1312 Tasting Notes

4
drank Red Raspberry by Harney & Sons
1312 tasting notes

I think this was the one that Fleurdelily sent me.

Initially I had a little happy when I saw this, because I like berries in general in tea. I just had the one bag and that turned out to be lucky because when I went to make it, I had not seen that it has hibiscus in it.

I cannot abide hibiscus. It tastes like blood. All metallic and sour. Ew.

At first I had a small suspicion when I poured water on it, and it immediately started bleeding a strong, bright red colour. However, while this is a tell-tale hibiscus sign, I have learned that it’s not the only ingredient to do that.

Not until now when I came to post did I see the truth of the matter.

And even if I hadn’t, I would have found out by the aroma. Let’s just say that this does not smell like any raspberry I am willing to eat. It’s all sour and ugh. Luna the Cat appears to agree. This aroma does not give me very high hopes for the flavour.

No, indeed not. It doesn’t taste like a raspberry I am willing to eat either. It doesn’t taste like raspberry at all! It’s just all sour and hibiscus-y. I can’t drink this without making a face, and trust me, I have tried my very best here.

Which leads me to a bit of a rant, frankly. American blends with berries seem to be loaded with hibiscus nine times out of ten. I have even seen people here on Steepster marvel at the fact that berry-flavoured blends without hibiscus even exist. What’s with all the hibiscus, people? It does not taste like berries! Berries are not sour by definition and not all berries taste the same, so if you take the trouble to actually use berry flavouring alongside the hibiscus, why do you insist on making it taste uniformly tart with hibiscus? Do you even have tongues to taste with?
It is possible to make something berry flavoured without letting it even stand next to a hibiscus flower. As far as I can tell this is largely an American phenomenon (do-doo-dodo-do), and I have never ever seen a European fruit or berry blend that contained hibiscus, while still claiming to be a plain fruit blend. Ever. Never ever ever.

Now I realise that this is a raspberry herbal and that implies that there are different sorts of things in it that aren’t tea. Raspberry leaves and raspberry flavouring, this I expected. But rosehip and hibiscus, just to make it red and tart, oh so very tart indeed, this I don’t understand. Does raspberry not taste sufficiently like raspberry on its own?

So chalk this down as a massive disappointment from someone who has been curious about raspberry leaf for sometime and believed she was going to try it at last. I don’t need to try hibiscus. I know what that tastes like.

I’m sorry, Fleurdelily but this one was just not for me at all. To be frank, even if I had seen that it contained hibiscus, I would probably have tried it out anyway because you never know when something otherwise unpleasant suddenly shows up in just the right combination. I had that experience with rooibos that was sent to me and it completely turned my opinion of rooibos upside-down. Just ask Cteresa. I suppose I’m vaguely hoping that the same thing might happen with hibiscus, but I’m not really super-optimistic about it.

cteresa

Amen, sister. And yes I can vouch about your convertability :) but thing is, with rooibos, if you start just with the plain rooibos base even before adding flavours, you can see a lot of difference in quality. I compare it to wine, some of the rougher nasty stuff is undrinkable. Some of the better stuff is wonderful, smooth and with body. So I think people can be converted to good rooibos, particularly with good flavours if they had never had really good rooibos before, just because it is a different thing.

With hibiscus, if there are grades and quality differences to appreciate, that is beyond me. I can only notice the hibiscus. And it overpowers almost everything (only exceptions I can think of are this very weak french tisane from a supermarket´s own brand and Yumchaa´s Adventure). Though I admit much as I hate hibiscus, I found an exception, there is a very hibiscus very fruity tea which I love as an iced tea.

I think hibiscus is rather a trend. Say 10 years ago, the fruit teas around all seemed to be linden (lime? tilleul?) based – it was traditional here, and a lot of french tisanes still are based that. Though problem is, those are weak! I think Celestial Seasonings and their zinger teas were the first which showed up with it, so yeah maybe it is an american trend. But even now I see a lot, a lot of teas with hibiscus – twinings pink box blends (Almost all horrible. raspberry&echinacea is the least horrible, but not enough raspberry at all), whittard has some, ahmad´s, almost all boxed supermarket no-caffeine teabags which are not the traditional plain tisanes (camomile, mint, lemonbalm, linden, etc) have hibiscus. And buying tea by the weight a lot of times sellers do not even know or care. I always ask to check and the look, smell, color of the tea is almost always a giveaway.

