Reviews of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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Alex Zorach

(1410 reviews)
Picture of Pouchong

Pouchong from Adagio Teas

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

43 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 28th, 2009

Aroma light, vegetal, honey-like, and floral, but unfortunately, also a bit soapy. My main complaint is that this tea is so bland!

Flavor is extremely mild; a hint of sweetness, no bitterness, and absolutely no astringency whatsoever. Very clean aftertaste. More aromatic than flavorful. Although all pouchongs te...

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Dancong Aria from Adagio Teas

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 27th, 2009

Aroma very complex with a lot of things going on. The dark leaves surprisingly brew a light amber liquor that is very clear. Initially a strong fruity aroma like dried apricot, some vegetal tones. Upon drinking, a bit peppery. Very smooth and clean. No bitterness, rather sweet, but with some astringency. A bit th...

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China Pu-Erh Leaf from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 20th, 2009

This is not my favorite loose-leaf ripened pu-erh. It's palatable and noticeably better than random ones I've sampled. The aroma is dusty, not terribly rich or complex. Pretty smooth flavor. Enjoyable. I prefer ZH26.

And of course, I really strongly prefer Sheng Pu-erh. I do not think Pu-erh is Upton's strong ...

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Pu-erh Loose Jia Ji from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: China

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 20th, 2009

Perhaps I'm not a "discerning pu-erh enthusiast" but I failed to appreciate this one any more than Upton's basic loose pu-erh, and it's about twice the price. The aroma is somehow lighter and less rich and earthy. It does have a clean aftertaste as described, but it's less intensely aromatic. I prefer ZH26 and altho...

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Organic Pu-Erh from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: China

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 20th, 2009

I find this pu-erh to have a richer and warmer earthy aroma as compared to both ZH20 and ZH65. Very smooth but with some nice complexity. While you can make multiple infusions with this tea, later infusions lose some of the complexity...I usually make only one very long infusion.

In the end though? I don't really...

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English Teatime from Bigelow Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

53 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 18th, 2009

Aroma is mellow, warm, and keemun-like. But this tea is much more bitter and astringent than most keemuns--unpleasantly so. The bitterness sinks to the bottom of the cup, leaving an unpleasant surprise ending to a tea that starts out very smooth.

I recommend brewing this one briefly, only a minute or two, for best...

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Picture of Decaf Black Tea

Decaf Black Tea from Lipton Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

33 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 18th, 2009

I swear this tastes like it has a significant amount of pu-erh in it...it has that earthy, dust-like quality to it. I never used to like lipton's decaf until I started liking pu-erh and then my appreciation of it increased slightly--but only very slightly. It really could be a lot more bland than it is. But it's sti...

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Anne

(34 reviews)
Picture of China Oolong

China Oolong from Twinings

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: China

43 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 16th, 2009

I love oolong tea and wanted to find an economical choice, but I won't be buying this again. It had none of the delicacy or mystery I associate with oolong, though it did have a nice tannic kick.

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JGS1122

(72 reviews)
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Cheericup Ceylon from Mark T. Wendell

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 16th, 2009

A 'solid' Ceylon, I find it better than it's fannings grade counter part used in tea bags.

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805 Mount Everest Blend from SpecialTeas

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 16th, 2009

This one is an eye opener!

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Alex Zorach

(1410 reviews)
Picture of Japanese Ho-ji Cha

Japanese Ho-ji Cha from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 14th, 2009

A rich roasted aroma, fairly mellow flavor, with only a little bitterness. Exactly what I would expect of this style. Some hints of the freshness of green tea remain. Moderate level of roast. A few mildly objectionable tones in the aroma...hard to describe...like a slight stale quality (even though overall the tea ...

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Special Grade Shou Mei White Tea from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Shou Mei White Tea – Region: China

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 14th, 2009

Deep reddish brown color, and very clear. More delicate than typical for a Shou Mei, but still fairly rich and full. Very smooth flavor; no bitterness, and a clean, cool aftertaste.

Unlike Upton's other Shou Mei's for which I found the brewing instructions to be right on, this one I like to brew differently. I br...

