1298 Tasting Notes

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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75

This one came to me from Cteresa. I like lychee as a fruit. They’re nommy, but alas, I don’t get them very often as they are a rare guest around here, and they’re expensive when they are here. But sometimes you luck out and can get a few hundred grams for a reasonable amount of money.

Consequently, lychee flavoured tea is something that appeals to me.

This one is bagged and I suddenly realise what people mean when they can taste paper. There’s a distinct paper-y note to this, but it’s not so bad that I can’t ignore it. It’s also closely up against the lychee flavour, so maybe it’s just a lychee aspect? The fruits have never tasted like paper to me, but a fruit and a fruit flavouring are not always exactly the same.

I find this does taste very lychee-y. It even has that slight astringency to it that the lychee fruits have, and this is significant because the base is a Chinese black and Chinese blacks are only very seldomly astringent.

This one is flavoured with lychee blossoms rather than actual fruit and it does have a flowery sort of note, but it’s not overwhelming.

I keep saying I don’t care for flower scented teas and then I come across one which is nice… When it’s fruit flowers, I just seem to get along with them better.

I’m going to continue to explore lychee flavoureds, I believe, I in fact ordered one just yesterday. (Yeah. Oops. Twice.)

cteresa

I love lychee flavoured black tea. Almost any kind (or maybe just been lucky I have not yet found a bad one).

Oh, paper note, I had not spotted that, but you might be right. Dunno, maybe it´s the lychees, maybe the envelope got to check. I also got their rose tea so I can compare those. I like these foil envelopes because I do think tea remains fresher within and second because they are my emergency thing, I usually have one of two packs in my handbag for emergencies (so I am never forced to drink Lipton).

And LOL about two new lychee teas, do review them for me please.

Angrboda

Well, one lychee tea, but two orders. I did actually attempt to get that raspberry and vanilla rooibos that you shared with me, but yumchaa’s site was acting up. Another time then. :( I went for Les Palais des Thes and Teavivre instead.

cteresa

Ah, good choices. I love lychee tea – it´s apparently one of the traditionally flavoured teas in china, and gosh there is such good reason for it. ( I think when it cames to tea of any kind, I tend to gravitate to loving best chinese tea)

About yumchaa, if you still mean to try yumchaa.com not yumchaa.co.uk, apparently they have some sort of problem at the .co.uk site which is OK in the mirror.

Angrboda

When I get around to it, I’ll shoot them a message about what happened. That day, though, I just couldn’t be bothered with that sort of thing. I didn’t know there were two sites. I assume shipping-wise it’ll be the same deal?

cteresa

yes, just the same, all in pounds, just some sort of tech problem which they can not solve on the .co.uk site but is fixed on the .com site. I am waiting to get some tea from theirs as well – all old favorites apart from a new one.

they are very nice at answering emails, you can even order straight by email, which was what i had been doing before. i think it is [email protected], though better check on site.

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86

When I made my Verdant order some time ago, I knew from the start that I definitely wanted the Laoshan Black, I definitely wanted the aged woodfired TGY and I definitely wanted the honey orchid oolong. Then there was this one, which I had seen getting lots of positive comments, but on the other hand I tend to feel about green oolongs the way I feel about green and white tea in general. I need to be in the mood. I dithered about it for a while and eventually made an executive decision to save it for later.

“Myself,” I said, “save it for later.”
“Yes ma’am,” I answered myself.

This strategy paid off, because this was exactly the tea that was included as my free sample! How is that for lucky?

Then it sat around in the box for a while, because… in the mood, you know? Today, we had it, the boyfriend and I. Two steeps of it, to which I jotted down a few notes on the back of the empty pouch.

This actually reminds me of something. It occurred to me, as I was jotting down my keywords, that if you look closely, Steepsterites, you might actually be able to tell which posts I’ve written based on keywords and which posts I’ve written while actually drinking the tea in question. The former tend to be more to the point on the descriptions, where the latter often seem to want to be fairly long-winded. Or is that just my perception?

Anyway, for the first steep, I was struck by how extremely flowery it was, both in the aroma and the flavour. If I hadn’t known better, I would have assumed it was scented.