And something I find as horrible, though a bit more subtle – chicory in herbal tisanes. Chicory goes fabulous with coffee. But with tea, not so much! Lipton is even adding it to “plain” tisanes, lemon balm tea (a lovely, clean herb) and they had 2% chicory and it tastes muddy and musty, horrible – there must be some control pannels somewhere telling them to get tea ticker or darker or something. Nevermind the taste!

Angrboda

I don’t think I’ve ever had chicory. Not that I know of anyway. If it’s a coffee-esque sort of flavour, then I probably won’t like it. Coffee-flavoured blends were rather in a while ago and I can’t for the life of me understand why. Anybody who has tried making tea in a thermos that has been used for coffee knows that it’s NOT a good combination. Not even when you actually like coffee! Ugh, even accidentally putting a coffee thermos lid on a tea thermos can ruin the contents.

cteresa

Chicory is one of those coffee-replacement thingies. But one which IMO goes really well mixed with real coffee and/or this rye drink. I think it´s a pretty old frugal thing – some of my favorite old fashioned tea shops which also sell coffee sell these several mixes, chicory, and rye and mixes of the two. And Nestlé sells and keeps on selling these coffee-cereal mixes in our market – Mokambo, Tofina, Bolero, all about 20% coffee with cereals in different mixes. And Ricoré is still pretty popular in France I think!

Chicory is nice but not in tea. I think Celestial Seasonings (who I blame for hibiscus!) uses it on a lot of their herbal things, when they want to go for something darker more desserty type drinks

Angrboda

I believe chicory was used as a coffee stretcher or coffee replacement during the Occupation in the second world war, actually, now that I think of it. I knew it was ringing some kind of bell. Just wasn’t until you said ‘replacement’ that it fell into place.

cteresa

Yes, I think chicory and rye and barley were all mixed with coffee to make it “stretch”. And carob was used to make chocolate stretch or total chocolate replacement. The coffee mixes have always been popular even when coffee is abundant and probably cheaper, in a homey way, it´s not such strong coffee and for the taste, lots of people like those mixes. Carob is traditional in a part of Portugal and is even fashionable (it can be great or awful. It´s a really subtle flavour, but the problem is that carob is rather dry so people can not just dump it on a recipe). And nowadays a lot of these things are found out to have health benefits!

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89
drank Bi Luo Chun Hong Cha by TeaSpring
1312 tasting notes

Gosh, I think I botched this pot. Bit strong…

Anyway, I think I just had an epiphany of sorts. Does ‘Hong Cha’ mean ‘black tea’? Or rather, ‘red tea’ given the Chinese denominations?

If yes, can I always count on the word ‘Hong’ referring to the type, or is it only if it’s combined with ‘Cha’?

Kittenna

Where’s Momo and her google-fu? She was totally on top of it when I wanted to know whether “Mi” (as in, Mi Xian Black and… Mi Lan Dancong Black?) meant honey or somesuch.

Angrboda

Someone should compile a Chinese glossary of some sort! That would be cool.

momo

I really have no idea how Chinese works but hong does mean red, but I have no idea about how to use it. It looks like just talking about red by itself is “hong se” but at least with cha, it’s just “hong.”

I really wanted to know about mi …because I was confused and forgot the first panda cub born here was Mei and not Mi. Still was useful!

Bonnie

Hei cha means black tea is my understanding from my video tea group.

Ag

My Mandarin is really, really rusty, but I think I still remember enough of it and some very basic tea culture to add here. If not, I could always just call up my parents (they emigrated from China to the US).

(Totally random, mildly irrelevant blurb below)
Chinese has a lot of dialects, the most commonly spoken and shared one being Mandarin (the other one is Cantonese). Mandarin has four tones, so one syllable spoken in one tone can have a completely different meaning when it’s spoken with another tone.

