Carstensens Te-handel

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Recent Tasting Notes

70

Received as a gratis sample from Carstensens Tehandel.
This tea looks totally kitschy with those pink hearts, but this is so in line with the name that I actually like it.
It smells very strongly and a bit sweetish with strawberry, partly natural, partly artificial.
And it is bit sweetish, but fortunately only slightly. Here in taste the strawberry seems much more natural, and the base black tea is of really good quality.
Not exactly my proverbial cup of tea, but I find it much better than I anticipated.

Flavors: Strawberry, Sugar, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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90

My eighth and final teabag form Carstensens Tehandel.
I already know their black walnut tea and I like it, so I was very curious to check the green variety.
And it has wonderful, very strong nutty aroma, both from walnuts and from hazelnuts with just a bit of coconut and almonds added. I know it’s in part artificial, but I don’t care, s long as it smells brilliant.
And I really like the taste. It’s very rich and complex, with various shades of nuts (I can even sense the green peel of young walnuts). Great winter warmer indeed.

Flavors: Almond, Coconut, Hazelnut, Nuts, Sweet, Walnut

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85

My seventh teabag bought at Carstensens Tehandel.
Very warming aroma, with fruity rhubarb and cream flavouring equally in the foreground and base green tea in the background.
And so is the taste, very balanced, not overdone with adjuncts, but at the same tim full of character. Great dessert, mellow tea.

Flavors: Cream, Rhubarb

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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80

Sixth teabag ordered from Carstensens Tehandel.
Very fruity, mellow, summer aroma. No toasted rice here.
Ad very nice taste. One can mainly sense the base green tea plus a trace of toasted rice and a bit of fruits in the background.
Very good tea, not overdone with adjuncts.

Flavors: Fruity, Summer, Toasted Rice

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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90

My fifth teabag bought at Carstensens Tehandel.
Very strong fruity (pineapple and mango), flowery aroma, honey-like, sweet and rich.
Sweet taste, mainly fruity, with various petals constituting the solid background.
Very good tea, would probably taste perfectly in summer as coldbrew.

Flavors: Flowers, Fruity, Honey, Mango, Pineapple, Summer

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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70

Fourth teabag ordered at Carstensens Tehandel.
Lovely jasmin, apricot and cherry aroma with a honey/flowery background.
Slightly sweet, very mellow taste.
Nice casual tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Honey, Jasmine

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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70

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85

Third teabag bought at Carstensens Tehandel.
Very nice aroma, because candied pineapple blends perfectly with roasted and popped rice. Plus subtle aromas of base green tea.
Distinct sweetness in taste (sugar from candied pineapple), solid fruitiness, firm background made by rice and base tea.
Nice, casual tea. Would probably taste perfect as cold brew on a hot summer day.

Flavors: Pineapple, Popcorn, Straw, Sugar, Sweet, Toasted Rice

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 68 OZ / 2002 ML

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75

Second teabag from the assortment bought at Carstensens Tehandel.
Very rich and warming aroma. I can mostly smell cherries, coconut and a bit of jasmine plus good quality base tea (especially green).
Only slight sweetness in taste, and the base teas are not overwhelmed by the additives.
I appreciate this tea, but I think that one teabag is enough. This is not my proverbial cup of tea, I prefer other flavours.

Flavors: Cherry, Coconut, Jasmine, Straw

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85

The first of the assortment of teabags bought at Carstensens Tehandel.
Strong, malty aroma with traces of honey.
Nice, distinct taste, slightly astringent, slightly bitter, very malty.
I wish I had more teabags of this tea or, even better, a bag of loose leaves.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Ah, real breakfast tea. This one is a mix of Ceylon and Assam and we have it milked.

It’s hard to really write a proper post on a milked tea, because for this sort of cup it’s mostly just a question of, “Is it good and strong, yes or no?”

The answer is yes, and unlike those emergency twinings bags, it can be resteeped.

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I haven’t had an LS in such a long time that I can’t actually remember.

Oh heavens, yes.

That is literally all I can find to write about this right now.

Or maybe more something along the lines of, yaaaaaaaaaaaassssss!!!

I so needed this.

ashmanra

I discovered that I love lapsang souchong with a bowl of ice cream. I love LS already, but pairing it with ice cream made for a very bad enjoyable habit last winter.

Angrboda

I can well imagine that, actually. They’re both quite sweet.

dreamloomer

My thoughts exactly when I drink LS after a long time. :)
Fun fact: Several years ago, when I was drinking LS at home, my wife came from work and asked suspiciously “Were you eating sausage?”. (I’m a vegetarian.)

