1311 Tasting Notes

drank Qi Lan by Teas Etc
1311 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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drank Magnolia Dan Cong by TeaCuppa
1311 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.


Auggy IS special!!!!! :)


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.


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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drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
1311 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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drank Earl of Grey by Jeeves & Jericho
1311 tasting notes

The first sample finished of hopefully ten this week, is one of the three freebies I got with my Jeeves & Jericho order. The other two I was fairly certain I wouldn’t like (and one contains hibiscus, so that’s a confirmed dislike), so I’ve given one of them away and will have to sort out what to do with the last one. I’ll probably unhand that one as well.

Anyway, this one was the only one that I thought I would find drinkable and even then, I’m not super-keen on EGs at all.

I found this one to be quite strong in both flavour and aroma. Actually, as the flavour and the aroma were so close, I shan’t bother to write about them separately.

It’s quite strong and very bergamot-y, rather too bergamot-y for me, but it’s also slightly creamy and quite smooth.

In spite of the strong bergamot, which I don’t really care for, I found it surprisingly enjoyable, although to bergamot-y to be really good. For someone who is fond of EGs, this might be a pretty good choice.

Anthony Bazic

bergalicious is the word to describe this tea. But a proper balance would be better like balancing spices in chai.


I’m not a bergamot fan, so it’s not a word that would ever enter my vocabulary. If I’m having EG I need it milder or camouflaged with something else, like the Smoky EG from Kusmi where the added Lapsang keeps it in check. Or the cream ones out there, I usually find those acceptable as well. But not all on it’s own like this. That’s just a mouthful of dust and perfume to me.

Anthony Bazic

I really hate those perfumey teas, it feels like your drinking air freshener sometimes and not actual taste tea itself. But I beg to differ, as you point out a blend to put the bergamont flavor in check would be doubly nice especially ones that would complement bergamont. Then again, begamont can really be too strong and just a drop to a whole batch would be over powering like cloves. I tried making EG by scratch and it all went to waste as the ratio of bergamont was
overpowering, just like making chai without having it taste to clove’y or cinnamon’y.

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drank Caramel Sweetheart by Yumchaa
1311 tasting notes

Sample seven! I made my goal, I did! I think maybe I could get rid of a LOT more samples if I set myself a more ambitious goal. I frequently put down ‘finish X samples and Y tins before buying new tea’ goals and those work well for motivation, but I wonder if maybe I should aim for a higher amount of samples next week. Ten perhaps? Yes. Ten samples done and decupboarded next week.

Anyway, I was in a caramel mood today, largely because I have placed myself on Snack Control. Have even been out and got excersise! Ew, yuck. Several hours later I’m still coughing a bit. I feel ooooooooooold! So yeah, that’s why I was really feeling the lust for this one now.

Cteresa sent it to me and she recommended that I had it with a little milk and sugar in to get the most out of the flavouring. I never add anything to anything save the rooibos the other day, so I wasn’t really very keen on just doing it now without at least trying it neat first. There was just the right amount of leaf for my small pot which empties into a large mug, so there was enough that I could easily try it both ways.

I brewed it like I normally do, completely forgetting that I was recommended to also make sure to stir it thoroughly both during and after steeping. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.

First I tried it neat and the flavour was all daaaaark and slightly astringent. There were three equal parts to the flavour for me. One part nutty, one part caramel-y and one part cocoa-y. I wouldn’t say that any of these were stronger than the others, it seemed a fairly even and seamless mix to me. I suspect the astringency I mentioned earlier is a result of these flavours rather than the base tea, because the base is a Keemun and that has no business being astringent.

Next I tried to add the milk and sugar as recommended, and it definitely made the tea sweeter. I suppose that’s to be expected really. What with having added sugar. Flavouring-wise, I’m afraid I didn’t really feel it made much of a difference, possibly because I’m so unused to having any additions in tea at all. I find it a bit distracting when it’s there now.

That said, yes, the milk definitely brought out the caramel a lot more and made it amore sweetie sort of flavouring as opposed to the very dark profile from before. I’m just not sure I didn’t actually prefer it without additions. I think this blend might have benefited from having a little vanilla in it as well, to create that sort of creamy sweetness without having to add things.

I have already decided to make a Yumchaa order the next time I shop, so I will probably buy some more of this. Then I’ll have to conduct a number of experiments with it and additions and vanilla. At any rate, a caramel flavoured tea will definitely get used up fairly quickly around here.


Congrats for exercising! I hate it too. :) The closest I get is walking to and from work—which equals two miles a day so that’s good at least. But I end up craving sweet stuff afterwards. So sweet flavored teas are a lifesaver!


I tend to only put milk and stirr like crazy – the caramel is real pieces of toffee, that is enough sugar I guess. But I do love this with milk.

About vanilla and chocolate, I got a tea (most expensive per weight flavoured tea i ever bought) from Fauchon, but I can not like it, the vanilla is too much, it makes me think of Nesquik!


