1270 Tasting Notes

80

Queued post, written April 23rd 2014

I enjoy a cup of puerh now and then, but it’s not something I really drink very large amounts of. It’s not really the same way as with green tea and similar where I have to be in the mood for it. I think it has to do with the effort involved. Drinking pu-erh tea is a commitment to drink the same tea for a long time, and I just don’t always have that sort of attention span. I get bored. I want something else.

Even so, I took some of this out of the EU TTB round 1, and have been waiting for a good time to have it. Last time Husband had a puerh he didn’t much like it, so I’m not going to bother giving him this one when we have so many others that he enjoys much more. Therefore, drinking it on a Wednesday is the way forward.

For once in my life I actually did a quick rinse. This seems to be the primary advice given to people who like puerh but find it a little harsh. I’ve never had that problem myself, so I’ve never bothered. I did today though for reasons that… Well, for no particular reason actually. Call it an experiment.

It smells like mushrooms and cinnamon. I’m a bit puzzled by the latter. I wasn’t expecting that. I wonder if it might be a result of residue on my strainer… Not impossible, but it has brewed a number of non-cinnamon-y things since it’s been in contact with cinnamon, and none of those had cinnamon notes in them that should or shouldn’t be there, so I’m leaning towards the belief that this tea actually smells like cinnamon.

The flavour is a bit thin, but again there’s a lot of cinnamon notes in it. I’m not getting too much in the way of mushrooms until the aftertaste, and I can’t immediately spot any stronger earthy flavours. There’s no feeling of farm animals to this. I say farm animals because the first time I had a puerh it invoked strong memories of my great-grandparents’ and the farm they had when I was little. It shaped the whole puerh experience for me. I want this note in my cup. I want this association.

I don’t know where those farm animals have gone here. I wonder if the rinse step stole them from me. If that is the case this will be the first and last time I ever bother with a rinse. I want my farm animals back.

That said though, it is an enjoyable cup. Remarkably cinnamon-y and quite sweet with an aftertaste of mushrooms and broth.

Jillian

Nooo, not the farm animals! ;)

Angrboda

I know! It was quite disappointing. I still have some left, though, so I can test if it was the rinse that did it or if they just aren’t there.

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72

When I first posted about this, Hello.Kiki suggested trying it as a cold brew. I thought that sounded like a good idea, so I did.

It works very well as such! It’s very elderflower-y and sweet, reminding me of elderflower cordial. Give it at least 48 hours, though. I tried a little yesterday and it’s definitely better today.

I’ve found that rooibos blends haven’t generally worked so well as a cold brew for me, because they tended to be mostly rooibos-y and not very much of whatever it was flavoured with. Now I think maybe it’s just because it requires far longer in the fridge before drinking than I thought.

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84
drank The Earl of Lemon by DAVIDsTEA
1270 tasting notes

Queued post, written April 20th 2014

Here’s a tea that MissB shared with me. I used the whole sample in one go and shared it with Husband. He found it very pleasant indeed, but he’s biased when it comes to lemons. :)

At first when I poured water on it, the liquid was very green. Almost as green as a kiwi! I picked the pot up (glass) and went to show it to Husband, and although it was still quite green then, it had yellowed some so he didn’t see the full effect. I’ve noticed green teas often do this. They’ll be actually green when you pour water on but then they turn yellow or golden in colour. It’s still fun while they’re bright green though. :)

I’m afraid I rather quaffed it while looking at pictures of dresses. My mother in law turns 60 later this year and would like to make her party 50s themed. I’ve been searching high and low for a rockabilly dress which doesn’t cost a fortune and which it sounds like fits. I think I’ve found one, so I’m very much looking forward to it arriving. I don’t want a pencil skirt. Rockabilly complete with petticoat or nothing! Anyway, this was rather a distraction from tasting the tea properly.

I’ll try to write what I recall then. I assumed it would be bergamotty what with it being called something with ‘Earl’ and there did seem to be a little bit of it, but not very much. Just as a sort of background thing adding depth and a hint of a floral note to the lemon. The lemon was at the forefront and it was a fresh, fruity sort of lemon rather than a sour one. In fact I’ve still got a lemon-y sensation at the very tip of my tongue.

It was really very nice.

