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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1411 teas.

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Picture of Cherry Blossom Rose Organic

Cherry Blossom Rose Organic from Capital Teas

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: Blend

27 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Apr. 8th, 2014

A disappointing blend that just didn't seem to work. This was one of three samples my parents received as a gift. I had the opportunity to sample them recently.

One of my mild pet peeves is when a company labels something "cherry blossom" and then it tastes like cherry fruit, rather than blossoms.

I opened the ...

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Picture of Genmaicha Green Tea Whole Leaf

Genmaicha Green Tea Whole Leaf from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Genmaicha – Region: ?????

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

An above-average genmaicha, with a bolder green tea presence and less rice. The base tea is smooth, fruity, and less vegetal than typical for Japanese green teas.

The dry tea bag, which is a flat paper bag filled with relatively intact whole leaf tea, didn't smell great, but as soon as I poured water over it, a ver...

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Picture of Tazo Chai Full Leaf

Tazo Chai Full Leaf from Tazo Tea

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: ?????

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 28th, 2014

Like most of Tazo's teas, I think this improved greatly in the change to the full leaf version. But I don't think it's just the quality of ingredients, I think the blend of spices has changed considerably.

The old, flat tea bag was dominated by clove, and although it wasn't too heavy on the cinnamon, it was also to...

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Picture of Chinese Jasmine

Chinese Jasmine from Bare Tea

Style: Jasmine Tea – Region: China

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 28th, 2014

Outstanding. This was one of the most interesting Jasmine teas I've ever tried. I normally don't think of jasmine as being complex, but this one was multifaceted and I kept finding different qualities in it each time I sipped it.

The tea bag and dry leaf smell almost minty, light, fresh, and cooling.

Upon brewi...

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Picture of Earl Grey Full Leaf

Earl Grey Full Leaf from Tazo Tea

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 26th, 2014

I've drunk Tazo's Earl Grey in flat tea bags (what they now call "filterbags") a number of times, and only now tried the newer full-leaf version, part of my attempt to sample all of Tazo's full leaf teas before Starbucks switches to serving only Teavana.

The aroma is fresh and light, and oddly pervasive. This is a ...

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Picture of Zen Full Leaf

Zen Full Leaf from Tazo Tea

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: Blend

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 25th, 2014

Of all of Tazo's teas, I think this one is the most changed from the flat tea bag version to the full leaf version. It's vaguely recognizable but I find, while I hated the old version, this was quite pleasant to drink.

The first cup, which I steeped about 2 minutes (and it was plenty strong) was a rich golden color...

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Picture of Decaffeinated Lemon Chiffon

Decaffeinated Lemon Chiffon from Red Rose Tea

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Blend

37 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Mar. 23rd, 2014

Thank you Red Rose, for the sample of this tea, included in the bag from the Philadelphia Coffee and Tea Festival. I only got to trying it now.

I initially saw "lemon" and thought this would be a typical lemon-flavored black tea, but no...this tea is much more cake than lemon.

The tea bag has an aroma that bears...

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Picture of Blueberry Green Tea

Blueberry Green Tea from Republic of Tea

Style: Fruit Green Tea – Region: Blend

40 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 1/5
Mar. 23rd, 2014

I must preface this review by noting that I tend not to like blueberry-flavored anything. Why am I trying this then? I like trying new things, and I periodically like trying things that I'm expecting not to like, because sometimes I am surprised.

With this one, I wasn't surprised.

The tea bag (and brewed cup) h...

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Picture of Peppermint Ginger - Christmas Blend

Peppermint Ginger - Christmas Blend from Timothy's

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: Blend

37 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 1/5
Mar. 23rd, 2014

Thank you Kelsey for giving me this one.

The tea bag is pretty flat and aromaless. Upon brewing though, a light peppermint aroma comes out, relatively mild. The base tea, which I think is a green tea, actually really comes out in the aroma. It smells sort of like an okay but not great sencha.

I can barely noti...

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Picture of Apple Meadow (Formerly Green Apple)

Apple Meadow (Formerly Green Apple) from Bare Tea

Style: Fruit Green Tea – Region: China

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 22nd, 2014

An impressive tea--not the sort of blend that I tend to ever like, and I found this quite pleasant.

I found it really interesting that Bare Tea released an apple-flavored tea, since I thought their masala chai actually had an uncanny apple flavor to it. This tea does remind me a bit of that one.

I tend not to li...

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Picture of Apple Refresh

Apple Refresh from Ahmad Tea

Style: Fruit Black Tea – Region: Blend

40 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 28th, 2014

Of all four of Ahmad's fruit-flavored black teas, this is the one I liked the least. It has a fairly artificial apple flavoring...it does not smell at all like an actual apple, but rather, like the "green apple" candy flavor, familiar to me from my childhood.

I don't know if Ahmad uses a different base tea for thei...

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Picture of Organic Earl Grey

Organic Earl Grey from Divinitea

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: Blend

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 22nd, 2014

A medium-bodied Earl Grey, tending slightly towards the perfumey side of aroma, less towards citrus. The base tea is rich and malty, and brews a clear red-orange liquor.

Light to moderate bitterness; I get the sense that that there's less of the fresh, biting bitterness coming from the bergamot, and more of a muted...

