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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1394 teas.

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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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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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Picture of Darjeeling, Puttabong Estate, 1st Flush

Darjeeling, Puttabong Estate, 1st Flush from Simpson & Vail

Style: Darjeeling First Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

84 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 25th, 2018

A tricky-to-brew tea that reminded me a lot of green oolongs from Taiwan, and required a lower water temperature to brew to satisfaction.

The dry leaf, quite broken, is an intense green color, like a lot of good Darjeeling first flush. It looks exactly like pictured in the company photo (I appreciate honest photogra...

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Picture of Nilgiri Korakundah Estate - Organic FOP/FBOP

Nilgiri Korakundah Estate - Organic FOP/FBOP from Simpson & Vail

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nilgiri, India

71 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 16th, 2018

A beautifully aromatic tea that a strong bitterness and thin body. I found it tricky to brew to satisfaction. I have now sampled three teas from Korakundah estate, and I find they are all a bit like this, although I think this was by far my favorite of the three. Thank you to Simpson & Vail for the free sample!

The ...

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Picture of Da Hu Sai Village Wild Arbor Black Tea of Yunnan Spring 2018

Da Hu Sai Village Wild Arbor Black Tea of Yunnan Spring 2018 from Yunnan Sourcing

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

92 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 8th, 2018

This is one of those really dangerous teas...very caffeinated but incredibly mild and smooth tasting, so it is very easy to brew it too strongly and get uncomfortably wired.

Dry leaf has a potent and very pleasing aroma: strongly malty with cocoa notes, and a faint hint of smoke and vegetal notes. Contrasting with t...

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Picture of Jingmai Mountain Wild Arbor Black Tea of Spring 2018

Jingmai Mountain Wild Arbor Black Tea of Spring 2018 from Yunnan Sourcing

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

100 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Oct. 5th, 2018

Wow! Exceptional!!!

I've tried a lot of teas from Yunnan Sourcing over the years but have never ordered nor have I reviewed any of them; they were always just served to me by others, often aged Pu-erhs. I finally ordered some of my own and I am super impressed with every one. This is my favorite one of the batch.

...

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Picture of Black Tea Bar (Loose-leaf)

Black Tea Bar (Loose-leaf) from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

89 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 21st, 2018

I bought this at the H-Mart in Metuchen, NJ. The label didn't give me much of an idea of what to expect; all I knew was that it was Taiwan-grown black tea and was inexpensive. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this quickly became one of my favorite teas for daily drinking. I highly recommend it and would gladly b...

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Picture of Buket Black Tea

Buket Black Tea from Azercay (Azer├žay)

Style: Black Tea – Region: Russia

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 13th, 2018

I have been wanting to try Russian tea for some time, and this is the first one I have sampled, and it exceeded my expectations!

Thank you to my friend Olga who brought this back for me! This brand sells tea both from Azerbaijan and Russia, but this batch was produced in Russia, according to the box, by Kuban Tea (u...

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Picture of Ramanugger Estate FTGFOP1 Organic

Ramanugger Estate FTGFOP1 Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Assam – Region: Karbi Anglong, Assam, India

74 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
May. 21st, 2018

I specifically sought this tea out because it was from a region of Assam that is a little higher-altitude, and from where I hadn't previously tried any teas. Interestingly, it did taste a little more like a Darjeeling and other high-grown Himalayan region teas. Although I thought it was a very good tea, I liked it less...

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Picture of Season's Pick Colombian Leafy Black Tea Organic

Season's Pick Colombian Leafy Black Tea Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Colombia

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
May. 17th, 2018

Another exquisite tea from the Bitaco estate in Columbia! This was a smooth black tea that tasted top-quality, but was a bit weak on the resteep. Tastes better when brewed strongly. I served this tea to two different people as well and they both loved it.

I've been trying different grades and batches or variants of ...

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Picture of Nandi Royal GFBOP Black Tea

Nandi Royal GFBOP Black Tea from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 13th, 2018

Probably the strongest tea I have had in a long time. I loved this one. It's not for the faint of heart, though!

Upton's humble "Nandi Royal OP" really blew me away, so I was eager to try this. Compared to that one, this is a higher-grade broken-leaf tea, more tippy, but more broken. The price on this is slightly hi...

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Picture of British Blend - Premium Black Tea

British Blend - Premium Black Tea from Tetley Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

24 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Apr. 22nd, 2018

I was not impressed with this. I think I prefer Lipton even, and that says a lot because I am not exactly a fan of Lipton or any of these mass-produced, low-quality tea bags.

Thank you to my friend Sarah for letting me try this!

Weak aroma, only slightly malty, but there's a hint of a sort of unpleasant, fishy ar...

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