1311 Tasting Notes

84
drank Keemun by TeaSpring
1311 tasting notes

Another one based on hastily scribbled notes, this tea was from my Discover China TeaSpring order, in which I sought to try out other parts of China apart from just Fujian and the search for the perfect Keemun. …Erm, yes. Well, I am aware that this is in fact a Keemun. In my Discover China order. Which was supposed to take me a little away from that. But honestly TeaSpring has a handful of Keemuns to choose from and as I am still searching for that elusive perfect one, wouldn’t it be stupid to not get some when I was ordering anyway? I think so too.

I have mentioned before my preference tendencies with the leaf grades of Keemun, so I shan’t go into all that again. Suffice to say that this one is the cheapest one the offer, because to me that seemed to spell the highest chance of success.

The aroma had that nice, mild smoky top note, which is exactly as I prefer it. There was a nice bit of sweetness and grainyness to it as well. In the dry leaf, this grain-y note came off as quite malty.

Basically the aroma of this Keemun is pretty much spot on for how I imagine I want the perfect Keemun to appear.

It was a smooth cup. Soft and almost creamy as if I could almost imagine that milk had been added to it. (Note, I never add milk or sugar to anything) The body of the flavour struck me as somewhat thin, though, which was a bit of a disappointment. I had been hoping for something with a bit of substance to it. I think, though, that this is something that might be fixed by having a closer look at the amount of leaf used. I should like to see if the grain-y notes can’t be made to fill out a bit more.

One of the most important things about a great Keemun is that smoky top-note. I already mentioned that it was near perfection in the aroma and it isn’t indeed present in the flavour as well. This is the note that in higher leaf grades seem to turn more floral in nature, but this cheap-skate version from TeaSpring had just the right level of smokyness over floralness.

So on the smoky level, we so have a winner. On the body level, well, it remains to be seen. I really must do a little experimentation with it to find that out for sure. It did develop a little more as it cooled down, though, but that just didn’t really seem enough for it to be a truly awesome Keemun. If the leaf amount is not enough to take it to a higher level of enjoyment, then I suspect I must go one stop further up on the leaf grade ladder and see what happens. I just hope, should that happen, that it won’t mean a loss of that great balance of smoky versus floral notes.

(You know what’s weird? Writing about a Keemun while drinking a forest fruit flavoured tea. I keep expecting the tea in the cup to taste like Keemun…)

alaudacorax

That last line is very interesting. I’ve had very similar experiences. I’ve noticed that trying to taste a tea whilst browsing a dealer’s website can get the taste-buds a little confused; and trying two teas, one immediately after the other, really doesn’t work for me. It’s odd how things interfere with each other in the old brain. Also, I often feel that I have to turn my music down or off to taste a tea properly.

Angrboda

Yeah, I try not to read other people’s posts on something until afterwards. It’s the only way I can think of that I can make sure my thoughts are actually my thoughts.

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90
drank Pistachio Ice Cream by Butiki Teas
1311 tasting notes

I have been rather desperate to try some of these Butiki blends for quite some time now. They seem to be so unanimously well received and strawberry oolong in particular sounds like something that can’t fail. So when I was in a position to offer Hesper June a sample from my collection of something she was interested in trying and I had the chance to ask, I took the opportunity to ask if she might be able to spare a sample of some of that. She was!

This particular one wasn’t initially one that had made that much of a bleep on my radar. Not until I actually removed it from the box that Hesper June sent me. Then I went all ‘Ooooooooooh!’ and my eyes were like this O.O and now I’m going to try it having just been waiting for a good time to do so since, ooh, Friday.

The leaves definitely smelled like pistacio ice cream. In a sort of way in which the ice cream doesn’t smell cold, which is kind of odd. I imagine if you could freeze dry ice cream, that’s what it would smell like. Powerfully nutty too and almost marcipan-y.

After steeping it’s less of the freeze dried ice cream and more of the pistachio and almost marcipan-y notes. It reminds me of Christmas marcipan sweets, which frankly makes me wonder if I’m going into some specific Christmas mode or something! Second time today I’ve had something that I thought smelled like Christmas.

