1323 Tasting Notes

drank Vanilla by Fru P Kaffe & The
1323 tasting notes

Steepsterites, let me deviate momentarily from Project Ceylon for a moment. I have been waiting for this moment for quite a while. A new shop in the city where I live has opened. They sell tea, coffee, wine, and other various delicacies, and while I would normally be slightly put off by the coffee in particular, I have been waiting impatiently for them to get ready to open the shop, which they finally did this Wednesday. You see, the name of the shop is ‘Fru P’ which means ‘Mrs P’, and you know what? I’m Mrs P too! Clearly this is a sign. Clearly.

Today I got the chance to go in there, where I met the other Mrs P (and Miss P as well). She had a few beginner’s troubles with her till and such, but hey, they’ve only been open for two days. I’m sure they’ll come after it. She seemed very nice and helpful and she smiled when I told her that I was Mrs P too. I also got a cherry flavoured black and another one for Project Ceylon. That one was an inspired bit of a find, actually, because being currently in the process of learning that area, I automatically looked for it on her shelves, even though I thought that she would be more likely to have a Ceylon blend rather than anything single estate, or even single growing region. I thought I’d get some anyway, and then I saw a sticker with a name on the tin and asked if that was where it had come from. She wasn’t sure, but she tried to pull the big mylar bag out of the tin enough that we could see its label, and agreed with me that it probably was. So that’s another one for the Sri Lanka reference map as soon as I look it up and work out where it actually is. (I can’t remember it off the top of my head, but I wrote it down)

Anyway, the first one I’m going to try out of the three I got is this vanilla. You know, Steepsterites, about my ongoing quest for my Perfect Vanilla black tea and how I have been despairing of it even existing at all. I did have it briefly. Chi of Tea had a Vanilla Nilgiri which lived up to all my ideals of the Perfect Vanilla, but they appear to have gone out of business, so when I thought I would stock up on a significant amount of it, my plans were sadly thwarted by there not being any.

So this one. The leaf smells very sweet and it’s got a good deal of that vanilla pod-y quality to it that reminds me very much of a specific sort of licorice sweet that you can get here (and which actually have nothing at all to do with vanilla). There is a certain sharpness to it, though, which makes it feel like it has been very strongly flavoured. This had me initially sceptical, but a strong flavouring isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. It all depends on how well the base tea can keep up in the flavour.

After steeping, the cup smells like a whole sweet shop. It’s vanilla-y, of course, and with notes of caramel, coconut and marcipan. Even a little bit of nougat as well. There is also still that licorice sweet note to it, which is a good sign indeed. Nothing of the sharpness that had me a little wary with the dry leaf, but I can’t pick up much of the base either.

OOOOooooh this is gooooooood!

This tea hits all the right buttons in the flavour. Everything seems to be just so and the only thing about it that currently bothers me is that I don’t know what the base is. Which is funny because with flavoured teas I don’t normally care about what the base is.

At first when I sip, I just get vanilla. A flavour that I seem to be able to taste not only with the tongue, but with my entire mouth in a way. It seems to sort of get in there and then just expand. It’s one of the vanilla-est vanilla teas I’ve ever met where the vanilla doesn’t feel artificial or more along the lines of vanilla sugar.

It even has that vanilla pod-y feel to it. The sort of darker vanilla-y flavour that reminds me of the leathery rubbery texture of the pod.

I’m still not getting much of the base here, but I don’t feel like it’s missing either. The details of the base just aren’t that important here as long as it seems able to hold up to the flavouring without feeling either over-powered or dominating. I think it’s doing so quite well.

This reminds me so strongly of the Chi of Tea vanilla Nilgiri that seems to be forever lost to us, that I’m nearly ready to say that, yes. I have found it at last.

The perfect vanilla has to taste Just So. (Check)
The perfect vanilla has to smell Just So. (Very Nearly Check)
The perfect vanilla has to be easily available without a ton of shipping and/or helpful Steepsterites playing middle-men involved. (Check)

I don’t even have to buy it ONLINE for crying out loud!