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Picture of Strawberry Sensation Black Tea

Strawberry Sensation Black Tea from Ahmad Tea

Style: Fruit Black Tea – Region: Blend

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 21st, 2014

Aroma is, well, very strawberry-ey. Smells initially like strawberry and little else, a little like strawberry jam or strawberry shortcake...not so much like fresh strawberries.

The base tea is not as evident, aroma-wise, but it shines through in the flavor: bold, with a bit of bite. Brews a rich brown color, but ...

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Picture of Cinnamon Tempest

Cinnamon Tempest from Trader Joe's

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Blend

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 21st, 2014

Thank you Jenna for sharing this one with me.

I thought this was impressive, a few steps up in quality from Trader Joe's other teas. The tea bag smells strongly of cinnamon, but it's a very natural, organic-smelling cinnamon, like real cinnamon sticks, not like most flavored teas. The orange and clove is only a hi...

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Picture of Winter Spice Cake

Winter Spice Cake from Octavia Tea

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Blend

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 20th, 2014

I thought this blend had too many different flavors in it, and they did not seem to blend well. It's like an orange spice tea, with added vanilla, rose, and almond. Vanilla and almond blend well, orange and spice blend well, but I find that all together, the flavors conflict. Combine this with a weak base tea and yo...

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Picture of Cherry Black Tea

Cherry Black Tea from Impra Tea

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

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 19th, 2014

Another tea bag purchased from Bell's Market in NE Philly. I was expecting to like this flavored tea a lot less than the blackcurrant, because I tend to like blackcurrant as a flavoring with tea much more than cherry.

This has an artificial-smelling cherry scent. It smells more like cherry syrup or an artificially...

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Picture of Blackcurrant Black Tea

Blackcurrant Black Tea from Impra Tea

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

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 18th, 2014

I'm a huge fan of Twinings blackcurrant-flavored black tea, and it's the only example of such a tea that I've ever tried, so I was curious to try this one. Unfortunately, I don't like it as much.

The fruit flavoring is much stronger in this tea...it's so strong that walking out of the room, and coming back, I can s...

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Picture of Lemon & Lime Twist

Lemon & Lime Twist from Ahmad Tea

Style: Fruit Black Tea – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 15th, 2014

An interesting change of pace; not my favorite.

Much more lime than lemon in the aroma; this is no standard lemon black tea. The base tea is bold, strong, and malty. The overall effect is a very edgy cup, completely unlike how adding lemon usually takes the edge off a strong black tea.

Nice, and interesting, bu...

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Picture of Peach & Passion Fruit

Peach & Passion Fruit from Ahmad Tea

Style: Fruit Black Tea – Region: Blend

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 13th, 2014

It's a select group of fruit-flavored teas that I like, and it's even less frequent that there's an inexpensive one in a tea bag that is among my favorites--but this is one of these teas.

Aroma is fruity but pungent and deep; the fruitiness is not transient or fleeting, but rather is persistent, and accompanied by d...

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Picture of Pomegranate Black Tea

Pomegranate Black Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Fruit Black Tea – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 12th, 2014

Thank you to my friend Liz for sharing this one with me. Take my review in the context that I tend not to like fruit-flavored tea bags, so although my rating number is not great, this is actually a pretty positive review: I'm comparing it against all my favorite loose-leaf artisan teas.

Tea bag smells intensely fru...

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Picture of Blood Orange

Blood Orange from Octavia Tea

Style: Fruit White Tea – Region: Blend

57 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 6th, 2014

A relatively mellow, medium-bodied orange-flavored tea, medium in color, and fairly middle-of-the-road in flavor. To be fair, I tend not to like flavored teas; I tried this one more out of curiosity.

Aroma is of orange and autumn leaves, with a hint of hay or straw. Flavor has a light bitterness, and light sournes...

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Picture of Earl Grey Classic Tea

Earl Grey Classic Tea from Fortnum & Mason

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 15th, 2014

A solid British-style Earl Grey, smooth and easy to drink. I'm excited that I finally got to try a loose-leaf tea from Fortnum and Mason. I have been unimpressed by their tea bags, but their loose-leaf is definitely a step up in quality.

Broken-leaf with a classic Earl Grey aroma, both of the dry loose-leaf tea, a...

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Picture of Kenyan Black Tea with Lemon (Teabags)

Kenyan Black Tea with Lemon (Teabags) from Ajiri Tea

Style: Lemon Black Tea – Region: Blend

93 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 9th, 2014

I thought this to be a very original blend, top-notch.

Very intense lemon fragrance, holding its own against the base tea. Like most lemon myrtle, there's a deep woody or resinous undertone, making a very complex aroma, combined with the malty but fresh aroma of the Kenyan black tea. The lemon myrtle really holds ...

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Picture of Rose Oolong

Rose Oolong from Chai Diaries

Style: Flavored Oolong – Region: Blend

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 9th, 2014

A light-colored, medium-bodied tea dominated by the rose aroma.

Sampled at the Philadelphia Coffee and Tea Festival, another old review that I only posted now.

This blend's aroma struck me as all rose and no tea...the tea imparted only a mild body and richness, a slight flavor. The rose, however, dominates both ...

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Picture of Bombay Masala Chai

Bombay Masala Chai from Chai Diaries

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 9th, 2014

A creamy chai, light bodied yet with a slight tannic kick.

Sample at the Philadelphia Coffee and Tea Festival...I've taken very long to post my reviews.

This was the first tea I sampled from Chai Diaries, and it impressed me and made me eager to try more from this new company. The vanilla is just enough to impar...

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