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93

Queued post, written April 20th 2014

Four red fruits! This is a flavour that I am quite partial to, but for some reason rarely buy. This is a sample that Courtney shared with me.

This one smells strongly like cherries. Unlike many of my co-Steepsterites, I was never as a child subjected to fruit-flavoured medicines. The only time I ever had any illness that required antibiotics as a child I was an infant and therefore don’t rightly remember. It was probably given intravenously then anyway. Other than that, the closest I come was some cough medicine that my father once bought. It was the sort where you put a tablet in a glas of water and it goes psssh-pssssh-psssssh and disolves. Supposedly it was supposed to taste like raspberry, but it was not like any raspberry I’d ever come across then or since. It didn’t really taste like anything other than medicine and it didn’t help the cough much either. Other cough medicines were usually strongly licorice flavoured because they contained licorice extract, but that hasn’t stopped me from eating licorice with great relish.

So for me, a strong note of cherry is not a turn-off and it’s difficult for me to imagine how it could be for anybody. I mean I can understand why it is. But I can’t imagine it.

I feel like I’m picking up some raspberry and strawberry in there as well, but it’s muted by the cherry. There’s a feeling of something a little tart as well, which fits with red currant. A 4RF where I can smell all four fruits! This bodes very well indeed.

The flavour is very close to the aroma. Primarily cherry, with the other three under the surface, but still without masking the base completely. I can even pick up some grain-y notes from it under the flavouring.

This is very good and very well balanced. I like that the emphasis is on the cherry as opposed to the raspberry and strawberry, because usually in these blends the cherry is the flavour I have the most difficulties picking up. The red currant is not very easy to find, though, but I think that’s for the best. If it was stronger, the tea would have been very tart.

keychange

To clarify, Courtney and I loved the banana flavoured medicine we were subjected to as children, so it was actually quite a lovely childhood experience! :)

Indigobloom

Yes! Banana medicine was the BEST :P

Dexter

Four red fruit, heavy on the cherry – I think I would like this. Need to look into getting some Nina’s teas…

Courtney

Yes, keychange, banana medicine was the BEST. But cherry-ish cough medicines and grape tylenol was a nightmare. To this day, those scents make my stomach turn.

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94

Queued post, written April 20th 2014

I think Husband is broken. I’ve been giving him the choice between the JW samples three times now, and he still hasn’t chosen the lapsang souchong. Is this the act of Cornflakes-man, I ask you? This is very disturbing. Do you think it might be bodysnatchers? O.O

Now, this one I would, had circumstances (ie shipping fees and my bank account) been different, have got a full tin of without even blinking. But, there were other choices that I also wanted a full tin of, both of which were new to me and with infinite potential for being Interesting, so I had to make do with a sample. Okay. I can live with that.

This is one of those kinds of tea where I know for certain sure that I’ll like it without having to have to sample it first. The very name of it alone is worth the first 80 points on the Steepster scale. It’s not a type which has to prove itself to me first, like an Assam or a Ceylon does.

There is a creamy sort of quality to the aroma of this one. I haven’t added anything to the cup, I never do, but it smells like there might have been a drop of cream in there somewhere. Apart from that it’s got that grain-y note that I love, but I’m not picking up too much in the way of cocoa notes.

Once upon a time I had a Bai Lin. The first one I ever had, and it tasted like mandarins. Therefore this is a note I always look for, but have never found again. Well, that’s not true, it may have been there in others, but never to the same extent. For this reason my ideal BL tastes like mandarins.

This one is grainy and cocoa-y and it has a sort of springy freshness to it. It’s a bit giddy, a bit bouncy. JW calls it elegant and sophisticated, but for me there’s a childish glee in it that doesn’t really equate ‘elegant and sophisticated’ at all.

It does not, however, deliver on the mandarins. Oh well. Perhaps I’m chasing shadows. It’s very enjoyable all the same.

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I’m skipping the queue with this one because this is a really old bag that Fleurdelily shared with me in 2012. Yes, 2012. It’s that old! It’s been languishing in a tin of quite forgotten teabags of the same age and that’s what I’ve been drinking today.

This is the one that has handled it the worst. There’s pretty much nothing left, but there’s just enough flavour to provide a fairly pleasant cup of hot water.