I have to taste this through thouroughly before I can say for sure if it really and truly is my Perfect Vanilla, but it’s a very strong candidate. I just need to see how consistently I can brew it with this outcome and whether I can reconcile myself with that bit of sharpness in the aroma. The former being more important than the latter, obviously.

I knew the name of that shop was a sign!


if you make a final decision of YAY on this one, I may have to try and convince you to do a swap with me haha


Still waiting for Mr KS to open. Oh, I can dream. Even if this turns out to not be the ‘one’ its awesome you have a nice shop nearby.


Woohoo for nearly perfect vanillas! I feel like you have been looking for that forever.


I have followed you for years, and know of your diligent search for THE vanilla tea of vanilla teas. So glad you have found him!


This post makes me smile. I think I will feel the same resounding hoop-ti-do when I find The Perfect Decaf Black. (cue Judy Garland)
Someday I’ll walk into a shop and find a Decaf Tea that finally suits me….


Oh! That sounds divine!


what luck frau p


Sil, I’m sure that can be arranged. :)

KS, it is! But it’s also going to be dangerous, because I pass right by it on the way to the bus when going home. I was already close to getting myself in trouble. :)

Dinosara and ashmanra, I have! I’ll probably still keep trying as many vanilla teas as I come across though. I don’t see any reason to stop looking. :p

gmathis, keep searching! It is out there! :D

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Project Ceylon!

Another which is technically mid-elevation, but just touching on the edge of high-grown. If high-grown is anything above 1200 meters, then we’ve got this one hovering in a grey area at 1000-1300 meters.

I had a very difficult time placing this one on the map, but with the help from Google I have become reasonably convinced that I’ve managed to find the correct area. According to the information I was able to find, Blackwood is actually the name of a section of Idulgashinna tea gardens, so I actually had to look for a completely different name. The difference here is in… umm… the name. I couldn’t find anything about whether we were talking about a large estate dedicating different sections to specific goals, or if it was something along the lines of several smaller gardens joining forces or what.

The dry leaf smells wood-y and a bit spicy, but otherwise it doesn’t really seem to have anything that stands out about it. There is a bit of sweetness in it, but not so much as to really warrant a comment.

This is interesting because after steeping it’s quite berry-y and sweet, but with a strong body of leather-y almost-smoke. This is very unexpected! I’m beginning to think I generally just have a somewhat skewed impression of the high-grown teas, because so far I’ve only had one that really came across that way. I thought I’d get something more floral and light, and certainly not something that tries to have me believe that it’s smoky. It definitely feels more mid-elevation than high.

There is quite a lot of berry in the flavour as well. So much that I could have been persuaded that I was actually dealing with a flavoured tea. It’s sort of a mixture between blackberries and raspberries with maybe a bit of blackcurrants as well. A great big fruity note which pulls out into a creamy feeling tail. How lovely!

Underneath that, and towards the end of the sip I get the leather-y base with a slight astringency to it, but not very much. There isn’t any of that smoke that the aroma almost promised me, unfortunately, because I should have liked to have seen how that would play with the berries. Ever since Auggy shared a citrus-flavoured lapsang souchong blend with me, I’ve been wishing for a red berry-flavoured lapsang souchong blend. Or just generally more flavoured LS blends, but especially the red berries. I should get me some good Four Red Fruits and try it myself. Anyway, I would have liked to have seen how these berries and the smoky note had played together but if I’m to be completely honest, I think I like this particular tea better for it not being there. I feel like I’ve missed an opportunity, but at the same time I’m not sure this would have been the proper place for it.

I haven’t had this one before, so I couldn’t tell you whether I agree with myself or not. I do, however, find this one greatly enjoyable.

