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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1412 teas.

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Picture of Kukicha

Kukicha from Eden Organic

Style: Hojicha – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 20th, 2013

I tried this one in the dining hall at Haverford college; yay.

This is a roasted kukicha, making it both hojicha and kukicha, and I think it's dark roasted enough that it is more like typical hojicha than typical (green) kukicha or twig tea. It also contains quite a lot of leaf, not just twig, again making it more ...

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Picture of Chai Tea

Chai Tea from Frontier

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
May. 12th, 2013

A very peppery, spicy chai that with a surprisingly mild base tea.

The leaf is very finely broken, which made me afraid that this one would be too strong, but I find the black tea used as the base is very mild. I don't know where it's from, but it reminds me of some of the milder high-grown Ceylon teas.

Dominant...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Twinings

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

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 12th, 2013

I thought this tea uninteresting. As an English Breakfast tea, I strongly prefer Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe. If they labelled that tea as their English Breakfast, I'd be perfectly convinced.

This tea has a very bold flavor. It is quite bitter--more so than astringent, which I like. Produces a clear cup with a ...

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Picture of Jasmine Black Tea

Jasmine Black Tea from Ahmad Tea

Style: Jasmine Tea – Region: ?????

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 12th, 2013

I regularly drink jasmine green tea, and this jasmine-scented black tea was a completely new experience for me. It was very different, and a bit odd at first, but as I've drunk more of it (I'm glad I got a half pound) I've come to like it very much.

Dry leaf has a potent but smooth jasmine aroma. I don't notice mu...

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Picture of Bancha Tea

Bancha Tea from Frontier

Style: Bancha – Region: ?????

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 11th, 2013

A drinkable and inexpensive green tea with a mild flavor. I tried this shortly after Wegmans' bancha; the leaf of this tea is more intact, but the dry leaf is not particularly aromatic. I prefer Wegmans' offering even though it is more broken.

Brews a golden color cup with a lot of dust at the bottom. Mild aroma....

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Twinings

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: ?????

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 10th, 2013

This is a pretty decent, strong black tea bag. I don't quite like it as much as Twinings' Ceylon Orange Pekoe, but it's close, and it's bolder tasting. The teabag contains fine dust, but it produces a good flavor.

Aroma is malty and rich; a few of the wintergreen tones I so love in tea, and the finish is mostly of...

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Picture of Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls Green Tea

Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls Green Tea from Teavana

Style: Jasmine Pearls – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 9th, 2013

This struck me as a solid-quality Jasmine tea, but nothing extraordinary.

Unlike many of Teavana's offerings, it's on the strong side.

Flavor is smooth, but there is a bitter undertone. To me, this tea felt fairly strongly caffeinated. Aroma is perfumey, more than I like it to be. The base tea is very mild and...

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Picture of Green Tea Tulsi Tea

Green Tea Tulsi Tea from Organic India

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: ?????

40 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 8th, 2013

For some reason, I did not expect to like this one, I think in large part because I've had pretty bad experiences with finely-broken green tea in tea bags, and I also don't see Tulsi's characteristic flavor and aroma blending as well with green teas as I think it does with black tea.

Although I still wasn't crazy ab...

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Picture of Yerba Mate, Loose

Yerba Mate, Loose from Wegmans

Style: Yerba Maté – Region: ?????

37 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Jan. 8th, 2013

I was not impressed by this Yerba mate. I'm no expert in Mate but I've tried a variety of sources, green and roasted, and this one is probably the worst I've tried of all the green yerba mate I've sampled.

The dry leaf is very finely broken, full of fine dust, which makes brewing quite messy. Not particularly arom...

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Picture of Berry Rooibos

Berry Rooibos from Epi Tea

Style: Fruit Rooibos – Region: ?????

60 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 3rd, 2013

A pleasant, creamy and smooth berry-flavored herbal blend.

I thought this was a very balanced blend, but it was on the weak side. I think Epi Tea could get away with using about twice as much leaf.

Thankfully, this wasn't too sour. A lot of berry blends that go heavy on the hibiscus taste too sour to me. This ...

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Picture of Peppermint

Peppermint from Adagio Teas

Style: Peppermint Tea – Region: ?????

63 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 25th, 2012

This was among the highest-quality of the commercial pure peppermint herbal teas that I've sampled, from a tea company. Quality-wise, it is about on par with Two Leaves and a Bud's, but the price point is markedly lower. It still pales in comparison with the stuff I've grown in my own garden.

Aroma is strongly pep...

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Picture of Rooibos Vanilla (Vanilla Rooibos)

Rooibos Vanilla (Vanilla Rooibos) from Adagio Teas

Style: Flavored Rooibos – Region: ?????

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 30th, 2012

I normally like straight rooibos and am less into flavored rooibos, but I think Rooibos and Vanilla blend very well.

This particular blend has a pleasing oatmeal-like quality. Rich and creamy. Full-bodied.

I drank it straight but I can imagine this would be good with milk or cream as well.

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Picture of Hibiscus Flowers, Cut & Sifted, Organic

Hibiscus Flowers, Cut & Sifted, Organic from Frontier

Style: Hibiscus Tea – Region: ?????