Oh, that’s very pistachio on the flavour! How intereting! There have been so many different nutty flavoured teas out there, but I’ve never had one with pistachio before and now I honestly can’t think why. It lends it’s flavour beautifully to the base, and I definitely think a green tea was the right choice for the base here.

I’m getting mostly the green base and the pistachios in the flavour, but then it’s a very smooth experience. Long and smooth and thick. I think this is supposed to be the ice cream bit, and although it’s not as sweet as actual ice cream, it does indeed invoke that sort of thought. (If it was as sweet as ice cream, I probably wouldn’t have liked it.)

I’m so glad I asked Hesper June to sample some Butiki, and I’m glad she decided to share some of this one with me. It’s lovely.

Helena

It’s very tasty :D

TheTeaFairy

Butiki has some of the best flavored tea I’ve ever had! It’s never overdone and the quality is always remarkable…

Hesper June

I am glad you like it! I think its pretty tasty too.

DaisyChubb

For some reason today I had a Mariah Carey Christmas song in my head out of no where! Maybe it’s the moon…

__Morgana__

Sounds wonderful. I love pistachio.

Azzrian

This really makes me want to get the pistachio matcha from Red Leaf!
I have this tea though and it is VERY yummy! You should get this and cantaloup and cream if you have not tried that yet!

Helena

oh yes you must try the cantaloupe and cream it’s very yummy :D

Angrboda

Azzrian and Helena, cantaloupe and cream was also shared with me by Hesper June. I’ll have to try it soon!

DaisyChubb, oh I know how that goes. I’ve had Good King Wenceslas well and truly stuck in my head for two years now! O.o

TheTeaFairy, that seems to be agreement. It makes me wish I could actually shop there. Alas…

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74

This is another one from Auggy and I have to admit that when I unwrapped this tin, my immediate thought was ‘Russian gout?’ O.o So that’s what it’s called in my head now. Russian gout. It probably has rather a lot to do with the fact that I don’t speak French.

Anyway, it’s a black base flavoured with seven types of citrus fruits, first and foremost among which appears to be bergamot, when going by the aroma. Both the leaves and the steeped cup is heavy on the aroma and then with the other fruits slightly more in the background and just strong enough to make it not a variation on the Earl Grey theme.

When it comes to the flavour it’s evened out a bit more, but I can’t say I can pick out the different fruits individually. It’s all just a mixture of generic citrusness on a black base.

It’s quite pleasant actually, and it reminds me of the Kusmi Russian blend sampler I had once; a combination of Anastasia and Troika I think would produce something quite similar to this. That makes it a rather heavy sort of flavour, where those two Kusmis I remember as being fairly light on the feet. I think I preferred those two respectively over this more lumbering beast. I would have liked to have seen a little more ‘lift’ in this, if you understand what I mean by that. It feels a little to me like there might have been just one ingredient too many in this combination.

Still, though, if what you’re looking for is just something citrus-y without requiring anything more specific than that, then this is a good choice.

Auggy

I, with my love of citrus, was hoping for so much more out of this one. Ah well. At least it isn’t a bad tea.

Angrboda

Yes, it’s a little over-done, isn’t it? I’ve been thinking Kusmi Troika thoughts on and off since having this one though. I may have to see about whether I can get me some of that again…

Auggy

Mmm, I do enjoy Troika. That, I think, is more in line with what I was hoping for with this tea.

Angrboda

I’ve actually put buying more of Troika on my to-do list. Along with the apple flavoured one, which grew on me unexpectedly. Especially when taken half and half with the caramel. Gosh…! :9

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82
drank Yunnan d'Or by Le Palais des Thes
1311 tasting notes

This Yunnan was shared with me by Auggy and I have to say I’m sceptical as soon as I see the word ‘Yunnan’. However, as you may recall, I had a rather nice Yunnan the other day which didn’t have that flavour of hay, and it reminded me that all Yunnan is not created equal and that some of it is actually quite nice. So therefore I am going forth with this, safe in the knowledge that Auggy has come to know my tastes very well.

So is this one of the nommy Yunnans or one of the meh ones? The aroma isn’t really giving me much of a clue. It’s quite chocolate-y and sweet spicy, but there is also a tinge to the spice note that say, “hay, there!” (Did you see what I did there? Teehee!) Mostly though, it’s sweetie-like in the aroma so I go forth, still not completely put off.

