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Alex Zorach

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

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Picture of Special Grade Shou Mei White Tea

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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Picture of First Grade Shou Mei White Tea

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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Picture of Season's Pick Shou Mei

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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Picture of Himalayan BOP

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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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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Picture of Tamayokucha

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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Picture of PG Tips Pyramid bags

PG Tips Pyramid bags from PG Tips

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

43 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 28th, 2009

These teabags seem to be meant for more than one cup. The tea brews very rapidly and is very strong. It wasn't terribly complex; it had a muted quality...very bitter aftertaste but initial taste was a bit smoother. Very tannic; do not let this steep too long; a very brief (1 min.) infusion I find is best. Even then...

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Picture of Premium Green Tea

Premium Green Tea from Stash Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: Brazil

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 28th, 2009

Aroma grassy, fresh, a bit fishy. There's a hint of sweetness...a lot of astringency though. More like a sencha than any other kind of green tea. Is this tea attempting to be a sencha?

This tea is very difficult to brew. It scalds easily if the water is too hot, leaving it bitter and sour; there are a generous a...

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Picture of Green Tea

Green Tea from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 27th, 2009

This is a very enjoyable green tea. Although this tea is steamed, it is much mellower than a typical sencha--less sharp. Less grassy than Ten Ren's dragon well. The tea brews a more golden color, less greenish. Less bitter and astringent than the majority of teabag teas on the market. Compared to Ten Ren's Dragonw...

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Picture of PuErh Tea

PuErh Tea from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: ?????

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 27th, 2009

I bought this tea long ago, after being impressed with the quality of Ten Ren's tea bags, and wanting to try all their teas.

Aroma is dusty but clean. Flavor is smooth. Not quite as full-bodied as some pu-erh tea bags, and not as much complexity in the earthy aroma, but this is really not bad. Pu-erhs can be hard...

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Picture of Black Tea

Black Tea from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

33 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 27th, 2009

I think this tea does not stack up to the quality of Ten Ren's other teabag teas; it makes me wonder if it's included only as an afterthought, as Ten Ren does not seem to specialize in black teas. Aroma is nondescript, generic, lacking complexity. If you want a darker tea from Ten Ren, I'd recommend a darker oolong.

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Picture of Fusion Green & White Tea

Fusion Green & White Tea from Stash Tea

Style: Green and White Blend – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 27th, 2009

Complex aroma; has a floral fragrance, suggestive of Jasmine. Crisp, clean, and light, but surprisingly flavorful. Remarkably easy to brew; better with slightly lower temperature water, but does not scald as easily as other green or white teas. Outstanding for a teabag tea!

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Picture of Organic Hojicha

Organic Hojicha from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 26th, 2009

This is without a doubt my favorite tea from mighty leaf and one of my favorite hojicha's that I've tried--definitely my favorite that's available bagged.

The aroma is rich and roasty and has some nuances. There's a bit more bitterness than some hojicha's, which I like, but there is little astringency or sourness; ...

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Picture of Ti Kuan Yin

Ti Kuan Yin from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

73 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 23rd, 2009

Very rich and full-bodied, and more bitter than Ten Ren's Tung Ting and Ten Wu oolongs, but still not very bitter. Pleasant aroma, both earthy and fresh...cleaner tasting than other dark oolongs I've had in teabags. I tend to prefer lighter Ti Kuan Yin teas...but I enjoy this one a lot, especially given that it is in...

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Picture of Oolong Se Chung

Oolong Se Chung from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Se Chung Oolong – Region: China

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 21st, 2009

This is my favorite offering from Upton Tea. The whole, light green leaves are tightly curled and become dark green and unfurl a great deal upon brewing.

The brewed tea is light golden green like many greener oolongs. The complex aroma has some of the cripser herbal qualities of green teas, and some sharper tones,...

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Picture of Ten Wu Fine Oolong

Ten Wu Fine Oolong from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 21st, 2009

Without a doubt, this is the best tea in a basic teabag that I've ever tried. (Tradition's whole-leaf oolong in a sachet strikes me as better, but I think that's in a different category of teas.)

The aroma is fresh, complex, and difficult to describe. The cup is exceedingly rich and also very smooth, with a hint o...

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Picture of Wuyi Oolong

Wuyi Oolong from Rishi Tea

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 21st, 2009

Darker among oolongs, but very mellow. The aroma is very warm, rich, and complex, with some roast, a hint of smokiness, and some tones of grain. It actually smells a bit like marijuana, and a bit like a fresh autumn day. I rather like the aroma and I can say I am constantly discovering new facets of it.

This tea ...

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Picture of Chun Mee Dao Ming

Chun Mee Dao Ming from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Chun Mee – Region: China

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 21st, 2009

I was really sad to see this one go; it was my favorite example of a chun mee. Although Upton's Chun Mee moon palace was close, I preferred this one.

This is an outstanding green tea at a very reasonable price, and it's organic to boot! It is unusually strong, bitter, and complex for a chun mee tea, and my favorit...

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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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Picture of Tung Ting Oolong

Tung Ting Oolong from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

70 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 19th, 2009

This was the first time I ever tried this type of oolong. While this tea is pretty good for a teabag oolong, it falls far short of any loose Tung Ting / Dong Ding I've tried.

Smooth, very mellow, and sweet...but almost to the point of being bland. Tastes like you've added honey even without doing so. However, com...

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