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Alex Zorach

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

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from India

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Picture of Organic Assam P.F. Tea

Organic Assam P.F. Tea from Metropolitan Tea Company

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 15th, 2017

Served in Rock City cafe in Rockland, Maine.

This was a very dark Assam with a fairly smoky character. Aroma is strong, malty and fruity, but it is the smoky notes that make this tea stand out. The aroma is interesting and complex, a little like drinking a fine wine.

Flavor is slightly harsh, bitter and with a lo...

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Picture of Okayti White

Okayti White from Harney and Sons

Style: Darjeeling White Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 8th, 2017

I liked this one a lot, much more than typical for white teas.

I normally don't like tippy white teas, but I was super impressed by what may be this same exact same tea, or at least a similar one, sold by Golden Tips Tea. Unfortunately, this tea is no longer in stock at either company! It is worth waiting for this...

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Picture of English Breakfast Black Tea

English Breakfast Black Tea from Heavenly Tea Leaves

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Assam, India

85 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 24th, 2017

My roommate got a tea sampler of four teas from this company, Heavenly Tea Leaves, which I hadn't heard of before then, and let me try all the teas. I was really impressed with this one, especially with its combination of reasonable price and great quality.

Dry leaf looks mostly intact pieces of whole leaves, smell...

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Picture of Organic Darjeeling Kalimpong

Organic Darjeeling Kalimpong from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Darjeeling Second Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 22nd, 2017

I thought this was an excellent second flush Darjeeling, with a fresher and cooler aroma than average, and surprising strength that allowed the leaf to stretch very far. A tea that I like to savor very slowly, not something for if you're in a hurry.

Thank you to Mighty Leaf for this generous sample!

I love the s...

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Picture of Pure Darjeeling

Pure Darjeeling from Wedgwood

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

62 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
May. 18th, 2017

This is a very dark Darjeeling. I enjoyed it as a change of pace; most high-end tea companies tend to sell lighter Darjeelings but sometimes I like the darker ones. Even though I often prefer the flavor of the lighter teas, I tend to feel better after drinking the darker ones, and this was no exception.

The dry le...

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Picture of Assam Extra Fancy

Assam Extra Fancy from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

89 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 9th, 2017

Thanks again to Mighty Leaf for this sample! Like the other Assam from mighty leaf, I liked this tea from the first sip, but it also grew on me substantially. Another classic Assam, this one of higher grade. It was good the first few times I brewed it, but I found it really shined when I gave it a long steep.

Thi...

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Picture of Assam Golden Tip

Assam Golden Tip from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 22nd, 2017

I loved this one. My favorite mighty leaf tea yet, and an excellent example of a classic Assam.

Thank you Mighty Leaf for this generous sample! I thought this was a pleasantly strong Assam, exactly what I expect from this style and a good example of such. There is something intangible about this tea that makes it...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Assam, India

61 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 18th, 2017

This was a free sample from Mighty Leaf; thanks very much! So far this is the most disappointing tea I've tried from the batch so I wanted to get my review out of the way and move on to the others. I thought this was too thin for an Irish Breakfast, oddly muted; it tasted like something was missing, both in terms of...

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Picture of Assam - Harmutty Estate Black Tea

Assam - Harmutty Estate Black Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

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

This is among the better Assams I have ever sampled, and offered great value. It's super smooth, but with depth. Thank you to Simpson & Vail for this sample!

Curly dark leaf, smells very malty, sweet, very pleasant.

Upon brewing though the aroma becomes much more complex. It smells sweet, fresh, vegetal and he...

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Picture of Assam Tonganagaon, Organic

Assam Tonganagaon, Organic from Simpson & Vail

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

82 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 2nd, 2017

A smoother-than-average Assam that was still quite rich, a little on the tangy/fruity side.

Dry leaf smells very fruity, vegetal, a bit like potpourri, and also somewhat malty. Overall, rich, aromatic, and suggesting sweetness.

Surprisingly subdued for an Assam. The cup is light and a little more tangy than I e...

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Picture of CTC Assam (Assam CTC)

CTC Assam (Assam CTC) from Harney and Sons

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

68 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 30th, 2017

This tea was devilishly hard to prepare to my enjoyment, but had the side-benefit of resteeping unusually well for a CTC tea. By the time I finally got it just how I wanted, I was drinking up the very last cup of the sample I bought.

The dry leaf, bigger pieces than some CTC, is very aromatic and smells pleasing, s...

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Picture of Tonganagaon Full Leaf

Tonganagaon Full Leaf from Harney and Sons

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

81 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 16th, 2017

A fruitier, tangier Assam that was an interesting change of pace. Not quite as hearty or satisfying as some, but enjoyable.

The dry leaf of this has a rich aroma that reminds me of my mom and grandma making black currant and raspberry jam in late summer. There are also malty notes, but the cooked fruit / jam aroma...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Harney and Sons

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Assam, India

79 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 13th, 2017

One of the best Irish Breakfast blends I've tried.

The dry leaf is richly aromatic, smelling sweet, initially surprisingly fruit and then very malty.

