1310 Tasting Notes

91
drank Blueberry by Adagio Teas
1310 tasting notes

I think my tongue must be recovering.

I tried a second steep of this yesterday and then I thought the blueberry flavour was as dominant as everybody else said it would be. Then I made another pot today (to wash down the icky rooibos) and thought that was pretty heavy on the blueberry too. Encouraged by yesterday’s success, I’m trying a resteep of that again now.

It’s weird for me though. I’ve never had much luck with resteeping black tea before.

I think I’m getting close to making this my ideal blueberry tea, if it hadn’t been for the fact that it’s the only one I’ve ever had, so I can’t really compare with anything.

The European Adagio store has a very limited selection though, and that one order I got from Adagio was definitely on the extravagant side, so it’s not something we’re going to repeat a lot. If ever, in spite of the good experience I’ve had with it.

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91
drank Blueberry by Adagio Teas
1310 tasting notes

First the media was all over the blueberry, proclaiming it the healthiest food ever and claiming that it could do practically anything from curing the common cold to granting eternal life. Then the media was all over the story of how the blueberry had been completely overrated health-wise and how it wasn’t even remotely as healthy as everyone had thought and people were all up in arms over how they had ‘wasted’ money and energy on eating all those blueberries that apparently had absolutely no value.

Erm, excuse me? Just because it’s not miracle-food doesn’t mean it’s not healthy. It’s fruit. Therefore it is healthy. And also, they still taste lovely. So exactly what the problem was, I have no idea.

Me, I have never ever met a blueberry that I didn’t like. (Except if they’ve gone mouldy) Therefore it is not only puzzling, it’s downright alarming and weird that this sample tin looks like it’s never even been opened before! I must have somehow missed it when I tried all the other sample tins (I bought it as part of the sampler set).

I can find the blueberries in the scent of both the dry leaves and steeped tea. It’s there, it’s easy find, it smells natural and it’s not overwhelming.

The tea tastes nice and sweet. Fruity, but subtle. It’s like I’m getting black tea and then the blueberry is a sort of afterthought. The weird thing is that while I earlier proclaimed the strawberry tea from Whittard’s of Chelsea my ideal strawberry tea because I could actually taste real natural strawberry, you would think that I would find this one somewhat bland.

But the blueberry sort of builds up as I drink and the more I drink the more I can taste the blueberry. And I like that. I wouldn’t say no to a blueberry tea that just said PA-SHAM! and then there was natural blueberry flavour all over the place, but this is quite nice too. It tastes very well-balanced.

EDIT
I’ve read the other reviews on this now and WOW!!! O.o I’ve had the exact opposite experience from everybody else. Others have found it a strong blueberry flavour while I found it a bit more subtle. I’ll have to try this again as soon as I’m snot-free, I think. And buy some blueberries to remind myself of the exact flavour.

Suzi

Ha ha, I thought the blueberries were pretty strong, but in a tasty way!

Angrboda

I know! I went all O.o when I saw it. I had to check that I’d chosen the right one from the dropdown menu on the dashboard.

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45
drank Duan Wu Jie by Chaplon
1310 tasting notes

Wow, just like one can post while drunk for some potientially hilarious and cringe-worthy result, one can do the same while sleep deprived. But probably shouldn’t. I swear I was only drinking TEA! O.o Anyway, as predicted I slept like a rock last night. This morning I’m still sleepy and in bad need of tea.

And we’re continuing in the theme of teas I forgot I had. This one was actually a shame to forget. It’s the last I’ve got of it and it’s the only flowering tea I’ve got at the moment. It’s the tea that prompted me to buy a godawful ugly clear cheap as dirt plastic teapot a while back, so I could see what was going on while steeping. This isn’t a recent picture at all, but it’s the same tea.
Picture: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MixL4_NVJrzPfQ_PbE3TTQ?feat=directlink

I don’t know if the light in the picture is off or if I steeped it longer before taking the picture back then, but it’s not really quite as dark as it looks like in the picture. Same sort of shade, but lighter.

I must admit I forgot to sniff it before pouring water on it, but after steeping and decanting it smells rather a lot like… boiled broccoli. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I like broccoli. And with a little butter in the water while boiling, yum.

The tea itself possible has an aroma. My nose is only partly closed up, but I’m still having difficulties picking up smell. If I close my eyes and concentrate I can pick up a sweet floral sort of smell which probably comes from the osmanthus flowers inside the bud. It doesn’t smell perfumed though, it’s just sort of there.

