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2164 Tasting Notes


Another sample from Upton Tea Imports. There aren’t too many decaf teas I like but I figured I would try this one out. It definitely smells and tastes like vanilla, but the flavor is a bit thin and wine-y. I think the decaf process removes a lot of flavor from the tea, which is too bad. I added some soymilk to this and it was okay. Will probably finish off the sample I have with some sugar but won’t buy a large size.

I prefer the Vanilla Comoro from Harney and Sons for a vanilla decaf black tea.

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I wanted to try a West Java tea so I got a sample of this with my last order.

Wow, to me this tea is nothing like the description that Upton gives it. Sweetness? Delicate flavor? Where?? I got a dark orange cup that was extremely tannic to the point where I could not drink it plain. I am not fond of overly tannic astringent teas so I had to dump some soymilk in here, as well as sugar in order to make it palatable. I plan to finish the cup I have but the rest of this sample is going in the dustbin, bleah. I hope my stomach does not revolt.

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Terri HarpLady

LOL, the name sounds so cool though!


It does!

Doug F


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Cup of the late morning. I’m trying to finish off last year’s darjeeling samples before I start digging into the new ones I got from Upton (may not be possible).

After steeping I pulled the brew basket out of the cup and am amazed at how green the leaves still are. I really think ff darjeelings are in a class of their own.

It’s been a while since I tried this last. The light yellowish cup is very aromatic and reminds me a lot of flowers. I still don’t get evergreen from this but there’s a slight nuttiness and a lovely fruit essence in my opinion. This is sure a tasty cup of tea! See previous notes for last year’s impressions if interested…

Doug F

I still have some of this from last year and I’m amazed at how well it held its flavor.


Sadly I have so much ff darjeeling from 2012 so I hope it lasts for a while. :)

Doug F

I don’t know how you keep so much tea stockpiled. I’m always stressed about drinking all my tea before it fades and you probably have way more than I!


Yeah I have a lot… I actually have slowed down my buying immensely over last year and now I’m buying mostly samples and small sizes so I can focus on depleting the cupboard. :)

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1/4 of the Upton tea Assam sampler I got yesterday in the mail. Because I really need MORE tea, right?

Anyway I love drinking assams in the morning which is why I went for this sampler. Normally I would put soymilk and sugar in an assam right away but I wanted to at least try a sip of this plain first.

I like it plain which is a good sign, it’s very smooth, malty and has a touch of chocolate. I only steeped mine for 3 minutes and I noticed a lot of the other tasters went for 4 minutes, still I like it at 3. It’s good with a splash of soymilk and at this point doesn’t need sugar in my opinion, although you could certainly add some.

There is a slight tobacco or something in the finish although nothing bothersome. I am enjoying it, a good basic assam.

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Tea of the mid-morning here, it’s a bit odd mixing tulsi with black tea and I don’t really drink this for the flavor of it, I just like the way tulsi makes me feel nice and relaxed. Imagine black tea mixed with a muddy, unwashed mint and you get the idea.

Anyway I am having a great Monday but I spent all day yesterday relaxing, doing meditation, yoga, walking and drinking tea. A great way to start off the week!

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That’s definitely a great way to start off the week. :)

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drank Bohea by Harney & Sons
2164 tasting notes

I decided to get a sample of this tea from Harney and Sons with my last order and it wasn’t in the database yet so I added it this morning.

I confess the only other Bohea I have tried is the Bohea Imperial from Upton Tea which I loved. I was expecting the same love from this as well. :P

The dry leaf smells incredible, I am getting chocolate covered cherries. I steeped this for 4 minutes per H & S suggestion.

This is a very elegant tea, in terms of flavor it is very reminiscent of a wuyi oolong and I adore most of those. It has a definite cherry/plum flavor with a bit of malt and buckwheat. As the cup cools and the flavors become more prominent I am reminded a bit of a red wine. Unfortunately as the cup cools I am getting some bitterness that I’m not really enjoying.

I confess I liked the Upton version better because of the smoky quality… I’m not getting much smoke in this particular Bohea, but I wonder if someone else might perceive it differently? I’d like to try steeping the remainder of the sample I have using the gong fu method. The picture of the tea on their website looks lighter than what I have in my cup so I may have needed to adjust my leaf to water ratio.

I don’t think I will be buying a full size of this but in any case, I look forward to the reviews of others as they come in.

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Doug F

Upton’s version was delicious!


I agree, I LOVE theirs

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It’s kind of strange that I’m drinking this tea in May but oh well… it’s a decaf so it’s good for the night time. I had a cup of coffee at 4 pm, so I’ll be amazed if I get any sleep tonight.

I was surprised that this was so good with soymilk added to it. I had never tried that before and it really helped to bring out the vanilla flavor. Still, this is one of the strongest mint teas I have ever had, aside from drinking plain old peppermint tea. Next time I make this I should steep it with an extra bag of decaf green tea.

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas in your May. ;)


Great minds think alike… lol

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drank Original Tulsi by Organic India
2164 tasting notes

Made my own custom blend combining this, spearmint and lemon verbena then poured over ice. It’s pretty good this way!

Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2164 tasting notes

Oh my.. this tea has been written about extensively on Steepster and for good reason. Chocolatey, malty goodness. As I was steeping this in the gaiwan I thought I smelled someone baking in my building but it must be the tea. I am sure I need more of this. This tea has been a staple in my cupboard ever since I discovered it.

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Well, I bought this almost a year ago and mostly forgot about it until I found it in the refrigerator this morning. This still tastes fine to me, although obviously it is not at the peak of freshness anymore. Just a very light, sweet and vegetal green tea. See previous notes if interested.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


San Frandisco



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