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Brytta Sóþword

Tea Reviewer

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Member since Jan. 15th, 2014. Reviewed 330 teas.

Reviews of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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Picture of Yunnan Breakfast

Yunnan Breakfast from Rishi Tea

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 1st, 2014

Pleasant for a black tea, not bitter, and seems to be of good quality, but it tastes pretty ordinary to me. Black tea isn't my favorite, but I like trying them to see what I'll find. I added milk and this improved it a bit. I don't have anything negative to say about this tea, but it isn't really for me.

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Picture of Assam

Assam from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 5th, 2014

Not bad for a black tea. Detected a little bitterness in the finish, but it wasn't off putting. Also smelled and tasted subtly raisin-like. Not bad, but not outstanding and not my personal favorite style of tea--especially given that it's rather pricey.

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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

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 1st, 2014

As a pure white tea, this wasn't bad, but it wasn't a flavor to get me excited. It didn't taste bitter to me, which was a plus, but overall it was fairly nondescript. (Or maybe I'm missing nuances because I need to internalize the language of tea better?)

I'm not sure what else to say about it. I'm sure people who p...

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Picture of Tamayokucha

Tamayokucha from Two Leaves and a Bud

Style: Tamaryokucha (Guricha) – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 30th, 2014

I actually found this tea to be refreshing and clean. It's simple, but not in a way that's bitter or at all unpleasant. I brewed it a short time at 175 °F and was pleasantly surprised by how very drinkable it is. The aroma is very light and the infusion is a pale green. Its a bit plain by itself, so I recommend drinki...

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Picture of Sencha (Sen-cha), Loose-leaf

Sencha (Sen-cha), Loose-leaf from Yamamotoyama

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 30th, 2014

I found this at $5.75 for a 7 ounce bag, making it some of the cheapest loose leaf tea I've ever found. Excellent value!

That said, unfortunately, the tea goes bitter far too easily. The leaves are cut very small, allowing it to diffuse quickly. At the bottom of my cup are dark green fannings that couldn't be strain...

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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

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 23rd, 2014

Very smooth, fresh tea. I definitely like the lighter, non-bitter taste of Darjeelings compared against regular black teas. The first cup of this one was particularly good, while the second one was slightly weaker in flavor. Still, I enjoyed the very lightly floral taste, which contributed a pleasant complexity to the ...

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Picture of Organic Double Green Matcha Tea

Organic Double Green Matcha Tea from Republic of Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 22nd, 2014

Given that this is an extremely affordable green tea, I really wish I liked it more. I really enjoy matcha, but this mixture with regular green tea is a bit bitter. It's best to keep it to a short steeping and then add cream and sugar. Though I will point out that the second and third cup actually had fewer problems th...

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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

78 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 17th, 2014

Despite leaving the leaves to brew a little longer than I originally intended (meant to brew for 3 minutes, but ended up closer to 5), this is a very smooth tea. I brewed it at 180 °F. This would make a very good general purpose, share it with friends sort of tea. There's no bitterness, I like the almost-floral aroma,...

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Picture of Four Seasons Oolong Tea

Four Seasons Oolong Tea from Health & Tea

Style: Four Seasons Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 14th, 2014

A lovely, smooth oolong. I brought the water to 185 °F and steeped it for a few minutes. It has a hint of herbaceousness, almost floweriness, and overall tastes like a very solid, everyday tea. I wonder how it would do if left to steep longer, as I like my teas strong. I experienced no bitterness or anything unpleasan...

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Picture of Premium Grade Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing)

Premium Grade Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing) from TeaVivre

Style: Dragon Well (Long Jing) – Region: Zhejiang, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 14th, 2014

I really enjoyed this fresh, smooth tea. Interestingly, I found it quite easy to brew at work, where the hot, filtered water is at a set temperature. I'm still playing around with preparing it at home. Regardless, it has proven a solid, calming cup whether alone or with food.

Update: After trying this at home and at...

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Picture of Superb Black Tea

Superb Black Tea from The Excellent Tea Company

Style: Black Tea – Region: Rwanda

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 10th, 2014

Upon tasting this one, it quickly reminded me of a general black tea. Not bad, but not my preferred style. I pretty quickly decided to go ahead and add creamer, as I think that improves many of the less interesting black teas, and it certainly helped here.

I can't see the prices on the website, but others have menti...

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Picture of Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea

Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Dragon Well (Long Jing) – Region: Zhejiang, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 10th, 2014

I could definitely taste a little chestnut and a little grassiness in the flavor and was delighted by the leaves. Shortly after I first brewed this, I noticed a light astringency or bitterness in the aftertaste. As I drank, this finish became smoother and more muted. The same thing happened with the second cup. I belie...

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Picture of Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea

Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Clouds & Mist (Yun Wu) – Region: Jiangxi, China

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 7th, 2014

Extremely satisfying tea! I really like this one. The dry leaf had a wonderful, unique aroma that made me very excited to try the tea. Once brewed, it has a light herbal/spicy flavor that I find extremely pleasing and that is well balanced with the tea flavor. It's a comforting drink that I could imagine myself drinkin...

