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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1299 teas.

Reviews of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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Picture of English Breakfast Black Tea

English Breakfast Black Tea from Heavenly Tea Leaves

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Assam, India

85 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 24th, 2017

My roommate got a tea sampler of four teas from this company, Heavenly Tea Leaves, which I hadn't heard of before then, and let me try all the teas. I was really impressed with this one, especially with its combination of reasonable price and great quality.

Dry leaf looks mostly intact pieces of whole leaves, smell...

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Picture of Organic Darjeeling Kalimpong

Organic Darjeeling Kalimpong from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Darjeeling Second Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 22nd, 2017

I thought this was an excellent second flush Darjeeling, with a fresher and cooler aroma than average, and surprising strength that allowed the leaf to stretch very far. A tea that I like to savor very slowly, not something for if you're in a hurry.

Thank you to Mighty Leaf for this generous sample!

I love the s...

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Picture of Pure Darjeeling

Pure Darjeeling from Wedgwood

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

62 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
May. 18th, 2017

This is a very dark Darjeeling. I enjoyed it as a change of pace; most high-end tea companies tend to sell lighter Darjeelings but sometimes I like the darker ones. Even though I often prefer the flavor of the lighter teas, I tend to feel better after drinking the darker ones, and this was no exception.

The dry le...

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Picture of Safari Pure Tea

Safari Pure Tea from Ketepa (Kenya Tea Packers)

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

84 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 17th, 2017

I was excited when I saw this for sale at the Everest Indian Grocery Store in Lancaster, PA. I am a huge fan of the Fahari Ya tea from this same company, Ketepa; it's incredibly cheap and remarkably high quality.

This tea was very similar, I think perhaps a little bit better although it's hard to say, because my fa...

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Picture of Anji Black

Anji Black from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Anji, Zhejiang, China

78 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
May. 13th, 2017

This tea tasted more like a sweet, Christmas-ey baked good than any other tea I've ever tried.

The leaf has such a pleasant fragrance, a rich, buttery, bready, and fruity aroma, like a fruit tart fresh out of the oven, quite remarkable. There's a distinctive smell in the aroma that reminds me of some food from my c...

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Picture of Organic Karigane

Organic Karigane from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Kukicha – Region: Japan

76 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 13th, 2017

Thank you to Mighty Leaf for this sample! Overall I haven't been as impressed with the green teas from Mighty Leaf as the black ones, but I like this one a bit more. This was a very atypical example of a kukicha / twig tea, much more full-flavored than I expected.

I was intrigued by how the leaf smells...it smells...

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Picture of Organic Sencha

Organic Sencha from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

58 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
May. 11th, 2017

Thank you mighty leaf for this sample! This tea had a very pleasant flavor but was nearly aromaless, although what aroma it did have was nice.

Dry leaf initially doesn't smell great, but when I breathe in more deeply, there's a very pleasant smell that suggests sweetness. The leaf looks fairly large and also rathe...

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Picture of Assam Extra Fancy

Assam Extra Fancy from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

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

Thanks again to Mighty Leaf for this sample! Like the other Assam from mighty leaf, I liked this tea from the first sip, but it also grew on me substantially. Another classic Assam, this one of higher grade. It was good the first few times I brewed it, but I found it really shined when I gave it a long steep.

Thi...

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Picture of Rou Gui Oolong

Rou Gui Oolong from Harney and Sons

Style: Rou Gui – Region: Wuyi, Fujian, China

72 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
May. 5th, 2017

Overall this was more run-of-the-mill than I expected for such a high-end tea. My favorite thing about it was the smell of the dry leaf, the actual cup was good, but not as interesting.

The dry leaf smells incredibly beautiful...multifaceted too, lightly roasty, very fruity, like baked goods, suggesting sweetness, ...

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Picture of Hunan Bloolong

Hunan Bloolong from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Hunan, China

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
May. 2nd, 2017

I got my hopes up for this tea but it was oddly forgettable, disappointing among artisan teas. There's an intriguing sensation of peach when drinking it, but...besides that nothing about it stands out.

The dry leaf smells so good, really rich and pleasing, malty, a sort of warm baked good smell, with notes of spice...

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Picture of Ceylon Kenilworth

Ceylon Kenilworth from Mighty Leaf Tea

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

82 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 1st, 2017

Thank you to mighty leaf for the sample! This tea is dark, strong, smoky, and complex. It's like one of those software packages that is really intimidating and hard to learn, but powerful once you get comfortable with it. I found it grew on me and I liked it more each time I drank it.

Wiry leaf smells punch-you-i...

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Picture of Hunan Mao Jian

Hunan Mao Jian from Harney and Sons

Style: Mao Jian Green Tea – Region: Hunan, China

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 29th, 2017

I tend to like Mao Jian teas a lot, and I still liked this one, but it was my least favorite example of it that I've tried. It was unexpectedly smooth but lacked edge or bite, and I think this bite is one of the things that I most appreciate about this type of tea.

Dry leaf is wiry and curved, very dark green. Qui...

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Picture of Assam Golden Tip

Assam Golden Tip from Mighty Leaf Tea

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

88 / 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

88 / 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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