1267 Tasting Notes

drank Tanzania GFOP by A C Perch's
1267 tasting notes

And that’s the end of the Tanzania.

I have really enjoyed this tea, and to her vast surprise, so has my boss. This was actually one we bought for work. My interest in African teas was very new then, so I had to have it. My boss was sceptical because of the relatively high caffeine content. We compromised. The smallest amount of loose leaf AC Perch’s will allow you to buy from the webshop is 100g, so we bought the bag of 100g. I then divided it up into two equal portions, took one to work and kept one at home. My boss then only paid me back for half of the work-portion.

Now that it’s gone, though, I am definitely going to want to stock up on it again. As mentioned, even my boss found that she liked it a lot more than she had expected. Her own surprise was clearly audible when she told me this.

This was the last of the home portion. The work portion disappeared a long time ago. I would prefer to stock up on it at work rather than at home, I think. I found it an excellent work tea, and before you ask me what sort of qualities a work tea should have, let me tell you that I don’t know. It’s something to do with how it feels in the situation, so it’s not even something I can try to predict. We’ll see if the boss is interested in another batch of it. If not, I’ll probably get it for home.


Do you take this with milk and sugar? Would you say it is more like an Assam? I have only had one African tea and it was from Kenya.


It’s very rare that I add anything at all to any tea. Sometimes I do as an experiment, but generally not.
I wouldn’t say it was really like anything. It’s got a full strong flavour but it’s just sort of default tea. Somewhat akin to Kenya, I think, but not really the same. I wouldn’t say it was a lot like Assam, it doesn’t have that Indian astringency at all.


I’ve had one CTC Tanzanian tea. It does have a distinct flavor, I really enjoyed it.


This one isn’t CTC, the leaves are much too large for that.


I am an absolute huge fan of Tanzanian tea. :) I haven’t tried this particular one, but I am tempted to make a purchase.


oOTeaOo, you would probably be better off trying to find the estate elsewhere. Perch’s will ship internationally, but they charge an arm and a leg for it.

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drank Keemun Xian Zhen by TeaSpring
1267 tasting notes

I should totally start writing it down when people recommend me stuff that they think I would like. Because once again we have here a tea which was specifically recommended to me by a Steepsterite and I don’t have a clue as to who it was.

It was somewhat pricy so I only bought a small amount. Even if it’s the end of all awesome, at this price I think it would probably still only be a treat rather than a standard. $23 for 50 grams, I can’t afford that as a standard.

Anyway, that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to try, though. It’s not impossible that this actually makes it all the more fun to try.

When first I poured this tea and I stood there in the tea corner, getting a column of steam right in the face, the primary, and very strong, association I had was that of pipe tobacco. Smelling cup now, I don’t really get that at all.

It has something, this tea, something very familiar. Something that I feel I ought to recognise and associate with something specific. This is not an individual note in the aroma, this is the aroma as a whole. I just can’t work out what it is, but I’m getting the clear impression that it’s something that ought to be very familiar to me and also something I haven’t experienced in a long time. This aroma takes me back, I just don’t know to where or when.

When I was a child, my grandfather smoked a pipe. Maybe it is actually a pipe tobacco thing after all.

If we try to break down the aroma a little more, there is a strong grain-y malty note in it, along with something woodsy and slightly spicy. These two notes, I sort of get the impression that they approach me simultaneously. They’re good friends, so they come up to greet me together. I can’t find any floral or pseudo-smoky notes in the aroma though, which I find slightly odd. I have to say I rather miss that note. It’s like there’s something missing.

The flavour isn’t as grain-y either as most Keemuns tend to be. The grain is there, but it’s more subdued, laying down the bottom of the flavour. On the swallow, I get a very clear caramel-y stickyness.

Then there’s a prickly, woodsy sort of flavour on top of that, and at the very top there is a very floral note. Still no pseudo-smoke. It’s 100% floral in this one.

I find this a rather flimsy tea. All the flavour notes are there and strong, but they seem to be only very loosely connected with one another, as if the entire flavour profile could fly apart at a moments notice.

