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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1311 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Life in Teacup

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Lapsang Souchong Black Tea Grade II from Life in Teacup

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: Fujian, China

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 13th, 2012

Life in Teacup sent me a sample of this tea even though it had been discontinued from their catalogue; now, their only Lapsang Souchong is the Lapsang Souchong Superior Grade.

I can see why they discontinued this one: while it was not bad, I thought it was nowhere near as good as the superior grade. Even with the h...

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1960s Phoenix Dan Cong from Life in Teacup

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: Guangdong, China

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 14th, 2012

Life in Teacup describes this tea as being a lot like Shu Pu-erh without the pile fermentation odor. I agree.

The aroma of the dry leaf tea is a lot more like aged shu Pu-erh than like other aged oolongs I've tried. Most aged oolong that I've tried has been re-roasted to the point that the roast has seemed to domi...

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Picture of Lu Ming Organic Oolong Competition Excellence Grade

Lu Ming Organic Oolong Competition Excellence Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Nantou, Taiwan

95 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 14th, 2012

I brewed a cup of this tea and set it down to go do something in the other room, and when I came back, the whole room was full of a wonderful aroma.

Brews a very clear cup with a golden or light amber color. Flavor is very smooth, with no detectable bitterness or astringency. This seems a lot like what I've seen s...

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Lapsang Souchong Superior Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

91 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 10th, 2012

This was the first traditional Lapsang Souchong that I've tried, and I must say, I'm a tremendous fan. It is among my favorite Chinese black teas that I have sampled. Yet another impressive tea from Life in Teacup.

Although there is a hint of pine evident in the aroma, the overwhelming smokiness characteristic of ...

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Zhang Ping Shui Xian, Charcoal Roasted from Life in Teacup

Style: Shui Hsien Oolong – Region: Zhangping, Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 18th, 2012

The dry leaf of this oolong looked and smelled heavily roasted, and frankly, smelled more than a little boring to me. But when I brewed this cup, I was pleasantly surprised.

The aroma is complex and a bit edgy--there are some fairly strong skunky, herbaceous qualities, tones of celery, and a few floral tones in the...

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Picture of Keemun Mao Feng Black Tea

Keemun Mao Feng Black Tea from Life in Teacup

Style: Keemun Mao Feng – Region: Qimen, Anhui, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 17th, 2012

Dry leaf is strongly aromatic, with a slight smokiness and a strong dried fruit quality. Surprisingly little leaf is needed to brew a flavorful cup. I find it hard to gauge the amount of leaf necessary, because the thin, wiry leaf occupies a lot of space, but also expands greatly upon brewing.

The brewed cup has a...

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Picture of 2009 Shou Mei (Sow Mee or Longevity Brow)

2009 Shou Mei (Sow Mee or Longevity Brow) from Life in Teacup

Style: Shou Mei – Region: Fujian, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 12th, 2012

I find white teas tend to darken with age, and this one is darker than current-year samples of shou mei I have tried in the past, but it still had quite a lot of green leaf.

This was one tea that I really had to brew before I noticed its quality...the dry leaf looks and smells relatively unremarkable, but upon brewi...

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Picture of Zhang Ping Shui Xian, Traditional Greener Style

Zhang Ping Shui Xian, Traditional Greener Style from Life in Teacup

Style: Shui Hsien Oolong – Region: Zhangping, Fujian, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 11th, 2012

This was a fascinating tea for me to try. It was completely unlike any other oolong I've tried. The loosely-packed leaves separate easily and infuse quicker than I'd expect for their tough texture. After steeping I noticed that the larger leaves are mostly whole, but the smaller leaves and buds are mostly broken. I...

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Picture of Hand-Processed Wuyi Shui Xian Grade I

Hand-Processed Wuyi Shui Xian Grade I from Life in Teacup

Style: Shui Hsien Oolong – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 10th, 2011

Dry leaf has an intense aroma of cocoa. Upon brewing the tea, the aroma becomes much more complex.

I brewed this tea western style and was surprised at how many infusions it lasted through. It is rare for me to find teas that can hold up to three long infusions, using less leaf. This tea lasted through four.

A...

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Picture of 2011 Pre-Qingming Shi Feng Long Jing from Weng Jia Shan

2011 Pre-Qingming Shi Feng Long Jing from Weng Jia Shan from Life in Teacup

Style: Dragon Well Tea – Region: Zhejiang, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 22nd, 2011

Somehow this review got lost, so I'm posting it after the fact! This is my favorite dragon well I've tried yet. Most of what I've tried has either been too weak, or had objectionable qualities.

This is a powerful tea...not much leaf is needed to brew a strong cup. If you're used to brewing dragon well, even highe...

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Picture of Tie Guan Yin traditional charcoal roast Master Grade

Tie Guan Yin traditional charcoal roast Master Grade from Life in Teacup

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

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

(2009 Harvest) This is an impressive tea, and the first perfect rating I've ever given here. Life in Teacup provided me with a sample generous enough to experiment a bit with brewing.

This tea is so intensely flavorful and aromatic, that I settled on using a little less than 1 teaspoon of leaf, and brewed four infu...

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Picture of Wild tea Orchid Fairy Twig, first day harvest

Wild tea Orchid Fairy Twig, first day harvest from Life in Teacup

Style: Green Tea – Region: Wuyuan, Jiangxi, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 24th, 2011

I have only tried one other green tea from Wuyuan, but there was something very distinctive about this tea that reminded me of that first tea, Upton's ZG36, as soon as I took the first sip. Both teas share a particularly distinctive grassy aroma, with both floral and vegetal tones.

