1276 Tasting Notes

79

Weird, that I’ve never logged this! I really thought the entire supply had been logged at least once. This has caused the boyfriend to call me a slacker, so in return I’ll inform you that he’s conducted his first experiment with rooibos in non-bagged form. I got rid of all my rooibos’ by inflicting them on him. Apparently it’s something that will require some further experimentation.

Anyway, back to the tea at hand. The dry leaves smell sweet and flowery, and I’m not for a moment in doubt that it’s a tea with additives. It’s a darkish brew and it smells like Earl Grey with a floral note on top. No surprises there.

Supposedly this is like a normal Earl Grey but with a creamy aftertaste, and on that count I’ll have to say Earl Grey yes. Aftertaste no. Not really. Not very much anyway. I’ve never been very good with Earl Greys. I’ve never really been able to truly pick up the citrus, unless it’s really bad and synthetic like some I could mention. Therefore I can’t really say how well this blend is in Earl Grey standards, but after some careful tasting, I can find a small note of citrus.

On the basis that I can form an opinion of it, I’ll say a nice, solid black with a floral tone to it and a discreet citrus-y note, and on THAT form, it’s a nice tea. Compared with other Earl Greys I don’t know if it would live up to the rating.

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100
drank Black Powder Blend by Luka Te m.m.
1276 tasting notes

Oh, for crying out loud…! cleans up Lake Tea from the coffee table and living room floor
FYI, if a leaf has settled itself in the spout of the pot and is disrupting the flow of tea through same, don’t just tip the pot a little more in an attempt to compensate. It doesn’t work. And teapot lids are not a tight fit.

This is a resteep of the previous pot, and it’s definitely different. The lapsang souchong is much less pronounced and that elusive sweetness that you find in english breakfast comes out. I’ve always thought that english breakfast had a note of honey, and I’m getting it loud and clear here the second time around. Very insteresting.

I haven’t usually had much success with resteeping of black teas, so I’m thinking that maybe the lapsang souchong carried the blend in the first steep and the green tea in it is taking over here.

I feel so sorry for you that you don’t have my little local shop and especially that you can’t have this particular blend.

Jillian

Jeez, I’m sorry you spilled your tea.

Angrboda

It was stupiditea. I should know better. shakes head

Jillian

groans at the bad pun :P

Angrboda

Bwahahahaha!

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100
drank Black Powder Blend by Luka Te m.m.
1276 tasting notes

After all these experiments with questionable tea bags (I said three out of five, earlier but it’s really just four) I still have one left, the supposedly plain white (Ha!) but I’m going to save that for later. I’m in bad need of some proper tea. One that I can drink more than a cup of.

So I turn to this new discovery of mine. Yes. It’s still awesome.

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47
drank Fresh Fruitea by Pickwick
1276 tasting notes

Another one from that sampler box. Apple and lemon. Slightly odd combination if you ask me, but on the other hand I was also surprised at how well vanilla and mint went together so you never know.

The bag didn’t smell of anything at all, really, but when I poured the water on, I get a strong scent of lemon and underneath it apple. So that bit checks out. (Can you tell I’m biased?) It’s just that it’s so perfumed. It smells more like something you might dab behind your ears rather than something you would drink.

I’ve tried their green lemon tea before and found it wildly synthetic in flavour so I’m not getting my hopes up about this one. I was right. It is indeed the same perfumed lemon that they’ve used for this one. I can barely find the apple underneath.

I’ve been through three out of five varieties in this box now, and I’m reaching the conclusion that I kinda already new. This sort of thing is NOT the way to introduce yourself to the world of white teas.

I’m saving the pai mu tan I got the other day for a special occasion (and I’ve got one in mind) and this sampler box is seriously making me look forward to it.

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56
drank Melon by Pickwick
1276 tasting notes

This is another one of the bags I got today, although it’s not from the white sampler box. (There was a special offer on two boxes and I couldn’t not get two! Shh!) This is just ordinary black with fruit.

The smell of the dry bag is overwhelmingly melony. You are not in doubt for a moment what sort of additive we are talking about here. It’s the same thing while it’s steeping although it does turn a little more synthetic in nature.

The brew is dark and it immediately gets that oily layer on the surface. Any good quality loose leaf tea gets it too after it’s been standing around for a good while but in this one it’s instant. I assume it must have something to do with leaf size.

The melon is very pronounced in flavour, but it’s not sweet. It tastes rather more like the skin of a melon rather than the actual flesh. Or a melon that isn’t quite ripe yet. Not sure what the drawing on the box is supposed to be, but I’m assuming when we say ‘melon’ here we’re talking about cantaloupes.

The tea at the base is completely uninteresting, and really it’s not actually meant to be interesting at all because all you’re ment to get is the melon. And that really is all you get.

All that aside though, I’ll inflate my opinion of it a bit in rating, mostly because I do find it an interesting flavour in tea, and one I wouldn’t mind trying on for size in a better quality loose leaf.

