Chaplon

Recent Tasting Notes

75
drank Europæisk Chai by Chaplon
2 tasting notes

This is definitely a good strong masala chai mix, but for me, there is far too much licorice taste – not a taste I like very much.
It is a little hot, even in the mildest suggested dose used, but there is no ‘after kick’. The mix is much stronger in flavour than what you normally buy as ‘Chai tea’ in western shops.

If you like the taste of anise, fennel and licorice – and don’t mind a kick of ginger, and you feel normal blends are too bland, this might actually be something for you. Unfortunately, however, there is no ‘test’ version available, so you buy 320g (either in a nice tin or in a refill bag).

If you want something with even more of a kick, the company has two other chais to offer: (the hotter) Indian Chai and (the even hotter) Central Indian Chai.

Flavors: Licorice

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Bjergblomst by Chaplon
2 tasting notes

I love the idea of a ‘Danish’ tea, i.e. a tea grown on tea bushes in Sri Lanka owned by a Danish company.

Bjergblomst = Mountain flower

It smells divine and like something I should love, but to me, there might have been a bit too much black tea compared to the green tea. So not something I think I will be buying again, but would readily recommend to others.

I, unfortunately, did not try the reuse the tea for 2nd steep, which is supposed to give a better taste, according to the manufacturer. I will give this another try later on to see if the second steep is more to my taste.

“Contains: 56% Green Sencha tea, 39% Black Pekoe tea, 1% Rose, 1% Cornflower, 1% Sunflower and 2% ‘aroma’.

Tea leaves can be reused 1-2 times. Second steeping is thought to be the best."

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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51
drank Wild Pu-Erh 2008 by Chaplon
911 tasting notes

This managed to get lost in my little tea sample bowl. Oops. But I’m trying to get things organized and so when I rediscovered it, I thought I’d give it a go.

First off, the smell after a quick rinse smells just like my grandma’s barn. Dirt, hay and a tiny bit of livestock. After steeping an unknown (but less than 2 minutes) amount of time (I kind of walked away and forgot I hadn’t set a timer), the smell is really sweet. Still a bit of hay and dirt but mostly sweet. Dirt syrup. I kind of can’t help wincing a bit. Apparently I’m not in a pu-erh mood.

The taste isn’t a sweet, thick or syrupy as the smell would indicate. It’s more… wood? Green wood, I think, on the front end. And some earthiness that is not quite dirt but in the same family on the back. Dirty leather, maybe? Though sometimes the green wood and dirty leather combine in the sip to hit at the same time and I get a bit of an oily (but not overly smelly) fish. Yuck.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. I don’t think I’ve hit upon such a thin and non-silky pu-erh before. Weird. It does make it a big easier to drink, though. Usually I find the rich smell and silky taste of pu-erh to be too cloying. This isn’t, though.

That’s not to say this is good, though. Cause yeah, I don’t really think it is. I mean, it’s not bad, but yeah, not good. It’s sort of… passable? Like one of those inoffensive Keemuns I stock my pantry with so that if I want a good tea but feel like hoarding my good stuff, I can still get a passable cup of Keemun in. Except it’s pu-erh. And I don’t hoard pu-erh, inoffensive or spectacular. But you know, if someone did hoard pu-erhs, this one would be a great, inoffensive pantry filler.

Except for the when it tastes like fish. Then it’s offensive. Thankfully that happens less as it cools, but still. No fish tea, thanks. I’m rating it without taking the rare fish sips (three in the whole cup) into account. Because fish tea gets a red icky face. Non-fish tea gets a very light green meh face.

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100
drank Bjergblomst by Chaplon
29 tasting notes

this is a danish tea my girlfriend brought me from copenhagen. it’s a blend of sencha, pekoe and flowers, it is HEAVENLY.

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60
drank Wild Pu-Erh 2008 by Chaplon
1269 tasting notes

This sample has been clean forgotten. I was just looking through my box of things yet to post about and there it was. I see that I need to do some translation work on the description of it. I’ll get to it right away when I’m finished writing this post.

Wild pu-erh. Well, this sample was indeed quite wild. I fumbled a bit, taking the little bag of leaves out of the wrapping and dropped it on the floor. This, apparently, was completely irresistable to a passing and equally wild Charm-kitty, who proceeded to bat it violently across the dining room floor. The bag was sealed though, so no harm done. It looked funny, though.

The aroma is thick and earthy and pu-erh-y. It’s like… default pu-erh. This is what I think of, when someone says pu-erh. There is a kind of sweetish, fruity sort of jam-ish note in there as well, which rather reminds me of strawberry jam without actually smelling like strawberry at all.

