1279 Tasting Notes

31

This smells awfully sugary sweet. It definitely smells like warm marshmallow. Or fondant. Yeah, fondant. I can’t say as I’m too fond of either to be honest. I prefer marshmallows at room temperature and just as they are. And only whipped cream in my hot chocolate, thanks.

So yeah, I’m a bit concerned. All those fruit blends, where did they go?

The flavour is marshmallow spot on all right. There is lots of it too and I can also tell by the nuttiness underneath that we’re dealing with a genmaicha base. But it’s sooooooo sweet. And sticky. And sweet.

And rather too much for me, to be honest, which probably points back to aforementioned reservations about warm marshmallows. You know how sometimes you want to make tea sweeter? So you add sugar. What do I add to make it less frightfully sweet?

No, this is just not one for me. It’s too sweet and too much and too… It’s too much. Even my sweet tooth of considerable proportions can’t keep up with this.

The boyfriend thought it was okay, though. I gave him the rest of my cup.

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77

One more on this day, because were had missed a day earlier.

I knew this one would be in here. It has been so popular and so raved about that there was just no way it could not be in here. Welcome to Bizarroland.

In spite of all the ravings about it, I have only had a small fleeting interest in it myself, and I’ve always got over it fairly quickly again. I just prefer fruit blends, and while I think it’s all sorts of fun that these blends are being made, I’m not really that interested in purchasing them. Whenever I’ve seen someone post about this blend, it has always inspired me to want pancakes, but only as a food, not as a beverage.

Now I get a chance to try it anyway, though, so here we go.

In our house we always have pancakes on saturday mornings, so it feels really weird for me to try this one on a wednesday evening… I tried to make the boyfriend guess what it could be, but when I told him that he wasn’t think bizarre enough with his guesses of caramel (although he’s close to something there), he got too bizarre. Frank, please don’t ever make a blend flavoured with iguana steak and electrocuted marshmallows.

He was right about it smelling caramel-y. Knowing that it’s maple syrup, I can recognise it as such, but if I hadn’t known, caramel would have been my guess as well. I can also pick up some notes of warm butter, but not really the actual pancake.

The flavour has an initial burst of warm butter as well, followed by tea and something batter-y side by side. The batter-y note has that sort of flour-y texture to it like real batter, so while I wouldn’t say I’m finding it spot on pancake, it’s definitely something in that direction. The maple syrup shows up on the swallow and in the aftertaste and while it tastes more like regular caramel than maple syrup to me, it does leave that same sort of feeling in the mouth afterwards that maple syrup does. A bit like it’s opening the palate a little bit. Regular caramel doesn’t give me that sensation.

I’m finding it a quite pleasant blend. It’s still not one where I will join the hordes in singing its praises, the horde is doing that quite well without me, but I am rather surprised to find myself enjoying the cup. It’s very well done, but me, I prefer something fruity and I still prefer to have my pancakes as solid food.

(Had I had more than just for one pot, I would probably have tried mixing it with my apple flavoured black, since we prefer our pancakes with apple chunks in. I can’t test that, though.)

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74
drank Rainbow Sherbet by 52teas
1279 tasting notes

So far there hasn’t been any rooibos or anything else that I knew from the outset I wouldn’t care for. The box is far from over, however, so I’m not counting my chickens yet. Merely pointing it out, because when I saw this label and before I read the text on it, I had a bit of a worry. I do remember this one coming out, but I was remembering it as a rooibos or honeybush thing. I’m pleased to find it was not.

The aroma is very orange-y and we have agreed that we can tell where the sherbet is coming from. It sort of smells fizzy, but then the flavour disappoints somewhat because it doesn’t taste fizzy. Admittedly, if it did, it would be weird, but it’s just sort of missing that fizz.

I can taste orange primarily and underneath that, raspberry. It seems like citrus is just a very dominant flavour for me and if something involves citrus, it’s hard for other flavours to live up to that forcefulness.

This blend reminds me to of two things, both of them also from 52teas.

First it reminds me of that Cherry Cola Vanilla thingie that was one of the first blends from 52teas that I tried. I love Cherry Cola, but my problem with that one was, as with this one, the lack of fizz. Try as I might, I couldn’t distract myself away from that.

