1327 Tasting Notes

drank Yunnan Jig by Adagio Teas
1327 tasting notes

Another Jillian tea!

The leaves are pretty! They’re golden yellow, large and twisted. The smell mildly smokey. Long ago I had a Golden Yunnan that I thought was rather smokey in flavour, but since then whenever I’ve mentioned that I have been met with disbelief, until I finally began to think I was remembering it wrong since I seemed to be the only person in the world ever to have thought it was smokey. I’m also picking up a note of honey, a really flavourful kind of honey so strong that when you eat it you almost have to cough.

That note goes quite well with the honey-golden colour of the brew. The aroma after steeping is the same kind of honey, but not so much on the smoke. It’s just to throw you off, really. You almost expect to get a mouthful of liquid honey and instead you get a prickly mouthful of smoke. I still agree with myself that it’s a very smoky tea. I am getting a small note of honey, but not nearly to the extent that I would have thought from the aroma.

I’m trying to find the peppery note that people have been talking about and so far I’m failing. I get some pricklyness, but that’s from the smoke I think. I can’t find any pepper.

Back in ancient prehistoric times when I last had a plain yunnan, I remember not liking it much. I believe my tastes have changed. I think it’s a type I’ll have to stock up on again next year. It’s not one that I think is OMG fantastic! But it’s a nice one to have in the cupboard.


See, now I wouldn’t call Yunnan Jig smoky, but instead peppery. Maybe it’s just semantics?


I think it’s probably the same flavour but recognise it differently. It was the same thing with the white cucumber I got from Ricky a few days ago. Others had found a cinnamon like flavour, but to me it was like a mouthful of dill.


I don’t know…I found some smoke flavor in the weaksauce yunnan I ordered the other day. It was on the tail end of the sip, and showed up primarily after the cup had cooled down. Now I’m going to have to make a cup of this and see if I can find the pepper in it.


Glad you’re enjoying this one! _

East Side Rob

If you want to have a completely different Yunnan experience and really get a taste of how diverse Yunnan teas can be, try an all-bud Yunnan, such as Itoen’s Yunnan Gold Tips (which I currently can’t find on its website) or Rishi’s Organic Ancient Tree Golden Needle http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/golden-needle-organic-fair-trade-black-tea.html.


East Side Rob, due to shipping issues and fees and customs and whatnot those aren’t really available to me :(


I love tea from the Yuannan region. I was actually building an order from Rishi. 25% off! If only there was free shipping as well. I won’t cave! You could always get steepster members to send some tea your way.

East Side Rob

Surely, there are Yunnan bud teas available over there — it’s Europe, the cradle of fine food and drink. Try Le Palais des Thes at www.palaisdesthes.com. They have a Bourgeons de Yunnan that’s an all-bud Yunnan. They’re French and they ship to the United States (and the French are so ambivalent about us Americans), so surely they’ll ship to Denmark. (You guys are such an uncontroversial lot, except of course when the local newspaper publishes a cartoon of Mohammed, but, hey, I digress.)

Anyway, Le Palais Des Thes, I think, even has a store in Oslo, so surely they can hurl a sample across the Skagerrak or the Kattegat, or whatever body of water it is that separates you guys.

I haven’t tried their Yunnan bud tea myself, but I bet it’s pretty good. I found a link, but it’s to the American version of their site.


Let me know if you have any luck.


Ricky, I do have some secret plans in that regard, but it’ll have to wait a while.


East Side Rob, oh I can get the type, no problem. Those particular vendors you mentioned would be a problem though. I’ve only ordered from Adagio once, and it was pretty extravagant experience. About $20 for the tea, about $20 for shipping and about $20 for customs…

East Side Rob

I’ve always considered drinking a fine tea an affordable luxury, something that can be enjoyed for a fraction of the cost of a good wine. But at $40 for a shipment, I can see why you’d want to avoid American-based tea purveyors. And how’s the Euro against the dollar these days?


No clue, we haven’t got the Euro in Denmark. Yet. It’s a question of time before they send that to a vote again. The majority for no was tiny the last time. But I think $1 = about 6 danish kroner.


