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E. Alex Gerster

Tea Reviewer

Member since Jul. 18th, 2011. Reviewed 66 teas.

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Twinings

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: ?????

63 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 15th, 2014

Actually one of Twining's better blends. A bit bolder than their English breakfast tea, with more pronounced malty flavor. A nice mix of Ceylon and Assam teas. Stands up to sugar and cream if you go that way, and just fine on it's own. Biggest disappointment is the lack of aroma. Makes a pretty decent cup of tea.

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Earl Grey from Dilmah

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: Blend

77 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 7th, 2014

One of my favorite Earl Grey teas that I take with me when I travel. It has such a nice aroma and clean, soothing taste. You still taste the Ceylon black tea base and aren't overwhelmed by the bergamot flavor.

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Organic Assam Breakfast from Republic of Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 7th, 2014

Saw this Organic Assam on the Republic of Tea website and fondly remembered the Temi SFTGFOP1 First Flush Black Tea that Alex Zorach had sent me a sample of last year, so I had to give it a try.

This tea is organic TGFOP1 full leaf from the Hunwal Tea Estate, in the Jorhat area of Assam. Hunwal rises into the hills ...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Dilmah

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: ?????

73 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 24th, 2014

Traditional unblended tea with deep color and bold flavor. 100% Ceylon. Equally nice as a warm cup to start the day, or iced for a refreshing glass throughout the day. Aroma is very subtle and the flavor not terribly complex. Just a good all around Ceylon tea.

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Winter Spice from Twinings

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: Blend

83 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 1st, 2014

Received a box of 20 teabags of this herbal blend less than two months ago, and it is nearly empty. I guess that tells you I enjoyed this blend! The spices and apple flavor go well with the base of chamomile, which merge together with a nice synergy. The aroma is wonderful and not overpowering; the flavor is light and ...

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Picture of Barooti Assam (Broken Leaf with Golden Tips)

Barooti Assam (Broken Leaf with Golden Tips) from Ahmad Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 1st, 2014

My local Indian Market was out of the Ahmad Kalami Assam, so I picked this one up instead. Quite different in flavor and aroma, but still an excellent value.

Brewed at 3 to 4 minutes maximum, and you get a bold, robust flavor and aroma, but with less complexity and maltiness than the Kalami Assam. The color is extr...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Adagio Teas

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Anhui, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 1st, 2014

Opened a fresh package of this wonderful loose leaf blend, and enjoyed the fresh aroma of the dry leaves: earthy, slightly smoky and a light honey scent as well. Just over three minutes as a steep with boiling water. Beautiful color and a malty aroma begins to develop.

I am not sure I would classify this as a tradit...

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Picture of Citron Green

Citron Green from Adagio Teas

Style: Fruit Green Tea – Region: China

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 28th, 2014

A very pleasant blend that is light and soothing. Only takes two to three minutes for a very flavorful and aromatic steep. Best using water of 175 to 180 degrees to get the full aroma.

Nothing poetic to say about this tea, just a very good blend that is inexpensive, flavorful and comforting!

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Picture of Baker Street Afternoon Blend

Baker Street Afternoon Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Russian Caravan – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 24th, 2014

One of my favorite blends from Upton. The light smokiness in aroma and flavor adds character yet does not overpower the whole leaf base. There is a light sweetness (possibly from the Darjeeling), a light woodiness, and just a touch of malt -- making for an interesting and satisfying brew.

I understand that it makes ...

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Picture of Bond Street English Breakfast Blend

Bond Street English Breakfast Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

70 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 24th, 2014

A very robust blend with deep flavor and light aroma. Not a full leaf blend, but rather fine chop makes this brew quick. Longer steep brings a bitterness that is unpleasant, so just 3 minutes is recommended.

Dark and brisk - just what an English Breakfast Blend should be.

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Picture of Organic Fukamushi Sencha

Organic Fukamushi Sencha from Den's Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 11th, 2014

I have been drinking more organic teas lately, as they are becoming more available. This deep steamed Fukamushi Sencha from Den's Tea has been a great find with excellent flavor and aroma. It is a bit pricy but worthwhile as the steaming releases nuances that brew up very quickly for several steeps.

Overall light v...

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Picture of Holiday Tea - Gingerbread Spice

Holiday Tea - Gingerbread Spice from Celestial Seasonings

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 21st, 2013

A pleasant herbal brew. Ginger and cinnamon in a gentle blend of flavor and aroma. I prefer this one after it has cooled, and for using in recipes. I actually poach pears in a strong brew of this tea, and a friend of mine makes baked apples with a cup of this herbal tea poured on top.

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Picture of Lemon Twist

Lemon Twist from Twinings

Style: Lemon Black Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 21st, 2013

When I was a teenager, black tea with a slice of lemon was what you were served in most restaurants around Miami when you asked for a cup of tea. Nothing fancy, usually not anything very memorable, and usually some off name brand that the restaurant bought at a deep discount. It was more of something just to accompany ...

