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Gray

Tea Reviewer

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Member since Feb. 9th, 2018. Reviewed 18 teas.

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Picture of Constant Comment® Loose Tea

Constant Comment® Loose Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Blend

68 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 17th, 2019

I think that this is the first time I will have said (or written) this, but I actually prefer the teabag form of this tea. The balance of flavors is off in this. I've tried four different ways of brewing it, changing both the times and the amount of tea, but nothing felt quite right.

Using 2 1/2 tsp for 2 min using...

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Lapsang Souchong Smoky Black Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: Fujian, China

75 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 12th, 2019

I'm not much of a fan of smoky teas. It's really a matter of personal history. It takes me back to a house filled with fire smoke or cigarette smoke, and my frantically opening windows, choking just to breathe. Now, somehow, this tea managed to clear that all away and elicit only my positive memories of smoke -- clean,...

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Picture of Constant Comment®

Constant Comment® from Bigelow Tea

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: ?????

85 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 11th, 2019

This is only the second tea by Bigelow that I've tried (and both, I've tried in the last two days). I've been, overall, impressed by Bigelow. I admit that after being quite disappointed by other American brands, I gravitated towards those from the UK. I assumed that they'd be better able to formulate a good cup of tea,...

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Picture of Earl Grey

Earl Grey from Bigelow Tea

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: Blend

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 10th, 2019

This is tea from a tea bag, so right from the start, we're not dealing with the best quality. But, this sort of tea isn't for having a gourmet experience. If it were, they wouldn't sell it for a few dollars at the local supermarket. It's a daily tea. On that level, it does fine.

The flavor profile is different from ...

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Picture of Earl Grey Decaffeinated

Earl Grey Decaffeinated from Twinings

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: ?????

40 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 10th, 2019

Twining's US uses a less-health-hazardous method for extracting caffeine from tea. I commend them for that, in principle. In practice, this is a terrible way of extracting caffeine because it takes all of the flavor along with it. There is a better way of doing it that is both less health-hazardous and maintains flavor...

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Picture of 10-Year Aged Raw Pu-erh Brick Tea (2005)

10-Year Aged Raw Pu-erh Brick Tea (2005) from TeaVivre

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

85 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 2nd, 2018

I'm not sure how others determine their point ratings for tea, but for me, an 85 is an above-average everyday tea. At first, when I tried this, I didn't like it. Something about the notes just didn't appeal to me. It took getting more used to rougher, young raw pu-erh for me to really start to appreciate this one. It ...

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Picture of Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2012

Fengqing Ancient Tree Spring Chun Jian Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2012 from TeaVivre

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

82 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 2nd, 2018

When the holidays came around (and the holiday sales) and I was treating myself to one of the more expensive cakes, I picked this one out of all of those available on TeaVivre. The reason that I picked this one was that it's drinkable now, it tastes like it has potential for the future (not all currently drinkable cake...

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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: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 2nd, 2018

I'd rate this one pretty high, but most of the flavor is in the breath, not in the taste itself. I think it's a matter of personal preference as to whether one prefers one, the other, or both. I prefer both because it gives more of a rounded experience. This just doesn't have enough in the taste to appeal to me. There ...

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Picture of Menghai Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2018 - Dog Year

Menghai Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2018 - Dog Year from TeaVivre

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

42 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 26th, 2018

I'm rewriting this review because I just gave the Dog Year tea another try and I was happier with it this time. Months ago, it was too smoky and unpalatable. It tasted nothing like the Monkey Year tea. But, after time, it's evolved. I had a sample and for part of the past few months, it was in the sample pouch. I event...

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Picture of Fengqing Daohua Xiang Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2013

Fengqing Daohua Xiang Raw Pu-erh Cake Tea 2013 from TeaVivre

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Fengqing, Yunnan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 24th, 2018

When I first tried this tea, I used a Western brewing method and it came out terribly. At that point in time, I also had very little experience with the bitterness of younger raw pu-erh. Well, I let some samples of this sit around for about six months to a year and gave it another try. I was so happy I tried this again...

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Picture of Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro from DAVIDsTEA

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

30 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 1/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

I'd really like to say something positive about this tea, but it's really just not good. I gave it several chances. I brewed it first using the method that worked reliably with the Maeda-en gyokuro, but it was bitter and made me extremely jittery. I tried converting the annoying, proprietary "perfect spoonful" measurem...

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Picture of Gyokuro Reserve Green Tea

Gyokuro Reserve Green Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

This and the Maeda-en Gyokuro Grower's Select go hand-in-hand. This is the sweet one of the two while the Select is more savory/umami. Both brew well very consistently (which is great, considering that gyokuro is an expensive tea and not something you'd want to waste).

I had good results with the following brewing m...

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Picture of Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea

Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea from Maeda-en

Style: Gyokuro – Region: Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 20th, 2018

This and the Maeda-en Gyokuro Grower's Reserve go hand-in-hand, because one is more savory and the other is more sweet. One of my favorite things about both of these is that they brew well very consistently (which is great, considering that gyokuro is an expensive tea and not something you'd want to waste).

I had go...

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Picture of Organic Silken Pu-erh

Organic Silken Pu-erh from DAVIDsTEA

Style: Pu-erh Tea – Region: Yunnan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 8th, 2018

I was in the area, so I decided to check out a David's Tea shop. In all honesty, it looked more like a candy store than a tea shop. It had all these colorful spoons and containers and most of their "teas" looked more like trail mix or confetti than tea (some of them had the ingredients to trail mix in them). I'd writte...

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Picture of Liu Bao Tea Cake 100g

Liu Bao Tea Cake 100g from Three Cranes and Six Forts

Style: Dark Tea – Region: Guangxi, China

0 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 1/5
Apr. 18th, 2018

I had some very bad results with this tea, I'm sorry to say. It made me feel as if I'd been poisoned. The cake itself didn't smell too bad, it actually had a decent scent to it — like pu-erh, but different in a way. I wasn't sure if the scent was sweet in the way that some pu-erh can mature into having a sweet, sugar...

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Picture of Zhu Xiang Ji brand Yu Lei dark tea

Zhu Xiang Ji brand Yu Lei dark tea from ESGREEN

Style: Dark Tea – Region: Hunan, China

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 15th, 2018

If you could brew the experience of sitting in a lush pine forest after a light rain, with a distant, vague scent of wood fire smoke on the air, this would be it. This tea has a clean, dark, wet earth note that underlies a pine note with an almost menthol-like quality to it, and a touch of smoke that comes in at times....

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Picture of 1953 Fucha Anhua Dark Tea Royal Fu Tea Brick

1953 Fucha Anhua Dark Tea Royal Fu Tea Brick from Baishaxi

Style: Dark Tea – Region: Hunan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 13th, 2018

I wanted to redo this review because I gave this tea some time to age, suspecting that the smokiness would diminish, and it did. So, the experience of drinking this tea is a very different one now. I managed to brew it using a gaiwan, not a teapot with a mesh strainer, and there still wasn't too much sediment. The tast...

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Picture of Organic Gunpowder Green Tea (Zhu Cha)

Organic Gunpowder Green Tea (Zhu Cha) from TeaVivre

Style: Gunpowder Green Tea – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

85 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 9th, 2018

The first time I ever tried gunpowder tea, I hated it. So, I came to this tea very skeptical. I also don't like smoky flavors, so that was another potential issue. But, even with all of that working against it, I ended up loving this tea. It has a spicy note like black pepper, there's a moderately rich, buttery quality...

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