Martin Bednář

My first experience with LS was:
“Who have THAT much stinky socks?”
Actually it tasted and smelled like that. I think it was Greenfield brand tea bags.

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So I got this as a free random sample with a previous order. (I still haven’t heard anything about my most recent one and have now tried to chase them in what I’m hoping is not an impatient sounding way)

It’s basically just a strawberry black with tiny sugar hearts in it. In which case I’d have rather just had a regular strawberry black to be honest. Those little coloured sugar additions whether their shaped like hearts or stars or unicorns have always felt rather gimmicky to me. They add nothing of value.

Luckily they don’t actually make it taste like it’s got sugar in it, because I don’t like sugar in my tea. Some people find that a little sugar in a flavoured tea enhances the flavouring. I find sugar in tea, any sugar, just adds a weird sort of nearly astringency and a kind of cloying syrupy mouthfeel.

When viewed as simply a strawberry tea, it’s not bad. Tastes rather strongly of strawberry and a bit of toning it down probably wouldn’t hurt it, but it’s not overwhelming either. It’s okay, but not something I would order. I would just go for the strawberry tea, plain and simple, and leave the unnecessary sugar and colouring agents for someone less curmudgeonly.

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drank Babusca by Carstensens Te-handel
1347 tasting notes

Hey, I never wrote about this when I got my latest lot of flavoured teas and made a return to the site. I must have forgotten. I’ve had it several times since then, I believe, and whenever I see the tin in the cupboard Kate Bush starts singing in my head.

This is a citrus-y one. Although it does contain bergamot oil, I would say there’s not really enough of it for this to qualify as a member of the EG family. It also has lemon, lime and orange blossom, and maaaaaybe a bit of orange flavouring as well? I’m not sure.

The result is sweet and citrus-y, with a creamy sort of texture to it. I feel like lime is the most dominant flavour here. I suspect the bergamot oil is actually working to temper the tartness of the lemon and lime. This is also why I think there might be some orange flavouring added to it apart from just the blossoms. It feels too sweet for there not to be anything to balance it out.

I’m quite happy with this one. It’s delicious as a post-lunch tea.

I also rather enjoy Kate Bush on occassion, but I could live without the earworm. :)

ashmanra

Ah, Kate! Breathing is a favorite of mine. So many good ones, though.

Angrboda

See now you made me go and listen to that song. :)

ashmanra

Did you know it already? That and Wuthering Heights and…and…

tea-sipper

I JUST listened to a Kate Bush song minutes ago. I love them all. All of them.

Angrboda

Oh yes, I know that song. I have a weird weakness for The Dreaming as well. That whole album, to be honest, but particularly the title track.

ashmanra

Its so nice to run into Kate fans! They are rare where I live.

Angrboda

I don’t think I’m familiar with a sufficient quantity of her work to really call myself a fan. It’s a bit like Tori Amos. Something that I get reminded exists every now and then and then pull it out to listen to for a bit.

tea-sipper

I’m 1,000% also a Tori fan.

Angrboda

I suspect there’s generally a lot of overlap with those two. :)

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60

My third and last leaf tea ordered at Carstensens.
I know Chinese teas, Indian teas, Kenyan teas, Japanese teas, but I’ve never had the chance to drink a Georgian tea before. Yes, they had used to be available sometimes in the communist Poland, but I had been too young back then, so I didn’t hesitate after I came across it at Carstensens.
The aroma is not very strong, round, mellow, slightly earthy.
As well as the taste. It is a very mellow drinking experience, with only low tannins, which surprises me a little, because somehow I expected something a bit harsher, a bit more feisty. I don’t know why, I just did.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad tea, far from it. Next time I’ll try to brew it stronger, to bring out more of it, but I’m surely going to drink it with pleasure.

Flavors: Earth, Round , Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
Martin Bednář

Yep, indeed I heard that Georgian teas were available here as well (Czech Republic), I think that it depends lots of on the blend. Maybe yours was bit stale too, because I think it is not much being sold? Anyway, check my tasting notes for Guria Likhauri. Maybe we can do some swap as well?

derk

The Guria Likhauri Georgian black tea you sent, Martin, is amazing! It has a depth to it that the other 2 Georgian teas I’ve tried do not have, almost Chinese in character. It’s definitely worth a try, dreamloomer!

