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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1403 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Arbor Teas

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Picture of Silver Needle White Tea

Silver Needle White Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Silver Needle – Region: Fujian, China

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 17th, 2015

A very typical silver needle, enjoyable, good quality, and true to the style, but this is a style of tea I'm not a huge fan of, especially given its high price.

Brewed 3 minutes as recommended, this was too weak for me. I preferred a single, long infusion of about 12-15 minutes.

Very low in astringency, leading ...

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Picture of Korea Woojeon Green Tea

Korea Woojeon Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Green Tea – Region: Jeju, South Korea

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 16th, 2014

This tea is a notch up from the Sejak sold by Arbor Teas, and I think it lives up to these claims--it's only a little bit pricier, but I think it's much more flavorful, aromatic, and pleasing to drink. Thank you again to Dewey for this sample!

The dry leaf of this smells deep, dark, fruity, and herbaceous, reminisc...

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Picture of Gyokuro Green Tea

Gyokuro Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 19th, 2014

Relatively inexpensive among Gyokuro, especially for being organic. Pleasant, and easy to brew, but less aromatic than other samples of this type of tea I've tried.

Very long, straight leaves, very dark green. Dry leaf has a pleasant aroma, similar to some sencha, and a bit nondescript.

Brews up a cup that isn'...

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Picture of Snow Buds Green Tea

Snow Buds Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Snow Buds – Region: Fujian, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 12th, 2014

A delightful, light tea that tastes to me more like a delicate green tea than a white tea. I've tried two other snow buds or Xue Ya teas, and I think this is a prime example of this style.

Dry leaf is coarse and hairy, silvery.

Brews fairly slowly, as I'd expect for an intact, whole-leafed tea. I steeped for th...

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Picture of Korea Sejak Green Tea

Korea Sejak Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Sejak – Region: Jeju, South Korea

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 2nd, 2014

Thank you Dewey for this sample!

Dry leaf doesn't have much smell, but the minute the water hits the leaves there is an explosion of aroma that reminds me of very good Japanese sencha.

But once the tea has steeped it has a very different aroma, more like a Chinese green tea, very grassy, and with some toasty and ...

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Picture of Shui Xian Oolong Tea

Shui Xian Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Shui Hsien Oolong – Region: Fujian, China

63 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 7th, 2013

Very dark brown leaf, rather broken up, smells mainly of roast when dry.

Produces a surprisingly clear, almost-greenish infusion.

Aroma complex, but only when I pay attention to it deliberately; it's not attention-getting. This tea seemed forgettable if I drank it casually, but had a lot going on when I focused ...

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Picture of Vietnam Nam Lanh Estate Black Tea

Vietnam Nam Lanh Estate Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Black Tea – Region: Vietnam

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 7th, 2013

Another fascinating tea from Arbor Teas, very different from anything else I've tried yet.

The dry leaf has an interesting appearance, with thick leaves that curve around in heterogeneous shapes. The leaf also has a very pungent and pleasing aroma, suggesting of herbs.

Brews a rich-smelling, dark cup. Tones of ...

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Picture of Bai Mu Dan White Tea

Bai Mu Dan White Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fujian, China

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 7th, 2013

This may be tied with TeaVivre for my favorite white peony--yet the two teas are like day and night. TeaVivre's is so light, and I found this to be rich, full-bodied, and dark. Pleasing and unusually strong for a white tea.

Broken leaf has a highly heterogeneous appearance, with small whole leaves, large broken pi...

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Picture of Houjicha Green Tea

Houjicha Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 6th, 2013

A twiggy hojicha with a lot of large leaves and quite a lot of stem. Looks like roasted bancha with perhaps a bit of kukicha in the mix (more twig than typical for bancha). Looks very dark in color, but the aroma is not quite as overwhelmingly roasty as some of the dark-roast hojicha I've tried.

Brews a very dark ...

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Picture of Makaibari Estate Oolong Tea

Makaibari Estate Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Darjeeling Oolong – Region: Darjeeling, India

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 4th, 2013

This is one weird but I love it!

This is my favorite Darjeeling oolong yet...but it really smells and tastes more like first flush (black tea) to me, but has a buttery mouthfeel like a good Taiwanese jade oolong.

Dry leaf is mostly broken, into pieces of different sizes, and has a strong aroma, suggestive of wint...

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Picture of Chun Mee Green Tea

Chun Mee Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Chun Mee – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 24th, 2013

A classic chun mee, pretty much what I'd expect for this type of tea.

Somewhat broken leaf, with a strong refreshing aroma, brews a dark cup. Dry leaf is very aromatic, smelling herbaceous and almost minty.

Aroma of the brewed cup is suggestive of gingerbread and fresh herbs. This tea is tangy, but it's not the...

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Picture of Dong Ding Oolong Tea

Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Anhui, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 7th, 2013

Very good, but expensive for what it is.

A medium-roast, woody Dong Ding; dry leaf is quite aromatic. The initial smell isn't that impressive, but if you really stick your nose in it, it smells very good: a rich, nutty aroma. I tend to prefer the modern, greener Dong Ding oolongs; even Arbor Teas' Jade oolong is a...

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Picture of Wu Yi Oolong Tea

Wu Yi Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 24th, 2013

Broken leaf has a flakey appearance, and a pleasing aroma.

