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1190 Tasting Notes


I tried this in a cold brew. I found it pretty offensive hot, so given the name I decided to give it a go.

It’s not as bad cold is it was hot. In fact, it’s not… anything. I can get some mild hints of fruity flavour, but mostly it’s just brightly red coloured water.

I’m officially considering tossing the rest of it, because I can’t really see myself brewing it again either hot or cold. There’s about a sample size amount left but it’s in a large-ish tin. So if I toss it (or give it away if there are anybody out there who’ll take it off my hands), does it count as a sample or a tin in the Next Order Requirements accounts?


Counts as both to me n_-


If it HAS to be 1, I’d say tin.

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drank Golden Needle King by Shang Tea
1190 tasting notes

This tea is brought to you by one part glee and two parts comfort.

Glee. Mr Prime Minister finally saw fit to announce a general election. It’s about freaking time too; now let’s get it over with. If he had waited until thursday next week it would have been the longest time between general elections ever since the current constitution was passed. (Every four years. The PM can choose any time which works for him, but he can’t go over those four years. Not even by a day.)

Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn political. I certainly know what I’m hoping, but I’ll keep it to myself. There may be some jubilation or drowning of sorrows once the result is in, but otherwise I shan’t bother you.

Comfort 1 I have a cold. Again. I’m pretending it doesn’t exist, but I would like the comfort.

Comfort 2 This was not even supposed to be a factor originally, and it’s brought on by the fact that I apparently tinned this in a tin with a very tight fitting lid. A VERY tight fitting lid. Very. I’m sure you can guess where this is going.

Maybe half a pot’s worth on the floor. That’s a lot when you only bought around 25 grams and my floors are not in any sort of state for leaf salvation.

So as you can see, I have ample reason to bring out the big guns here. This tea is going to have to infuse me with some energy and optimism. Only the Very Best will do under such circumstances.

Ashley Bain

oh no :( I have done this. tins can be evil.


dont know if its allergies or a cold..but if you need a nice comfort tea that has some health jazz…find some white chrysanthemum or the Burdock mint oolong from Naivetea is a nice eye opener :) hope you feel better and like it says in our local free paper “everything is political”


Ashley, I know! I was totally not expecting it to do that since it’s not a new tin. I’ve used it before. I usually cut the label off the bag the leaves comes in, though, and squeeze that in between tin and lid as a way of labelling the tins. I don’t want a lot of adhesive on the tins. I suspect that label might have been partly at fault here.

Kashyap, I think it’s a cold, because I’ve never been prone to allergies. I know they can start late in life, but I haven’t seen any other symptoms or pollen-patterns yet that corroborates with allergy. The boyfriend is just getting over a cold now as well. I suspect we’ve been infecting each other back and forth since moving in together.


I have spilled tea in exactly the same way! There’s no sense in crying over spilled tea, but my eyes have swelled with tears a time or two.

Please take care of yourself and feel better soon. August is a silly month for a cold, but I just got over a bad one and I know several other people who have too. Take some tea and rest. Repeat often :)


Hey, I just had a thought. This was the first week back at work after my holiday. Maybe I’m allergic to work!!!


This is a well known affliction. It’s called Work Re-adjustment Syndrome. It is most common in the post-vacation stage, and can last for about a week. There is no cure. However it has been clinically proven to be eased somewhat by drinking lots of tea. Particularly the kind you love the most. No sampling, or drinking the so-so kinds of teas. No, no, no. For this syndrome, only the big guns will do the trick.

Sound real enough, no? As if any of us need an excuse to drink tea :)

Feel better!

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I have a rather ambivalent relationship with Yunnan. I think it’s because they have such a very distinctive flavour profile. Sometimes they’re the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas, and other times they’re simply ‘meh’. Or even worse, like drinking hay. Makes me feel rather like a cow, really.

When I first had this one it was obviously a bee’s knees phase, and during those times I like it so much that I feel it’s unfair to fiddle with the rating now that I’ve been in meh phase, if not an actual cow phase, for so long.

Today, though, I decided to have it based on the fact that it’s been so long since I’ve had any. I have a couple of different brands to choose from and it’s only now, after I’ve made my cup, that I realise that had I chosen a different brand I could have crossed off one more sample. Oh well. Ten samples, three tins to go before I am allowed to make a new order. I’ll get through that quickly enough anyway.

I think actually right now I’m not quite in a bee’s knees phase, but it’s not quite a meh phase either. We’re in-betweening here. I think I’ll take this cup with me and watch some tv, maybe. After having checked a few things and places and all, of course.

(Work. It ought to be illegal!)


Sometimes I think my own enthusiasm for Yunnans is artificially inflated by the caffeine content :)


Yunnan is one of my favorite regions and the ‘Dayeh’ one of my favorite varietals, with its golden edges, soft citrus and malt notes, sweet forgiving extractions…its ability to be an intensely floral white tea, a crisp, deep bodied black, or an elusive and earthy pu erh. Having seen how the region looks as well makes me look for elements of it in the cup, with its magnificent biodiversity and rugged terrain, amazing wild life and preserved micro-cultures and ethnicities. Yet I will admit, I do find that my love affair with Yunnan teas is also in my palate, seasonal and it seems awkward to drink it in the summer and the spring, but rather it seems to gain depth to my changing metabolism, as it adapts to season shifts, in the autumn and winter months. In those darker, colder seasons its richness and depth are comforting and I can sink into them, they drink well with roasted vegetables and poultry, and form a blanket around the slumbering senses.