Secondly, it reminds me of the Strawberry Orange Scone that I had recently, because the experience of the orange is the same as in this one. To me, those two blends are very similar and I’m having an almost identical reaction, although slightly in favour of the Strawberry Orange Scone, because that one isn’t labouring under the lack of fizz.

I like this, but it’s not one I’m disappointed I didn’t have more of.

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91

There was nothing on the 12th, because we were out all evening playing at being grown-ups with dinner and a Leonard Cohen theatre concert. But the next day there was this.

This sound much more up my specific field of preference than the other two, this one. I’m a little surprised by it though. I can’t for the life of me recall having ever seen it before, especially because it rather seems like something that would have caught my interest when first blended. I expect it was probably in the summer, so maybe it was while we were away on holiday or something, and so I didn’t pay attention.

My first association when I smelled the dry leaf was bubble gum and it’s a thought I’m having difficulties really shaking. Secondary thought is that it smells exactly like a specific lemonade-y ice lolly that you can get in Denmark. That one is quite nice, although not a favourite. I’m not picking up much strawberry, mainly lemonade, and I can’t find the base tea in the aroma at all.

The flavour is an entirely different matter. I get lots of lemonade and also plenty of strawberry and then a peek of base white underneath.

I was right. This is right up my specific field of preference this. Oh dear, I do wish I had noticed this one when it was actually posted…

smartkitty

I found I preferred the second steeping, as the strawberry was less overpowering and tasted lovely.

Angrboda

I quite liked the heavy strawberry. I think strawberry is one of those flavours that it’s difficult to get right in tea, and if there isn’t LOTS of it, I often don’t feel it’s quite there. I think it’s more susceptible to being drowned by other flavours.

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75
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
1279 tasting notes

I gather this is some sort of American sweet. Now, this strikes me as rather less peculiar than yesterday’s popcorn, although it’s not a sort of sweet we get in Denmark. In Denmark chocolate turtles are filled with a caramel and rum-y cream, so I will have to try and distract myself away from a firm conviction of how a proper chocolate turtle should be. Obviously my proper chocolate turtle is rather different from yours. The picture on the label make me think more of a snickers bar, only with a different sort of nut, so that’s the image I will try to keep in my head. I’ve never in my life laid eyes on the sweet in question so I have to go by close enoughs.

The aroma is very honeyed. My aunt, who doesn’t like honey, would hate this smell. I rather enjoy honey myself, and I always find it a pleasant note to find in tea. It also smells caramel-y and nutty, so from what I can tell, the aroma is pretty much a hit.

The flavour seems to be primarily caramel with a bit of chocolate on the sides. I can’t immediately find any nuts in it, but I suspect they’re sort of hiding below the other flavours. And as I write this, I discover them coming out gradually in the aftertaste. Nuts, check.

Nuts, caramel and honey. It’s not quite a snickers bar, but it’s close enough. I’m rather enjoying this, but again, I’m glad it’s a small cup, because I think I could also easy have too much of this.

TeaEqualsBliss

Our turtles are similar…chocolate covered caramel/nutty mostly…sometimes with nougat…but I like the chocolate/caramel/nuts better :)

Angrboda

You just gave me a good idea with that comment. I’m not saying what it is. :)

TeaEqualsBliss

I just reread it and came up with several jokes myself! LOL

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65
drank Buttered Popcorn by 52teas
1279 tasting notes

First of all, let me just say what a totally weird concept this is for me. In Denmark, popcorn are served with salt. The end. No butter, no cheese, no caramel, no chocolate, no spinach, no coffee, no fruit, no curry, no fairy wing dust or whatever else whacky popcorn additions you lot can think up. No nothing. Just salt. Therefore, because it’s so utterly bizarre to me, I admit I’m wary.

I’m glad the pouches are so small here. They are just the right size for the small pot, and that means a small cup for me and a small cup for the boyfriend. So if I strongly dislike it, I don’t have a lot to go through.

Right, be positive, me.

In spite of the fact that I find this fairly bizarre, I do actually think it smells quite nice. It definitely smells like butter, but I’m not sure about the popcorn. I don’t really know how buttered popcorn actually smells, do I, so I don’t know exactly how drowned in grease you get them. But yeah, butter and also something sweet. I’m reminded more of jelly beans than of popcorn actually. (Oh wait a minute… I know there’s a buttered popcorn flavoured jelly bean. I wonder if I’ve ever tasted that one or if I avoided it based on bizarreness…)

Okay, the tea definitely tastes like popcorn. Slightly singed popcorn perhaps, but defintiely popcorn. How… odd. I get butter in the aftertaste too, not really a flavour of butter, but more the way the mouth feels having just eaten something with real butter on it.

