From the Bits and Bops Basket. This is another one with a name that sort of appeals to the imagination, isn’t it? You may remember that I previously had a tea, procured in the same way, by the name of Ancient Forest which gave me a similar experience.

Apparently this is a black, which sort of surprises me becuase the leaves are unbroken. They’re large and pretty and rolled a bit and all in all look identical to a dark type oolong. A little further investigation shows that in the Steepster info from Norbu itself it says the tea has been 70% oxidised. Well, there you have it. It is in fact an oolong and Norbu doesn’t have a proper grasp of the tea types. Tut tut tut. Norbu, for the record, if it’s not a 100% oxidation, it’s not a black tea. Regardless of the colour of the leaf. Oolongs do actually come in other shades than green.

Now that we have that settled let’s move on. The aroma of this is quite surprising. I’ve come to expect cocoa notes primarily from dark type oolongs, but this doesn’t have that at all. It’s sweet and a bit malty, but also sort of broth-y somehow. It’s a small note but it’s there all the same, lurking at the bottom of the aroma profile. Odd. That’s definitely a first for me.

The flavour profile is a bit odd as well. It’s sort of weakish and strong at the same time. The different notes in it doesn’t quite seem to mesh which gives it a watery thin topnote and something darker and stronger below. Like a sauce that separates. Given a little more time to develop, everything seems to come together again and I get a fuller flavour. That’s a bit easier to work with.

It still doesn’t have any of those cocoa notes, though. It has retained the sweetness from the aroma and a touch of maltyness. It’s not entiremly impossible that there’s a touch of raisin on the aftertaste, but it isn’t really much. It’s more an association than an actual flavour note. The jury is out on whether or not it’s there or I’m just hallucinating.

Norbu says that there should be a mild, pleasant astringency in this cup, and I can sort of catch the hint of a glimmer of one. If there is astringency to be found here, then yes, it’s certainly mild. So mild, in fact, that it’s almost not there. Not quite gone, but not quite there.

I’m finding this quite different from other dark oolongs I’ve had, and I wonder if I’ve hit upon a regional difference here. This one comes from Taiwan, where all other dark oolongs I know generally comes from China. This is the oolong that makes me wonder what the result would be like if someone in the Assam region decided to make a dark oolong. Or someone in Sri Lanka, for that matter. And what would happen if those two were blended?

In conclusion, it’s not the best dark oolong I’ve ever had in my life, but it’s a fully functional one.

Pamela Dean

The Ruby is a specific, fairly new varietal of tea plant. Which may be why it doesn’t fit neatly into any other category.

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Pamela Dean

The Ruby is a specific, fairly new varietal of tea plant. Which may be why it doesn’t fit neatly into any other category.

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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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