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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1267 teas.

Reviews of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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Picture of Blissful Harmony

Blissful Harmony from teakruthi

Style: Black and White Blend – Region: Matara, Sri Lanka

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 23rd, 2017

I was genuinely surprised at how well this blend worked. I was also surprised at how much the overall character was like a white tea, in spite of there being more black tea and the leaf itself looking very dark.

Black and white tea blends are such a strange idea, and so hard to execute, and Teakruthi's teas have be...

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Picture of Afternoon Ritual

Afternoon Ritual from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 17th, 2017

One of the most aromatic teas yet from Teakruthi, this tea had a beautiful fragrance, light and fresh, suggesting malt. The leaf is also very pretty, with silvery tips mixed in against a mostly-dark background. I got excited when I opened the bag and saw and smelled the leaf!

Upon brewing the aroma gets much more ...

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Picture of Island Heritage

Island Heritage from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matale, Sri Lanka (Dimbula)

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 14th, 2017

A light and elegant tea that I'd drink for a quiet break. Oolong-like.

The beautiful and wiry dry leaf has the remarkable aroma of mint candy, creamy and suggesting of sweetness, not a smell I've ever encountered in a pure tea before.

Brews up a cup that is surprisingly subdued. Clean and light, but only a subt...

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Picture of Colonial Mornings

Colonial Mornings from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matale, Sri Lanka (Dimbula)

91 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 10th, 2017

This is one of those transcendental black teas that somehow manages to be both warming and cooling in the same sip. Eminently satisfying!

All of Teakruthi's teas have been aromatic, but none explosively so until this one. I opened the bag and there was this burst of fragrance...first a sweet one that was hard to d...

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Picture of Mythical Green

Mythical Green from teakruthi

Style: Green Tea – Region: Uva, Sri Lanka

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 6th, 2017

I reacted to this very similarly to how I did to Teakruthi's other green tea, the Green Valley. I thought it tasted like a good but inexpensive Chinese green tea, and as such I'd be unlikely to buy it because it was so expensive. It didn't stand out and especially did not seem on the level of Chinese teas in this pr...

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Picture of Ceylon Sonata

Ceylon Sonata from Adagio Teas

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Kandy, Sri Lanka

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 2nd, 2017

I very much like this tea, it is one of my favorite "base" or "default" Ceylons that is sold by any major tea company.

Before steeping, the leaf is aromatic and has a pleasant malty aroma, like an Assam but less fruity.

Flavor is crisp. The cup is very aromatic, mostly malty but with light roasty/toasty notes. ...

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Picture of Winter Mountain White Tea

Winter Mountain White Tea from Health & Tea

Style: White Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 2nd, 2017

Wow, this is probably the least-processed tea I have ever seen; it looks like you just plucked leaves and buds right off a tea bush and dried them and popped them in a bag.

The dry leaf has a pleasant smell; it smells a little bit like generic dried leaves from the garden, but there's also a pleasant floral scent mo...

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Picture of Divine Highlands

Divine Highlands from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

77 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 31st, 2017

This was remarkable, it was like a smoother rendition of a Darjeeling first flush. I found it hard to brew but once I figured it out, it was exquisite. The main downside I found about it, like some Darjeelings, I wasn't crazy about how I felt after drinking it.

Dry leaf smells fresh, bright, fruity, and suggests s...

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Picture of Sencha

Sencha from Basilur

Style: Sencha – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 30th, 2017

The last of the Basilur teas I picked up at a friend's wedding, and unfortunately, one of the least satisfying.

The tea bag didn't smell great, but upon brewing I was surprised by a more pleasing aroma. Like other lower-quality senchas I've tried, and somewhat like bancha, this one had a distinct corn aroma.

The...

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Picture of Assam Tea

Assam Tea from 24 Mantra Organic

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 29th, 2017

A solid-quality CTC Assam that would make a good breakfast tea.

My roommate purchased this at a local Indian store. The date on the package shows it was packed last May, and we just opened the package the other day, so I know I was trying this tea while still very fresh. My rooomate enjoys this with almond milk an...

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Picture of English Breakfast Black Tea

English Breakfast Black Tea from Rituals

Style: English Breakfast – Region: ?????

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 26th, 2017

A humble English Breakfast tea bag, above average for a flat tea bag, pleasantly smooth and drinkable.

This brand has an almost legendary status on our website...not that a lot of people review it, almost none do, but that we get a ton of messages through our contact form, of people asking where you can buy it. And...

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Picture of Ceylon Oolong

Ceylon Oolong from teakruthi

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Matara, Sri Lanka

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 25th, 2017

I've reviewed over a hundred oolongs, and tried several oolongs from "unusual" places, i.e. countries that are not known for making oolong, including India, Kenya, Japan, and Nepal, but this is the first one I've tried from Sri Lanka.

