Educational TTB 2

Recent Tasting Notes

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.

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This one did not have too much of an aroma, just a bit of toasted nuts and green beans. Steeping the leaves brings out a sharp vegetal aroma, like kale and artichoke. The liquid is green beans and spinach, not a very sweet smelling dragonwell.

This doesn’t taste like any dragonwell I have ever had, it tastes more like a yun wu with cherry and lychee notes and distinct spinach and Brussels sprout taste. There is a tiny hint of the expected toasty taste, but mostly it is all vegetal and slightly sweet.

The second steep has more of the typical toasted sesame and green bean taste that I am used to, but it does still have a strong spinach and Brussels sprout taste, which is a neat take on it. I kinda like it!

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So this is a tea that has been on my ‘to try’ list for over a year, I was fascinated by the elevated GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-Aminobutyric_acid ) in the tea. Fun and totally useless fact, my main medication for controlling my Fibromyalgia (and other things…added benefit) is Gabapentin, yep, same GABA! Luckily the amount is pretty small (average 280mg per 100g) so I don’t have to worry about OD’ing or anything. The aroma of the wet leaves is pretty sweet, like burnt sugar, plums, and a touch of toast. After steeping the leaves have a very distinct stewed plums and cherry aroma, it smells more like dessert than tea! The liquid is a blend of stewed plums, cherries, apricot (what is this, a compote?) and spicebush.

How interesting! It doesn’t taste like any oolong I have ever had, it is woody, sweet, and fruity with a distinctly sour cherry finish. Makes my salivary glands happy, though as of steep one I am not sure what I think of the taste. It is really mild but still has distinct flavors. My mouth is confused!!!

The aroma of the second steep is still very fruity and the spice is stronger (why do I suddenly hear sandworms in the distance?) the taste is sweet, not that sourness from the first steep…well, certainly not as strong. At the finish there is still some sourness. The majority of the taste is fruity but there is still not much going on, it tastes almost watered down which is surprising considering the leaves are pushing the lid of my gaiwan up. There is also a slight bitterness at the finish. I still do not know what to think of this tea.

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Oooh the aroma on this one is fun! It is floral and sweet like one would expect from an Alishan (for some reason their slightly yeasty sweetness reminds me of destroying angel mushrooms, but I am a weirdo) but with a slightly toasty aroma at the finish. Once I give the tea a short steep the aroma turns almost perfumed with the intensity of the orchid and honeysuckle explosion from the now wet leaves. There is also a gentle hint of spicebush, yum! The liquid is a blend of flowers, toast, and spicebush, it is quite sweet and enjoyable to sniff.

Oh man, that first sip is fantabulous! Sweet, floral, and surprisingly fruity! Like honey and lychees with a healthy dose of honeysuckle nectar. The aftertaste is spicebush. Oddly for a baked tea it doesn’t have any real toasty notes as of steep one.

The second steep somehow manages to be even sweeter, it is very much so like I took a floral oolong and poured lychee juice into it, pretty intense! Like the previous steep it has a spicebush finish to it. I really liked this tea!

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There was only a teeny tiny bit of this tea left, enough to make a fairly small cup, so I decided to go western style instead of using my gaiwan. I have really liked western brewed Bi Luo Chun in the past, so I expect tasty things. The aroma of the dry leaves was pretty faint, a distant hint of vegetal and green-ness.

The taste reminds me more of a low quality dragonwell than a Bi Luo Chun, there were strong notes of spinach and green beans with a hint of toasted sesame, I did not get any of the fruity lychee notes I associate with Bi Luo Chun. Even though it caught me off guard, I am ok with that! Luckily I really like those flavor profiles (one of the reasons I have low quality Dragonwell around just so I can quickly chug a cup) so it was not a loss.

Flavors: Green Beans, Spinach, Toasty

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

Holy mackerel this tea is delicious! It tastes like a blend between a 20yr aged Yancha (shui xian variety) and a Hong Shui…two teas that I am gaga about. The aroma of the dry leaves is pretty faint, a bit of smoke and caramel with a hint of tobacco, the wet leaves come alive with the same aromas but stronger and a touch of distant orchids. The liquid is smoky, burnt sugar, tobacco, and a touch of loam.

The taste is pretty intense…loamy, caramelized sugar, tobacco, smoke…delicious! With each steep it gets sweeter and a touch floral…like the ghost of the possibly floral oolong it was before.

I really need to try more aged oolongs, they never let me down..

