1267 Tasting Notes

84
drank Forêt Noire by Le Palais des Thes
1267 tasting notes

The boyfriend enjoys black fruits, like blackberry and the like, so I bought this one specifically with him in mind. I thought it was have a more forest fruit-y sort of quality but I find it’s primarily blackberry, and that it tastes very similar to the blackberry flavoured one from AC Perch’s that we’ve already got some 200g of.

So while this one is very tasty indeed, it’s not one I feel the need to keep in stock. I have an easier way to get something very similar.

TheTeaFairy

gotta keep the boys happy! love the name Forest Noire, very manly and mysterious…

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89
drank Caramel by Le Palais des Thes
1267 tasting notes

Greetings, Steepsterites.

I’ve tried a number of the teas I ordered from Le Palais des Thes, but I’ve only posted about a couple. I found myself with an attack of unwillingness to analyse it to death; I just wanted something nice and warm. So I’ll just do a brief round-up of the ones I’ve tried so far but not posted about.

I chose this one because I’ve always got my feelers out for a good caramel flavoured tea. I chose the Toffee because it was such a nommy sounding flavour and it caused me to debate with myself for quite a while whether or not I could justify getting both this and that. I figured the two must be pretty close together in flavouring, and surely one ought to be enough, right?

Well, this one was quite like the Kusmi Caramel. It’s there, but it’s kinda subtle and it’s easy to tell that it’s tea. It’s the same level of flavouring. I don’t know what sort of base this is on. I know Kusmi uses a Chinese black, but I couldn’t tell which base I think this is.

The toffee was more of a fudge-y dessert, very sweet and very rich, and this is more like an afternoon treat. That said, I don’t actually think it’s essential that I have both in the house at the same time, and I think I may actually be leaning more towards toffee out of the two, just as when it comes to actual caramel, I’m still leaning more towards Kusmi. Can’t say why really. It may have something to do with familiarity, to be honest.

Still, a very nice caramel tea.

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97
drank Toffee by Le Palais des Thes
1267 tasting notes

Another one from the massive LPdT order, and another one of the ones that I was very excited about trying. Just the name!

Taste the word. Toffeeeeeee. It’s an onomatopoeia (look it up), that word.

The aroma of these leaves! I- it’s- they- I’m- SWOONS!

They’re all chocolate-y and vanilla-y, and all in all it turns into, like, super-caramel, even though it doesn’t actually say anything about there being caramel anywhere in this at all. But there must be, mustn’t there? Or how could they call it toffee?

After steeping, it’s the same picture of super-caramel. It’s smells all rich and butter-y. It’s like a vanilla fudge! It smells like a sweetie shop! Even if I find I don’t like the flavour I might still make it now and then just to smell it.

This is either really really REALLY good, or it’s unbearably cloying. I’m concerned now. pokes it

OH my CEILING CAT!

You! Guys!

There are NO WORDS!

First some cocoa, then vanilla and then a soft, fudge-y, butter caramel-y finish.

You know how I always said that Kusmi’s caramel black was my perfect caramel? Let’s just say it suddenly has competition.

I’m in no state to be more detailed than this. I’m so blown away, I can’t think. Socks are well and truly knocked into orbit.

MegWesley

I love reading your tea notes. They make me feel better when I am feeling blue. Especially this one. I picture you to be a hyperactive kitten. Must be the ceiling cat.

Dinosara

Well that one just went on my list. :D

momo

I am going to have to borrow “oh my ceiling cat.” I burst out laughing, I love it!

TeaBrat

I just ordered some stuff from them yesterday. :)

cteresa

I have been thinking about ordering from them for ages!

Kittenna

You’ve got me drooling. Luckily I have Banana Oolong to comfort me. I really need to start poking through the offerings of other tea vendors…

TeaBrat

I don’t see this on their US website, how sad.

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84
drank The du Tigre by Le Palais des Thes
1267 tasting notes

Steepsterites!