On the other hand, it gives me an opportunity to impart a green tea related thing that happened to me yesterday. At work we have this coffee/hot chocolate vending machine that we can use for free. It can also dispense hot water so they’ve put up a selection of usually around five to seven different boxes of tea bags. Several of these boxes seem to be variety packs so the amount of choice is quite good. Only… Primarily, it’s Pickwick, and Pickwick is on par with Lipton. Well, it’s free and it’s a super common brand and most people aren’t as into this stuff as we are on Steepster. (No, really. Most people don’t care. It’s true!) It’s our cleaning assistants who look after it, and yesterday one of them was doing the daily cleaning/re-fill of it. She had just taken the foil off a green tea variety pack when I happened to walk past. So she thrust it right under my nose.

“Here, smell this! Doesn’t that smell lovely?” says she.

(recoils a bit) “I think it smells cheap…” says I. I swear it just popped out of my mouth. Had I had a moment to think I’d have just said yes and judged silently.

“Cheap?! You’re not serious! They cost over 20 kr each these boxes!” exclaims she.

“Yeah, that’s cheap,” says I in another spontaneous moment and hurried on before we could get into a discussion about it.

What I really ought to have said was that it smelled ridiculously expensive, because while the tea itself did smell quite cheap and paper-y, she’s right that it is hugely expensive when it comes to the actual amount of actual tea in a box.

I will also blame my unintended honesty on the fact that the box she put under my nose was a variety pack of floral scented green teas, and I don’t much care for floral stuff under the best of circumstances. Actually I don’t even much like the smell of perfume or even some flowers. There’s a particular one that I’ve told Husband in banned from the house on account of it being stinky. I can’t remember what it’s called, but I can recognise it on sight stink. Luckily for me he thinks he knows which one I mean and is fine with it. For people who like flower smells it’s probably lovely. I think it reeks to high heaven because the scent of it is so very strong.

If only she hadn’t thrust that box under my particular sniffer!

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76

Queued post, written April 18th 2014. I just decided this morning that today would be a green tea day. Seems fitting that the next post in the queue is also a green tea. Queue is only 15 pages long these days, btw!

And another one bites the dust. First time I’ve had it, but I’ve given some of it away so I actually used the rest of it now.

After the oddness that were the Northern Wilds, I rather fancied something different. Something completely different. Green was the answer and this was the first one I found.

It smells kind of citrus-y. A little like lemon-water. Other than that I’m not getting much in the way of scent.

The flavour is completely different from the aroma. I almost came to expect something really mild with a bit of lemon twang, and instead something bit my tongue. There is the lemon, but it’s more pithy than juicy, and this is then followed by something I can best describe as default green. Sort of vegetal but without me being able to really say what sort of greenery I think it is.

I find myself actually rather enjoying this. Imagine that. A Darjeeling that doesn’t have me nose-wrinkling even a little bit. How surprisingly nice!

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31
drank Northern Wilds by Verdant Tea
1270 tasting notes

Queued post, written April 18th 2014

This is chosen primarily because I keep finding it in the box and having no idea what it is. So now I’m going to try it and get it out of that box for good. Bonnie shared it with me, and when I say ‘shared’ I mean seemingly ‘sent me the rest of her sample pouch.’

I am uncertain about this blend. It has a number of things in it that I don’t even know what are, some things that are okay and some that are decidedly meh. And it rather… smells. Husband says it smells like Pears soap, but I don’t know what that smells like. I’ll give him the soapy association, though.

Things do not get better after steeping. Husband has changed his stance to ‘minty bath soap’ which… I’ll leave it up to you to tell me if this is better or not. Sceptical cat is sceptical.

I’m not sure what I think of this. It’s definitely minty and there’s something else that gives me a strong dark chocolate association. (To my relief it doesn’t actually taste like soap) As it cools a bit, though, it just becomes more and more minty. There is supposed to be oolong in here somewhere but you could have fooled me.

We found this somewhat drinkable, but not otherwise to our tastes.

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20
drank Golden Fruits by Fru P Kaffe & The
1270 tasting notes

Queued post, written April 18th 2014

I tried this in a cold brew, because I don’t really care for these blends that are made up of only dried fruit. I find them often rather sour and frequently somewhat bland-ish. Generally I’ve had the best experiences with them in cold brews, so that was what I went for.