Martin Bednář

Super happy to hear derk and can’t wait for all-lenght tasting note.

dreamloomer

Martin, I don’t think that mine is stale. When I open the packaging, the smell is strong, so i guess this blend is just like that.
And I like your review of Guria Likhauri. I suppose that my Georgian tea may taste similarly when I finally make it stronger.
I like the swap idea, though currently I don’t have much in my inventory. In a couple of months I’m moving back to Poland, so I try not to hoard too much in the meantime to reduce the amount of things. But after I settle in the new place, I’m going to rebuild my inventory and then I’ll gladly exchange some teas with you.

Derk, I just added it to my “I want” list, thank you.

Martin Bednář

Dreanloomer – I hope you will keep some Danish teas when you are back in Poland! I think tastes in Poland and Czech Republic will be quite similar, but I understand it’s not easy to bring it back home. I will try to be patient and as soon you are back and you will have something nice to offer, I will be hopefully ready for exchange as well.

dreamloomer

Denmark is not far from our countries, so the tastes here so also quite similar. But they do have some peculiarities, especially licorice (they are crazy about it and I like it from time to time, though I realize that many people hate licorice), quince and sea buckthorn (I love the Czech term for it, rakytník is so close to Polish rokitnik). If you’re interested in them, I think I can send you some.

Martin Bednář

Ass I don’t hate licorice (or actually really like the salty one form from Finland); it would be interesting :)
But don’t worry, we will see when you are back. Why to rush it? I have so many tea and I don’t actually drink that much as I should.

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80

Another loose leaf tea from Carstensens.

Very nice aroma, dominated by the black base tea, very earthy, rich and malty, but the cream flavouring is also evident, although not overpowering (fortunately).

And the taste is also very rich and balanced. Solid base tea with no astringency mixing with subtle cream notes that ust add complexity, not overshadow what is the most important here – the tea itself.

Flavors: Cream, Earth, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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90

I got interested in this tea after reading a review written by Angrboda. Several days and one delivered-fast-as-lightning-order later here I am with a mug of freshly steeped nuttiness.

Actually the sticker on the package doesn’t mention walnuts, only black tea, almonds and aromas.
The smell is very strong, equally divided into almonds and walnuts which must come from the flavouring. I don’t care, because the tea smells natural, not artificial.

The base black tea is of really good quality, rich and malty (but not too strong). It’s not overpowered by the aromas, which reside in the background. There is a low residual sweetness and I think it comes from the flavouring, but it only compliments the general profile.

I really like this tea which doesn’t cross the thin line between the good, seemingly natural flavouring and the bad, artificial one.

Flavors: Almond, Malt, Nutty, Walnut

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Hanging out on the Explore page at the moment, tidying up spam bots while watching the latest episode of Critical Role. A futile endeavour, I know, but on the other hand, every little helps. I was a little amused earlier today by the spam bot that posted it’s spam in the ‘spammers on Steepster’ thread.

So I’m having a cup of this tea and I’ve (somewhat accidentally) made it good and strong. Good and strooooooong. I can see the flavouring oils on the surface of the tea. This is one of those blends that means I’ll never get the tin clean again because it’s going to be so very very sticky.

At this strength, the elderflower aspect isn’t really too present, It still smells strongly anise-y despite not having anise in it (unless it’s black ops anise, of course), but it still isn’t the sort of off-putting sort of pseudo-anise. I mean, it’s hard to explain.

I’m not sure I’ll (purposefully) make it at this strength again. This means I’ve now tried it at regular strength and super-strength. I wonder what happens if I make it intentionally quite weak? Maybe that’ll make it super elderflowery? It’s worth a shot.

tea-sipper

Yep, it’s very helpful when the spammers post in the spam thread. :D

Angrboda

Maybe they thought it was where they belonged? :p

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It’s probably fairly obvious, but the name of this one translates to ‘nostalgia blend’. It’s flavoured with elderflower and contains a flower called ‘catfoot’ which I’ve never heard of before (but which sounds adorable). I’m not sure what this is supposed to make me nostalgic for, but there you are. Perhaps whoever thought of using elderflower here grew on Granny’s home made elderflower cordial or something.

I’ll be honest here. It stinks. It reeks to high heaven of star anise, despite not containing any. And it’s not a sort of ‘ooh, that sort of reminds me of something’ sort of smell. It’s more like star anise pods jammed up your nostrils sort of smell. It absolutely pongs. Especially when one is not at all very keen on star anise.

So I was worried.