Jillian

I usually think of canteloup and melon as two distinct flavours. Melon to me is usually honeydew melon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeydew_(melon)

Angrboda

Yeah, I definitely don’t think this tastes like honeydew. But then again it could be a mix.

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50
drank Blossom Beautea by Pickwick
1276 tasting notes

I shall try my hardest not to prattle on pretentiously about everything else but the tea I’m drinking with this one. Promise.

When I tried the Soft Fruitea, I mentioned that it had been contaminated rather a lot by the jasmine of this one what with the bags not being air tightly individually packed. I also mentioned that I expected this one to be better, so let’s see if it is.

It smells pretty floral and mostly of jasmine, and that really seriously comes out when pouring the water on it. Like with the Soft Fruitea, it does get extremely dark for a white. Really it’s like a light black tea.

I can taste blossoms of both kinds, especially and not surprisingly especially jasmine, and very little tea. It’s not as cloying as the other one was and while it’s not by any measure great, I was definitely right that this one was better.

Hyrulehippie

Aww, but I like prattling, though. :D

Glad this one was closer to what you wanted!

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41
drank Soft Fruitea by Pickwick
1276 tasting notes

It’s an addiction, buying tea, is. I can quit any time! wild eyes
I have my prejudices and snobby opinions about the sort of tea you buy at the supermarket. The cheap mass produced teabags containing second grade tea at best. It’s very rare that I actually get some, but every once in a while I find myself in front of that shelf in the supermarket just to see if there’s anything new. A flavour or a combination there of that I haven’t seen before and I suppose it’s an okay way of checking if it’s worth trying it out at a better quality. I don’t know where in the world this brand is available, but it and Lipton are probably the biggest supermarket brands here in Denmark, and not one I’m usually all that impressed by but good enough in a tight spot. My main peeve with them is that if you read the brewing instructions on the box they insist on boiling water regardless of the type of tea. I don’t care what they say, I absolutely refuse to pour boiling water on green or white, the end.

Anyway, they had this sampler box of whites. And curiosity overwhelmed me. How much of a mess have they managed to make out of the delicate, valuable white tea? I figure if it’s awful, it’ll be good enough for the travel mug in the morning (and easier to prepare in a hurry) than my more expensive but better quality whites and greens.

It smells heavily perfumed and a lot like jasmine actually, which prompts me to see if there is a jasmine variety in the box. Guess what, there is.
Dear teabag producers. Jasmine scented tea is NOT a good choice to put in a sampler box, as it will turn everything in the box into a jasmine scented tea. -Me.
I can find the smell of grapes and pear, but it seems sort of synthetic.

I can pick up the pear in the flavour and it tastes natural. I can’t really find the grapes and the tea on which it was based does taste white, but also very bland and dull. I should like to know exactly which white tea this is supposed to be. It doesn’t help that these bags are not packed individually in an air tight way so it has picked up some of the jasmine from that other one in the box. I expect the variation with jasmine and orange blossoms will work a lot better than this one.

I have to say that it’s possible that I feel about pear the way I do about peach. I love the fruit, but I don’t much care for them in tea. Still, the tea as a whole totally lived up to my expectations.

ETA: I just added this tea and rated it 41, but on the tea’s profile it says 61. How does that work?

LENA

Oh I KNOW it’s an addiction! My husband asks, “Did you finish all of the tea you ordered last time?” Umm…no. “Then why do you need more? You still have tea!” I just DO! I need variety!

Angrboda

YES! And once you start, it’s just really really really hard to stop.

TeaEqualsBliss

Yup! AA for Tea Buyers/drinkers…I’m included in that bunch :) As for the ranking/ratings – I wondered that myself the last few days

Angrboda

Yeah, at first I thought that every tea came with a standard rating of fifty, which would make sense so that no tea started out based only the first reviewer’s opinion, and then the rating adjusted with the average of the 50 + all the ratings given. But that could never be 61! O.o

Mike

@Angrboda the label on the tea page “Avg Rating” is misleading and we’re planning to change it…

Basically, the tea’s rating (as of now) is calculated using a weighted average (Bayesian, to be exact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_average ). The goal is that we don’t just account for individual ratings, but also the quantity of ratings for a particular tea. In short, each tea’s rating is a reflection of each of its ratings, taking into account how many ratings it has, and acknowledging the average number and value of ratings of all other teas on the site.

It can be a little confusing, but we hope it’s better than a plain average. We’re still monitoring and seeing how it works, so we may change it in the future. And, of course, we’re always open to suggestions!

Angrboda

Ah okay, so there’s a meaning to the madness. It threw me off for a bit there because at first glance it made it look like I wasn’t the first one to rate it. It was just something that I noticed with this one, probably because I gave it a below average rating, so it stood out more.

I like that it takes the number of individual ratings into account though, so a tea doesn’t get an unnaturally low rating because a small group of people didn’t like it.

Now I forgot what else it was I wanted to say. Means I should have another cup of tea, yes? Yes.

