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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1402 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from India

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Hampstead Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: India

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 2nd, 2010

Aroma is rice-like, and very slightly malty, with a slight hint of smokiness, and somewhat fruity. Most of these qualities are very subtle. It's hard to say whether the aroma is balanced or muddled...it somehow straddles these two possibilities. I am not crazy about how the different aspects of the aroma blend toget...

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Picture of Darjeeling

Darjeeling from Darvilles of Windsor

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

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

This tea's complexity surprised me! Unusually vegetal for a black tea, with a hint of savory qualities. Dark in color, and full-bodied, but delicate. Fairly bitter, especially in the aftertaste...moderately tannic and astringent.

The aroma of this tea would place it on par with some of the better single-estate Da...

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Picture of Darjeeling (Loose)

Darjeeling (Loose) from Hampstead Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 6th, 2010

This seemingly straightforward Darjeeling has quickly become one of my favorite everyday teas. Although "typical" in many respects, it is surprisingly complex...the aroma has many different aspects to it: a fruitiness, a hint of a rice-like quality, some floral tones, a bit of spice, a suggestion of fall leaves, and s...

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Picture of Bombay Chai

Bombay Chai from Tea Forte

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: India

43 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 29th, 2010

A smooth, gentle chai with a tangy aftertaste. Aroma sweet, spicey, and malty. Clove and cinnamon are particularly noticeable in the aroma; spice dominates and the tea is less noticeable. I'm not sure where the tea is from but the tea seems more like an Assam than like any other Indian teas. There's a bit of a meta...

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Picture of Holy Basil Green Leaf

Holy Basil Green Leaf from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tulsi / Holy Basil – Region: India

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 13th, 2010

Very different from the purple-leaf variety, which I like better.

This has a very strong metallic character in the taste, and the aroma suggests a metallic character too. The aroma is more similar to the purple variety, perhaps less of a cinnamon character and more clove.

I've also tried the green-leafed Tulsi f...

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Picture of Castleton Estate TGBOP Ch. First Flush (DJ-25)

Castleton Estate TGBOP Ch. First Flush (DJ-25) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 8th, 2010

Very green character, even more than typical for a first-flush, both in the appearance of the leaves and the aroma. The cup is a deep amber color. The aroma is light and mostly floral, almost reminiscent of queen Anne's lace blossoms. On my second brewing I did detect a faint suggestion of spearmint in the aroma, an...

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Picture of Steinthal Estate TGBOP First Flush (DJ-25) Organic

Steinthal Estate TGBOP First Flush (DJ-25) Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 5th, 2010

Disappointing for a first flush and even among broken-leaf Darjeelings. There's a heaviness to the flavor, even though it is smooth. I'm detecting neither the "fresh floral note" nor the "hint of citrus".

I'm not sure what to recommend with the brewing; if you go longer this tea becomes heavy, although not too bit...

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Picture of Tippy Assam

Tippy Assam from Williamson Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 4th, 2010

A bold and powerful tea but with some complexity. Fine broken leaf. Infuses quickly...I recommend one and a half minutes, and using less than a teaspoon of leaves. However, if you enjoy a stronger cup, this tea does not get as astringent as you might expect if you brew it longer.

Aroma malty, slightly more vegeta...

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Picture of Golden Wire - GopalDhara

Golden Wire - GopalDhara from Fresh Darjeeling Tea

Style: Darjeeling Autumnal Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 2nd, 2010

Like the other teas I've tried from Fresh Darjeeling tea, this is totally unlike any other black tea I've ever tried.

Aroma very complex...malty, and much more vegetal than most black teas, and with some savory qualities, a hint of smokiness. Reminds me of a tippy assam more than any other Darjeeling I've tried. I...

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Picture of Monks Reserve-Castelton Estate

Monks Reserve-Castelton Estate from Fresh Darjeeling Tea

Style: Darjeeling Oolong – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 30th, 2009

Like the other teas I've tried from Fresh Darjeeling Tea, this tea is completely unlike anything I've ever tried! It is also the only Darjeeling oolong I've had that is rich and full-bodied.

Brews a dark color, darker than some Darjeelings I've seen classified as "black" teas. Malty, with a savory quality to it, a...

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Picture of Soureni Organic Oolong

Soureni Organic Oolong from Fresh Darjeeling Tea

Style: Darjeeling Oolong – Region: Darjeeling, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 29th, 2009

This tea is unlike any other I have tried!

Cup is very light in color, and aroma very vegetal and somewhat floral, with a clean, honey-like fragrance. Tones of asparagus and spice. Certain aspects of the aroma are reminiscent of a Tung Ting, but overall the tea is crisper, cooler in quality, more bitter, and less ...

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Picture of Holy Basil Purple Leaf

Holy Basil Purple Leaf from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Tulsi / Holy Basil – Region: India

97 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 27th, 2009

I had not tried tulsi (except possibly unknowingly as a seasoning) when I sampled this, and I fell in love after the first sip. The aroma is hard to describe, but very complex...I especially notice the anise and cinnamon, but I am usually not the biggest fan of these aromas, and I loved this tea. This is a very rich,...

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Picture of Barnesbeg Estate FTGFOP1 First Flush (DJ-6)

Barnesbeg Estate FTGFOP1 First Flush (DJ-6) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 23rd, 2009

This tea has a much greener character, to the point it's barely recognizable as a "black tea", except for some lingering tones in the aftertaste. The cup is a gold color like a darker green tea or lighter oolong. Clean, fresh, a bit mild...I can see what Upton says about the notes of citrus and mint.