If the aroma is default pu-erh, the flavour is a bit of a shock. There’s nothing default about this at all, and to be honest it tastes more like a black tea with a pu-erh-y edge rather than an actual pu-erh (which of course it is). I believe this is what Chaplon also mentions in the description as being less earthy and heavy then most pu-erhs because the trees it’s harvested from are so very old that they aren’t affected as heavily by the aging process. Chaplon calls it a more elegant pu-erh, but personally I wonder if that’s not just some sort of attempt to NOT say that maybe it would have benefitted from seven years more in storage…

That said, however, I find it quite pleasant. I rather like that feels more like drinking a black tea. I don’t know why I don’t drink more pu-erh, really. I do enjoy it quite a lot, but somehow I’m just not as interested in it as I am in black tea. Which is also funny, because you would think that this type would be much more interesting, wouldn’t you?

As for the actual flavour, I’m getting leather and wood at first. That’s a fairly sharp tasting sort of combination, and it makes me immediately search for something rounder such as cocoa and/or grain. No luck, though. Instead there’s just the earthy note of the pu-erh, reminding me of what it actually is I’m drinking and otherwise doing that same sort of rounding out task.

But there must be more to it than this, right? I sip and sip and sip and I find… nothing. Leather, wood, earth. That’s it. Something that tastes decidedly pu-erh-y, but feels black.

Often, as a cup of tea cools a bit, it develops more and other notes come into play, or the previously noticed ones change either in strength or in character. I was hoping that it would be the same with this one, but now that I have waited a while, I can tell you that it doesn’t appear to be the case. It tastes exactly the same. The same notes in the same proportions.

It’s nice and all, but… That’s it really.

Kashyap

sounds like a shou/shu pu erh…and I have found that on the whole, most seem to grow smoother as they age, though rarely more complex. There have been a few exceptions…but the explosive flavors and exotic notes are definitely more in the Sheng….I love drinking Shu after heavy foods and dinner

Bonnie

I love shu in the mornings during Winter too.

Angrboda

It was. I tend not to enjoy sheng so much. Frequently I find them a bit too vegetal.

Angrboda

Bonnie, yes, I tend to think of pu-erh as a morning sort of tea as well. Mind you, I don’t usually allocate teas to specific times of day, but I do try to put some thought into which tea to serve on Pancake Saturdays. Pu-erh fills that spot nicely, actually. I’m glad you reminded me of it. I have that other one that Husband’s parents gave me for Christmas. I think I’ll serve that one next time.

Kashyap

shu’s also make wonderful chai bases

Angrboda

Meh, I’m not a chai-person, really. :)

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69

Hey, look at me posting AGAIN!

Last time I posted about this one, I mentioned why I had bought it, but I couldn’t really rate it then because I had botched the preparation of it so severely that it was impossible for me to unmask how it was supposed to have been. On top of that, what I did get out of it then was sufficiently discouraging that I haven’t really touched it in the meantime.

You see, in a far too strong brewing, it exhibited some very Darjeeling-y notes. And I just don’t really care for Darjeeling much. It’s too grass-y and spicy.

I do greatly enjoy my other Ceylon black, though, so I suspect that the initial difference between this tea and the Galle might very well have something to do with how high or low grown it is. The Galle is as I recall relatively low grown, where as this one is high grown. Or… Well, I suppose it could also be on different ends of the country. What do I know?

Either way it is very clear to me that in order to properly explore Ceylons, I’m going to need a map of Sri Lanka.

Anyway, I’ve tried this again today because I really need to do something about this here box of teas I have yet to post about taking up space on my desk. Also, I just had this sort of Ceylon-y feeling.

This time I have carefully measured the leaf and timed the steeping. Hopefully I haven’t botched it again.

What is that smell? I know it’s familiar. I’m sure I know what it is. I just don’t know what it is! Wood-y, but not really. Leather-y, but not really. Grass-y, but not really. Fruity, but not really. Malty, but not really. The more I try to decipher this, the more I fear the answer is really just this. It’s tea. Default tea.

I can’t write that in a Steepster post! “It smells like tea.” Well, duh!

At least the dry leaf is easier. That’s definitely leather-y and wood-y and with a smidge of something sharp.

Seeking the advice of Luna the Cat isn’t very helpful as she seems to think that both the dry and steeped aroma of this tea is right foul and has actually punished me by vacating my lap.

But apart from it not having a single solitary interesting note to it, the aroma of this tea is quite nice. If the flavour lives up to this, even by just being ‘default tea’, then I’ll be happy. Happy and forever mystified by the fact that this stuff is so highly regarded.

Unfortunately the Darjeeling-y nature that I mentioned before is still here and was not a result of a botched steeping after all. It’s that intial grass-y note followed by a somewhat sour aftertaste that gets me. If the people who hold this up as the Perfect Uva Tea are the same sort of people who go around naming Darjeeling the Champagne of Tea then I can’t really say I’m surprised.

