1328 Tasting Notes


I finally got around to this one, and it’s just as well, because it’s taking up a lot of space on my desk. I’ve taken to keeping the teas I haven’t posted about yet on my desk next to the computer so that they don’t disappear in the collection or end up like the four red fruits black from Le Palais des Thes which we’ve gone through 200 grams of and I never actually posted about it. I thought I already had!

So yes. New system. This system keeps them in full view at all times, and encourages me to get to them faster so that I can get my desk back!

This one is from the Verdant order I made some time ago and had been standing there un-opened, taking up a lot of space. I usually have pretty good experiences with Dancong and tend to find them very similar to Da Hong Pao, but somehow more me.

I suspect this is one I’ll be drinking throughout the day today. It’s wednesday, which means I’m off work (oh I luuuuurrrrve working part time!) and I’ve got a to-do list the length of my leg. Well, nearly. Two pages anyway, with half the usual margins and slightly smaller font size. 116 items. Many of them are tiny things that will take maybe five minutes but which I’ll forget to do otherwise so that’s why it’s so long. This approach worked out awesomely for me last week with nearly 80% completion and Husband commenting on the all-round tidyness of the house when he came home, so I’m repeating the success. So here we go. A tea that can be repeated easily throughout the day.

To that end I started out with twice my normal amount of leaf and half my normal steeping time, and the result is something that smells remarkably like honey. And milk, somehow. Or at least sort of creamy. The aroma isn’t very strong, so that’s all I can pick up at this point.

It tastes like Dancong. That’s my first thought when I tasted it. Tastes like Dancong. Um, right. I should sincerely hope it would! O.o And also like oolong. (Duh, brain. Pull yourself together with the associations, please!) That sort of dark, slightly woodsy and kind of humid oolong-y taste that all oolongs must have. If they don’t, it’s a serious flaw for me.

I also like my darker type oolongs to have a sort of caramel-y note. Not outright caramel flavoured, because for some reason I can’t actually imagine that would work, but a natural swet and creamy note that invokes caramel. This is not a requirement in the same way that the oolongness is, but I do prefer it.

Third, it must not be too floral in flavour, and this is where Dancong and Da Hong Pao part ways for me. Da Hong Pao has a tendency to be more floral for me than Dancong. This is not always so, but it seems to be a tendency.

This one has the oolongness and the honey-y, caramel-y creaminess and none of the floralness that I could find. The flavour is somewhat delicate though, and I suspect I could actually easily have left my steeping time at my usual two minutes, even though I had used more leaf. I didn’t really take the volume of the leaf properly into account when I thought I doubled it, so I suspect that I actually used close to my normal amount although it looked like a lot.

Mind you, this is very nice, but do hope that I can bring some forcefulness out in the flavour in the next steeps.

The second steep is back to my normal steeping time. The flavour is the same as the first steep, only stronger this time. All the notes are there and in the same amounts compared to each other. They’re just less delicate now. This is what I hoped would happen.

I’ll take a break with it now and leave the computer before this hospital e-learning course drives me completely batty! It’s mandatory and involves watching a little film which I have now restarted more times than I can count because it just won’t play right. I officially give up! throws up hands

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drank Milk Oolong by The Republic of Tea
1328 tasting notes

This one came from Auggy and one of the last ones I’ve got left untried from her massive parcel.

I’ve only had milk oolong a few times before and have never quite been certain what to make of it. I’ve liked it, but I have never fallen head over heels for it like so many other people seem to have. Two, I think I’ve tried, and mind you, I have not even the first clue about whether either of those two were actually flavoured with steamed milk (I think that’s how it’s done?) or with the milky note naturally occuring and I don’t know which this one is either. It’s possible that the difference between these two types may mean a rather large difference in the head over heels department.

This one tastes primarily green oolong-y. At first when I just made it, there was lots of milky aroma and the first few sips had lots of it in the flavour as well.

Now that it has sat here and cooled slightly and developed a bit, the milky note has been pushed rather to the back. It is now there in the aftertaste and peeking out here and there in the actual sip, but not really able to get a word in edgewise.

So what I’ve got left seems like it could have been almost any sort of green oolong, just not counting the aftertaste. Somewhat vegetal and slightly sharp, it reminds me of dark, leafy greens, and with a very strong oolong-y wood-y touch to it.

