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1189 Tasting Notes


Another tea from the Steepster Select August box that dear Ricky sponsored for me.

I was in the mood for this. I’m not sure why, I just was. It’s weird because I’m not actually a Darjeeling fan at all. I tend to find the grassy, spicy notes rather too prickly and sharp. I used to really appreciate it, but things change.

But today this was really nice. Of course I do have that sour aftertaste now which is making me contemplate what tea to have next to make it go away with, but otherwise it just really hit the spot. Possibly because it wasn’t really all that offensively strong on those aforementioned prickly sharp notes of grass and spice.

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drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
1189 tasting notes

Election day. I have been to cast my vote, fingers crossed for the result I’m hoping for.

I didn’t really have anything in the collection which I thought fitted with the whole election theme, so I picked one which could sort of represent the result I’m hoping for.

If you can work out how this tea does this, good for you. If not, I’m not likely to tell yet, although there may be a reaction to the result later on. (I try to keep these things strictly to myself, but you see, I’m just not very good at it.)

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drank Moscow After Hours by Shui Tea
1189 tasting notes

A short post, as it’s before dinner tea. In dry form it smells rather like Kusmi’s smoky Earl Grey, but with spices in it. After steeping it’s still the smoky EG, but not as spicy. More sort of slightly sugary sweet, and then a little spice underneath.

Taste wise, it’s still the smoky EG with spices. It’s not very heavy on the bergamot, which I approve of, and it’s got a heatlhy amount of smoke in it, which I also approve of. And then the spices just adds a little touch of the unexpected. A little exotic pinch. A bit of hey-where-did-that-come-from? It leaves a very slight burn on the tongue, as if I’ve just had something with a pinch of chili in it.

Quite nice. I’m glad I was recommended this one. It scores pretty high and would be a competitor to aforementioned Smoky EG from Kusmi. Wether I prefer one over the other, though, or they are more or less interchangable, I haven’t yet decided.


I love EG, but I’ve never tried a smoky one. I must give this one a try sometime!


If you like smoky teas, I would very much recommend it. I think the smoke gives the bergamot, which I’m not otherwise a fan of, a very nice lift.

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drank Kiwiburst by Shui Tea
1189 tasting notes

My Shui Tea order arrived today. It’s my first experience with that company so it’s rather exciting. The closest I’ve come to them before is having their Moscow After Hours recommended to me. (Yes, I also bought some of that. It was my primary reason for placing an order, as a matter of fact. This one was the bonus) So I was adding them to my cupboard, on two different tabs because Steepster is a slow-poke, and when I came back later to see if they had been added, Steepster had opened a post window on this one. Well, that decides which one to try out first, then, doesn’t it?

There was one small detail, by the way, when I opened the envelope and checked the contents. I really rather liked the personal touch of the handwritten in blue pen “I hope you will enjoy this. Cheers, Jim.” on the packing slip. (Jim being the founder of the company) I’m aware that he probably does that routinely to all his customers, but it does rather make a person feel like a Very Special Customer.

Secondly, on a more amusing note, the two pouches I had bought came wrapped in a piece of silk paper, which had taken on some of the aroma of the two pouches. Apparently that is super-interesting smell if you’re a cat. I had to take it away from them as I didn’t really fancy sweeping up microscopic shreds of paper from all over the lounge…

The dry leaves smells very fruity. I can detect both kiwi and pear in it, but I can’t for the life of my decide which one I think it smells most like. Kiwi, I think. No, pear. No wait, kiwi. After steeping it’s the exact same problem. Kiwi, but pear, but kiwi, but pear. A pear-y kiwi. Or possibly a kiwi-y pear. It’s like whole new fruit really. The tangy, stabby, sharp notes of the kiwi and the rounded, juicy, soft flavour of the pears. (I’m thinking those big yellow pears here, the ones that you have to eat quickly or you’ll have torrents of juice running down your arms. Impossible to eat in a civilised manner)

Oh my word, this is rather nice! I’ve had a similar flavoured white before, although that one was kiwi and strawberry, and I remember being concerned about the fruit flavouring overwhelming the delicate white tea. I can’t actually remember what I thought of that one at the time, only that I needn’t have worried. Neither is there any need for worry with this one.

In the flavour I’m finding primarily pear and then the kiwi tangyness on tops and edges, framing the flavour. Underneath all that there is still the unadulterated nuttyness of the white leaves. And you know something, Steepsterites? These flavours and this tea, they suit each other so wonderfully.

I’m glad I bought some of this, only if it’s only a sample. A large sample, but still a sample. I can see myself coming back for more of this.


I MUST order from them. Their black ruby tea is exquisite.


I dithered on the black ruby, actually, mostly because I was taken in by the name of it. Eventually decided against it. I made orders three different places that day, so I reckoned I didn’t need to try everything in the first go.

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Gosh. We have fleas. Or rather the kittens have fleas. Not many, I think, but I have seen a number of live ones. Killed them on sight, of course, but the thing about fleas is they jump. And when they’ve jumped, they’re gone.