Lots of the blend in a couple of filter bags in a jug over a couple of days, and the result was… a really thin vaguely apple-juicy concoction. I tried it hot as well, and that was pretty much the same story.

Unbelievably dull. I might as well have been drinking water, it just didn’t work at all. I’m not certain what to do with the rest of the bag now. It may very well find itself relocated. To the bin. As it came from the christmas calendar I have no qualms at all doing this. I didn’t pick it myself and there is a great deal of it.

A world of meh.

Marzipan

Where in town is this tea shop?

Courtney

I’ve feel lost without access to Fru P’s vanilla and rhubarb flavours. They do them so well!

Angrboda

Marzipan, it’s near the Salling department store. If you come down the street from the train station, you turn right at the corner just when you get to Salling. I can’t remember the street name. I’m not very good at street names. I just walk there, I don’t generally pay attention to learning the names. :)

Courtney, I agree. Especially the vanilla. I wish I knew who her supplier was, but I can’t bring myself to ask. Strikes me as a bit rude somehow.

Marzipan

I know where that is, thanks!

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94

Queued post, written April 18th 2014

Okay, I’m going to do a quick morning post of this and after that I’m going to aim for the ABTS (Apply Bottom To Seat) approach to my Camp NaNoWriMo writing. I’ve got behind while we had Husband’s parents staying, but that’s not really the biggest problem. The real problem is that I’m in re-writing phase now and this has turned out to be an awful lot more difficult than I imagined it would be. I would murder my internet for the duration, but that’s not as easy as it sounds and involves reaching into tiny corners and places where I can’t see what I’m doing, so I’m just going to have excert will-power.

HAH! As if anybody believes that. I’m already struggling with convincing myself to NOT have cake for breakfast. I am such a grown-up.

Anyway, I gave Husband the choice of tea this morning from among my three untasted JW samples, and for the second time, very surprisingly him being Cornflakes-Man and all, did not choose the LS. He picked this one, of which we used all the leaf for a large pot. And then spilled some, but there should still be enough in the pot that we can get a decent resteep.

This has a very malty aroma and it also reminds a little of honey. I’m not getting any cocoa from it, but there is something that I can’t quite put my finger on and it’s sort of in the same family as cocoa, smell-wise. (No, it’s not chocolate) It’s quite faint though, so I’m not deeming it super-important to decipher it at this point. Underneath all this there is a lot of grain and wood, so it smells like a good strong tea here. At first glance a good choice for the first tea of the morning.

Oooh, it may not smell entirely like cocoa, but it definitely has cocoa notes in the flavour. Not a lot of it, but just at the very beginning of the very first sip, there it was. It was followed with something that struck me as ever so slightly tart, ever so slightly wine-y. Interesting! That’s not a flavour I’m used to finding in tea at all.

The more I sip, the more the wine-y note seems to stand out. It’s in the realm of a slightly spicy wine here, perhaps even a tiny little bit mulled? I’m not getting too much of the grain and wood body I noticed in the aroma, although there those were fairly strong notes. I enjoy a good deal of grain in my Chinese black, so I’m missing it a little, but not to the point where it really bothers me.

This tea is very different from the Chinese black teas I’ve usually had, even the Yunnan teas I’ve usually had. It has a really interesting flavour and it’s very much worth a visit. Had I not been under certain ordering constraints (in general, but in particular with this brand) I think I could easily drink a tin of this.

It reminds me a little of the very first time I had the fabled Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring. I honestly didn’t know what to make of it. I wasn’t even certain whether or not I liked it. And then gradually I discovered that I did like it. I really did. I really really did! It has remained my favourite ever black in the world since then and although a few teas have come close, none have yet managed to push it off that pedestal. With enough exposure to it, this Dian Hong has the potential of growing on me in the same way. Perhaps not quite to the epic pinnacles of the TYTJ, but close.

MzPriss

I like this one a lot!

caile

It sounds delicious!

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Pepper, nutmeg, or cinnamon by any chance?

Angrboda

Not impossible. I can’t actually remember it exactly anymore. I frequently find black teas somewhat spicy, but it’s always some kind of generic spice if that makes sense. This one just gave some sort of mulled vibe in addition to it. I’m not very good at recognising my individual spices to be honest.

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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.

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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

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