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Loam, Orchid, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
KiwiDelight

This sounds so gooood.

donkeytiara

holy mackerel…. that made me smile…. now I’m wondering where the phrase originated from…. oh, and on the tea front, one day I’ll figure out a “bridge” tea between black/red and oolongs…. not quite yet though…

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

That is a good question! I love finding out where random phrases and such originate…to the googly machine for research! Hehe…

I had a 99% oxidized oolong that could be a good stepping stone, it has qualities of both red and oolong, but it is not smoked or aged.

bizbee1

last time I heard that term was when a dolphin leaped past us with one (mackerel) in its mouth. I thought that was the best use of the term!

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I plan on doing as mj did and drink the darjeelings in chronological order. First up – first flush. This tea was greener than I thought it would be. Smallish green and brown leaves. They really bloom up when they steep. The tea ends up being a deep yellow color. It’s a little vegetal and bitter. Reminds me of a mild green tea.

Cheri

That’s how I did the darjeelings as well. I had a variety of first flush and second flush, but only a few of the third flush as I was kind of burned out by that point. It was definitely a fun way to do it.

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95

This tea smelled like very light cucumber water. And that’s exactly what it tasted like – in the best way. It’s a very delicate tea but it tastes fresh and bright.

Flavors: Cucumber, Honey

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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68

My first from the Butiki TTB2. I’ve never had a purple tea before and it’s definitely something different. It tasted like a mix of green and black teas. It gets vegetal from green and bitter from black. If I didn’t have so many other teas to try I would definitely try this with different temperatures and times.

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The leaves again looked pretty much like the other 2nd and autumn flushes- thin, short, and brown. The liquor was a light sienna and smelled earthy and sweet. The taste was similar to the 2011 autumn (wine, earth, oak), but muskier. I’m not sure if muskier is the right word, but that’s as close as I can get right now. Also, it was less astringent than the 2011 autumn flush, although discounting that I preferred the flavor of the 2011 to this one.

Flavors: Earth, Oak wood, Red Wine

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The leaves of this flush looked quite similar to the 2nd flush- short, thin and brown. The smell was also quite similar (fruity), but with a little bit more of a kick to it. The liquor was a darker sienna color and the taste was definitely more red wine. There were also earthy and oaky notes in the sip and it was the most astringent of the darjeelings I tried. For that reason, it was my least favorite.

Flavors: Earth, Oak wood, Red Wine

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I decided to try another second flush, this time from this year. The leaves looked much the same as the 2013 second flush: small, thin, and short in shades of brown. The smell was fruity and maybe a little oaky? The liquor was a similar amber color. The tea did taste somewhat different. It was less sweet grape with a more mineral quality to it and was much more astringent. I preferred the 2013 to this one. (not that this one was bad at all!)

Flavors: Grapes, Mineral

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This darjeeling looks a bit different from the first flush I just tried. The leaves are short and thin in shades of brown and the resulting liquor is an amber color (much darker than the first flush. The first thing that hit me when sipping was sweet grape taste, which was followed by a taste that reminds me of red wine without tasting exactly like it. Sorry if that makes no sense. Overall, this tea tasted “warm” to me while the first flush tasted very fresh.

Flavors: Grapes, Red Wine

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Butiki Teas

You are describing the “muscatel” notes!

mj

Is that what that is? Haha, I never knew what muscatel was before although I had heard of it. Thanks so much for this box, I’m learning a ton!!

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Yay for getting to try a bunch of darjeelings! I thought I’d start with the first flush and then go in “chronological” order, if you know what I mean. The leaves of this tea are short, thin, and flaky, colored green and brown. The best way that I can describe the smell is that it smells slightly green. The leaves brew up a light golden yellow liquor and taste like gentle hay with that “mountain air” taste I associate with darjeelings. The sip finishes with some sweetness and subtle tingling on the tongue, without any astringency. First flush is where it’s at :)

Flavors: Hay, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Dong Ding #1 by Educational TTB 2
259 tasting notes

This is the last of the oolongs! I did it! I didn’t try all the oolongs, I just tried one of each kind. The leaves are small, tightly rolled, and dark brown. The smell is a very strong oolong smell and the brew is dark amber. For me though, this oolong is maybe too roasted? It almost tastes burnt. It has a weird, almost coffee-like aftertaste that I was not a fan of at all. It’s just really in your face and not in a good way :-/.

Flavors: Burnt, Coffee, Roasted

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
sherapop

I’ve noticed that I tend to prefer the less-oxidized, greener oolongs…

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drank Wild Tea (China) by Educational TTB 2
259 tasting notes

This wild tea has long, thin, and dark leaves that smell vegetal with a hint of floral. They brew up a pale yellow-green. The taste is very lightly, unoffensively vegetal with floral overtones and a little mineral. Altogether, it is just extremely fresh tasting and I really enjoyed it!