Something else in the flavour gave me a synesthesia poke too. I don’t know exactly what caused that experience. It definitely wasn’t the flowers, I don’t think, because flowers don’t usually come across that way. It was all bright, almost sparkly and very yellow in colour, all cheery and saturated, like a lemon. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that strong an experience. Usually it’s pretty mild, and I often I don’t even register it. I don’t have synesthesia with everything, it seems like it’s more a case of a number of random triggers. (Sometimes I wonder if it’s synesthesia at all, or if it’s just some other sort of random association)

At the very bottom of the flavour, there was something sweet. It was a bit sugar-y for me, and I suppose that’s what others have identified as Rock Candy.

For the second time around, the flowers had retreated a bit. They were still strong, but not as strong, and the flavour experience in general was a bit smoother. It was a little buttery at this point and something else which squints at notes I can’t decipher. Damn this lazy self-invented semi-shorthand note-taking! Oh yes! When I was pouring the cups, there was a note of something in it that reminded me an awful lot of cake. (That must be where the current muffin craving comes from).

The third steep is the one I’m making now, and it’s sort of under duress, because we had a curry for dinner today and the whole kitchen still smells of it. (An odd korma which, while tasty, was nothing at all like how either of us think of korma at all. Weird.) I believe this accounts for the weird aroma notes I experienced while pouring this steep. Vanilla and tobacco? Really, nose?

I. Don’t. Think. So.

Nostrils saturated with other strong smells, however nice, can do a number on you.

Now that I’m back at the desk, there’s not that much aroma left to speak of. I should point out, by the way, that as this was a large shared pot, these aren’t gong-fu steepings. I expect this is probably the last I can get out of these leaves before it turns boring on me. I have very little patience for when the flavours start to get thin, you see. I get bored with it very quickly at that point. So the aroma is all but gone here, but I can pick up some subdued flowers and something that strikes me as vaguely nutty. I’m not sure, however, if the latter is genuine, or if it’s the same sort of issue as the vanilla and tobacco from before. (It’s really very distracting!)

Nope, the nuts are there. The flavour has gone all nutty too. A bit sweet and a bit nutty, but almost all of the stronger vegetal oolongness is gone, so what I’m ending up with comes across largely as erm… nut water. Best way I can think of to describe it. There wasn’t really much cause to bother with this a third time around, or possibly I should have given it even longer than I did. Can’t be changed now, though.

Still, I think I might give the leaves a fourth go tomorrow, only I will transfer them to the small pot first so I can do it more gong-fu-ishly and use the small cups if he still wants to share.

Thomas Smith

Hahaha “Nut Water” – I have totally gotten that from over drafted TGY.

I actually am very used to vanilla and tobacco in TGY (I think the former shows up in 8/10 of my TGY notes) but not in particularly green samples. I know you aid it’s likely due to aromatic corruption from dinner, but it works as a selling point for me to check it out. Thanks!

Angrboda

You’re welcome. Given the cake-y aroma from the second time around, I could have accepted the vanilla, but the tobacco-y notes seemed so bizarre to me. I’m used to finding that in grain-y blacks O.o
I looked up other people’s posts on it afterwards and noticed I’m not the only one who thought it turned nutty. I feel so vindicated. :)

I’ll have the leaves a fourth time this morning, I think, and with a higher leaf to water ratio. If I find anything interesting in that (I’m not expecting it), I’ll do a follow up post.

Spoonvonstup

Hey! I actually find this too be nutty, too- that’s something I find in most high-end autumn TGY (at this point, I just think of it as part of the Autumn TGY flavor profile).
Also- please try this gong-fu style. It’s outrageous. Sure- it’s one of my favorite teas, but that means I can’t recommend it enough. And sure, it can be nice in a pot, but you’re missing out if you don’t give those leaves a chance to strut their stuff. Do you have enough of a sample left to start fresh? If not, I’ll have to send you some myself.

Angrboda

I might buy it and try it that way, I haven’t decided. Green oolongs aren’t really something I can drink a lot of or very often. I did try a fourth round more gong-fu-ly, but the leaves were too spent then and it didn’t work. Since I started it as a shared pot with the boyfriend, I used all of the sample in one go. All is not lost, however, because the boyfriend has a Chinese colleague and she brought him some TGY back from China for us. We hadn’t asked her to, I think he had just told her that I was interested in tea. It’s not exactly the same one, obviously, but it’s probably close enough. And somehow I keep thinking of it as more genuinely Chinese than all the other stuff. :)

But if you really want to share some with me, I shan’t be the one to turn you down, since you offer so kindly. :D

Spoonvonstup

You got it! Send me a PM, and I can get your mailing details. I’ll see if I can’t dig up some Jin Jun Mei samples a friend has been sending (I see you haven’t tried this kind before- this must change!).. maybe some black teas from Mandala (also in MN) if I can find those, too.