Me, I disagree. On either count actually. If ever there was a true Champagne of Tea I can assure you, it would be grown in China. More specifically in the south-eastern corner of China. Even more specifically in Fujian. (And it would probably be called something like ‘Tan Yang’ too. wink ) To be honest, I find Champagne somewhat overrated as well, actually. It’s nice as a celebratory drink or for New Year’s Eve, but apart from that I could happily live without it. Then again, I don’t really much like any alcoholic drinks at all, so my opinions on this should be taken with a grain of salt.

But I digress.

Where was I? Oh yes, Darjeeling-esque flavour. While this Uva does have that Darjeeling-y camouflage, it’s still better than a real Darjeeling. It’s not just all grass and spice and sour aftertastes. While there are those too, it lacks some of the astringency that Darjeeling tends to display. It’s not completely free of it, but it feels much less in this Uva than it does in the average Darjeeling. That is definitely a point in favour of the Uva.

It also seems to have more body. It’s still a pretty mild and delicate tea, but it carries itself with a little more oomph and with a willingness to show a bit of teeth.

Until such time as my taste in tea changes again and I find myself once more gravitating towards India and Darjeeling, I don’t think I would buy this again, but now that I have, I think we can manage to give it legs to walk on.

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69

For our wedding, we received a gift card good for, among many choices, a real English cream tea at a tea house here in the city. Roughage, it’s that place we talked about earlier where you went when you were in town. I think the woman who owns it is actually English by birth, so that makes me think that the whole thing must be as close to authentic as possible. We had a pot of yellow tea of some sort, I think Meng Ding Huang Ya, but I’m not sure, two scones each with strawberry jam, lemon curd and clotted cream. Husband didn’t think the clotted cream was 100% authentic as he knows it and is now saying that we should go to Cornwall at some point and have the Real Deal.

What we had here was good enough for me though. I’ve never had clotted cream of any kind before. It looked sort of like creme fraiche and it tasted like whipped cream, only the consistency was different. More spread-y, less fluffy and airy, but not butter-y. There was also a small bowl of grapes and berries and two sample bags of their Silver Needle White. The only white tea I can recall having had in ages which wasn’t flavoured in some way is Bai Mu Dan, and I’ve fallen rather spectactularly out of love with that one, so I’ll be interested to see how this turns out. It was really very nice.

Apparently they also do tastings and talks and stuff there now and then, so I’m probably going to drag the boss with me there as well. She’s not really into tea as such, other than she enjoys a better than average cup and finds it interesting to hear about, but not so interesting that she’ll go nerdy about it like we do here. We have tea and scones and cake semi-regularly at a different place, but the tea served here is really very much of a different calibre. Much more focus on type and quality, where our usual place is more focused on being a cafe with large tea choices. So you could say it was the difference between the modern and the very traditional approach, really.

Anyway, yellow tea isn’t really any part of our usual fare, so by the time we got home I rather found myself wanting something a little more sturdy. Out comes the other one of my recently acquired Ceylons. I mentioned this earlier, that I’ve had this one years and years ago and really enjoyed it then, so I’m a little nervous about whether I still like it as much now. I know for Absolute Fact that my tastes have changed a lot in the meantime.

It has a grassy Darjeeling-esque aroma to it after steeping which, although I wasn’t expecting that at all, doesn’t really surprise me. At the time when I had this before, I was all over Darjeeling like white on rice. Can barely stand the stuff these days. So yeah, I’m not surprised that I liked this so much at that point in time. The dry leaf doesn’t smell like that at all, though. That’s more dark and leather-y. Slightly tobacco-y and kind of reminds me of horses in a field. Well, it does. There’s also a note to it which I can’t quite place, but I think maybe it’s some sort of wood. I just don’t know which one. It smells wood-y and characteristic of something all at the same time.

Unfortunately I rather botched the brewing a bit, and it has turned out way too strong. I think I probably wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing when spooning out leaves and added a spoonful too many. It’s gone somewhat astringent, and Husband is going so far as to saying “a bit vile”, but he didn’t take me up on the offer of making something else. Apart from the astringency, though, I can definitely tell that the steeped aroma isn’t lying. There is definitely a grassy, Darjeeling-y tinge to it. It was explained to me once that Darjeeling isn’t really fully a black tea as we understand it, although they get classified as such, so this one strikes me as showing what Darjeeling would be like if it was.

At this point, I’m not super cheerful about it. I feel a little disappointed that it would seem I probably don’t like it as much anymore as I once did, but in all fairness it is hard to tell when one has botched the pot, so I’ll just have to came back to this one again later and see what I actually think of it.

Bonnie

Great story. Roughage had informed me of his business trip, finding that shop with a few friends and his discovery that you (a Steepsterite) lived nearby. He liked the shop too. I hope on his next trip you two can meet for tea!