As it turns out, though, elderflowers and star anise are very similar flavours. I can absolutely tell it’s flavoured with elderflower. But that same note feels like it can go both ways. A light a summer-y elderflower or a heavy, sticky star anise. This sounds really weird but it seems to very much depend on the attitude with which it’s approached.

I haven’t the faintest how this catfoot (my fingers keep wanting to write cat food here) is supposed to taste. I suppose it’s possible that this stuff is anise-y in flavour and that this is actually what’s at play, but because it really feels like I’m looking at two sides of the same coin here, I’m going to blame the elderflower.

I really wish something lemon-y had been added to this. Some lemon grass or some lemon flavouring. I feel like this would have elevated the elderflower-y aspect and freshened it up, while curbing the anise-y tendencies. I’ll have to try it with a bit of lemon juice, I think.

I don’t think I would buy this again, but who knows? Sometimes the strangest things can grow on you given the chance.

Martin Bednář

Google search found it should be this plant:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudognaphalium_obtusifolium

But even Latin name is crazy :D

Angrboda

I found this one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antennaria_dioica so who can say?
Both Gnaphaelieae tribe, so clearly related.

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This one means ‘multi fruit’ which possibly isn’t difficult to guess, really. It has blackberry and either raspberry or strawberry. Description says one thing and ingredients the other, so… shrug

You know multi fruit juice? Like basically orange juice with a lot of other fruits in it. This is a bit like that. It’s very fruity tasting, very juicy tasting. It’s fairly sweet, so while it’s not like actually drinking candy, it does remind me strongly of multi fruit juice. And that’s it really. It’s not a tea that inspires big thoughts and paragraphs of purple prose. It’s just serviceable.

So is it raspberry or strawberry? Well, mostly it’s just generally juicy and generic berry-y, but the after taste has a tang to it that makes me lean towards raspberry.

Either way, it’s perfectly enjoyable. Nothing that will knock your socks off, but perfectly drinkable berry tea.

(Also, total proof that it is possible to have a very berry flavoured tea without the dreaded hibiscus. )

Eelong

Someone actually made a fruity herbal tea without hibiscus in it? Alert the press. I’m astonished.

Angrboda

It’s not herbal, though, it’s flavoured black. But yes, it seems to be alomst equally as rare.

ashmanra

Yay for no hibby!

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peers at cup

Why does this taste strongly of banana today?

It’s walnut! It has never even seen a banana!

I want a banana now.

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I have a bit of a soft spot for a nutty tea. Particularly hazelnut which seems to be unreasonably difficult to find. And I mean just hazelnut, not hazelnut and whatever. Just hazelnut. Maybe it’s because it’s not very easy to come by that makes me want it. Though I never seem to want it badly enough these days to really go and search outside of what these days counts as my usual haunts. So I get an almond tea or a walnut tea or even a hazelnut and whatever tea and make do. Should I come across a straight up hazelnut one I would definitely try it. And let’s be fair here, I would probably also be a little disappointed, but then at least I’d have got it out of my system.

So this one is a walnut tea. Shop says to expect a base tea a bit on the strong side and that is just what I want. Unlike the Easter tea that was supposed to taste like eggnog and (kinda thankfully) didn’t, this one actually tastes like nuts. It’s very clearly walnutty with that slightly woodlike flavour that they have, but there’s also a smidge of sweetness involved. In the ingredients they also list almond, which I think is just the bits of almonds in the blend itself. I’m told these sorts of bits of nuts or fruits or whatever generally doesn’t actually impart all that much flavour on their own, so I hesitate to blame them for the bit of sweet, but it would sort of fit well with the sweetness of almonds.

In short, this is a bit strong and clearly walnutty without being overpoweringly flavoured (I tend to favour a somewhat subtle yet detectable flavouring), and I might well purchase this one again.

ashmanra

YOU’RE BAAAAAAAAAAAACK! If I knew how to insert the flailing muppet gif here, I would totally do it, but you will just have to picture it instead! Welcome back, Ang!

gmathis

Well, hello there! Hope all has been well non-tea wise!

Angrboda

I know precisely the one you mean and it’s totally playing in my head. :) I’m well, thanks. Have taken up a lot of crafting, which seems to be occupying the same space in my brain that tea used to. I’m becoming increasingly dangerous in a fabric shop… :p
I don’t know what’s going on with my other post that it flew under the radar like that. I did sort of wonder that neither of you two had any sort of reaction at all, since I’d seen you being active. If I look at the tea’s page, it seems to not even exist at all. It’s a bit of a head scratcher.

gmathis

Scratch fabric, insert yarn and/or paper supplies :)

Angrboda

Oh yarn too. I took up crochet last year, and a little bit of tatting just to see if I could. :p Also embroidery floss. Always embroidery floss.<3

ashmanra

Oh, tatting! That’s something I might like to try one day!

