’t pick it up until wednesday. (Yes, I could probably find an order confirmation in my inbox and check what I bought, but let me have my little game, please.)

So now I’m still waiting for… uh… Well, I ordered from Nothing But Tea yesterday, so I know I’m waiting for that. And I seem to recall placing an order with 52teas a while ago. I think. I was definitely at the site, so the question remains, did I buy something or did I change my mind? (And again, if I did, I wonder what I bought?)

Just in case I didn’t buy any Tie Guan Yin (oh my gosh how will I cope if I didn’t???) I am savouring the last of this cup. There’s a reason it’s named after a goddess, I’m just saying!

Yummilicious!

Ricky

When the traveling tea box comes back there will be lots of Ti Kuan Yin inside! Well it might be all gone, but at least I tried =P

Jillian

It’s almost all used up over here too – some of what I didn’t give you is going to Takgoti in a tea trade (I think she saw you raving about it, LOL). I can always save what I have left to send to you – I can buy more for myself easily enough (I’ll be in Vancouver in mid-Feb). :D

Angrboda

I’m picking my order up tomorrow, then we’ll see if I bought some. (I think I did) Shame I didn’t save some, so I could have done a side by side comparison… But that’s too late now.

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94
drank Lapsang Souchong by A C Perch's
1312 tasting notes

After steeping fail on both teas I’ve had today, one of which I’ve documented, I just needed a proper cup of tea. One that can’t go wrong. I had a funny feeling that it was a specific one I wanted but it wasn’t until I saw the tin that I knew which one it was.

It’s funny with this one. When I was first introduced to lapsang souchong, I thought it was a really harsh and rough sort of flavour with smoke all over the place.

Now, the more I drink it, the milder it seems to become. The aroma is still the same. All rough and tough and smoke and manly. But the taste seems to have smoothed out for me.

If I pay attention and seek it out the smokyness is there in spades. But it seems to be a bit shy. If I don’t speak to it first, it doesn’t speak to me. The rest of the tea seems surprisingly smooth and mellow and with a round sort of feeling to it, as if I had added milk. I haven’t actually added anything, and I’ve only used the cup for the white pomegranate earlier today and rinsed it out in between.

You all remember my black powder blend, the one I recently bought a huge amount of. I’ve filled my tin at work with that so I have a good amount of that four days a week. It has lapsang souchong in it, the smokyness of which I think is part of the reason for the name of the blend, so could it be that I’m getting so conditioned to lapsang now that I’m having this experience of it?

The first time I had lapsang souchong, after I had first got into the black powder blend, I found it strangely lacking. Watered down. I was expecting the fuller flavour of the blend, not just one of the ingredients in it. I was afraid lapsang souchong as a plain tea had been ruined for me forever. I’m pleased to say that this is definitely not the case, as what I’ve got here tonight is an extraordinarily pleasant cup of tea.

Robert Godden

Some LS is the genuine article, some are adding “smoke” flavour these days. Caveat Emptor, my friend.
Hmm, might now go and enjoy that manly smokiness myself

Angrboda

Funny thing is though that this is the exact same batch that has changed that way for me. It’s not the first one I’ve had, but when I first tasted this particular one, it was the same experience for me as the very first one I ever tried. I had this one when I first had the black powder blend and it was this one too that I had that watered down experience with. Odd, isn’t it? (Let it also be known that quality-wise I have every bit of faith in this particular shop. They wouldn’t have stayed in business for 175 years, if they hadn’t been dealing with proper quality teas. :)

kaiz

I always think of LS (from Teavana) as liquid bacon, and tend to make it on Sunday mornings. :-) Delicious stuff, but kind of an unusual taste. Glad that you found a brand/brewing combo that worked for you!

Angrboda

Oh lapsang has been a favourite of mine since the first time I tried it. I was curious and it’s not at all a popular type in Denmark. You can’t find it in supermarkets for example, but have to resort to actual tea shops. A friend of mine from England sent me some because I was curious. It was love at first sip. :)

Peggie Bennett

Lapsang is definitely a new favorite for me, like you, love at first sip! I get a sweetness from it as well as smoothness. I always have to describe it to people at work, and they are always surprised that I say it’s got a touch of sweetness and that I’m not just drinking liquid smoke. It’s also good when I add a little sugar to it. Yum yum, lapsang!

Angrboda

I think it’s largely a love it or hate it type of tea. Some people can find the middle road where they can tolerate it but doesn’t particularly enjoy it. One of my colleagues is on the middle road, borderline hating it. She thinks it’s like standing in a smoke-filled room with a mouth full of water.
I totally get the sweet note you found. I think maybe it’s the same one that I experienced as a milky sort of feeling in this one.

cristina

Have not tried Lapsang before..sounds interesting but weary about the smokiness. I look forward to trying tho!

Carolyn

@Angrboda I don’t know if it’s entirely love/hate. I like it but it’s not a tea I can drink a lot of. It reminds me of lox or smoked white fish, which I used to adore as a child but could only eat a small amount. It’s an “appetizer” tea for me, not a main course.

By contrast, I can drink many of the flavored senchas by Den’s all afternoon.

Micah

I need to get my hands on some LS as well. Seems so intriguing!

cteresa

Pine, I knew it! Drinking this right now, and gosh, it is a bit different than my usuals LS. But pine, yeah yep, very there in the scent, maybe not so much in the taste.

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60
drank White Pomegranate by Fredsted
1312 tasting notes

Thanks to the awesome tea picking randomiser that Jon provided, I’m finishing off this tea. It’s the first tea I’ve had since this morning where I was trying to brew Gunpowder by a different method but forgot to time the ultra short steeps so it went terribly horribly wrong.

I’d quite forgotten I had this one, and most of it is fannings. I only have enough for one cup, so I have to remember to only fill the pot halfway up, or we’re in for a weakling cup of tea. I considered adding a pinch of the Pai Mu Tan or the white Darjeeling to it to stretch it to a whole pot, but decided that they were both too good for such a purpose. I’ll just have to randomise myself another cup afterwards then.

Due to the large ratio of fannings in this, I’m giving it a fairly short steep. It’s all orange! It’s been so long since I’ve had this that I’ve completely forgotten what it’s like. So yeah, the colour of the brew is surprisingly orange and it definitely smells of pomegranates. Pomegranates and perfume and something that strangely reminds me a little of jasmine. That same dusty floral sort of smell, but it’s just a hint of that.

Although I only made half a pot, I was still keen to drain it as well as I could. I did drain the pot, but right now, if you added another drop to the cup it would flow over. It makes sipping a little complicated, and involves me sticking my head down to the cup and generally looking pretty idiotic.

Ack! Even with such a short steep (I normally do about five minutes, give or take) it’s still got some bite to it. Clearly I underestimated the fannings. On top of that, the jasmine hint is still there! It doesn’t say anything on the bag about jasmine as far as I can tell, only pomegranate.

The pomegranate may or may not be there too, but the tea itself has gone so strong that more or less anything would have been drowned out, and it’s just making me thirsty and I have to remind myself that opening a can of the cola I’ve got in the fridge is a bad idea when I’ve got almost a whole cup of tea right here.

Looks like it’s just the day for steeping fail.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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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…
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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Bio last updated February 2014

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