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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1438 teas.

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Picture of 2005 Jing Mai Autumnal

2005 Jing Mai Autumnal from The Tao of Tea

Style: Ripened (Shou) Pu-erh – Region: Lancang, Yunnan, China

89 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 8th, 2010

(Lot # Bing-Autumn10612-01)

This is my favorite shu/shou (ripened) Pu-erh of all time.

I did not enjoy this tea at first but it has since grown on me after drinking about a third of the cake. I found this tea to improve considerably as it has continued to age. Interestingly, I find it tastes more like aged shen...

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Picture of Pai Mu Tan Imperial

Pai Mu Tan Imperial from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: China

47 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 6th, 2010

A darker white tea. This doesn't even resemble ZW56, Upton's other organic Pai Mu Tan offering. Much darker; if you just gave it to me I'd probably guess incorrectly that it was a Shou Mei.

Aroma is mostly of autumn leaves, with only a hint of peony and a faint suggestion of some other vegetal tones. Also, unusua...

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Picture of China Jasmine Green Tea

China Jasmine Green Tea from Foojoy

Style: Jasmine Tea – Region: China

57 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 3rd, 2010

Weak Jasmine aroma, even relative to other teabag Jasmine teas. Flavor is sweet, gentle, with almost no bitterness and with only a hint of sourness. Aroma is honeylike, like a pouchong, but weak and not terribly interesting.

This tea scalds very easily if brewed with water that is too hot. Be sure to use water we...

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Picture of Osmanthus Oolong Se Chung

Osmanthus Oolong Se Chung from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Osmanthus Tea – Region: China

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 29th, 2010

I love this tea. Se Chung is absolutely my favorite style of oolong, and my favorite Se Chung is Upton's ZO10, so I was eagerly anticipating this one, and I was pleased to find a rich, complex tea that added a completely new element to the mix. I can't say whether I prefer this or the unscented tea more. They're ver...

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Picture of Huo Shan Yellow Buds

Huo Shan Yellow Buds from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Huangya – Region: Huoshan, Anhui, China

63 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 23rd, 2010

This is the first yellow tea I've sampled and in many respects it resembles a green tea.

The aroma is fairly rich; there are some of the grassy tones that characterize many green teas, but these are weak and in the background. A bit peppery like Upton describes, and also a bit perfumey. Subtle, but with a lot of d...

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Picture of Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales from Twinings

Style: Black Tea – Region: China

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 22nd, 2010

Fairly light overall, especially compared to Twinings' other black teas. There's some complexity in the aroma, in my opinion, more than their other black teas with the exception of their Ceylon (my favorite). Smooth...less astringency or bitterness. I find you can steep this one a little longer without it becoming t...

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Picture of Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong First Grade

Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong First Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 16th, 2010

The tightly curled brown leaves unfurl only partially when brewing...producing a tea that's completely clear and golden in color.

Complex aroma, strongly suggesting apricot, and also having some skunky tones, and a hint of olive. Smooth, mellow flavor, contrasting with the aroma, which suggests a sharper tea. No as...

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Picture of Floral Tie-Guan-Yin Superior Grade

Floral Tie-Guan-Yin Superior Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: China

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 15th, 2010

Aroma very much like a Dong Ding Jade Oolong, very floral, but with a faint hint of a woody quality absent from those teas; this tea tastes very slightly more oxidized. Very smooth, but leaving a tingling sensation in the mouth. The aroma is very pleasing, but not terribly complex.

Using Upton's instructions I bre...

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Picture of Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong 2nd Grade

Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong 2nd Grade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 11th, 2010

Aroma is subtle and complex, but on the weak side: mostly of peach, with some weaker earthy tones. Flavor is tangy, with little bitterness. The aftertaste has a mild astringency. Thin-bodied.

Following Upton's recommendations I found worked alright--for a first cup. However, I tried to brew a second cup and ther...

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Picture of Organic Wuyuan Ruikang Hairpoint

Organic Wuyuan Ruikang Hairpoint from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: Wuyuan, Jiangxi, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 7th, 2010

Upton seems to excel at inexpensive, organic Chinese green teas, and this one is no exception. The thin, wiry leaves have an interesting appearance both before and after brewing.

Aroma is very grassy and a little bit vegetal, with some dark floral tones almost more suggestive of a black tea. Grassier, sweeter, and...

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Picture of Organic Imperial Bai Hao Oolong

Organic Imperial Bai Hao Oolong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: China

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 4th, 2010

I found this tea to be weak in aroma and flavor. The aroma is slightly earthy but lighter than typical for a bai hao oolong, with light floral and vegetal tones, a hint of spice, and a suggestion of fruitiness. I think it's a stretch to call the aroma "complex" because it's so weak. The color of the cup is surprisin...

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Picture of Chun Mee (Moon Palace)

Chun Mee (Moon Palace) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Chun Mee – Region: China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 2nd, 2010

This tea got my attention with the first sip--another chun mee of unusual quality, like rodents of unusual size. Similar to ZG42 (Chun mee dao ming) in how inexpensive it is relative to its quality, but very different in character.

The aroma is very complex: significantly grassier than any other Chun Mee I've tried...

