1319 Tasting Notes

79

Grinnyguy posted about Earl Grey. I got a fit of inspiration even though Earl Grey is normally not my first choice. Most days I find it kind of dull and every day-ish. Maybe a little overrated as a type. Classics don’t seem to hold much appeal to me.

It’s got a strong bergamot smell. That slightly bitter citrus-y smell that I’m learning to recognise. Kind of sweet, but not the way oranges are, and it’s not a bitterness like the kind you find in grapefruits. It’s sort of prickly and when you know what you’re looking for, probably fairly easily recognisable.

Apart from when I’m at Lexitus’, the last time I had Earl Grey was a few weeks ago when I was at the cafe and they gave me the wrong tea. I remember finding that one rather too bitter and smelling strongly of citrus as soon as I poured. This one is very much more controlled when it comes to citrus scent. It’s there, clearly, when you smell it, but it doesn’t invade your nostrils when your nose is an arm’s length away.

Citrusy, but not sour and without making you feel like it might as well have been a lemon tea. It’s got just a touch of bitterness on the swallow, but not nearly as much as the presumed Kusmi had. Of course I haven’t brewed this as strongly as they did that day in the cafe.

As for the cornflowers, I can’t pick them out in the flavour, so I don’t know if they actually have any effect on it at all, or if they’re just there for show. I like to think that they smooth it out some, but even if they are just there for show though, I’d still get this version. Just because they’re pretty.

My local shop beats Kusmi by several horse lenghts.

Angrboda

Hey, this is the third Earl Grey post in a row on my dashboard tasting notes page! :D

Ricky

I’m going to make a cup of Earl Grey right now xD, j/k.

Jillian

Have you started the Earl Grey Ecstasy (or something)? :D

BTW, I honestly don’t think the cornflowers are there for anything but show.

Angrboda

No, mine was the third of the lot, and only because I saw Grinnyguy post about an Earl Grey. So I think it must have been him wot started it. :)

Peggie Bennett

I love Earl Grey! That bergamot gets me every time! I love that bergamot smell so much I bought the Laughter perfume by Space NK because it has a bergamot smell! Whomever that Earl Grey is, he smells good!

Grinnyguy

You can blame me if you like. Any time when I inspire tea-drinking is a little success for me, although I’m preaching to the converted here! I like Earl Grey because the Bergamot taste is nice, but cheap tea companies use it as an excuse to use poor quality tea leaves and assume the bergamot taste with overpower everything. Getting the right tea and the right amount of bergamot must be difficult.

Peggie Bennett

That’s interesting, I didn’t know that bergamot was used that way. Can you recommend a good Earl Grey for me to try to see if I’ve been drinking crap flowered with bergamot?

Grinnyguy

Oh I make myself sound like an expert when I’m really not. Try asking Betsvc, whose tealog is almost exclusively reviews of different earl greys. I also slightly made up the thing about using bergamot to cover up a bad cup of tea, but I have strong suspicions that it’s true

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87

Ah Chun Mee, the green tea I really wanted yesterday. Remembered that today and made me a small pot.

I like the leaves in this one and how they’re twisted. They’re cute!

I’m currently waiting for the second infusion to steep. It’s very light in colour compared to the first one, but it’s nice all the same. I’m not sure how many steeps I think it’s possible get out of this one though. I think maybe one or two others, but the first time around was definitely the best.

(Additionally, is one of you trying to add me as a chatbuddy on Gmail? I’ve posted my email address freely here a few times, but I can’t think of anywhere else someone might have come across it as I use a different address for other things.
Anyway, if it’s one of you, could you drop me a comment, please? Otherwise I’ll just say no. I’d rather not have random strangers on my chat list….)

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97
drank Raspberry Oolong by A C Perch's
1319 tasting notes

Green moods don’t last long when you discover that the green you made wasn’t the green you wanted. I was packing up tea samples for Jillian and Bethany (if she’s still interested), and spotted this tin and decided I was really in an oolong mood now instead.

Mostly because whenever I see this tin I have to take the lid off for a couple of sniffs. Yummy.

I can definitely see myself stocking up on this again when it’s gone and I’m beginning to dread the day when it is.

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65
drank Gunpowder by Unknown
1319 tasting notes

I’m in a green mood, so I grabbed this tin and made me a pot. Now that I’ve taken the first couple of sips, I suddenly remember that I also own a rather nice Chun Mee, and I’d actually rather have had a pot of that.

sigh

It’s probably just as well, because I have discovered that I didn’t rinse the pot out properly before brewing. My gunpowder has gained a weak note of liquorice root from yesterday’s Black Satin.

Interesting, actually. It adds an element of surprise to it. ‘Ahhh green tea… wait, what’s that?’ If I had any liquorice root, it might be fun to experiment with.

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84
drank Black Satin by 52teas
1319 tasting notes

This is the first decent cup of tea I’ve had AAAAAALL DAY! First there was the bagged stuff in the travel mug, then there was the taste of Ceylon Pekoe which had been forgotten and steeped for some 2½ *cough*hours*cough*. Yuck oh yuck oh double yuck! Made a new pot of that, nearly forgot that too so it got ten minutes, but it was somewhat drinkable and I made do with it.