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Picture of Jasmine Green Tea

Jasmine Green Tea from Rishi Tea

Style: Jasmine Tea – Region: Hubei, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 12th, 2013

If you enjoy Jasmine Tea, then I would definitely give this one a try. It is a very good value at approx. $4 an ounce, less than half the price of Rishi's Yin Hao Jasmine Green Tea (which is also excellent). For me, the biggest difference is that you get a bit more flavor of the green tea base, and the Jasmine flavor i...

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Picture of Organic Silver Needle White Tea

Organic Silver Needle White Tea from Wegmans

Style: Silver Needle – Region: China

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 12th, 2013

Silver Needle Tea can be extremely fickle to brew and very subtle in flavor and aroma. It is typically a very mild and smooth tea, and this sample of Wegman's was very much in character.

Brief steepings at about 190 degrees produced a weak aroma, and yet nice flavor of sweet grass with a touch of melon. For a first ...

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Picture of Dong Ding Oolong

Dong Ding Oolong from Tradition

Style: Jade Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 10th, 2013

Beautiful jade green oolong with low oxidation and a bright, clear aroma and flavor. The natural sweetness is amazing! Aroma mirrors the sweetness but has distinct floral notes.

I have become very impressed by this brand, and the quality of their teas for very reasonable prices. One of my local Asian markets often ...

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Picture of Bi Luo Chun Green Tea (Pi Lo Chun)

Bi Luo Chun Green Tea (Pi Lo Chun) from TeaVivre

Style: Bi Luo Chun – Region: Jiangsu, China

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 8th, 2013

This tea is amazing! By far the best of this variety that I have ever tried. From the moment you open the package and see the tender curls, you are greeted by a wonderful aroma that is herbaceous, nutty, lightly smoky with a hint of citrus. This aroma persists through brewing and matches the mellow flavor.

Light gre...

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Picture of Monkey-Picked Ti Kuan Yin

Monkey-Picked Ti Kuan Yin from Foojoy

Style: Tie Guan Yin – Region: Anxi, Fujian, China

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 6th, 2013

Very nice lightly roasted oolong with pleasant aroma and aftertaste. Full bodied and filled with interesting notes that remind me of tart baked apples, with hints of cinnamon and caramel. Second steeping of the leaves yields a bit more woodiness, and hints of walnut. A very interesting and nice oolong that I look forwa...

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Picture of Houjicha Roasted Green Tea

Houjicha Roasted Green Tea from Wegmans

Style: Hojicha – Region: Japan

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 2nd, 2013

Thanks again Alex Z. For the sample of this hojicha! It was a really nice switch from some of the darker/deeper roasted teas of this variety that I had tried recently.

Very good quality tea as can be seen in the dry leaves, and tasted right from the start. The flavors of sweet grass and grain enhance the lightly roa...

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Picture of Green Gold

Green Gold from Mandala Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: Anhui, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 2nd, 2013

Bright, mellow, impressive flavor and aroma. There are slight nutty hints like a good dragonwell tea, but more herbaceous notes that linger as an aftertaste.

I had been brewing this in a small gaiwan, yielding at least 4 good short steepings, but also tried it in a tea thermos, adding 175F water over the leaves sev...

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Picture of Masala Chai

Masala Chai from Adagio Teas

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon

93 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 31st, 2013

This is one tasty chai. The blend of spices leans to the warm flavors and aroma of ginger and cloves, rather than to the cinnamon and cardamom sweetness which is present but not dominant. The Ceylon Sonata black tea which is the base, is a wonderful Kenilworth Estate tea that has citrus and spice notes that shine throu...

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Picture of Liu An Gua Pian Green Tea

Liu An Gua Pian Green Tea from TeaVivre

Style: Lu An Melon Seed – Region: Xiuning, Anhui, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 21st, 2013

Truly a fantastic green tea, much better than any other liu an gua pian that I have tried. The dry leaves have a beautiful aroma and unfurl gently to release their emerald brew. Sweet, rich and releasing different flavors with each steeping.

I used a small glass gaiwan to brew so I could watch the leaves, and did a ...

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Picture of Organic Tender Tip Country Green (Organic Chunmee Green)

Organic Tender Tip Country Green (Organic Chunmee Green) from Foojoy

Style: Chun Mee – Region: China

73 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 18th, 2013

This was my first loose tea from Foojoy, and I was rather pleased. A good solid green that is both inexpensive and has good flavor. Although I had seen Foojoy loose teas in their tins at my local Asian market, I had never tried any since I was not ready to take a chance on about $9.50 for 8 ounces; a very good price, b...

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Picture of Golden Strand

Golden Strand from Mandala Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 16th, 2013

I absolutely adore this tea. Wonderful amber color. Smooth Yunnan flavor with a sweet caramel taste being most prominent and a light spicy, peppery tone as a highlight. Does well with a short one minute steep for the first infusion, 2 minutes for the second, and 5 for the third.

It is a bit pricey, but worth every ...

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Picture of Black Pearl

Black Pearl from Mandala Tea

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 16th, 2013

This is one of those teas that I first purchased a few years ago, and became one of my few go-to teas when I needed a bit of warmth and comfort. I know it is either in short supply or sold. At right now, but I was overjoyed to be able to add an ounce to my last order!

Complex, warm and soothing. This is great tea fo...

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