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Alex Zorach

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

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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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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Mrs. Robinson's Tea Shop

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 6th, 2010

Intensely malty, with deep undertones of sweet dried fruit, giving way to a bitter and rather tannic aftertaste. Very powerful. Even if you use sparing amounts of leaf, this brews a very powerful cup.

I like this because it blends the deep, malty characteristics of an Assam with the fruitier aspects of a good Keem...

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Picture of Quality Blend Tea - Olde McCormick Tea House

Quality Blend Tea - Olde McCormick Tea House from McCormick

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

40 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 1st, 2010

I found this tea bag at a church event and tried it out of curiosity. I really wasn't expecting much, given that this tea was discontinued over a year ago and the bags are individually wrapped only in paper, so the particular tea bag that I sampled wasn't terribly fresh, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised....

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Picture of Keemun

Keemun from Rishi Tea

Style: Keemun – Region: Hubei, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 12th, 2010

This is the first Hubei Keemun I've tried, and I will say it is quite different from other Keemuns, and in fact, quite different from anything I've ever had: count on Rishi to locate and select innovative teas, although I still can't make up my mind about whether I like this particular innovation. I tried brewing this...

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Picture of Ancient Golden Yunnan

Ancient Golden Yunnan from Rishi Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 5th, 2010

The dry leaf has an incredibly fruity aroma, like apricot.

This is a strong black tea with a very pleasing aroma and flavor. It is malty like an Assam, but with less edge. Unfortunately, there's only a hint of the pleasing fruity quality that I noticed in the dry leaf. Less bitter than you'd expect, and not very ...

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Picture of Ceylon Single Estate

Ceylon Single Estate from Rishi Tea

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

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 31st, 2010

Ceylon is not my favorite type of black tea, but I'm always blown away by what Rishi manages to come up with, so I was curious to try this one.

Brewed as recommended, this cup is dark but clear, and of below-average overall strength for a black tea. However, it is also more full-bodied than average. The aroma is s...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Wedgwood

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 14th, 2010

This is a CTC tea and it is insanely strong. I brewed for a little less than a minute, using less than a teaspoon of leaf, and it was still a bit strong for me. This tea is fairly aromatic; I'm not sure exactly the proportions that go in but I can definitely taste some Ceylon and what seems like possibly an Assam or ...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast Black Tea

Irish Breakfast Black Tea from Boston Tea Company

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 6th, 2010

This is my favorite tea so far from the Boston Tea Company. Although Irish Breakfast isn't my favorite style of black tea, this is without a doubt my favorite Irish breakfast tea yet, and I find this particular blend to stand out among any kind of strong black tea.

The aroma is complex, powerful, and surprisingly f...

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Picture of Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 1st Flush Black Tea

Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 1st Flush Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 26th, 2010

I never cease to be amazed by what comes out of Makaibari estate.

The dry brownish leaves with a few greener leaves mixed in turn noticeably greener upon brewing--most of them become the color of a green tea, with a few olive-colored ones mixed in. The cup is a deep golden hue, no darker than some green teas.

Ar...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Boston Tea Company

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 7th, 2010

This is a classic English Breakfast tea. Medium strength, full-bodied, good black tea aroma with some complexity. There's some earthiness and a pleasant hint of floral black tea tones. Moderately bitter and fairly astringent.

I tried brewing this with different brewing lengths and found no advantage to a longer s...

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Picture of Darjeeling Choice Teabags

Darjeeling Choice Teabags from Peet's Coffee and Tea (Peets)

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 16th, 2010

I tried this in a Peet's in the Philadelphia airport. I let it brew 2 minutes. Peet's said they normally include two teabags but I only used one and saved the other for later--and I'm glad because this tea would have been far too strong.

This is unusually strong for a Darjeeling, but this could just be due to a ge...

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Picture of Breakfast Tea Loose Leaf (Bengal Breakfast)

Breakfast Tea Loose Leaf (Bengal Breakfast) from Teatulia

Style: Black Tea – Region: Bangladesh

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 15th, 2010

This tea immediately got my attention on the first sip. In my opinion, it is uniformly better than Teatulia's black tea in every way--there are few ways in which I would prefer that tea to this one. The only thing I found missing from this tea were some of the fruity tones in the aroma, but they were light and not pa...

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Picture of Black Tea Loose Leaf

Black Tea Loose Leaf from Teatulia

Style: Black Tea – Region: Bangladesh

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 16th, 2010

This is the first tea I've ever tried from Bangladesh, and I truly didn't know what to expect. I used about 1 teaspoon per cup and brewed for about 2 minutes. The result was a fairly dark cup of black tea which was fairly balanced and moderate in strength.

The aroma is rich and spicy, but I find it hard to describ...