It was an excellent recommendation for me to try. I certainly found it very interesting and fun and I will enjoy the rest of these leaves. I just don’t think it’s one that I’ll drink when I’m in a specific Keemun mood, because it doesn’t really embody how I prefer my Keemuns. For me, a wonderful Keemun must be smoky rather than floral and lot more grain-y than this. This is too soft-spoken, really, to be a good morning tea, and I want my Keemuns to be rather more forceful.

(In other news, I shall be taking the first of my 52teas advent calender today. I know it’s too early, but this way I’ll have the last one before we go to England. Don’t worry about spoilers, I shan’t post anything yet. Although, I did see that some people were speculating on how to minimise spoiler-risk for others, and if anybody is interested in my opinion, it can’t be done. It’s all fine to make sure to post later in the day, but for those of us in earlier time zones, our ‘later in the day’s are still your mornings and the effort is rather lost. I believe that as long as everybody just posts on the correct day or later, then it must be up to others to not visit Steepster until AFTER they’ve opened their calendars. So I will be starting early and writing my posts privately, so I can put them on Steepster later.)


You’re a few days ahead and I’ll be a few days behind! I largely agree about the “spoiler” risk, though honestly I’m not concerned. Yes, the surprise is very nice but as long as I have the tea, I’m a happy duck!


Mine still hasn’t arrived… I hope it gets here soon enough that I can join in at least mid way! : )


Tea Spring really has some great teas! Most are on the expensive side. :/


Ooo yum—“caramel-y stickyness”!


Uniquity, yeah, if we could hide the text somehow, so that it would be a conscious decision for others to look at that particular post, it would be different, I think. But we can’t, so everybody has to be responsible for their own spoiler safety.

Ninavampi, I hope you get yours too. I know what it’s like to wait and wait while others are playing. Last year I never got mine because the danish post service messed it up. Twice. I decided not to get Frank to try and send it to me a third time after it came back again the second. It was eating up all his profit.

ScottTeaMan, yes, they do tend to be quite pricy, but the shipping rate is so low, I think it evens out more or less.

Stephanie, that’s really the only way I can explain it. :) It’s the first time I’ve found proper caramel in a Keemun. I’ve seen others post about that before, but it always escaped me until now.


I think you can hide the text though! Wasn’t it with the – key… or something like that…
Mmmmm caramel, naturally! Sounds fantastic


nope, that just makes it rather more difficult to read. :)


ahhh, that’s right it’s the < & > that deletes the text so that only the author can see it.
There was a post about formatting awhile ago: http://steepster.com/discuss/1894-how-to-use-text-formatting-symbols-formatting-can-be-fun?post_id=27723#forum_post_27723


Thanks for the post Indigo.

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drank Tan Yang Te Ji by TeaSpring
1267 tasting notes



Together again.

(And the ransom for Tax & Customs turned out to be only half of what I had feared)

♥ ♥ ♥

The DJBooth

I have a feeling you really enjoy this tea :)


You know, I have ordered from TeaSpring a few times, but somehow have never ordered this tea. But seeing as it has you squeeling, I’m thinking that I really HAVE to order this tea in my next order.


I picture you and the TYTJ running towards each other from opposite ends of a field, arms outstretched, music playing in the background. Ah, love!


I like teaspring…Although I haven’t tried this one, they have some great teas. :))


So adding this to my shopping list – I can’t believe their shipping is so cheap!


DJBooth, how did you guess? :p

Ssajami, if you try it, I hope you like it. It’s my favourite. :)

Auggy, Yes, in slow motion. And we would be wearing white loosefitting 80-ish clothes. :p

ScottTeaMan, I definitely recommend this one. It’s my favourite in the whole world. They do have another as well, which is a higher leaf grade and significantly more costly, but I found this was actually my preferred one of the two.

Mrawlins2, ooooh, I do hope you will enjoy it! Yeah, their shipping is nearly too good to be true, but it evens out because many of their things are rather costly.

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Once upon a time someone, I forget who, shared a sample with me of a charcoal roasted TGY, I forget from where. I don’t think that one was aged, but I do remember that I really liked it and that I was going to do some investigation about whether it was something I could buy for myself, some shops being, as we all know, out of my reach due to geography. But then I forgot about it.