TeaEqualsBliss

Thanks Mike!

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75
drank Princess Blend by Luka Te m.m.
1276 tasting notes

A blend from my local shop. And I don’t know why I initially added and put unknown as the brand, since it’s a perfectly normal shop that actually has a name. I don’t know who their wholeseller is, but that’s a detail. Anywho. It’s actually called ‘Isabella blend’ but they renamed it since. I don’t know, I preferred the first name, as I quite like Princess Isabella. She’s cute and she was born on my birthday. :)

I’m probably only borderline in on the Vanilla Vogue with this one, but I wanted something else than plain vanilla. And the description does say ‘notes of raspberry and vanilla’. Judging from the very strong raspberry aroma that it has, I would say that it has more than notes. There has definitely been raspberry aroma added to this and although I can’t immediately find any vanilla in the smell, I think it would be a relatively safe bet that it has been added too.

This is, with rose petals, jasmine, raspberries, vanilla and something called ‘pink sweethearts’, possibly the single most girly tea I’ve ever encountered. I don’t know what the sweethearts are supposed to be. I remember trying to eat one and getting zero flavour out of it, so I’m guessing maybe they’re responsible for the vanilla/raspberry aroma.

I’m on my very last bits of this. I’m making it in my smallest pot and even then I probably shouldn’t fill it all the way up. Just the one cup then. That’s kind of sad, really.

Dark in colour and with a rather odd aroma that sort of reminds me of raspberries what have been baked. And hey, the sweetness of vanilla!

The tea itself is a bit bland when it comes to the fruit and the vanilla, although it may be because, with the limited supply of leaves, it’s been brewed a wee bit on the weak side. It makes me wish I could have made it properly. It tastes mostly like a fairly bland and faded mix of the teas and then the sweetness comes through in the aftertaste.

No real vanilla coming through except in the aroma, although, with the description I’m wondering if that might actually be the way it’s supposed to be. You know, it does say ‘notes’, not ‘flavours’. So it could be that it’s supposed to be tasted as a combination of flavour and aroma. Rather complicated, but there you are.

Or maybe, it’s just old. Still I’m finding myself wishing that I had stocked up on this when I was buying the other day.

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85
drank Vanilla by Adagio Teas
1276 tasting notes

I got inspired for a vanilla tea just now so I made me a small pot. And then my head wasn’t really in it so I wasted a whole spoonful of this nice vanilla tea but going to put the leaves in the pot and failing to pour out the water that I had used to heat the pot up first. Very ARGH!-worthy when you only have a sample-size tin. I wish I had more of this to mix with. I’ve got a TON of stuff now that I’d like to blend it with, but alas.

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74
drank Caramel by Luka Te m.m.
1276 tasting notes

Huh. It would appear that I’m currently following 70 Steepster accounts. 70! Looking at my dashboard page I think we can reach the conclusion that some of those must be inactive and I probably ought to clean it up a bit.

Anyway, I chose this tea during my little ‘accident’ yesterday because ever since last sunday when my boyfriend was here and we had this awesome caramel ice cream that totally tasted like childhood, I’ve been slightly obsessed with all things caramel.

The dry leaves smell heavily of caramel and it has tiny cubes of actual caramel in it. There is a very big risk that I’m going to offset the entire balance of this by uhm eating them. (I tasted one, they’re yummy!)

Strangely enough, where I found the two other black teas I bought lighter in colour than I had expected, this is just the opposite. It’s darker than I expected. A little darker than maple syrup. Granted it’s slightly oversteeped, but still.

The smell is not as sickly sweet as you might have expected. Or at least I did. It smells like caramel and not so much of tea, but still not completely overwhemingly sweet.

Strangely enough, this tastes more like tea than it does of caramel. I was expecting something sweet and smooth and instead I got something lightly astringent and with a rough sort of flavour that makes me wonder what it’s based on. It just say chinese and ceylon tea, so it could be anything. The caramel is there, but it’s like it’s caramel without sugar. It’s good enough, but it’s not really what I was expecting. I’m thinking a bit of sugar might bring out the caramel more but even as I’m missing the sweetness, I’m strangely reluctant to test it.

As mentioned, though, it was a bit oversteeped, so not doing that might make a difference. I’ll try that the next time and possibly adjust my rating accordingly

Rena Sherwood

Now it’s 68 accounts, I see. Also, just wanted to let you know that I love your avatar :-)

Angrboda

Yeah, I tried to go through and got rid of the inactive ones. But I set the limit at no posts in at least six monts (because I think that was about the same amount of time that my account was dormant for a while) and could only drop 4! And then I promptly found myself adding two others. headdesk

Jillian

Signs That You’re Hooked on Steepster #135…
~_^

Angrboda

I’m not sure what the other 134 symptoms are but I’ve probably got them. Where do ‘speed record in hitting F5’ and ‘long, rambly, pretentious reviews’ figure?

Jillian

I think those are #17 and #93 respectively. ;D

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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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