Reference map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=211803378882467968316.0004d6ff92c6d663176b9&msa=0


used to blend a green Blackwood Estate Ceylon with shou pu erh to make a dynamic iced tea…let me know if you ever need help finding estate information from Ceylon as I an associated with a gentleman who used to run a few estates over there


I’ll bear it in mind. Not all of them come with their elevation information, so I had to investigate a bit. I’m just waiting for the day when I won’t be able to work it out. That day will surely come. Most are fairly easy to work out with a bit of googling, though. I can’t recall having seen quite this much attention to elevation for any other region. I’m sure it exists for the others, but it seems like it’s treated like less important information. That’s kind of interesting!
Did you know that some of the larger estates actually show up with a label on Google maps? I’ve discovered this! It’s super practical with the reference map, but I’m not about to hunt all of them down. :)

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Project Ceylon

This one is a high grown tea, from about 1500-1800 meters in elevation. It’s not quite as high as the Nuwara Eliya, though, so I’m expecting there to be some difference.

The aroma of the leaves (have you noticed how good I’ve been at remembering this?) is mostly fruit-y and raisin-y but with a great deal of wood-y, slightly spicy notes in as well. Once brewed, the tea retains this fruity note, although it is now the least prominent one. The wood-y, spicy aspects have taken over here, along with a note that very nearly, but not quite come across as caramel. It’s the shadow of caramel, but not the real deal by any definition of the word.

At first when I sip, I get the sensation of hot water. It has a bit of a fruity tinge to it, akin to the apple and pear mixture from before, but it’s faint. Then, after a short moment, a somewhat astringent but rather grain-y and wood-y note shows up underneath, followed immediately by something that strikes me most of all as floral. This is peculiar because floral notes are almost always top notes for me, so it’s funny to find one that somehow manages to sit near the bottom.

As the tea cools and develops a bit, the whole thing gains some maltyness which sort of covers every layer and becomes the primary note. I believe that this would be the grain-y note from before taking over.

There is still a moderate astringency here, though, a little bit too much for me to find it totally enjoyable. I should have liked it better had it been a bit smoother.

This strikes me as rather different from the other high-grown tea I’ve tried so far. The Nuwara Eliya seemed much more fresh and spring-y and somehow green-ish, where this one leans more towards the mid-elevation tea I’ve had, which was the Ratnapura grown at 900-1200 meters. Flavourwise the Dimbula seems to fall right in the middle between the two, but bizarrely I find I enjoy it less than either of those. I believe it’s the far more pronounced astringency at play here, which is really detracting for me.

I had this one three years ago as well, but I wasn’t apparently in much of a frame of mind to really try to analyse it at the time. I agree with myself about a fruity aspect, although Then-Me thought it was more berry-ish. I wasn’t super impressed with it at the time, though, and thought it best for those times when tea is needed but exquisite flavour and complexity is not necessary. I gave it 73 points then, and have decided to take that down a few notches.

Reference map: https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=6.657388,80.60078&spn=2.013212,2.892151&t=h&z=9


my last cupping of areas across Ceylon was many years ago and I remember Dimbula having a deeper, mellower flavor that was smooth and lightly fruity, almost mulberry with a soft sweet accent and a developing leathery astringency that was palate cleansing and not as tart or tannic as some of its kin


Gosh, I don’t recognise that at all in my experience… I wonder if yours were a higher quality than mine. It certainly sounds more interesting.


The same here. Years and years ago, my neighbor in Cupertino went home for a visit to Sri Lanka and brought back what she said was the finest tea. It almost peeled off my eyebrows with the leathery astringency.(I’d prefer it more now I’m sure than I did at the time.)


I’m not too fond of astringency either. That’s why I prefer the Chinese blacks, they almost never have any unless you seriously mistreat them. Very difficult to botch a Chinese. :) At least these Ceylons don’t appear to be as finicky as Indians.

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Project Ceylon!
(Or ‘erotic cider’ as Husband was sure I said earlier this morning. O.o)

Now here we have a low-grown. I’ve been quite looking forward to this one, based almost entirely on the name. It’s a good name! It’s fun to say. :D

The leaves smell quite sweet and fruity, reminding me of raisins along with some slight notes of wood and leather. The aroma after brewing is surprisingly sweet and reminds me of honey with a little malty notes underneath. There is a touch of leather-y undertones to it, but not much. It really smells very thich and smooth this.

