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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1387 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from China

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Picture of China WuYi Mountain Tea

China WuYi Mountain Tea from Organic Herbie

Style: Green Tea – Region: China

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 4th, 2018

After being disappointed with Organic Herbie's other teas, I was a bit apprehensive about trying this, but I turned out to like it a surprising amount. I also notice an inconsistency in the marketing: the description says it is grown in the Wuyi mountains, which are located in Fujian province, but the website says that...

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Picture of Special Golden Black Tea

Special Golden Black Tea from Socra Tea Detroit

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

82 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 27th, 2018

This was a smooth, naturally sweet tea (even with no sweetener added) that had a pleasing and somewhat complex aroma.

We ordered four teas (two true teas and two Rooibos) at Socra Tea during our recent visit to Detroit, and this was the tea that jumped out and left the biggest impression on me.

Very smooth flavor...

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Picture of Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai Yunnan Green Tea

Teng Chong Hui Long Zhai Yunnan Green Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Green Tea – Region: Tengchong, Yunnan, China

85 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 23rd, 2018

A bold-flavored green tea producing a pale-colored cup with a brisk character. Very enjoyable and easy to brew and drink.

The dry leaf has a tightly curled appearance, a lot like Bi Luo Chun but more irregular. It's very fragrant and strong, grassy and somewhat smoky, with a hint of bready qualities. The smell sugge...

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Picture of Da Hu Sai Village Wild Arbor Black Tea of Yunnan Spring 2018

Da Hu Sai Village Wild Arbor Black Tea of Yunnan Spring 2018 from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Shuangjiang, Yunnan, China

92 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 8th, 2018

This is one of those really dangerous teas...very caffeinated but incredibly mild and smooth tasting, so it is very easy to brew it too strongly and get uncomfortably wired.

Dry leaf has a potent and very pleasing aroma: strongly malty with cocoa notes, and a faint hint of smoke and vegetal notes. Contrasting with t...

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Picture of Jingmai Mountain Wild Arbor Black Tea of Spring 2018

Jingmai Mountain Wild Arbor Black Tea of Spring 2018 from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Lancang, Yunnan, China

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 5th, 2018

Wow! Exceptional!!!

I've tried a lot of teas from Yunnan Sourcing over the years but have never ordered nor have I reviewed any of them; they were always just served to me by others, often aged Pu-erhs. I finally ordered some of my own and I am super impressed with every one. This is my favorite one of the batch.

...

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Picture of China Special Snow Dragon Green Tea

China Special Snow Dragon Green Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Green Tea – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

76 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 14th, 2018

A pleasant green tea with a smooth, mild flavor that tasted a lot better when brewed more strongly. Easy to drink and I'd imagine this would appeal to a broad audience, with perhaps an exception for people who think green tea is bland or weak, because this was on the milder side.

Thank you to Simpson & Vail for the ...

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Picture of China Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea

China Cangyuan Yunnan Organic Black Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Cangyuan, Yunnan, China

99 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 11th, 2018

This was an exceptional tea and one of my favorite that I've sampled in a very long time. It was somewhat like other Yunnan teas but had unique lemony notes. Thank you to Simpson & Vail for the sample! I'm excited because this one sparked me adding a new sub-region to RateTea, it's the first tea we've listed from Cang...

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Picture of Wuyi Da Hong Pao

Wuyi Da Hong Pao from Harney and Sons

Style: Da Hong Pao – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

74 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 16th, 2018

This tea was good, but it just didn't wow me the way I would need a tea in this price range to do in order to want to buy it.

The dry leaf smells exquisite, multifaceted, and hard to describe. Although the color is dark, the smell resembles green teas in some ways. Softly toasty and bready, hinting at floral and s...

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Picture of Yunnan Silver Needles

Yunnan Silver Needles from Passenger Coffee

Style: Silver Needle – Region: Yunnan, China

96 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 7th, 2017

This tea was served at Copper Cup coffee shop in Lancaster, PA. Prior to that, I hadn't even heard of Passenger Coffee, and this tea really blew me away; I thought it exceptional.

I tend not to like silver needle white teas because they're often a bit too subtle (or, put less diplomatically, bland or weak) for me, ...

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Picture of Yunnan Loose Tea

Yunnan Loose Tea from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 19th, 2017

This was one of the most classic examples of a Dian Hong or black tea from Yunnan, that I have tried in a long time.

The dry leaf is rich in golden tips, looking a little more greenish and silvery than in the company's picture. It smells mild but very pleasant and complex, with smoky and fruity notes typical of a Y...

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Picture of Keemun Extra Choice

Keemun Extra Choice from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Keemun – Region: China

66 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Oct. 17th, 2017

A very subdued tea. This one was pleasant, but disappointed me, given how much I normally tend to like Keemun.

Dry leaf smells pleasant and mild, a little fresher and cooler-smelling than I normally expect for Keemun.

Brews a rich, dark cup with a mellow flavor and a distinctly caramelly aroma. A little fresher,...

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Picture of Magnolia Oolong

Magnolia Oolong from Harney and Sons

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Guangdong, China

86 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 22nd, 2017

This was my favorite oolong that I have sampled in a long time. After being let down by several oolongs from Harney & Sons, this one hit the spot.

The leaf, which is quite wiry, smells amazing and multifaceted: floral, fruity, toasty, spicy. There's a skunky note and a pleasant bready, baked-good quality. It seem...

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Picture of Mutan White

Mutan White from Harney and Sons

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fu'an, Fujian, China

84 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 20th, 2017

I thought this was an above-average white peony or bai mu dan.