This is erm… Well, to be completely honest, it’s exactly as weird and bizarre as I had expected it to be, but not as unpleasant as I had feared. It’s not really something for me, this, but it could also be a lot worse.

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97
drank Black Currant Bai Mu Dan by 52teas
1279 tasting notes

Looks like once again me needing to make an announcement and this tea gets connected. It’s rather less dramatic this time though, as I just wanted to say that we are off to England this morning and will return shortly before New Years Eve. I’m very unlikely to be able to be in touch at all while away, but I’ll have tons of posts for you when I get back, ie. the entire 52teas Christmas box.

The choice of this particular tea is actually a backlog from yesterday. It has the boyfriend seal of approval although he was shocked to learn that it wasn’t a black. This has since led to some confusion around here as I have to pay attention to whether he requests ‘black fruity’ or ‘black and fruity’ which are not the same things at all. Anyway, we had this yesterday, last cup of tea at home before Christmas.

Happy Christmas all, and I’ll see you when I get home. You will definitely see me, the number of posts I’ve got lined up for then. :D

__Morgana__

Safe travels and wave to England for me. We spent almost two weeks there last summer, first overseas trip with the two little ones, and a great time was had by all.

Ellyn

Safe Travels!

Auggy

Have a fun and safe trip!

Camiah

Have a wonderful trip!

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97
drank BOO-berry by 52teas
1279 tasting notes

I was wanting to try this one when it was blended the first time, but I was woefully late to the party and when I got there it was all gone. All of it. Nothing left for me. But then after a few weeks I saw that it appeared to have been reblended because suddenly there were two pouches of it. I hurried up and bought one of them. Lucky for me Frank happened to make a tea of the week that caught my eye that day!

And so, this was this end of the pouch. It has taken us exactly three days from we opened it and until today where we say good-bye. Okay, yeah, it’s the large pot that we share, which means I use a lot of leaf, but still… Sad-face.

The dry leaves smelled like sweets. They were berry-y and tart and ever so slightly sharp and nose-stabby, but still sweet. After steeping it’s more berry and marshmallow in even quantities and quite sweet. The marshmallow standing out more in the wet aroma had me a little worried. I don’t really want hot marshmallows, see…

The flavour killed any and all concern regarding the marshmallows. It’s primarily blueberry with a smidge of marshmallow on the side. A plain honest fruit tea and right up my alley! Also, ‘Boo-berry’ is lots of fun to say!

We have really really liked this one, as is evidenced by previous mention of how quickly it’s been used up. The boyfriend had a moment of shock, I think, when I told him to say goodbye.

Imperio! Frank! Make more Boo-berry!

Jillian

Three days?! That must be some sort of record. It usually takes me a couple months to go through a pouch (admittedly I’m also drinking other teas at the same time).

Angrboda

I know! I think I might actually have to have a look at my usual leaf to water ratio. It seems to have gone gradually heavier on the leaf lately.

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93
drank Dan Cong Classic by TeaSpring
1279 tasting notes

I knew if I started making tea noises in the kitchen, the boyfriend would get up. :D Kitties self-fed today by knocking the food bucket on the floor, so we’ve been allowed to sleep in without having our toes cut to ribbons.

This one I bought solely because of the alternative name ‘honey orchid dan cong’. It’s an attempt to zero in on that lovely oolong from Shang Tea, the one that smells like creme brulee and which, presently, I can’t remember the name of. Jade orchid something or other. Honey orchid sounded rather promising, I thought.

Secondarily, in my mind Dan Cong is indeed a classic oolong. If you ask me spontaneously to think of oolong, there are three that pops into my head immediately. TGY, Dan Cong and Da Hong Pao. Apart from TGY, I’m not too familiar with either of the two others, although I would like to be. I’ve just never explored them. I’ve had them a few times, but I haven’t explored them to the point where I can tell you what they’re like. This was to my own disadvantaged the other day when I was asked about the differences and similarities between a Rou Gui and a Da Hong Pao and was forced to tell the asker I had no clue. Loss of a chance to look smart, there. So yes, the secondary purpose to this particular purchase is also an attempt at an initial step down the road of discovery.