Now I’m home, I’ve had dinner and I’ve had dessert. Now I want tea. I saw the label on the tin among the many tins on the table and thought, “Yes!”

The more I have of this, the more the liquorice root is coming out. I think I’ll give the rating an itty bitty push upwards.

Bethany

Is this really licorice-y? I’ve been eyeing this and the Vanilla Date Coconut for the last few days and I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger. I LOVE licorice teas.

Angrboda

Not liquorice as in the sweets, but liquorice root. Have you ever chewed liquorice root? I used to buy that now and then as a child instead of sweets. It’s a funny sort of flavour. You can’t find it on your tongue really and anything but a sort of dusty, slightly sweet and wooden flavour. And then when you swallow it’s more of a feeling on your soft palate rather than an actual flavour.

Cofftea

2.5 hrs? I can’t believe you even tried it. A pan of brownie points to you for that! I woulda put it w/ a gallon of water and tried it iced.

Angrboda

It was a reflex. Some teas hold up okay if oversteeped so I almost always try a sip to test it. It’s such a habit to do so by now that I do it even when it’s a tea that I know perfectly well will be ruined.

Suzi

I do the same thing with oversteeped tea! Even if I leave the leaves in for hours, it might taste awesome, you just never know!

teafiend

I’v definitely done that about a billion times. I’ll forget, go to class, come back, stick in the microwave and grimace the whole cup down. Builds character, I guess.

Cofftea

I stare at my tea while it steeps lol so I’ve only done it once, and that was because I didn’t set the timer. 10 min. Was really good- but that lead me to believe it SHOULD have tasted really weak.

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59

I couldn’t let Mike stew in uncertainty for too long. And I was curious as to what this would be like when it hadn’t been ruined. So I made a small pot and carefully carefully timed the steeping with the kitchen timer.

The aroma was pretty much the same. Sweetly spicy, sort of, with the fennel note. And a note of pepper too. I nabbed a small moutful of it plain and the first thought I had when I tasted it was… soap. Spicy soap. A bit sweet too, a sweetness just exactly out of reach, but mostly soap. I’m struggling really hard to not find such a negative word, but I can’t. I’m not entirely certain I’d like pumpkin pie if I was ever presented with it.

On recommendation from several people, I had the rest with a bit of milk.
That helped! It took the odd note off the aroma. It was pretty much the same, just toned down. I liked the taste a lot better too. The soapiness dissappeared. The milk did get a slightly sour note, which was definitely not because it was getting bad because I tested it first.

While I was at it, I tried adding a bit of cane sugar too. That was nice too. I don’t know if maybe I’m just drowning out the flavour this way, but for me this works.

But I still don’t think I like pumpkin pie much.

LENA

oooh…put it in the travelling tea box. I’d love to try it. I’m a big fan of pumpkin pie.

Angrboda

I was planning to. If you’re lucky it’s still there when you get it. :)

Southern Boy Teas

Wow. I feel so bad. We completely struck out with you. With very popular blends too.

Angrboda

Not completely, I liked the Black Satin. :)
Don’t feel bad, I wasn’t showing all that much thought in my choices. Dates that I already knew I didn’t like (I was just hoping that it would be a texture thing) and pumpkin that I had no clue whether or not I’d like. Not very smart, really. But don’t worry, I’m totally not scared away. :)

Kimberly Shaw

I’d love to try this. Thanks for the detailed description and for the follow, too.

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84
drank Elephant Vanilla Chai by David Rio
1319 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I had this, but I bought a cup for the trainride home today as a reward for having walked from the hospital to the train instead of taking the bus. I need to get better at doing that again, I’ve just been lazy about it lately.

It’s been so long since I had one that I was suprised by the sweetness of it when I first took a sip. It was nice though, and I keep liking it more.

I noticed today that they now also seem to have two other David Rio chais available, bringing it up to five to choose from. Including a green one that I’ll have to try sometime, mainly because I have the hardest time imagening how that would work out…

Today, though, I’d been thinking about this all the way as I walked, so I couldn’t very well try something else.

(Travelling Teaboxers, don’t forget to sign up before Dec. 31st by sending me your address at [email protected]. There are guidelines for the box in the Travelling Teabox thread in the forum.)

Ricky

lol Elephant Vanilla Chai. I hate chai, but I love the name (Elephant Vanilla….)

takgoti

I like to think that you are solely responsible for the addition of the last two chais.

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84
drank Black Satin by 52teas
1319 tasting notes

I gave up on the pumpkin thing. It was no use, I’d ruined it. Obviously it didn’t handle oversteeping very well.

So we’re taking this one. The one that I know what’s like and is a known like. I think I’ll try it with a touch of milk for the liquorice this time because it’s a known fact that a handful of liquorice and a glass of milk goes hand in hand. We shall see if this is also true for liquorice root.