So that was the leaves. The cup after steeping smells less chocolate-y and far more sweet spicy. I have to say it reminds me most of all of ‘brunkager’ 1 which is a very traditional Danish Christmas biscuit. Funny to find that in tea! On the tail end of summer no less. It does indeed bode well for the flavour, especially as you can see that I didn’t find any of those hay-like notes here.

So flavour. Disappointingly the association to Christmas biscuits stop here. And yes it was a disappointment, because the aroma in the cup was SO like it, that my tongue was already preparing itself for that particular flavour. And all it got was tea. Which is all good and well but not really what it was looking for at this point. How tricksy this aroma is!

Rather than a spicy biscuit, it’s actually more sort of broth-y. I’m still getting the spicy notes, but it doesn’t show itself as so sweet here in the flavour. My first and foremost association is actually to a time when I was served a soup which was spiced with these same spices. There is a whiff of that hay in the background, but it never really comes out in any significant manner, and there also isn’t any of those cocoa or chocolate notes that have tended to be a good sign of a Yunnan that I would actually enjoy. There is a pleasant sort of malty, creamy aftertaste though, which pulls the whole thing in a third direction.

This one comes out fairly in the middle of the two experiences with Yunnan that I’ve had and with a pointer towards a thirdk and that makes it difficult for me to work out what to do with it. I think I’m mostly enjoying it, but I probably wouldn’t go out and purchase it. I expect with those spicy notes, from a Danish point of view it would work excellently in a Christmas blend.

1 http://www.food.com/recipe/danish-brun-kager-brown-cookies-13614 2

2 Look, Nik showed me the other day how to do footnotes! Isn’t that neat?! :D

K S

care to footnote Nik explaining how to do footnotes? :)

K S

That was fast. Thanks!

ashmanra

Too cool!

DaisyChubb

ooh footnotes! very cool! Also a wonderful review of course :3

Azzrian

Nice! This sounds quite lovely. I enjoy hay flavored teas and haha yes I saw what you did there!

Auggy

Warning: not everything in the package will probably be to your tastes. Some of them (like this one) I shared so you can try them since I figured you’d never actually buy a whole pouch of it! :)

Angrboda

Azzrian, the hay is usually a bit of a turn-off for me. :)

Auggy, yes, I noticed the selection was a little eclectic. :) That’s good though. Some of them, had they been available to me, I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. It just wouldn’t even have crossed my mind to have a second look at all. (Your care package is going to be a little similar to that in that I’m packing things down for it as I get/think of it, so I haven’t actually tried everything yet. I just started packing it down right away so I wouldn’t accidentally drink anything I had wanted to share. :p There are a few things that I expect will be well received though. I’ve run out of small tins too, so now I have to drink up some of yours so I can wash the tins and send them back!)

Auggy

Ha! I ran out of tins, too! (As I’m sure you could tell.) And I’m all for samples of teas I wouldn’t otherwise try. Sometimes something new can be discovered and other times it’s just nice to have had the experience without having to drink to 50 or 100 grams of it!

Angrboda

I thought I had tons of the small teas, but I used a lot for the stuff that you sent me. I’ve made the labels ready, though. So far it seems to lean more towards the unflavoured, though. I haven’t actually got much of anything other than samples that are flavoured at the moment. Lots of blends, though.

Auggy

As much as I seem to buy flavored teas, I definitely like unflavored better – and blends make me happy! I need to make some room in my pantry so take your time! :)

Angrboda

I’ve got all the ones I want to share now, so it’s just a question of emptying and washing tins. I’ve got three more tins ready now, although one of them might not be usable. It had the decadent black in it, so I suspect it may need to air out for a few months before it can be used again. :)

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93
drank Romanoff by American Tea Room
1311 tasting notes

This stuff smells fab, I must say. Auggy shared it with me, and I only have to read the description to understand why. This stuff sounds right up my alley!

It reminds me strongly of the orange flavoured pu-erh from Nothing But Tea which I lurve. I must stock up on that again soon! It’s all orangy and slightly rough around the edges, although disappointingly not smoky. It’s supposed to be lightly smoked this stuff in the base.