Angrboda

Was that also you that told me about that one the other day? I looked it up and discovered I’d actually looked at it on Teaspring before, but decided against it because it was so expensive. I should love an opportunity to try that one.

I shall have to dig through my tins and see if I can find something appropriate to send the other way. I have suspicion you’re probably not super interested in all my flavoureds. :) The Steepster cupboard is more or less up to date, so take a look and see if there’s anything that strikes your fancy.

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91
drank Yunnan Pu-Erh by Chi of Tea
1298 tasting notes

Today was one of those mornings where I was really in the mood for a Yunnan black.(*) Only to discover that I hadn’t got any. At all. Not a one. Not even a sample! That’s just typical. When I really want one, I can’t have one. When I mostly associate them with a mouthful of hay, I’ve got lots.

I went for this one instead because it seemed to be the closest I could come. I expect I’ll probably be drinking this all day until the boyfriend comes home from Copenhagen tonight, at which point we will hopefully have something extra nommy to celebrate that particular wedding hurdle being over with (because he’s not a Danish citizen, there are some documents that he needs from the British embassy. It’s a formality, but a really silly one). Gong-fu-ish method get the leaves used up. :)

(*)ought this actually be ‘. . . one of those mornings when I was really . . .’

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73

The work stock has been replenished and this is one that we are trying there, but I haven’t got at home. The majority of the other work teas are things I keep at home as well, but this was one of the new ones this time. I share a handful of tins with my boss, and when they require re-filling we sit down together and pick out what we want. Some of them we’ve bought again and again, but we usually have something new as well. So we had this one this morning, first tea of the new stock. I took a few short notes while drinking it, and I want you all to remember that at the time of doing so I couldn’t remember what the blend actually was supposed to consist of, so any identification was merely qualified guesswork.

I’m really very surprised by this one. I’m actually not 100% convinced that we actually got the right blend. They have a regular morning blend as well which is supposed to be strong where this is supposed to be medium strong.

The thing is, the cup I had this morning tasted very Assam heavy and it struck me as a rather strong blend. The first few mouthfuls had Assam written all over them, complete with a raisin-y malty note and a fair amount of astringency on the back end of the sip and the aftertaste. For me, those are the embodiment of Assams.

As it cooled a little, the flavour smoothed out a bit, but it never lost that strong Assam-y quality. I just began to be able to tell that there was something else in there as well, something non-descript and default tea-ish. Dark and quiet, yet forceful in presence. My immediate guess here was Ceylon.

At the very very edges I got a small small tiny amount of something vaguely grainy and a whiff of something very mildy floral. It gave me a small suspicion of Keemun, but nothing to really substantiate a proper guess.

So my conclusion was a blend of Assam and Ceylon in the end.

Now that I’m home and have looked it up, I can tell you that this is the Assam-est thing that doesn’t contain any Assam that I’ve ever had. It tasted so Assam heavy that I’m having a really hard time coming to terms with Assam not being involved at all.

The regular Morning Blend is actually an Assam and Ceylon blend, and, although I’ve never had that one, that is why I have suspicions about whether they actually sent us the right stuff.

Also because if this blend is classified as ‘medium strong’ and they recommend a steeping time of 6-8 minutes (!!!), I’m not sure I even want to try a strong blend. At 6-8 minutes I reckon this would be undrinkable. I never go above five at the most if I can help it. ACP generally have a lot of wonderful stuff, but their steeping recommendations are completely wacky!

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71

Infusin_Susan sent this one to me in our recent swap. These days I tend to be drawn to almost anything flavoured or partially flavoured with vanilla. I blame JacquelineM for this. She was the one who started singing the praises of the Vanilla Comoro from Harney & Sons and others quickly followed. I had tried one or two vanilla blacks before that and hadn’t been super impressed by it, so what, I wondered, was I missing?