At first there is a flavour of honey and especially caramel, then a bit of grain and a smooth and slightly creamy finish. Unlike the other two Ceylons, this one doesn’t seem to have any astringency at all. Not even a little bit. I would have liked for the grain element to have been a little larger, to give it a little more volume because as it is, it’s coming over as quite delicate.

After it has cooled and developed a bit the aftertaste turns rather grassy, which feels a bit like the tea gets a second wind. It wasn’t there in the beginning. There was only the impression of the ‘something smooth and slightly creamy’, but now I’m getting a distinctly grassy note.

The leather-y, wood-y flavours that the two previous Ceylons exhibited seem to be completely missing in this one. There is a little bit of it in the aroma, but nothing in the flavour that I can find. This makes it feel almost like it’s from a completely different region. It’s very different from the two others.

I’m having a tough time rating this one because I’m primarily comparing it mentally with the Kenilworth which I gave 80 points. I like Ratnapura better because of the sweet, caramelly qualities, but I like Kenilworth better because it’s a fuller, more voluminous flavour all over.

According to my hypothesis, I would prefer Ratnapura over Kenilworth because Ratnapura is a low grown tea where Kenilworth is mid-elevation. This is the dangers of having a hypothesis in the first place. It’s trying very hard to influence my here, so in order to be as honest as possible about my rating, I’m forced to think very hard about it, and I believe I’ve arrived at the right choice. Even if it does go ever so slightly against my hypothesis. (On the other hand, my statistical base is very very small here. Way too small to say anything final.)

Now, this is one that I had before three years ago, and back then I seem to have made an extraordinarily strong cup. Must have overdone it rather on the leaf, I think. I am, however, very pleased with how much I’m agreeing with myself. Right down to the EXACT number of points I had decided on! That’s just… uncanny! (Note, I don’t look at previous posts or ratings of these before after having written about the current cup. I don’t write the post directly in Steepster for these, so I don’t even look the tea up until I’m ready to write this paragraph. Doing so would be cheating.)

Reference map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=211803378882467968316.0004d6ff92c6d663176b9


really love the map


Great review, great map!


Lengthily and not hurried along!


Thank you, all. I’m growing fond of the map myself as well.


lol – erotic cider!

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Project Ceylon!

Next up, again chosen according to product number. I suspect this is really the easiest way to do it. No dithering about what to do next. Anyway, this one is high grown, and from more or less right in the middle of the highlands.

I can tell a huge difference already in the dry leaf when compared to the mid-elevation Kenilworth from yesterday. This one is sharper and brighter, quite grassy but also with a brief smidge of something leather-y and wood-y underneath. This is well hidden, though. It smells like a summer-y tea.

I’m not actually getting much aroma from the brewed cup, though, but what I am getting is giving me an impression of a smoothed out version of the dry leaf aroma.

That sharpish grassy note rather concerned me, because it’s the very thing that makes me not very fond of Darjeeling, but luckily, the tea doesn’t actually turn out to be all that Darjeeling-y. There is a Darj-esque grassy note, yes, but it doesn’t have the same sort of sour quality that I seem to find in Darjeelings. It’s more tolerable here, because it doesn’t give me that long, sour aftertaste. It has quite a floral top note as well, but not overwhelmingly so.

Underneath all that, we’re back with the wood-y, leather-y sorts of flavours. They’re light and sort of spring-y (boing!) feeling compared to the heavy darkness of yesterday’s Kenilworth. This feels more like a ladies’ tea. If we recycle the business man’s study from yesterday, this would be the sort of tea the wives would be drinking while thinking up ways to back-stab each other so as to further their own social standing.

I haven’t had this one before, it seems, so I can’t tell you whether I agree with myself on it. I find it pleasant, but if given the choice I would prefer the mid-elevation Kenilworth.

