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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1402 teas.

Reviews of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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Picture of China Black Special

China Black Special from TeaSource

Style: Black Tea – Region: Guangxi, China

93 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 21st, 2019

TeaSource describes this tea as unusual, and I agree, and not just how it looks, and its origin (only my second tea I've ever tried from Guangxi) but also its flavor and aroma! I really loved this one and I found it easy to drink and enjoy.

The leaf is only lightly aromatic but the smell is very pleasant.

Upon st...

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Picture of Yunnan FOP

Yunnan FOP from TeaSource

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

81 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 19th, 2019

One of the most interesting teas I've tried in a while!

The dry leaf, which is quite aesthetic looking, smells very unusual and different. The aroma is strong, quite smoky and also herbaceous, with hints of malt and cocoa. It also reminds me a little bit of the smell of an ashtray though, and also of the "new car" s...

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Picture of Ceylon, Lumbini Estate, FBOP

Ceylon, Lumbini Estate, FBOP from TeaSource

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

91 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 18th, 2019

This was an exceptional tea and without a doubt one of the best Ceylons I've sampled ever. I like Ceylons, but outside of the ones from teakruthi, it's rare I find ones that stand out. This is one of them!

The leaf looks very straightforward, made of large broken pieces of wiry leaf, uniform in texture and dark gray...

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Picture of Kenya Michimikuru Estate FBOPF

Kenya Michimikuru Estate FBOPF from TeaSource

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

94 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 18th, 2019

I love teas from Kenya, and I've been loving the teas I ordered from TeaSource, so it makes sense I would love this one! I think it is my favorite tea of the whole batch.

The dry leaf smells amazing: there is a sweet, bready quality, and a hint of the juniper smell that is mention in the commercial description.

B...

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Picture of Hu Hong Mao Feng

Hu Hong Mao Feng from TeaSource

Style: Black Tea – Region: Hunan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 17th, 2019

I ordered this exquisite tea from TeaSource with my first order, and it was both interesting and impressive.

The dry leaf is beautiful, curly and somewhat wiry. It is intensely aromatic and the aroma is beautiful: strongly malty, more like rye than other grains, with a nutty quality a little like peanut butter, but ...

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Picture of Dinjoye TGBOP

Dinjoye TGBOP from TeaSource

Style: Assam – Region: Dibrugarh, Assam, India

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 17th, 2019

I was excited and curious to order from TeaSource, and this was one of the first teas I tried. I have been impressed with all of the teas I've tried, including this one.

The leaf is strongly aromatic and pleasant, mostly a malty smell, and it also gives off the sense that this tea packs a punch.

The brewed cup is...

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Picture of Assam Malty Broken Herrentee

Assam Malty Broken Herrentee from Teekörbchen Gelnhausen

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

87 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 29th, 2019

A remarkably smooth tea able to be brewed super strongly. This tea reminded me of Kenyan teas: it was strong and smooth, and not terribly aromatic, but with some of the qualities I like best in a tea.

This was the lowest grade of the three teas I tried from this company, and it was still surprisingly good. The leaf ...

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Picture of Bio Assam GFBOP Rembeng

Bio Assam GFBOP Rembeng from Teekörbchen Gelnhausen

Style: Assam – Region: Nagaon, Assam, India

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 28th, 2019

A brisk Assam with a slight harshness, but also more interesting than most.

Thank you to my friend Janina for bringing this back to me from Germany! This was one of three Assams I sampled from Teekörbchen Gelnhausen, and it was good, and aptly described. It's also the first tea I've sampled from Nagaon, a district ...

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Picture of Oaklands Full Assam

Oaklands Full Assam from Harney and Sons

Style: Assam – Region: Dibrugarh, Assam, India

93 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 14th, 2019

Somehow I let this sample that I bought slip through the cracks and only am trying it now. Unfortunately, it's no longer for sale. A shame, because I thought it outstanding!

The dry leaf is quite beautiful, short, curly leaves with lots of golden tips, and has a complex and fascinating fragrance, sort of fruity, a r...

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Picture of Golden Monkey

Golden Monkey from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Golden Monkey – Region: Yunnan, China

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 10th, 2019

This tea was more pleasant than interesting. I liked it a lot, but found it hard to write as much about it. I also thought it was slightly overpriced.

Dry leaf is very pretty (like many of Murchie's teas, their photo doesn't do it justice, so I took one of my own), with bright golden-orange tips against a dark backg...

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Picture of Ancient Forest Black

Ancient Forest Black from Zhi Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Vietnam

84 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 2nd, 2019

This was among the most interesting teas I've tried in a long time, both aromatically and with respect to mouthfeel. It was the first pure tea I've tried from Zhi, and it may be the first tea from this company to wow me. It had an unusual character somewhere in between that of a black tea and a Pu-erh, but not like rip...

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Picture of Darjeeling Finest Blend

Darjeeling Finest Blend from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 31st, 2018

This tea gets a B+ on quality and a C- on marketing and presentation. The name suggests it is a Darjeeling, but the description (and flavor) betrays that it is actually a blend of a Darjeeling and a Ceylon. I think this is a borderline shady marketing practice: Darjeeling is obviously the more prestigious name, so blen...

