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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1436 teas.

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Picture of Yunnan

Yunnan "Black Gold Bi Luo Chun" Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

82 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 10th, 2021

This tea was quite singular, unlike most of the other teas from Yunnan Sourcing. I thought it was a good tea but it was a bit too much for me. It's strong, both by flavor and caffeine. I am reviewing the Spring Harvest from 2020.

This tea took up a lot less space than most all the other Yunnan Teas I've tried. The d...

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Picture of Yunnan

Yunnan "Assamica Gold Needle" Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

96 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 7th, 2021

This was a straightforward tea that I found easy to like; I became a fan from the first sip. It's robust, easy to brew, easy to drink, and pleasing in both flavor and aroma. Overall, it is more flavorful than aromatic though.

The dry leaf is beautiful, a very bright yellow color, not as orangeish as many of these ti...

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Picture of Jinggu

Jinggu "Da Jin Ya" Camellia Taliensis Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

95 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 5th, 2021

This was a really enjoyable tea that also had a lot of depth and complexity.

The dry leaf is made exclusively of luscious, thick, fuzzy buds that are kinda rolled on themselves; the picture does not really do it justice. Although it seems to be pure buds, they look a bit more mature than on some tippy teas, and they...

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Picture of Long Mei Yunnan Green Tea of Zhenyuan

Long Mei Yunnan Green Tea of Zhenyuan from Yunnan Sourcing

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

84 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 4th, 2021

This was a robust green tea that was challenging to brew, but rewarding when I got it right. Thank you to Dewey for sharing this one with me!

The leaf is beautiful, wiry, slightly curly, and diverse in color, from dusty dark green to silvery-gray with a yellowish tinge. It has a potent fragrance, with a hint of camp...

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Picture of Fruit Aroma Yixing Black Tea

Fruit Aroma Yixing Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Jiangsu, China

87 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 2nd, 2021

This tea heavily underwhelmed me, and particularly, it was too weak. My favorite aspect of it was the fragrance of the dry leaf, but after that, it disappointed me.

The dry leaf has an unbelievably potent and incredily pleasing aroma. To me it seems more malty than anything else, strong smells of grain and baked goo...

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Picture of Bu Lang Mountain Black Tea from Menghai

Bu Lang Mountain Black Tea from Menghai from Yunnan Sourcing

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

94 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 25th, 2021

A mellow and balanced, easy-to-brew tea that had a lot of aromatic complexity, and an overall character somewhat intermediate between large-leaf Assam and Yunnan teas.

The dry leaf, which looks a little darker than in the picture from Yunnan Sourcing's website, has a wiry and kinda dusty appearance, and consists of ...

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Picture of Mengku Wild Arbor Assamica Black Tea

Mengku Wild Arbor Assamica Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

94 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 21st, 2021

I found this to be a subdued, but intriguing tea that seemed to have a lot of depth and complexity. Although it doesn't jump out at me, I found that it seemed a little different each time I drank it.

It's also another tea that in many respects resembles some of the large-leaf Assam teas (not just Assamica cultivar, ...

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Picture of Premium Grade AA Jin Jun Mei Fujian Black Tea of Wu Yi Shan

Premium Grade AA Jin Jun Mei Fujian Black Tea of Wu Yi Shan from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Black Tea – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

97 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 16th, 2021

I was curious to try this higher grade of a tea (the "Classic Robust Jin Jun Mei") that has become one of my favorites for daily drinking.

The dry leaf is similar but more curly and also visibly lighter in color, with a greater portion of golden tips. The aroma is very strong, initially of dried fruit and then very ...

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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 Assam TGFOP1 Ananda Second Flush

Assam TGFOP1 Ananda Second Flush from TeaGschwendner

Style: Assam – Region: Lakhimpur, Assam, India

83 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 2nd, 2021

This tea is named somewhat differently in the US vs Europe but I'm pretty sure it's the same. In Germany it's "Assam TGFOP1 Ananda" with "Second Flush" underneath, whereas in the US the grade is omitted in the name, but clarified in the tea's description so I'm pretty sure it's the same thing.

The dry leaf is pleasa...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Frontier

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: India

81 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 21st, 2021

This tea was spot-on in terms of style for Irish Breakfast, and one of the better examples of it at that.