When I went to look at Verdant Tea’s site, to see what else other than the Laoshan Northern Black that was leaving half of Steepster in fits of ecstacy, I came across this one and was reminded of aforementioned charcoal roasted TGY. So obviously I had to have some.

The idea of roasting oolongs that would otherwise be on the greener end of the spectrum really appeals to me. I do generally prefer the darker oolongs, so that’s probably the reason. Here’s a funny fact. The darker end of the spectrum and the greener end, I like those. Oolong that are more halfway between the two? I just don’t find them very appealing at all. Not plain, anyway. I just can’t figure out what it’s trying to be, because to me it’s neither here nor there. The infamous Raspberry Oolong is based on one of those in-betweens, but that’s okay because it’s flavoured. The perfect oolong of this sort might be out there, but I haven’t found it yet.

But leaving that tangent, let’s return to the tea at hand. The aroma is really nice here. It’s a sort of mixture between cocoa and coal. The first association I got when I poured water on the leaves was burnt toast. Maybe it’s my affinity to smoky teas that make me really enjoy this aroma in a tea. Not so much in toast, though. It doesn’t actually smell smoky, but it sort of smells like it could be, and I find that really nice.

The flavour is really woodsy and again there is a hint of burnt toast. The note of cocoa from the aroma is still there in the flavour, but it’s not very noticable.

Actually, the flavour kind of reminds me a little of pears. There is definitely some sort of fruity sensation going on somewhere in here. It’s all juicy and not quite but nearly sweet, and it results in an aftertaste that covers every mucus membrane of the mouth. I can actually feel it on my gums! It’s sort of slightly cool and a bit prickly, a little like mint does. Not quite as heavily as actual mint, of course. Just exactly enough to be noticable.

As the cup cools, I find the cocoa comes out more and there is a little astringency. And suddenly I notice a very strong note of hazelnut. It’s right there in the front waving a big flag and shouting “I AM HAZELNUT! HEAR ME ROAR!” I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before I was halfway through the cup! I could have sworn it wasn’t there in the beginning. What sort of switcheroo magic stuff is this?

Finally, let’s come back to that burnt toast aspect, because that’s interesting. As mentioned I have a certain affinity to smoky teas, and although this doesn’t have even as much as a hint of a smoke note that I can find, I would still place it, mentally, on the outskirts of that group. It’s that burnt toast that does it. It creates the idea of smoke, but then when you look closer there’s nothing there. It’s like an optical illusion for the tongue.

I’m enjoying this, and it totally lived up to my memory and expectations from that other one I mentioned.

The real mystery, though, is this. How can burnt toast in toast be so unpleasant, when in tea it’s so nice?


I always thoroughly enjoy your tasting notes. This is another great one, and so I must add this tea to my shopping list!


Thank you, CHAroma, that was very kind of you. :)


I only speak the truth. Plus, you have Sleipnir as your picture. AWESOME!!!


Hey Angrboda, do you brew teas gongfu style? I think this one in particular is fascinating and mysterious when prepared as such over many many short steeps. When I brew this tea out beyond 20 gongfu infusions, it’s like I’m observing the tea go backwards in time through the full span of it’s 10-year life. It starts out with that great smoky roast and ends like you’re drinking a fresh spring Tieguanyin. Also like traveling far over dramatically changing landscapes: at first around the fire of a chieftain’s camp in the Arabian desert surrounded by tents of luxurious textiles, then back along the silk road until wandering through the lush green mountains of Fujian.


Sometimes I do, but most times it’s western style. I have to be super-inspired to do that many infusions of the same tea in one day, because I get bored easily. So it depends on how inspired I feel, whether I’ve got all day or if it’s a work day, whether I’m sharing it with the boyfriend, and on what I’m doing that day. I find that gong fu style is excellent when I’m writing, because if I make a whole mug and the writing is going well, I forget about it. (Unless it’s the tea I’m writing about obviously)

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I think, after what happened friday and yesterday, we all need a bit of a calming cup. The actual drama bit wasn’t particularly nice, but I appreciated the things that were brought to light afterwards. It was very informative.

