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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1437 teas.

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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 Kandy BOP

Kandy BOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Kandy, Sri Lanka

33 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Dec. 13th, 2009

This is an insanely strong tea. I find the brewing instructions to be way off...following them it's undrinkable. I tried using about half as much leaf and brewing for 1 minute and it was about right. Steep it any longer and it becomes painfully astringent and also quite bitter.

When brewed briefly and with little...

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Picture of Uva Highlands Estate BOP

Uva Highlands Estate BOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Uva, Sri Lanka

53 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 12th, 2009

Aroma strongly of wintergreen...almost unbelievable that this is just tea...it tastes almost as if wintergreen oil has been added! Outside of the surprising wintergreen aroma, this tea is dark, robust, and very full. Fairly bitter, astringent, and tannic. The rest of the aroma is typical of a Ceylon.

Like the Cey...

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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 The People's Green Tea

The People's Green Tea from Republic of Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

43 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 8th, 2009

This tea had a muted quality to it, although it had a bolder tea presence than Republic's flavored green and white teas. Fairly smooth flavor, a few unpleasant qualities to the aroma, but not very bitter. Weak, overall, not very fresh tasting.

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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 Green Tea

Green Tea from Twinings

Style: Sencha – Region: ?????

23 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Dec. 7th, 2009

I was disappointed by this one, and this is my least favorite tea from Twinings yet. If you brew it with boiling water, it's very astringent. With water at a lower temperature, it's not flavorful enough. The aroma is muddled...this tea, unfortunately, seems to have acquired the worst aspects of a Sencha without the ...

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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 White Peony (Bai Mu Dan)

White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fujian, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 28th, 2009

A rich, full-bodied tea, brews a dark orange color and is fairly bitter. The aroma is fairly complex. There are some pleasant vegetal tones too. Pleasant aftertaste too.

I really like this tea; it's one of the few white peony teas that I've tried that has been bold and full-bodied enough for me. It's almost a li...

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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 Xue Ya Ballad

Xue Ya Ballad from Adagio Teas

Style: Snow Buds – Region: ?????

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

This is my favorite tea from Adagio so far. When brewed as recommended this tea is very light with a sweetness and some fruity tones. But I found it too thin this way.

I like brewing it much longer (8+ minutes) and with slightly warmer water (190-ish)...it comes out much stronger and more interesting...more grassy...

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Picture of China Breakfast

China Breakfast from Rishi Tea

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 3rd, 2009

Wow. I love the aroma of this tea...it is much more vegetal than most black teas, clean and fresh, and yet warm too. Smooth and yet relatively full-bodied, but thin relative to some breakfast teas. No astringency.

I do notice the peppery tones characteristic of a dian hong. The aroma is pleasingly complex. Ther...

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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 Oolong #18 / Jade Oolong

Oolong #18 / Jade Oolong from Adagio Teas

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

57 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 29th, 2009

Beautifully fragrant leaves and beautifully fragrant brewed tea. Sweet, light, orchid-like floral aroma. Weak flavor, with a very clean taste...sweet with a hint of tanginess and no bitterness. Upon drinking, what seemed like a pleasantly strong aroma becomes too weak.

Adagio recommends brewing 5 minutes with 180...

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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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Picture of Dancong Aria

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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Picture of China Pu-Erh Leaf

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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Picture of Pu-erh Loose Jia Ji

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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Picture of Organic Pu-Erh

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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Picture of English Teatime

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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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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