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drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
1190 tasting notes

I have attempted a cold brew of this one.

It’s erm… exactly the same tea, only chilled.

This surprised me. With other teas I’ve tried to cold brew the flavouring have really stood out and the tea taking a more background position, but not with this one.


It works quite well as a cold brew, but I think I prefer it hot. I shall attempt cold brewing it half and half with a good vanilla black as well later on, which is also a blend that works well hot, and see how that turns out.




Gosh you’ve been busy! How many of my posts did you catch up on today? O.o

Don’t worry, I’m not gone and I’m not going anywhere. I’m just distracted. :)

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drank Gunpowder by The Jade Teapot
1190 tasting notes

Three tins, twelve samples to go.

The boyfriend requested a Gunpowder and I happened to remember that I happened to have something sample-sized of that sort. Excellent!

The aroma isn’t particularly strong, but it smells quite green and chinese. Somewhat floral as well, which, if you squint, I suppose could be the pseudo-smoky note that some people can find in Gunpowder. Me, I’ve never found it, it’s always been primarily floral for me and I can’t help but wonder if some people let themselves be slightly biased by the name of the tea. But then again, floral and pseudo-smoky notes are very closely related to one another and people interpret them differently.

Taste-wise I still find it rather floral, more so than smoky. I love smoky, I want it desperately to be smoky, but it just won’t be. With that disappointment (again) behind me, it’s actually a very pleasant tea, this one. It’s not so overwhelmingly Chinese Green in flavour and even strikes me as borderline oolong-y and with a smoothly, thick creamy note.

Quite pleasant, this.

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drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
1190 tasting notes

This tea is almost legendary. I had a sample of it once from Wombatgirl and I yummed it up as you can see from the rating. And after that it was just… gone. No more Tangerine Blossom for little Ang. Sadface.

Oh well, life goes on.

But then all that lovely Shang Tea customer service business happened and I could make my very own Shang Tea order. Yaaaaaaay! It was of course clear as day that this should be part of the order.

And now I’ve been partly craving it since and partly holding back. At first I was holding back because I didn’t have a tin to put it in, so I couldn’t open the pouch. (It’s a rule. No tin, no opening.) Then I could tin it, but still held back because what if it wasn’t as awesome as I remembered. What if the memory of that lovely tangerine flavoured brew would be tarnished and ruined? Oh woe, almost too much to bear!

And then now, where I decided that I was feeling rather malnourished and deficit in the Vitamin T (get it?) department, and I finally decided I was feeling brave enough to do it.

And you know what? It’s still awesome. Sweetly floral and citrus-y juicy. Just absolutely wonderful.


LOL Vitamin T! love it :)
and I so get where you are coming from… after having been burnt like that before. Trying a tea you fell in bliss with, and then trying it later to find something ho-hum! a terrible feeling!!!

Ashley Bain

lol vitamin T. love that.

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drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
1190 tasting notes

This was given to me by Wombatgirl a good while ago and I did not like it. Not one bit. I gave it 24 points and felt like I was actually being quite generous based on the fact that I could tell that it was doing what it was supposed to do, it just wasn’t something that I liked. Then the rest of the pouch has been standing around not doing anything since. I didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t just throw it out, so I kept it in case I would get a chance to give it away.

Then this summer I’ve been doing some coldbrew experiments and discovering how fruity teas turn out entirely different when made that way. So I’ve made a small pitcher of this cold brewed over night.

My biggest objection to this when brewed hot was the alcoholic note. That was just unacceptable to me, so I was interested to see how it would turn up in a cold brew. And the answer is, it doesn’t. Not at all.

What I’m getting mostly is the honeybush which is sweeter when brewed cold and somewhat less wooden, and the coconut which also seems to work better for me on it’s own when cold brewed. Not sure about the pineapple though. I can’t really find large amounts of it this way.

I am so relieved! In a cold brew I can definitely drink this. I’ll even give it considerably more points. It’s still not, however, something I would say was deeply awesome or suitable for me, but it’s acceptable and nice for something refreshing. As a hot drink, however, I would stick to the previously awarded 24 points.

Now, I’ll definitely manage to finish off the pouch without having to resort to giving it away.

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And it’s goodbye to the Captain, who’s joining us for breakfast before setting sail and going off on new adventures. Arrrr!

And that means I’m now down two tins and two samples. When I hit five tins and fifteen samples, I am allowed to make a tea purchase. I have Plans.


I like your disciplined approach to tea acquisition. I could stand a little more of that myself.:)


I have to. Otherwise I would end up with a lot of small amounts left, because my interest was turned to something else new and exciting and eventually I’d forget the old stuff. It helps me finish off some of that and also some of all the gifted samples that I’ve got lying around that I’ve been avoiding because they aren’t really my thing.

