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E. Alex Gerster

Tea Reviewer

Member since Jul. 18th, 2011. Reviewed 66 teas.

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Picture of Darjeeling (Loose)

Darjeeling (Loose) from Ahmad Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 15th, 2011

Note: This is for the loose leaf version of this tea>
There are many cheap Darjeeling teas out there, but I doubt you will find one this good at this price. I picked up 10 ounces for less that $5 at my local Indian Grocery, and was pleasantly surprised. Good flavor and just the right hint of muscatel in the very pleas...

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Picture of Russian Blend Black Tea

Russian Blend Black Tea from Samovar Tea Lounge

Style: Russian Caravan – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 22nd, 2011

This is one of the most unusual "Russian Caravan" type teas I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Its name originates from the 18th century camel caravans that facilitated the transcontinental tea trade from tea-producing areas (namely India, Ceylon and China) to Europe via Russia. Although it is primarily considere...

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Picture of Genmai (Toasted Sweet Rice / Brown Rice)

Genmai (Toasted Sweet Rice / Brown Rice) from Obubu Tea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: Japan

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 10th, 2011

Genmaicha is one of those teas that is really comforting, and always goes well with food. But some of the versions available in the US are really of poor quality. By offering you the roasted brown rice in this way you can adjust proportions and use it with what ever tea you prefer. I had some samples of sencha that wer...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast Tea Bags

Irish Breakfast Tea Bags from Taylors of Harrogate

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 8th, 2011

This is the dark, bitter brother to Taylor's Scottish breakfast tea. Blended to be drunk with milk, it is a real eye opener if you try it alone. Hearty rather than robust, it makes a pretty decent cup with some malty flavor and only a tiny bit of brightness.

I bought 20 bags for about $3 at a local import store, wh...

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Picture of Scottish Breakfast Tea Bags

Scottish Breakfast Tea Bags from Taylors of Harrogate

Style: Scottish Breakfast – Region: Blend

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 8th, 2011

Although I don't typically drink my tea with milk or sweetener, Scottish Breakfast Teas are blended with this in mind so I tried mine both plain and with the milk and sweetener. When drinking plain, the tea is so robust, dark and malty that the flavors were completely overpowering, but with a touch of milk and agave th...

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Picture of Sencha of the Summer Sun

Sencha of the Summer Sun from Obubu Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Kyoto, Japan

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 21st, 2011

A very nice sencha that brews up well in 4 infusions, keeping a bright green color and lightly savory flavor. Bright, lightly buttery, and yes a small amount of bitterness in the first brew. But a good kind of bitterness like fresh mustard greens or spinach. Shipped direct from Japan, this tea is actually quite reasona...

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Picture of Genmaicha Extra Green

Genmaicha Extra Green from Den's Tea

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 18th, 2011

I am a big fan of Genmaicha and was really happy when Den's included this loose sample in with the rest of my latest order. (They do offer this in tea bags as well) I never had matcha mixed with Genmaicha before, and was a bit skeptical, but was happily surprised from the moment I opened the pouch. The sweet aroma of m...

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Picture of Fukamushi-Sencha Special

Fukamushi-Sencha Special from Den's Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 18th, 2011

At the moment, this is probably my favorite everyday loose tea. Fukamushi Senchas are deep steamed when they are processed, making them exceptionally quick to brew, and letting them release their rich vegetal flavor in two to four steepings. Many can be a bit finicky to brew, but not this one from Den's.

The first ...

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Picture of Yanagi Bancha

Yanagi Bancha from Obubu Tea

Style: Bancha – Region: Kyoto, Japan

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 12th, 2011

This tea was a very pleasant surprise, being extremely refreshing and full of nice green tea flavor. This is a true 'aracha' or farmer's tea, made from leaves and twigs of the same tea bushes used to make Obubu's excellent sencha teas. It has a mild sweetness and an aroma that is very much of green vegetal quality. Not...

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Picture of Orange Blossom 100% White Tea

Orange Blossom 100% White Tea from Republic of Tea

Style: Flavored White Tea – Region: ?????

43 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 1st, 2011

White teas can be very subtle, and by the time they are processed shipped, stored, blended and sprayed with flavorings, it would be hard for them to assert any flavor. That is a problem with most of Republic of Teas flavored whites, including this one that I received from a well meaning friend.

The aroma is very fai...

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Picture of Cardamon Cinnamon

Cardamon Cinnamon from Republic of Tea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: ?????

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 1st, 2011

I received a tin of 36 bags, and have only managed to use about 6, as this has such a faint taste of cinnamon and cardamom. I wish there were more of an aroma, and that the taste wasn't so mild.

As with all of the tins from this company, there appears to be no way to tell how old this herbal mix is. I suspect it sa...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Adagio Teas

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 24th, 2011

This is a really nice everyday black tea of moderate price and good quality. I am really picky about my Ceylon teas, like the 'Ceylon Sonata' that they use in this blend, and it is actually much improved in flavor by the 'Assam Melody' that they blend with it.

You get the typical nice robust aroma and flavor with t...

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Picture of Wuyi Oolong

Wuyi Oolong from Rishi Tea

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

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jul. 24th, 2011

I am really fond of this tea. I purchased a small bag of this from Rishi a few months back, and have grown to really appreciate the full body with it's roasty/nutty/grainy flavors and aroma. It has sweet notes as they describe it, especially when you steep it a second or third time.

I tend to brew this Chinese styl...

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Picture of Ancient Golden Yunnan

Ancient Golden Yunnan from Rishi Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 20th, 2011

This has become one of the staples in my cupboard over the past year. It is one of those highly adaptable teas that seems to appeal equally to friends who are tea purists, and those who just want a "good cuppa' tea" as well.

Bold, smooth, slight malty flavor with a lingering caramel aftertaste. A very nice balance...

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Picture of Genmai Cha

Genmai Cha from Adagio Teas

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 18th, 2011

Over the past year I have had some really mediocre genmaicha's, so I was pleasantly surprised when I recently tried Adagio Teas version of this Japanese classic. The initial sweet and nutty aroma of the dry tea transforms to a roasted rice and popcorn aroma as the tea steeps.

The translucent infusion has a nice lig...

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Picture of Organic Green Tea - Mango, Peach & Pineapple

Organic Green Tea - Mango, Peach & Pineapple from Good Earth Teas

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: Blend

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jul. 18th, 2011

I first had this tea very cold on a hot summer day, and was surprised at how fragrant and pleasing it was. I picked up a box and tried it hot, and was just as pleasantly surprised. It is nice all on it's own, but holds up to sweetener (agave or sugar) very well. If you like cooking, this makes an excellent tea to poach...

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