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 18th, 2012

I tend to not like hibiscus tea hot, but I do enjoy it as an iced drink on very hot days. To this end I like to brew it very weakly. It can be quite refreshing, if you want a fruit-like drink that does not contain any sugar or sweetness.

I thought this particular batch was quite good, and very reasonably priced fo...

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Picture of Peppermint Herbal Tea

Peppermint Herbal Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Peppermint Tea – Region: ?????

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Jul. 16th, 2012

I find it interesting that Bigelow offers both this pure peppermint herbal tea, and the mint medley blend. The mint medley is more widely available and I prefer it, because I like spearmint more than peppermint in herbal teas. Both I think are quite good.

There are aspects of this pure peppermint tea that I like b...

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Picture of Morning Thunder®

Morning Thunder® from Celestial Seasonings

Style: Yerba Maté Black Tea – Region: ?????

40 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Jul. 14th, 2012

I've known of this blend for years, but never tried it until today.

It was a bit of a disappointment. The black tea does seem to convey more strength of flavor and body, and the mate a certain sweetness. But I got the impression that the Yerba mate used in this blend was higher quality than the black tea.

The a...

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Picture of Persian Pomegranate Herbal Tea

Persian Pomegranate Herbal Tea from Novus Tea

Style: Fruit (Herbal) Tea – Region: ?????

47 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
May. 24th, 2012

I don't like these sour fruit teas, and this one is no exception. I do, however, prefer it slightly to the Wild Encounter Herb Tea (berry flavored) from Novus.

Although rather similar to Wild Encounter, this one is slightly less sour, and more sweet. Surprisingly sweet, naturally, without adding any sugar. Aroma ...

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Picture of Monkey Picked Oolong Tea

Monkey Picked Oolong Tea from Teavana

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 27th, 2012

I got some of this tea in a trade from a friend, and it was enough that I have been able to experiment with brewing it a bit. I've been enjoying it quite a lot; this tea is versatile and pleasing to drink.

This is a greener oolong, but not among the greenest. I think this might place it in the zone where it is mor...

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Picture of Tropical Green (Sachet)

Tropical Green (Sachet) from Harney and Sons

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: ?????

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 23rd, 2012

Normally I would not seek a tea like this out; I tried this tea in the cafe at a Barnes and Noble, whose selection only included Harney and Sons' flavored teas, and I thought I'd try something new.

I can't say I liked it a whole lot, but I did find this tea pleasant, and I was impressed with its execution, even thou...

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Picture of Green Tea - Classic

Green Tea - Classic from Bigelow Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

43 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 12th, 2012

It's funny, the other reviewers comment on how they've had this one in office buildings, and I also have memories of drinking it in an office too.

Recognizable as a Chinese tea (some brands, like Twinings, use Japanese tea or at least a Japanese style of tea for their basic green tea), but otherwise somewhat generic...

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Picture of Mountain Herbs

Mountain Herbs from Ronnefeldt

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: ?????

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 16th, 2012

A pleasing, rather neutral, caffeine-free herbal tea.

Brews a light orange infusion. Above average among the totality of herbal blends and teas that I've sampled from Ronnefeldt, but I did not like it as much as their straight black teas.

Complex and balanced. Aroma grassy, minty; the minty tones are almost bet...

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Picture of Chamomile (Babogag)

Chamomile (Babogag) from Wissotzky

Style: Pure Chamomile Tea – Region: ?????

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 19th, 2011

This simple looking teabag really surprised me, producing the cleanest, freshest chamomile tea I have tried yet, better than many loose-leaf offerings.

Aroma is typical of chamomile, fruity, with some tones of straw or hay, but this has a fresh quality, almost reminiscent of celery or parsley, and a cleaner flavor. ...

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Picture of Lapsang Souchong

Lapsang Souchong from Twinings

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: ?????

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 7th, 2011

My rating is low because I tend not to like this style of tea. I actually think this tea was very good, more enjoyable than some loose-leaf Lapsang souchong that I've tried.

This is a classic Lapsang Souchong from a tea bag. It has a strong smoky aroma, and smooth, mellow flavor. Unlike some of the other reviewer...

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Picture of Pure White Tea

Pure White Tea from Salada

Style: White Tea – Region: ?????

40 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 7th, 2011

Very affordable for a white tea.

Aroma is slightly herbaceous, with a suggestion of caramel, coffee grounds, and a slight smokiness. Overall character is warm and rich.

Too much astringency and bitterness for my tastes; I wonder however if I brewed it with water that was too hot. I only brewed this tea once.

...

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Picture of Vienna

Vienna from The Foreign Office

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 1st, 2011

This tea was surprisingly interesting and complex for a tea bag. I brewed it for about 5 minutes, using only about 6 ounces of water, and it was just about the right strength. It produced a very dark cup, but a relatively clear quality.

Aroma is fresh, crisp, and almost peppery, but more like black pepper than oth...

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Picture of Camomile

Camomile from Ronnefeldt

Style: Chamomile Blend – Region: ?????

57 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 24th, 2011

This chamomile was actually a little bit unusual or atypical. It was full-bodied and rich, but a little bland, and had an unusually smooth flavor. There was less fruitiness, less of the hay or straw-like aroma, less of the lacy floral quality, and less of the muted bitter aftertaste that characterizes chamomile tea i...

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