So here’s my calming cup. This one came to me from Dinosara. It has blood orange, chocolate and hazelnut in it. That sounds like a rather wonderful combination, doesn’t it? I can’t believe it was allowed to sit and be almost forgotten in my cupboard. (I think it’s because of the french name. I don’t speak french, so it doesn’t stick in my head.

I shared it with the boyfriend, who thought it smelled like christmas. I can sort of see where he gets that from, but personally I think it just smells like sweets. It’s very heavy on the chocolate and hazelnut in the aroma. Like a melted chocolate bar. I’m not sure I can find any orange in the aroma, because I can’t work out if what I’m smelling is really just another aspect of the hazelnut.

With the aroma being so thick and heavy, it’s almost a surprise to take a sip and find it not having the texture of aforementioned melted chocolate bar. Instead I find the orange is coming through here on the first half of the sip and then the rest of it being all hazelnutty astringency. I’m not sure about the chocolate, though. I can’t really peg it down but I feel like it’s there somewhere. Or rather, I feel like there would definitely be a difference if it wasn’t there, if you know what I mean.

This is not nearly as sweet as I was initially expecting, but apart from the very initial disappointment about this, I have come to decide that it’s probably for the best. If it had been sweet, I think it would quickly just have become rather cloying.

As I made a large pot to share with the male of the household, I used all the leaves I had been sent. Had I not done that, I might have used the rest in an experiment involving vanilla. (Lately I find that it’s all sorts of fun adding vanilla black to… everything.)

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
1267 tasting notes

I actually received my Verdant Tea order a couple of days ago, but then I felt a bit under the weather and in a general bad mood for a couple of days. It’s not very conducive to trying new stuff, so I saved it. This morning, after a three hour nap yesterday and a full nights sleep, I’m feeling less worn out, so I gave it a go.

I couldn’t not buy this one. At the same time I bought it with many considerations first. You see, it has been so very hyped on Steepster lately. Everybody and their grandmother has tried it and they all think it’s the best thing north of the Alps. That sort of stuff tends to make me lose interest. Hype is the reason I’ve, for example, never actually watched any of the Star Wars films in full. It’s also (part of) the reason I’ve never read the Hunger Games series and don’t really intend to. (The other reason being that any book that comes with glowing recommendation on the front from Stephanie Meyers does not exactly win points with me. I have tried Twilight. Utter tripe.) I suppose my problem is that I expect I’ll just get disappointed.

So yeah, I ended up buying this one in spite of all of the above because I found the company’s description genuinely interesting, but I am still approaching this first cup with part expectation, part nervousness, part concern, part fear of disappointment, part sceptism, part curiousity and part excitement.

The aroma of the dry leaf and the aroma just when pouring the water on are very close to one another. It’s very sweet and cocoa-y. No, not cocoa. More like chocolate. A sweet milk chocolate. I’m reminded of that choco-milk powder I used to get at my gran’s house as a child. It came in a large yellow box with a rabbit on the front. I’m not sure if she gave me that because she wanted it to be a treat or if she had got it in her head that I couldn’t drink milk otherwise… If the latter, I wasn’t about to correct her, was I? (And that stuff, by the way, looks really strange when served in a coloured glass!) So, childhood association to my gran. This tea is already well on the way to awesome!

The aroma after it has been steeping is different though. Gone is the milk chocolate sugary powder stuff, and now we’ve got something that is much more like cocoa rather than chocolate. It’s a much deeper and more complex aroma. Along with the cocoa, there is also something very grain-y and another note which I can’t really work out how to describe. It’s a sort of inbetween thing of woodsy and leathery, kind of pipe tobacco-y but at the same time, so not like that at all. On top of all that, there is a rather prominent spicy note, but I can’t work out if I think it’s a note on its own, or if it’s just another aspect of that indescribable woodsy, leathery, tobacco-y, not-tobacco-y note from before. How very difficult.