The Chinese refer to what we call black tea as “hong cha”, because the liquid looks kind of dark reddish when steeped. Black tea, or “hei cha” (my pinyin is also horribly rusty, so I might be spelling it wrong there) can be used to refer to the category of fermented teas (pu-erh falls under this).

Honey is “feng mi”, if I recall. I have no idea what “Mi Xian” is in the context of tea. I know of it as a type of noodle dish from some province (Yunnan, I think?).

Angrboda

I knew cha. So when I see ‘hong cha’ as part of the name I can be relatively certain of the type then, but with some room for exceptions? That’s worth remembering.
As I understand it, Mandarin and Cantonese sound like almost two completely different languages and a person speaking one may not necessarily be able to understand the other. Is the writing the same though? Or do we have to pay attention with the pinyin that it might be one or the other? I’m trying not to jump to conclusions here.
As for mi, perhaps on its own it has something to do with sweetness in general, and then whatever it’s combined with tells you what sort of sweetness?
(Sometimes I start to wonder if the easiest thing isn’t just to take an evening class in Chinese For Beginners or something…)

Dinosara

Chinese tea dictionary, type in your chinese phrase (pinyin included) and it will give you a translation! I used it a lot when I was in China.
http://babelcarp.org/babelcarp/

Though sometimes it does come up short, for instance when it can’t find “Mi”! But you can see that “Mi Xiang” means literally honey fragrant.

And I am pretty certain if it a tea is labeled Hong Cha that it is always “red tea”, or as westerners would say, black tea. In China if you order “black tea” (in english translation), you get a cup of puerh (I know because it happened to me)!

Ag

Yeah, you can be pretty certain that tea labelled as ‘hong cha’ in China would be a type of black tea.

Pinyin is used for Mandarin Chinese romanization only. Cantonese romanization uses something else.

And yes, Mandarin and Cantonese are very different from each other. Cantonese has more tones than Mandarin. I’ve always been under the impression that they’re mutually unintelligible, but one of my friends who speaks Cantonese at home but knows little Mandarin says she can sometimes figure out a conversation in Mandarin by using Cantonese to help. My dad once mentioned that he had difficulties trying to assist an elderly Cantonese lady many years ago, since neither of them could understand each other. I guess it depends on how familiar a Cantonese speaker is with Mandarin. From my experience and questions to/observations of friends and family members, it definitely doesn’t work the other way around (Mandarin speaker trying to understand Cantonese without any formal training).

Mandarin Chinese is the lingua franca for both verbal and written communication in China (there are a ridiculous number of Chinese dialects, and many of them are mutually unintelligible or only moderately intelligible with one another. It’s pretty fascinating.). There’s a form of written Cantonese, with a different grammar structure than Mandarin. Other than that, I don’t know much about it. I’m sure the characters are a little different as well.

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76
drank Bourbon Vanilla by Kusmi Tea
1312 tasting notes

When one woman’s ick is another woman’s nom, it’s awesome that we can share. fleurdelily didn’t care for this one, and although it’s far from my Perfect Vanilla Black, I can guarantee that it will get legs to walk on in this house. :)

Return parcel will follow. Eventually. Please be patient with me…

fleurdelily

Aww that’s great! I hate to waste things, and I feel so much better when someone else can make good use of it :) I am actually glad you disagree with my opinion of the tea LOL ! much less guilt for me, and happy Noms for you :) YAY!

Angrboda

I have taken to putting things I didn’t care for in a special box so that I can use it to pad swaps. The recipient might like it better than me. :)

cteresa

A bit out of topic, but regarding vanilla, if you ever have the chance to try (or just smell) a Mariage Freres tea called Black Orchid do so. It´s very very vanilla to me, but not normal vanilla. It might be a hate-love thing, and not sure where you would fall on it, but it´s got to be a competitor for any vanilla tea quest! I did not get it, it was not what I was in the mood for at the time ( and mariage frere´s vanille des iles is a more normalish vanilla, and I think you do NOT want their rooibos rouge bourbon, it´s very light on vanilla and very rooibos-ish. I like it, but it´s one of those things I would not recommend unless to unabashedly rooibos lovers).

TLDR – Black Orchid, it´s a strange vanilla tea, but worth checking IMO.