Well, I think ‘lightly’ is the keyword here. Either that or it’s a tea which comes with a naturally occurring degree of smoky notes. It’s Chinese, so that option isn’t really all that unlikely. I find that a whiff of something smoky is not uncommon in Chinese blacks. I just… I could have wished for it to come out more in the aroma.

That aside, though, as I mentioned initally, it does smell fab. (Charm the Cat appears to find it unbelievably stinky, though. She just made that face like she trying to protect her nose by pulling it into her own skull)

Now, the flavour, however, that’s where all the action is.

Based on the aroma alone, I would have thought it was going to be something quite orange-y but as it turns out the orange is mere adding the highlights on a deliciously smoky black. It’s not quite LS strength smoke, but it’s along those lines, and definitely more smoky than anything that would turn up naturally. Still, once again the keyword is lightly smoked.

At first I get the orange. Lots of orange, but not any sort of fresh orange, really. It’s more something that gives me associations to dried orange slices used as decoration. Those look great and if one were to bite one, I imagine it would taste like this. So orange on a slightly rough and dark body. Then the smoky notes come in on the swallow and the aftertaste.

I should really like to know what the base for this is. I have a suspicion that it might be delish on it’s own as well as in this blend. (And I have a few suspicions of the Anhui sort as I’m getting the impression of something grainy in there. Perhaps blended with a different region to give it a little more darkness and depth)

Also, this base with a red berry flavour. That has the potential to be epic!

Auggy

I figured you’d like this one! Yay!

Angrboda

It’s awesome! It really put the orange pu-erh craving into me. :D There’s an NBT order in my not too distant future, I think. And this time I’ll actually place it, instead of doing something weird and then waiting impatiently for three weeks for an order to arrive that I never actually placed at all…

Jude

What an interesting, fun review! So vivid, and the buildup had me waiting… Gonna have to order a sample.

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83
drank Oxford Brew by Jeeves & Jericho
1311 tasting notes

A friend of ours passed away last night following a massive brain hemorrhage.

Steepsterites, please PLEASE look after yourselves and your bodies and PLEASE learn the warning symptoms of stroke and brain hemorrhage. I cannot stress enough how important this is. It can strike like lightning from a clear sky and every single split second counts.

Then toast with me, please.

To Janet.

LiberTEAS

I’m very sorry for your loss.

DaisyChubb

Oh Ang, I’m so sorry to hear that. My deep condolences – to Janet.<3

Fjellrev

I’m really sorry for your loss, Angrboda. :(

Mercuryhime

I’m very sorry about your loss. A toast to Janet.

Lynne-tea

My condolences to you and her family. Thank you for reminding us all of the importance of life and making every second count. This cup is for Janet.

ashmanra

To Janet. To her friends and family. My condolences, and may your memories be a balm.

Hesper June

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. My thoughts go out to you and your friend’s family.

Dinosara

My deepest condolences. To Janet.

Helena

that’s so sad. I’m sorry your friend died.

momo

I’m so sorry, Angrboda. There’s a chain email that sometimes goes around that is actually true, and worthy of paying attention to. If you think someone has had a stroke, when they are conscious: ask them to smile, ask them to hold their arms up, ask them to speak a simple sentence ie, the sky is blue. It’s not an all-encompassing approach but it covers a lot of symptoms of a stroke. Even if someone can do all three, they might still need medical help ASAP, but the information can make it easier for a dispatcher to get an ambulance out sooner too.

Bonnie

Memory Eternal for your friend.
You are so right.
Women especially don’t know the symptoms and they can be different than the ones for men. It’s a good idea to look them up. In case of stroke you have very little time to get help so time is important. There is a book I read called My Stroke of Genius written by a lady brain researcher who was alone and had a stroke and describes what it was like. I had a TIA which is like a stroke but no damage.

Azzrian

I am so very very sorry. To Janet …

Autumn Hearth

My sincerest sympathies. My grandmother died of a stroke, when my older brother was 2, she never got to meet her three granddaughters. Meanwhile her husband out lived her but have dozens of major and minor stokes, as well as three heart attacks, he lost his speech, his mobility and his independence, was no life at all. So the women in our family are very aware of the signs. To Janet.