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Picture of Gourmet Black Iced Tea

Gourmet Black Iced Tea from Summer Breeze

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

37 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Jun. 24th, 2010

I was unimpressed with this iced tea. It has a generic taste like most of the mainstream brands of tea bags available in the supermarket. Tastes flat and a bit stale.

'Gourmet' is an overstatement!

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Stash Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 14th, 2010

This is astonishingly smooth (perhaps weak too) for a Breakfast tea. A little bit, but not much strength. There's a mild tannic aftertaste and I almost wish there was more. Odd, as this tea brews a very rich, dark color.

Aroma is mostly malty and not very complex.

Pleasant, but somewhat boring.

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Picture of Black Pearl Tea

Black Pearl Tea from Lipton Tea

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

57 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 14th, 2010

Surprisingly different from Lipton teabags, and surprisingly high quality. Rich, malty aroma, some bitterness in the aftertaste but smoother up front. A remarkably pleasing, full-bodied tea. I recommend brewing for about 3 minutes...more and it becomes too tannic.

My main complaint about this one, like all of Lip...

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Picture of Himalayan Black | Intensity™

Himalayan Black | Intensity™ from Ineeka

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 8th, 2010

Very malty aroma, but smooth flavor, almost sweet, like a smooth Assam. Aroma and dark color of the cup suggests a strong tannic character, but I found this tea to be far from overly tannic. Aroma has a hint of raisins, and some herbaceous tones too. Some bitterness and astringency, but overall, much less than I'd e...

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Picture of Awake English Breakfast Filterbag

Awake English Breakfast Filterbag from Tazo Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

57 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
May. 12th, 2010

Aroma rather complex...there's a hint of maltiness like an Assam, and a fairly strong presence of the light, clean quality of a high-grown Ceylon (as from Nuwara Eliya), and there are some spicy tones as well, including a hint of clove...and it oddly also has a suggestion of orange in there too.

Flavor is very sour....

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Picture of Assam Gold Rain Black Tea

Assam Gold Rain Black Tea from Teavana

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 2nd, 2010

The dry leaf is by far the fruitiest-smelling Assam that I have yet encountered...but upon brewing it's a little less fruity. This is a very strong tea...when brewed it's maltier than fruity, and has a fairly tannic aftertaste like Teavana describes. Bitter and somewhat astringent...I've had much smoother Assams.

...

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Picture of English Breakfast Black Tea

English Breakfast Black Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: ?????

57 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
May. 2nd, 2010

In my opinion, this is the best straight black tea from Bigelow and it really stands out among the rest of their offerings. It's a fairly powerful black tea, but it also has some complexity in the aroma...some of the tones suggest that there's a bit of Darjeeling mixed in with whatever else is this blend.

Fairly bi...

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Picture of Koslanda Estate OP

Koslanda Estate OP from Upton Tea Imports

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

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 26th, 2010

Upton suggests that this tea has "raisin like nuances" and I'd go even father and be more direct: it smells and tastes a like raisins, and leaves an aftertaste of raisins! Smooth but without being weak. A fair amount of the rice-like quality that I find in many Ceylon teas, and almost a hint of wintergreen. Medium-b...

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Pure Ceylon Tea from New English Teas

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

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 24th, 2010

After being highly disappointed by the English Afternoon Tea of the same brand, this was a pleasant surprise. Again, very fine dust/fannings in the teabag, so I wasn't expecting much.

When I brewed the tea though I tasted an astonishingly complex, gentle Ceylon with a distinct high-grown character reminiscent of te...

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Picture of English Afternoon

English Afternoon from New English Teas

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

33 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 21st, 2010

This teabag just contained dust and fannings. It was surprisingly weak, even when I brewed it for 4 minutes with boiling water, using less than one 8-oz cup with a single teabag.

Aroma weak, nondescript. Smooth...almost no bitterness, and very little astringency. But very little flavor of any sort. Highly disapp...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast Tea Bags

Irish Breakfast Tea Bags from Taylors of Harrogate

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 19th, 2010

This is what I'd expect from this style: a very strong black tea, bitter, full-bodied, and very malty. It isn't my favorite type of tea but for what it is, and for the fact that it's in teabags, I think it's pretty good.

This tea really works best with one teabag per cup. It's strong enough that you can brew it mo...

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Picture of Afternoon Darjeeling Tea Bags

Afternoon Darjeeling Tea Bags from Taylors of Harrogate

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 16th, 2010

Fruity, even for a Darjeeling, and mellow, except for some very strong objectionable qualities that emerge. There's a harshness in the aroma that I could do without...the aftertaste is also very tannic even though at first this tea tastes smooth. Astringent for a Darjeeling.

Disappointing. Definitely recognizable...

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