Because I know it’s a milk oolong, I can pick up on the milk in the aftertaste and in between here and there, but if I hadn’t known anything about that, I wouldn’t have been able to guess. And do you know what? I almost think I prefer it that way. Milk oolong in general sounds like something that I might find a bit cloying if overdone and I definitely like this one better than the first one I ever had. I remember that one primarily because both the smell and the flavour of it gave me associations of warm yoghurt. (I’m fairly certain that one had been made with the steamed milk, actually)

It’s been too long since I’ve had a regular green oolong, so I can’t actually tell if I like this better than green oolong in general or the other way around. I’ll have to have a regular soon, but right now I’m finding this one rather enjoyable and not at all what I had thought I would get.


I have been eyeing (purely platonically! I went tea shopping this morning, no more tea this year for me) my very first milky oolong, so this is a perfectly timed post! Maybe it is not for me, it makes it easier to wait for 2013 :)

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drank Elderberries by Nothing But Tea
1328 tasting notes

Dear foreigners! Have you ever had elderberry soup or is that a German and Scandinavian thing only? When I saw that I could by dried elderberries to use as a tisane, elderberry soup was the first thing that popped into my head. Elderberry soup is a treat for dessert in autumn, I think. Piping hot, and possibly with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream. Clearly then I had to try this.

That combined with the fact that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen elderberries (or elderflowers for that matter) in conjunktion with tea or tisanes. I don’t know why it’s so rare.

So obviously I had to try this. I really very much had to try it.

I went in to ask Husband if he also wanted to try a cup and he gave me a thumbs up sign before I had the chance to tell him what it even was. So we shall see where that bit of bravery will take him. Or foolhardyness, possibly. We shall see.

The berries are just berries. No leaves, no additives, no nothing. Just berries. They smell a bit like dried cranberries, actually, but then again elderberries do have that same sort of tartness to them.

After having been steeped, the aroma is elderberry soup alright, although it’s obviously not as viscous as the soup. It’s not quite as violently purple either which I have to admit came as a slight disappointment to me. Half the fun of elderberry soup is eating something with that colour.

The flavour is much milder than the soup too. I admit I was a bit worried, because if it was as strong as in the soup, it might get to be a bit much pretty quickly. I like the soup as an occasional treat, as mentioned, but I can only eat so much of it at the time before it gets to be too much.

I don’t think there’s any danger of that with this tisane. It’s quite mild and pleasant. Fruity, slightly tart and kind of semi-earthy in flavour.

You know, I really don’t understand why this berry doesn’t get used in flavouring tea! To me a strong flavoured berry like this seems totally obvious to flavour things with. With the amount of flavouring that comes out of these dried berries alone, however, it should be totally easy to make my own. Any otherwise dull tea should be spruced up considerably but adding a spoonful of these to the leaf. Elderberry soup usually has apple in it as well, so an apple flavoured tea without probably be awesome to use as well.

I’m not sure I would buy these again, just to drink them on their own like this, but I could totally see myself buying a small stock to experiment with mixing in other teas.

Husband, bizarrely, thinks it tastes like tomato soup. I don’t know, Steepsterites… Tomatoes??? O.o I can’t even!


I have not heard of elderberry soup. Wine, yes, soup, no.


Funny that, I hadn’t heard of the wine. :) I’m not surprised that it exists, though. :)


I got, well had because i finished it (but would rebuy) a tea with elderberries, Yumchaa´s (I keep getting to this theme with you! only you somehow) Walk in the Woods http://steepster.com/teas/yumchaa/17306-walk-in-the-woods a lovely one IMO. not sure if I still had any when i sent you some samples, so not sure if I sent it to you. It is a sort of would-rebuy for me, but not right now, am working on decreasing stock (ah!)


Oh that’s interesting. I believe that doubles the amount of teas flavoured with elderberry that I’ve ever seen. :p I’ve put it on my shopping list, but I’m having to be slightly careful with non-necessary purchases these days.


I’ve had elderberry extract—my husband’s mom and grandma swear by it for winter flu prevention, and do a tablespoon faithfully each day. I like it, so this sounds quite good.