Ouch, couldn’t you just list it as a gift? Would you still have to pay customs for that? When I order stuff outside of the US that’s what companies usually list on the customs form.


I can’t, so far as I can see, control how they send it. And I’m not sure there wouldn’t still be VAT on it. On the other hand, I’m not particularly comfortable about the customs labels being fiddled with like that. I haven’t bought from Teaspring (who otherwise have very reasonable shipping!) since the time I ordered for some $75 tea, and when I got the package the customs label read ‘Contents: Card. Value $10’. I was lucky the customs people didn’t decide to try and open that one! O.o


Haha, usually the items are listed properly, but the pricing is a bit fudged when it’s sent to me.


Yeah, I’ve only had something like that happen the one time, but it did still make me a little uncomfortable with shopping there. I think in the new year I’ll have to place an order with Chaplon. They’re based in Denmark and I haven’t shopped with them in AGES. Don’t know why actually, I’ve always been happy with their quality. They just sort of slipped off my radar, I guess.

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Insteresting letter from Jillian in my letterbox today!

I’ve been trying to figure out what to try first and decided I was more interested in this. When I sent Jillian my ‘wishlist’ of things I’d like to try from her cupboard, this one mostly caught me by being pu-ehr, and I haven’t had any of that in ages, and a flavoured one at that, which I’ve never had. Little difficult for me to imagine flavoured pu-ehr, for some reason. But then, I initially felt the same way about green, white and oolong too and I can’t come up with a logical reason on why it shouldn’t be possible. Anyway, I didn’t pay attention to what else was in it at the time, so it’s not until now that I notice it has rooibos in it. That’s a bit worrisome, since I don’t really care much for that… Oh well, if you don’t try, you can’t win, so here we go!

It’s bagged and the bag smells like christmas biscuits! Do I have to drink it? Can’t I just sit here and sniff the bag? It seems almost a shame to get it wet. On the other hand, if I did just sit around, sniffing the bag, sooner or later I’d forget to pay attention and try to take a bite. Reflex, see.

Luckily, after steeping, it still smells like that. Chocolate and cinnamon are the dominant smells, and underneath it the earthiness of pu-ehr. It seems very dark in colour for a pu-ehr. I can’t really spot that reddish brown colour that it usually gets, but then that might be because the cup I’m using isn’t the best for looking at the colour.

The little satchel the bag was in says that the chocolate might sink to the bottom of the cup, so I’m giving it a little stir before tasting.

It tastes like sweets! Chocolatey and cinnamony like the blend I made yesterday (fate perhaps? Preparation for trying this?), but sweeter. I can pick up pretty much everything they say is in it, except possibly the nutmeg, but then I’m not really entirely certain which flavour I’m supposed to be looking for with that one. It’s not a spice I ever use for anything at all in my kitchen. And to my great relief, although I can defintiely find the rooibos, it’s only there to sort of add a little boost to the other flavours. If I hadn’t known it was there, I wouldn’t have noticed, but knowing that it is, I can tell what it does.

Great choice, me!


That sounds so yummy :) Perfect for this time of year!


It is yummy! I had a brief OMG!!!-stare-into-cup moment. Jillian sent me two bags. I’ll save the other one for a special occasion. Like christmas eve for example. That seems to be suitable.


This certain sounds better than my cup of bacon tea sitting in front of me. I’m slowly withering away, the smell’s killing me.


The ONLY pu erh I MIGHT be willing to try;)


Rishi’s Vanilla Mint isn’t that bad =D Doesn’t taste like pu-erh that much.


Ricky, I just saw. You poor thing! It’s one of my favourite types, but it definitely isn’t for everybody. Go make something mild and fruity instead. :)


I feel as if I’ve ate bad unsanitary Mexican food. It was definitely an interesting experience. If I ever need to fake an illness, I know what I can turn to.


