Educational TTB 2

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Recent Tasting Notes

Finally get to try a purple tea. Thank you Bukiti. Really is quite different. Not quite a black but definitely has some eartht notes like one. More woodsy. Hickory. A sweet hickory in scent. Its very light in flavor after 4 minutes of steeping.

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Brewed with the Western method. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 6 minutes.

How could I not try this one, on the day before I sent the box on its merry way? It didn’t even occur to me that there would be a monsoon flush.

Leaf: Shorter and darker than those of first flush from this box. Nearly black, charred-looking.
Aroma: I had a cold at the time, and my nose was stuffed, but doing even better. The dry leaf aroma was unexpected – barn hay. The wet leaf aroma smelled of malt and damp wood.
Liquor: This is even darker than autumn flush and definitely reflects monsoon weather, as it feels and tastes like stormy clouds. Full-bodied. At first, tastes of nothing. But the longer I let it sit in my mouth the more the flavor profile comes out. Lovely notes of honey fruit.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed with the Western method. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 6 minutes.

Aroma: I had a cold at the time, and my nose was stuffed, but doing much better. Still didn’t try to smell the dry leaf aroma. Wet aroma for this one is richer than those of #1 and #2, smelling of strawberries and apricot.
Liquor: Amber color. Thick texture. Thick, smooth. Very sweet. First infusion tastes richly of honey. The second infusion is muscatel. It’s not quite so rich as the first but still flavorful.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed with the Western method. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 6 minutes.

Leaf: They look more like green tea leaves. Lighter – greener with more white – than #1 and #3.
Aroma: I had a cold at the time, and my nose was stuffed. I couldn’t smell the dry leaf aroma, still, but the liquor was muscatel, and the wet leaf aroma had strawberries and apricot jam.
Liquor: Amber color. Full-bodied. Creamy. The first infusion has gentle notes of honey and molasses. The more it cooled, the more grapes stood out. The second infusion is even sweeter and more muscatel, tasting a lot like white grape wine.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed with the Western method. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 6 minutes.

Aroma: I had a cold at the time, and my nose was stuffed. Couldn’t smell the dry leaf, but the liquor was fruity (indiscernible specifically), and the wet leaf aroma, jams.
Liquor: The color of lighter amber. Thin and clear. Bland flavors…smoke (not something I’d want in a Darjeeling), sugar, honey (too light). Heavy feeling but…not.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed with the Western method. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 6 minutes.

Leaf: Very short, curly. Mostly dark with some white-ish leaves.
Aroma: I had a cold at the time, and my nose was stuffed, but not so much this day. The wet leaf aroma evolved quite a bit – vegetal to muscatel to sugar to bread to – lastly – jams. Very rich jams.
Liquor: Amber color. Full-bodied. Smooth and thick texture. Tastes darker than 1st flush but not as much as an autumn flush. The first infusion has flavors of bread and molasses and a plum aftertaste. I couldn’t pinpoint a certain note, but after reading MJ’s it was definitely red wine. Interesting. The second was more malty and bread-like.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed with the Western method. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 6 minutes.

Leaf: Dark, very short, curly.
Aroma: I had a cold at the time, and my nose was stuffed. I could only tell that the wet leaf aroma and liquor smelled vaguely vegetal.
Liquor: The color of honey. Medium-bodied. Thin texture. Notes of grape and honey.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed with the Western method. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 6 minutes.

Leaf: Dark, very short, curly.
Aroma: I had a cold at the time, and my nose was stuffed. Impossible to smells the dry leaf, but I could discern that the liquor/wet leaf had a malty/woody aroma.
Liquor: Amber color. Full-bodied. Smooth texture. Tastes darker than the first flush, and quiet. Notes of honey, molasses, and probably plum, with a maple syrup aftertaste.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed with the Western method. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 6 minutes.

Leaf: These leaves are greener and whiter than those of #1 and #2.
Aroma: I had a cold at the time, and my nose was very stuffed. No way I could try.
Liquor: Light gold in color. Medium-bodied. Somewhat thick texture. Notes of honeydew and papaya, with a mango aftertaste. Leaves a slightly dry mouth.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed Western-style in a ceramic tea pot. Steeping times: 3 minutes, 5 minutes.

Leaf: Similar to #1. Very short, a couple centimeters long. Medium browns with spots of yellow gold.
Dry aroma: different kinds of jams (red fruits), mahogany
Wet aroma: muscatel

Liquor: deep gold, medium-bodied-bodied, flavorful
First infusion – Very fruity, with a lingering apricot aftertaste.
Second infusion – Resembles a leafhopper oolong. Stonefruit-like and tangy.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Brewed Western-style in a ceramic tea pot. Steeping times: 4 minutes, 8 minutes.

