14 Tasting Notes

69

I recently made an order from Upton to fill up my Earl Grey tin and I chose a couple of tea samples that had been Upton best-sellers. Here is the report on one of them:

Both the picture and the name of this tea appealed to me. They both just muster pleasant images in my mind. The dry leaf has a more Oolongy appearence, and is so dark it is almost—blue, which is intriguing. As for the name… I mean, I love melons.

This is a Chinese green tea, but the flavor reminds me of a more characteristically Japanese “peaty” flavor. I have been detecting that flavor in Chinese greens an awful lot lately, so I wonder when I will altogether drop the reference and just start giving Chinese teas the credit…

Note: I feel kind of buzzed after 2 successive unique cups, so the caffeine content gets a +.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Yunnan Pure Gold by TeaSpring
14 tasting notes

As I sip my fresh cup of Yunnan Pure Gold I am whisked away to an ancient Chinese temple, deep in a mountain gorge. My Sherpa guide is tending the fire and fragrances of burning pine bows and sandalwood lick my nostrils. The dimming mountain vistas around our camp lie silent. As dusk falls, and the Mongolian winter slides down from a northern mountain face, I sip my Yunnan Pure Gold, which is reminiscent of the earth, the woods, and mountain life.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Steve

Did you mean “…our camp lay silent.”? You are so ignorant of English, Steve.

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67
drank Keemun by Gold Fish Tea
14 tasting notes

I got into the shop this afternoon and everybody was drinking Keemun. So, playing the part of mindless social automaton, I brewed up a cup of my own so I wouldn’t be left out of the fun. I put tea leaves in to steep… and then had to sit down for a presentation that lasted for more than a half an hour. By the time I got back to the Keemun the water was tepid and such a dark brown I could barely see the white bottom of the mug through the liqueur.

With that in mind, I tried the tea and it reminded me a lot of another type: Whittard of Chelsea Black Tea from England (which I have reviewed before). Considering I over steeped this cup, it’s probably not a fair first tasting and I’ll need to review it again. I feel safe saying at least that Keemun strongly resembles a classic black tea in the style of India or Great Britain.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
Peggie Bennett

I’m just thinking that Gold Fish Tea is not an appetizing name for a tea company. Because gold fish tea is really just fish broth.

Steve

Haha!~ I know what you mean. The owners wanted to refer to the carp in the name, which is a symbol for wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture. I hope it doesn’t turn too many people off of tea!

Peggie Bennett

Cuppa Carp? :-)
I think some things just get lost in translation. And they probably need a better logo design person. Maybe the Romanized words for “wealth” and “prosperity” with a gold fish as the logo in the background. Then it seems all Eastern and mysterious-like to the Westerners. (I can say that because I’m Chinese.) :-)

Steve

Do you know someone?

Peggie Bennett

I think there are a couple of people I know that could do the job.

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79
drank Anji Bai Cha by Canton Tea Co
14 tasting notes

Smells good. Looks exactly like dried grass clippings. It has a light, very slightly grassy taste. No complaints. Very solid white tea. I think I could drink it all day… and just might.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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81

Very good dark Oolong, and I don’t usually like the dark ones. 3 steeps and it kept its strength really well. If Anything it got stronger as I added steeps. I can really taste the Scarlet Robe. J/k

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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86

I had 3 cups of it in a row in successive steeps at work today.

This tea is amazing looking dry. The picture does NOT do it justice. It is composed of 3/4 inch leaves rolled up so that they are fat little shiny logs with furry seams. They look so delicious I briefly considered eating them instead of soaking them.

Bamboo is the owner’s favorite green and I can see why. It is very flavorful. I will say that it is classically Chinese tasting; having an earthy, malty, robust flavor. It has another quality that I couldn’t fully place. In retrospect it was maybe crayons or freshly sliced rubber.

It won’t be replacing Dragon Well as my favorite green quite yet, but it is definitely in my top five.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Lowers body temp and rich in fiber and protein? Sweet!:)

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80
drank Ginseng Oolong by Dream About Tea
14 tasting notes

I had this tea yesterday at work, my first day at Gold Fish Tea! A coworker said it was one of the shops most popular teas. I put 4 grams in a mug, added Oolong water, then waited 3 minutes for my first steep to darken up.

The appearance was very interesting. The picture on this article is accurate, however it also had some pure white dried ginsing root “coins” mingling with the tea.

I could really taste the Ginsing root. I have had the pleasure of growing useful herbs at home and one gets to know the “rooty” taste after a while. There are also a few pure Ginsing herbal teas out there that one might try. The tea has this aspect, but only SLIGHTLY. Not nearly enough to overpower the lightly oxidized oolong beneath. With any luck, some of the healthful benefits of the ginseng root are also being imparted into the already radiant cup.

Good news for Steepster! I have been commanded to drink at least one tea every time I work so that I can try them all. I will try to make a tasting note on each one to share the experience.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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81

A good strong black tea. I’ve been drinking this every morning for about 3 weeks and enjoying it very much. Drinking it is reminiscent of drinking coffee, however I put down the coffee mug several months ago in favor of the tea mug. It is like coffee in that it has an aftertaste like coffee, and has a very heavy, oven-roasted flavor. (This could be an effect of my using nearly boiling water to steep it though)

The leaves are very fine BOP colored dark red/brown with golden pieces interspersed. My upper lip goes numb when I drink River Shannon, so I would say there is some caffeine in it, or cocaine.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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78

I had wanted to taste a Russian Caravan for a long time and I finally have with Upton’s variety. It smells and tastes to me like how one might describe the classic Darjeeling taste profile, except maybe with less sweetness, freshness, and more of that “autumn leaves” Oolonginess, (which I love). The taste is probably a consequence of it being a BLEND, and has most likely has Oolongs, Dars, and other black teas from SE Asia rolled into it.

I like this tea though, even despite it really not having a unique character of its own… it has blue blood.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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Bio

I love food and drink and move around the restaurant industry based on what aspect of it I want to learn about. The aesthetics of the senses interest me, and the process of tea, from preparation through drinking, is one of the most sensually decadent experiences I can think of. When I say I “love” tea, I assume (regarding brain chemistry) that enjoying tea is closely tied, if not an example, of romantic love.

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Michigan, USA

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