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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1431 teas.

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Picture of Luxury Blend Tea

Luxury Blend Tea from Chai Bora

Style: Black Tea – Region: Tanzania

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 19th, 2010

I was pleasantly surprised with this teabag; it's just fannings/dust and doesn't look like much, but even the dry teabag is pleasantly aromatic. The name surprised me--I was expecting a kind of spiced tea but then I realized that "Chai Bora" is just the brand name. And "chai" just means tea after all!

The brewed t...

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Picture of Darjeeling

Darjeeling from Darvilles of Windsor

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 10th, 2010

This tea's complexity surprised me! Unusually vegetal for a black tea, with a hint of savory qualities. Dark in color, and full-bodied, but delicate. Fairly bitter, especially in the aftertaste...moderately tannic and astringent.

The aroma of this tea would place it on par with some of the better single-estate Da...

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Picture of Darjeeling (Loose)

Darjeeling (Loose) from Hampstead Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 6th, 2010

This seemingly straightforward Darjeeling has quickly become one of my favorite everyday teas. Although "typical" in many respects, it is surprisingly complex...the aroma has many different aspects to it: a fruitiness, a hint of a rice-like quality, some floral tones, a bit of spice, a suggestion of fall leaves, and s...

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Picture of Nuwara Eliya BOP

Nuwara Eliya BOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 3rd, 2010

This is the first broken-leaf Ceylon from Upton that has been drinkable to me, and I'm surprised to find it completely lacking in the harshness that the other ones I've tried have had.

The aroma is totally unlike any black tea I have tried...it reminds me of rice and rice pastries. I like Upton's description "brigh...

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Picture of East Frisian BOP

East Frisian BOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: East Frisian Tea (Ostfriesentee) – Region: Blend

67 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 29th, 2010

Strong but without an edge; malty, full-bodied, but not overly tannic. The dry leaf has a pleasantly strong vegetal aroma, unusual for a black tea, but I was disappointed to find little of this characteristic come through in the brewed cup.

Not the most interesting tea, perhaps, but a very enjoyable tea to drink, m...

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Picture of Vietnam Black Pekoe

Vietnam Black Pekoe from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Vietnam

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 28th, 2010

A pleasantly mellow tea, unlike anything else I've tried before. Definitely noticeable as a Vietnamese tea; it's interesting how both their black and green teas share certain characteristics in common.

Very smooth, little bitterness, even when steeped for a long time. I find a hint of lemon in the aroma, which is ...

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Picture of Castleton Estate TGBOP Ch. First Flush (DJ-25)

Castleton Estate TGBOP Ch. First Flush (DJ-25) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 8th, 2010

Very green character, even more than typical for a first-flush, both in the appearance of the leaves and the aroma. The cup is a deep amber color. The aroma is light and mostly floral, almost reminiscent of queen Anne's lace blossoms. On my second brewing I did detect a faint suggestion of spearmint in the aroma, an...

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Picture of Dimbula BOP

Dimbula BOP from Upton Tea Imports

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

37 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Jan. 7th, 2010

In contrast to Upton's broken-leaf teas from Darjeeling and other Himalayan regions, I am continuously disappointed by Upton's broken-leaf Ceylons, and this one continues the pattern.

Brewed as recommended, this tea is undrinkably strong. I recommend using less leaf and a much shorter steeping time. Even then, it'...

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Picture of Steinthal Estate TGBOP First Flush (DJ-25) Organic

Steinthal Estate TGBOP First Flush (DJ-25) Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 5th, 2010

Disappointing for a first flush and even among broken-leaf Darjeelings. There's a heaviness to the flavor, even though it is smooth. I'm detecting neither the "fresh floral note" nor the "hint of citrus".

I'm not sure what to recommend with the brewing; if you go longer this tea becomes heavy, although not too bit...

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Picture of Tippy Assam

Tippy Assam from Williamson Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 4th, 2010

A bold and powerful tea but with some complexity. Fine broken leaf. Infuses quickly...I recommend one and a half minutes, and using less than a teaspoon of leaves. However, if you enjoy a stronger cup, this tea does not get as astringent as you might expect if you brew it longer.

Aroma malty, slightly more vegeta...

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Picture of Golden Wire - GopalDhara

Golden Wire - GopalDhara from Fresh Darjeeling Tea

Style: Darjeeling Autumnal Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 2nd, 2010

Like the other teas I've tried from Fresh Darjeeling tea, this is totally unlike any other black tea I've ever tried.

Aroma very complex...malty, and much more vegetal than most black teas, and with some savory qualities, a hint of smokiness. Reminds me of a tippy assam more than any other Darjeeling I've tried. I...

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Picture of Malaika Estate OP

Malaika Estate OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

83 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 26th, 2009

Dark but surprisingly smooth cup...not much bitterness and astringency, and clean aftertaste. The aroma is complex and interesting but very hard to put into words...slightly more vegetal than typical for a black tea. It's hard for me to know exactly what to compare it to...it tastes more like a Yunnan black tea than ...