Brewed 4 minutes as recommended; I was worried this might be astringent because broken-leaf oolongs often are lower-quality, but this was pleasingly smooth. Aroma is smoky and richly fruity...reminiscent of some Wuyi Qi Lan. In spite of the very dark color...

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Picture of Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea

Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: Anhui, China

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 18th, 2013

I think Arbor Teas' description of this tea is spot-on: Velvety-smooth and sweet, almost suggestive of marmalade. I would not have guessed that this example is not from Taiwan--it tasted very similar to the Taiwanese Oriental Beauty oolongs.

Dry leaf has little aroma.

Brews a rich, dark colored cup, very smooth ...

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Picture of Five Peaks Green Dew Green Tea

Five Peaks Green Dew Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Green Tea – Region: Hubei, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 21st, 2013

I'd say this is my second-favorite of the green teas I've sampled from Arbor Teas so far.

The dry leaf is dark looking, with a fruity aroma, strangely suggestive of a strawberry tart or pastry.

Upon brewing, has a classic Chinese green tea profile. The suggestion of strawberry is present, but is like a hint or a...

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Picture of Coconut Black Tea

Coconut Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 2nd, 2013

Dry leaf has an intoxicating rum-like or almost whiskey-like (bourbon) aroma that I find very pleasant. More similar to the Vanilla tea sold by Arbor Teas than to any other Coconut-flavored tea I've encountered before. Lighter overall than that tea, and less cocoa-ey.

Very pleasing to drink. Brews a robust, rich ...

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Picture of Korakundah Estate Nilgiri FOP Black Tea

Korakundah Estate Nilgiri FOP Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nilgiri, India

57 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 1st, 2013

This tea had a very pleasant-smelling dry leaf, but I could not produce a satisfactory cup by brewing it: it struck me as weak. Dry leaf is relatively finely broken, but smells very pleasing, with hints of wintergreen.

I used a lot of leaf, but in spite of that, upon brewing, this tea came out quite weak. Aroma of...

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Picture of Mao Jian Green Tea

Mao Jian Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Mao Jian Green Tea – Region: China

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 30th, 2013

The dry leaf looks a bit jumbled and broken, and has a strong and pleasing aroma, typical of Chinese green tea. Leaf looks dark when dry, and is slightly broken, but quite light after brewing.

Upon brewing, produces an exceptionally smooth cup. Among the smoothest of green teas I've tried in this price range.

L...

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Picture of Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea

Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea from Arbor Teas

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

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 16th, 2013

It would have been easy for me to overlook this tea if I had only brewed it once. Smooth and light, this tea has a classic high-grown character. But it took multiple steepings and some experimentation to discover how good this tea was at producing multiple cups. Among the best at making multiple infusions of any bla...

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Picture of Keemun Black Tea

Keemun Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Keemun – Region: Qimen, Anhui, China

67 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 14th, 2013

Keemun can be really diverse, so I never know exactly what to expect when trying it. This one really surprised me--while being recognizable as Keemun.

A very complex, organic-tasting Keemun (and I mean organic in the sense that it tastes natural and multifaceted, not overly refined or simplified).

The dry leaf c...

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Picture of Organic Idulgashinna Estate Ceylon Green Tea

Organic Idulgashinna Estate Ceylon Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Green Tea – Region: Uva, Sri Lanka

60 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 11th, 2013

A dark-colored green tea with a brisk character, reminiscent of gunpowder or chun mee. Produces a bold cup that is more flavorful than aromatic.

Aroma is mild and herbaceous, a little dusty and suggestive of smokiness, and flavor is quite sour and a little sharp. Has a strong cooling quality. If it were summer, I...

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Picture of Bao Zhong Oolong Tea

Bao Zhong Oolong Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Anhui, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 11th, 2013

Long, wiry leaf is dark in color for a pouchong / Bao Zhong.

Upon brewing, produces an intensely aromatic cup! Aroma floral, honey-like, and very complex. Buttery smooth yet with depth and richness. Full-bodied yet without much astringency.

I brewed a second cup, and while it was still quite flavorful and full...

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Picture of Makaibari Estate Green Tea

Makaibari Estate Green Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Green Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 8th, 2013

My favorite ever green tea was a long-leaf green from Makaibari estate. This is a very different tea, and alas, I did not enjoy it quite as much, but it was still a very good tea.

I find this tea tastes more like Chinese green teas than most green teas I've tried from India; it reminds me of some Sri Lankan teas ma...

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Picture of Vanilla Bean Black Tea

Vanilla Bean Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Vanilla Black Tea – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 7th, 2013

Wow. I wasn't expecting to like this tea as much as I did. Unlike any vanilla-flavored tea I have ever had.

Dry leaf has an intoxicating aroma, suggestive of high-quality vanilla extract, and rum.

The aroma of the cup is just as potent upon brewing, and is quite rum-like. There are tones of spice that come out...

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Picture of Masala Chai Black Tea

Masala Chai Black Tea from Arbor Teas

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 5th, 2013

Aroma of the dry leaf and spices is pleasantly pungent, typical for a high-quality Masala chai blend.

I prepared this blend with and without milk. I thought it was better with milk.

Upon brewing, this tea takes on a different character. Suggestive of gingerbread, like warm gingerbread cookies. There is a sligh...

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