Flavors: Floral, Mineral, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Tie Guan Yin by Educational TTB 2
259 tasting notes

The leaves are dark and light brown, loosely rolled and they brewed up a golden yellow liquor. The smell is that characteristic oolong smell. I’m not sure how else to describe it, but if you’ve ever smelled an oolong you know what I mean :). The taste is not characteristic of other oolongs I’ve had. It’s extremely buttery! Buttery roasted nuts. YUM.

Flavors: Butter, Roasted nuts

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The leaves of this tea are thin and twisty, colored light and dark brown. The smell is fruity, maybe even a little earthy. The brew is a beautiful amber color. The taste overall is just very fresh. It’s a little mineral, floral, with a slight grape note (that could be the power of suggestion since it’s called champagne oolong). It actually tastes a lot like a black tea for an oolong and even has a slight astringency to it. I’d say it’s a black tea cross dressing as an oolong.

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Mineral

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

Is it like Oriental beauty?

mj

The only oriental beauty I’ve had was aged (or all they all aged?), so that might make a difference. But this was no where near as fruity as the OB and have a much different “character” if you know what I mean.

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This was the only Indian oolong in the Educational TTB 2, so I was very interested to try it. However, it’s left me very confused. It smelled and taste like nothing. Seriously, it just tasted like I was drinking hot water. I could have severely underleafed it. I did the same thing I’ve been doing for the other oolongs: 1tsp for 8oz. Anyway, I hope the next person has better luck with it :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Virginia

Omg I think that’s even worst than saying something tastes awful lol. Flavour profile: none.

mj

I know, right? I guess it’s a tea for the flavor-averse :-P

Megan

How weird! Oddly enough this makes me really want to try it.

mj

I hope you get more out of it than I did. Maybe try more leaf?

Marzipan

It could just be really old.

boychik

Maybe more leaf, lower temp longer steep? Just a thought

mj

I did add a bit more leaf to the basket and steeped longer, but to no avail. I didn’t want to use any more of it experimenting though

boychik

That’s how whites usually taste to me unless it’s Shang Tea

mj

I actually really like whites though and they are not tasteless at all to me! But this one….it’s just not there lol

Butiki Teas

For this tea you should use 2 teaspoons at 170F for a 4 minute steep. I’m thinking it was just a bit under-leafed.

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I managed to make it through the all the Taiwanese oolongs today! It was fun trying all of them and I was surprised by the amount of variation between them. This was one of the most unique of the bunch and I’m glad I ended the day with it. The leaves were small, brown, and somewhat flat; really quite unassuming. The smell though was richly fruity and quite the opposite of unassuming. It brewed up a dark amber color and also tasted extremely fruity, almost like a prune. It was a very sweet oolong and was one of my favorites of the bunch.

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet

Butiki Teas

That’s one of the teas that we sell. Glad you like it! :)

mj

Haha, I’m not surprised! As far as I know I’ve liked every tea I’ve tried from Butiki :)

Butiki Teas

Thanks, that’s sweet of you to say. :)

TeaTiff

mj- I am really enjoying your notes. I think you have been trying a lot of the ones I will hopefully get to.

mj

Thanks TeaTiff :)

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drank Wu Yi Rock by Educational TTB 2
259 tasting notes

The leaves of this tea are long, twisty, and dark brown and they smell extremely roasty! The liquor came out a light, orangey-brown. The taste was exactly as the smell would have you believe, very roasted even bordering on burnt. Despite the heaviness of the roasted taste, there is a surprising clean sweetness at the finish. Overall, this one was too roasted for me.

Flavors: Roasted, Sweet

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The leaves of this tea are dark green, long and twisty and they smelled very vegetal. The color of the brew was extremely pale yellow green. Despite the smell, this oolong didn’t taste vegetal to me. It was very creamy with full mouthfeel, finishing with a clean sweetness. Very good!

Flavors: Creamy, Sweet

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The leaves of this oolong are rolled and very dark brown. The smell is extremely roasty with an almost coffee-like quality to it. It brews up a sienna brown color. The sip starts our fairly innocuously, but finishes with a burnt taste. Not even a burnt sugar taste, just burnt. It leaves an aftertaste that reminds me of coffee. I’ll be honest, I dumped most of this. Definitely not for me.

Flavors: Burnt, Coffee

TheTeaFairy I love how aged oolongs transform with every steeps…They do have that coffee feel, don’t they?
mj

I thought so. Which is unfortunate for me because I can’t stand coffee. I can see a coffee lover really liking this tea though!

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