LOL! “I’m sorry, boss, I can’t come to work today. My breakfast made me sick.” I’m not sure they’d buy that. :D


Delete 1 minute ago

Naw, I’d just blame it on food poison, or tea poison in this case :D If they don’t believe me I’d brew them up a cup. Actually, I’d probably get fired for giving them poison (assuming they don’t like it).


That would be a bit of a gamble. If they did like it, they would know you were skiving off. :p


Sweet, I’m glad it got to you safe and sound. The nutmeg is probably easiest to smell when the bag is dry – it might be what you’re thinking of as christmas biscuits. :)


Sounds yummy!


I am breaking out my box of this to give it a try after reading your post!


Good to know that the rooibos doesn’t really make an appearance!

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Wanted: A nice, plain black tea with some good substance to the flavour.
Has: A white Darjeeling with a delicate flavour and a flowery note.

How did this happen? Your guess is as good as mine.

East Side Rob

It seems like all the tea growers are trying to expand their markets and are starting to make teas that aren’t traditionally from their region. The Indians and the Sri Lankans are now making greens, oolongs and whites. China is making senchas to feed the insatiable Japanese markets. And, for the most part, Yunnans and Keemuns are grown in China to export to the European and American markets, where black teas are the beverage of choice. The Chinese themselves would rather drink oolongs or greens. How long before Japan starts dabbling in black tea?

I’ve tried a Darjeeling oolong, which was very good. Didn’t realize Makaibari was now making whites as well. The guy who owns/runs Makaibari, Rajah Banerjee, is an interesting character. And character is the right word. See link below.



I haven’t been there myself. I got it as a gift from a friend who lives in the area along with a first flush and I think a second flush. Or an autumnal. Not sure. Those are both long gone. That must have been hmmm… last year I think. Anyway, from what I understood, she gets almost all the tea she drinks from there and it sounded like she bought it directly at the estate. This one is good, but it doesn’t measure up to the chinese whites.

I had a Darjeeling oolong once which was either from Puttabong or Puttimbing. I found it fairly boring and gave it away to someone who luckily loved it and claimed that it was capable of curing the common cold. :p I think it disappointed me because I was expecting something different. This has only occurred to me recently when someone over at LJ told me that the many Darjeeling blacks are oxidised for such a short time that they could be considered borderline oolong. Certainly explains why the leaves often look so green.


Sorry, that would be Pussimbing! I can never remember that name!

East Side Rob

I heard a similar thing regarding the oxidation of Darjeelings — not that they’re oxidized for such a short time, per se, but that the oxidation process is deliberately very uneven, so that you get black leaves mixed with oolong-like leaves, and even nearly green ones. And that, supposedly, was why Darjeelings have such a melange of flavors, because they’re virtually a blend all by themselves.


I just which I still had some left of the other two she sent me. Now that I’m more practised at paying attention to flavours beyond ‘I like this’ vs ‘I don’t like this’

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drank Green Cactus by Den Lille Tebutik
1327 tasting notes

Second steep of last night’s leaves of this.

I am not impressed. It’s much weaker now and watery. The last of the already very faded cactus flavour is completely gone and, weirdly, it has gained a note of something almost chamomile-ish instead.

I’m not quite done with it yet, though, so I’m making myself a new pot, using the last of the leaves I had.

Since I bought this one, the shop has moved twice and switched owners at least once, so it’s pretty ancient. Had the leaves been fresher, they might have held up to the resteep better. I’ve seen that they have a green cactus flower tea on their website now, which they’re calling an interesting newcomer, so now I’m not sure if this particular tea that I’ve got has been discontinued and brought back or if it’s a new but similar tea. Mine doesn’t say anything about flowers. Could be either.

The rate I’m cleaning up nearly empty tins these days, I’ll have to do some shopping before I send the travelling teabox out, or the first person on the list is in for a bit of a disappointment! O.o


Well cactus tea does sound quite interesting. :)


I haven’t had prickly pear (cactus) tea, but I have had puree in drinks. It’s REALLY good! I’m looking for a non herbal tea. Preferably just cactus and green or white tea.

