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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1428 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Yunnan, China

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Picture of Jinggu Camellia Taliensis Black Tea

Jinggu Camellia Taliensis Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Jinggu, Yunnan, China

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 14th, 2021

I thought this was an exceptional tea, but one not particularly suited to my tastes. I still liked it a lot though. It tastes the most like a white tea of any black tea I've tried.

The dry leaf is explosively fragrant, suggesting malt, caraway, overripe fruit, and flowers. There is a lot going on in the aroma, it's ...

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Picture of Yunnan Black Gold

Yunnan Black Gold from Yunnan Sourcing

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

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 10th, 2021

This was a peculiar and rather fascinating tea, a real bargain buy, and a good afternoon tea.

The leaf is very large and has an aroma that is lightly malty, but also rather herbaceous. It smells more like green teas or raw Pu-erh than is typical for a black tea. Both its appearance and aroma remind me of some of the...

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Picture of 2016 Yunnan Sourcing

2016 Yunnan Sourcing "Red Monkey" Raw Pu-erh Tea Mini Cake from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh – Region: Yunnan, China

82 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 20th, 2021

I ordered two of these in 2018 as it sounded from the description as the sort of thing I would like. I broke off a tiny piece initially, and as I expected it was a bit strong for my taste. I was surprised though at how quickly this one mellowed out.

Now, about 5 years from harvest, I broke off a bit again and it's s...

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Picture of Yunnan Yue Guang Bai Air-Dried White Tea

Yunnan Yue Guang Bai Air-Dried White Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Moonlight White – Region: Jinggu, Yunnan, China

85 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 8th, 2021

This is only the second Moonlight White tea I've ever tried; the first was from Life in Teacup. I've had this tea for nearly two years from its harvest date, but am only reviewing it now, so I've seen how it ages slightly. It seemed to change character much more quickly than a pu-erh.

The leaf is striking and unique...

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Picture of Purple Needle Black Tea of Jing Mai Mountain

Purple Needle Black Tea of Jing Mai Mountain from Yunnan Sourcing

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

94 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 5th, 2021

This tea was quite different, especially relative to other Chinese teas. I enjoyed it a lot.

The dry leaf of this is long and straight, and has a mild aroma that is unlike most Yunnan teas: mostly fruity, and smelling more like grape than anything else, with some herbaceous, skunky undertones. It is reminiscent of s...

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Picture of Yi Mei Ren Wu Liang Mountain Yunnan Black Tea

Yi Mei Ren Wu Liang Mountain Yunnan Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Black Tea – Region: Jingdong, Yunnan, China

72 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 23rd, 2020

This was the first tea I've tried from Yunnan Sourcing to (relatively) disappoint. Perhaps it's just not suited to my tastes, and it's not bad, but I thought it failed to live up to the high expectations I have come to develop for this company.

This tea had both a different appearance and aroma from what I am used t...

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Picture of Nan Nuo Mountain Assamica Varietal Black Tea

Nan Nuo Mountain Assamica Varietal Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Menghai, Yunnan, China

97 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 16th, 2019

This was another delightful tea. Of all the teas I've tried recently, it was most similar to the Big Snow Mountain of Mengku. It also reminded me a lot of some artisanal Assam teas I tried a while back from TeaOrb, a company that sells teas from regions of Assam that don't typically reach the western market.

The dry...

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Picture of High Mountain Red Ai Lao Mountain Black Tea

High Mountain Red Ai Lao Mountain Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Black Tea – Region: Simao, Yunnan, China

86 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 4th, 2019

I was eager to try this tea based on its description. I love big-leafed black teas from Taiwan and also love Taiwanese oolongs, as well as Yunnan red teas, and this tea seemed to have something in common with all of these. It wasn't really like I expected though; it was quite good, but in a different way. It was my lea...

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Picture of Traditional Process Dian Hong Black Tea of Feng Qing

Traditional Process Dian Hong Black Tea of Feng Qing from Yunnan Sourcing

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

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 28th, 2019

A delightful and robust tea that I could happily drink day after day, and that has been one of my favorite teas to start the day with lately.