I am very fond of Walk in the Woods – but am trying to finish lot of teas I got standing and also be careful. In a way 99% of the tea I buy is non necessary, but now and then need to get some new things – but before I must use what I got!

eldeberries are lovely indeed. I also got a 5 red fruits oolong ( which I might prefer to your raspberry oolong and be the reason why I did not fell in love head over heels with it) where one of the berries is elderberry. I agree eldeberries are underused in tea.


Gmathis, I’ve head that about elderberries too. I mean before reading about it in NBT’s info.

Cteresa, if I am to be completely honest, I think I’m getting close to being finished with the raspberry oolong for a while. I’ve kept it constantly at home for a long time now, and we’ve also got a tin at work. The work tin is really enough to suit my needs these days. On the other hand, Husband appears to have discovered it and has chosen it twice now in a relatively short time, so I might change back to finding it indispensable. :) But if I was out and ordering tomorrow, I’d probably skip it this time.


A break is good sometimes, even from your favorite staples. Sometimes you are not outgrowing them and just end up appreciating them more when you come back to them. Maybe that will be the case, dunno! I think the idea of red berries and oolong is a winner for sure for me :)

gmathis, ricola makes some elderberry throat lozenges which are just lovely. effective as well, though not sure if quite as effective as their plain yellow original ones which sadly do not taste quite as good. But oh well, medicinal things are often like that!


I had some elderflower ones from ricola, but those weren’t very effective compared with the regular sort. I have to say though, I do also like the regular sort, because they remind me of “kur-a-kof” which we sadly can’t get in Denmark any more. Those really worked for me! These days I swear by the blue Fisherman’s Friend. I like the licorice ones best, but I use the blue ones because the others I tend to wind up eating like sweets. They taste too good. :) That’s also the reason I never buy the flavoured Strepsils.


Oh, ok, now that is a useful tip! I will go and check Fisherman´s Friend now (and not even tempted by liquorice, so that will be easy. I tend to consider liking liquorice or salmiakki a northern perversion :p )


Om nom nom salmiakki. Sadly I missed seeing Husband’s face at his first salmiakki encounter. :p


good, if you had given him salmiakki without warning he might have not have forgiven you. Salmiakki shudders


Never had soup, but elderberry is just a little less common than elderflowers are here in the UK. Elderflower gets made into drinks and elderberry into jam; I’d love to see an elderflower tea ;_;


Husband is English and he had never heard about it before either. I’m not sure he had ever actually had elderberry in any form before really. His mother makes a lot, if not the vast majority, of the jam they eat herself and that has always been orange-y that I’ve seen.
Elderflower cordial has become quite popular here in the last couple of decades.


Oh, I didn’t know that! Then again I only know elderberry jam because my friend’s family lives in the countryside and can make these things themselves. I meet a lot of Dutch and Belgian people who are big fans of elderflower and always try to stock up on products when they come to England…


Perhaps they have a tree? I’d love to have fruit trees! I have requested fruit trees for if/when we get to the house-buying stage. Some time yet, but really. I could save a lot of money just by having a good apple tree!
Coincidentally, I just remembered that I’ve got an elderflower tisane here as well. I’m expecting even more from that one than I did from this one. In fact, I’m almost afraid to try it. I really really don’t want that one to be disappointing.

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drank Indian Lemon by Chaplon
1328 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.


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.


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!)


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.


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…”


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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drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1328 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


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!)


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.


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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drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1328 tasting notes

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drank Keemun A by Chaplon
1328 tasting notes

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So I was just sitting here quietly, recuperating after a weekend with my parents and little to no choice when it comes to tea. Two kinds, Steepsterites. TWO KINDS! That’s like… nothing! At least it’s good stuff, because it’s AC Perch’s own bags with real leaf inside that I bought for my Mum for Christmas once (and now seem to be drinking for her, because she sticks to her cheap stuff and saves these for me. headdesk ) So anyway, I was sitting here, minding my own business when suddenly,


I was hit by an unusual, but strong craving for green tea. A craving that meant serious business!

Nothing for it but to comply, then. I remembered that Autumn_Hearth sent me a number of green teas that I never finished sampling, so I thought dipping into those would be an excellent thing to do under these circumstances. I chose this one because I made a pot to share with Husband and the amount of leaf was Just Right for this purpose.

Bear in mind now, though, that my nose appears to be wanting to close up again so my sense of smell and taste may be ever so slightly off. Also the fact that I just ate a Fisherman’s Friend… Yeah. Ultra-good circumstances to try something new in, yes?!

