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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1436 teas.

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Picture of Kaimosi Estate TGFOP1

Kaimosi Estate TGFOP1 from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 2nd, 2011

The dry leaf of this tea is straight and thin, giving it a twiggy appearance; it has a light, fruity aroma.

Brewed, this tea is slightly Keemun-like, but with less of the earthy qualities, and a much stronger flavor. It also has some honey-like qualities reminiscent of some greener oolongs, which are hard to notice...

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Picture of Kenya Milima Estate FBOP1

Kenya Milima Estate FBOP1 from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kericho, Kenya

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 1st, 2011

A mild, smooth tea that I prefer steeping for a longer time (around 5 minutes). Aroma is hard to describe, and I am not crazy about it, it has a sort of muted creaminess, but not in a light way. There's a notable absence of most of the tones that characterize black tea, inculding ones from Kenya. The flavor is very ...

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Picture of Panyang Tippy Golden Needles Imperial

Panyang Tippy Golden Needles Imperial from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Panyang Congou – Region: Fujian, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
May. 28th, 2011

Aroma toasty and caramely, like the crust of a pastry. This tea is so reminiscent of pastry that if I close my eyes, I almost picture there being a baked good, rather than a cup of tea, in front of me.

Dark, rich, but with a pleasingly smooth flavor. Finish leaves a surprisingly lightness on the palate, and a fain...

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Picture of Pasir Nangka OP

Pasir Nangka OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Banten, Indonesia

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 25th, 2011

Only my third tea from Java (or anywhere in Indonesia), I was excited to try this one as I have yet to get a real sense of what characterizes teas from this region.

This is a pretty average black tea. Not much about it stands out. It has a slightly more savory quality, almost hinting at smokiness. Very full-bodie...

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Picture of Kaimosi Estate GFBOP1

Kaimosi Estate GFBOP1 from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 23rd, 2011

Dry leaf has a sweet, pleasing aroma.

Brewing as instructed, this tea is very mild, with a smooth flavor and a clear quality. There are mild, dried fruit tones, a bit like a Keemun, but this tea is less earthy than Keemun. Some of the light, rice-like qualities common in some Ceylon teas. Aftertaste is clean. Fl...

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Picture of Bed & Breakfast (formerly Breakfast Bliss)

Bed & Breakfast (formerly Breakfast Bliss) from Zhena's Gypsy Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

43 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
May. 17th, 2011

An average strength black tea, this did not scream "breakfast" to me. More sour than bitter. Nondescript aroma. Not bad, but not great either.

This did not stand out to me relative to any of the mainstream black teas on the market, yet it is significantly pricier.

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Picture of Livingstonia Estate GFBOP

Livingstonia Estate GFBOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Tanzania

91 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 16th, 2011

This was an interesting change of pace, and one of the most unusual black teas I've tried to date. But unlike some unusual teas, this tea was not just different, it was different in a way that I especially enjoyed.

There is some wintergreen in the aroma. It reminds me of a Ceylon tea from the Uva region of Sri Lan...

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Picture of Harmutty Estate STGFOP1S

Harmutty Estate STGFOP1S from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Assam – Region: Lakhimpur, Assam, India

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
May. 15th, 2011

A very strong Assam, stronger than Upton's description makes it sound. Very full flavor: fairly bitter, slightly sour, very savory, and even slightly salty. Aroma is spicy, suggesting allspice and black pepper. Also a bit smoky, with some fruity tones as well. Peppery finish.

Interesting, but a bit too strong fo...

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Picture of China Congou Panyang (Panyong)

China Congou Panyang (Panyong) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Panyang Congou – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
May. 2nd, 2011

Clean tasting, mild, with a slightly bitter caramel-like quality. A bit flat, simple tasting, but very pleasant. Has a cooling quality, even when hot, and I think it would make a very classic iced tea.

I was expecting this tea to be similar to Upton's ZP20, Panyang Congou Select, because of the similar name, but i...

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Picture of Golden Kenya GFBOP/TGFOP

Golden Kenya GFBOP/TGFOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 2nd, 2011

Surprisingly interesting aroma of the dry leaf....fruity but in a way distinct from any other sort of black tea.

Brewed cup is very complex: initially malty and very fruity, with a strong fennel aroma. Not much bite up-front, but there is a strong but pleasing bitterness, and a very bold peppery finish like a Yunna...

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Picture of Panyang Congou Select

Panyang Congou Select from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Panyang Congou – Region: Fujian, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 22nd, 2011

A delightful and complex black tea. Very robust and full-bodied, moderate bitterness, but not overly caffeinated. Aroma simultaneously a little smoky, fruity, and malty, with no one quality dominating the others. Very balanced. Very pleasing.

I can see this becoming a favorite everyday black tea for me: it is mu...

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Picture of Dejoo Estate TGFOP(S)

Dejoo Estate TGFOP(S) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Assam – Region: Lakhimpur, Assam, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 15th, 2011

Dry leaf's aroma is more suggestive of a Keemun than an Assam. Brewing, I find this tea fits Upton's description very closely:

It's deep and malty, a faint hint of fruitiness (less than the dry leaf suggests), dark, but very smooth, and with some fresh herbaceous tones. Strong but without being overly bitter. Som...

