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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1330 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from China

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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: 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 Tea – 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 ZW48: Fuding White Tea Cake

ZW48: 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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Picture of ZW42: White Tea Cake

ZW42: White Tea Cake from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: China

60 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 9th, 2017

This was the first of two compressed white tea cakes from Upton that I sampled. It was interesting but I'm not sure I'd want to drink this tea regularly. This was a strong tea, unpleasantly sharp but also thin-bodied, and I think I may have brewed it too strongly, wanting a fuller-bodied tea, but by the time I had fi...

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Picture of Magnolia Oolong

Magnolia Oolong from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Flavored Oolong – Region: China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 19th, 2016

This was an interesting tea; I love scented oolongs, and I love trying floral-scented teas other than the usual jasmine, so I jumped on the opportunity to try this one when I saw my parents had ordered some.

The dry leaf is surprisingly dark, looking like a darker-roast oolong, but upon opening the tin there was a s...

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Picture of Hairy Crab Oolong Loose Tea

Hairy Crab Oolong Loose Tea from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Hairy Crab Oolong – Region: China

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 16th, 2016

I thought this was a delightful tea. I have tried a Mao Xie before, and loved it, but it was an unbranded type that someone brought me back from China so I was not able to review it. This one was a lot like I remember it: pungent and a bit edgy and odd, but in a way that I liked.

The dry leaf has an aroma that is ...

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Picture of Lapsang Souchong Wild Black Tea (Ye Sheng Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong)

Lapsang Souchong Wild Black Tea (Ye Sheng Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong) from TeaVivre

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

94 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 16th, 2016

A lovely tea, mellow, and complex, among my favorite Lapsang Souchongs ever sampled. Thank you again to TeaVivre for the sample! This is a traditional Chinese lapsang souchong, it lacks the strong smoky aroma that the more widely-known style of tea popular in the West has. Compared to other traditional Lapsang Souch...

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Picture of Panyang Congou

Panyang Congou from Harney and Sons

Style: Panyang Congou – Region: Fujian, China

43 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Jun. 13th, 2016

This was the most disappointing pure tea I've ever tried from Harney & Sons.

Dry leaf not very aromatic, but the aroma is pleasant. The leaf is pretty, with fine wiry pieces, fairly finely broken...the faint aroma suggests spice and dried fruit, like fig or date.

The brewed cup is surprisingly lacking in aroma. ...

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Picture of Lung Ching

Lung Ching from Harney and Sons

Style: Dragon Well Tea – Region: China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 28th, 2016

I loved this, it's a strong tea, nutty and toasty, but with deep vegetal undertones. I did not tire of drinking it and I could imagine happily drinking this every day.

The dry leaf has a potent aroma that evolves quite a lot as I smell it. It starts off a bit in-your-face, and I found myself slightly taken aback b...

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Picture of Hao Ya A

Hao Ya A from Harney and Sons

Style: Keemun Hao Ya A – Region: Anhui, China

98 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 22nd, 2016

I have had a lot of Keemun, but never before sampled Hao Ya A. The overall experience of drinking this tea was somewhat different from what I expected. It's similar, but recognizably different from the Hao Ya B, and I'm not convinced that I like it better. I like both, and this one is not that much more expensive (s...

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Picture of Hao Ya B (Keemun)

Hao Ya B (Keemun) from Harney and Sons

Style: Keemun Hao Ya B – Region: China

98 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 22nd, 2016

I thought this was an exceptional tea and was my favorite traditional Keemun ever sapmled.

Dry leaf is fine and dark in color, pleasantly aromatic, and the aroma is quite complex, it suggests fruit, spice, and dried flowers, a little like potpourri, with vegetal and chocolatey notes. The smell reminds me of Christm...

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