Stephanie, thank you. For the longest time excersise for me has been the walk to and from work four times a week, which I think totals the same as yours, but when you are a snack fiend with a forceful addiction to Pringles (they don’t exist! They don’t exist!!!) and cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese (Gromit) that’s just not enough. So additional walkies on the other three days or indoor excersise if the weather is awful (I’ve got some dvds)

Cteresa, yes, I can see that could easily because a problem. I tend to like vanilla best when it relatively subtle at first and primarily pops up in the aftertaste. My perfect vanilla has a strong aroma and a strong aftertaste but only a discreet to mild sweetness in the actual sip. I am still searching…

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drank Vanilla Tea by Upton Tea Imports
1311 tasting notes

Sample six! Only one more to go and I’ll have made my goal. Sort of. It was supposed to be one daily, but that didn’t work out much.

I have enjoyed this one, and shall enjoy the rest of it in bed with some classic british comedy on dvd, and possibly a little WordFeuding on the side.


How was the balance betwen the flavoring and tea? It wasn’t too artificial tasting was it? Hey! I love British comedies. :)) What do you like to, and what were you watching?


I was watching Dad’s Army. I got the boxset for Christmas from the boyfriend. :) Other favourites include As Time Goes By, Allo Allo, Keeping Up Apperances and My Family. Just off the top of my head. DA and ATGB are the only ones I own myself, though. All this more modern stuff like The Office and what have you, it’s not really for me. OH! And Red Dwarf, how could I forget? Bad Ang! Bad! And also QI, although that’s a quiz show, not a comedy series.

As for the tea, I thought this was rather pleasant. I have a far more elaborate post about it here http://steepster.com/Angrboda/posts/89415 and the cliffnotes of that is something along the lines of intense vanilla on the aroma, rather more subtle on the flavour, and that’s how I prefer it. It didn’t strike me as particularly synthetic tasting.


Re-watching episodes of As Time Goes By and Keeping Up Appearances is one of my favorite weekend rituals. (One of the local public TV stations shows them every Friday night.)


ATGB is definitely my favourite. :D “Oh Mum!” “Don’t you oh Mum at me!”


ATGB is my favorite . I just ve seen is Last of the Summer Wine. I chuckle just thinking about it.! :))


OK last post got mixed up—-ATGB=Fav, Keeping Up Appearances=very funny, & LOTSW=funniest—I chuckle…….


I’m familiar with Summer Wine, but I’ve only seen a smattering of episodes when I’ve been fortunate enough to have BBC Entertainment and they’ve shown some. Some years ago I had BBC Prime as a regular channel, but due the whole channel voting system in the antenna club thingie where I lived, I lost it. I tried my damndest to get it voted back in but without much success. There was one channel, though, where they would show different things for two months at the time so people could try out other channels and I used to keep an eye on it in case BBC Entertainment (name change) came on. Where I live now, it’s right out, because I’d have to buy it as an extra channel from the local antenna club and we don’t watch enough actual tv that I think it’s worth it. Dvd and blu-ray then.
Anyway, I’ve seen a bit of Summer Wine, but not enough that I managed to work out who all the characters were. I thought it was funny though.


My channel also recently added The Vicar of Dibley to the lineup, and I’m enjoying that too.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than one or two episodes of The Vicar of Dibley. There was one where she got drunk and one with a chocolate fountain, that’s all I can remember. I liked Dawn French in it, but it wasn’t enough for me to really form an opinion on whether or not I liked the show. I’d like to explore it further though.

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drank Chá Namuli by Namuli
1311 tasting notes

Having the last half of this this morning for sample finishing week, sample number five.

Language lesson!

Let me guess. Chá is Portuguese for tea?

So para fazer um bom chá might be something like loose leaf of black tea?

Am I close? Wildly off the mark?

(Shame it doesn’t come with a pronounciation guide. I should have liked to have seen my Brazilian’s face when I came to work and spouted Portuguese at her. :p These days when I do, she tends to roll her eyes at me, but it’s her own fault for having taught me to swear! :p )


well done, chá is tea in portuguese indeed ( well, in a lot of languages as well), though by extension now it gets applied to tisanes as well.

but “para fazer um bom chá” means “to make good tea”,, sort of a promise I guess.

And if you want to see the other side of the package, here it is

but there “para fazer um bom chá” is also serving as title for the brewing instructions.

That package is very very vintage (newly printed, but I think the only changes they have done to that packaging is correcting phone number prefixes), I think then tea was tea and black and no nonsense about tea bags, so I think it does not say anywhere on the package that is loose or black.


Well, I got the easy word right. :p


It is a very useful word :) and works in many languages! it was the important part, anyway :)

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drank Ecuadorian Guayusa by 52teas
1311 tasting notes

Ricky sent me this one back in August. I remember it was August, because he had taken pity on me for the Steepster club not being available internationally and sponsored the first box for me, and he also included a number of other things. So for once I remember.

I’ve been scared of it ever since. That creepy face on the label doesn’t help either.

I’m feeling brave and encouraged to embrace a whole new world these days though, due to the rooibos that Cteresa (enabler!) shared with me that I really liked. I asked the boyfriend if he was interested and at first he decided to pass, but when he discovered I was only making a small pot, so he would only be getting half the amount of our normal mugs, he too decided to give it a go.