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drank Green Cactus by Den Lille Tebutik
1327 tasting notes

I was asked once, “what does cactus taste like?” and I floundered wildly to come up with an answer. I still don’t know how to describe. I could recognise it instantly; it’s even one of those flavours that it’s easy to imagine when you don’t have it, but I don’t really know how to describe it.

It’s sort of sweet and sort of fruity but not like your ordinary sweet and fruity. It has that cool sensation that you also find in mint and it has a certain freshness to it so it doesn’t get cloying. And a touch of fennel(*) too.

My leaves of this are fairly old and have been standing forgotten in the cupboard for a long time, so I can’t really remember how much flavour it had to begin with but I think it must have faded some. There isn’t all that much of the added flavour left in it, except in the aroma, but the green tea it’s based on is coming out loud and clear. It doesn’t say what the base is, but I’m guessing it’s probably Sencha, since the vast majority of the green flavoured teas in that particular shop are based on Sencha. Or at least they were at the time I bought it.

It’s been ages and ages since I’ve had a pure Sencha (that I knew for sure was Sencha) so I can’t really judge it on flavour. Only an educated guess. Due to the nature of the cup, i can’t tell you about the colouring of the liquid and looking at it as it’s poured doesn’t really give a very accurate picture. It did look a tiny bit neon-green though. Just the slightest hint.

The taste is definitely different from my chinese and taiwanese greens too. It doesn’t taste as green, kind of. As in, it doesn’t taste like it’s not a green tea, it just doesn’t invoke the same images of things that are green while drinking it. Or something. Gosh, that sounds ridiculous, but I can’t figure out how else to explain it. It reminds me very strongly of Genmaicha, to the point where I have to remind myself that it isn’t actually Genmaicha. Does any of this sound Sencha-ish to those of you who have more experience with Sencha?

.(*) Fennel, btw, might be an interesting flavour in a green or white tea, come to think of it…


My first thought when I saw cactus tea was “owww”, then I remembered you don’t actually have to eat the cactus whole. Sound awesome actually, I’m a huge cactus fan, provided the needles are off.


i would love to taste cactus! it sounds like such a fun flavor!

Peggie Bennett

That’s a very interesting taste you describe for the cactus. I’ve eaten cactus and I don’t remember it tasting that way. Of course, brewing it into tea might make it taste different. I’m curious to try the tea now and compare with my favorite nopalitos omelette.


The cactus I’ve eaten tasted like green beans. I know that sounds strange, but that’s what I remember: sweet green beans. Different from prickly pear fruits, obviously, which is sort of..like…jam. Kind of. Or maybe that’s just because I had prickly pear jam.

Curious about this tea, now.


It’s really weird. I don’t know what they’ve actually used to flavour it with. At first I assumed it was prickly pears, but then I saw they had them in my supermarket one day and I bought one and absolutely didn’t like it. I was imagining it to taste sort of like this and instead I got something kind of more…. banana-like only not yummy like bananas. Then I started poking around on the internet and discovered that there are several different kinds of cactuses or cactii or whatever that produce edible fruit, so now I’m as confused as ever. ‘Cactus’ is all they’re giving me. Heck, for all I know it’s just a fancy name for the flavour and doesn’t actually have anything to do with the plants at all.

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drank Chocolate by Adagio Teas
1327 tasting notes

With a twist today. I substituted one quarter of the leaves with Adagio’s cinnamon black. It turned out to be a very nice combination. I’m glad I didn’t add more cinnamon than I did because I think that would have overpowered the chocolate.

Well. I say chococlate, but really it’s more cocoa than it’s chocolate, I think.

As mentioned, though, a nice combination, which seems pretty nicely balanced between the two flavours if I do say so myself. I think a little bit of milk would have suited it too, smoothing it out a bit, but I didn’t have any so someone else will have to test that for me.

Weirdly, it’s also a combination that works tolerably well with this I-need-to-use-these-leeks-for-something-soon-improvisation-surprise-soup that I’m having for dinner.


Yeah you definitely have to be careful about the ratio, but I LOVE mayan chocolate!


ive done this b4!! :D its really good ive added milk too. the milk does smooth it out so its a nice mellow flavor.