This led me to explore the flavour. There was a relatively good one from Whittard of Chelsea, which took a little time for me to really get into and an awesome one from Chi of Tea, sadly now having been out of stock for rather a long time. The Chi of Tea one was the last straw for me. It pushed me completely over the edge because it was flavoured just right!

Since then, I’ve been drawn to all things vanilla black. If I see one while I’m making a purchase I’m likely to try it out at least once. The AC Perch’s was acceptable. The vanilla assam from 52 teas that I discovered in the Christmas box? I’ve bought two pouches and I’m hoarding them. The add-a-vanilla-pod-in-pieces-to-a-random-tin-and-leave-for-three-weeks method that JacquelineM uses? Yeah, I’m giving that a go with my otherwise fairly boring Kenya at the moment. (The pod was pretty old, though, so it might not work too well)

So when Infusin_Susan put this one up as one she would like to trade for something else, I acted. Obviously.

When one wants to find one’s perfect whatever it is, one generally has to put some thought into exactly what it is one seeks in that particular tea, and with vanilla, I keep thinking I have this worked out, but in truth I’m jumping back and forth like a frog on a warm rock. If I’m having something disappointing which has a subtle flavour, I will say that I want the flavour to be stronger. If I’m having something disappointing with a strong flavour, the opposite will apply. If I’m having something great but not quite there which has a subtle flavour, I’ll say I prefer the flavour to be subtle. And of course vice versa. I keep thinking I know what I want, but in reality I appear to be lying through my teeth. I think, though, that I’m mostly in favour of relatively strongly flavoured, but primarily showing up on the swallow and in the aftertaste. I want to still be able to tell that it’s tea and I don’t want something super-sweet.

As this is not supposed to be a post about vanilla tea in general, does this particular one live up to this wish?

No.

The aroma is strong, yet controlled, just like I want it to be, but the flavour is rather lacking. It shows up in all the right places, but there just isn’t enough of it. It doesn’t give me that rich and creamy flavour at all, it doesn’t make the whole inside of my mouth taste like vanilla and the only aftertaste that really lingers is that of the base tea.

What is the base tea of this stuff? Ceylon, it would seem. Well, that explains the aftertaste. Ceylons have, for me, generally a very long aftertaste and as I really wanted that to be primarily the added flavour here, it just doesn’t work out for me as a vanilla base. Something with a shorter flavour, primarily on the first part of the sip so that the vanilla can run the show from the middle-ish and onwards. Ceylon just doesn’t swing that way for me.

As it is with caramel, it’s difficult to find the perfectly flavoured vanilla black, but even the really boring, disappointing ones are likely to be finished off fairly quickly in this house. With caramel, luckily, I’ve found it, but with vanilla I’m still searching. I’ve come close, but limited supply keeps getting in my way. However, I am enjoying the search.

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84
drank Bai Ji Guan by TeaSpring
1298 tasting notes

This is one of the oolongs I bought from TeaSpring the last time I shopped there. The mission was to put out some feelers for a replacement for Shang Teas Clear Jade Orchid, and in the process I let it get a little away from me. I don’t think I really considered this one a candidate but the whole shopping process was going so well… You know?

Anyway, this one also goes by the name of White Cockscomb and it’s one of those that has a legend attached to it. Somehow those legend teas have a special appeal to me. I think they speak to the mythological and creative bits of my soul. This may have been part of the reason I decided to try it. It’s also not impossible that I was seduced by the fact that it’s a Fujian tea. In fact, this is very likely.

I don’t think I’ve ever tried this particular oolong before. I think I would have remembered if I had. I mean, I can’t make any statements regarding Dan Cong or Da Hong Pao because I don’t have any experience to speak of with them, but I know I have definitely had both and had them more than once. So I think I would remember if I’ve had this one before, at least if I’d had it more than once. Why am I justifying this anyway? As if I’m not supposed to be having something for a second time ever. Let’s just leave this whole train of thought.

The aroma of the dry leaves didn’t hide their Fujian origin. There was that fainly wood-y note of general oolong-ness and a fairly strong sweet note of something very cocoa-like. Not quite cocoa, but close enough to put that association into my head. After steeping the aroma is more or less the same. Very cocoa-y and sweet and not super-honeyed, but there is definitely some honey there.