Angrboda

Vanilla but abnormal vanilla…. scratches head that sounds either abysmal or awesome, and I can’t decide which! I’ve been planning for years to order from MF some day, so I’ll put it on the list and see if I ever get to it. :)

cteresa

It is a weird vanilla – I am so unsure if you will love or hate it. But it is very interesting vanilla, sultry sort of. And vanilla, real vanilla pods are on themselves complicated smells, very vanilla (duh!) but they are orchids which are spices, floral and spicy and something.

But as I said i did not buy Black Orchid so it´s not really a rec. But if you can check it, do: I was absolutely fascinated by its very complex scent.

Angrboda

Well, I put it on the list, and I put MF on the to-do list so that I can remember the next time I want to order tea. Probably won’t be for a while, though. I’m in frugal mode at the moment.

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75

Fleurdelily sent me a couple of these bags, and also some strawberry ones of the same brand. I’m mentioning those here as well because the packaging of these bags is amazingly attractive. All colourful and with large drawings of the fruits in question. The sort of packaging that says ‘you KNOW I will taste good, because I look so good!’ From the moment I took them out of the box, I was looking forward to trying them.

That happens very rarely for me when I see bagged tea!

I’m having the peach and passionfruit now, and I must say that peach is a funny thing for me. I like peaches to eat and peach-flavoured things in general, but have always avoided it in tea because it is very much a hit and miss flavour for me. I never know what I’ll get with peaches in tea, and there doesn’t seem to exist a middle of the road for me.

Apart from the packaging, I must admit I wasn’t expecting much from a bagged tea in the peach-flavour-liking department, but perhaps it’s the addition of the passionfruit that does it here, because this one is actually quite pleasant. (Could also depend on what sort of base is used, I guess)

I think it has passionflowers as well as passionfruit actually, because there is a fairly floral taste to it, which prevents the peach from getting that nearly cloying flavour that I dislike in peach tea. Ironic really, because I don’t normally care much for floral teas either.

This one tastes quite warm and autumn-y, which is a surprise because I always connect tropical flavours with summer, but there is a sort of spicy note in here which may be the floral aspect or something else entirely that just says autumn. It fits the current grey and wet weather rather nicely.

I’m pleased with this.

K S

Can’t wait for your strawberry review. I haven’t tried that one yet.

I know I have had this one but don’t see my tasting note on Steepster. I remember liking the peach but not so much the passionfruit. I normally drink peach and apricot. I think my preconceived notions of how this should taste got in the way.

I find Ahmad, in general, to be even more trustworthy than Twinings when it comes to their handling of bagged tea, and I really like Twinings.

Angrboda

I have never had Ahmad before. I’ve never seen them in Denmark. Apricot is a bit like peach for me, although I tend to like it better in general.

I’ve already had one of the strawberry ones, actually, but didn’t really feel like writing about it at the time. I just wanted something good to drink, so I wasn’t paying too much attention at the time. I was quite pleased with it though.

gmathis

Ahmad has strawberry…oh, wow and oh, yum.

TranquilRaven

I dunno what it is about peach flavoring specifically but it seems like the only fruit flavor that comes across so widely different. I have a hard time jumping into peach flavored things because of this.

Angrboda

You probably have the same problem as me with it then? It’s funny, because other flavours can be more or less successful but they can NEVER go completely wrong unless other things have been added as well. Orange is like that for me, even though it’s not actually one of my favourite flavourings. Still, I’ve had some that were great and some that were meh, but I can’t recall having had one that I couldn’t drink.

TranquilRaven

Yes, exactly. It’s weird :S

fleurdelily

every summer we make gallons of the Ahmad fruit flavored for iced tea

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83

I finally got around to this one, and it’s just as well, because it’s taking up a lot of space on my desk. I’ve taken to keeping the teas I haven’t posted about yet on my desk next to the computer so that they don’t disappear in the collection or end up like the four red fruits black from Le Palais des Thes which we’ve gone through 200 grams of and I never actually posted about it. I thought I already had!

So yes. New system. This system keeps them in full view at all times, and encourages me to get to them faster so that I can get my desk back!