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First Grade Shou Mei White Tea from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Shou Mei White Tea – Region: Fujian, China

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 14th, 2009

Brownish leaves with some silvery and green mixed in. Light aroma of fall leaves and honey with some vegetal tones. Some astringency and a noticeably unpleasant sourness, although no bitterness.

Of Upton's 3 Shou Mei teas of similar price (see ZW62, ZW23), this is the one I like least. This one is much more simil...

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Picture of Shou Mei Classic

Shou Mei Classic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Shou Mei White Tea – Region: Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 14th, 2009

Of Upton three Shou Mei's of similar price, this is my favorite. Leaves greener as Shou Mei goes. Aroma is fresh, clean and vegetal, perhaps even a bit grassy. Very rich aroma; this is the most aromatic of any Shou Mei that I've sampled. Less sweet than most white teas. My only complaint is a fair amount of astrin...

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Season's Pick Shou Mei from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Shou Mei White Tea – Region: Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 13th, 2009

This is one of the naturally sweetest teas I have ever tried, with an aroma of cinnamon, honey, caramel, and autumn leaves. Rich, warm, and very gentle. Absolutely no bitterness whatsoever...just a hint of astringency in the aftertaste.

This is one of 3 of Upton's Shou Mei teas of very similar price and I want to ...

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Himalayan BOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Himalayas

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 13th, 2009

This tea definitely resembles a Darjeeling but it packs a bit more of a punch--more bitterness and astringency. People who like the aroma profile and lighter color of Darjeelings but find them a bit too mellow may really like this tea. The finely broken leaves have a good mix of greener and olive-colored leaves. Rem...

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Anne

(34 reviews)
Picture of Assam

Assam from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

37 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 12th, 2009

My reaction to this tea was pretty much: eh. I resent paying luxury rates for a tea that tastes like a budget hotel.

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BStayer

(9 reviews)
Picture of Green Tea

Green Tea from Lipton Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 12th, 2009

This is just a simple green tea, but at least it's 100% tea. There really isn't too much in the way of aroma, some earthy tea notes coming through in the nose. Adding a touch of honey takes some of the bitter qualities of the tea away. For green tea, this is a staple.

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mrmanning

(1 review)
Picture of Black Tea

Black Tea from Salada

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 9th, 2009

Deep mahogany/orange with reddish hues. Floral nose is also earthy and delivers hints of wet leaves and spice. Tastes pungent and tannic. Very earthy with just a hint of fruitiness towards the end. Not as balanced as I'd like, but overall good. My daily drinking tea for drinking in large quantities.

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Holly H

(3 reviews)
Picture of PG Tips Pyramid bags

PG Tips Pyramid bags from PG Tips

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

37 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Oct. 8th, 2009

I bought the non-pyramid bags of PG Tips and loved them...so I bought a bigger box, and this time noticed they were pyramid shaped when I got them home. They steep very quickly which I guess is good if you are in a rush, but if you leave it for more than 2 minutes, it's so bitter as to be practically undrinkable. I'll...

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Alex Zorach

(1410 reviews)
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 Formosa Amber Oolong Select

Formosa Amber Oolong Select from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Amber Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 4th, 2009

The dry leaves were not very aromatic, but when I brewed it...wow.

This tea has a very rich and complex aroma: bold, earthy, with some nutty and woody tones, and a floral quality as well. Of all the teas I've tried from Upton, this is the one which seems to deviate the most from its lower-grade counterpart--this ha...

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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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Tamayokucha from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Tamaryokucha (Guricha) – Region: China

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 4th, 2009

This is the only example of guricha or tamaryokucha that I've tried, so I have no idea how typical it is. It seemed a lot more like gyokuro than any other type of green tea.

I find this tea painstakingly difficult to brew in a way I like. Brewing with a very low temperature is essential...otherwise this tea acquir...

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Picture of Pouchong Tea

Pouchong Tea from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: ?????

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 30th, 2009

This is the only Pouchong I've ever found in teabags. Compared to loose Pouchong, it doesn't stack up. The aroma is flat and there is an unpleasant biting quality to the tea. Compared to other equally-inexpensive green teas, however, this is not bad.

The aroma is vegetal and a bit fishy. There's a bit of sharpne...

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