Produces a rich, dark cup that is exactly what I'd expect from this type of tea. Strong but balanced. I found this had a slightly more fresh aroma and cooling qua...

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Picture of Assam Tea

Assam Tea from 24 Mantra Organic

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 29th, 2017

A solid-quality CTC Assam that would make a good breakfast tea.

My roommate purchased this at a local Indian store. The date on the package shows it was packed last May, and we just opened the package the other day, so I know I was trying this tea while still very fresh. My rooomate enjoys this with almond milk an...

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Picture of Assam Tippy Golden

Assam Tippy Golden from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 9th, 2016

Wow, this tea was quite satisfying, especially for cold days.

The dried leaf smells good, the aroma is mild but complex, mostly fruity and malty, with hints of spice, dried herbs or portpourri.

The leaves explode in aroma when they are steeped in water and there's a honey-like aroma that is a hallmark of higher g...

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Risheehat 1st Flush Darjeeling from Harney and Sons

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 28th, 2016

I loved this one.

No picture of this because unfortunately it was removed from Harney's catalogue before I posted my review.

The dry leaf of this smells wonderful, and unexpected. It smells more like an autumnal flush tea, with more malty notes and a sort of soft, rich, caramel smell. There are floral and caram...

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Picture of Darjeeling Tea - Specialty Classics

Darjeeling Tea - Specialty Classics from Basilur

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 14th, 2016

This was served to me at a wedding and I was able to take a few different tea bags to try them later. I was surprised at the quality of this one.

The tea bag is not extraordinarily aromatic, but the brewed cup has a very nice, strong black tea smell. It reminds me a lot of sticking my nose into a bin of fresh, loo...

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Picture of Kairbetta Frost

Kairbetta Frost from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nilgiri, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 16th, 2016

This tea is the most like a Darjeeling that I've ever had from outside Darjeeling and neighboring areas (like Nepal, Sikkim, etc.). It barely resembled other Nilgiri teas, so I'd recommend it more for people who like Darjeeling than people who like Nilgiri black teas.

Dry leaf looks wiry and robust, inconsistent le...

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Picture of Organic Assam (Loose)

Organic Assam (Loose) from Harney and Sons

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 25th, 2016

This was my favorite broken-leaf Assam that I've ever tried. Surprisingly sweet and nuanced for a broken-leaf tea, and an excellent price, especially given that it's organic certified.

Dry leaf has a pleasant fruity and malty smell, typical for an Assam but smelling sweeter. Although it's a finely broken tea, the s...

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Picture of Jungpana Black Tea

Jungpana Black Tea from Udyan Tea

Style: Darjeeling Autumnal Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 16th, 2016

This tea is subtly different from other Darjeelings. The leaf is big and looks more like a Wuyi oolong than anything from Darjeeling. The aroma is rich and deep, notes of caramel and malt, a hint of the characteristic fruity/floral/vegetal notes, more typical for an autumnal flush Darjeeling.

Upon pouring the wate...

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Picture of Gopaldhara Red Thunder Black Tea

Gopaldhara Red Thunder Black Tea from Udyan Tea

Style: Darjeeling Autumnal Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 25th, 2016

I liked this tea, but I would not describe it as "thunder"; it's too mellow. Following the rumbling sound analogy, it would be more like "a natural-gas-powered bus goes by", but I guess that doesn't sound quite as sexy.

Dry leaf has a strong aroma, mostly nutty, suggesting sweetness. The aroma suggests warmth.

...

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Picture of Seeyok Autumnal Black Tea

Seeyok Autumnal Black Tea from Udyan Tea

Style: Darjeeling Autumnal Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 25th, 2016

This was a dark, rich, smooth, and naturally sweet tea with a mysterious pungent aroma, which changed its character a lot resteeping.

Dry leaf is a fairly uniform brown, and has a strong and intriguing aroma, malty and suggesting sweetness, but very fresh and light.

As I pour the water, immediately a strong fruit...

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Picture of Snowview Tippy Black Tea

Snowview Tippy Black Tea from Udyan Tea

Style: Darjeeling Second Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 13th, 2016

Every now and then I encounter a Darjeeling that only seems to shine when paired with the right foods, and this was one. The first couple times I drank it, it was easy to overlook, but when I paired it with a spicy coconut curry soup I made, it seemed to take on a completely different character.

Dry leaf is brown a...

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Picture of Giddapahar AV2 Clonal Black Tea

Giddapahar AV2 Clonal Black Tea from Udyan Tea

Style: Darjeeling Second Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 7th, 2016

This was a singular tea that was highly unlike any other teas I've tried. Minimalist in aesthetic, I can see this one appealing to people who like delicate white teas, and it tasted more like a white tea than other black teas. It's not my favorite sort of tea, but I found it intriguing with every sip, and drinking it...

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Picture of Castleton China Black Tea

Castleton China Black Tea from Udyan Tea

Style: Darjeeling Autumnal Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 3rd, 2016

Wow. Udyan tea recently sent me some samples, and they are of impressive quality. This is the first sample I'm reviewing, and only the second tea I've ever tried from Castleton estate. It got my attention immediately as a top-quality tea.

The dry leaf of this tea is explosively aromatic and the aroma is extraordin...

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