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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1412 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Octavia Tea

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Octavia Tea

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: ?????

78 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jun. 3rd, 2017

An okay Irish Breakfast but overpriced, on the weak side, and I think not quite at the level of Octavia's other teas. Served in Velvet Sky Cafe in Jenkintown, I love this place and miss it so much!

The leaf is not super aromatic, but the brewed cup smells pleasant and strong. Richly malty aroma, with some earthy n...

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Picture of Cafe Spice Chai

Cafe Spice Chai from Octavia Tea

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Blend

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 6th, 2015

A smooth, mild chai that was pleasant to drink but disappointing in its lack of strength and cinnamon-heavy spice blend. Sampled at Velvet Sky bakery.

This tea was surprisingly weak and unsatisfying, even when brewed using more leaf than I normally use. I'm also not crazy about the combination of spices. Cinnamon ...

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Picture of Wild Raspberry

Wild Raspberry from Octavia Tea

Style: Fruit Black Tea – Region: Blend

40 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 14th, 2015

I tend not to like these sorts of fruit-flavored blends, and this was no exception. Sampled at Velvet Sky in Jenkintown.

The dry leaf has a cloying raspberry aroma.

Upon brewing, produces a bright red cup that seems to smell more like raspberry jam (and a bit like strawberry) than anything else. Flavor is quite...

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Picture of Vintage Pu-erh

Vintage Pu-erh from Octavia Tea

Style: Ripened (Shou) Pu-erh – Region: Yunnan, China

50 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 13th, 2015

Not my cup of tea, and among the more disappointing teas from Octavia, although I think it's a good example of this style, it's a type of tea that I don't tend to like very much. Another sample served in Velvet Sky bakery in Jenkintown.

This is one of those classic "damp basement" Pu-erhs. Smells like wet moss or ...

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Picture of Ginseng Spice

Ginseng Spice from Octavia Tea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 7th, 2015

A rich, earthy, naturally sweet herbal tea that can be steeped many times. Sampled at Velvet Sky Bakery.

Brews a light golden-yellow cup, with a little dust sinking to the bottom of the cup.

The aroma is complex, rich, and warming. I can notice the ginseng, which has a strong, fresh, earthy taste, and which act...

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Picture of White Peony

White Peony from Octavia Tea

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fujian, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 6th, 2015

Excellent! Another sample served at Velvet Sky Bakery.

The leaf was rather broken, but this may have been due to being packed in the small sample container: this is a very fragile, large-leafed tea.

Brews up a clear, light-colored cup that is on the delicate side for a white peony. Aroma is floral, with notes o...

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Picture of Sencha Kagoshima

Sencha Kagoshima from Octavia Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 21st, 2014

This sencha has large pieces of intact leaf, and looks and smells like a very typical sencha.

Brews up a yellow-green cup, so vibrant in color that it looks almost like it is glowing.

The aroma is spinachy and seaweedy, and the flavor is strongly umami, slightly sweet, and slightly bitter. There's a hint of corn...

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Picture of Hojicha Dark Roast

Hojicha Dark Roast from Octavia Tea

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 19th, 2014

An unusually smooth hojicha, not the strongest aroma, I thought on the weak side.

The dry leaf (which is a mix of stem and leaf) looks fairly roasted, but the aroma only has a light amount of roast. Instead, there are some interesting fruity notes, as well as some of the vegetal and grain-like qualities I associate...

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Picture of Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey from Octavia Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 19th, 2014

A pleasant, drinkable tea, but on the boring side. I usually associate the name "Golden Monkey" with golden, all-tip black teas from Fujian province, not Yunnan. This tea is from Yunnan.

Dry leaf is very pleasantly aromatic, suggesting dried fruit, and a slight hint of malt.

Brews up a beautiful, light brown cu...

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Picture of Brandy Oolong

Brandy Oolong from Octavia Tea

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Fujian, China

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 19th, 2014

Wow. This tea is pretty exceptional...buttery smooth, but incredibly rich. The dominant notes are of dried fruit, like fig, date, or raisin. It does have a brandy-like quality. It lives up to the claim of "tremendously complex flavors" although I think it's the aroma that is most complex.

Flavor is bold, slightl...

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Picture of Nilgiri SFTGFOP

Nilgiri SFTGFOP from Octavia Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nilgiri, India

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 19th, 2014

An excellent, light-bodied black tea that was new and different for me. Prior to trying this tea, I had tried a handful of Nilgiri teas, but none had wowed me; most tasted a lot like generic black teas. This tea definitely stood out.

Brews up a light-colored cup, with a clear color, a lot like a second-flush Darje...

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Picture of Himalayan-Imperial Black

Himalayan-Imperial Black from Octavia Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nepal

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 16th, 2014

A mellow, mild, yet fascinatingly novel tea.

This tea tastes a lot more like an oolong than a black tea. The leaf is huge, unusual for teas grown in the Himalayan region. I found it very complex and very enjoyable, but I could see it disappointing if I were expecting a black tea. Most lighter black teas from Nepa...

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Picture of Strawberry White Tea

Strawberry White Tea from Octavia Tea

Style: Fruit White Tea – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 25th, 2014

A very good example of a type of flavored tea that I tend not to like. Sampled at Velvet Sky Bakery in Jenkintown.

The dry leaf of this tea was pretty finely broken, not like pictured in the beautiful picture.