There isn’t really all that much in the way of flavour. I’ve taken several sips trying to figure out what it tastes like, but I’m getting very little. There is zero tail on this. No after taste what so ever. Some experimenting with slurping and generally bad table manners can provoke a little bit of after taste which sort of reminds me a bit of liquorice root, but if you just take a normal sip there’s nothing.

All show, no flavour. It IS pretty to look at though.

JMKauftheil

“It’s the tea that prompted me to buy a godawful ugly clear cheap as dirt plastic teapot”

“All show, no flavour. It IS pretty to look at though.”

Is that not a universal flowering tea story? I don’t think I’ve tried, or talked to someone who’s tried a truly enjoyable and tasty flowering tea.

Angrboda

It certainly has been for me. The only one I can remember having had that was better than just mediocre was this jasmine thing that was pretty much rescued by the jasmine. And, let’s face it, I could have got a just as good (or better) ordinary jasmine green instead.

This stuff should never be bought with the expectiation of culinary epiphanies, because that way lies only disappointment.

But they’re pretty enough to still be fascinating. If I could steep it until it unfurled just right and then stop the process and prevent it from going bad, it would be an awesome little thing to have around just for decoration.

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65
drank Gunpowder by Unknown
1310 tasting notes

WHOOOOOOAAAAHHH!!!

Last night’s insomnia is finally catching up with me. I had maybe a total of four hours sleep and have still been, to use a danish and directly translated expression, fresh as a fish all day. In spite, I might add, of having acquired the sniffles.

It’s now 9pm and I’m beginning to suspect that tonight I’ll sleep well. Although I’m not really ready for bed yet. I’m not finished being awake for today. And I wanted a good cup of tea first too.

So why this kinda mediocre generic one? I don’t know. I’ve seen a lot of people review green lately (and pu-ehr but sadly I don’t have any of that) and what can I say? You lot are inspiring.

It’s really dark. Okay, so I was busy writing the intro on this post and nearly forgot, so it’s probably just a teensy bit oversteeped but it’s still good. I kinda wish I could remember what I said about it when I reviewed it earlier because I hate ending up contradicting myself. It makes me look like a dork who can’t make up her mind. (And I don’t want anybody to find out the horrible truth)

Today though, I’m finding that I still agree with my previous rating. It’s a nice tea, but not super-duper awesome. The first Gunpowder I ever had was from Chaplon and it was also iirc the first green I ever had (that didn’t come in a cheap bag). I just remember that one as better than this.

OMG! I just realised I also have dinner leftovers heating in the oven! Man, imsonmia really IS catching up with me.

These oven potatoes are a bit bland, possibly they should have been heated just little lon-WAIT! I’m supposed to be talking about the tea!

Anyway, the tea. It’s pleasant. I think it would be a good one for my travel mug in the mornings (gosh, I love that thing! How did I go for so long without?). I’m picking up a kind of… Well, there’s definitely a note there, I just can’t really describe it. It’s not nutty or salty (Salty? Really? I’ve never found a salty note in a tea! Where do you lot get that from?) or grassy or leafy or anything. It’s just sort of… green. Yeah, it has a green flavour.

I’m getting nowhere with this. I’m finishing my tea and my meal and going to bed. Clearly, since I also wrote ‘imsonmia’ up there, it’s the only sensible thing to do.

takgoti

Haaa. Following your thought process on that was fantastic.

If I get a green that has an obvious salty taste to it, it’s usually at the beginning and typically gone by the time I get after the first few sips. I haven’t had a lot of gunpowder tea, so I don’t know if that’s typical in it, but I’d say that genmai chas are the ones I have where it happens most consistently. Though, those are also the type of greens that I myself drink most consistently.

Auggy

My personal (pre-Steepster) notes from when I was attempting Chinese greens with more frequency used the word “briny” a lot.

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80

I’ve been modifying all my previously logged teas and I got inspired. Inspired, but not able to make any sort of decision, so I closed my eyes, stuck my hand in the tea cabinet and picked a tin at random. And this is what I “won”.

Not a bad pick. Another tea I’d forgotten I still had.

I noticed today that the leaves are broken. I’d say it’s because I’m at the bottom of the tin, but when I bought it, it was taken out of the middle-ish of the tin in the shop, so I don’t think tin-bottom is the reason. There are too many broken leaves for the middle of a big tin for that, if you know what I mean. It just goes to prove the fact that teas with additives and flavouring is probably a lower quality tea than what is used for the plain teas.

Also, I managed to oversteep it just a little bit, because I momentarily forgot about it. It didn’t turn bitter though, just full flavoured. To be honest it kind of tastes more green than white to me and the fruit additives are nothing special.