So there’s a lot going on here aroma-wise and the flavour is no different. Actually, I find it very similar to the beloved Tan Yang Te Ji ♥ (which is STILL being held hostage by tax and customs, argh!). Already here I can say that YES, this tea does indeed very much live up to all the hype. Of course, with the Tan Yang association, I might be rather biased. :) It has that same cocoa-y flavour profile, but I find it to be more grain-y than the Tan Yang. It even has that same sort of fruity aspect to it. Not any particular fruit that I can think of, just some sort of generic fruityness.

Another tea I’m reminded of in this cup is Keemun, and that’s because of how strongly the grain-y aspect is coming through. Keemuns are, for me, very grain-y and have a sometimes floral but most times pseudo-smoky aspect to them. This tea makes me sort of try to imagine a Keemun which has been stripped of that top layer. What’s left then? Grainy-ness. Keemun is another very favourite tea of mine.

This particular tea I find to be a mixture of the very best bits of two of my favourite types. The Keemun with the grain and the Tan Yang with the cocoa and fruit-y business. It’s more Tan Yang than Keemun though, which suits me fine because Tan Yang is my absolute all time favourite. And at the same time, this also strikes me as being very much its own. It may taste like a mixture of the two above, but I cannot bring myself to believe that you could blend those two and get this result. Something similar perhaps, but not the same at all.

Generally, it has a lot of what I tend to think of as ‘Fujian-ness’, this tea, but it’s not Fujian grown at all, is it? I need to consult a map and find out where in China Shandong is. Still on the coast but much further north from Fujian, bordered to the north by the Hebei province which is where Beijing is. Funny, I would have thought that with such similarity in flavour profiles they would have been a lot closer to one another. There must be some similar growing conditions in those two areas. Shandong is also just to the north-east of Anhui which is where Keemuns come from. That explains that similarity. I need to explore this area some more, I think. What else grows there?

I see no reason to faff about with points here. This is a solid 100 if ever I saw one. I’ve fallen hard and will be coming back for more.

ETA: Second steep has gone all cinnamon-y! Forget about above comparisons, this is definitely new! I’ve never met a naturally occurring cinnamon note before. (I like it a lot better than if it had been actually cinnamon flavoured too. Not really a cinnamon flavoured fan, me. Uh, as in, not a fan of cinnamon flavoured things, not me being cinnamon flavoured…)


I will never read Twilight, and I resisted on Harry Potter for many years, and was doing the same for Hunger Games… but then I finally gave book 1 a try after meeting some people who were extras in the film, and I must say the unique heroine and intense story really grabbed me. I guess I just had to wait for the right time?


I read the first Twilight and thought it was superficially okay. In my opinion it ought never have been turned into a series. That first book would have worked far better as a standalone story in my opinion. I picked up the second book and it took me about a year to get through it, and gosh, did I despise every single character in it. I was fairly blinded by the newness of it with the first book but the second really brought home to me the very many problems there are with that ‘verse. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting the last two books read as well, mainly because I’ve heard the fourth one is even more ridiculous than all the others combined, but as I’d rather not have my brain melt and leak out my ears, I probably never will.

I resisted HP for quite some time as well because of the hype, and also I believed it to be primarily for children. It wasn’t until one day I went to the public library and as I was walking up the stairs to the door, a woman walked down the stairs already with her nose in a HP book. While walking down stairs! O.O It’s a wonder she didn’t break her neck. It made me give them a shot, though. Best thing I ever did, I’ve made so many online friends because of those books. :D

I did consider Hunger Games for a while, before discovering SMeyers recommendation on the front, but when I read the back of it, it really didn’t sound much like something I would enjoy regardless.


I was super resistant to Harry Potter too. I was starting to crack when I was visiting Boston, and was sitting in a cafe filled with Harvard students with ALL their noses in the latest hardback one that had come out days before. It took my friend literally HANDING me the first five books and BEGGING me to read them because she knew I’d love them to actually read them, though. Lord, I’m stubborn!!! I love them so so so so much!


Oh, and I loathe Twilight. I read the first one because I thought as a future teacher, I should know what the youth of America was wild about. The writing is so poor. I would expect a 12 year old to write better. UGH. This is not even getting into the messages that are in the book. No, no, no, no!