I don’t usually bother much with the description of the colour of the tea, because tea is tea-coloured and I wind up repeating myself a lot if I do. So for me, that’s a fairly irrelevant bit of information unless something really strikes me about it, like it’s unusually dark for the type, or if it reminds me of something or if it’s, I don’t know, blue or something. Okay, maybe not blue, but you get my point. Unusualness.

This one struck me as being exactly the same colour as a gooseberry when I first poured the water on. I have to admit that I’m disappointed that it didn’t retain this colour all the way through, but I wasn’t really expecting it either.

What little I’m capable of smelling is totally floral. I’m not one of those people who can really tell the scent of different flowers apart, so either stuff is floral or it isn’t. This particular one, however, reminds me of lavender just off the top of my head, so I’m going to call it a lavender note.

That’s all I can find in my present state, though. I’m sure there must be more to it, but my nasal mucus membranes are not currently interested in participating in the experience.

Based on this, I fully expected something with a strong floral flavour, and what I actually got was a surprise. It doesn’t taste floral at all. Not even slightly.

There’s something vegetal going on here, which strikes me as borderline spinach-y, and then there’s something behind it that seems kind of salty.

Salty? O.o How absurd. I know other people have consistently found salty notes before, but I’ve never in my life really been able to pick that particular one out. It has always struck me as a pretty bizarre note to have in green tea, but I’m definitely getting it here. And I say again, O.o

I sincerely doubt I’m getting the full picture here, my health situation being what it is (I really thought I was finished having a cold! Why is it coming back?), but what little aspects I am able to taste here are very pleasant and definitely hitting that green craving spot.

I think Husband is enjoying it as well. He finished his off before me and accepted seconds. This wouldn’t happen if he didn’t like it.


Oh, Fishermans are on demand today :-)


They are my favourite throat pastil now that I can’t have my absolute favourite (kur-a-kof) anymore. I used to prefer those but they’ve disappeared from the shelves some years ago. I expect they weren’t selling well enough.

I could live without people automatically assuming I’m talking about the booze though! O.O

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
1328 tasting notes

Cold and wet Husband asked for something ‘black and robust and super life-giving’ after his shower, having just cycled home in the rain.

I can’t remember if I’ve given him this one before, so I thought now was a good time to do so.


Sounds like a perfect tea for after cycling home in the rain!


I thought so. (He’s mad. I’d have left the bike and taken the bus!)

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drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
1328 tasting notes

I had a sample tin of this two years ago, in that Russian Blends sample sets, and back then I rather liked this one. But I finished the sample and didn’t pay any further attention to it.

Untill recently when it suddenly got inside my head that I wanted it again. I mean I wanted it! So after going around for a while with that want in the back of my head, just to see if it would stick around or go away or what, I finally decided that it was staying and not just a passing thought.

So I bought me a tin.

Drinking this now is like meeting up with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. Everything I said in those posts of a few years ago still stands.

Daniel Scott

A tea vendor relatively close to me carries Kusmi teas. I was curious to know what they were; the site doesn’t explain it all that well. Is this a brand of loose leaf?


yes absolutely look at their us website : http://us.kusmitea.com/our-teas.html
when you click on a product, you can choice if you want it bagged or loose leaf (in a tin apparently for US). In France we can buy loose leaf by weight as well


and here is their story :http://us.kusmitea.com/140-years-history.html
(not easy to find out on their website, complicated website architecture)


I love Kusmi but I agree the website is not that easy to navigate.


Daniel, Kusmi does both loose and bags, but you’ve probably seen that already if you clicked the links from Ysaurella. When it’s bagged, it’s loose leaf sewn into a little muslin bag, so the difference isn’t very big.

Ysaurella, I can only get the tins and bags as well here in Denmark. Husband and I were in Paris on a long weekend a couple of years ago though, and we stopped into a Kusmi shop. That’s where I first had the Smoky Earl Grey and the Caramel which I love. :)

Ellyn, I agree. I’ve only tried to order from it once and I had a hard time finding my way around it. It’s not fair of me, but I must admit that when the Danish post service managed to actually loose my parcel without a trace after having firsted attempted to deliver it in the wrong city, I rather lost interest in trying to order from the site again. (Besides in the meantime I found a place which had a large selection of their tins, and I worked out the price would come to more or less the same)

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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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