My MASSIVE order from Le Palais des Thes has arrived. The vast majority of them are flavoured. Unless you count a smoky tea as flavoured, in which case they’re all flavoured. Included also three free samples which… makes me think I’m just not very lucky when it comes to free samples. AC Perch’s have so far been consistent in including samples of things I know I’m not very keen on (ginger, jasmine, darjeeling…), and while these are not known dislikes, they’re just not really that interesting to me. Oh well, maybe when I try them I will change my mind!

I really didn’t know where to start with this order. Did I mention it was massive? It didn’t help that there were more than one thing in here that I was really very excited about. So I decided to just reach in and get a random pouch, which was this one.

Which coincidentally happens to be one of the ones that I was really excited about! And I see that it already comes with an Auggy stamp of approval. We have very very similar taste in black tea, she and I, and especially of the smoky variety, so now I know for certain that it is worth the excitement.

I have been led to believe that Lapsang Souchong, real LS, is always always always a Chinese base. Do correct me if I’m wrong. I’m under the impression that it’s probably one of those protected names by now, like how Champagne is only made the Champagne district of France and if it’s not greek, it’s not feta cheese. If it isn’t, it’s a distinct enough kind of tea that it probably ought to be.

Therefore this one is interesting because it’s a Taiwanese base.

The leaves, when dry, smell like your average LS. They’re smoky and pine-y, and with a touch of sweetness to them. After steeping this sweetness is so much stronger. It still smells very smoky and a bit pine-y, but the sweetness in the note is sort of fruity and honey-y and it makes the whole thing smell vaguely sticky and viscous. Sort of tough and chewy sticky.

I like a balance in my smoky teas, and my lapsangs in particular, between the smoke and the sweetness. A good LS has a strong and fruity sweet note which tastes like the smoke is mixed into it, so that the flavour profile comes across as one complex note. Many LSs, though, don’t really get to this particular balance and the flavour, while still yummy and smoky, feels divided into layers. Sweetness below and smoke sort of hanging randomly above it. Those that don’t really manage that perfect melded flavour feel more like standing in a room full of smoke with a mouthful of generic black.

The aroma of this tea has that perfectly balanced aroma, and the flavour is nearly there as well.

This one, while smoky, is actually surprisingly mild, which is odd considering LPdT calls it ‘smokiest of the smoky’. Erm no, actually, I have had much more smoky stuff than this.

Before tasting this, I sort of expected a raging smoke-monster with flavour up to here, and what I’m getting is a cute and well-behaved little bunny-wabbit. I have to say, I’m feeling slightly let down here.

At first, when you sip this, the flavour is very sweet and caramel-y. Caramel quickly turns into a fruity flavour, something stone fruit-y like plums or apricots. More the former than the latter, I think, but still somewhere in between. Funny that it should be caramel-y, because in the aroma I thought it was more like honey.

At about the same time I get the fruity notes, the smoky note begins and it grows to its strongest just before I swallow, leaving me with a long, smoky aftertaste.

The aftertaste is as strong as I want it to be and it’s very pleasant, so really, the aroma and the aftertaste is bang on. It’s just the middle, the flavour, that I find lacking. And that’s not really something that can be helped. If a tea is strong, it’s strong, and if it isn’t, you can’t make it. I shall just have to try and brew it stronger and see if that helps.

Still, it’s sweet, it’s smoky. Believe me, this will not be sitting on the shelf for long in this house.

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97
drank Raspberry Oolong by A C Perch's
1267 tasting notes

I have a countryman on Steepster now! flails Before, the closest I got, I think, was Rijje in Greenland, which… it’s close, but not quite the same. Anyway, Andreastt recently discovered ACP and had a question about this here raspberry oolong that you may have heard of. :p I tried to answer to the best of my ability, but decided it was probably better to make a cup and check that I actually think what I thought I think.

Besides, any excuse for a cuppa. :D

Since it will be a teensy tiny minority who will actually be able to read the conversation in question, let me just summarise. I mentioned a few of my absolute favourites from ACP, and I was asked how fruity-tart the raspberry oolong was or whether it was all done with essence of fruit.