Angrboda

Yes, I think it was in one of his posts that we talked about it. That was how I found out about it in the first place.

Azzrian

Oh I do love having cream tea and ADORE clotted cream!!

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94
drank Keemun A by Chaplon
911 tasting notes

I received a lovely tea package from the (even lovelier) Angrboda and I was excited to see it included this tea – after all, she speaks highly of it and I do enjoy a good Keemun! Happily, I’m not disappointed – our tea twin powers seem to be working!

I’ve been a bit stuffy lately so I didn’t bother smelling the dry leaves, but I couldn’t help sniffing the tea post-brewing. It smells so good! It makes me think of a light-ish rye bread with honey – lots and lots of honey. There’s some fresh baked biscuits and maybe a little cowboy. (That is, the smell of someone that’s worked around leather, dirt and barns and doesn’t smell strongly of those things but has hints of those smells. Personally, I find it a pleasant smell.)

The taste is surprisingly sweet – honey and maybe a bit of plum, but not a tart plum, more super-ripe plum meat instead of the tart skin. There’s a bit of smoke (but more cigarette than campfire) when I slurp and a nice little smokey prickle in the aftertaste. This actually reminds me of the delightful Keemun 1110 by RoT. Keemun 1110 has a fig taste instead of plum (but they are both purple, so it’s a pretty similar taste for me) and an orchid sweetness instead of this tea’s honey sweetness. This one has a bit more depth to it because of what I now think of as the cowboy flavor and that’s what the Keemun 1110 was missing for me.

CTG’s Keemun is still my all time favorite, but this one has easily bumped Keemun 1110 down a place in my “Best Keeemuns Ever” list. Big thanks to Angrboda for the chance to try it!

Bonnie

Sounds like a big ‘Whoopie! Howdy!’ Sorry, I couldn’t resist after the little cowboy comment. It sounds delicious though. I like tea like this!

Auggy

Yee-haw! I suppose I’d call that note something other than “cowboy” if I hadn’t spent a lot of time in a horse barn during high school. Maybe just “faint notes of leather, clean dirt and oats”. Hehe!

Angrboda

Of course I shared it with you! With our taste twinniness how could I not? :p I’m glad (and slightly releaved) that we agree yet again. :D

Auggy

Me, too! I kind of keep expecting a big taste divergence to hit! But based on the teas I’ve tried from your package, it’s not happening this time!

Angrboda

Wow, that was supposed to be ‘relieved’! Speeling centr of bwain apeers to hve asploded! O.o

Auggy

OMG. I totally didn’t even notice that! I think gremlins changed it because it was totally fine before. Yes, it was. Totally.

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83
drank Indian Lemon by Chaplon
1269 tasting notes

This is my third green tea in, oh, about a week I think! It all started that day when I suddenly had this green tea craving. It’s a whole little phase with me, I think. I wonder how long it’s going to continue, because it’s a peculiar time of year to develop such a phase.

Still, I don’t mind. I would like to be more of a green tea drinker, but it’s just more than reasonably difficult to find any that can truly compete with my love for the black tea types.

But, here is another one! This one I got as a sample from Chaplon with my recent order and I initially chose it because I thought it was an Indian green tea flavoured with lemon. I didn’t actually bother with reading the description until now, because it turns out that it’s a blend of Sencha and Chun Mee flavoured with lemon oil from a variety of lemon called Indian Lemon.

Aha. Learn every day and all that jazz.

The dry leaf smelled mostly lemon juice-y and after brewing there is something along the lemon note which must be the base tea. It’s just coming across as sort of spicy. Kind of pepper-y, bizarre as that may sound. There are also the more standard sort of green tea notes, the vegetal leafyness, but mostly it’s lemon and this funny sort of spicy sub-note.

The flavour is not as fresh and perky as I had expected. It doesn’t give me that sort of ‘Ooooh refreshment!’ spike of tartness and summer that lemon normally gives me. I think this is caused by the blended base. Had the base been a single tea, it would have been a sharper flavour, I think. As it’s a blend of two on their own already pretty flavourful teas, the base has become far broader and has much more presence. It seems to cover many more flavour points than any single tea of each type could, and somehow manages not to make a mess of it. And stretched over this whole thing, is a fairly strong lemon.

And it is a strong lemon. This lemon reminds of those really cheap Earl Greys, where the bergamot has been stretched with lemon flavour. It’s actually very close that same flavour, only here it’s much better than in something pretending to be Earl Grey exactly because it’s not claiming to be an Earl Grey.

As a flavoured green tea, this is very nice, and I suspect Husband might enjoy this one. I have used half my sample for this cup and will make sure to share the other half with him.

As something to take care of these green tea cravings, however, it’s not really working. It just seems like an entirely different beast than a clean, single-type green tea.

mpierce87

What’s strange is that I’ve been a green tea kick lately also. I usually go to black tea or oolong this time of the year, but those are being pushed to the back of the tea cupboard by greens.