Reference map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=211803378882467968316.0004d6ff92c6d663176b9


I am loving these reviews. Great idea, and great writing!!!


I love the map!


Thank you, both.

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Fair warning. This post is going to have a really long intro, so I’ll sum it up quickly for those who can’t be bothered to read all that and want to skip straight to the actual tea: I aten’t ded! Husband once again employed. Been stocking up on a favourite. Project Ceylon and the thought behind it. Was that short enough?

Steepsterites, I have neglected you. It’s been more than twenty days since last I posted anything, so here I am. I aten’t ded.

What I AM is extraordinarily pleased with Husband who has achieved gainful employment, starting in a couple of weeks, and has thereby put an end to the Age of Frugality. This, ladies and gentlemen, is now NOT the Age of Frivolity, but rather the Age of Controlled Frivolity because… Yeah, we’ve been trying to minimise all non-essential spending for nearly half a year now, and it would be far too easy to go overboard. (The Age of Frugality will probably resume in a year or so, though, although for rather different reasons. Next item on the agenda, saving up!)

Suddenly free to once again stock up on old and missed favourites, I have acquired a 250g bag of the orange flavoured pu erh from Nothing But Tea. We luuuuurve that one. That was the only item on the shopping list from that company so I allowed myself some samples, and these are what I’m going to tell you about. I got a sample of every one of their Ceylon blacks, except Uva Highlands because I’ve already got some of that.

Steepsterites, I present to you Project Ceylon!

My thought process went as follows.
1. I have never truly explored this region. I’ve had plenty of different Ceylon teas, but I’ve never really bothered to learn the region.
2. Ceylon tea in general is something that frequently seems to be Just Tea for me. Default tea flavour. I suspect I lot of sub-standard teabags and flavoured teas are to blame for this sort of thinking, and I refuse to believe that there isn’t more to it than meets the eye. Or tongue. I suppose.
3. Having two vastly different Ceylon teas in my possession at the moment, one which is GREAT and the other which is meh, confirms this.
4. Ceylon teas are often named only for the estate, making it a rather more difficult to know which end of the spectrum I’ve got without a bit of investigation. And even those that are named for the district aren’t much better due to my complete lack of a grasp on Sri Lankan geography.
5. Also, Sri Lanka produces tea in just about all varieties of altitude, which therefore means that when learning the region, one must pay close attention to whether something is high-grown, low-grown or mid-elevation.
6. Behold! The Map! https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=211803378882467968316.0004d6ff92c6d663176b9 All markers are placed at what I think is sort of the general area. I can’t sit here and chase down the precise addresses for every single estate. They are also not fully annotated yet, but it’s a work in progress, really.

My hypothesis is this. Angrboda enjoys low grown Ceylon teas more than high grown ditto.

Having made all the preparations that I can think of here, I think there’s only left for me to actually drink some tea. I have had most of these before a few years ago, so it will be interesting to see if my opinion (and rating) has changed in the meantime.


I started with Kenilworth for no other reason than it had the lowest product number. I figure one place is as good a place to begin as another, yes? It’s one of the most famous Sri Lankan estates and located at mid-elevation, about 900-1200 m.

The dry leaf smells mostly of leather and wood. Very male. There is a bit of spice as well, but mostly the two others. It reminds me rather of some sort of old fashioned posh male study, with dark wood furniture and library shelves and what have you. A box of cigars in the desk drawer and a crystal decanter of whisky on a side table. Where rich businessmen go to talk shop and their wives occasionally join them for cocktails and a smidge of intrigue.

After steeping, the aroma is more or less unchanged, although it is now considerably richer and smells smoother. There is a dark sort of creamy and slightly caramel-y note to it.

This tea reminds me a great deal of Keemun. It has notes of wood, grain (although not thick-feeling like Keemun) and malt. I’m reminded that we’re not actually having a Chinese black here by a slightly astringent, although with a surprising amount of something that I can only describe as pseudo-smoky. That takes my brain straight back to the Keemun comparison.