I answered that it contains lots of dried fruit, but that it was probably doubtful how much flavour these gave off. It did suggest to me, though, that there was more than mere essence of berries involved here and that, if he didn’t care for very tart things, it might not be something for him.

To me, though, it is quite oolong-y at first. It’s got that wooden sort of flavour of a generic oolong, and then towards the end of the sip, there is the fruit flavour, which definitely has a bit of tartness to it. Not super-tart, but there is a small bite in it. Actually the fruit-flavour is really present throughout the sip, but I find it’s most prominent just before I swallow. As if it just needs a splitsecond longer to unfold in the mouth.

It is not, however, quite as tart as I initially remembered it.

ssajami

Why, oh why does the Danish post have such ridiculously expensive shipping? Sadly this delicious tea is practically unobtainable for all of us that are NOT in Denmark.

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100
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
1267 tasting notes

Having the last of this excellent tea this morning while listening to Whitney Houston.

Yeah. It seems an appropriate combination.

:/

(funny thing is, I was never really a fan of hers. I have a handful of songs which I like, but that’s it. And I still have this urge to listen to her now. I had a BIG Michael Jackson phase at around age 14-15, but when he passed on, I didn’t get this same urge to listen to him.)

LiberTEAS

I wasn’t a fan of either one of them. But when Ronnie James Dio died … that hit me hard!

Angrboda

I didn’t know him. When Freddie Mercury died, though, I cried for hours.

Kittenna

Sad news, even though I’m not a big fan. The most significant celebrity death to me was Heath Ledger, and even then there were no tears shed, just sadness and disappointment.

Cheryl

Bodyguard is on my Top 10 favorite movies list, and am a Whitney fan, but everyone saw this coming. Sad indeed, especially for her daughter (they seemed close). Huge Queen fan too, and while am more a fan of Brian May, Queen could not go on without Freddie. Tears came when hearing of Luther’s death, and of Leroi Moore (sax player for Dave Matthews). Still remember hearing my Mom wail when hearing of Elvis’s death.

smartkitty

I had a similar reaction when Amy Winehouse died, and I honestly never really paid much attention to her other than like…two of her songs. It’s probably the tragedy of the situation. (Life and career shaken by drugs, sad ending, etcetera)

Angrboda

Krystaleyn, I wasn’t too bothered with Heath Ledger. I didn’t know who he was before then, but I’m not much of a film person.

Cheryl, I remember going to see the Bodyguard with five or six other girls from my class when it came out. First film I ever saw in a cinema without my parents, I think, except an animated one I saw with my best friend and her dad, but since her dad was along, it doesn’t really count. :)

As for Queen, I quite agree. I haven’t paid any attention to this thing Brian May and Roger Taylor have had going on with uh… that other singer, because it’s just not the same. I preferred Brian May too, though. I was so fascinated by his hair! :)

Smartkitty, my boss still scolds Amy Winehouse everytime she’s played on the radio. “Why couldn’t you just behave yourself?!”

TeaBrat

I was a bit shocked about Whitney too – but not a huge fan of her music either

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95
drank Late Summer Blend by A C Perch's
1267 tasting notes

Cranberry + vanilla = om nom nom nom!

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80
drank Rou Gui by TeaSpring
1267 tasting notes

So I had this one before in my usual western style brewing. This time I am gong-fu-ing to the best of my abilities. I do own a gaiwan, which is standing behind me on a shelf looking nice, but I can’t for the life of me use it. I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. Using it hurts. Because I spill. I have looked up techniques, and I have practised with cold water, but I can’t not spill, and I can’t not burn myself. If I have to injure myself in order to drink tea, it’s not worth it. Not even my Tan Yang is worth that.

So I’m using my regular pot and using a cup to measure out how much water to pour on the leaves so as not to accidentally western-ify it out of sheer habit. It works okay. At least I haven’t had to MacGyver any additional equipment for it.

