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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1284 teas.

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Picture of Assam Golden Tip

Assam Golden Tip from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

85 / 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

89 / 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 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 Dunmore East Blend Tea

Dunmore East Blend Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

89 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 4th, 2017

I loved this! This was a very pleasant blended tea that I thought was versatile and took on different characteristics based on varying the amount of leaf I used, but always tasted good. Brewed strong, it was a little like a strong Irish Breakfast tea; a more mild steeping yielded a gentle cup that would make a good a...

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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 Malachi McCormick

Malachi McCormick from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 30th, 2017

This blend was more Keemun-like than anything else; it reminded me of the type of Keemun that I like most, the rich, mellow, warming and slightly sweet sort.

The Dry leaf's aroma reminds me of candy: fruity and sweet, suggesting marzipan, chocolate, and hazelnut cream.

The aroma and character of the Keemun comes ...

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Picture of Bancha

Bancha from Harney and Sons

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan

82 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 29th, 2017

This may be the best bancha I've ever tried. It's better than a number of lower-end sencha's I've bought in the U.S.

The dry leaf is green for bancha and has the most delightful aroma, the best yet of any bancha I've tried. It smells a lot like coffee cake, a sort of sweet, baked good smell with hints of cinnamon,...

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Picture of Colombian Black Tea

Colombian Black Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Black Tea – Region: Colombia

99 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 21st, 2017

This tea is incredible! Thank you to Simpson & Vail for sending it to me as a sample. I was recently very wowed by a Colombian black tea sold by Harney & Sons, and I was eager to try this one. It is very similar, but I think even better. I suspect this is probably a higher-grade tea from the same tea garden.

Dry...

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Picture of Orange Pekoe (Ceylon & India)

Orange Pekoe (Ceylon & India) from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 20th, 2017

One of the best black tea blends I've tried that hasn't been in a more specific style. Enigmatic, this tea constantly defied description. I also found it versatile, able to take on different characters based on how I brewed it.

The dry leaf of this is potently aromatic and commands my attention, spicy with strong ...

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Picture of Bold Breakfast

Bold Breakfast from Dunkin Donuts

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

50 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 17th, 2017

Served at a Dunkin Donuts. I can't help but wonder how much this tea is limited by the fact that it's served in a paper cup; I can smell the cup, it imparts a cardboardy aroma that noticeably diminishes the enjoyment of the tea. Perhaps I'll come back with my own mug next time.

I remember what the old Dunkin Donut...

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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 English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Benner Tea Co

Style: English Breakfast – Region: ?????

39 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 10th, 2017

This was pretty bad. I'd take it over Lipton, but that's not saying much. I like to try low-end teas now and then so that I'm truly aware of the full range of tea on the market, and this was certainly a low-end tea.

This is one product that I honestly had no idea what to expect when I approached it. On the one ha...

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Picture of Ceylon Gold

Ceylon Gold from teakruthi

Style: White Tea – Region: Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

89 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 8th, 2017

I am normally not a huge fan of tippy, lighter-colored white teas like this, but I thought this was pretty exceptional and was one of my favorite lighter white teas that I've ever tried. It isn't exactly a silver needle, but I compared it as one, it would be the second-favorite one I've ever tried.

The dry leaf is ...

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Picture of Rooibos

Rooibos from Rooi Life

Style: Rooibos – Region: South Africa

84 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 24th, 2017

This was the best rooibos I've ever tried in a teabag and among the best rooibos I've ever tried.

I was excited when this new company, Rooi life, approached me with a sample offer. The company sells only a single product: pure rooibos, in tea bags, in a fairly big package too.

Quite aromatic, earthy and with fru...

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Picture of Blissful Harmony

Blissful Harmony from teakruthi

Style: Black and White Blend – Region: Matara, Sri Lanka

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 23rd, 2017

I was genuinely surprised at how well this blend worked. I was also surprised at how much the overall character was like a white tea, in spite of there being more black tea and the leaf itself looking very dark.

Black and white tea blends are such a strange idea, and so hard to execute, and Teakruthi's teas have be...

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Picture of Wild Berry Hibiscus

Wild Berry Hibiscus from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Fruit (Herbal) Tea – Region: Blend

67 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 22nd, 2017

Served at De La Coeur Cafe in Wilmington, DE (I love that place by the way, please do check it out if you're ever there).

I normally don't like hibiscus blends (think Celestial Seasonings' Red Zinger) because they are too sour for me, but I enjoyed this one. I brewed it in a big fat mug and only steeped it around 3...

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Picture of Afternoon Ritual

Afternoon Ritual from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 17th, 2017

One of the most aromatic teas yet from Teakruthi, this tea had a beautiful fragrance, light and fresh, suggesting malt. The leaf is also very pretty, with silvery tips mixed in against a mostly-dark background. I got excited when I opened the bag and saw and smelled the leaf!

Upon brewing the aroma gets much more ...

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Picture of Island Heritage

Island Heritage from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matale, Sri Lanka (Dimbula)

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 14th, 2017

A light and elegant tea that I'd drink for a quiet break. Oolong-like.

The beautiful and wiry dry leaf has the remarkable aroma of mint candy, creamy and suggesting of sweetness, not a smell I've ever encountered in a pure tea before.

Brews up a cup that is surprisingly subdued. Clean and light, but only a subt...

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Picture of Colonial Mornings

Colonial Mornings from teakruthi

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matale, Sri Lanka (Dimbula)

91 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 10th, 2017

This is one of those transcendental black teas that somehow manages to be both warming and cooling in the same sip. Eminently satisfying!

All of Teakruthi's teas have been aromatic, but none explosively so until this one. I opened the bag and there was this burst of fragrance...first a sweet one that was hard to d...

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Picture of Mythical Green

Mythical Green from teakruthi

Style: Green Tea – Region: Uva, Sri Lanka

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Feb. 6th, 2017

I reacted to this very similarly to how I did to Teakruthi's other green tea, the Green Valley. I thought it tasted like a good but inexpensive Chinese green tea, and as such I'd be unlikely to buy it because it was so expensive. It didn't stand out and especially did not seem on the level of Chinese teas in this pr...

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Picture of Ceylon Sonata

Ceylon Sonata from Adagio Teas

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Kandy, Sri Lanka

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 2nd, 2017

I very much like this tea, it is one of my favorite "base" or "default" Ceylons that is sold by any major tea company.

Before steeping, the leaf is aromatic and has a pleasant malty aroma, like an Assam but less fruity.

Flavor is crisp. The cup is very aromatic, mostly malty but with light roasty/toasty notes. ...

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