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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1251 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Fujian, China

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Picture of ZW48: Fuding White Tea Cake

ZW48: Fuding White Tea Cake from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5 Overall: 8/10
Jan. 9th, 2017

I tried this together with Upton's ZW42. I actually liked this one a lot, and not the other.

Brews up a dark, full-bodied cup that, like the other compressed white tea cake, is rather bitter. I find the bitterness more blunt though, whereas ZW42 has a sharp bitterness.

The aroma is strange and hard to describe....

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Picture of Lapsang Souchong Wild Black Tea (Ye Sheng Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong)

Lapsang Souchong Wild Black Tea (Ye Sheng Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong) from TeaVivre

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5 Overall: 9/10
Jun. 16th, 2016

A lovely tea, mellow, and complex, among my favorite Lapsang Souchongs ever sampled. Thank you again to TeaVivre for the sample! This is a traditional Chinese lapsang souchong, it lacks the strong smoky aroma that the more widely-known style of tea popular in the West has. Compared to other traditional Lapsang Souch...

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Picture of Panyang Congou

Panyang Congou from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Fujian, China

43 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5 Overall: 5/10
Jun. 13th, 2016

This was the most disappointing pure tea I've ever tried from Harney & Sons.

Dry leaf not very aromatic, but the aroma is pleasant. The leaf is pretty, with fine wiry pieces, fairly finely broken...the faint aroma suggests spice and dried fruit, like fig or date.

The brewed cup is surprisingly lacking in aroma. ...

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Picture of Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey from Harney and Sons

Style: Golden Monkey – Region: Fujian, China

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5 Overall: 9/10
Mar. 24th, 2016

Truly superb! I haven't tried that many Golden Monkey teas, but after brewing this one multiple times, I think it is my favorite. Its leaf is packed with flavor and, although it had the smoothness of other golden monkey teas, I found it had a strength that was lacking from other examples of this style that I had tried...

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Picture of Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green Tea

Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Jasmine Pearls – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5 Overall: 8/10
Aug. 1st, 2015

This is my favorite jasmine pearls tea that I've ever sampled.

I tried this tea months ago and began writing a review but I realized that I never finished and posted it! Apologies to TeaVivre for the oversight. I had one packet left, so I brewed it up and the tea was as I had remembered it. I was surprised at how...

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Picture of Jasmine Pearls

Jasmine Pearls from The Meaning of Tea

Style: Jasmine Pearls – Region: Fujian, China

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5 Overall: 7/10
Apr. 29th, 2015

A decent Jasmine tea, which I think is on the expensive side.

Dry leaf has a very intense aroma, with a strongly floral jasmine scent, and also strongly fruity, with a minty note.

The Meaning of Tea recommended a heaping teaspoon, but I sensed that this tea would be strong for my tastes, so I went easy, using a t...

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Picture of Iron Buddha

Iron Buddha from Simply Good Tea

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 7/10
Feb. 22nd, 2015

This is a classic example of the "modern green style" of oolong, popular in Taiwan and China these days, with no discernable roast or oxidation.

The dry leaf is an intense green color with yellowish accents, not particularly tightly rolled, and not very aromatic.

As soon as water hits the leaves though, there's a...

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Picture of Sencha

Sencha from Simply Good Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Fujian, China

33 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5 Overall: 4/10
Feb. 21st, 2015

I was very disappointed by this tea. It was the only tea so far to disappoint me, from Simply Good Tea; their other teas have been consistently good.

Dry leaf is relatively dark and vibrant green in color, and has a mild but pleasing aroma, toasty, slightly vegetal, and with a unique minty note.

Upon brewing, ge...

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Picture of Silver Needle White Tea

Silver Needle White Tea from Simply Good Tea

Style: Silver Needle – Region: Fujian, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5 Overall: 8/10
Feb. 17th, 2015

I tend not to like Silver Needle teas, but I found this one more interesting than most. It was my favorite silver needle yet from China (I strongly prefer the African-grown versions).

Dry leaf is mildly aromatic, and upon brewing, the cup initially smells like a typical silver needle of good quality, with the typic...

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Picture of Silver Needle White Tea

Silver Needle White Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Silver Needle – Region: Fujian, China

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5 Overall: 7/10
Feb. 17th, 2015

A very typical silver needle, enjoyable, good quality, and true to the style, but this is a style of tea I'm not a huge fan of, especially given its high price.

Brewed 3 minutes as recommended, this was too weak for me. I preferred a single, long infusion of about 12-15 minutes.

Very low in astringency, leading ...

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Picture of BaiYuYa Jasmine Tea

BaiYuYa Jasmine Tea from Simply Good Tea

Style: Jasmine Tea – Region: Fujian, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 8/10
Feb. 3rd, 2015

A classic jasmine of good quality, very balanced.

The dry leaf is very aromatic, with a strong floral fragrance that is not too perfumey. The leaf is also quite beautiful, with lots of silvery, downy tips and a few whole jasmine flowers thrown in.

Upon brewing, takes on a much rounder, warmer aroma, a lot like b...

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Picture of White Peony

White Peony from Octavia Tea

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fujian, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5 Overall: 9/10
Jan. 6th, 2015

Excellent! Another sample served at Velvet Sky Bakery.

The leaf was rather broken, but this may have been due to being packed in the small sample container: this is a very fragile, large-leafed tea.

Brews up a clear, light-colored cup that is on the delicate side for a white peony. Aroma is floral, with notes o...

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Picture of Misty Rock

Misty Rock from Simply Good Tea

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 8/10
Jan. 5th, 2015

A classic Wuyi oolong of high quality, with whole, intact leaves and a complex aroma. The dry leaf has a pleasant roasty smell, with a honey-like floral note. I find the dry leaf very pleasing to smell.