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Picture of Ureshino Tama Ryokucha

Ureshino Tama Ryokucha from Wegmans

Style: Tamaryokucha (Guricha) – Region: Saga, Japan

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 4th, 2014

Very good tea. It has a slightly nutty, very vegetal scent and taste, which I love. The dry aroma is pungent and pleasant in the same way as the brewed tea. It tastes somewhere between a gyokuro and China Green Tips, by Tazo (if I'm remembering those flavors accurately). It hasn't caused me any throat irritation the wa...

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Picture of Tung Ting Oolong Tea

Tung Ting Oolong Tea from Teapigs

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 2nd, 2014

Very interesting tea. It has a lightly green smell that's pleasant. Unfortunately, I overbrewed the first tea slightly, so it had a slight bitterness. But the kind of bitterness that I imagine people who like bitterness would actually enjoy. I overbrewed it because it looked pale and thin and seemed to diffuse rather s...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Bare Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Anhui, China

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 30th, 2014

Tried this one while on the go using a travel tea mug. I'll have to give it a proper tasting later, at home, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised! More subdued than most black teas, and not bitter at all (though I also made a point to steep it briefly).

Update: Okay, I got to try this again at work. It's definitely a...

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Picture of 2005 Jing Mai Autumnal

2005 Jing Mai Autumnal from The Tao of Tea

Style: Ripened (Shou) Pu-erh – Region: Lancang, Yunnan, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Aug. 27th, 2014

Very interesting tea! A bit pricey, based on the website and their recommendation of using 2 teaspoons worth for a cup, but good quality. I detected an undertone of raisins with a hint of a spice I wouldn't be able to name. It tasted really very good at the beginning. Later in the morning it developed a bitter flavor, ...

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Picture of American Classic Tea

American Classic Tea from Charleston Tea Plantation (American Classic Tea)

Style: Black Tea – Region: South Carolina, United States

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 26th, 2014

Not bad, but not a favorite. It tastes like a decent quality southern-style black tea. No bitterness I can notice. I feel like, for me, it would benefit from a squirt of lemon juice, though I don't have any on hand to try it. I think regular southern tea drinkers would really like this one, but it's not quite dazzling ...

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Picture of Yunnan Gold

Yunnan Gold from Bare Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 24th, 2014

A distinctly raisin-like aroma and flavor. I like it! No bitterness I can notice. Interestingly, this steeped very quickly for a whole leaf tea. Even as I poured the water (brewed at 200 °F), the water became a deep brown with gold tints. After just one minute I went ahead and removed the sachet, as I felt like it wou...

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Picture of China Oolong

China Oolong from Twinings

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: China

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 22nd, 2014

Has a hint of baked flavor and no real bitterness, but it's a pretty generic cup. At $3 for 20 bags, the price isn't bad. If you're not picky about tea this one is likely worth it, but it doesn't stand out in any particular way.

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Picture of Top Leaf™ Green Tea

Top Leaf™ Green Tea from Mellow Monk

Style: Sencha – Region: Kumamoto, Japan

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 22nd, 2014

Very solid, smooth tea! The vegetal scent and flavor reminded me of tea in Japan, and I appreciated the bright green tint of the water. I've enjoyed a few cups of it already, but want to brew it again tomorrow, then give a fuller review once I've really had time to sit down and enjoy it.

Update: A nice sitting down,...

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Picture of English Breakfast Decaf

English Breakfast Decaf from Red Rose Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 20th, 2014

Surprisingly not bad! This is the first time I've tried a decaffeinated tea and I wasn't expecting much, but it was actually pretty nice. The level of bitterness was very low, and I swear I taste just a hint of cinnamon in this. It creates an all-around pleasant cup, even without cream.

Also interesting was the stee...

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Picture of British Blend - Premium Black Tea

British Blend - Premium Black Tea from Tetley Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 19th, 2014

I'm surprised that a number of people thought this tea tasted weak, though the strength of cup I got might be due to a mistake I made: I tore the drawstring teabag. The tea fell out, so I just brewed it loose and floating in the cup. This made it diffuse very quickly. The tiny bits were too small to effectively scoop o...

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Picture of Snow Buds Green Tea

Snow Buds Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Snow Buds – Region: Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 13th, 2014

Tastes to me like a fresh, light green tea, though I do feel like the white tea undertones gives it a fuller flavor. Very smooth, no bitterness, a nice cup of pure tea. Slightly floral in aroma. I think I may have used too little leaf for the first cup because my only complaint is that I'd like a slightly stronger cup....

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Picture of Monkey-Picked Ti Kuan Yin

Monkey-Picked Ti Kuan Yin from Foojoy

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 12th, 2014

Huh, I know this is an oolong tea but to me it tastes like a lighter version of the darjeelings I've tried recently. The scent and taste is a little more floral in nature with a lightly baked undertone. It goes together very smoothly. Not a bad tea at all, but not as impressive to me as some others. I had to add more l...

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