Have therefore been on a super-detailed hoovering mission in the lounge and in my room. When the boyfriend comes home, he will find himself nagged into doing his room as well. Under the furniture. Not just around it. Every nook and cranny and all the cracks between the floor boards. Kittens acted kind of like if getting rid of them involved that sort of racket for hours on end, they would rather prefer the fleas, thank you.

I’ll do the rest of the house tomorrow and am considering a second dose of Frontline even if it hasn’t been four weeks yet since the last one…

I’m knackered now. What better in this situation than a tea that says GRAWRRRRR!!!!
I have even deliberately steeped it twice as long as I normally would have, and it does indeed both roar and growl.

Funnily enough, getting twice the steep has made it change character altoghether. Where’s the hay? Yunnans always taste heavily of hay, so why is the hay suddenly missing?

It’s drier now, more wood-y than hay-y, and it reminds me a bit of dark chocolate and not-too-strong coffee. It has never done that before. I think I quite prefer it this way.

(I’ll trade you all the fleas we’ve got for one piece of dark chocolate.)

The Seattle Tea Snob

Well I do have more than enough dark chocolate (if there is such a thing) and my current collection of fleas is not overly impressive. So from a supply in demand perspective this seems like a good trade, I can’t, however, shake this nagging feeling that I’d be getting screwed.


By me??? Would this face lie? :D


You can give a second dose of Frontline as long as it’s more than 7 days apart from the first dose. But I don’t think you want to give them a third dose within the same month. As for the fleas in the house, you have to fumigate, spray everything, and/or pour powder all over the carpet. The thing that worked best for me was a product called Flea Stoppers. Not sure if you can get it in Denmark, but it has a year money back guarantee and worked perfectly. Don’t just treat the kittens. You have to treat your house too or they’ll just keep coming back. Another good trick is to vacuum all the floors every single day for 30 days. Throw out the vacuum bag every day too ‘cause it’ll be full of fleas and their eggs. It’s a pain, but it usually has pretty good results. Good luck with the fleas. I understand how much of a nightmare it is. :(


We got a lot of fleas in our house after a possum had babies under our outbuilding in the backyard. I didn’t want to use pesticides because my godson is a frequent guest and he is autistic and we all keep a pretty “green” environment around him. We set up and light in the dark house at night with a bowl of water under it. The fleas hop to the light and fall in the water and drown. It took several nights, though, and we still did the uber-vacuuming.

For the yard, we spread diatomaceous earth to cut their little flea exoskeletons so they die of dehydration. We can’t use pesticides out there because we have a pen full of two kinds of box turtles! But it worked, hallelujah, because I HATE FLEAS! :). Best of luck getting rid of them!


The Flea Stoppers carpet powder may not be technically “green” but it’s left in the carpet for about a week. It doesn’t hurt you or your animals, and it works fast.


I used a flea powder that I’m not sure killed the fleas, but did kill a vacuum cleaner!


The flea problem isn’t very large, really, they’re not completely flea riddled. But I need to get rid of them now or it will become large. I shouldn’t think large amounts of toxins should be necessary at this point. Considering we haven’t had the kittens for more than a month or so, I imagine they must have brought a flea or two with them when they came which we didn’t see. Those have gone through a life cycle here now and we’re getting the next generation. Flea eggs and cocoons can hibernate and survive for years so I thought it’s also possible that they were already here when we moved in, but I expect if that was the case it would have been a much much bigger problem.

The box of Frontline says that I should wait four weeks, because apparently there’s very little safety documentation on the product or something like that. Very reassuring, when you think about it!

No carpets here, though, so I’ve only got the cracks between the floor boards to worry about. I have a (danish) lead on a spray which I will look into, but as we have very few internal doors, I can’t really use anything that is super-noxious, because we can’t seal off the rooms until the fumes are gone.

We have one of those bag-less hoovers, so at least changing the bag straight away is not a problem. I always empty the container after use anyway. (That thing has been saving me a FORTUNE on hoover bags since we moved in together! It’s awesome!)


Advantage! That stuff works and is safe on kittens.


Frontline is more or less the same thing. It’s just a different brand.


I think the main difference is that Frontline is also protecting against ticks, which I gather from this review (http://www.epinions.com/review/Bayer_Advantage/content_70366367364) Advantage doesn’t.


Good luck with your flea slaughter! I’m battling what I hope is a small infestation from the lousy neighbor cat who rolls all over the door mat outside. My indoor cats have no idea what to think right now!


Ours are indoor cats too, but where we got them from they had been allowed to go outside. I don’t dare let them do that here, I’m to afraid they’ll get hurt in traffic. So, once we get rid of this lot, we shouldn’t have the problem ever again, hopefully. At least we don’t have to check them for ticks. :)

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drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
1189 tasting notes

I’ve been really enjoying this lately. I might have to start going easy on the leaves and make them stretch out a bit, because otherwise I’ll find myself having to decupboard it long before I’m emotionally ready to do so.

Just that feeling of citrus-y tangerine on the tip of the tongue. It’s exactly like biting a lovely juicy orange citrus fruit. It’s such a treat.