Auggy

I kept trying to figure out what the extra taste in this one was ‘cause the lemon didn’t seem quite normal. Then I saw “1% koldpresset bergamot oile”. While I speak zero Danish, I’ve cottoned on enough to figure out why the lemon is a bit odd! :)
(And while I still think it is odd, I keep sip-sip-sipping it like crazy!)

Angrboda

I hadn’t even seen that! I had to go and search for it myself. Funny they didn’t put that information on their site, really.

Auggy

Hehe! I’m glad I saw it then. I actually was studying the label since I could pick out enough to get the guidelines of how to brew (so I knew what directions I was going to ignore) when I saw the ingredient list with that. It was sort of a lightbulb moment because before seeing it, I was sniffing the tea thinking “there’s something odd about that lemon…”

Angrboda

Wow, I just thought, since they had pointed out which particular lemon sort they had used, it was something characteristic for that particular lemon…

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91

This one isn’t backlogged, and this sample is all I’ve got so perhaps it’s unwise to have it now when still not at full health. However, it’s a Chaplon tea and perfectly available for repurchase another time, so it’s not a big deal.

I bought a sample of this with my Chaplon order from not long ago. Cranberry is for me one of those flavours that are difficult to resist but never really manage to be truly spectacular unless mixed with something else. The Late Summer blend from AC Perchs is one we keep at work and has cranberry and vanilla in an absolutely wonderful combination. I’ve also once had a cranberry and orange and almonds, I think it was, blend that I received in a swap. Can’t remember the name of it or who shared it with me, but that was pretty awesome too. Cranberry on its own though? There have been a few good ones but not on the same scale really that I can recall. So I’m drawn to it and the perpetual mild disappointment. A bit like with vanilla, really. This is not the search for the perfect cranberry flavoured tea, though. It’s just a compulsion.

The aroma of this is very cranberry-y and all juicy smelling. It reminds me of dried cranberries, which, apart from juice and flavouring, is really the only sort of cranberry flavour I’m familiar with. I’ve seen you can get them fresh in the supermarket at the moment, but I don’t know what I’d use them for. Are they even edible raw? I seem to have read once that they aren’t.

I can vaguely pick up some of the base underneath. It smells kind of grainy and is described by Chaplon as ‘fairly robust’, although they don’t seem to be wanting to give me any more information regarding origin than that. I can’t pick up enough of it, though, partly due to the flavouring and partly due to the state of my sinuses that I can make any guess at where it might be from.

The flavour is totally cranberry-y. It’s exactly like eating dried cranberries, complete with the touch of astringency that these berries have. The flavouring is fairly strong but it seems to be only on the surface of the sip, where the body of it is the base tea with just a few smidgens of flavouring. It makes me wish I was in a state to taste it properly, but what I can pick up of it seems very nice. I’m getting the impression that this is a base that is right up my particular alley of preference. I wonder what it could be. I suspect it’s possibly a blend. I would quite like to have some of it without flavouring as well. I think I might like to write to Chaplon and ask, I’m feeling really very curious about this now. The worst that could happen is they say that they won’t disclose the information. (I can’t imagine that they don’t know. That would be silly.)

Chaplon recommends blending it with a mild Ceylon black for a milder flavouring, but for me I don’t really think they is necessary. Sure the flavouring is strong, but it seems well balanced and I rather enjoy the sensation of it being like a sphere with the flavour on the surface and sending tendrils into the body in the middle. I don’t think I would want to mess with that balance. But of course everybody prefers a different sort of balance with these things don’t they? It’s cool that it’s possible.

Funnily enough, this is a flavour that just keeps on giving, because although cranberries aren’t really something that is considered particularly soothing when it comes to the common cold, it seems to be helping a little anyway. Or possibly it’s just the drinking of something warm, I don’t know. There’s just something in it that makes me feel just a tiny bit of relief and refreshment. It’s not impossible that I might buy some of this another time.

Claire

Cranberries can’t be eaten raw, they have to be cooked/baked/dried. :)

Angrboda

That’s what I thought. I wonder if I could come up with something nice with them. They sort of tempt me when I see them. I like them dried and as juice, so I want to try them other ways as well. Shame Husband is vegetarian, I could imagine them doing well in some sort of beef stew or something.

Ellyn

Is it because they are poisonous or because they are just SO TART no one would want to eat them?

Claire

I think they’re just so tart raw that they aren’t edible. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas I like to make a gluten free crisp with apples and cranberries. Just let the sliced applies and the whole cranberries soak in sugar and lemon juice for about an hour, and for the crumble topping I mix almond flour, brown sugar, and butter. It’s yummy!