This one is from the Verdant order I made some time ago and had been standing there un-opened, taking up a lot of space. I usually have pretty good experiences with Dancong and tend to find them very similar to Da Hong Pao, but somehow more me.

I suspect this is one I’ll be drinking throughout the day today. It’s wednesday, which means I’m off work (oh I luuuuurrrrve working part time!) and I’ve got a to-do list the length of my leg. Well, nearly. Two pages anyway, with half the usual margins and slightly smaller font size. 116 items. Many of them are tiny things that will take maybe five minutes but which I’ll forget to do otherwise so that’s why it’s so long. This approach worked out awesomely for me last week with nearly 80% completion and Husband commenting on the all-round tidyness of the house when he came home, so I’m repeating the success. So here we go. A tea that can be repeated easily throughout the day.

To that end I started out with twice my normal amount of leaf and half my normal steeping time, and the result is something that smells remarkably like honey. And milk, somehow. Or at least sort of creamy. The aroma isn’t very strong, so that’s all I can pick up at this point.

It tastes like Dancong. That’s my first thought when I tasted it. Tastes like Dancong. Um, right. I should sincerely hope it would! O.o And also like oolong. (Duh, brain. Pull yourself together with the associations, please!) That sort of dark, slightly woodsy and kind of humid oolong-y taste that all oolongs must have. If they don’t, it’s a serious flaw for me.

I also like my darker type oolongs to have a sort of caramel-y note. Not outright caramel flavoured, because for some reason I can’t actually imagine that would work, but a natural swet and creamy note that invokes caramel. This is not a requirement in the same way that the oolongness is, but I do prefer it.

Third, it must not be too floral in flavour, and this is where Dancong and Da Hong Pao part ways for me. Da Hong Pao has a tendency to be more floral for me than Dancong. This is not always so, but it seems to be a tendency.

This one has the oolongness and the honey-y, caramel-y creaminess and none of the floralness that I could find. The flavour is somewhat delicate though, and I suspect I could actually easily have left my steeping time at my usual two minutes, even though I had used more leaf. I didn’t really take the volume of the leaf properly into account when I thought I doubled it, so I suspect that I actually used close to my normal amount although it looked like a lot.

Mind you, this is very nice, but do hope that I can bring some forcefulness out in the flavour in the next steeps.

The second steep is back to my normal steeping time. The flavour is the same as the first steep, only stronger this time. All the notes are there and in the same amounts compared to each other. They’re just less delicate now. This is what I hoped would happen.

I’ll take a break with it now and leave the computer before this hospital e-learning course drives me completely batty! It’s mandatory and involves watching a little film which I have now restarted more times than I can count because it just won’t play right. I officially give up! throws up hands

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87
drank Milk Oolong by The Republic of Tea
1312 tasting notes

This one came from Auggy and one of the last ones I’ve got left untried from her massive parcel.

I’ve only had milk oolong a few times before and have never quite been certain what to make of it. I’ve liked it, but I have never fallen head over heels for it like so many other people seem to have. Two, I think I’ve tried, and mind you, I have not even the first clue about whether either of those two were actually flavoured with steamed milk (I think that’s how it’s done?) or with the milky note naturally occuring and I don’t know which this one is either. It’s possible that the difference between these two types may mean a rather large difference in the head over heels department.

This one tastes primarily green oolong-y. At first when I just made it, there was lots of milky aroma and the first few sips had lots of it in the flavour as well.

Now that it has sat here and cooled slightly and developed a bit, the milky note has been pushed rather to the back. It is now there in the aftertaste and peeking out here and there in the actual sip, but not really able to get a word in edgewise.

So what I’ve got left seems like it could have been almost any sort of green oolong, just not counting the aftertaste. Somewhat vegetal and slightly sharp, it reminds me of dark, leafy greens, and with a very strong oolong-y wood-y touch to it.