So I was expecting a mouthful of something sweet, sort of cocoa-y and what I actually got was kind of wooden and vegetal and completely unexpected. Of course it has cooled a bit now because I was roped into a weird discussion before I could really get started on this. There is a certain grainy-ness coming out if I sort of slurp it a bit. It’s there all the time, but slurping makes it stand out a bit more. I suspect this is the same thing as when you slurp wine a bit and get more air mixed into it, the flavours will develop more and grow. With this grainy-ness I also get some of that cocoa-y note back and I’m quite pleased with this. We’re getting back to that Fujian-ness that I know so well and away from the strange initial vegetal, oddly yellow, flavour of the first sip.

It’s definitely not a candidate for the Clear Jade Orchid replacement at all, but as mentioned I don’t think I ever thought it would be either. In its own right, I’m finding it quite enjoyable. Shame it’s so expensive though.

Charles Thomas Draper

Nearly every tea and herb has a legend behind it in China….

Angrboda

Yeah, it’s just not often it’s passed on to the rest of us.

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drank Qi Lan by Teas Etc
1298 tasting notes

Sample number four out of ten this week! Hey I’m doing quite well!

This is one I can’t remember where came from. I’m a little concerned about what sort of impression it’s going to leave me with because it came in a ziplock pouch which had originally contained a TGY sample from Norbu. How does one clean those bags for re-use? How does one avoid TGY traces in the new sample? Oh well, at least it wasn’t a super-strongly aromatic one that was in there before, so I don’t imagine it to be much of a problem, really. But the idea of it puzzled me.

This one looks like a dark oolong and the leaves smelled like a dark oolong, with some cocoa-y notes to it, but after steeping, it suddenly smells greener. Kind of butter-y and vegetal. It still has the cocoa notes and the dark oolong oak-y notes too, though, so you can probably imagine that it’s a bit odd. (Again, I think of that TGY…)

The flavour is also a funny mix of two types, and it’s not just that it tastes like one of those oolongs that seem to be exactly half-fermented. It more like a blend of two. (TGY ghost? None of the others have described this, but on the other hand none of the other posts are very detailed.)

What I’ve actually got here is a very complex flavour profile, and it seems to change like a chameleon several times in just one sip. At the very front of the flavour I’m hit by something floral. Then immidiately after that follows something vaguely like cinnamon and after that we get something fruity, almost peach-y, but not as juicy. Finally the aftertaste is very green tea-ish and slightly minty. Of the cocoa notes in the aroma, I can find nothing.

I’m not going to award points for this because I don’t feel certain that the sample isn’t contaminated by what was previously in the pouch. While what I’ve got here is very enjoyable indeed, there something about it that strikes me as sort of… off. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way. If there is no contamination, however, it’s a very lovely tea indeed.

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74
drank Magnolia Dan Cong by TeaCuppa
1298 tasting notes

Sample three out of ten this week.

This is one that Auggy sent to me. Auggy is special because it has previously been determined that she and I have nearly identical taste buds. It’s uncanny how much we agree on the subject of tea sometimes. Consequently she has never managed to send me something I didn’t like. She has sent me things I didn’t love, but never things I didn’t enjoy immensely. And I feel pretty safe in that regard anyway, because we also dislike many of the same things so it would be unlikely that she would own them in the first place.

I have to say, though, this one is a bit peculiar. I have been wary of it for a long time now, I think Auggy sent me this package in summer. It definitely wasn’t too long after we moved in here. I’m not very keen on flower scented ones, and I have slowly started to figure out which flowers I can tolerate best and which flowers mean there’s a risk of disaster. Magnolia so far has been in the former category (if anybody’s curious, jasmine is in the latter), but still. Flowers. Wibble

This is the week for it, though! It’s like Brave Week. So I took this one, and I made me a semi-gong fu-y cup.

At the first sip, I had already forgotten about the magnolia aspect and thought I was just going to get an ordinary sip of ordinary Dan Cong. After I had recuperated from that little nasty shock, I found that there wasn’t really anything to be afraid of here. When you don’t expect magnolia, it tastes extremely odd, by the way.