At first there is a big hole in the flavour though. I think it’s that grain that is merely hinted at, as well as the malt element which could have been stronger. While there is plenty of flavour in this, I still feel it could have been fuller. I’ve got the lower notes (wood and leather) and the higher notes (pseudo-smoke), but there isn’t really enough of the middle notes (grain and malt) to fill the gap between them. Oh it tries! It does. But it’s just not quite there.

As it cools a bit, the flavour develops further, and now we’re talking! The lower notes become far more subtle and the grainy, malty middle notes really unfold. As if they somehow exhaled and relaxed and freely flowed into all those thin-tasting gaps from before. This keeps the low and high notes from being quite so prominent and that really suits the cup.

Cooling a little further, it develops a grassy sort of note that reminds me of Darjeeling and the impression I have so far gained of the high-grown Ceylons. It is on the higher end of the mid-elevation, so that fits with my impression so far. Seems like a useful characteristic to have noticed.

Having written all this, I went and looked at what I wrote about it three years ago. I gave it 80 points then, and I have decided to let this rating stand. Analysis-wide, I don’t really agree with myself, but I don’t actually disagree with myself either. Mostly, I think I can just say that I’ve learned a lot in the last three years.


Welcome back! we’ve missed you and YAY foryour husband having found a job :)


Thank you, Sil. It was a GREAT relief!


Welcome back yes ! happy to see you here and congrats for the Hubby’s job :)


Congrats on the hubby’s job! Mistress Weatherwax would approve, I’m sure. :)


Thanks. :)


Congrats, and thank you for that map! :)


Yay! Project Ceylon will be interesting to follow, as my mom LOVES Ceylon teas.


Great news on the job! I have found that I don’t enjoy high grown Ceylons, and just so you know, Wanja tea has an Orange Pekoe from Kenya that is absolutely delicious! Very similar to the best Ceylons I have tasted.


hope you enjoy this exploration…I had my first real exploration of tea in just this way, cupping nearly 15 single estates from all over Ceylon, side by side and finding the nuances really helped me develop an appreciation for not only the region, but to the seasonal terrior as well. I look forward to following your exploration


Congrats! Your post is so inspiring and thorough.


Thanks everybody. :)

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drank Fujian X by Unknown
1323 tasting notes

This one came from Fleurdelily and in a fairly large amount too. I actually had some trouble working out what it was, because the wrappings are all in Chinese and I think it came from Ebay or similar. I had to ask Fleurdelily for some more details and I also had a thread up on the boards asking people to help me read Chinese. Fleurdelily had originally bought it as being a Lapsang Souchong, and with the help from the nice people who could read some Chinese for me, it was determined that more likely than not what we’ve got here is some kind of unsmoked Lapsang Souchong. It’s definitely Fujian, though, because I got that much from the wrapper.

Mostly though, I’ve been thinking about it as ‘Fujian X’ which what I’ve called it here.

I’ve actually had it loads of times by now, and I’ve nearly used up all the little portion pouches, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m any closer to actually being able to write down a proper analysis of it. You see, we’ve mostly had it under circumstances where I just wasn’t paying that much attention to it. It’s that kind of tea really. I tried to when I started writing this post, but then it ended up turning into tea and homemade biscuits on the sofa with some Top Gear on the telly. (We’ve actually today, after having lived here for about one and a half years now, finally managed to have a proper look at which channels we’ve got and arrange them in an easy to find fashion! We’re not really big television-watchers, us. More dvd and blu-ray people. But maybe it’ll help now that we know what our options are. After all, we ARE paying for it.)

So yeah, that shot yet another attempt at proper tasting out of the water.

The overall impression I keep getting from this, though, is ‘Default Fujian’. It has all the qualities that I love about Fujian blacks. Kinda malty, but not too much, and a bit of fruityness to it, along with a grainy and cocoa-y note. I can’t seem to focus on giving it any real attention, but I have been enjoying it immensely.

It’s just the right sort of tea for having while settling in with something. Perhaps it doesn’t really need anything more than that.