Dylan Oxford

I’m sorry Ang. To Janet!

Scharp

I am sorry for your loss! I hope things get better. Your warning is heeded. Those are very serious medical conditions.

__Morgana__

Sorry to hear. To Janet!

Rabs

I’m so very sorry. My heart goes out to Janet, her family and loved ones. ::hugs::

ssajami

My condolences. To Janet.

TheTeaFairy

So sad… sorry for your loss. To your friend Janet.

Missy

My condolences. To Janet!

Angrboda

Thank you everybody.

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84

It’s been ages since I’ve had a breakfast blend! I’m relatively familiar with the English Breakfast, less so with the Irish Breakfast, which out of the two I prefer because it’s a little stronger and a little heartier. Scottish Breakfast, however, is new to me, so I’ve been curious about it for some time. It’s the completionist in me. Getting the British Isles rounded of, sort of. (I wonder if there’s a Welsh Breakfast out there somewhere too…?)

Hesper June shared this one with me and her parcel arrived at the same time as a parcel from Auggy did. Lately I’ve taken to keeping unposted about teas on my desk, and I had just got it almost cleared from the TeaSpring order when this happened! Since Auggy in particular went completely ballistic and shared a whole tea shop with me, it seems like, the desk is now littered with tiny tins and I have my work cut out for me here. It makes it very difficult to work out where to start! O.O Exploring the selection a little, however, I found this and thought, ‘Gosh! How ideal!’

I still haven’t got any new Roy Kirkham (I’m working on it) pots, so I found the really rubbish tea-for-one pot in the back of the cupboard and resigned myself to the fact that this pot requires pouring over the sink, while trying not to despair too much about the waste.

Now, according to Hesper June this is a blend of Indian, Ceylon and China teas, which made me sigh, because really, how hard is it to be specific? I get that they don’t want to reveal too much of their secret recipe, but I just want to know which regions we’re dealing with. There are HUGE differences between regions in India alone. But then again, I expect the average consumer doesn’t really care about that level of detail, and likely it wouldn’t mean that much to most of them anyway.

Guess the ingredient it is, then.

Well, from the aroma alone I’m already suspecting the first one and the flavour strengthens that suspicion. I think there must be Darjeeling in here. It has that grassy, spicy aroma and the same sort of grassy flavour to it, along with a certain mineralness. I don’t think it’s very much, though. I can’t find it on every sip, but in the aroma, especially while I was pouring it, it seemed very clear.

Then there’s something quite sweet in the aroma as well. There is the Darjeeling note, in a sort of fleeting way, at the top followed immediately by something floral, and underneath all that is the sweet bit. It smells not like caramel but sort of along those lines. A bit malty and quite heavy too, as if the weight of it made it sink below those other notes. It doesn’t show up so much in the flavour as such, but it stands out in the aftertaste, again as a caramel-esque note. It rather enhances the impression that it’s heavier than the other notes and that I might reach it better when I get closer to the bottom of the cup. I have absolutely nothing to base this on, but get a strong impression that this note is from the Ceylon element.

Now finally, I mentioned a floral note, and here I think we have our China participant. Keemun, I think, which accounts to the malty element of what I imagine to be the Ceylon note and that floral note. You know how Keemuns, dependent on quality and leaf grade, can have either a pseudo-smoky top note or a floral one, or even sometimes both, yes? I tend to prefer the smoky one over the others. The floral element here, however, reminds me strongly of the way a floral Keemun tastes, so I think that’s what it must be.

So Keemun and Darjeeling to give it character, Ceylon to give it body, I think. I can’t really region-guess on the Ceylon, I’m far too inexperienced with that area to do that. I’m puzzled, though, as to why I can’t find any Assam in here. I thought Assam was pretty much a breakfast blend given. Of course me not being able to find it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Me being able to find something doesn’t even mean that it is there.

Now, I don’t much care for Darjeeling at all, so when I first smelled that in the aroma my initial reaction was to be a bit wary, but as it turns out there wasn’t really anything to be afraid of here. Yes, it has the Darjeeling notes that I don’t like, but they are not on their own. In a blend, they get spaced out a bit and complemented by the other ingredients. This way, I find it much more tolerable, so I’m beginning to think my dislike of pure Darjeeling is simply due to an overload of these particular notes. It seems to be going down just fine in a blend.