Angrboda

It’s actually incredibly simple to do. I recommend using a video rather than a book, because it’s easier to grasp the concept of flipping the knot on a video rather than a drawing.

ashmanra

I will keep that in mind. I think I have my mother’s tatting supplies, but she never really learned.

dreamloomer

I definitely need to try this one. I have a soft spot for hazelnuts myself, So I think I’ll finally do some shopping in Carstensens.

Angrboda

They have a huge selection, although sadly don’t do much in the way of samples save the free sample of something random you get with an order.

dreamloomer

And too bad they don’t have the option to buy 50 grams. 100 g is usually too much for me, instead of one tea in this amount I definitely prefer to buy two teas in 50 g packages.

Angrboda

True, but it seems to be a common theme. AC Perchs is the same. You do get a free random sample with your order, though, so if you asked for a specific one they might make that your sample. I don’t know, I haven’t tried.
A few years ago the 100g minimum would have put me off somewhat, but these days I know it’ll have to be monumentally awful to not get used up, so it bothers me less.

Martin Bednář

It is quite common in Europe it seems. One shop here had minimal 50 grams, which was quite okay. But other outlet, but same brand, had 100 grams minimum. So I found a tearoom, where I enjoyed tea from Georgia and then bought loose leaf to home. I still have some left (but I bought 50 grams), but not much is left.

ashmanra

A shop here in NC sort of keeps it secret, but they have a 100 gram minimum for buying a tea but will make an exception if you buy a “sampler pack” of four different 50 grams bags. They put out their own samplers, but told me they will also let customers choose. So it couldn’t hurt to ask!

Angrboda

Carstensens, I think, is largely webshop based unless you go to the town they come from, so a cheeky email would be the way forward there. AC Perchs, however, tried that. Was told flatly no at the counter and then told by email that they should offer me samples when asked, came back to the counter and was told flatly no. So… won’t work in the shop near me anyway. (To be honest, even though they have a shop in the town where I work, I prefer to shop online. The tins are very shiny and the writing on them is pretty but difficult for me to read at a distance. I can’t get a proper overview of what they have, so I would need to go online first anyway to figure out what I want to buy, and then I might as well just have it delivered.

dreamloomer

It seems that I am spoiled by Polish tea shops, where I can easily buy 50 or even 30 grams, so yes, I still leave a lot of money there, but they are more dispersed, in a way.
I’m definitely going to ask for smaller amounts at Carstensens, but I’m okay with buying a larger amount from time to time. And it may be even more worthwhile, because although some tea shops here in Copenhagen have walnut teas, these are only green ones.

dreamloomer

I’m really impresses with the quality of service at Carstensens. I made the order yesterday not long after noon and I took the package out of my local pakkeboks one hour ago. I ordered 3 different loose teas and some tea bags, they also gave me a sample of another loose tea.

Valnødde te smells really nice and my review is coming soon,

Angrboda

Yes, super-fast has been my experience with them as well, even in this era of PostNord being less than fast. Sometimes it feels like you’re hardly finished paying before they ship it. :p

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drank Påske te by Carstensens Te-handel
1347 tasting notes

I have had this a few times now, and I’ve never managed to make it taste anything other than just middle of the road generic black with some flower petals adding an idea of creaminess. Then Husband made it the other day and somehow managed to make it have a strong vanilla note. Sort of custard-y even. I suddenly got the description of ‘eggnog-y’ and my thoughts went all yellow.

So I quizzed him. For a pot I tend to use three slightly heaped spoonfuls plus a bit and he uses four level ones. So that’s probably about the same. Maybe he uses a little less leaf than me but it can’t be very much off. He also uses a little less water than me, but if he also uses a little less leaf then it shouldn’t really matter.

Maybe it’s a personal touch kind of thing. So I tried making it the way he does, fat lot of difference that makes, and well… It’s got a bit of that custard, but not nearly as much as the other day. It’s certainly a lot more interesting than the initial impression.

I do wonder how it might carry a bit of milk, though. I don’t normally milk anything other than breakfast tea, but it might be an interesting experiment.

(Come to think of it, he had been working from home that day, so it’s possible it may have been a resteep, although I don’t think it was.)

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