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Picture of Barnesbeg Estate FTGFOP1 First Flush (DJ-6)

Barnesbeg Estate FTGFOP1 First Flush (DJ-6) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 23rd, 2009

This tea has a much greener character, to the point it's barely recognizable as a "black tea", except for some lingering tones in the aftertaste. The cup is a gold color like a darker green tea or lighter oolong. Clean, fresh, a bit mild...I can see what Upton says about the notes of citrus and mint.

Extremely rea...

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Picture of Organic China Lapsang Souchong

Organic China Lapsang Souchong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: China

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 20th, 2009

It's hard for me to evaluate this tea because I am not much of a fan of Lapsang Souchong...but this is among the smoothest of the ones I've tried so far. Perhaps I'd develop a taste for it if I drank it more often.

Very strong smoky aroma, more like a sausage or fireplace than a tea. Flavor is extremely smooth and...

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Picture of Temi Estate TGBOP (SK-10)

Temi Estate TGBOP (SK-10) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Sikkim, India

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 16th, 2009

Mellow, muted, greener in character for a black tea, but bland. Similar to TD06, Upton's broken-leaf Darjeeling blend, but I don't like it as much; it's less floral and the aroma is weaker overall. I recommend steeping 3 minutes or more, otherwise it's too weak. This tea can acquire some astringency, but not as much...

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Picture of Orthodox BOP Darjeeling

Orthodox BOP Darjeeling from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 15th, 2009

This is a very mellow tea...aromatic and gentle, somewhat muted. Only a faint suggestion of the fresh herbaceous tones that some Darjeelings have. The aroma is floral and fairly complex, and the cup is light in color and quality, much more like an oolong than a typical black tea. Almost no bitterness, but some astri...

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Picture of Kandy BOP

Kandy BOP from Upton Tea Imports

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

33 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Dec. 13th, 2009

This is an insanely strong tea. I find the brewing instructions to be way off...following them it's undrinkable. I tried using about half as much leaf and brewing for 1 minute and it was about right. Steep it any longer and it becomes painfully astringent and also quite bitter.

When brewed briefly and with little...

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Picture of Uva Highlands Estate BOP

Uva Highlands Estate BOP from Upton Tea Imports

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

53 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 12th, 2009

Aroma strongly of wintergreen...almost unbelievable that this is just tea...it tastes almost as if wintergreen oil has been added! Outside of the surprising wintergreen aroma, this tea is dark, robust, and very full. Fairly bitter, astringent, and tannic. The rest of the aroma is typical of a Ceylon.

Like the Cey...

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Picture of Darjeeling Black Tea

Darjeeling Black Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 11th, 2009

Definitely recognizable as Darjeeling...fairly smooth, with only some astringency lingering towards the bottom of the cup. Weak aroma, not terribly complex, but pleasant. Much lighter than most of Bigelow's other black teas. This was enjoyable, although noticeably less so than other more pricey Darjeelings I've had ...

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Picture of Darjeeling Highlands (Teabags)

Darjeeling Highlands (Teabags) from Harney and Sons

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

67 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 7th, 2009

The teabag reads "Mellow and Light Indian Black Teas" and I agree wholeheartedly. This is very mellow, especially for a Darjeeling in a teabag...this is not the usual stuff put in teabags; it has a fair amount of first-flush character.

The aroma is complex, but could be stronger. The main downside is that this tea...

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Picture of China Breakfast

China Breakfast from Rishi Tea

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 3rd, 2009

Wow. I love the aroma of this tea...it is much more vegetal than most black teas, clean and fresh, and yet warm too. Smooth and yet relatively full-bodied, but thin relative to some breakfast teas. No astringency.

I do notice the peppery tones characteristic of a dian hong. The aroma is pleasingly complex. Ther...

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Picture of Organic Darjeeling Black Pyramid Tea

Organic Darjeeling Black Pyramid Tea from Equal Exchange

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 31st, 2009

Aroma spicy, unusually vegetal for a tea this dark, and unusually malty for a Darjeeling. Very interesting and complex! Dark liquor and tastes more like other black teas than most Darjeelings; I would not describe it as "golden" or "light". Remarkably bold and full-bodied and yet with little bitterness or astringenc...

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Picture of English Teatime

English Teatime from Bigelow Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

53 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 18th, 2009

Aroma is mellow, warm, and keemun-like. But this tea is much more bitter and astringent than most keemuns--unpleasantly so. The bitterness sinks to the bottom of the cup, leaving an unpleasant surprise ending to a tea that starts out very smooth.

I recommend brewing this one briefly, only a minute or two, for best...

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Picture of Decaf Black Tea

Decaf Black Tea from Lipton Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

33 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 18th, 2009

I swear this tastes like it has a significant amount of pu-erh in it...it has that earthy, dust-like quality to it. I never used to like lipton's decaf until I started liking pu-erh and then my appreciation of it increased slightly--but only very slightly. It really could be a lot more bland than it is. But it's sti...

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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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