Daniel Scott

Love this breakdown! I’m always curious to read about what other people have found to be common to certain regions. I’d love to feel like I could pick them out; but I’m sure that I cannot, so I tend to avoid straight tea blends like the plague. I feel like I need far more experience with single types. The one Keemun I have tried indeed had floral notes!

Angrboda

It’s something that comes with experience, I think. I didn’t sit down and learn it, really. It all started with, ‘hey this reminds me of…’ and then I started wondering why it gave me those associations. (But yes, it does help to familiarise oneself with various regions first)

Hesper June

This tea had me slightly puzzled as well.
I just was expecting something of a more hearty nature.
But,was met with this tea,which I thought tasted more like a afternoon blend.
Very good review,you are much more experienced at tasting than I.

Angrboda

Perhaps it’s a breakfast blend for A type people? :p

Hesper June

Perhaps :-)

Auggy

Interesting breakdown! And it is surprising to have a breakfast blend with no Assam. I thought that was standard!

Also, yes, I might have been a wee bit enthusiastic. But I had been holding on to some teas specifically to send to you but I knew I was going to wait until after my LPdT and ATR orders… so you got bits of those, too. I was a bit surprised when I saw how many ended up in the pile, though. I had more new(ish) tea than I thought!

Angrboda

I know! It’s totally puzzling me. And it’s not like there’s anything else equally strong in there instead either. And yet somehow it still worked, although I would agree with Hesper June that it felt more like an afternoon blend.

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89
drank Bi Luo Chun Hong Cha by TeaSpring
1311 tasting notes

I hate c25k with the burning passion of a thousand suns. There I said it. Now let’s move on.

Here’s another Explore China tea, and as some of you may have noticed it’s a Yunnan black.

“Hey, hang on!” I hear some of you exclaim. “You keep saying you don’t care for Yunnan blacks!”

“Yes,” I answer, “that is quite correct. Well spotted! However, there is the odd exception to the rule, and this is it.”

“But you keep saying that Yunnan black tastes like hay and you can spot it mile off!” I hear some of you protesting.

“I can. But not ALL Yunnan black tastes like hay. Most do, but some don’t,” I reply patiently.

“Hmmm…” I hear some of you mutter sceptically. “Ang with a Yunnan black… this cannot end well.”

Well, let’s not turn the whole thing into a screenplay, lest we be forced to act it out. 95% of all Yunnan black teas I seem to come across are the golden type. Those, I do not much care for. Those, I often feel is a mouthful of wet hay. Those, I can only drink and enjoy when in the proper mood (under which circumstances I do find them very enjoyable)

But this stuff is different. This stuff is like being smacked round the head with toffee! I want to say it’s a bit chocolate-y, but that’s not really it. Neither is it properly caramel-y, so fudge or toffee is the closest I can get here. It’s that sort of candy-like sweetness with a touch of malt underneath. Just enough to make it not smell like a sweetie shop and just enough to give it a hint of grain.

I have to say I botched the steeping slightly because I wasn’t using the timer and it went slightly over the time I had expected it to end up at, but I can inform you that the leaves didn’t care. It’s not bitter, it’s not astringent, and it doesn’t even taste particularly strong.

There’s a slightly woody flavour to it, which somehow comes across as a more mature sort of that hay flavour that I normally associate this region with.

It’s also rather more cocoa-y than it was in the aroma and less of the other types of sweets I mentioned. The malt is still there though, just a little bit, and the grain-y aspect is a little less obvious.

I had this tea yesterday as well, three steeps of it. I have to say the third steep wasn’t really all that worth the effort, as it was quite thin in flavour, but it was still fairly nice. I’m quite pleased with this purchase.

And if anybody can explain to me what it is that makes such a huge difference between this Yunnan black (or those dragon balls for that matter) and those other golden ones, the ones that I don’t care for, please do.

Skulleigh

Oh my, C25K… I am going to start that as soon as I am sure the temperature isn’t going to spike back up again. I was halfway doing it about a month ago, and then I just couldn’t take the heat.

