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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1412 teas.

Reviews of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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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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"Ara Cha" Premium Japanese Green Tea from Takaokaya

Style: Aracha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

82 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 3rd, 2020

I purchased this at a Cantonese grocery store in Edison, NJ.

I really liked this. It is a high-end Japanese tea, but is unsorted, meaning that it also contains larger pieces of leaf and stem, something that is often missing from the higher-quality teas. As such I find it has a bolder flavor and more complex aroma.
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Picture of Gold Leaf Tea

Gold Leaf Tea from Akbar

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

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 15th, 2020

I was astonished by this tea's quality as well as value for its price. One of my friends recently bought this from a Russian market, and he had only recently opened the container so it was very fresh.

The dry leaf though is explosively aromatic. This is by far the most aromatic Ceylon black tea I've ever found in th...

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Picture of Nan Nuo Mountain Assamica Varietal Black Tea

Nan Nuo Mountain Assamica Varietal Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

97 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 16th, 2019

This was another delightful tea. Of all the teas I've tried recently, it was most similar to the Big Snow Mountain of Mengku. It also reminded me a lot of some artisanal Assam teas I tried a while back from TeaOrb, a company that sells teas from regions of Assam that don't typically reach the western market.

The dry...

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Picture of High Mountain Red Ai Lao Mountain Black Tea

High Mountain Red Ai Lao Mountain Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

86 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 4th, 2019

I was eager to try this tea based on its description. I love big-leafed black teas from Taiwan and also love Taiwanese oolongs, as well as Yunnan red teas, and this tea seemed to have something in common with all of these. It wasn't really like I expected though; it was quite good, but in a different way. It was my lea...

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Picture of Traditional Process Dian Hong Black Tea of Feng Qing

Traditional Process Dian Hong Black Tea of Feng Qing from Yunnan Sourcing

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

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 28th, 2019

A delightful and robust tea that I could happily drink day after day, and that has been one of my favorite teas to start the day with lately.

I found this tea interesting to compare to the "Classic 58" which I also ordered in the same batch. It looks very different in terms of leaf appearance, but is surprisingly si...

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Picture of Wu Liang Hong Mao Feng Yunnan Black Tea

Wu Liang Hong Mao Feng Yunnan Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 27th, 2019

This is definitely my favorite tea I've ever ordered from Yunnan Sourcing, and one of the most exceptional teas I've ever tried. And this is coming from someone who usually is not a huge fan of the super-golden bud-heavy teas like this.

Opening the bag, there's an ethereal fragrance of flowers and sweet, bready malt...

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Picture of Classic Bai Lin Gong Fu

Classic Bai Lin Gong Fu "Golden Monkey" Black tea of Fuding from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Golden Monkey – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

91 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 10th, 2019

This was the first tea I bought from Yunnan Sourcing that was not actually grown in Yunnan province. I was a bit reluctant to order it, but also curious, because this company has been so consistently good at everything they sell, both in terms of price and quality. This tea turned out to be a little less interesting th...

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Picture of Feng Qing

Feng Qing "Classic 58" Dian Hong Premium Yunnan Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

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

89 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 4th, 2019

This is one of those teas that I love and could drink every day, but when I've served it to others, I found it doesn't appeal to as wide an audience, especially among those with Western tastes. People who like more "serious" Chinese teas like it, it but a lot of people either find it boring or are put-off by the astrin...

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Picture of Big Snow Mountain of Mengku Black Tea

Big Snow Mountain of Mengku Black Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

98 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Sep. 6th, 2019

I found this tea absolutely delightful. I continue to be impressed with Yunnan Sourcing, ordering one top-notch tea after another, all reasonably priced.

The dry leaf has the most amazing aroma of any tea I've sampled over the past couple years. It's both strong and complex, floral, malty, spicy, and lightly smoky a...

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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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