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drank Chamomile by Stash Tea Company
1323 tasting notes

Have: Headache.
Will swap for: New supply of Orange Puerh from Nothing But Tea

This is a backlog from a few days ago, actually. Not the headache, but the following. I received this bag from Fleurdelily and it’s been hanging around since then, because I don’t actually care much for chamomile at all, really. We do keep a blend around with chamomile and licorice root, but that’s purely for therapeutic reasons. It tastes vile, but it’s wonderfully soothing when one is ill.

So that’s why I had my trepidations about this one. Part of me thought I ought to wait until next time I got ill, because if chamomile is the sort of thing to drink under such circumstances, then surely I couldn’t give it a proper go if I was feeling well.

But then the other day as I was doing something or other in the bathroom, I just suddenly had this chamomile craving. It was like I could actually smell it. The time was right, I reckoned. Besides, I had just had a couple of days of feeling generally wonky, so my terms of unwellness were met too.

I made me a cup and took it with me to bed to read. I’ve done that a lot, lately, actually. Gone to bed early with a cup to read before bedtime. I was expecting to be able to drink maybe half because of the inherent vileness of chamomile, but I actually ended up drinking the whole thing.

The aforementioned vile concoction is loose leaf, whereas this one is bagged, and believe that is what made the difference. The bag just gave a milder sort of chamomile flavour than the loose stuff, probably for the very same mechanisms that loose is otherwise generally preferable over bags. In the particular case, however, the opposite worked to my advantage.

Yeah, I think I’ll drink the other bag I was given as well, although I will wait to see if I get that craving again, because that was definitely also a large factor in my experience here. Without it, I don’t know that this would have worked for me as relatively well as it did.


Love it: “the inherent vileness of chamomile”… I so hear you. And I keep trying to like it.


When I was younger I would actually drink chamomile for pleasure. I liked it then, and totally didn’t understand most people’s ‘only when ill’ attitude. I thought it was really nice with a bit of liquid honey as well. Then… I don’t know when or how it happened. My tongue just completely turned around on chamomile. Now I can barely stand the stuff. It’s a bit of a shame, really. It feels a bit like I’ve lost something.

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drank Butterbeer by 52teas
1323 tasting notes

This is turning into an old song, but here’s another one that I was highly sceptical of. Yes, I’m a Harry Potter fan too, but even while reading the books no amount of mentions of butterbeer made me want to try it. I don’t like beer at all (foul stuff) and I don’t like things that aren’t butter to have a strong butter-y flavour. I couldn’t even seek refuge in the Danish translation of the books because a) the translation is rather shaky in places and b) the Danish translator has chosen to translate it as ginger beer, which… ew, I don’t like that either. So no, I can’t claim that I’m in any way looking forward to drinking something that I imagine will taste like a combination of beer and liquid butter.

The dry leaf smells sort of like rubber. It’s that rootbeer-y smell that does it. I’ve only had rootbeer once in my life and at that time I wasn’t really certain whether I liked it or not, but was leaning in the direction of ‘acquired taste’. It was that rubbery note that broke it for me, as I recall. Well. It’s better than my initial thought of what it might be, I suppose.

After steeping the rubbery smell is still there, but it’s changed in character to something that smells a bit like Jenka chewing gum. (Has that ever even been available outside of Scandinavia at all?)

Flavourwise, yeah, I’m getting a lot of what I recall of the root beer, and also a certain degree of butter. The whole thing has a brownish, sort of murky flavour and it’s really kind of indescribable apart from that.

At least it doesn’t taste like beer. That would have been right horrid.

As it is though, it’s definitely not something for me. Sorry, I can’t drink this. It’s not working for me at all.


I had a very similar experience with this tea and I ended up trading the rest of it away. Still it’s nice to see that I’m not the only one that didn’t like it, the ratings are rather impressive. Maybe we just both dislike chicory?


more for the rest of us :D


Jenka isn’t anywhere in NA I don’t think. So glad I passed on this.