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drank Lanikai by Lupicia
1190 tasting notes

This is one that Auggy shared with me recently. I don’t know if she had been peeking in my posts when making that decision or not and seen that I had been rather vanilla interested lately. Even to the point of having an exchange of comments with someone (who were you?) about the sugar-y sort of vanilla versus the coconut-y sort of vanilla flavouring and them liking the former, me leaning towards the latter. This one has coconut in it as well as dried pineapple, so it must surely be the right sort of vanilla flavouring for me.

But how did she know?

Oh yeah. Taste twins. :D

There’s something in the leaves. Some sort of crystallic blue-y white thing. I can’t tell what it is and the description of the gives no clue. So I ate one. It tastes sugar-y and vanilla like, and it looks like after after steeping they have been dissolved as I can’t spot any in the spent leaf.

It smells like cake. There’s tons of vanilla in this aroma and the pineapple underneath it all, at the very bottom of the aroma, giving it substance. It makes me want upside down cake. And custard. The coconut is there in the aroma as well, but it works more like a booster for the vanilla and a filler for the the pineapple rather than a note by itself. I suspect this is what creates the whole ‘cake’ thing.

Oh Auggy! You sent me happiness in a tin. It’s so vanilla-y, so fruity, so sweet, so thick and creamy, so ME!

It definitely confirms for me that my perfect vanilla tea does indeed have those coconut notes to it. The coconut is really carrying this vanilla and enhancing it in most wonderful way.

The pineapple is still taking a backseat to the other flavours here. It’s there at the bottom being juicy and fruity and reminding me of cake (I want caaaaaaake!!!), but it’s not the star of the show and it’s not trying to be either.

This is very very good indeed. I shall hoard the remainder of Auggy’s generous gift.


You and I chatted about Caramel Vanilla (me!) vs. Coconut Vanilla (you!). : )


Ah right, it was a Mighty Leaf thing, wasn’t it?


Hmm..I think it was in my post about 52Teas French Vanilla Assam, which I moved along because it was too coconutty. I don’t think I’ve had Mighty Leaf tea yet.


Hmmm… I had seen the Mighty Leaf around as well and whoever’s post it was made me interested. It must have been at around the same time as your post for me to get them mixed up. Either way, I’m planning on giving the ML a go. :)


Yay! Glad you liked it! This one didn’t strike me as overly Hawaiian (which I felt it should have been since it was one of the Hawaii-only ones) but I totally got a dessert vibe from it that made me happy. And your log of it made me bust some out this morning! :)

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drank Kenilworth by SBS Teas
1190 tasting notes

And it’s goodbye to the Kenilworth.

I went into this one with rather low expectations, having not had all that much luck with Ceylons in general before. And then I encountered this. It is shocking and unnatural how much I actually liked this. I’m of a mind to re-explore the Ceylon teas now, so I may get me some samples from Nothing But Tea whom I happen to know have a large selection. Their shop is summer closed at the moment though, I think, so it will have to wait. Which is probably just as well, all things considered.

The second reason for having Ceylon this morning harks back to the Passion fruit black I had yesterday. Remember I had a synesthesiastic colour association with the base tea in that one? Reddish brown like polished cherry wood, and it sort of said ‘Ceylon’ to me. We are now checking if that same colour applies itself to a cup of confirmed Ceylon.

Wait, why does this cup smell like those fancy little perfumed soaps? Sort of flowery and sweet-ish, but not sweet in a way that you would necessarily want to eat… It has never done that before.

Right flavour. Colours. What say we?

It’s a bit strong, because it’s got some extra leaf. There was more than one pot in it, but less than two. But yeah, I’m getting some hints of that colour association. I’m not sure it’s really it, but it’s fairly close. It’s definitely reddish brown, but I’m not sure if it’s not more red than brown.

Yeah, I think the base in that passion fruit business yesterday could very possibly involve Ceylon, but I’m not sure if it’s only Ceylon. Or it could still be something else entirely, but my immediate semi-qualified guess is Ceylon.


lots and lots of flavored teas rely on Ceylon teas for a base..its brisk, natural fruity character, stout color, crisp character, mild tannins, and gentle sweetness make it the perfect backdrop for so much….Kenilworth is also lovely for is mahogany colored liquor…yums


Shhhh, the other stuff makes me look smarter! ;)
But yeah, I’ve heard that Ceylon and Nilgiri as well is frequently used for this. It’s a shame really that flavourers don’t seem to be all that interested in playing around with different bases. 52teas is off the top of my head the only one who seems to do that.


its really a cost thing….Ceylon tea grows nearly year around and the is cheap and reliable, African tea is less consistent and weather creates a multitude of factors affecting quality and price, and Chinese tea is more expensive ….Assam is ‘too’ bold and malty, and darjeeling has the luck of ‘single estate’ character that keeps it elite…..its why in so many ‘white’ tea blends that bai mu dan/white peony is used….its leave, stem, bud…cheap…and now harvested in India as well as china…..

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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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