The boyfriend just asked me if this was a Standard and I had to disappoint him. I know channels have been opened now for me to shop at Shang Tea, and my dear Wombatgirl (whose name was unbelievably hard to spell just now) has also issued a standing invitation of buying and forwarding for me. But either way, that’s just to convoluted a way of shopping for me to make it a Standard. That’s a shame. :(

It is, however, still one I’ll revisit when shopping with Shang Tea again either by myself or through my middleman. Er, middle-woman.

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drank Bai Yun Oolong by Norbu Tea
1189 tasting notes

This didn’t go as well with pancakes as I had imagined it would. Pancakes had rather too much flavour to really be able to taste this tea. Secondly, there wasn’t really enough leaf for the size of pot I was making.

What I did get out of it, though, was something bordering on caramelised with floral edges and pinch of cocoa. Also something rather raisin-y in there.

That’s it really. This was another one of those teas I could have sworn I had posted about before and so therefore I wasn’t paying too much attention to it. Also, pancakes.

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This one courtesy of Ricky (I love that I finally have a good system for remembering where stuff came from!)

I don’t care that it’s not christmas yet. I have discovered that when it’s warm, my room seems to be one of the hottest in the house. When it’s cold, vice versa. This is what I get for having a room with no windows in it. So since the whether has been decidedly autumny as of late, I’m freezing to bits. Or I would be, had it not been for the fact that I’m under the slanket.

Nice hot cup of tea, then. This one, in spite of it being a holiday blend, seems appropriate.

Now, is there a cheat sheet somewhere with what the blend is made with? The leaves smell kind of Keemun-y grainy to me. And with a touch of Assam-y raisin notes. After steeping it strikes me as very Keemun-y and with something else that gives it a chocolate-y note. I’m suspecting Fujian in play here, but I’m far from certain. (Notice how my mind works in primarily Chinese blacks? I haven’t even considered the possibility of Ceylon or Kenya in the mix…)

I was using the timer for something else when brewing, but I thought I would be able to remember to got and pour before it went off. I wasn’t so it’s had an unknown length of steep but definitely longer than it ought to have been. There is a certain small amount of oversteepedness to the flavour now, astringent but not truly bitter. Actually, to be honest, it’s handling this little mistake admirably.

There are definitely Chinese involved here!

The astringency comes across here as that pseudo-smoky note which I associate with Keemuns. It’s got a whole lot of flavour this one. I’m very pleased.


I’m having this one shipped as we speak. Only 14 left so I might have to get more if it’s that good!

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I don’t like this hot at all. I find it insanely bitter and unpleasant, and yes I do know to pay attention to temperature. It just doesn’t appear to be working. Unless it is actually possible to oversteep something when only giving it 30 seconds.

I have discovered a really nice way to use this tea!

I baked a lemon cake today, I thought we could have it for dessert tonight. The icing on it was supposed to be made with lemon juice and icing sugar, but I was making a cup of tea to enjoy while drinking and my eye also fell on this tin.

I followed the whim. Made about half a liter, quite strong and chilled it. Have just used that instead of the lemon juice to make the icing for the cake. It doesn’t really shine through all that much in the icing, but it does give it a slightly funny colour and adds a subtle bit of pizzazz to the icing. I don’t like it hot at all, but apparently this way I find it quite enjoyable.

Now, obviously I didn’t use the entire half liter to make icing for just one cake so I used the rest to rinse the mug I had made icing in. Stirring the remaining icing well into the chilled tea and mixed it back with the rest. I thought it would be an obvious way of sweetening it and also saving on the washing. (I do have a dishwasher now, but old habits of 15 years or so die hard!)

Frankly for a chilled beverage it could have done with a little more sweetening and it hasn’t taken that bitter edge out of the green tea that I was hoping it would. It is, however, still oodles better chilled than warm.

I shall have to try a cold brew of this. That should definitely take care of that bitterness.

All in all this was such a positive experience that I feel generous and will give it a few more points than the original 15.

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons
1189 tasting notes

My cup has been cautiously sniffed. Lots of nose-wrinkling and backing away followed. I can therefore conclude that cats don’t like LS.

Good thing I’m not a cat, then. slurp


Lapsang Souchong is the tea that made me fall in love with tea


It’s one of my favourite types too, although this particular brand was not my favourite. I’ve been lucky enough to have found my perfect LS being sold by a danish company. Not only fully within my reach, but not costing an arm and a leg on shipping either. :D


while I don’t enjoy this raw cousin of the smoking process, if you ever get a chance to try a quality Bohea (Tao of Tea offers a ‘mini tin’ about once a year), its amazing and lovely- mostly because the smokiness is subtle and part of the flavor and not a dominate part of it. However, you can’t beat Lapsang Souchong for cooking…good for making tea eggs, oven or dutch-over poor man’s smoking, steeped into cream for ice cream, added to Asian stews for stock, poaching white fish, or event marinating scallops….yum…but lock it down..the smell can take over the kitchen


Best review ever. <3 cats!

Ashley Bain

I always thought I was a cat in a past life. But I absolutely love lapsang souchong, so I may have to rethink my conclusion. haha :P

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Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
Goodreads: Angrboda
Livejournal: See website.
Dreamwidth: Ask her

Bio last updated February 2014





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