The first time I had this, I thought it was okay. Functional for a cup of oolong and quite pleasant to taste, but nothing particularly special or memorable. There was talk from TeaSpring about notes of the bark of cassia trees, also known as Chinese cinnamon, and I could so not find any cinnamon-y notes in it whatsoever then.

This time, first cup, the aroma is full of cinnamon! Lots of cinnamon and also something that reminds me vaguely of black currant. It’s a bit like… a mulled cordial. Yeah, that’s the closest thing that springs to mind.

The flavour is also loads of cinnamon. If I didn’t know any better, I would think this actually had actual real cinnamon in it. This is a very primary note and it occurs constantly. At first when you sip, during the middle of the sip and on the swallow, and it’s strongest towards the end there. Along with this, there is a toasted, almost charcoal-y note which rather suprised me because my nose had already made the mulled cordial conclusion. And then I was surprised that I was surprised because I should have known that it would be there. I still think it has a black currant note as well. It comes out as the cup cools and towards the bottom of the cup. Sort of thick and slightly syrup-y sweet, but not tasting as if there’s any actual sweetener in here. It’s fruit-y sweet, not sugar sweet.

Second cup, the aroma is still mulled black currant cordial, but it’s sort of darker now, and deeper. The cinnamon is not quite as out there in front and the black currant-y notes feel more sure of themselves. Like they’re really the ones revealed to be running the show, where the cinnamon notes in the first steep were led to believe they were. I think this experience is caused by the fact that the toasty note from the flavour is now also coming through in the aroma. I didn’t notice that before.

The flavour is still very heavy on the cinnamon and the charcoal, and I’m not really tasting any difference from the first go. Perhaps it is a tiny bit smoother, but not by very much. It seems to have lost the black currant-y notes, mostly, which is a bit of a shame because I was rather enjoying that one. There’s a bit left in the very last few sips, but that’s it. At least it was still strong in the aroma.

Third cup, the aroma is exactly the same as the second. Maybe a little brighter, but the same elements are there and in the same balance, so I shan’t bother too much with it. The boyfriend, by the way, when asked to take a smell, didn’t identify it as cinnamon as much as he did geraniums, but he could see where I was coming from with the cinnamon.

Geraniums. Not a good thing. Geraniums are banned in this household on account of how utterly stinky we both think they are.

Oh well, he’s not the one drinking this. And hello Luna! It’s a little hard to gong-fu stuff when there’s a cat insisting on sitting on me. She doesn’t really seem to get the whole going into the kitchen all the time concept.

Oh yeah, and the flavour is the same as the second cup too, only thinner. I think the increase in time for the fourth cup should be larger than it was between the second and third.

Fourth cup, BORED NOW! I made the increase in steeping time larger this time, but the result is the same as before. The same aroma and flavour profile only a wee bit thinner.

At this point I don’t expect it will change much going forward except gradually getting thinner, so I’ll stop writing here.

I will let my points from the first time around stand where they are, because although I had a different experience with it this time, I feel I would land on the same score anyway. It was more interesting this way, but still not really something I thought was really mind-blowing. My mind was decidedly not blown by the heavy cinnamon notes which is not something I’m super-fond of in tea, but I did like the funny black currant association I got at the beginning of the session. At least I’ve found something about it that is memorable and identifiable, namely the cinnamon note.

Not surprisingly, given the fact that the tea is named after that, really.

Kittenna

I love it when people essentially write short stream-of-consciousness novels about a tea-tasting experience. :D Pleasure to read!

Angrboda

You’re welcome. Many of my posts are written as I drink. :)

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68

Gosh, if I had been aware that I had not already posted about this one, I would have picked something else.

Very tired, can’t think.

Boyfriend quite liked this. I find it reminds me of ginseng oolong, with the licorice-y flavour right when swallowing. This happens with cooling. When it was still all fresh and warm and stuff, it was much more flowery.

This is all I’m capable off right now.

Could have lived without the ginseng-y flavour. That was not what I was looking for at all.