The funny thing about Harry Potter, is that I initially thought it was a kiddie book, and then getting to the last bits of the series and finding out that parts of it are really dark and violent and scary, especially in the final book, but really starting as early as the third. Gosh, was I proved wrong. :)
But at least it got me pulled out of that ’children’s book, therefore can’t read’ thing which is just plain wrong. If not for Harry Potter, I would never have picked up the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage or the Skulduggery Pleasant books by Derek Landy, and I love those.


I think the best children’s literature is that which an adult and child can enjoy together. Chronicles of Narnia and Redwall come to mind; I have very warm fuzzy memories of enjoying them with my favorite 6-year-old. I’m on a “comfort read” kick and have reacquired several of my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder books … every bit as good as when I read them till the covers fell off in grade school!


Awesome tasting note. It’s so easy to fall hard for this one. I do believe this is the show-stopper of black teas. Such a captivating profile it has!


Gmathis, I haven’t read Redwall, but I think I might have attempted starting it once only I couldn’t get into it. Narnia and the LIW, though. I loved those. I also enjoyed the series that focused on Rose, written by her stepson (I think), but I’m not sure I ever finished that one.

Geoffrey, thank you. :) It has very quickly taken a favourite position with me. I think I would even put it in as second favourite, just below aforementioned Tan Yang (♥)

David Duckler

This makes me smile! Tea just seems to encourage the discussion of literature and culture in every environment it is present. Wonderful!

I am glad that the humble Laoshan Black is so moving for so many people. I think that the Steepster community alone has single-handedly influenced the family who produces this to keep experimenting and improving. It is only their second time making black tea after all. I try to pass on all the compliments when I am able. I am hoping that they will take it as a challenge to keep getting even better for the Spring 2012 harvest.


If you haven’t read it, I recommend the Ralph Moody books, beginning with “Little Britches – Father and I Were Ranchers”. Wonderful books! Very much like LIW but written by a man.


You can’t tell, but I’m clicking the little like heart eleventy-billion times.


On the book topic: I am partial to any movie or book that is in the sci-fi/fantasy
genre, and some of my friends are too (many of us fall into the stereotypical DORK category, well, at least I judge I do).
Some of them (all guys) won’t even touch Harry Potter, let alone Twilight, as if neither are hard-core enough.


I consider myself to be as devoted to Tolkien’s works and the LOR as they come, and yet I really enjoyed J.K. Rowling’s books. I haven’t read any of the Twilight books, but I did see the first movie, and against my own male tendencies to dislike anything overly gushy, romantic, or too ‘lite and fluffy’ (the opposite of hard core, I guess), I liked it. They way I look at it, my friends are simply missing out. No big deal. I’m sure I am missing out on things because of my misconceptions/preconceived notions/prejudices.

And on the tea: Angrboda: It’s amazing how many flavors you can find in this tea. I still have a loooooooooong way to go. But I am learning. Thank you for your detailed experience. So much to explore and experience in a simple black tea! : )


One more thing: some of the coolest characters I have ever read about I ‘met,’ and will never forget, in those books, like Mad-eyed Moody, and Hagrid. And, although I’m male, I can probably identify most with Hermione; she’s great)!


You write the best tasting notes! So rich and full and informative – you make me want to do research! (and spend money…) Inspiration!


Thank you Nurvilya. How sweet of you. :)


This is really really wonderful. Thank you so much for sending me some – though it just might change my parameters of what I want in a chinese black tea.

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The first time I had this, I had made it with boiling water because I had not been paying attention. Lately, based on how Kusmi’s flavoured teas are frequently better at around 90°C as opposed to the boiling 100°C, I have taken to consequently using 90°C for flavoured black teas.

The first time I had this one I noted a certain astringency, almost bitter and something I could definitely have lived without.

This time I didn’t get that astringency in any noteworthy amount, so the reduced temperature was definitely worth it. The rest of the flavour, however, was much the same.