I was surprised at how dark it brewed up. Some of it is because the holes in the strainer is larger than these leaves, but that doesn’t account for all of it. It’s almost as dark as your average black tea, only this has a sort of funny greenish tint to it.

The aroma was the second surprise. It smells very much like a relatively mild pu-erh. I hadn’t expected that. For some reason I was expecting minty. I think because in my brain I want to compare it to mate, which I think has a minty sort of smell. Why do I want to compare it to mate? Because the leaves look the same and because they both come from South America. That’s how much imagination I’ve got.

Flavour-wise, here comes the third surprise. Based on other posts and the information from 52teas, I was expecting a much stronger flavour, but it’s come out surprisingly mild, considering. I brewed at a cautious temperature, though, so that might have something to do with it. I was just expecting more pang, really.

I find it a bit coffee like on the end of the flavour and there’s a funny tingling aftertaste, a bit like I get from mate as well as finally that minty touch. Mostly though it’s just sort of earthy and a bit like a somewhat pale shadow of pu-erh.

Honestly, I’d rather have real pu-erh.

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drank Green Tea by Salada
1311 tasting notes

Sample number four dealt with. I can’t remember where this one came from, but I’ve had it for ages because… generic green tea in an ordinary bag. There’s something not super-tempting about that. But I suppose that’s exactly what this sort of week is for, isn’t it?

I hadn’t even bothered to look it up on Steepster and put it in my cupboard, it seems. Only reason I’m even posting about it, is because I found it when I looked it up to see if it would require removing from cupboard or not, and since it was here, it seemed silly not leave a little note on it.

If you have never had green tea before in your life and decide to try it for the first time, DON’T pick this one as your first attempt. This tastes nothing like real green tea. It’s slightly bitter and with a sort of generic flavour that isn’t really anything other than NOT black, if you get my meaning there. It tastes a bit minty which I suspect is aroma contamination and rather like paper which can only be bag contamination.

It’s not unbearably bad, it’s completely drinkable. It’s just not something that will be very recognisable as green tea if you don’t know that’s what you’re supposedly having.

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1311 tasting notes

Seven samples finished in seven days? Yeah, I’m behind because this is number three! O.o

I have already covered how Cteresa sent me Brave Tea and Interesting Tea. She also sent me Coveted Tea. I’ve had this on my shopping list for just about forever, but never really got around to making an MF order. It’s the New Shop Syndrome. It’s really difficult to shop in a new place for the first time. I tend to have to decide to do so well in advance of actual shopping, otherwise I just end up stocking up of old favourites instead. So MF is one of those places that I never got around to. I don’t think I’ve ever even tried anything from them before, which doesn’t make it easier to shop there for the first time.

So Cteresa is hitting two birds with one stone for me here. If this one comes out well for me, MF is going on the list of the next shopping spree along with Yumchaa. (That just leaves one space open. I’m still undecided about that one, but I do have a few potentials to check out. Three orders at a time seems to be what I’m comfortable with. I probably ought to make it one order per month instead, really.)

Anyway, so let’s see about this much coveted tea. Strangely enough, I’m not actually concerned about disappointment should I turn out to not like it.

The aroma is very sweet and pleasant. It’s quite chocolate-y and also kind of cake-y and vanilla-y. There’s a vague hint of something fruity if you really look for it and knows about it beforehand, but it’s not noticable and it’s not directly recognisable as strawberry. I really enjoy this aroma. It’s like liquid sweets, only not as cloying as one might have feared. It’s very pleasant indeed.

The flavour, however, is strongly strawberry. I’m really surprised at how strawberry-y this is! I can’t remember ever having met such a very strawberry-y strawberry flavoured tea before. It’s amazing! I’m getting a little chocolate underneath, but mostly it’s just the berries. There’s something creamy about it too, and it reminds me of fresh strawberries served with cream or a fat milk and sprinkled with sugar, a very classic summer dessert in Denmark.

Yeah, MF is definitely in the next order group. No doubt about that. I knew there was a reason I’ve been wanting to try this one for so long!


This one is special. Even non tea drinkers seem to get a mad crush for this one, With friends and family, this and Lady Grey and yumchaa´s rooibos mixes seem t cause special requests “you want me to go make a pot of tea?”. I am very glad you liked it.

I never ordered anything from MF site, though I have been eyeing it covetously – it is quite cheaper there than what I can get here, but with shipping it might end up same prize. And I am lucky enough that there are a few places around here which sell some MF teas by the gram, so I can pick 50 grams of this and that just to try it, and smell it before. BTW do not order wedding imperial without trying both it and yumchaa caramel sweetheart before.

Oh and one more thing, I know about you and rooibos, but the rooibos version of this, Marco Rouge is rather awesome! (be careful with MF Rouge Bourbon, it is fabulous but for people who like rooibos plain only. the vanilla is exquisite but very wimpy-ish, just there to make the rooibos stand out)


Hubby is stubborn about tea and likes very few. This is one he likes!

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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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