If this is to be a similar alternative to the Orchid Jade Something Something from Shang, then it has already failed on the aroma. It doesn’t smell like creme brulee at all. How disappointing, when one has readied one’s nose for that particular aroma. This does not really bode well for purpose number one, here.

For purpose number two, however, I get to properly familiarise myself with the aroma that it actually has. I feel it’s layered. Very initially when sniffing, it’s very floral. Not the dusty sort of floral that comes with flower scenting, but properly alive still attached to roots in the soil flowers. Along with that there is a distinct sweetness which is not really honey-y, but more sort of nectar-y. Very faintly underneath these notes, there is a woodsy, slightly earthy oolong-y aroma, and if I keep smelling the tea, it builds up and pushes the other two aromas to the background until all I can smell is the woodsy oolong.

Purpose number one, having tasted the tea, is more or less abandoned. Yeah, it’s very sweet and honey-y and all that, but it’s not… It’s just not quite there. It’s not what I was looking for. Purpose number one, we’re still searching. I had small hopes for this one, because the Shang Jade Orchid Something Something was a Fujian and this is from Guandong, which, consulting available literature, is just to the south and southwest of Fujian, so I thought conditions might be sufficiently similar. I think they are, I’m just not looking at the right kind of oolong. I will keep searching.

Purpose number two, familiarising myself, I have to say it tastes exactly like it smells. First there is floral and honey-nectar-y sweetness, and then oolong swoops in and hijacks the flavour. When it cools a bit, that honey-nectar-y business is not to be trifled with however, and it puts up a damn good fight in the background. This makes the entire flavour profile seem very thick textured and creamy, in spite of a small amount of astringency. It’s not quite caramel-y but maybe more sort of a proto-caramel. A caramel stem cell flavour, sort of.

And this brings us back to purpose number one, because hey! Now that it’s cooled a bit and I get all that floral sweetness I just mentioned? We’re suddenly a LOT closer to that Orchid Something Something Jade business, and I don’t think I will rule this out as a more easily acquired replacement after all. It’s not exactly the same, but given a little cooling time, I find it’s suddenly got a lot of the same sort of qualities that I liked in the other one. The Shang oolong has this one beat for awesomeness, certainly, but this one (purpose number two) is also very very good all in its own right.

And that post looks a bit confusing even to me. I hope some sense can be wrestled out of it.

ScottTeaMan

I tried their Feng Huan Dan Cong, and thought it was delicious. Using short steeps, I managed 6 or7 quality infusions. I hate that I forgot to review it on their website.

Angrboda

I usually forget to do that. Thanks for reminding me. No use in squandering points. :)

ScottTeaMan

I was wrong …….my review is on their site…05/18/2008. It was another tea I forgot to rate. :))

TeaBrat

The Dan cong is the next thing on my list to try… :)

Geoffrey

Angrboda, are you talking about the Clear Jade Orchid oolong from Shang Tea?

http://www.shangtea.com/clear-jade-orchid

The only other Fujian tea with “orchid” in it’s name that comes to mind is Qi Lan “Rare Orchid” Wuyi oolong:

http://www.teatrekker.com/shop/qui-lan/

Also worth trying if you can find a quality example of it. I have not tried the one linked to, but I just received an amazing Mi Lan “Honey Orchid” Dancong from Tea Trekker, so I imagine their other offerings are pretty good.

Angrboda

Geoffrey, yes that’s the one. I was too lazy to look it up. :p
I’ve never had anything from teatrekker, but shopping with them would be even more unpractical than to attempt to shop from Shang again, because Teatrekker will only ship to the UK in Europe, so I would have to get friends or the boyfriend’s family to receive and forward it to me in Denmark… And yeah, I’m just not going to bother, really… I’ve got a name to work with there, though, so I’ll just keep looking. I’ll be keeping an eye out for what you thought of this one when/if you post about it. :)

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86
drank Vanilla by A C Perch's
1279 tasting notes

After a workday where I didn’t even have time to eat my lunch(!), this tea has never been better.

Never.

(And if it hadn’t been for the two cups of raspberry oolong I took with me in the lab (Yes, I know. Ssshhhh!), I’m not sure I would have survived.)

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Bio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
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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)
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Bio last updated February 2014

Location

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Website

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