But I’m chalking all that up to slight oversteeping and having acquired a snot-nose and therefore somewhat reduced sense of taste. I stand by it being an otherwise lovely tea.

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60
drank White Pomegranate by Fredsted
1310 tasting notes

Oh, I like this new rating system. I’ll try to get around to fixing my old reviews. Eventually. I especially like the smiley for teas we don’t like, it’s cute. :D The steeping time and water temperature are nice touches too, although less relevant for me since most of my tea is brewed sort of on the fly. I can’t really figure out why they have thumbs up/thumbs down symbols though, but I expect that’s something that’ll get fixed eventually. (May I suggest a drop for water temperature and a clock for steeping time?)

Anyway, this is a backlog from yesterday morning. I had this in my travel mug on the train going to work. It was given to me as a present from a colleague who had seen it. I’d never seen this variation before, but the brand is one you can find in most danish grocery shops and supermarkets. They deal mainly in loose leaf as far as I’ve noticed. I haven’t seen much in bags from them, except chamomile and such. Quality-wise it’s a bit… I wouldn’t exactly say it’s an awesome quality but it’s not any worse than any other supermarket brand.

I think I oversteeped it a little because the tea had a sort of roughness to it that I don’t think should be present in a white tea. It wasn’t bitter and it didn’t taste stewed at all, it was just kind of… off.

As for the pomegranate… Oh, is that what it was? I couldn’t really find the pomegranate flavour at all. On the whole the tea was rather dry and I don’t know if that was the tea being dry or if it was the way pomegranates have a dry sort of flavour.

This all doesn’t sound like a tea that I found particularly enjoyable, does it? But strangely enough it is. It was well suited for a morning travel tea. It’s just a question of finding the right purpose for it.

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85
drank Ying De Hong by TeaSpring
1310 tasting notes

I’d forgotten I had this. As in… I hadn’t really forgotten as such, I just knew there was very little left and I didn’t think it would be enough for a pot so I didn’t bother with it until yesterday when I looked in the tin and got a surprise. I’ve made a small pot of it now and there should be enough for another small pot.

For a black tea the leaves seem a bit on the large side and they smell nice and sweet. For having been forgotten for the better part of six months and purchased who knows how much earlier than that, they have definitely retained aroma.

It’s relatively light in colour and while the dry leaves had a very good aroma the tea seems to have little. It’s there and it’s very similar to the ‘dry’ aroma, but it’s not as pronounced.

I’ve logged it before as a tea that disappointed me a little. While good, it didn’t live up to my expectations of it. I described it as sort of delicate but not really. I’m not sure what I meant with that… Today I would say it’s fairly delicate, period.

It’s possible it’s lost a bit of flavour, but I’m quite happy with my collection of tins that are all air-tight and light-proof and I would claim that I’m storing my correctly, so I don’t really think it would have lost all that much. I think it’s just supposed to be this way.

So, delicate. Yes. Not nearly as sweet as the smell of it would have you believe and not much in the way of after taste. Even somewhat oversteeped (10 minutes or so ahem) I didn’t really get a whole lost of flavour out of it. If the flavour intensity could be doubled or trippled, I’d like it a lot. I’d say it was a nice and smooth tea.

Apart from not really sure what I actually meant the last time I logged it, I think I still agree with myself that I had too high expectations of it. I’m finding it a bit boring and probably wouldn’t try it again. So I’m neutral on this one.

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95
drank Pu Ti Cha by TeaSpring
1310 tasting notes

2nd Steep: Still good. Tastes a bit used but it’s okay.

3rd Steep: Weaker. Definitely. It’s all light yellow now, sort of like a white tea that has been allowed to stand still and develop a bit. It’s drinkable still, but if this was the first contact you had with it, you so wouldn’t come back for seconds. Not sure a 4th steep is worth the effort, but I’ll attempt it anyway.

4th Steep. Yeah. Coloured water. Useless.

Apparently two steeps is the ideal. Three only if you’re desperate. Four if… well, never four actually.

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95
drank Pu Ti Cha by TeaSpring
1310 tasting notes

I never thought I’d ever actually drink this tea. I mean just read the description. It’s sanctified! It’s speshul! It’s… It’s… It’s… !!!

It’s enormously expensive, is what it is. 9 grams = $5.10 The 108 g box = $ 55.60

But how could I not get a packet? Sanctified tea! Speshul! I might never get the chance to own something unique like this again.