Because I know it’s a milk oolong, I can pick up on the milk in the aftertaste and in between here and there, but if I hadn’t known anything about that, I wouldn’t have been able to guess. And do you know what? I almost think I prefer it that way. Milk oolong in general sounds like something that I might find a bit cloying if overdone and I definitely like this one better than the first one I ever had. I remember that one primarily because both the smell and the flavour of it gave me associations of warm yoghurt. (I’m fairly certain that one had been made with the steamed milk, actually)

It’s been too long since I’ve had a regular green oolong, so I can’t actually tell if I like this better than green oolong in general or the other way around. I’ll have to have a regular soon, but right now I’m finding this one rather enjoyable and not at all what I had thought I would get.

cteresa

I have been eyeing (purely platonically! I went tea shopping this morning, no more tea this year for me) my very first milky oolong, so this is a perfectly timed post! Maybe it is not for me, it makes it easier to wait for 2013 :)

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72
drank Elderberries by Nothing But Tea
1312 tasting notes

Dear foreigners! Have you ever had elderberry soup or is that a German and Scandinavian thing only? When I saw that I could by dried elderberries to use as a tisane, elderberry soup was the first thing that popped into my head. Elderberry soup is a treat for dessert in autumn, I think. Piping hot, and possibly with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream. Clearly then I had to try this.

That combined with the fact that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen elderberries (or elderflowers for that matter) in conjunktion with tea or tisanes. I don’t know why it’s so rare.

So obviously I had to try this. I really very much had to try it.

I went in to ask Husband if he also wanted to try a cup and he gave me a thumbs up sign before I had the chance to tell him what it even was. So we shall see where that bit of bravery will take him. Or foolhardyness, possibly. We shall see.

The berries are just berries. No leaves, no additives, no nothing. Just berries. They smell a bit like dried cranberries, actually, but then again elderberries do have that same sort of tartness to them.

After having been steeped, the aroma is elderberry soup alright, although it’s obviously not as viscous as the soup. It’s not quite as violently purple either which I have to admit came as a slight disappointment to me. Half the fun of elderberry soup is eating something with that colour.

The flavour is much milder than the soup too. I admit I was a bit worried, because if it was as strong as in the soup, it might get to be a bit much pretty quickly. I like the soup as an occasional treat, as mentioned, but I can only eat so much of it at the time before it gets to be too much.

I don’t think there’s any danger of that with this tisane. It’s quite mild and pleasant. Fruity, slightly tart and kind of semi-earthy in flavour.

You know, I really don’t understand why this berry doesn’t get used in flavouring tea! To me a strong flavoured berry like this seems totally obvious to flavour things with. With the amount of flavouring that comes out of these dried berries alone, however, it should be totally easy to make my own. Any otherwise dull tea should be spruced up considerably but adding a spoonful of these to the leaf. Elderberry soup usually has apple in it as well, so an apple flavoured tea without probably be awesome to use as well.

I’m not sure I would buy these again, just to drink them on their own like this, but I could totally see myself buying a small stock to experiment with mixing in other teas.

Husband, bizarrely, thinks it tastes like tomato soup. I don’t know, Steepsterites… Tomatoes??? O.o I can’t even!

Nicole

I have not heard of elderberry soup. Wine, yes, soup, no.

Angrboda

Funny that, I hadn’t heard of the wine. :) I’m not surprised that it exists, though. :)

cteresa

I got, well had because i finished it (but would rebuy) a tea with elderberries, Yumchaa´s (I keep getting to this theme with you! only you somehow) Walk in the Woods http://steepster.com/teas/yumchaa/17306-walk-in-the-woods a lovely one IMO. not sure if I still had any when i sent you some samples, so not sure if I sent it to you. It is a sort of would-rebuy for me, but not right now, am working on decreasing stock (ah!)

Angrboda

Oh that’s interesting. I believe that doubles the amount of teas flavoured with elderberry that I’ve ever seen. :p I’ve put it on my shopping list, but I’m having to be slightly careful with non-necessary purchases these days.

gmathis

I’ve had elderberry extract—my husband’s mom and grandma swear by it for winter flu prevention, and do a tablespoon faithfully each day. I like it, so this sounds quite good.

cteresa

I am very fond of Walk in the Woods – but am trying to finish lot of teas I got standing and also be careful. In a way 99% of the tea I buy is non necessary, but now and then need to get some new things – but before I must use what I got!

eldeberries are lovely indeed. I also got a 5 red fruits oolong ( which I might prefer to your raspberry oolong and be the reason why I did not fell in love head over heels with it) where one of the berries is elderberry. I agree eldeberries are underused in tea.

