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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1410 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Darjeeling, India

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Picture of Singbulli, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014

Singbulli, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 2nd, 2014

Dry leaf has less aroma than the other samples from Happy Earth from this year; aroma is fresh and light like the other teas, but is more suggestive of caramel.

Upon brewing, the cup is not as obviously aromatic, but the flavor is similar. Sipping the cup, I notice pleasant floral tones, but they're fainter than in...

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Picture of Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014.

Puttabong, Darjeeling First Flush 2014. from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 30th, 2014

Last year's (2013) Puttabong was my favorite of the first flush teas, but this year I don't think it held that spot (this year, that would be Risheehat).

This batch was slightly peculiar, and I found a little tricky to brew to satisfaction. I found it worked best when brewed with lower temperature water, and then w...

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Picture of Arya Ruby, Darjeeling First Flush 2014

Arya Ruby, Darjeeling First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 28th, 2014

This tea was remarkable, but I don't think it suited my personal tastes as much as the other first flush teas I've sampled from Happy Earth Tea, both this year and last. I can see others liking it more though. Imagine a high-grade Chinese white tea with the typical Darjeeling muscatel nuances superimposed on it.

T...

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Picture of Sungma, Darjeeling Black tea, First Flush 2014

Sungma, Darjeeling Black tea, First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

93 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 22nd, 2014

This tea also smelled delightful, better than I remember from last year, and last year's tea was already fantastic. Compared to the other first flush teas, I found it a bit more nutty, but only very slightly so.

Upon brewing, becomes more vegetal than the leaf suggests. Aroma is very floral, suggesting honey and ...

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Picture of Risheehat, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014

Risheehat, Darjeeling Black Tea, First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 20th, 2014

A delightful, very green Darjeeling of the highest quality, sweet, aromatic, and reminiscent of summer.

Reviewing Happy Earth's Teas is always a delightful pleasure...the question is usually, is this going to be among the best of the best teas I've ever sampled? Or is it just going to be a really, really, really fr...

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Picture of Darjeeling

Darjeeling from Tazo Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 15th, 2014

I had the opportunity to sample this at a small cafe that had only two tea bags left in their stock. It obviously was not fresh, as this tea was discontinued quite some time ago, and the copyright on the bag said 2007.

The tea was surprisingly drinkable and still retained quite a lot of flavor and aroma. Flavor wa...

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Picture of Darjeeling

Darjeeling from Twinings

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

47 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 3rd, 2013

Obtained through Twinings' free samples program, so I know the tea bag was fresh. Thank you to Twinings for the free sample!

The dry tea bag doesn't smell like much of anything. Upon brewing, it has a slightly stronger aroma, but overall the aroma is weak. I steeped for 3 minutes with boiling water.

Dark in co...

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Picture of 2nd Flush Darjeeling

2nd Flush Darjeeling from Waterfall Tea Company

Style: Darjeeling Second Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 22nd, 2013

A classic and high-quality example of second flush. This was my first introduction to Waterfall teas, and it makes me eager to try more of this company's teas and see where they go!

This is the first pyramid sachet that I thought surpassed Two Leaves and a Bud's Darjeeling in quality. It is a notch more expensive ...

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Picture of Darjeeling Broken Orange Pekoe

Darjeeling Broken Orange Pekoe from Fortnum & Mason

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

47 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 15th, 2013

This one disappointed me. It tasted a lot less recognizable as a Darjeeling than most Darjeeling tea bags do. There was a faint hint of the muscatel grape aroma, but the dominant aroma was like a generic black tea, not much different from Lipton and the like.

The color of the brewed cup is dark, and the tea has a ...

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Picture of Darjeeling (Loose)

Darjeeling (Loose) from Ahmad Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 25th, 2013

Like most of Ahmad's Teas, impressive quality. Much darker in color than Ahmad's Darjeeling tea bags though; a surprisingly different tea. Both are good, but this is much more complex.

Dry leaf has a very pleasant aroma, with a strong suggestion of wintergreen, rice, and muscat grape. This is one of the most arom...

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Picture of Darjeeling Badamtam

Darjeeling Badamtam from Cafe Moto

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 3rd, 2013

This is an inexpensive Darjeeling, not a high grade of tea, but offering decent quality relative to its price. It has a relatively dark, full-bodied character among Darjeeling teas, even though it looks lighter in color.

Brews a light-colored cup with a fruity aroma, suggestions of caramel and malt, and producing a...

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Picture of Puttabong (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013)

Puttabong (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013) from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jul. 24th, 2013

This was my favorite among the four first flush teas I sampled from Happy Earth Tea, and among my all-time favorite Darjeeling teas.

Dry leaf has a very strong and complex aroma, with fruity, nutty, and herbaceous tones.

Upon brewing, the cup becomes beautifully fragrant. The fruitiness is deeper, a little less ...

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Picture of Risheehat (Organic Darjeeling, First Flush 2013)

Risheehat (Organic Darjeeling, First Flush 2013) from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 22nd, 2013

Yet another very high-quality first flush Darjeeling from Happy Earth Tea. All of their teas that I have sampled have been similar, and all have been excellent.

Dry leaf smells strongly nutty and of caramel, only slightly fruity and floral.

Upon drinking, I found this to be the most brisk and bitter of the four ...