Brews up a rather clear and light cup with a light flavor. The aroma is both roasty and floral with nutty notes...

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Picture of Red Horse Black Tea

Red Horse Black Tea from Simply Good Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Fujian, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5 Overall: 8/10
Dec. 21st, 2014

Very enjoyable! This is my favorite tea so far from Simply Good Tea (I've only posted two reviews so far but have tried a few more).

The leaf looks a lot like the Bai Lin Gongfu I just tried from Joseph Wesley: well-formed, very wiry, curly leaves with quite a lot of golden-orange tip. Very aromatic, suggesting dr...

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Picture of Brandy Oolong

Brandy Oolong from Octavia Tea

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Fujian, China

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5 Overall: 9/10
Dec. 19th, 2014

Wow. This tea is pretty exceptional...buttery smooth, but incredibly rich. The dominant notes are of dried fruit, like fig, date, or raisin. It does have a brandy-like quality. It lives up to the claim of "tremendously complex flavors" although I think it's the aroma that is most complex.

Flavor is bold, slightl...

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Picture of Keemun Congfu

Keemun Congfu from Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Style: Keemun – Region: Fujian, China

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 10/10
Dec. 15th, 2014

Something fascinating and wonderful...a Keemun of top-quality produced outside the traditional area, yet in an area with a tradition of artisanal black tea production. Seems to combine the best qualities of Keemun with qualities of Fujian gong fu / congou black teas. I saved this tea review for last, from the recent ...

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Picture of Lapsang Souchong

Lapsang Souchong from Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: Fujian, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 9/10
Nov. 25th, 2014

Excellent.

This is the traditional Chinese Lapsang Souchong, subtle, not the British-style stuff with the overwhelming smell of campfire smoke. I love it. I've only ever tried one other Lapsang Souchong on par with this, the Lapsang Souchong Superior Grade from Life In Teacup. This tea was equally exquisite, yet ...

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Picture of Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake 2013

Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake 2013 from TeaVivre

Style: Shou Mei – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5 Overall: 8/10
Aug. 29th, 2014

I loved this. I love Shou Mei, and this was the first example of it I tried in compressed form. It was definitely one of the best samples of Shou mei that I've tried.

The dry leaf of this cake has a moderate smell of dried fruit, with a hint of fermenting fruit in there. It's not the most aromatic of TeaVivre's t...

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Picture of White Peony Tea (Bai MuDan)

White Peony Tea (Bai MuDan) from TeaVivre

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5 Overall: 8/10
Aug. 12th, 2014

A top-notch white peony tea that I found a bit tricky to brew: aromatically complex, but easy to oversteep. If considering the aroma alone, this would be among my favorite white teas ever, but the experience of drinking it was slightly less than top-notch, I'd say only solidly good, not excellent.

The dry leaf is i...

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Picture of Jasmine Downy Pearls

Jasmine Downy Pearls from Peet's Coffee and Tea (Peets)

Style: Jasmine Pearls – Region: Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 7/10
Jul. 17th, 2014

A very bold-tasting Jasmine tea. Tried at my friend Fairleigh's house; thank you for serving this!

Dry leaf is very aromatic, with a strong and pleasing jasmine smell, but also the base tea is evident.

Upon brewing, produces a golden-colored cup with a rich, powerful flavor. A good balance of jasmine flavoring ...

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Picture of Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea

Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Fruit Green Tea – Region: Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 9/10
Jun. 3rd, 2014

Wow. An excellent flavored tea for once!

I was intrigued to try this tea, in large part because TeaVivre tends to focus on traditional unflavored teas.

The leaf has a strong aroma of peach, and I notice little else, neither jasmine nor the base tea, but the peach smells rich and natural, like dried peaches rathe...

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Picture of Snow Buds Green Tea

Snow Buds Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Snow Buds – Region: Fujian, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 8/10
May. 12th, 2014

A delightful, light tea that tastes to me more like a delicate green tea than a white tea. I've tried two other snow buds or Xue Ya teas, and I think this is a prime example of this style.

Dry leaf is coarse and hairy, silvery.

Brews fairly slowly, as I'd expect for an intact, whole-leafed tea. I steeped for th...

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Picture of High Mountain Oolong Tea

High Mountain Oolong Tea from Starway

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5 Overall: 5/10
Feb. 19th, 2014

A smooth, but ultimately mediocre oolong. Very dark, not terribly bitter, but also very uninteresting. Most Chinese restaurants have tea with more of an interesting flavor and aroma.

Dry leaf has a mild, mellow aroma. Upon brewing, the roasted aroma comes out more.

The brewed cup has an oily film on top of it....

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Picture of Premium Peony White Tea (100% Organic)

Premium Peony White Tea (100% Organic) from Prince of Peace

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fujian, China

53 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5 Overall: 6/10
Dec. 30th, 2013

A pleasant, full-bodied tea, but aromatically weak and not very interesting. Not as aromatic as Ten Ren's white tea, which remains my favorite white tea from a tea bag. Smells very mild, mostly of caramel, very faintly floral.

Flavor is subdued: not very bitter. Just the right amount of astringency: smooth, even ...

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Picture of WuYi Mtn. Oolong Tea (Wuyi Oolong)

WuYi Mtn. Oolong Tea (Wuyi Oolong) from Foojoy

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

57 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5 Overall: 5/10
Dec. 26th, 2013

Brewed from a paper teabag stored for some time in the cupboard at my parents' house. It was surprisingly fresh and aromatic. Smells nice, but the flavor was more bitter than I like.

The tea bag contains fairly large, broken pieces of leaf, larger than in most tea bags, but smaller than in most high-end pyramid sa...

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