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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1274 teas.

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Picture of Orange Pekoe (Ceylon & India)

Orange Pekoe (Ceylon & India) from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 20th, 2017

One of the best black tea blends I've tried that hasn't been in a more specific style. Enigmatic, this tea constantly defied description. I also found it versatile, able to take on different characters based on how I brewed it.

The dry leaf of this is potently aromatic and commands my attention, spicy with strong ...

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Picture of Bold Breakfast

Bold Breakfast from Dunkin Donuts

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

50 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 17th, 2017

Served at a Dunkin Donuts. I can't help but wonder how much this tea is limited by the fact that it's served in a paper cup; I can smell the cup, it imparts a cardboardy aroma that noticeably diminishes the enjoyment of the tea. Perhaps I'll come back with my own mug next time.

I remember what the old Dunkin Donut...

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Picture of Wild Berry Hibiscus

Wild Berry Hibiscus from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Fruit (Herbal) Tea – Region: Blend

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 22nd, 2017

Served at De La Coeur Cafe in Wilmington, DE (I love that place by the way, please do check it out if you're ever there).

I normally don't like hibiscus blends (think Celestial Seasonings' Red Zinger) because they are too sour for me, but I enjoyed this one. I brewed it in a big fat mug and only steeped it around 3...

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Picture of Beach Bellini

Beach Bellini from Teavana

Style: Fruit (Herbal) Tea – Region: Blend

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 27th, 2017

I really enjoyed this one! It was a gift from my roommate, so thank you!

The dried fruits in this blend were intensely aromatic, just opening the bag resulted in an explosion of aroma, mostly tropical fruit with hints of citrus, the smell strongly suggests sweetness, and there's a hint of spice in the aroma. The in...

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Picture of Spice Dragon Red Chai Herbal Tea

Spice Dragon Red Chai Herbal Tea from Stash Tea

Style: Rooibos Chai / Spiced Rooibos – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 16th, 2016

The tea bag smells overwhelmingly like cinnamon and nothing else.

Upon brewing, the cinnamon is not quite as domineering, but it's still the principle aroma. I can smell the clove, but it's a struggle to notice the base rooibos. This herbal tea is initially smooth and easy to drink; there's little bitterness or as...

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Picture of Scottish Breakfast

Scottish Breakfast from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Scottish Breakfast – Region: Blend

98 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 28th, 2016

This tea was extraordinary and was one of the best blended teas I've ever tried. I do tend to really like Scottish Breakfast as a style of tea, and this was an unparalleled example of such.

The dry leaf has a pleasing aroma with a light hint of smoke, just what I'd expect: noticeable, but a bit less than in a Russi...

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Picture of Chocolate Rooibos

Chocolate Rooibos from Numi Organic Tea

Style: Flavored Rooibos – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 22nd, 2016

I get the sense that other people would enjoy this more than I did.

Brews up a mellow cup with a mild chocolate aroma, reminding me a lot of halloween candy as a kid, but less artificial. It's not the richest aroma, but it becomes a little more complex on drinking. I can notice the rooibos, but it's not dominant. ...

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Picture of Original Blend (Green Label)

Original Blend (Green Label) from Barry's Tea

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 15th, 2016

This was a humble flat paper tea bag that surprised me with its quality. It was very different from the Gold Blend (the one with the red label) from this same company.

Brews a very rich, dark cup that is thick and full-flavored. The aroma is strongly malty, and upon drinking the whole cup there's a hint of winterg...

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Picture of Oprah Chai Herbal Blend

Oprah Chai Herbal Blend from Teavana

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Blend

2 / 100 Aroma: 1/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Jan. 26th, 2016

This was the worst thing I've ever seen to come out of Starbucks and Teavana, and the worst thing I've seen associated with Oprah's name. It's an abomination, absolutely abhorrent.

The cup has an overwhelming aroma of fake cinnamon, like those fireball candies that I hated as a kid. If you like fireball candies (o...

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Green Chai from Wegmans

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 7th, 2015

Green chai is always a tricky one for me; I think of masala chai as being a blending tradition that is inextricably woven into the flavor profile of strong black teas. While traditional masala chai goes well with milk, I think of green tea as not going well with milk at all. I never know what to expect when I try a g...

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Picture of Breakfast Blend (Morning Rise)

Breakfast Blend (Morning Rise) from Numi Organic Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

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

Wow. This might be the best breakfast tea I've ever tried from a tea bag. This was in a box of Numi tea bags that my friend Emily gave me, thank you so much!

Very aromatic once brewed: the aroma is very complex too: malty, spicy, and with notes of hot chocolate and a hint of roast like black coffee. The overall ch...

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Picture of TB60: Russian Caravan

TB60: Russian Caravan from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Russian Caravan – Region: Blend

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 29th, 2015

A disappointing blend from a company that usually impresses me with their black teas. The one thing this tea had going for it though was that it was hearty and warming.

Dry leaf doesn't wow me, it has a mild, almost stale smell.

Upon brewing though, becomes much more pleasant. Aroma is oolong-like, like a dark,...

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Picture of Jade Citrus Mint

Jade Citrus Mint from Teavana

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: Blend

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 25th, 2015

A smooth, creamy tea where the mint aroma is more evident than the base tea. Resteeps very well.

Sampled at the Starbucks in Newark, Delaware.