Extremely rea...

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Picture of Temi Estate TGBOP (SK-10)

Temi Estate TGBOP (SK-10) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Sikkim, India

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 16th, 2009

Mellow, muted, greener in character for a black tea, but bland. Similar to TD06, Upton's broken-leaf Darjeeling blend, but I don't like it as much; it's less floral and the aroma is weaker overall. I recommend steeping 3 minutes or more, otherwise it's too weak. This tea can acquire some astringency, but not as much...

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Picture of Orthodox BOP Darjeeling

Orthodox BOP Darjeeling from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 15th, 2009

This is a very mellow tea...aromatic and gentle, somewhat muted. Only a faint suggestion of the fresh herbaceous tones that some Darjeelings have. The aroma is floral and fairly complex, and the cup is light in color and quality, much more like an oolong than a typical black tea. Almost no bitterness, but some astri...

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Picture of Darjeeling Black Tea

Darjeeling Black Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 11th, 2009

Definitely recognizable as Darjeeling...fairly smooth, with only some astringency lingering towards the bottom of the cup. Weak aroma, not terribly complex, but pleasant. Much lighter than most of Bigelow's other black teas. This was enjoyable, although noticeably less so than other more pricey Darjeelings I've had ...

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Picture of Darjeeling Highlands (Teabags)

Darjeeling Highlands (Teabags) from Harney and Sons

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 7th, 2009

The teabag reads "Mellow and Light Indian Black Teas" and I agree wholeheartedly. This is very mellow, especially for a Darjeeling in a teabag...this is not the usual stuff put in teabags; it has a fair amount of first-flush character.

The aroma is complex, but could be stronger. The main downside is that this tea...

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Picture of Korakundah Estate Organic Fair Trade

Korakundah Estate Organic Fair Trade from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: Nilgiri, India

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 3rd, 2009

Fascinating, unique. Brews clear green. The aroma is dark and warm, and un-tea-like...it is almost like a good soup, with subtle spices and cooked vegetables.

Following Upton's brewing instructions, the flavor is mellow, smooth, and warm in character, with almost no bitterness...but lacking the crispness I like in ...

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Picture of Makaibari Estate Long Leaf Green (DJ-456)

Makaibari Estate Long Leaf Green (DJ-456) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling Green Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 21st, 2009

I was sad to see this tea removed from Upton's listings, as I enjoyed sampling it. [Update: it seems Upton has added a new lot, and I'm eager to try that one!]

Extremely flavorful and complex, with many different aspects of the aroma: dark, vegetal tones, rich grassy tones similar to a good dragonwell tea, and a hi...

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Picture of Organic Darjeeling Black Pyramid Tea

Organic Darjeeling Black Pyramid Tea from Equal Exchange

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 31st, 2009

Aroma spicy, unusually vegetal for a tea this dark, and unusually malty for a Darjeeling. Very interesting and complex! Dark liquor and tastes more like other black teas than most Darjeelings; I would not describe it as "golden" or "light". Remarkably bold and full-bodied and yet with little bitterness or astringenc...

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Picture of Darjeeling

Darjeeling from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

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

This used to be the best Darjeeling I've had in a tea bag...and better than some loose-leaf ones I've tried. I have since come to prefer Ahmad's Darjeeling though, which is much cheaper.

Fairly light, but still with some bite. This is the sort of Darjeeling tea that I like. The aroma has some interesting complexi...

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Picture of Assam

Assam from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

68 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 4th, 2009

Mellow, smooth, rich malty flavor. Deep red color; little bitterness or astringency. Very enjoyable. I find this tea grows on me. There is a suggestion of sweet fruit in the aroma, almost like baked apples.

Two leaves and a bud recommends a 4-minute infusion. I prefer a 2-minute infusion followed by a second 4-...

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Picture of Mtn High Chai

Mtn High Chai from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Assam, India

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 21st, 2009

Clove is dominant in the aroma, and cardamon is also present. Happily, this one does not overdo the cinnamon the way many American chai's do.

The tea is a mellow, smooth tea, and is overpowered by the spice, especially by the clove. I think they would have done better to use a stronger base tea.

Enjoyable, and ...

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Picture of Tindharia Estate Oolong (DJ-54)

Tindharia Estate Oolong (DJ-54) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling Oolong – Region: Darjeeling, India

43 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 1/5
Sep. 20th, 2009

The dry leaves have an aroma a lot more like a Darjeeling black or green tea, than like any Chinese or Taiwanese Oolongs.

The brewed tea was deep orange and very clear. Aroma is not particularly strong, mostly of asparagus. Tangy and a little bitter, but quite thin.

More bitter than Tindharia's Green Oolong, an...

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Picture of Tindharia Estate First Flush Green Oolong (EX-10)

Tindharia Estate First Flush Green Oolong (EX-10) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling Oolong – Region: Darjeeling, India

37 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 1/5
Sep. 20th, 2009

The brewed tea is very clear, and brownish green color. The aroma is very weak, but it has a lot of flavor. It is only a bit bitter but seems highly caffeinated. The initial taste is tangy, almost pleasantly sour, and it leaves a tingly sensation on the tongue, and a moderate astringency in the aftertaste.

The ar...

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