Leaf: very short, a couple centimeters long. Medium browns with spots of yellow gold.
Dry aroma: spring flowers (hycacinths)
Wet aroma: fruity

Liquor: Full-bodied, clear.
First infusion – Muscatel, which stays and becomes stronger in the aftertaste.
Second infusion – Melon-like flavor. Esp. Cantaloupe.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This might be my last tasting note until Tuesday, yipes! I have a long, long trip ahead of me and need to cram in as much hanging out with people and last minute packing as possible…plus most my good tea gear is all packed up. One of the reasons this tea is brewed in my gaiwan rather than my Wuyi special Yixing teapot. The aroma of the leaves is a blend of cocoa, smoke, tobacco, and a touch of fruit. The cocoa note is at the forefront, which is pretty nice. Usually I am used to my Yancha’s having a much stronger kick of char, but I run into milder ones on occasion. The brewed leaves have a stronger char smell, but also a cocoa, bready, and slight frutiness to it. Ooooh the liquid smells super fruity and sweet. Yum!

Very smooth mouth feel and super sweet are the first things I notice, hardly any char taste at all, just sweet plum juice and cocoa. It is pretty mild, but I am using a brewing technique that is different from my usual of boiling water, tons of leaf, and flash steeping.

You know one of my favorite things about this TTB? I can let my tasting notes be freeform, usually I have my notebook and take detailed notes, but if I was to actually blog/write those as a review, it would be a mess. With these I can just let my thoughts flow as I sip my tea. The second steep has a little more of that distinctive char and tobacco leaf taste I am used to, along with some strong fruity notes that just do not quit. It kinda reminds me of Verdant’s DHP in its mildness. Still not sure how I feel about a mild Yancha overall, but I can certainly say this one hit the spot for me this morning.

And now, to go bake a giant brownie!

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mmm Red Jade tea smells so good, it smells dark and fruity, like stewed plums and some dark chocolate with a hard to describe sharp undertone that is almost minty but is not…it is certainly cooling. There is also a touch of sassafras, but it is very slight. The brewed leaves take on a tinge of yam, as does the liquid, it is rich and sweet and I cannot wait to sip it. Gotta wait so I don’t burn my tongue.

Delicious, rich and malty with a sweet sassafras taste a bit of plum and some mint-like cooling. The taste is not minty, just the sensation. I love red jade because it is one of the more unique tea tastes I have run into.

The second steep is much the same but richer and has more of a fruity quality to is. Perfect for an autumn evening me thinks

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Fuzzy tea!! I love fuzzy green teas, actually all fuzzy teas make me happy. The aroma of the dry leaves is no, there is none at all sadly, and brewing the tea…and tasting it. Sigh, this is the most bland Huangshan Mao Feng I have had, it is a little sweet and that is it.

Cheri

Fuzzy teas are the best.

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Such cute little spiraled leaves, I did a little rummaging around on the interwebs to find out about this particular Gong Yi and it is usually jasmine scented. This particular batch does not seem to be jasmine scented at all, just smelling like fresh green vegetation. The brewed leaves have a bready, yeasty, almost hoppy quality…it does not really smell like tea, more like sourdough starter! The liquid has more of a fresh vegetation and asparagus aroma to go along with yeasty bread, certainly not a jasmine tea!

That taste is surprisingly mild and sweet, it still has a bready quality, like I just bit into one of those flaky dinner rolls (man I really could go for some bread right now!) but with honey sweetness and a slightly sauteed bok choy taste at the finish. This tea is certainly interesting, not sure I like it or not.

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I need some oolong to get me out of my funk, let’s hope old favorite Li Shan will do the trick. The aroma is sweet and buttery with a slightly spicy quality, like spicebush flowers, along with a touch of orchid. The brewed leaves smell spicy, buttery, and fairly mild, more green than floral. The liquid is buttery and sweet, like cream and a touch of spinach. Li Shan can be a complicated oolong sometimes, I think each one I have had has been similar yet different.

The taste, ah, that really does hit the spot! It is mellow and sweet on the first steeping, like honey with a bit of cream and a green quality. There is a bit of a stale, cardboard quality that I picked up once it got a bit chilled, so not going to do that with the second steep. Speaking of, it is pretty intensely floral which fades to buttery smoothness and greenness.

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I am using this tasting note for two purposes, ooooh. If you just follow me here and don’t read my tea blog, be warned, I am either unwell or not adjusting to my meds being upped, suitably so that concentrating is just not happening. My reviews would be terrible, so I am taking a couple days off to recuperate/adjust to my meds.