Angrboda

Oooh I love that sort of dessert! Rhubarb crumble with custard is one of my favourite puddings when we’re in the UK. I have a recipe somewhere from a blog by a woman calling herself Formerchef (look her up, she has lots of great things) which has nectarines and strawberries. Very nommy!

Terri HarpLady

I actually eat them raw, thinly sliced & mixed with diced apples & toasted nuts on top. Of course, you have to be careful & make it mostly apples, with a small handful of cranberries. I got in the habit of eating them years ago, when I had kidney problems. I also used to drink straight unsweetened cranberry juice, usually diluted, & it is rediculously tart! When I gave up all milk-related products, my kidney issues miraculously went away!

Terri HarpLady

Claire, that dessert sounds awesome!

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98
drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1269 tasting notes

Damn and blast! My post disappeared! That stuff never happens to me. That’ll teach me not to write in a different place and copy/paste like I normally do.

Anyway, the gist of it is the following,

-My nose and tastebuds are still broken. Or re-broken, as they worked briefly.
-I am touching base with familiar favourites and reacquainting myself.
-Still have a cold to some degree, but do not feel otherwise ill, so it’s tolerable.
-I am getting ready for NaNoWriMo, and would like to hear from the people going by Butchcraft and Nephele on nanowrimo.org so that they can tell me who they are, as they don’t appear to have ever been added to my inter-site spreadsheet and I’m sure I must know them from somewhere. So if they see this, could they please contact me?

Terri HarpLady

Not that it will be any consolation, but I’m still recovering from my visit with the Flu, & add fall mold allergies to the mix. So my tastebuds & smelling are also a little on & off, better than they were, but not as good as they were BEFORE.

and I added you to my buddy list on NaNoWriMo

Angrboda

Thank you, Terri. I haven’t had a chance to look properly at the buddy list yet. I started yesterday and then fell over those two that I couldn’t remember who are and ended up spending a lot of time trying to work it out with no luck.
As for the mold allergy, bleh! We’re doing our best to avoid acquiring that one here. Our indoor climate is not the best in the world in this house, it gets pretty humid in here, so I’ve just washed all the windows down with anti-mold desinfectant. I figure it’s better to do it unnecessarily than to do it necessarily. (We have agreed that among many other things, Mansion 2.0 will have better indoor climate!)

MKstuder

We had quite a bout with mold in my apartment several years ago. We ended up washing down all the walls with a bleach and water solution. I hear that using a dehumidifier can help.

Angrboda

Ours is just around the window frames if not kept down, so it’s okay but annoying. I think Husband did look into dehumidifiers but all he could find cost a fortune which we can’t really afford at present.

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98
drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1269 tasting notes

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98
drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1269 tasting notes

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98
drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1269 tasting notes

Well. Who am I to resist a Keemun? You will never find the perfect Keemun if you do not try all the ones you come across. No need for samples here, as I have never met a Keemun I could not drink. The whole 140g tin for me please!

This company has some funny amounts for sale. Rather than setting standard amounts for their products, they have a standard container and then see how much they can get in there. With Keemun, 140g. Wtih the Ceylon Galle only 120g in the same tin. The tins look nice enough. Metal, wrapped with paper and with double lids. But they have shoulders. I get the purpose of this, making the exposed area of leaf whenever the tin is opened as small as possible, but I hate a shouldered tin. It’s such a hassle reaching when you get to the bottom of it and it’s difficult to empty completely. And it’s a good thing we have a dishwasher, or I wouldn’t have bothered trying to wash it at all. For anything else than leaf preservation, shouldered tins are not very practical at all.

However, Chaplon sells tea in these tins and they also sell tea in refill bags! So here’s to hoping this is the Keemun I shall find myself wanting to refill! That would make most of my complaints about the non-practical tin moot. (I definitely think I might want to refill the Gâlle, even if Husband didn’t find it as spectacular as I did. That’s why I bought two Roy Kirkham pots after all)

The leaf has a floral sort of aroma to it with just smidge of smoke in the background. It doesn’t come across as particularly grainy either, although there is some of that too. Mostly it’s just the floral and maybe a little leathery. Hmm. I was hoping for more grain and smoke, really. Still, it doesn’t mean all is lost. The aroma of a tea rarely translates directly into flavour for me. Usually there is a difference balance between notes.

After steeping, it seems much better. It’s got a good, round grainy body topped with that floral note with a smidge of smoke. I could have wanted it to be a wee bit more smoky than floral rather than the other way around, but I can deal with this as well. It does actually smell very good and very very promising. On the whole, it’s a thick and smooth aroma, which comes very very close to being Just Right.

The top note seems right on the balance between floral and smoky. At first I can’t seem to decide if it’s more one or the other, but then, as I’m ready to swallow, I think it’s mostly smoky. And yet, a floral aftertaste is lingering right on the tip of my tongue, which feels kinda funny. So far so good! All I need now is a good, strong, grainy body that makes me think of rye bread.