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Picture of Darjeeling Estate Organic Black Tea

Darjeeling Estate Organic Black Tea from Wegmans

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 6th, 2011

I suspect this is from Makaibari estate, not just because of the fair trade and organic certification, but because it bears the familiar aroma of black teas from that garden.

This particular batch is exceptionally fruity, one of the frutiest Darjeelings I've tried yet. There is an intense grape aroma, so sweet and ...

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Picture of Finest Darjeeling

Finest Darjeeling from Jacksons of Piccadilly

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 17th, 2011

Generous on the leaf--the teabag reads 2.5 grams, an amount similar to what I'd use for one cup when using loose-leaf tea, and it makes me realize how much a lot of companies skimp on the leaf.

This is a broken-leaf Darjeeling, with smallish pieces of leaf . The leaf is highly heterogeneous in color: many of the le...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Red Rose Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 17th, 2011

I had the opportunity to sample this a couple times. The second time I had a fresher sample and it tasted noticeably better. The tea bag smelled malty, which was a good sign!

Brews a rich, dark color. Flavor is weaker than I expect from this style: not very bitter, and aroma is less malty than I like. Compared t...

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Picture of Classic

Classic from Wissotzky

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

40 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 11th, 2011

Thank you to my friend Morgan for giving this one to me to sample! I had the 1.5g sample--a little less tea than I normally use for a single cup, but similar to the amount in most other mainstream tea company's tea bags.

Overall, smooth and somewhat flat flavor: not very bitter, a hint of a savory quality, and a sl...

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Picture of Ceylon Orange Pekoe

Ceylon Orange Pekoe from Twinings

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matale, Sri Lanka (Dimbula)

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 28th, 2011

A classic British-style Ceylon tea. Medium-strength black tea with a fairly clean, cool taste. Moderate bitterness and astringency, little sourness. Maltier and deeper than some Ceylons.

Above average among Twinings offerings and better than what I typically expect from a tea bag. This is an example of a tea tha...

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Picture of Estate Blend Tea

Estate Blend Tea from Bromley Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 22nd, 2011

Impressive for a simple paper-wrapped tea bag.

Typical black tea aroma, not terribly complex. Mostly deep and malty, like an Assam, but with some of the tones characteristic of Ceylon. Slightly smoky. Significantly lighter than a pure Assam.

Surprisingly, this tea has a substantial savory or umami flavor. It ...

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Picture of Yunnan Golden Bud

Yunnan Golden Bud from Life in Teacup

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 15th, 2011

The initial aroma is malty and deep, typical for a Yunnan gold, but with more fruity qualities, especially of dried fruit. Upon drinking the cup, the aroma becomes more fruity and vegetal, sharing some of the wine-like qualities of a Keemun with some of the vegetal qualities of some Darjeeling, even Darjeeling oolong ...

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Picture of Organic South Indian Select Tea

Organic South Indian Select Tea from Novus Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: India

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 13th, 2011

This tea was outstanding but I did not find that it fit its commercial description. I don't notice any wood-like aroma nor would I describe this tea as brisk. It shares many characteristics with a highly tannic Assam, but it is smoother, with little bitterness or astringency.

Aroma is mostly of sweet, dark dried f...

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Picture of Yorkshire Tea Decaf

Yorkshire Tea Decaf from Yorkshire Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 31st, 2011

This one really surprised me. I sampled it side-by-side with Yorkshire's traditional blend (their flagship tea) out of curiosity. I myself am highly skeptical of decaf tea.

It's not as good, I'll say that straight up. But...it's by far the best decaf black tea I've tried yet. It is even better than a number of c...

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Picture of Yorkshire Tea Traditional

Yorkshire Tea Traditional from Yorkshire Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 31st, 2011

A lot of people seem to compare this to PG Tips, so I will continue the tradition. I will say, the two teas definitely are in the same style: a strong English-style breakfast tea. But, hands down, this tea absolutely toasts PG Tips, in spite of the fact that it came in a normal, flat tea bag, and the PG Tips I've had...

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Picture of Nilgiri Select Black Tea

Nilgiri Select Black Tea from Wegmans

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nilgiri, India

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 24th, 2011

This was my first Nilgiri tea. I have heard Nilgiris described as being similar to Ceylon and I can see this. It's definitely more similar to a a lower-elevation Ceylon than it is to any other Indian tea I've tried. I don't notice much high-grown character in this tea.

I also think it's reminiscent of a Hubei Kee...

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Picture of Kocha Japanese Black

Kocha Japanese Black from Far West Trading Company

Style: Black Tea – Region: Japan

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 20th, 2010

There is something very muted and controlled about this tea. It reminds me of a high-grown Ceylon, from Nuwara Eliya, and I would probably believe it if someone labeled it as such. A faint malty aroma is barely present under a light, rice-like quality. Only a faint bitterness in the aftertaste, and very little astri...

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Picture of Java Malabar Plantation Black Tea

Java Malabar Plantation Black Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Black Tea – Region: West Java, Indonesia

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 14th, 2010

Thank you Marlena for sharing this one!

Aroma is unique, and hard to describe, very clean and cool, yet deep. A suggestion of wintergreen, like I've only ever encountered in Ceylon teas from the Uva region. I can see the licorice and grilled vegetables Marlena describes, as well. The aroma suggests savory qualiti...

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