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Picture of Green Pu-Erh Tuo Cha

Green Pu-Erh Tuo Cha from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh – Region: Yunnan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 1st, 2010

Very smoky, but in an exceedingly mellow way, totally unlike gunpowder or lapsang souchong. This tea has a remarkable smoothness to it, unlike any other green tea I've tried, and if it weren't for the smokiness I'd be tempted to describe it as creamy. Cool and clean tasting, yet without bitterness. Full-bodied, and ...

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Picture of Roasted Oolong

Roasted Oolong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: China

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 25th, 2010

Aroma is mellow and smooth, with a pleasant woody quality. Stronger in flavor than Upton's similarly-priced non-roasted Tie Guan Yin's. I found this tea to be subtle; it grew on me, and I enjoyed the last cup I made from the sample significantly more than the first. Oddly, I find that much of the flavor sinks to the...

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Picture of Season's Pick Organic White Fannings

Season's Pick Organic White Fannings from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: China

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 25th, 2010

I find Upton's description of this tea to be very accurate, and I like their brewing instructions.

On the dark end for a white tea, but lighter than some shou mei's. Surprisingly aromatic for fannings! The aroma is bold and earthy, slightly crisp and fresh, and, as Upton describes, there are some nutty tones in th...

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Picture of Lichee Black Tea

Lichee Black Tea from Foojoy

Style: Lychee Black Tea – Region: China

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 20th, 2010

Pleasantly fruity, yet with a black tea that has some presence. The aroma suggests sweetness but this tea can get quite bitter. Not the most complex tea but it is well-balanced and enjoyable.

As with Foojoy's other teas, this one is unparalleled among teabag teas of this price. I recommend a brief (1-2 min.) infu...

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Picture of Organic Pai Mu Tan

Organic Pai Mu Tan from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: China

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 16th, 2010

This particular pai mu tan smells more like an actual peony than any others I've tried.. The aroma is actually fairly powerful, although when you sip the cup it is a bit bland...this tea doesn't have much flavor. There is a very mild, unpleasant sourness to this tea too. Smooth, but I don't notice any sweetness at a...

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Picture of Orange Sencha

Orange Sencha from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Fruit Green Tea – Region: China

27 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Feb. 11th, 2010

Aroma mostly of orange peel, overwhelming the green tea. The orange in the aroma is not particularly fruity, and has a dry quality to it. Although the tea presence is weak, I find that it blends well with the orange, but produces a tea that has an imbalanced aroma, coming across more like a cleaning solution than a t...

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Picture of Yunnan Green Supreme Organic

Yunnan Green Supreme Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 2nd, 2010

This tea has a pungent aroma unlike any other green tea I've sampled before. It reminds me of a hoppy beer like an India Pale Ale, and the bitterness in the tea is similar to that of a strong IPA. The aroma is more like a typical black tea than a green tea to me--I would probably guess incorrectly that it was black t...

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Picture of Fen Huan Dan Cong

Fen Huan Dan Cong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 25th, 2009

Very complex. This one is much less fruity and floral than the other feng huang dancong I've tried (from Adagio), but it still has a faint suggestion of fruit...the aroma is cooler, and more skunky, woody, and perhaps earthy. Yet there is a similar light, peppery quality in the aroma. This tea also becomes astringen...

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Picture of Organic China Lapsang Souchong

Organic China Lapsang Souchong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: China

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 20th, 2009

It's hard for me to evaluate this tea because I am not much of a fan of Lapsang Souchong...but this is among the smoothest of the ones I've tried so far. Perhaps I'd develop a taste for it if I drank it more often.

Very strong smoky aroma, more like a sausage or fireplace than a tea. Flavor is extremely smooth and...

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Picture of Dragon Well (Anhui)

Dragon Well (Anhui) from Rishi Tea

Style: Dragon Well (Long Jing) – Region: Anhui, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 17th, 2009

This was a very gentle green tea. Delicate aroma with a hint of toastiness; less grassiness than other dragonwells I've tried. This particular tea is extremely smooth and low in both bitterness and astringency even when I brewed it with water hotter than recommended...I also found it can be brewed much longer than Ri...

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Picture of Lungching Green Tea

Lungching Green Tea from Foojoy

Style: Dragon Well (Long Jing) – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 8th, 2009

While this pales in comparison to loose dragon well teas that I've tried, it's definitely true to the style. The low price and simple packaging of the teabags are deceptive...this tea retains a lot of complexity. It brews a rich golden color and is quite aromatic. If you let it brew a long time, it acquires some ast...

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Picture of Chinese Oolong

Chinese Oolong from Bigelow Tea

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: China

40 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 8th, 2009

A darker oolong, somewhat nondescript. No objectionable qualities but overall weak and not very interesting. Not much of the complexity that I expect. I think this one lags behind the quality of Bigelow's flavored teas.

In tea bags of a similar price range, I think Ten Ren offers better oolongs, and they have sev...

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Picture of Dragon Pearl Jasmine

Dragon Pearl Jasmine from Harney and Sons

Style: Jasmine Pearls – Region: Fujian, China

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 28th, 2009

Complex aroma, less floral than most Jasmines and than I had expected. I liked this tea but I'm not sure I perceived it the same way it is described...it tasted a little bit peppery to me...the base tea reminded me somewhat of a white peony and somewhat of a pouchong. This tea is gentle if you brew it briefly but can...

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