This is the tea that replaced, or corresponds fairly closely with, the old Tazo Zen, the combination of green tea with spearmint and lemon-scented herbs. Neither tea is a...

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Picture of Vanilla Bean

Vanilla Bean from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Vanilla Black Tea – Region: Blend

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 4th, 2015

This tea was surprisingly good and I think was one of the best flavored teas that I've tried yet from Mighty Leaf, definitely my favorite black tea of theirs too. Served in Central Perk Coffee Shop in Newark, DE.

The base tea has a strong warming quality and is rich and aromatic. On the website, I see they list te...

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English Breakfast from Metropolitan Tea Company

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 21st, 2015

Served at Notting Hill coffee shop in Lewes, DE.

An outstanding English Breakfast blend: robust and strong, with a rich and complex aroma. The aroma is slightly malty, and has noticeable wintergreen notes.

Flavor is very bold and rich; flavor is both bitter and savory, and astringency is fairly strong; be carefu...

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Picture of TB05: Mincing Lane Breakfast Blend

TB05: Mincing Lane Breakfast Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 8th, 2015

Another outstanding and powerful black tea blend from Upton. This was also one of my all-time favorite blends from Upton.

The dry leaf of this blend, which consists of quite large pieces of leaf, has a strong and wonderful aroma, lightly smoky, spicy, and fruity, with floral hints, suggesting rose.

Flavor is bri...

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Picture of TB20: River Shannon Breakfast Blend

TB20: River Shannon Breakfast Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 30th, 2015

A classic, yet exemplary Irish Breakfast tea: true to the style, but also top-quality. My favorite Irish Breakfast tea yet.

Dry leaf is dark and smell pleasant, fruity (like dried fruit), malty, and slightly spicy.

The brewed cup is strong and smells surprisingly much of wintergreen, which I love. There are als...

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Picture of TB14: Scottish Breakfast Blend

TB14: Scottish Breakfast Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Scottish Breakfast – Region: Blend

91 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 29th, 2015

This was an absolutely delightful tea that was definitely my favorite blend from Upton and one of my favorites among all black tea blends. The perfect balance of strength and smoothness.

Dry leaf is finely broken but has a very pleasant aroma, and quite complex. There are notes of malt and fruit, especially the fr...

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Picture of TB52: East Frisian TGFOP

TB52: East Frisian TGFOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Ostfriesen Tea (East Frisian Tea) – Region: Blend

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 14th, 2015

An excellent blend for an excellent price, that I can see pleasing both connoisseurs and lovers of strong black teas. Potent but smooth and also complex.

Dry leaf, which is intact and wiry, has a very pleasing aroma with strong vegetal notes.

Upon brewing, produces a dark, rich, but mellow cup which reminds me a...

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Picture of TB10: Bond Street English Breakfast Blend

TB10: Bond Street English Breakfast Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 31st, 2015

A classic, prototypical English Breakfast tea of average quality. Goes well with milk and probably better suited to people who (unlike me) drink their tea with milk.

A CTC (broken, mechanically-processed) tea; the dry leaf isn't terribly aromatic, but has a pleasant slightly malty aroma.

Produces a very dark cup...

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Picture of TB75: Baker Street Afternoon Blend

TB75: Baker Street Afternoon Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Russian Caravan – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 19th, 2015

The dry leaf of this just smells like Lapsang Souchong. It also has an ununusual, hetereogeneous shape. One tea, presumably the souchong, has very long, wiry leaves, whereas the others are much shorter. This makes me wonder if the leaves would separate if stored in a large container and shaken around enough.

Brew...

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Picture of Organic Black Tea

Organic Black Tea from Equal Exchange

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 9th, 2015

Quite good for a flat tea bag.

Brews up a very dark, opaque liquor. Malty aroma, a lot like an Assam or Irish Breakfast blend. Bold flavor, moderate astringency but still smoother than average for a tea bag of this strength.

I only steeped once, just under 3 minutes, and it produced good results. The tea was s...

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Picture of Cafe Spice Chai

Cafe Spice Chai from Octavia Tea

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Blend

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 6th, 2015

A smooth, mild chai that was pleasant to drink but disappointing in its lack of strength and cinnamon-heavy spice blend. Sampled at Velvet Sky bakery.

This tea was surprisingly weak and unsatisfying, even when brewed using more leaf than I normally use. I'm also not crazy about the combination of spices. Cinnamon ...

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Picture of Earl Grey Black Tea

Earl Grey Black Tea from MajaTei

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: Blend

30 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 1/5
Feb. 17th, 2015

This tea is sold as an Earl Grey, but the leaf smells really, really different from what I expect. I do notice bergamot, but there are a lot of other aromas in there, and it smells cloying, more like potpourri than a flavored black tea.

Upon brewing, I find I like the aroma even less, because the bergamot is even m...

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Picture of Lemon Ginger Herbal Plus Probiotics

Lemon Ginger Herbal Plus Probiotics from Bigelow Tea

Style: Wellness Tea / Medicinal Tea – Region: Blend

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 20th, 2015

This herbal tea was a little bit odd tasting. I didn't know that it was a probiotic when I tried it; I had it in a cafe.

It didn't taste much at all like any other lemon ginger blends I have tried previously. I can't notice much ginger at all, and the lemon is also mild. I normally like lemon ginger herbal teas b...

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