An enjoyable cup. Bit on the flowery side for me, but otherwise quite nice. Still wish the rhubarb would come out more. I’ve had a rhubarb flavoured green, which was quite nice, but I would love to try a rhubarb flavoured black. Maybe in combination with strawberry like in this blend, only without all the flowers. I wonder if it would be like the red fruit porridge my late grandmother sometimes made when I was on holiday at their house as a child. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B8dgr%C3%B8d)

I’ve never seen anything rhubarb flavoured that wasn’t green, though. Or, like this one, in a rather more complicated blend.

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drank Earl Grey Smoky by Kusmi Tea
1267 tasting notes

Steepsterites, as I write this it is 5.45pm where I live.

We are looking at the first cup of tea I’ve had all day.

All. Day.

It’s been one of those days, I’m sure you’ve all had them as well, where I haven’t exactly been unbearably busy, but busy enough to be occupied for the whole workday and just managing to put in a lunch break in the middle.

Add to that the fact that my colleague, who owns half part in the work stash, is not at work for a couple of days, so I’ve had nobody to remind me.

So by the time I got home and got the shopping done, I was desperate for the first touch of caffeine since yesterday evening. So, flavoured that suits the time of day? Or smoky becuase I’m desperate? How awesome that I can have both!

And so, without further ado,

pounces cup


I honestly think my brain would shut down if I didn’t have tea for that long :)


I would have malfunctioned from a lack of caffeine… :-P


I had the beginnings of a rather conspicuous headache by the time I got home from work.


No tea until 5:45 pm?? A shocking state of affairs! :)


Indeed. Quite unacceptable. I made certain it didn’t happen again today.

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drank Caramel Apple by Custom
1267 tasting notes

Witness, Steepsterites, the food of the gods!

So I took half and half of Caramel and Apple, both of Kusmi Tea.

It is a well-known fact that the Caramel is a beloved favourite of mine. I procured the Apple yesterday and was somewhat unimpressed, although not completely put off or disappointed.

On a whim this fine morning, I decided to see how they would fare in a mix. Would it in fact be something along the lines of caramel apples?

The answer is a resounding YES! Yes it is. Oh my giddy aunt!

If you happen to be in possession of these two teas at any point in your life, I would strongly recommend trying them in a mix.


That. Is. BRILLIANT! Every inch of me wants to order these now, but I made myself a promise and will stick to it (must reduce tea in cupboard first). But you bet your sweet bippy that I will try this in the future. :D


I look forward to hearing if you experience with the mix was as thoroughly pleasant as mine. It completely took that initial problem I had with the apple out of the equation for me. I suspect now that I’m going to be having a LOT of fun with that apple tea. :D


I need a Kusmi tea order soon. :)


This is the best thing I’ve ever heard since actual caramel apples! You’ve just saved two bags of apple tea I just happened to have laying around, I just made myself a pot and I’m almost on the floor geeking out. Thank you so much!

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drank Apple by Kusmi Tea
1267 tasting notes

So I accidentally went into this shop today where they have all this here Kusmi. It was actually buy myself a different sort of treat entirely (chocolate covered almonds om nom nom) but this was in the same section of the shop, so I thought I should at least have a glance, you know? Just in case anything had changed. nod nod

Long story short, I allowed myself to be inspired. Which is strange really, because I’ve not had very consistent luck with apple-flavoured things. I’ve had things which were quite nice. Yoghurt for example is very nice with apple. As are pancakes. Jelly beans with apple not so much. Too synthetic tasting. Various tisanes with apple bits in, absolutely horrid.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought this. O.o

At first when I opened the tin a very apple-y aroma came at me. Then when I smelled the leaves a bit more closely, it had that apple in it still, but also, mysteriously, something almost sort of spicy. I’m afraid my immediate thought was paprika…

Obviously this doesn’t have any spices in it, but it is pretty odd. It’s the same thing after steeping, only the apple aroma is smoother and more pronounced. That funny spicy note was still there though. I had to go into the kitchen and smell an apple in order to figure out what to do with that note.

Did you know that apples smell slightly spicy when you pay attention? I didn’t know that!