This tea has an intense strawberry aroma, which I find cloying. It is, however, very natural, smelling...

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Picture of Jasmine Green

Jasmine Green from Octavia Tea

Style: Jasmine Tea – Region: ?????

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 22nd, 2014

Another sample from Velvet Sky Bakery in Jenkintown. Wow wow wow, I wasn't prepared to get blown away but I was.

Aroma of the dry leaf, which is quite beautifully formed, is intensely of jasmine, perfumey, and typical for jasmine tea. But it's not until I brew it that this tea shows its true colors.

Upon brewin...

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Picture of Orchid Bao Zhong Oolong Tea

Orchid Bao Zhong Oolong Tea from Octavia Tea

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 22nd, 2014

Sampled in Velvet Sky in Jenkintown. Bao Zhong, or Pouchong, has been one of my favorite types of tea since I tried it, but I'm occasionally disappointed by it, and this is the fourth-worst example of it that I've tried. That may sound specific, it wasn't all that bad, but it was not close to my favorite example of t...

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Picture of Ancient Yunnan

Ancient Yunnan from Octavia Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 22nd, 2014

Sampled in Velvet Sky Bakery in Jenkintown.

A smoother-than-average Yunnan black tea (Dian hong) with a classic character, slightly nondescript, but with a hearty, warming quality that makes it very pleasant to drink. Not quite as mind-blowingly awesome or weird as some of the ancient-tree Yunnan teas I've had, but...

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Picture of Dark Rose Hearts

Dark Rose Hearts from Octavia Tea

Style: Flavored Tea – Region: Hunan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 18th, 2014

Served in Velvet Sky Bakery in Jenkintown.

This tea was incredibly pleasant and very enjoyable. I love rose-scented tea, and this one smells intensely of rose.

Brews up a rich light-brown cup, relatively clear. Aroma very strong of rose, pleasant, and sharp. The base tea is very pleasant, but is somewhat backg...

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Picture of Pacific Peppermint

Pacific Peppermint from Octavia Tea

Style: Peppermint Tea – Region: United States of America

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 15th, 2014

Served at Velvet Sky Bakery in Jenkintown, my favorite place to sample Octavia's teas.

I love mint, but I tend to strongly prefer herbal teas brewed from other varieties of mint, like spearmint or apple mint, rather than peppermint.

Brews a dark amber with a tinge of greenish.

Very potent aroma, but somehow wi...

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Picture of Amber Dragon

Amber Dragon from Octavia Tea

Style: Osmanthus Tea – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 30th, 2014

I love osmanthus-scented oolong; this one is completely different from the other example, from Upton Tea, which I tried. Whereas Upton's tea (ZM44) is a greener oolong where the base tea's natural floral scent blends seamlessly into the osmanthus flowers, this tea is a darker oolong with a less floral character, and i...

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Picture of Winter Spice Cake

Winter Spice Cake from Octavia Tea

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Blend

50 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 20th, 2014

I thought this blend had too many different flavors in it, and they did not seem to blend well. It's like an orange spice tea, with added vanilla, rose, and almond. Vanilla and almond blend well, orange and spice blend well, but I find that all together, the flavors conflict. Combine this with a weak base tea and yo...

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Picture of Silver Needle

Silver Needle from Octavia Tea

Style: Silver Needle – Region: ?????

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 12th, 2014

To be fair, I'm not a huge fan of silver needle white tea, so this wasn't among my all-time favorite teas, but but I thought this was a good example of this style, and very enjoyable to drink. Served in Velvet Sky Bakery in Jenkintown--an ongoing thank-you to Velvet Sky for ordering numerous small samples to allow me ...

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Picture of Blood Orange

Blood Orange from Octavia Tea

Style: Fruit White Tea – Region: Blend

57 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 6th, 2014

A relatively mellow, medium-bodied orange-flavored tea, medium in color, and fairly middle-of-the-road in flavor. To be fair, I tend not to like flavored teas; I tried this one more out of curiosity.

Aroma is of orange and autumn leaves, with a hint of hay or straw. Flavor has a light bitterness, and light sournes...

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Picture of Phoenix Mountain Dancong

Phoenix Mountain Dancong from Octavia Tea

Style: Dancong Oolong – Region: Guangdong, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 6th, 2014

A dark, spicy, evolving dancong that resembled a black tea more than any other oolong I've tried. It would be top-notch, except that the flavor gave out after 2 steepings.

This is the second Dancong I've sampled from Octavia recently. I was curious if it would be similar to the first--but it's completely different...

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Picture of Ceylon Estate

Ceylon Estate from Octavia Tea

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

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 30th, 2014

I loved this tea; it was one of the best Ceylons I've ever sampled. Robust, warming, and surprisingly multifaceted.

Dry leaf has a very pleasant smell, suggestive of dried fruit.

Brews a lighter reddish-brown color; rich and complex aroma, suggesting wood, spice, dried fruit, and malt. I find the commercial des...

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Picture of Jin Xuan Milk Oolong

Jin Xuan Milk Oolong from Octavia Tea

Style: Milky Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

77 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 27th, 2014

A relatively mild, easy-to-brew oolong with a milky fragrance and lemony tang.

I recently tried a Jin Xuan oolong from the company Eco-Cha, and comparing it with this one was like night and day, as much as you can get with a green oolong. While that one was buttery, this tea was milky.

The dry leaf is very tight...

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