Angrboda

Gmathis, I’ve head that about elderberries too. I mean before reading about it in NBT’s info.

Cteresa, if I am to be completely honest, I think I’m getting close to being finished with the raspberry oolong for a while. I’ve kept it constantly at home for a long time now, and we’ve also got a tin at work. The work tin is really enough to suit my needs these days. On the other hand, Husband appears to have discovered it and has chosen it twice now in a relatively short time, so I might change back to finding it indispensable. :) But if I was out and ordering tomorrow, I’d probably skip it this time.

cteresa

A break is good sometimes, even from your favorite staples. Sometimes you are not outgrowing them and just end up appreciating them more when you come back to them. Maybe that will be the case, dunno! I think the idea of red berries and oolong is a winner for sure for me :)

gmathis, ricola makes some elderberry throat lozenges which are just lovely. effective as well, though not sure if quite as effective as their plain yellow original ones which sadly do not taste quite as good. But oh well, medicinal things are often like that!

Angrboda

I had some elderflower ones from ricola, but those weren’t very effective compared with the regular sort. I have to say though, I do also like the regular sort, because they remind me of “kur-a-kof” which we sadly can’t get in Denmark any more. Those really worked for me! These days I swear by the blue Fisherman’s Friend. I like the licorice ones best, but I use the blue ones because the others I tend to wind up eating like sweets. They taste too good. :) That’s also the reason I never buy the flavoured Strepsils.

cteresa

Oh, ok, now that is a useful tip! I will go and check Fisherman´s Friend now (and not even tempted by liquorice, so that will be easy. I tend to consider liking liquorice or salmiakki a northern perversion :p )

Angrboda

Om nom nom salmiakki. Sadly I missed seeing Husband’s face at his first salmiakki encounter. :p

cteresa

good, if you had given him salmiakki without warning he might have not have forgiven you. Salmiakki shudders

meliorate

Never had soup, but elderberry is just a little less common than elderflowers are here in the UK. Elderflower gets made into drinks and elderberry into jam; I’d love to see an elderflower tea ;_;

Angrboda

Husband is English and he had never heard about it before either. I’m not sure he had ever actually had elderberry in any form before really. His mother makes a lot, if not the vast majority, of the jam they eat herself and that has always been orange-y that I’ve seen.
Elderflower cordial has become quite popular here in the last couple of decades.

meliorate

Oh, I didn’t know that! Then again I only know elderberry jam because my friend’s family lives in the countryside and can make these things themselves. I meet a lot of Dutch and Belgian people who are big fans of elderflower and always try to stock up on products when they come to England…

Angrboda

Perhaps they have a tree? I’d love to have fruit trees! I have requested fruit trees for if/when we get to the house-buying stage. Some time yet, but really. I could save a lot of money just by having a good apple tree!
Coincidentally, I just remembered that I’ve got an elderflower tisane here as well. I’m expecting even more from that one than I did from this one. In fact, I’m almost afraid to try it. I really really don’t want that one to be disappointing.

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83
drank Indian Lemon by Chaplon
1312 tasting notes

This is my third green tea in, oh, about a week I think! It all started that day when I suddenly had this green tea craving. It’s a whole little phase with me, I think. I wonder how long it’s going to continue, because it’s a peculiar time of year to develop such a phase.

Still, I don’t mind. I would like to be more of a green tea drinker, but it’s just more than reasonably difficult to find any that can truly compete with my love for the black tea types.

But, here is another one! This one I got as a sample from Chaplon with my recent order and I initially chose it because I thought it was an Indian green tea flavoured with lemon. I didn’t actually bother with reading the description until now, because it turns out that it’s a blend of Sencha and Chun Mee flavoured with lemon oil from a variety of lemon called Indian Lemon.

Aha. Learn every day and all that jazz.

The dry leaf smelled mostly lemon juice-y and after brewing there is something along the lemon note which must be the base tea. It’s just coming across as sort of spicy. Kind of pepper-y, bizarre as that may sound. There are also the more standard sort of green tea notes, the vegetal leafyness, but mostly it’s lemon and this funny sort of spicy sub-note.