Well, it’s not traditional Danish rye bread, but it’s actually almost better! It’s all sweet and brown sugar-y. Like a slice of rye sprinkled with brown sugar. I’ve even brewed it a little stronger than I usually would this morning and now it tastes all dark and a little bit sinister. It’s totally swirling a theatrical theater cape in my head right now.

“This is not the Perfect Keemun,” says Ang’s brain.

“Well, what would you change?” asks Ang’s tongue.

“…” gapes Ang’s brain.

Yes, I think I’ve come closer than ever to it. Closer than ever! I can’t tell if it’s the One True Perfect Keemun for me yet, I need to have it some more times, but we are definitely very close to it. Close enough that for now I will say the search has at least temporarily ended. Like Auggy said of a Keemun not too long ago, “I’m sure TeaSpring has a Keemun that could wipe the floor with this one and make it cry for its mommy”, but this particular one is available from inside the actual country and therefore not expensive in shipping, and it’s affordable in Srs Bsnss amounts. Those two are major factors when calculating the Perfection Score!

And to think I just added it to the order as an afterthought because, hey, Keemun, why not? Why exactly is it I haven’t shopped here in years and years and years?

(Oh yeah, and this is another one where I need to translate the vendor’s info for you lot. I’ll get around to it soon, I promise. I’ve put it on my to-do list so that I don’t forget.)

charab

Hmm, need to go out and hunt myself some Keemun, apparently. There can’t ever be enough smoky teas in our household and my favorite tea shop is bound to have some of this type. Sounds very intriguing.

Angrboda

Oh, Keemun is a favourite of mine, along with anything black out of Fujian, particularly panyong. Be aware, though, that sometimes they’re not smoky at all but rather very floral. I think it depends on how you experience that particular note. For me it’s mostly a mixture of floral and smoke, and on lower leaf grades primarily smoke. That’s also why I tend to prefer lower leaf grade over the really fine stuff. Aforementioned panyongs can also sometimes have a smoky note to them, but they can be a little more difficult to locate than Keemun. TeaSpring has an excellent, but pricy one. The ♥♥Tan Yang Te Ji♥♥, which as you can probably tell is tolerable. ;)

Marie

I’ve only tried a Keemun by the Metropolitan Tea Co., and it was very decent. Do you have access to an Asian market? The one nearby me has a huge selection of teas. Definitely an experiment in quality. :)

Angrboda

Those aren’t very common in Denmark, Amy. We haven’t got super-many Asian immigrants. Middle-eastern markets are much easier to find. I’ve seen a few small Asian shops, but I’ve never gone inside. From the outside they look primarily food related, though, and none of them are very large. I do need to get around to looking inside eventually, as there are a few food items that I suspect I might be able to find there and which I haven’t been able to find in regular supermarkets.

charab

Floral teas are alright as long as the flavor isn’t too sweet, I think I’m able to find a very well suited tea for me from the ones you described. Preferably several splendid ones, of which I have no doubt. Thank you very much!

Angrboda

I don’t care too much for floral myself. I hope you find one you like. :)

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95
drank Gâlle by Chaplon
1269 tasting notes

My order from Chaplon just came in today. Chaplon was my first ever experience with loose leaf tea of a better quality than my supermarket had to offer and also my first ever internet purchase. If I’m not mistaken, actually, my first EVER internet purchase. Of anything. I shopped there frequently for a couple of years and then for some reason just… stopped. I suppose it was because I found other shops and Chaplon was just little by little sort of forgotten.

Then, the other day, they came up by coincidence in an email conversation with Auggy, and that made me wonder what sort of stuff they had these days. I had been getting some occasional newsletters, but for some reason I just hadn’t really been paying attention to them. So I went and had a look on their site and proceeded to have a 225 kr accident.

I have actually been having some vague Ceylon-y thoughts lately, and although Chaplon isn’t officially specialising in anything, I think they might actually be the most interesting place to turn to that I can think of when it comes to Ceylon tea.

This particular one is the reason for this, and it is, from a Danish point of view in particular, I suppose, an extremely interesting tea. Why? Because it’s Danish. Some years ago Chaplon actually bought the plantation that makes it! They have a few others from that plantation, flavoured or scented with this or that, but for now I’ve stuck to the pure thing.

The dry leaf have a funny licorice-y or anise-y note to the aroma. It sort of hangs in the nostrils for a long time after I’ve sniffed at them. It’s also relatively malty and it has a touch of leather and tobacco to it as well. Ceylon, in general, have always sort of reminded me of Assam, only milder, and this one is only adding to that association. The aroma so far is definitely holding a lot of promise.