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Picture of Darjeeling (teabag)

Darjeeling (teabag) from Ahmad Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jul. 21st, 2013

This is undoubtedly the best Darjeeling I've tried in tea bags yet, and it's surprisingly affordable. It's a broken-leaf tea, but I think it surpasses even "full-leaf" teas in pyramid sachets, like those from Two Leaves Tea or Novus Tea.

Very green character the greenest I've ever had from a tea bag. Is this pure ...

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Picture of Sungma (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013)

Sungma (Organic, Darjeeling First Flush 2013) from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 8th, 2013

Another top-notch Darjeeling first flush from Happy Earth Tea. This is the second tea I've tried from Sungma estate; the other was a second flush that I liked very much.

Dry leaf is very green and has an aroma of fruit and flowers, with strong nutty tones.

The brewed cup smells initially of muscat grape and cara...

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Picture of Arya Black (Organic Darjeeling, First Flush 2013)

Arya Black (Organic Darjeeling, First Flush 2013) from Happy Earth Tea

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 5th, 2013

A fantastic tea, but tough to brew well.

Dry leaf looks very green, among the greenest first flush I've seen, and has a typical aroma of Darjeeling first flush: lightly fruity and floral. The label "Black" I find rather humorous: there's nothing remotely black about this tea.

I found this tea to be tricky to bre...

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Picture of Afternoon Darjeeling

Afternoon Darjeeling from Octavia Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 19th, 2013

Served at Velvet Sky Bakery in Jenkintown. This tea has become a regular of mine--I have found I enjoy it much more when I'm very careful about brewing. I recommend a brief initial steeping, about 1 minute, followed by a longer steeping, 3 minutes or more, for a second cup.

The cup is pleasantly aromatic, with a c...

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Picture of Himalayan Green

Himalayan Green from Octavia Tea

Style: Darjeeling Green Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

87 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 5th, 2013

This is a very strong, bold-tasting green tea that is among my favorite green teas ever sampled. I sampled this tea, my first from Octavia Tea, for the first time, in a new and very cute cafe, Velvet Sky Bakery, in Jenkintown. It was brewed in the Adagio Ingenuitea infuser, incidentally, my first time having tea brew...

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Picture of Makaibari Estate Oolong Tea

Makaibari Estate Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Darjeeling Oolong – Region: Darjeeling, India

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 4th, 2013

This is one weird but I love it!

This is my favorite Darjeeling oolong yet...but it really smells and tastes more like first flush (black tea) to me, but has a buttery mouthfeel like a good Taiwanese jade oolong.

Dry leaf is mostly broken, into pieces of different sizes, and has a strong aroma, suggestive of wint...

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Picture of Makaibari Estate Green Tea

Makaibari Estate Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Green Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 8th, 2013

My favorite ever green tea was a long-leaf green from Makaibari estate. This is a very different tea, and alas, I did not enjoy it quite as much, but it was still a very good tea.

I find this tea tastes more like Chinese green teas than most green teas I've tried from India; it reminds me of some Sri Lankan teas ma...

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Picture of Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 2nd Flush Black Tea

Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 2nd Flush Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Darjeeling Second Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 3rd, 2013

I always get excited about Makaibari estate and I have not yet been disappointed. This was among one of the smoothest, creamiest teas I've tried from them. It has less bite than the first flush.

Aroma of the dry leaf is suggestive of monsoon/rains teas.

Upon brewing, the aroma becomes much more complex.

I fi...

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Picture of Darjeeling (Sachets)

Darjeeling (Sachets) from Hampstead Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 4th, 2012

I fell in love with Hampstead tea's loose-leaf Darjeeling some time ago, and it was not before picking up some samples at World Tea East this year that I had an opportunity to try any of their tea bags.

This is called a "sachet" but it's not a pyramid bag--just a humble tea bag. The tea inside is pretty broken up, ...

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Picture of Organic/Biodynamic Darjeeling Autumnal

Organic/Biodynamic Darjeeling Autumnal from Divinitea

Style: Darjeeling Autumnal Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 24th, 2012

I tend to love everything that comes out of Makaibari estate, and this tea is no exception. I still think I prefer their first flush and long-leaf greens, but this was another very good tea, and people who like darker black teas might actually prefer this one.

A fairly complex Darjeeling. Powerful grape-like aroma...

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Picture of Darjeeling Ambootia Estate Organic Green Tea

Darjeeling Ambootia Estate Organic Green Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Darjeeling Green Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 10th, 2012

Dry leaf has a mild herbaceous aroma, and a dusty appearance.

Produces an olive-green cup. Crisp, clear flavor, with honey-like qualities. Aroma is mild, dominated by melow herbaceous tones. Flavor is clean and the tea has a cooling quality. I found its flavor grew on me a bit. Produces two very flavorful infus...

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Picture of Darjeeling, Dooteriah Estate - 2nd Flush

Darjeeling, Dooteriah Estate - 2nd Flush from Simpson & Vail

Style: Darjeeling Second Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 26th, 2012

The dry leaf of this tea has the greenest color of any second flush Darjeeling I've ever seen. When brewed, the result is rather oolong-like.

Color is a light amber, lighter than most 2nd Flush Darjeeling. Very clean, crisp, mouthfeel, with considerable sweetness. Slightly edgy and tangy but with little astringen...

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