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Alex Zorach

RateTea Editor

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1386 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Yunnan, China

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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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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 Premium Pu-erh Tea - Green

Premium Pu-erh Tea - Green from My Zen Tea

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

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 4th, 2015

The best Pu-erh I've tried in a tea bag.

A sample from the Philadelphia Coffee & Tea Festival. The tea bag is not at all aromatic, but upon brewing, the cup becomes much more interesting.

Aroma is like a rather typical young sheng Pu-erh, a lightly aged green Pu-erh. The aroma is fresh and grassy, with a hint o...

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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 Dian Hong Congfu

Dian Hong Congfu from Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 27th, 2014

Dry leaf has beautiful, intact wiry leaf with golden tips, and a mild aroma of rye malt and fruit.

The brewed cup is very dark, but not as aromatic as I'd like. The aroma is mostly fruity, and also suggests rye malt, but the aroma is weak, and the flavor is also somewhat weak. Although this tea is smooth, I think ...

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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 Fengqing Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2014

Fengqing Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2014 from TeaVivre

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

92 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 27th, 2014

Another superb tea! And how completely different this tea is from last year's batch! Multifaceted, complex, surprisingly floral in aroma, with a very pleasing flavor, able to be infused many times.

The dry leaf has an explosion of aroma, sweet, springy, suggestive of a tippy, spring harvest green tea, but followed...

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Picture of Xi Gui Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2013

Xi Gui Ancient Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake 2013 from TeaVivre

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

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 14th, 2014

Hello, concord grape! The dry leaf of this tea smells initially like a sweet, tippy spring green tea, but this is followed by an intense fruitiness strongly suggestive of concord grape. Tea often smells like grape to me, but more often it is the muscatel grape of Darjeeling or Bai Hao oolong, or the deep raisin notes...

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Picture of Ancient Emerald Lily

Ancient Emerald Lily from Rishi Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 11th, 2014

This is the most complex, multifaceted tea that I've tried in a very long time.

Purchased in a whole foods in the relatively new bulk tea section.

Dry leaf is beautiful, intact, and consists of irregularly curved, wiry leaf with both silvery and olive green parts. The dry leaf is strongly aromatic, with a fruity...

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Picture of Shu Pu-erh Classic Vintage Blend

Shu Pu-erh Classic Vintage Blend from Rishi Tea

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

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 13th, 2014

Thank you to E. Alex Gerster for this one. I took a while to review it primarily because I tend not to be a huge fan of this type of tea. It looks like it's already been discontinued from Rishi's catalogue. There's no harvest or packing date printed on the container, so I don't know how old this is, but it tastes li...

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Picture of Fengqing Wild Tree Yesheng Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake 2013

Fengqing Wild Tree Yesheng Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake 2013 from TeaVivre

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

97 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 24th, 2014

Wow. Exceptional, unique. The dry leaf of this smells completely unlike any other tea I've tried...and so does the cup when brewed. The leaf smells like honey and flowers, but with a smoky quality. Definitely the smoothest raw Pu-erh I've ever had that was effectively un-aged (being less than a year old when I trie...

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Picture of 2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea Tuocha

2006 Fengqing Raw Pu-erh Tea Tuocha from TeaVivre

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

95 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 23rd, 2014

This is among my favorite Pu-erhs that I've ever sampled.

This cake has a very fine leaf, tightly packed, and is tricky to break apart. I'm glad TeaVivre had already broken it off for me for the sample.

The dry leaf has a pleasant aroma, like caramel with a hint of worcestershire sauce, and still some remnants o...

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Picture of Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005

Fengqing Zhuan Cha Raw Puerh Brick Tea 2005 from TeaVivre

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

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 18th, 2014

This is just about my favorite age range of Pu-erh: aged but still relatively young.

The compressed leaf is not very aromatic, and is devilishly hard to break apart. Thankfully TeaVivre already broke off this sample for me, but just judging by the texture of the compressed leaf, this one looks like it would be anno...

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Picture of Yunnan Gold

Yunnan Gold from Bare Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 14th, 2014

This tastes a lot like other examples of high-quality Yunnan Gold teas that I've tried.

Pyramid sachets are very aromatic!

Upon brewing, produces a cup with numerous subtle aromas. I initially get caraway and rye in the aroma, but then vanilla and caramel. Underneath, there are cocoa tones. Flavor is extremel...

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Picture of Fengqing Old Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2013

Fengqing Old Tree Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2013 from TeaVivre

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

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 5th, 2014

This tea is the youngest raw Pu-erh that I've consumed to date. Like I'd expect, it is potent, but it's smoother and more drinkable than even some Pu-erh I've tried that has been aged by a few more years.

The dry leaf smells strongly vegetal, with tones of honey and camphor.

Brews a strong-flavored cup with a li...

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