Dry leaf smells different from any other White Peony tea I've tried, notes of candied citrus peel, a sort of bittersweet smell, a slight pungency, almost hinting at camphor. I'm intrigued, and eager to try this to see what kind of cup this leaf produces...

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Picture of Green Tea (Loose)

Green Tea (Loose) from Golden Sail Brand

Style: Green Tea – Region: China

48 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Jun. 9th, 2017

I wouldn't buy this again. I purchased it at the Newark, Delaware Farmer's market out of curiosity. Usually I've had better experiences with teas there, like discovering the remarkably inexpensive and high-quality Tradition brand. This was a disappointment though.

Dry leaf looks dusty silvery-green, looks a lot l...

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Picture of Anji Baicha

Anji Baicha from Harney and Sons

Style: Anji Bai Cha – Region: Zhejiang, China

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 31st, 2017

I have read about Anji Baicha for years now, and this is the first time I've ever tried it. I've been very curious about it, especially since I've read that it's among the teas highest in L-theanine, but is prepared rather differently from Gyokuro, the tea I've tried that is also highest in theanine. It didn't quite ...

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Picture of Old Tree Shui Hsian

Old Tree Shui Hsian from Harney and Sons

Style: Shui Hsien Oolong – Region: China

71 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
May. 28th, 2017

The dry leaf has an interesting shape, loosely curly, less long and wiry than most Wuyi oolong. It's intensely aromatic, smelling like roast and fruit; the fruitiness is quite astounding, it's maybe a little like dried peaches or apricots.

The brewed cup is very roasty, with notes of wood and hints of coffee. It's...

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Picture of Pearl Gunpowder

Pearl Gunpowder from The Tao of Tea

Style: Gunpowder Green Tea – Region: Zhejiang, China

66 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 27th, 2017

This was a simple, coolish, fresh green tea with a hint of smoke in the aroma. Gunpowder isn't my favorite style of green tea, but I do enjoy it from time to time.

The dry leaf of this smells mild but pleasant and fresh, dusty with a hint of smoke, some cool herbal notes a little like celery. After steeping I see ...

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Picture of Anji Black

Anji Black from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Anji, Zhejiang, China

78 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
May. 13th, 2017

This tea tasted more like a sweet, Christmas-ey baked good than any other tea I've ever tried.

The leaf has such a pleasant fragrance, a rich, buttery, bready, and fruity aroma, like a fruit tart fresh out of the oven, quite remarkable. There's a distinctive smell in the aroma that reminds me of some food from my c...

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Picture of Rou Gui Oolong

Rou Gui Oolong from Harney and Sons

Style: Rou Gui – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

72 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
May. 5th, 2017

Overall this was more run-of-the-mill than I expected for such a high-end tea. My favorite thing about it was the smell of the dry leaf, the actual cup was good, but not as interesting.

The dry leaf smells incredibly beautiful...multifaceted too, lightly roasty, very fruity, like baked goods, suggesting sweetness, ...

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Picture of Hunan Bloolong

Hunan Bloolong from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Hunan, China

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
May. 2nd, 2017

I got my hopes up for this tea but it was oddly forgettable, disappointing among artisan teas. There's an intriguing sensation of peach when drinking it, but...besides that nothing about it stands out.

The dry leaf smells so good, really rich and pleasing, malty, a sort of warm baked good smell, with notes of spice...

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Picture of Hunan Mao Jian

Hunan Mao Jian from Harney and Sons

Style: Mao Jian Green Tea – Region: Hunan, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 29th, 2017

I tend to like Mao Jian teas a lot, and I still liked this one, but it was my least favorite example of it that I've tried. It was unexpectedly smooth but lacked edge or bite, and I think this bite is one of the things that I most appreciate about this type of tea.

Dry leaf is wiry and curved, very dark green. Qui...

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Picture of Chun Mee

Chun Mee from Harney and Sons

Style: Chun Mee – Region: China

69 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 5th, 2017

Enjoyable but not amazing, not really standing out much among this style of tea. Smoother and less acidic than the norm for chun mee, but also perhaps a bit more boring too.

The dry leaf has a dusty vegetal aroma, slightly smoky, with a few sweet notes, kind of what I'd expect from this type of tea.

Brewed, this...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Harney and Sons

Style: English Breakfast – Region: China

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 5th, 2017

Harney says this blend is 100% Keemun and it shows...tastes just like Keemun, which I like, but definitely more like the more modern English Breakfast style than a Keemun picked at random. Fuller-bodied and richer than most English Breakfast, but softer and less crisp.

Dry leaf has an aroma that is gentle and pleas...

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Picture of Organic Green Dragon

Organic Green Dragon from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Dragon Well (Long Jing) – Region: China

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 17th, 2017

I was eager to try this because it was the only pure green tea in tea bags sold by Mighty Leaf, other than their hojicha which is roasted and does not taste at all like a green tea.

I wasn't crazy about this tea; if I had to divide all dragon wells into "good dragonwell" vs. "bad dragonwell" this one almost falls be...

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Picture of Fuding White Tea Cake

Fuding White Tea Cake from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 9th, 2017

I tried this together with Upton's ZW42. I actually liked this one a lot, and not the other.

Brews up a dark, full-bodied cup that, like the other compressed white tea cake, is rather bitter. I find the bitterness more blunt though, whereas ZW42 has a sharp bitterness.

The aroma is strange and hard to describe....

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