Incendiare, it doesn’t seem to be around here anymore either. I remember it from when I was a child (there was also one called Shake which was licorice flavoured and another one that I can’t for the life of me recall)


Kitty, it’s not impossible. I don’t think I’ve ever had chicory before in a way where I could say what that specifically tasted like. I ended up having to make something else to wash it down with.

Helena, you’re welcome to it. :)

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drank afternoon by Tregothnan
1323 tasting notes

This one came to me from Fleurdelily who embarrassingly STILL has not received a return parcel. However, I shall be going to the post office with one later today. It’s all packed up, just needs sending. I may be slow, but I get there in the end.

I’ve never had anything from this brand before, and the fact that it’s grown in Europe makes it highly interesting to me, even if it is just an old fashioned tea bag. It’s not quite afternoon yet, but it was the one that struck me as most interesting right now out of the bags that I had. Given my activities in the kitchen at the moment, I don’t currently have access to a pot, so it was a bagged tea or nothing. Easy choice then, because I really do need something calming. Right now as I’m writing this, Husband is doing his very best to end the Age of Frugality, so I’m feeling all nervous too and can’t do plock all about it.

The aroma strikes me as Assam-y. There’s that note to it, the one that is sort of like wet cardboard, and a fair amount of malty notes. A really good Assam, in my experience, also tends to have a strong note of raisins to it, but I’m not getting anything of that sort from this. But then again it isn’t actually Assam at all, is it. It’s just what it mostly reminds me of. That all sounds well and good but that’s not the whole picture. There is a certain quality to this that reminds me quite strongly of melted parafine, a smell which I have become highly familiar with due to working with melted parafine wax on a regular basis, and that smell of a candle which has just been blown out. These are not things I can say I’m at all pleased to find in a cup of tea so that does pull it down a bit.

The flavour is quite strong and again comes with a reminder of Assam with a dark malty note and a smidge of wet cardboard. No candles here, however. The whole thing tastes kind of dark, not quite black, grey. There are still no raisin notes to be found, and the end note is just ever so slightly borderline bitter. I suspect Husband’s sister would enjoy this one immensely because she likes her builder’s brew. Preferably so strong that if it steeps for just a split second more, it would be capable of climbing out of the cup and running away. (Taking tea that she made is always a gamble. She doesn’t always remember to pour for others before steeping the leaves completely into oblivion) I do suspect that this is a tea that would let her steep to her heart’s content without running out of steam before she thought it was done.

For me, however, at a rather more controlled strength, I find that something seems to be missing. Those Assam-y notes that I found are there, and they’re good and strong but it feels like they’re only making up the shell of the flavour and something in the middle is just… not there. Emptyness. Nothing.

As strange as it sounds to say that it’s a black tea with lots of strength to it but no body, that’s exactly what he have here. I never would have thought that was even possible. Still, for someone, like for example Husband’s sister, who are merely looking for a generic hot cup of tea without paying too much attention to it otherwise, I’m sure this would go down well. For me? Well… not so much.

Now, the funny thing is that when I looked up what was actually in this blend (I always try to do this AFTER I’ve made my guesses), it turns out that it’s a blend of Darjeeling and their own leaf grown in Cornwall. No Assam anywhere in sigth and the only thing in common with Assam at all is that Darjeeling is also an Indian tea. For me Darjeeling tends to have a fairly easily recognisable flavour, but bizarrely I’m going none of that here. I suspect it’s the Cornwall leaf that has altered it. I can vaguely see where the Darj is in the flavour now that I know it’s there, but I can’t actually pick any of it out.

A strange phenomenon this. Interesting, yes. But flavour-wise rather meh.


That took me by surprise – tea gardens in Cornwall?! But after all, they’re just another camellia, and there are plenty of those in UK gardens. I don’t think Cornwall goes higher than a few hundred metres, though, and I had it in my mind that you had to have a fair amount of altitude to grow decent leaves. I’ve probably got that wrong, though.

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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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