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drank Soft Fruitea by Pickwick
1327 tasting notes

I’ve napped, so I don’t know if it’s still snowing or snowing again either way, it sure is adding up out there. Good thing about naps though is that you get warm! Finally.

This is just another one for the sake of variation, and I’m still lazy so I’m still bagging it. On top of that it’s pretty oversteeped because I forgot about it. Apart from it going somewhat lukewarm, it hasn’t been damaged though. The cardboard flavour is fully intact

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drank Melon by Pickwick
1327 tasting notes

Still snowing. Still bagging it.

I can’t get warm. Brrrrrrrr! Just trying for a bit of variety here. Seeing as I log everything in my OCDness, you can probably expect a load of quick bag-logs like this while I’m trying to make my body temperature normal again. I’m already cuddling up under my duvet in the sofa.

This one always surprises me a bit when I taste it. How melon-like it is. How dry a sort of flavour it is. How clear a picture I get in my head of melons when I taste it. Hopefully it can also warm me up.

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I don’t actually like this much. I’m not a very big fan of cinnamon in tea and I don’t really care all that much for raisins, but it’s a bag so it’s quick and it seemed the ‘warmest’ choice I had in those criteria.

I’ve been outside, giving my ruler some fresh air. Turns out my 30cm estimate was pretty accurate. And it’s STILL snowing. Great big flakes now. Yes, I whimped out when faced with snow and train delays again. I love the snow and I love getting a day off, but I kind of hate getting the day off because of this. It always comes with a side of guilt. Maybe the train would have come if I had just waited five more minutes before giving up. Other countries have way more snow than us regularly and they get by. Is 30 cm really that much? And so on and so forth. I know I’d be faced with O.o looks if I’d shown up at work, but still! (I did actually manage that once. 45 minutes late and nobody said, “Hi, good to see you arrive safely!” or even “About time you showed up!” All I got was " You’re here?!!! What are you, NUTS???" Nice to know they care.)

It’s pretty much just synthetic cinnamon that lacks any sort of sweetness and sour apples. I can’t find any raisins at all. Given the fact that as mentioned I don’t care much for raisins most of the time, I can’t really make myself see this as an all that bad thing.

The tea itself is… peeks into cup … are we ABSOLUTELY sure there IS any tea in this? checks box They claim there is. I’ll give them the benefit of doubt.

All that said, it IS a mass-production tea in relatively cheap bags, so of course it’s a different quality than what I’m otherwise used to. I’m rating it seen in that light and disregarding most of my other things instead of trying to compare them, because they’re worlds apart.


Are you sure it deserves a rating that high? ;)


Compared with other bagged teas, yes. Because the overall taste is actually pretty much okay. Even if all the other aspects are… off.

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drank Nepal Top Oolong by A C Perch's
1327 tasting notes

I needed a plain tea after all those flavoured once earlier today. I made this one somewhat stronger than I normally do in the hopes that it might give the flavour, and particularly the aftertaste a bit more punch.

It didn’t really work.

All I got out of it was a whole lot of astringency and that kind of hay-like, flowery, prickly sort of flavour that you get when something is severely oversteeped or too strong.

This also spares me trying out that uber-long steeping, or stewing rather, of oolongs. I sincerely doubt it would be something I would like.


How long did you steep this Oolong, and did you try multiple steepings?


Oooooh I can’t remember. I was using a cup that wasn’t big enough that I could drain my little pot completely, so the last cup out of two-ish was definitely steeped for longer than I normally would have. The first cup was steeped ‘normally’, which is about 7 minutes or so. I don’t time it so I just guess, but that’s just about what I aim for. It was late enough that I didn’t have time for re-steeps, so I haven’t tried that. I have sometimes when I’ve resteeped stuff, added a pinch of fresh leaves if I think it was getting a bit weak, so I guess if I’d resteeped this a couple of times, it would have been more tolerable. At any rate, I’ve learned that the amount of leaves I’ve used previously was definitely the right amount. :)

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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





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