After steeping the aroma has mellowed out. The peculiar note of licorie or anise has gone, but the others are still there. Only now, instead of being individually detectable, they’re all mixed together into a homogenous sort of aroma that reminds me of a not too strong honey.

This is actually very good! And a wonderfully layered flavour that really develops in the mouth. I swear I made this face O.O as it happened!

At first it’s all thick and milky, and perhaps a little bit bland. The sort of note where you think you added a little bit too much milk to your milk tea, if you are a milk-adder. Then, just as I start to feel a little bit disappointed by that, it blooms on the tongue. Woodyness, spice and leather. It builds and builds and builds until you finally get a prickly floral note on the swallow, which also continues into a pretty long aftertaste.

I am very, very impressed by this! I’ve had bouts of Ceylon interest before, but never really managed to find THE Ceylon. I think I’ve been searching in the wrong places. I think it was right under my nose the whole time.

I’ve also got an Uva Highlands Estate from Chaplon here on my desk. I remember I’ve had that one before, years and years ago and enjoyed it greatly. In the light of that past experience and this one I’ve just had now, I’m VERY much looking forward to trying that one as well.

(And yeah, unless you can read Danish, don’t bother looking up the description yet. I’ll translate it later)

Bonnie

Ummm took the plunge and came up with treasure! Nice review…I like the Ceylon’s too. Some of their greens taste like darjeeling to me.

Angrboda

That’s good to know, Bonnie. I’ll steer clear of green Ceylons then. :) I don’t care for Darj

Cole

Wow! I don’t usually get so many different flavors and notes out of my ceylon teas (can’t say I drink them very often for the simple fact that they tend to be “generically black” most of the time), but this sounds different. I love teas that keep giving after the initial taste, and your description of a blooming taste that’s left on the palate on the way down is my kind of tea.

Why must you tempt me, Angrboda!? :D

Angrboda

Because it’s FUN, Cole. :D I don’t know what Chaplon’s international shipping is like though, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up on that if I were you.

As for the flavour notes, well… I chalk it up to practise really. And imagination. Not to make them up, but to try and imagine what the flavour would be made up of if you could pick it apart. For me, Ceylons have been pretty generic as well, but I have met a few that stood out. It’s not really my favourite area at all.

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45
drank Duan Wu Jie by Chaplon
1269 tasting notes

Wow, just like one can post while drunk for some potientially hilarious and cringe-worthy result, one can do the same while sleep deprived. But probably shouldn’t. I swear I was only drinking TEA! O.o Anyway, as predicted I slept like a rock last night. This morning I’m still sleepy and in bad need of tea.

And we’re continuing in the theme of teas I forgot I had. This one was actually a shame to forget. It’s the last I’ve got of it and it’s the only flowering tea I’ve got at the moment. It’s the tea that prompted me to buy a godawful ugly clear cheap as dirt plastic teapot a while back, so I could see what was going on while steeping. This isn’t a recent picture at all, but it’s the same tea.
Picture: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MixL4_NVJrzPfQ_PbE3TTQ?feat=directlink

I don’t know if the light in the picture is off or if I steeped it longer before taking the picture back then, but it’s not really quite as dark as it looks like in the picture. Same sort of shade, but lighter.

I must admit I forgot to sniff it before pouring water on it, but after steeping and decanting it smells rather a lot like… boiled broccoli. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I like broccoli. And with a little butter in the water while boiling, yum.

The tea itself possible has an aroma. My nose is only partly closed up, but I’m still having difficulties picking up smell. If I close my eyes and concentrate I can pick up a sweet floral sort of smell which probably comes from the osmanthus flowers inside the bud. It doesn’t smell perfumed though, it’s just sort of there.

There isn’t really all that much in the way of flavour. I’ve taken several sips trying to figure out what it tastes like, but I’m getting very little. There is zero tail on this. No after taste what so ever. Some experimenting with slurping and generally bad table manners can provoke a little bit of after taste which sort of reminds me a bit of liquorice root, but if you just take a normal sip there’s nothing.

All show, no flavour. It IS pretty to look at though.

JMKauftheil

“It’s the tea that prompted me to buy a godawful ugly clear cheap as dirt plastic teapot”

“All show, no flavour. It IS pretty to look at though.”

Is that not a universal flowering tea story? I don’t think I’ve tried, or talked to someone who’s tried a truly enjoyable and tasty flowering tea.

Angrboda

It certainly has been for me. The only one I can remember having had that was better than just mediocre was this jasmine thing that was pretty much rescued by the jasmine. And, let’s face it, I could have got a just as good (or better) ordinary jasmine green instead.

This stuff should never be bought with the expectiation of culinary epiphanies, because that way lies only disappointment.

But they’re pretty enough to still be fascinating. If I could steep it until it unfurled just right and then stop the process and prevent it from going bad, it would be an awesome little thing to have around just for decoration.

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