TeaBrat

this was definitely not a favorite of mine

Angrboda

If I had known what I was going to get, if I had been prepared for it, I think I would have liked it better. As it caught me completely by surprise (LOL nearly wrote ‘slurprise’ there) it was difficult to be really fair when scoring.

Autumn Hearth

Just out of curiosity do either of you ladies have any of this left? I fear I’m never going to get to try this.

Angrboda

Yes, I have about 25grams or so. They’re yours if you want them. Shoot me a PM. :)

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79

Here’s one from the work stash. It’s a new one we haven’t had before, and I drank it for the first time today, taking a few quick notes.

This was one that the boss picked. We tend to buy some flavoured and some unflavoured when we buy, some black and some oolong. Our two flavoureds are still the raspberry oolong and the late summer blend, both of which are nommy. I don’t suspect those two are going to change for a long while yet. They’re the sort of teas that it’s difficult to be finished with. Unlike the green Bolivia, which we both seem to like less and less every time we have it. We’ll never be rid of that stuff.

Anyway, we needed to pick some unflavoured black and some unflavoured oolong, and the boss picked this one for the oolong. I had rather hoped she would choose the dark Fujian oolong instead, but alas. It was her turn to pick something and all that and I had already picked (a flop of) an unflavoured black.

Did I mention I was sceptical? The last time I had something called Formosa Oolong, it was from a different shop, yes, but it was SO BORING as to almost turn me off Taiwanese oolongs all together. That’s boring. It had no character. It was lackluster. It was… lifeless.

So I was sceptical.

But I wasn’t in a flavoured mood and I was freezing, so I was rather in a hurry to pick something. Europe is a deep-freezer at the moment. It was -10°C when I was walking to work this morning, and -6°C when I was walking home. And we’re getting off easy in Denmark. Look up Ukraine. Then be glad you don’t live there. shivers

Yes, but when are you getting to the point, Ang? I hear you ask. The answer is now.

I don’t often bother to describe the leaves of a tea unless there’s something about them that strikes me as unusual or noteworthy. Most of the time, when I try, I find myself just looking at me and concluding that they are leaves that look like tea leaves and something they are large and sometimes they are small. These had so many different colours. They were primarily ranging from golden to dark brown, which I didn’t find particularly unusual, but then there were some of them that had white bits on them. At first glance, it looked exactly like they were mouldy! They weren’t, obviously, they’re supposed to look like that, but it was a moment of annoyance when for a second I thought that we had in our recent order had one possibly mislabeled tea and one ruined tea. It would be very unlike ACP, though, so I pulled myself back together and confirmed that I was indeed being paranoid.

Then I smelled the leaves. That a pretty aroma! That was nothing like the above mentioned dead lack of success. Nothing at all. It was all sweet and honey-like, and it had just the teensiest hint of something floral. It smelled like sweets, really.

This took care of some of my scepticism. This was definitely nothing like I was expecting and thank all deities for that. The aroma as well as the flavour was all nutty and chocolate-y. ACP says chestnuts and honey, but I disagree. It was hazelnuts for me.

Ever wondered about a Nutella tea? Hazelnuts and chocolate, this is one. It’s not as creamy as Nutella, for obvious reasons, nor is it as extremely sweet, but it’s definitely that sort of flavour profile I’m getting out of it.

How interesting! That was the sort of thing I had expected to find in the oolong I was hoping the boss would choose. She wasn’t at work today, so I don’t think she has tried it yet, but I’m looking forward to hearing what she thinks.

Also, this is another example of ACP’s ridiculous steep time recommendations. 8-10 minutes! I don’t think so, ACP! I like my tea still drinkable, thank you, and not stewed. I really wonder where they get these crazy times from. It’s all their teas, and they don’t give a leaf amount recommendation. They can’t be using very much at those times.

Now, somebody revive the gong-fu drinkers. There appear to have been some instances of fainting…

TheTeaFairy

A naturally flavored Nutella tea??? Quite a vision, I’m all for that!

Angrboda

Yup, something along those lines. :)

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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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