This tea, on the other hand, has...

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Picture of Mt. Wu Dong Mi Lan (Honey Orchid) Dan Cong

Mt. Wu Dong Mi Lan (Honey Orchid) Dan Cong from Life in Teacup

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: Guangdong, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 15th, 2011

I often find Dan Congs to be fascinatingly complex teas, and this one is no exception. This tea I also found a bit easier to work with, in that it was easy for me to bring out the qualities that I enjoy most. It was a little more like a Wuyi oolong in overall character than other dancong I've tried. The dry leaf is ...

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Picture of Frosty Spring Yunnan Roast Green

Frosty Spring Yunnan Roast Green from Life in Teacup

Style: Green Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 13th, 2011

This is an interesting tea. I tried brewing two different ways: with longer, and shorter infusions. Both ways, it brews a clear, pale green cup.

With a 3-minute infusion, the cup had a toasty aroma, with hints of cooked vegetables. Very clean flavor, but with an extremely pleasing, mild bitterness in the aftertas...

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Picture of Huang Shan Yun Wu (Yellow Mountain Cloud)

Huang Shan Yun Wu (Yellow Mountain Cloud) from Life in Teacup

Style: Green Tea – Region: Anhui, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 3rd, 2011

Another sample from Life in Teacup, this is my kind of tea: a classic Chinese pan-fired green tea wild a bold flavor. This tea looks typical at first, but as I started experimenting with brewing it, I found it had a lot of personality.

After a few trials, I found that I achieved the best results for my tastes by us...

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Picture of Jing Mai Moonlight White

Jing Mai Moonlight White from Life in Teacup

Style: Moonlight White – Region: Lancang, Yunnan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 23rd, 2011

This is a strange tea that requires proper brewing if you want to appreciate it. It's not even remotely like any other white tea I've ever tried.

I received a generous amount of sample of this tea from Life in Teacup. I experimented brewing three different ways, using many infusions, starting at 1-minute and gett...

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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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Dong Ding Oolong Competition Grade III 2009 from Life in Teacup

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Nantou, Taiwan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 2nd, 2011

This is the first medium-roast Dong Ding I've tried; prior to trying this one I've only tried the lighter roasted styles of Dong Ding, or medium-roasted oolongs of other styles. I like this one very much.

I did not have much leaf and only had one opportunity to brew this once, using multiple infusions, but the resu...

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Picture of Bai Hao Oolong (Oriental Beauty) Superior Grade

Bai Hao Oolong (Oriental Beauty) Superior Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: Hsinchu, Taiwan

53 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 17th, 2010

Thank you Marlena for sharing this one with me!

Fruity and complex aroma, but completely without bitterness or bite, even when using a generous amount of leaf and steeping for a long time. The overall character of the cup is Darjeeling-like, although with less edge. Although it's mild in terms of aroma and bittern...

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Huang Jin Gui Winter Harvest from Life in Teacup

Style: Golden Osmanthus – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 20th, 2010

After being really impressed by Life in Teacup's Huang Jin Gui traditional style, this one was a disappointment. I experimented a little bit with brewing, but, regardless of how I brewed, compared to that other tea, the aroma of this one is weaker and less pleasant overall.

I also find this tea to have less depth. ...

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Ben Shan Oolong King Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Ben Shan Oolong – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 25th, 2010

I received this oolong in a set of samples from Life in Teacup, but could not find it for sale on their website.

This one immediately got my attention from even smelling the dry leaf--so aromatic. I have rarely encountered such intense floral aromas outside of the most expensive Dong Ding or Tie Guan Yin oolongs.
...

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Picture of Tie Guan Yin Special Edition, traditional charcoal roast

Tie Guan Yin Special Edition, traditional charcoal roast from Life in Teacup

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 18th, 2010

This tea got my attention with its unusual aroma, and I suspect it's the Mao Xie. There's like a familiar woody quality, typical for a roasted oolong, but with a peculiar quality suggestive of a savory soup containing celery root and other vegetables. The flavor is surprisingly savory for an oolong, with not much in ...

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Picture of Yongchun Fo Shou (Bergamot) Oolong Superior Grade

Yongchun Fo Shou (Bergamot) Oolong Superior Grade from Life in Teacup

Style: Fo Shou Oolong – Region: Yongchun, Fujian, China

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 16th, 2010

The dry leaf is strongly aromatic and has a strange, different aroma--considerably sharper than most greener oolongs.

After brewing the first cup, I notice a mildly soapy aroma, but this completely vanishes upon drinking it. The aroma is very complex, with spicy, herbaceous tones, reminiscent of a weedy thicket in ...

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Picture of Tie Guan Yin modern green style Grade II

Tie Guan Yin modern green style Grade II from Life in Teacup

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

47 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 3rd, 2010

I was actually quite disappointed with this Tie Guan Yin. It's pretty inexpensive for a green Tie Guan Yin, so I suppose I shouldn't be expecting that much, but compared to other greener oolongs, including ones from Life in Teacup, this was a letdown. Happily, I can say it is the first tea I've had from this company ...

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Picture of Ben Shan Oolong

Ben Shan Oolong from Life in Teacup

Style: Ben Shan Oolong – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 24th, 2010

I made two infusions of this tea. I found, using longer brewings, it's only really good for two and then most of the flavor is gone. I used 3 min. and 6 min.

For the first infusion, the aroma is floral and orchid-like, like many of the greener Anxi oolongs, but there's a depth and warmth to it that I've found is a...

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