As to the Yunnan differences, I have no skills there, sorry.

Angrboda

We’ve been going in the evening or in the morning so we avoided most of the worst heat, but some days were still pretty dire. This morning it was raining, though, which wasn’t really that much of an improvement. We’re on week 3 now.

Dylan Oxford

Can I ask what that is?

Angrboda

c25k? Couch To Five Kilometers. It’s a jogging program for beginners where the difficulty is gradually increased over (I think) nine weeks. At the end of the program you should be capable of jogging five kilometers.

Missy

Interesting concept that c25k. I think it would kill me but interesting. I totally enjoyed the screenplay. :D

Angrboda

It’s killing me and husband won’t allow me to quit. He bikes a lot so he’s in shape, and so far in the program doesn’t even get freaking out of breath, while Certain Others can only wheeze.

alaudacorax

I tried running about ten years’ back (I was never the sporty type even as a youngster), but I gave it up – apart from being hard work, it was so mind-numbingly boring! I’m a naturally fast walker who never gets anywhere very fast because there is always so much to stop and look at, listen to or, even, smell – whether I’m on a city street or out in the countryside. Having to ignore things to keep on running was an absolute torture for me. No way was I going to that for the rest of my life.

Skulleigh

I find it meditative when I’m not sweating to death. Hubs can’t understand why I do it though :D

Angrboda

alaudacorax, I agree! In school my whole week was made if PE got cancelled. I don’t like being out of breath; I find it so unpleasant, and I I don’t like sweating either. Bodily fluids, even my own, ick me out to no end. There are times when this is really very impractical indeed, running being one of them.

Skulleigh, I haven’t reached that point yet. Right now I’m hating it enough that I’m not sure I ever will, but if I do manage to make it all the way through the program I’ll probably try to keep up the habit. Even if I do hate it, it’s good for the body and I don’t really fancy risking the alternative. :)

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87
drank Zhu Hai Jin Ming by TeaSpring
1311 tasting notes

Good morning Steepster.

Following the Tragic Loss of the Roy Kirkham teapot as documented earlier on, I found myself this morning faced with a problem. I don’t work on wednesdays, you see, so these are the days when the RK pot got the most exercise. It held 400 ml, exactly the same as the mugs I prefer to drink from, so it was really great for just one person. Now, though? I have a large pot that I use when sharing with Husband, and we have a middle-sized one that we usually use with rooiboses. What the plock to do now??? O.o

Well, the middle sized one is a bodum press, and since it had just come out of the dishwasher, I temporarily re-purposed it. I’m not keen on the press element, being used to loosely flowing leaves. However, needs must. Needs must.

There will be a new RK pot. Two actually, so that we can share a cup without necessarily having the same tea. When Husband suggests something and I’m not interested in that one, he always immediately adjusts to whatever my suggestion was. He says it doesn’t matter much to him, but it kind of annoys me when I want to give him the one that he wants. So two RK pots. We’ve picked out which ones too. One with garden birds and one with butterflies. Kinda pricy though, and shipping is murder, so it has to wait until the other side of payday. And also for me to get a new passport so that I’ve actually got some valid ID in case I need to pick it up from the post office. (I changed my last name following the wedding, and we’re also having some small adjustment to our address (new house number), so if anybody wants/needs to have their address books updated, please pm or email me)

Anyway, following all that todo with working out how to even make it, I thought that this tea, which Husband didn’t like, would be a good one to have when he’s not at home.

It doesn’t appear to have suffered from the french press method, but I do think I’ve made it stronger this time than the first time. It’s more cocoa-y now in both aroma and flavour, and it has developed some stronger grainy notes in the body. Brewing this one strong suits it very well, I think.

(Oh, and to those of you who saw That Post on the boards, just try to ignore that guy. He pops up from time to time and seems to always drag trouble in his wake. He’s just a troll.)

Roughage

Two new RK teapots? Sounds absolutely splendid. :)

Angrboda

I always wanted a second. Now I have the perfect excuse, plus I may be able to talk Husband into letting me use Wedding Money to pay for at least some of it. :D

Missy

I did wonder with that post if that was the case. We need a sign up, “Please do not feed troll.”