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Picture of Chittagong Hill Tea

Chittagong Hill Tea from TWG Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Bangladesh

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 29th, 2018

I was excited to try this! Thank you to my brother Nat for bringing this back to me from the UK. I have known of, and been wanting to try TWG Tea for some time, and I was also excited to try another tea from Bangladesh. I was not disappointed! This turned out to be a very enjoyable tea.

Dry leaf looks kind of averag...

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Picture of Assam Pure

Assam Pure from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 20th, 2018

A rich, deep, dark Assam that was still quite smooth and able to be brewed strongly. Among my favorite teas I've sampled from Murchie's, this would be a great choice for an everyday breakfast tea.

The dry leaf of this has a mild but very pleasant smell, sort of deep, soft, a little foresty, with a hint of wintergree...

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Picture of Ceylon Extra Superior

Ceylon Extra Superior from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

89 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 18th, 2018

A delightful, mellow tea that was one of the best Ceylons I've tried in a while. A subtle tea that was better for calm meditation than as a pick-me-up.

Dry leaf has a beautiful, intact shape with long, wiry leaves in a dark purple-black color. It is only mildly aromatic, smelling lightly of malt and spice with a hin...

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Picture of Mouling Estate SFTGFOP Arunachal Pradesh White Tea

Mouling Estate SFTGFOP Arunachal Pradesh White Tea from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: Arunachal Pradesh, India

54 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 9th, 2018

An exorbitantly-priced tea that didn't deliver the quality I demand in this price range, and in the end, wasn't that enjoyable to drink. This is the first white tea I have ever tried that was produced in any region of northeast India other than Darjeeling. I remain open minded, but this experience was a let-down. Thin-...

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Picture of China WuYi Mountain Tea

China WuYi Mountain Tea from Organic Herbie

Style: Green Tea – Region: China

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 4th, 2018

After being disappointed with Organic Herbie's other teas, I was a bit apprehensive about trying this, but I turned out to like it a surprising amount. I also notice an inconsistency in the marketing: the description says it is grown in the Wuyi mountains, which are located in Fujian province, but the website says that...

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Assam FTGFOP1 Tonganagaon from Socra Tea Detroit

Style: Assam – Region: Tinsukia, Assam, India

79 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 27th, 2018

A fairly typical Assam of slightly-above-average quality. This was one of four teas we tried on our recent visit to Socra Tea Detroit, a great cafe and tea shop that I recommend checking out if you're in the area.

I've now tried three teas from Tonganagaon estate, a tea garden in upper Assam that seems to produce sm...

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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 Ceylon & India / Orange Pekoe (Teabags)

Ceylon & India / Orange Pekoe (Teabags) from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

72 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 27th, 2018

An above-average, basic black tea in a tea bag.

I've tried the loose-leaf version of this tea, and gave it a very good review, but I only had the opportunity to try the tea bag recently, when I stopped at a rest stop on the Ohio turnpike and ordered a cup of tea at a Gloria Jean's coffee stand.

First of all, I wa...

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Picture of Black Tea

Black Tea from Farmer Brothers

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

33 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Nov. 27th, 2018

A very strong black tea that didn't have much going for it other than its strength.

Served at the Gander's Family Restaurant in Luna Pier, MI (super cheap diner with pretty good but very basic diner food! I recommend it more than this tea!) Tea isn't usually the strong suits of these types of restaurants, but I do t...

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Picture of Taiwan Lapsang Souchong Black Tea

Taiwan Lapsang Souchong Black Tea from Organic Herbie

Style: Lapsang Souchong – Region: Nantou, Taiwan

41 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Nov. 14th, 2018

This tea sorely disappointed me and left me feeling sad and empty. I thought from the description that I was going to like it, but the description was somewhere between severely misleading and blatantly wrong. Thank you to Organic Herbie for the free sample. But PLEASE, update the description for this tea because it is...

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Picture of Organic Sweet Colombian Black Tea (Wiry 2)

Organic Sweet Colombian Black Tea (Wiry 2) from Simpson & Vail

Style: Black Tea – Region: Colombia

98 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 8th, 2018

Yet another Colombian tea from the Bitaco estate. Thank you Simpson & Vail for the samples! It's been exciting how many of these I've been able to try lately, and I love every one. They are only subtly different, but I am still able to appreciate the differences. This one, as the name suggests, was the sweetest one I'v...

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Picture of Kenya Kosabei TGFOP Tea

Kenya Kosabei TGFOP Tea from Organic Herbie

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

76 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 5th, 2018

A good "sipping" tea that I found I enjoyed most when I drank slowly. This tea had some characteristics of a Ceylon and some of a Darjeeling. I found it slightly tricky to brew. I liked its aroma, but could be a bit thin-bodied and bitter. Thank you to Organic Herbie for the free sample!

Dry leaf, which has a fine, ...

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Picture of Nepal Organic Gold Pathivara Black Tea

Nepal Organic Gold Pathivara Black Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nepal

99 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 31st, 2018

Without a doubt my favorite tea I've ever tried from Nepal. A singular tea with an intoxicating floral fragrance and an ethereal quality overall. Another sample from Simpson & Vail, thank you, and apologies for taking so long to post this one!

This tea was fascinating: visually, the leaf looks more like a Chinese te...

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