114 Tasting Notes

84

Slightly fruity aroma. Tastes slightly sweet. Good fruity taste and finish. I wish I could be more specific. It made me think of apples and pears, but tasted like neither. The more I drank this the more I liked it. I wish there were more.

Thanks to Stacy at Butiki Tea for putting this box together

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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78

(4m): Nose is cooked fruit, slightly vegetive. Taste is the same. Very astringent without being bitter.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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88

“3 grams of tea in 4 oz water. Start w/ 20 s rinse. 1st (4 oz/20s): Taste is a mix of fruit and wood. Taste starts with fruit and ends with wood. Finish is very long. Flavors are interesting: very complex; not unpleasant, but not overly positive either. 2nd (4 oz/20s):Less fruit; more forest floor, with hints of spice. The long, powerful finish reminds me of a green tea (grassy straw). 3rd (4 oz/20s): light nose with hints of smoke. Flavor seems to be hiding when I sip but opens up into a big finish that is smoky with hints of straw. 4th (4 oz/30s): Light straw flavor similar to a green tea. There is an undercurrent of forest-floor that comes out in the finish. 5th (4oz, 2 min): Last pots were weak, so I’ll go long for the last steep. The woody/smoky flavors are back. Finish is mostly forest-floor, with a hint of bitterness.

I enjoyed tasting this tea, but my rating is based more on the intellectual pleasure than from enjoying the taste of the tea. While some of the flavors were pleasant, others were a bit off-putting (though never unpleasant)."

Thanks to Stacy at Butiki Tea for putting this box together

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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77
drank Nepal Green by Educational TTB 2
114 tasting notes

Nice solid green in a grassy style. Good body. Nothing special.

Cheri

Not all tea has to be special. Sometimes, it’s nice to just have a solid tea that isn’t anything special, so you don’t have to worry about missing the “tea” moment, you know?

Dr Jim

It’s just that I have so many special teas, I feel like I’m wasting an opportunity to drink one. I recently gave away a bunch of older teas I had rated in the 70s because I felt that I shouldn’t waste them, but in fact my higher quality teas were getting stale.

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50

Burnt aroma is somewhat unpleasant but there are other, more pleasant aromas lurking in the background. The flavors are tar and leather with an unpleasant, bitter finish. I’m usually a sucker for an interesting tea, and this tea is certainly interesting, but it’s just not for me.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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84
drank Dragonwell #3 by Educational TTB 2
114 tasting notes

Not at all what I expected from a Chinese green tea. Strong aroma of tropical fruit. The taste mixes the tropical fruit with grassy flavors. Relatively short, clean finish. This is a light, refreshing tea, and I am really enjoying it.

Thanks to Stacy at Butiki Tea for putting this box together

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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81
drank Kenya CTC #2 by Educational TTB 2
114 tasting notes

I’m kind of burning out on the fancy teas, so decided I’d like to just have a strong breakfast tea. This should fill the bill.

It is surprisingly good. The aroma has powerful molasses notes with just a hint of chocolate. I enjoy spelling it so much it is hard to start sipping. The flavor is more tar than molasses. Good, but not great. I usually add sugar to my breakfast teas but this didn’t need it: strong, but not at all harsh or bitter, though there is a bit of tannin in the finish.

I added some nutra-sweet, and the tarry taste became more like molasses, and I liked the taste as much as the nose. All in all a very fine tea. I’m thinking I need to start exploring African teas, which I’ve pretty much ignored up to this point. This reminds me of Yorkshire Gold, which also has strong molasses and it the tea I used at work when I need to carry a tea bag to a meeting.

A word of caution: I weigh my teas rather than using a tea-spoon, and this is at least twice as dense as normal loose-leaf teas. Try using just half a teaspoon. I also used a shorter steep time due to the fine CTC particles.

Thanks to *Stacy at Butiki Tea* for putting this box together

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Cheri

Thank you so much for your very thorough tasting notes on all of these teas. I’ve really enjoyed reading them.

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82
drank AliShan #3 by Educational TTB 2
114 tasting notes

First tea of the day. I’m making slower progress with the TTB than I anticipated. A big part of the problem is that I feel compelled to re-steep many of the teas, especially the Pu-erh and oolong. Today, I will make matters worse by trying a modified gaiwan approach. I use my small glass teapot to steep 6 oz at a time, using 3 grams of tea and 60 second steep times. This is my usual approach for oolong, though I often use a Western-style of 1.5 grams in 6 oz, with one re-steep, which is what I usually do with TTB tastings, in order to not use too much tea.

1st steep (70 s): light fruity nose and taste. 2nd (1 m): Rich nose is more spicy than fruity. Taste starts grassy but spice increases towards the finish. 3rd (60 s): The leaves were fully unfurled, so I expected lots of flavor, but it’s really light and disappointing. What flavor there is I like. 4th (2 m): See if extra steep time helps. The tea has more favor, but lacks complexity.

Overall, this was a disappointing tea. AliShan #1 was excellent and I was hoping for an even better experience. It wasn’t meant to be.

Thanks to *Stacy at Butiki Tea* for putting this box together.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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62

I have a fairly low opinion of Nilgiri tea, and this didn’t do anything to change that opinion. I was pleasantly surprised by the initial taste, which was clean and bright, but the flavor descended into a tannic, bitter finish. Each sip seemed to turn bitter a little bit faster. I added sweetener, but that didn’t help much.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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87

Spicy grass aroma and taste. Rich mouth-feel. Good finish.

I think I’m getting burned out on the TTB. I should write more, but to be honest, this is just a nice quality oolong, with middle-of-the-road flavors. Well-made, but doesn’t stand out in a crowd.

Thanks to *Stacy at Butiki Tea* for putting this box together. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I’ve still got a lot of teas to drink. I’m finding it difficult to follow my original plan of tasting all the pu-erh, then all the green, etc. Instead, I’m finding it better to to a couple of a given style, then jump to something else.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Profile

Bio

Retired engineer/physicist.
My ratings will usually be based on multiple tastings. Green and oolong teas are generally 3 grams of tea in 6 oz water for 1 minute. Black teas are 1.5 grams of tea in 6 oz water for 3-4 minutes.

My numerical ratings are all based on how much enjoyment I took from the tea. Since I prefer blacks and oolongs, they will receive higher scores. I also give a couple of extra points to decafs, just because I can drink them in the evening without staying up half the night. I don’t dislike flavored teas, but find that they lack the complexity of finer teas.

90-100 = superior, worth a high price
80-89 = Excellent. Will buy again
70-79 = Good tea, but probably won’t buy
60-69 = Nothing really wrong, but…
Below 60 = Wouldn’t drink again

Location

Massachusetts

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