The leaf is broken but the pieces of leaf are still recognizable as such, especially after steeping. The dry leaf has a pleasant aroma that suggests a strong, fresh tea. It infuses fairly quickly to produce a po...

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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 Kumaon Black Tea

Kumaon Black Tea from Frontier

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kumaon, India

79 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 14th, 2021

I've been curious about teas from the Kumaon region of India for some time, but had yet to get my hands on one until now. What a surprise when the local food co-op got this in stock in their display of Frontier's bulk teas and spices!

The leaf is very fine, and strongly aromatic. The still-rather-intact leaf is tiny...

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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 Classic Robust Jin Jun Mei Black Tea of Fujian

Classic Robust Jin Jun Mei Black Tea of Fujian from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Black Tea – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 3rd, 2021

I seriously can't get enough of this tea. This is not only my favorite of the teas I've bought from Yunnan Sourcing from provinces other than Yunnan, it is among my favorite teas of all time.

The leaf is beautiful, a thin, wiry mix of golden-orange and dark brown. It's not explosively aromatic, but when I really sti...

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Picture of Premium Full Leaf

Premium Full Leaf from Rabea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

86 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 2nd, 2021

I've known about this brand of tea for years but only recently got my hands on it, at a local Arab store. The packaging is unusually flimsy, just a single layer of cardboard lining with a foil seal and a plastic lid, but I actually appreciated the lack of plastic wrap as it made for less packaging waste than with other...

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Picture of Classic Yixing Hong Black Tea from Jiangsu

Classic Yixing Hong Black Tea from Jiangsu from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Black Tea – Region: Jiangsu, China

85 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 23rd, 2021

This is my first black tea I've ever tried from Jiangsu province; previously I have only ever had green tea. Interestingly, both this and the green teas (Bi Luo Chun and Yun Wu) have a distinctive curly shape to the leaf. Is this a local tradition? Overall, it was pleasant but somewhat uninteresting or forgettable.

...

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Picture of F.B.O.P. No. 1

F.B.O.P. No. 1 from Alwazah Tea (Swan Brand)

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

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 22nd, 2021

This was another fantastic find at a local middle-eastern store. I am already a huge fan of Ahmad and Alghazaleen teas, and this was another tea in the same genre, yet with some interesting differences from those. Of those teas, this one tasted most similar to Ahmad's Ceylon OPA, but I liked it better.

The dry leaf ...

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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 Classic Laoshan Black Tea from Shandong

Classic Laoshan Black Tea from Shandong from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Black Tea – Region: Shandong, China

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 27th, 2020

Wow, I've been reviewing teas for all these years and this is the first tea I've ever tried from Shandong, and I am a fan!

The leaf is tightly curled and has a dusty gray appearance, with small but somewhat thick leaves, and smells very potent: strongly malty with a hint of smoke and dark chocolate. The maltiness is...

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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 Premium Qimen Black Tea of Huangshan

Premium Qimen Black Tea of Huangshan from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Keemun Mao Feng – Region: Huangshan, Anhui, China

92 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 22nd, 2020

I continue to branch out into black teas from provinces other than Yunnan, sold by Yunnan Sourcing. This was a pleasant surprise: an exceptionally smooth tea, easy to brew and easy to drink, among the sweetest Keemuns I've tried.

The dry leaf is very fine and curly, so much it is shaped more like Bi Luo Chun than li...

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Picture of High Mountain

High Mountain "Tu Cha" Black Tea from Wu Yi Mountains from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Black Tea – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

86 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 19th, 2020

This was a pleasant, if somewhat disappointing tea that I found tasted better as it cooled.

The dry leaf is long, wiry, and grayish black, and has a mild aroma that initially is a sort of sweet chocolatey quality, underlain by a deep maltiness. It reminds me of a chocolate shortbread cookie. Overall, the dry leaf do...

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Picture of Loose Leaf Breakfast Blend Black Tea

Loose Leaf Breakfast Blend Black Tea from Benner Tea Co

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

72 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 16th, 2020

I was really excited to see loose-leaf tea for sale in ALDI, and I eagerly bought this. I can't remember how much it cost but I think it was around $5. I had written some time back about how frustrated I was at how bad the tea bag teas from Benner Tea Co, the ALDI generic brand, were.

ALDI consistently has high-qual...

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