It feels a bit wrong though. Like… I’m girling up an otherwise fairly masculine tea…

Girling it up or not, though, it works very well with the milk and it really brought out the liquorice root. Yummy.

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59

YIPPIEEEEEE! I BOUGHT A STEEPSTER SELECT ITEM! Now that that’s out of my system here’s the confession. I haven’t got the first clue what pumpkin tastes like. Or smells like. Or anything. Pumpkin pie even less. In Denmark we get little bitty pumpkiny things for decoration in variating colours and shapes and big ones that people make pumpkin lanterns out of. It’s not something we really eat a whole lot of.

Therefore I’m not particularly concerned when everybody seems to complain about their various pumpkin pie teas not tasting all that much like pumpkin. Because… I wouldn’t know anyway. After the vanilla date debacle this probably ought to worry me a bit. I mean, what if it turns out I don’t like pumpkins at all?

Well, the smell of the leaves is sort of dark. It’s a dark smell. I can find the cinnamon but mostly it’s dominated by this other smell that I don’t know how to describe. Kind of spicey but not. Sweet but not. I’m reminded a bit of fennel which I suspect I shouldn’t, but it’s the closest I can get to a description.

It brews up a sort of dark golden. A bit like a dark liquid honey. The aroma is a bit like the loose leaves, but the tea itself is shining through, making the whole thing sweeter, less spicy (but not) and less of the fennel.

Okay, I oversteeped this a bit, I think. It’s got a very notable astringency like Indian black teas tend to get if you overdo it. I can’t figure out how to rate it because of this, as it’s difficult for me to look away from it.

I’m not going to give it a rating yet. I think I’ve ruined this pot. sigh Oh poot!

mindala

I think pumpkin is a sort of elusive, slightly sweet flavor. So people tend to associate it more with the spices and creamy flavors used to dress it up and the actual flavor of pumpkin is a little disappointing compared to expectations.

Mike

Watching your updates closely to see how this turns out… :)

Angrboda

Mindala, I did see a recommendation of trying it with milk, which expect would bring out the creamy flavour that you were talking about. Something elusive and slightly sweet, yeah I can recognise that. Especially in the smell. I’ll definitely have to try it again (properly) later on.

Mike, LOL, what am I, a tv-series? :p
I’ll try not to ruin it next time.

gmathis

I’ll second the milk—-that’s how I like my Adagio pumpkin.

Jillian

If you’ve ever eaten any type of squash, pumpkin generally tastes sort of like it. This one of the teas I ordered actually, so fingers crossed that it’s a good one. :)

Angrboda

JI have eaten what we call a squash in Danish, but Lexitus tells me that’s not really a squash at all but a courgette. Vegetable confusion! Bit like grape fruits and grapes and the word grape = grape fruit in Danish.

takgoti

@Angrboda Yes, you are. The vicar did it.

I’ve only tried this a few times since getting it, but my opinion of it is growing favorably. I added milk on time #2, but I think it washed out the flavor a bit too much. I’ll need to drink it again while logging to get a better idea of where it stands with me.

Ashley Bain

omgsh no pumpkin pie?! you must find one. little slices of heaven, they are, with a big dollop of whipped cream.

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75
drank Jasmine Green Tea by Kusmi Tea
1319 tasting notes

Five down, four to go! Yup, I have been christmas present shopping. These were all the easy presents, to the people who are usually difficult to buy for. But this year I have actually been supplied with wish lists. For! The! Win!!! I guess my grandfather wasn’t about to risk a repeat performance of last year where he got three copies of the same book.

When I was about halfway done I passed a cafe and sat down for a cup of tea and a yummy yummy chocolate orange cake. If ever there was a spongecake rating website, I’d give that one at least a 95.

This tea was a bad choice though. Oh the TEA was just nice. Very jasmine-y aroma and a surprisingly light brew. I thought it tasted pretty good, and was for once pleasantly surprised by Kusmi. They’re better than your average teabags for sure, but I’ve always felt that Kusmi was generally just the teensiest bit overrated. I liked this one, though. It could have had a better balance between tea and jasmine as the majority of the flavour was jasmine, but it could definitely have been so much worse too.

It’s just a shame that it was a far too delicate tea to go with the cake I had chosen. :/

Rijje

So I am not the only one who think Kusmi is a little overrated :)
I wish I was as rational as you… I have tons of presents to buy, and it’s nearly christmas.

Angrboda

No, I got a sampler box with ten different teabags from Kusmi last year. I was rather disappointed by most of them.

teaplz

Oooh, interesting. I’ve had the same problem with eating and tea! I’ll think to myself, I want THAT! And then I’ll sit there eating my choice and wincing because what I’ve chosen doesn’t go at all with my tea. :(

And I haven’t heard the best about Kusmi, although Prince Vladamir is supposed to be good.

Ricky

Argh prince vladamir, I couldn’t get past the smell, chai!!! Ahhhhhh! This one sounds good though.

Rijje

I like the Prince Vladimir. But that’s because the smell reminds me of bubblegum :)

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Profile

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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