I’m not sure what possessed me to make it today. Maybe it should have been saved for a special occasion like a good bottle of champagne? Thing is though, I know from experience that if you save a really expensive bottle of champagne for a special occasion then you’ll never get around to tasting it because you never know if there might be an occasion that was even more special. And when you finally DO open the champagne, it’s gone dull. This happened to my parents with the bottle of Dom Perignon they bought at the winery when we were on holiday in France. Talk about a disappointment. (Yes, it’s possible it wasn’t stored correctly. But still.) I wasn’t old enough to like wine yet when I was that age, so I at least was spared.

Anyway, I didn’t want to not have this special tea anymore, but I didn’t want aforementioned fate to befall it either. That would have been worse, so I’ve made a small pot of it now, using half the leaves, and I’m going to wring as many steeps out of it as I can.

The dry leaves are large and very dark brown, almost black. They don’t seem to have all that much aroma to speak of, but it is there. Delicate and I seem to be picking up a note of something chocolatey. When steeped the chocolate note is less pronounced but it’s still there, underneath some more sweetly floral notes. It smells very nice!

The flavour is also a delicate one. I pretty much agree with Teaspring’s description of flowery sweetness. Possibly more flowery than sweet, but it’s close enough. Not much in the way of aftertaste initially, but again, I find myself agreeing with Teaspring’s description. It sort of builds up as you drink.

I find I’m liking this a lot. I could most definitely see myself stocking up on this tea, although I would probably go for an ordinary Da Hong Pao and not this sanctified stuff that costs an ungodly amount of money.

But it is still kinda fun to own it. :)

Carolyn

I’m so glad you’ve tried this and written about it! I have been wondering whether the more expensive teas are worth it.

I’m eyeing this beauty: http://tinyurl.com/yk3kabn which is a better version of one of my favorite black teas. I’m wondering how I can justify paying $21.80 for a mere 10 grams (.35 ounces) of tea, even if it is a better variety of my favorite. I may take the plunge (or at least weigh your experience) after hearing this.

I think if I did buy it, I’d have to drink it while dressed as Inara and while sitting in a very, very beautiful place.

Angrboda

Yes, that’s exactly why I ended up buying this one. I could have got one just like it for much much much less, but the uniqueness of it was just too much to withstand.

If I were you and I was shopping anyway, I’d probably go for the smaller 2 g sample first. And then keep it around forever because I couldn’t make myself use it because it’s a special edition. So I don’t know how much use I am. :)

I’ve been told I have a spine made of winegum on such issues, so I say go for it. :p

(Personally, for once, I’m happy with the shipping rates to Denmark being what they are. Keeps me out of trouble.)

Carolyn

That sounds like a good idea. I may have to wait to have a large enough order to make the shipping make sense.

Jillian

Cool, it seems like a big part of this is just the experience. And even if you aren’t Buddist I think there can be something really special about taking part in something with significance like this.

I am glad the quality wasn’t a bust and that you enjoyed the taste as well.

Angrboda

Yes, I was a bit worried about it having gone stale, because I’ve had standing around for over a year. And of course I’d opened the packet too and poured it into a tin because I was too curious about what the leaves looked and smelled like. I’ve saved the little foil bag it was in though. :)

Now we’ll see if I get good luck and whatnot. Maybe it can guard me against swine flu ;)

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70

I fought long and hard against this tea. I’d just had the raspberry oolong and I knew that one more pot of tea so quickly after would result in over-active kidneys. But you can’t stop inspiration, can you?

This tea was given to me as a gift along with two other teas from this estate. They’re organically grown and bought (I think) directly from the estate and then sent to me from India. Which of course meant I had to pay blood in taxes and customs and fees and what not (and let’s not even get started on the problem with the courier company and the half package number!!!)

The white leaves are big and gorgeous to look at. If you were to ask me how I make it, how many leaves I use to a pot, I’d have to just say, “Plenty.” My tea scoop was so not made for this size leaves! A scoop could be a decent amount of leave or it could be just a couple lying on the wrong angle of the scoop. No pot is ever the same when it comes to this.

It makes a very nice tea, though. Depending on how much it is steeped it’s got a good strong flavour. It’s not one of those white teas where you sit and search desperately for just a smidge of taste. This has got almost as much as an average green tea.

It coats the tongue quite nicely although it doesn’t really linger. There is some small aftertaste that seems to go on forever, but it’s not very strong.

It’s surprisingly suitable for the season. I would never in a million years have thought that a white tea could be anything but spring-y!

ETA: Do not under any circumstances allow it to oversteep. If you brew like I do, with the leaves loose in the pot, decant or drink quickly because it does get quite bitter.

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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.

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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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