I’m getting the oolong through the scenting loud and clear, but it’s sufficiently masked that I can’t get much of an impression of it. It could be almost any dark oolong, to be honest. I’m not sure about this honey note that TeaCuppa is talking about. Maybe it’s there but it’s so elusive for me that I can’t seem to pin it down.

The scenting is not too powerful at first, but this is not something that’s suitable for my mug size. It really needs to be drunk before it cools off too much, because the scenting gets stronger as it cools. So while it was pretty mild and pleasant while it was piping hot, it’s taking a nose dive into Perfumeville now that it’s cooled off considerably. That’s a shame. I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve somehow wrecked it by not drinking it fast enough.

TeaEqualsBliss

Auggy IS special!!!!! :)

Auggy

Hehe, aw, thanks! :) You know the funny thing? The last couple of times I’ve had this tea, I’ve been rather confused by it. The second time I had it, I used lots of leaf (and a small cup – maybe that is the key, like you mention) and found it pretty groovy, but since then (and the first time) it was just sort of mild and faint and… there. I haven’t had it in a while actually because, aside from that second cup, it’s been rather uninspiring. I just blamed it on my general lack of familiarity with dan cong. Might have to bring this one out again today and see how it does.

ScottTeaMan

I’ve never had flavored or scented Dan Congs, but I find you do have to me more patient with them at first (at least I did), until I got the hang of it. That is true of other teas too. :))

Thomas Smith

“Magnolia” is a reference to the cultivar – Dancongs are named after strains of tea bushes that are grown from mother clonal trees/bushes exhibiting particular fragrances. When you see “Magnolia,” “Pomelo,” “Almond,” or “Ginger” preceding the names of Dancongs, it means the leaves have natural characteristics supposedly similar to the flowers of these plants. Of course, this group of oolongs as a whole has the tricky tendency of expressing some of the widest range of flavor shifts with slight changes in brewing parameters, so an Almond Fragrance Phoenix Oolong can taste more honey-like than a Honey Fragrance and the latter can come off as more nutty than honey-like if brewed a certain way or judged off any infusion before the 3rd or 4th. They have given me a real run for my money in trying to create baseline brewing recommendations, but it sure is fun being kept on your toes and never knowing what the same tea may taste like.

I haven’t been active on Steepster in quite some time, but get email notices when you post and always love reading your reviews, whether I’m participating or not. Happy to see this tea pop up, even if it wasn’t the best one to your tastes!

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78
drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
1298 tasting notes

Sample two out of ten this week!

Actually this one is sort of cheating a bit, because the whole point of these sample challenges is to get some of the older ones that I’ve had around for a while used up, and this one I just got today. I did a swap with Infusin_Susan and this one was included as one of a couple of bonus samples.

It’s even more cheating for sample week, because this isn’t one that I think would end up lying around untried for very long anyway. It sounds so interesting! I’m totally intrigued by the idea of honey flavoured tea. I’m not sure honey and pear would be something I would come up with on my own, but why not?

The aroma was definitely strongly honeyed, both dry leaf and after steeping. I didn’t get much pear on the aroma, mostly just the honey. I find this odd, because it seems the majority of people have found it to be strongly pear with a little honey around it and my impression is exactly opposite. Maybe they’re right? Now I’m sniffing at this and am suddenly unsure of what I think it smells like. But I do still think it has more honey than others seem to think.

The flavour is strongly pear, definitely. It makes me think of the big light green ones that turn yellow as they ripen and they have little brown dots on them. I can’t remember what the sort is called. Lukas?

I’m getting honey almost exclusively on the swallow and the aftertaste, but not in the flavour proper. But is this a bad thing? No, because that’s what honey taste like. It has a stronger flavour just when you swallow and it leaves a good strong aftertaste, and this is exactly what this tea mimics. It’s not enough to make something taste like something else. One also has to pay some attention to how that something else is actually experienced in its proper form. I think I’ve just realised when a flavoured tea is the Perfect One and when it’s just good.

That said, I wouldn’t call this the perfect pear tea or the perfect honey tea. I don’t know, I find the combination a bit odd, I suppose. I’m sure it’s great as a dessert, but I’m not sure I think it works super-well as a tea flavouring.

I’m not getting any real impression of the base black, other than I seem to be picking up a small amount of astringency, but not very much. It could be anything really.

I’m glad I got to try this one. I’m quite enjoying it.

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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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