The flavour is not as fresh and perky as I had expected. It doesn’t give me that sort of ‘Ooooh refreshment!’ spike of tartness and summer that lemon normally gives me. I think this is caused by the blended base. Had the base been a single tea, it would have been a sharper flavour, I think. As it’s a blend of two on their own already pretty flavourful teas, the base has become far broader and has much more presence. It seems to cover many more flavour points than any single tea of each type could, and somehow manages not to make a mess of it. And stretched over this whole thing, is a fairly strong lemon.

And it is a strong lemon. This lemon reminds of those really cheap Earl Greys, where the bergamot has been stretched with lemon flavour. It’s actually very close that same flavour, only here it’s much better than in something pretending to be Earl Grey exactly because it’s not claiming to be an Earl Grey.

As a flavoured green tea, this is very nice, and I suspect Husband might enjoy this one. I have used half my sample for this cup and will make sure to share the other half with him.

As something to take care of these green tea cravings, however, it’s not really working. It just seems like an entirely different beast than a clean, single-type green tea.

mpierce87

What’s strange is that I’ve been a green tea kick lately also. I usually go to black tea or oolong this time of the year, but those are being pushed to the back of the tea cupboard by greens.

Auggy

I kept trying to figure out what the extra taste in this one was ‘cause the lemon didn’t seem quite normal. Then I saw “1% koldpresset bergamot oile”. While I speak zero Danish, I’ve cottoned on enough to figure out why the lemon is a bit odd! :)
(And while I still think it is odd, I keep sip-sip-sipping it like crazy!)

Angrboda

I hadn’t even seen that! I had to go and search for it myself. Funny they didn’t put that information on their site, really.

Auggy

Hehe! I’m glad I saw it then. I actually was studying the label since I could pick out enough to get the guidelines of how to brew (so I knew what directions I was going to ignore) when I saw the ingredient list with that. It was sort of a lightbulb moment because before seeing it, I was sniffing the tea thinking “there’s something odd about that lemon…”

Angrboda

Wow, I just thought, since they had pointed out which particular lemon sort they had used, it was something characteristic for that particular lemon…

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98
drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1312 tasting notes

Damn and blast! My post disappeared! That stuff never happens to me. That’ll teach me not to write in a different place and copy/paste like I normally do.

Anyway, the gist of it is the following,

-My nose and tastebuds are still broken. Or re-broken, as they worked briefly.
-I am touching base with familiar favourites and reacquainting myself.
-Still have a cold to some degree, but do not feel otherwise ill, so it’s tolerable.
-I am getting ready for NaNoWriMo, and would like to hear from the people going by Butchcraft and Nephele on nanowrimo.org so that they can tell me who they are, as they don’t appear to have ever been added to my inter-site spreadsheet and I’m sure I must know them from somewhere. So if they see this, could they please contact me?

Terri HarpLady

Not that it will be any consolation, but I’m still recovering from my visit with the Flu, & add fall mold allergies to the mix. So my tastebuds & smelling are also a little on & off, better than they were, but not as good as they were BEFORE.

and I added you to my buddy list on NaNoWriMo

Angrboda

Thank you, Terri. I haven’t had a chance to look properly at the buddy list yet. I started yesterday and then fell over those two that I couldn’t remember who are and ended up spending a lot of time trying to work it out with no luck.
As for the mold allergy, bleh! We’re doing our best to avoid acquiring that one here. Our indoor climate is not the best in the world in this house, it gets pretty humid in here, so I’ve just washed all the windows down with anti-mold desinfectant. I figure it’s better to do it unnecessarily than to do it necessarily. (We have agreed that among many other things, Mansion 2.0 will have better indoor climate!)

MKstuder

We had quite a bout with mold in my apartment several years ago. We ended up washing down all the walls with a bleach and water solution. I hear that using a dehumidifier can help.

Angrboda

Ours is just around the window frames if not kept down, so it’s okay but annoying. I think Husband did look into dehumidifiers but all he could find cost a fortune which we can’t really afford at present.

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98
drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1312 tasting notes

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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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