I found this tea interesting to compare to the "Classic 58" which I also ordered in the same batch. It looks very different in terms of leaf appearance, but is surprisingly si...

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Picture of Wu Liang Hong Mao Feng Yunnan Black Tea

Wu Liang Hong Mao Feng Yunnan Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 27th, 2019

This is definitely my favorite tea I've ever ordered from Yunnan Sourcing, and one of the most exceptional teas I've ever tried. And this is coming from someone who usually is not a huge fan of the super-golden bud-heavy teas like this.

Opening the bag, there's an ethereal fragrance of flowers and sweet, bready malt...

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Picture of Feng Qing

Feng Qing "Classic 58" Dian Hong Premium Yunnan Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

89 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 4th, 2019

This is one of those teas that I love and could drink every day, but when I've served it to others, I found it doesn't appeal to as wide an audience, especially among those with Western tastes. People who like more "serious" Chinese teas like it, it but a lot of people either find it boring or are put-off by the astrin...

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Picture of Big Snow Mountain of Mengku Black Tea

Big Snow Mountain of Mengku Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

98 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 6th, 2019

I found this tea absolutely delightful. I continue to be impressed with Yunnan Sourcing, ordering one top-notch tea after another, all reasonably priced.

The dry leaf has the most amazing aroma of any tea I've sampled over the past couple years. It's both strong and complex, floral, malty, spicy, and lightly smoky a...

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Picture of Yunnan FOP

Yunnan FOP from TeaSource

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

81 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 19th, 2019

One of the most interesting teas I've tried in a while!

The dry leaf, which is quite aesthetic looking, smells very unusual and different. The aroma is strong, quite smoky and also herbaceous, with hints of malt and cocoa. It also reminds me a little bit of the smell of an ashtray though, and also of the "new car" s...

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Picture of Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Golden Monkey – Region: Yunnan, China

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 10th, 2019

This tea was more pleasant than interesting. I liked it a lot, but found it hard to write as much about it. I also thought it was slightly overpriced.

Dry leaf is very pretty (like many of Murchie's teas, their photo doesn't do it justice, so I took one of my own), with bright golden-orange tips against a dark backg...

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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 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 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 Yunnan Golden Tips

Yunnan Golden Tips from Harney and Sons

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 8th, 2016

This tea is really strange. I enjoy it most when I don't think of it as a black tea, and I still don't know exactly how I feel about it. I disagree with Harney's assertion that this is "vigorously assertive": to me it lacks the strength and punch of a black tea, and in many respects is more like an oolong or even a m...

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Picture of Tippy Yunnan

Tippy Yunnan from Harney and Sons

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 16th, 2016

I thought this an excellent tea and it is definitely among my favorite Dian Hong or Yunnan Red (black teas) that I've ever sampled. It's one of many samples I recently ordered from Harney & Sons.

I chose this for a very cold morning, because I find Yunnan teas to often have a powerful warming quality, and I found i...

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Picture of Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey from The Meaning of Tea

Style: Golden Monkey – Region: Yunnan, China

37 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Mar. 23rd, 2015

This was the worst example of Golden Monkey that I've tried, and the worst example of any golden Chinese black tea. I thought it quite awful and I poured it out without drinking much of it.

The dry leaf is beautiful, and has a very intense aroma of cooked fruit, like raspberry jam. The leaf has a slight dusty qual...

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Picture of Premium Pu-erh Tea - Black

Premium Pu-erh Tea - Black from My Zen Tea

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

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 9th, 2015

I tend not to be a fan of Shu Pu-erh at all, and my expectations for a tea bag were pretty low, but I was happy to say this greatly exceeding my expectations.

Brews up a very dark liquor, almost jet black, with a smooth mouthfeel, mild flavor, and mellow aroma. The aroma reminds me a little bit of clean, wet stone ...

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