It was very strange, and I'm glad I tried it, but it's the sort of tea I would hav...

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Picture of Rainforest Indulgence

Rainforest Indulgence from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matara, Sri Lanka

92 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 20th, 2017

An exceptional CTC tea, the best I've ever had, and as complex as many hand-processed, whole-leaf teas. This one really surprised me.

The dry leaf is unusually aromatic for a CTC tea. The aroma is toasty and with a strong maltiness, more like rye than other grain.

The brewed cup smells intensely aromatic, and j...

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Picture of Frontier Organic White Peony

Frontier Organic White Peony from Frontier

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: ?????

47 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 17th, 2017

I was not impressed with this one. I'm not sure if it was the low quality of tea though, or if it was simply not very fresh at the store where it was sold. I wish Frontier had more of a mechanism in place for ensuring freshness in the bulk tea kiosks they have in natural food stores, because I sometimes have a proble...

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Picture of Organic Green Dragon

Organic Green Dragon from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Dragon Well Tea – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 17th, 2017

I was eager to try this because it was the only pure green tea in tea bags sold by Mighty Leaf, other than their hojicha which is roasted and does not taste at all like a green tea.

I wasn't crazy about this tea; if I had to divide all dragon wells into "good dragonwell" vs. "bad dragonwell" this one would be at the...

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Picture of Green Valley

Green Valley from teakruthi

Style: Green Tea – Region: Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 17th, 2017

I enjoyed this tea but thought it the most overpriced of Teakruthi's offerings so far.

Dry leaf smells quite good, like a Chinese tea, a little vegetal and slightly floral, suggesting of a slight edge. It reminds me of chun mee both in smell and appearance, but is more vegetal.

I like this tea but it can get ove...

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Picture of Wild Monsoon

Wild Monsoon from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matara, Sri Lanka

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 12th, 2017

The dry leaf of this consists of big, dark, coarse looking leaves that are slightly curled. There is a mild toasty and chocolatey aroma. The leaf takes up a lot of space, and you need to use quite a lot by volume to get a strong enough cup.

Upon brewing, the aroma is distinct, different from other teas I've tried,...

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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
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 ZW42: White Tea Cake

ZW42: White Tea Cake from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: China

60 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 9th, 2017

This was the first of two compressed white tea cakes from Upton that I sampled. It was interesting but I'm not sure I'd want to drink this tea regularly. This was a strong tea, unpleasantly sharp but also thin-bodied, and I think I may have brewed it too strongly, wanting a fuller-bodied tea, but by the time I had fi...

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Picture of Kagoshima (Kagoshima Sencha)

Kagoshima (Kagoshima Sencha) from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 9th, 2017

I usually think of tea as being more about the aroma than the flavor, but this tea was intensely flavorful, and I thought its flavor was what made it most interesting and enjoyable.

This tea was very similar overall to the Organic Sencha also sold by Harney & Sons. The main difference I noticed initially was that t...

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Picture of Southern Malt

Southern Malt from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matara, Sri Lanka

94 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 9th, 2017

The first tea I tried from Teakruthi was excellent and enjoyable, but didn't wow me. This one immediately stood out, from before the first sip, or even just smelling the brewed cup.

The dry leaf has a smell that strongly suggests a savory stew. It's malty with a hint of smoke and spice.

When brewed, wow. This ...

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Picture of Royal Midlands

Royal Midlands from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Kandy, Sri Lanka

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 5th, 2017

I went to try this tea first because I got the sense that it seemed the most "classic Ceylon" of Teakruthi's offerings, and it definitely delivered the character I expected. This is a little less like the types of Ceylons served in British traditions though, and more like the type of tea I find consumed in the middle-...

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Picture of African CTC

African CTC from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 21st, 2016

The dry leaf has a pleasant aroma that is much more complex than typical for CTC teas...there are notes of spice that remind me of Christmas as a child.

Produces a very rich and aromatic cup. Before sipping, the aroma suggests sweetness, being creamy and almost candy-like. But upon sipping, pleasantly bitter. Ful...

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Picture of Assam Tippy Golden

Assam Tippy Golden from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 9th, 2016

Wow, this tea was quite satisfying, especially for cold days.

The dried leaf smells good, the aroma is mild but complex, mostly fruity and malty, with hints of spice, dried herbs or portpourri.

The leaves explode in aroma when they are steeped in water and there's a honey-like aroma that is a hallmark of higher g...

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Picture of Ceylon UVA Highland

Ceylon UVA Highland from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Uva, Sri Lanka

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 30th, 2016

I enjoyed this tea; it's a potent black tea of good strength, with a classic British character. One could convincingly substitute this for an English Breakfast blend. It also has a great price, and is a bit smoother than other similar teas in its price range.

The cup is moderately aromatic, a little malty but mor...

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