Just saying something is ‘apple flavoured’ is really a bit of a problem though. There are so many different sorts of apples, and apples are one of the fruits with enormous taste variation between sorts. I tend to like Pink Lady best, and was once recommended Fuji based on that preference. I did not like Fuji at all. So in moments of Most Glorious OCD, I’m sitting here kind of wanting to know what sort of apple it’s supposedly flavoured with.

Anyway, nitpicking aside, it’s time to have a look at the flavour of this, and that’s where that spicy note comes in again.

I was really surprised by the flavour of this at first sip. The very first note, right up front and stomping onto the tongue with boots on, is something that most of all tastes dusty. The sort of dusty flavour that I get from jasmine scented teas or in some cases heavy bergamot.

What the blinking heck???

This is not something I associate with apples at all. It’s not something I associate with generic Chinese black (base tea) either. I did not oversteep, I did not use more leaf than normal, I used the recommended steeping temperature (85°C-90°C, which is what I use for ALL flavoured black). Nothing but black tea and apple flavouring is listed as ingredients. So where that is coming from I can’t for the life of me figure out. (It’s not impossible that it’s contamination from the pot, but it seems rather too much for that)

Thankfully, as it cools a bit to a more drinking friendly temperature, this off-putting phenomenon goes away. Now the apple flavour, which was only present in the background before, is coming out in spades. Spades, I tell you! Spades! Diamonds, hearts and clubs as well. The whole deck, in fact, has gone all apple-y. I’m not accustomed to this strong flavouring in a Kusmi tea. They, in my experience, tend to be a lot more subtle, but this one is certainly an exception.

And yeah, it’s still one of those spicy apple sorts. The reason I didn’t like Fuji, as I mentioned earlier, was because I thought it had a sort of bitter note to it. I wonder if this is actually the same sort of thing as was causing that initial unpleasantness for me earlier. This is just not flavoured after my particular preference in apple.

It’s really surprisingly good now that it’s more apple, less dust, even if it’s not my ideal place in the apple spectrum. I find that spicy note somewhat distracting, but I can deal with it, I think. This is probably not one I’ll buy again when it’s gone, but it’s good enough that I might decide to try other apple flavoured teas should I come across them. I definitely don’t think that these leaves are going to linger on the shelf for years untouched. They will be used.


I can’t say that I’ve ever given apple that much consideration. I have a box of an apple tisane bagged tea that was a gift — I might have to dust it off and give it a second chance and really ponder the appleness. :)


tear open the bag, sprinkle onto apples and make a pie from them :)


Have you tried Gala or Honeycrisp apples for eating out of hand? Honeycrisp might only be available in the US, though.


Gala apples are my favorites! I’ve never had an apple tisane or tea that really tasted like an apple.


Rabs, I haven’t really either other than finding my favourite sort. And then I would have to fall hard for a sort that is not grown in Denmark but imported from Brazil and therefore twice as expensive. But it’s so nommy! It’s the perfect apple. Just the right amount of tart.

Ashmanra, I’ve seen Gala around here, but I haven’t seen Honeycrisp, so you’re probably right. I’ll give Gala a go.

Tamm, neither have I, really. They were mostly like hot apple juice to me, only far more sour. I like apple juice, but I rather prefer it cold! :)


Amen to that! Except as soon as I hear hot+apple it is equal to wanting some kind of wassil and I’ve just not always had luck with chai apples because it just comes off way too spicy instead of apply.


I adore Pink Lady apples. Mmm. Piñata is probably my favorite but Pink Lady is a very close number two. Not sure if I’d want them as a tea though….


I think this is just some sort of generic apple, though.

I haven’t heard of Pinata, although I did spend rather a lot of time on a website about apple cultivars this morning, trying to identify the one we had in the garden when I was little. That was awesome, but unfortunately it seems to be mostly a garden variety and not a shop variety. If I could get that one again, that would probably be my favourite, but I had no luck with the identification.

I did however learn that Cripps Pink = Pink Lady, and that when they are sold as Cripps Pink instead, it’s because they weren’t quite good enough to get the PL trademark. I didn’t know that! I thought it was just two very similar apple sorts.


Cripps Pink makes me think of gangbanger apples. Hehe.

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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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