Anyway, tea! The aroma of the dried leaves is nice and sweet, honeysuckle nectar and orchids with a bit of a sweet yeasty smell. Mmm the brewed leaves and the tea smell super heady and sweet, with mainly honeysuckles and orchids, there is a little hint of stems and yeasty bread as well.

The taste is sweet and green, with floral notes that linger. Yum, AliShan never is disappointing.

Starfevre

I hope you feel better soon. Med changes are never fun until they settle.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Thank you! I hope so too, this crushing fatigue is so annoying D:

tantonino

Just found your blog-site! Love all the pictures: Steepster needs to be able to add pictures to posts.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Thank you :) And I totally agree, it would make things so much cooler! People are all the talking about cool things in their notes, I want to seee them!

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I feel icky, that means I need a Roasted Oolong to sooth me soul, instead of reaching for a favorite I decided to try something new. The aroma of the leaves is very roasted, notes of tobacco and burnt toast with a tiny hint of burnt sugar. The brewed tea is very roasted, charcoal, tobacco, and burnt toast notes, no notes of sweetness. The liquid is charcoal and tobacco, this is going to be one potent tea!

There is a slight fruity sweetness I was not expecting, by fruity I mean pumpkin…are pumpkins fruit? The taste is a mix of pumpkin and coal, it is unlike any roasted Dong Ding I have ever had…it manages to be unusual and somewhat plain.

Ah, the second steep brings a more nuanced aroma of not so burnt toast, spicebush, and a bit of roasted grain. The taste is pretty bland, notes of pumpkin, charcoal, and spicebush, it is a soothing kinda bland though.

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I find it funny how some things can present totally different to me from how they present to others.

Contrary to the other review on this tea I found the scent of the dry leaves to be clean and sweet. While I agree that the brew was not vegetal, I would rather say that while it was slightly on the sweet side, it was more on the more astringent side, especially as you go deeper into the cup. That a thing about some of these, some of them have the tendency to have all the flavor settle towards the bottom of the cup, even if you brew in an entirely different vessel.

While on the deeper side of oolongs, I wouldn’t classify this as roasted. I know, my world of oolongs tend to be separated into ‘green’, ‘roasted’ and ‘not roasted, not green’. Lol. I would say that this is a slightly ‘rounder’ feeling oolong, if that makes sense. It tastes more mature.

Mouthfeel is clean, but taste is lingering (in a totally good way!). There’s little to no dryness. I feel like this is a tea that I wouldn’t necessarily enjoy the process of drinking often, but I enjoy the effects of drinking. The lingering taste and the aroma of this tea is very nice.

Tealizzy

I have this tea from another company and it’s great! I totally agree that it’s more green, but somehow different than other greens.

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I took a late evening nap that ran too long and consequentially was wide awake in the middle of the night even without the aid of any tea. So why not?

This Dong Ding is much less roasted than I’m used to for a Dong Ding oolong. The taste is light as perhaps a tad more mature…. it’s not a green oolong, but it doesn’t have the characteristic roasted aroma and nuttiness I associate with roasted oolongs, well maybe a touch of nuttiness, but light, like sunflower seeds. The liquor is not very sweet and has a touch floral that lends towards the nose.

carol who

When ever I see the name of this tea I want to sing, “Dong Ding the witch is dead…”

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This tea smells green when you first add hot water, but settles down to a nice not-quite-black tea smell that is subtly floral.

Slightly vegetal and even a tiniest hint of smoke, this is definitely a different experience from the 2013 autumn. I don’t get very much sweetness, but the mouthfeel is still full and smooth. A tad drying though.

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The dry leaf was short, a brown-tan color, and slightly twisted.

The brewed leaf bloomed into a slightly larger leaf, but not by much. The color became more green.

The liquor is a light tan color, leaning on the color of brown paper bags, but perhaps not as warm.

I’m no connoisseur of Darjeelings, but I think this tea smells lovely.

The taste is smooth, sweet, and earthy. The mouthfeel is full and not drying.
It’s just yummy.

Preparation
1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Try as I might I cannot get much of a smell out of the dry leaves, it could be because I am coming down with a cold my boyfriend so sweetly brought home from work. After steeping, yummm the leaves smell very sweet like fresh hay and ripe cherries. There is a hint of sea air in there as well. The liquid is light, a hint of hay and cherries.

Tasty, tasty! A bit of fresh hay, cut grass, and cherries. That cherry taste lingers in the aftertaste for a while. Has a little bit of a dry mouth at the finish.

pyarkaaloo

cherries from a gyokuro?? wow.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

yeah, it was pretty cool! Very faint fresh cherry taste, made me happy :)

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