Angrboda

If you feel like some scary reading, I can send you some info on previous troubles, but I don’t really like doing it on his thread and draw even more attention to him that way.

Missy

I’ll take a gander at that. I’ve read a lot of the discussion boards but I may have missed him.

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87
drank Zhu Hai Jin Ming by TeaSpring
1311 tasting notes

wheeze

wheeze

WHEEZE!

We are doing C25K and we’ve had our fourth run this morning. I officially hate it. It’s absolutely horrid and now my legs aren’t working properly anymore, having gone all wobbly, so I’m rewarding myself for having at least made it this far.

This tea is from the Jiang Su province, which is on the East coast of China, North of Shanghai and on the Yellow Sea. It’s south of the Shandong province which is where those Laoshan teas from Verdant are from, and I believe those are the only other teas from this general area that I’ve had before.

According to TeaSpring’s notes, some connoiseurs would name this one the best black tea in the world. Well, in my case that means it has to live up to the Tan Yang, and really, it’s got its work cut out for it there!

The leaves are rather nice looking, and they look exactly like in the picture there, all highlighted in golden brown and twisty. They don’t have a very strong aroma on their own, though, not even after I’ve breathed on them, but I am picking up something that reminds me of sweets. Can’t quite put my finger on what sort of sweets though, but it’s definitely something along those lines.

The aroma after brewing is remarkably sweet, and now I know what it was I couldn’t really place in the dry leaf. It’s caramel. Sugary and caramel-y and there’s a smidge of floral undertones to it, but the sweetness is really what I’m mostly noticing. This? This bodes well!

What a peculiar tea! It tastes nothing like it smells. Where the aroma was largely a thick caramel, the flavour is all cocoa-y. There’s something pseudo-smoky as well, hiding just beneath the surface like a hungry shark, waiting to strike at the unsuspecting drinker.

Apart from the cocoa note, I can tell there are other notes to it, but it’s like they’re all hiding, so I can’t examine them properly. It makes for a fairly complicated cup. We’ve already covered that pseudo-smoky note, and like Auggy has said, it does lead the mind in the general direction of something Keemunesque, but without the heavy grain of the Keemun. There are some grain notes in this as well, but not to the same strength.

This tea tastes a bit like it’s trying to be several things at the same time. It tastes confused and a little shy.

The cocoa note is really what carries it forwards, but there is a very nice aftertaste as well. That’s where the caramel-y tones from the aroma are finally coming in. A good chewy chocolate-y caramel, that’s what the aftertaste feels like. The way the mouth feels coated in flavour and sticky after having eaten one of those. It’s not a very long aftertaste, it doesn’t really last much longer than just the act of swallowing, but flavourwise it’s one of the best aftertastes I’ve come across.

I should have liked the actual flavour to come together a bit more. Right now it’s feeling a little all over the place and disjointed, and if it had come across as a little more compact I would have enjoyed it even more. As it is, though, it is still a very nice black. It’s definitely a suitable reward for having suffered through all that jogging.

Best black tea in the world, though? No. For me that’s still Tan Yang.

ETA: Hmm. Husband didn’t care for this one at all. And instead of just saying so, he suffers through the entire cup, nearly, and only admits it when I ask him what he thought of it. Have put a little Not Suitable For Husbands sticker on the label now and hope in the future he’ll remember that I can’t read minds.

Me? I’m on the second steep now. Same as the first, but a bit thin.

Helena

hmmm… I need a sticker like that except it needs to say Not Suitable for Parents :D

Angrboda

Yeah, at first I just thought it was a shame he didn’t like it because I quite enjoyed it. And then I realised that unless I made a visible note of it, I was very likely to serve it to him again without remembering.

Jillian

I pretty much just assume everything in my stash is Not Suitable for Boyfriends unless it has a ton of sugar in it. ;)

Angrboda

We’re both tea-drinkers although he’s obviously a lot more casual about it than me, so it’s a little more complicated here. :) It’s just as well that I came up with a way to remember what he didn’t like. I spent a long time once having made myself belive that he didn’t like Yunnan for absolutely no reason at all.

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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.

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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