Upton Tea Imports
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a very interesting tea. I like the combination of Darjeeling and Yunnan, because they are quite different in taste and body but they work well together.
Notes of fermented grape, honey, caramel and flower. A complex cuppa with a very enjoyable texture.
Tea #6 from Another TTB
Wow! This one reminds me of Mandala Tea’s Special dark, however Might actually like this one a tad bit better (guilty). The cocoa taste is very prominent and the spices come through making this a cozy cup. It’s not quite as astringent as I found special dark to be. I don’t know… I’ll need to have these two side by side some time. Unfortunately this was the last leg of this teas journey in the box… I sampled the last bit of it:( I wish there was more:( I’ll have to add this to my shopping list. To whoever added this one, my deepest thanks:) I love it.
For the life of me, I’m blanking out why I bought so much of this. Somewhere, someone must have told me this was the end-all, be-all of chocolate teas.
Smells carob-like and fresh out of the bag, but more cocoa-like as it steeps. Sweetened, this is an excellent fix for my love of hot cocoa, even though it’s got zero of the creaminess that cocoa with milk does. It’s more.. thick. A teensy bit of cinnamon in the aftertaste. Mostly lightly flavored, dark cocoa nibs. It’s a strong like, but not a love. I think this would really sparkle with some orange in it, or as Sil said in another tealog, mixed with something else.
Delicate tea with just enough flavor, brightness and bitterness to make it easy to drink most any time.
This has been on my shopping list for so long and so I was very happy to see this sad little sample in my first traveling tea box. It was just enough for a cup, stored in a squished up Ziplock bag. I think it was meant to be! This tea brews up a lovely golden cup. It smells like a sweet fruit, something between a pear and an apple. There is also a little bit of a metallic note in the background. I think it’ll likely disappear when it comes time to drinking it, but it’s not terribly pleasant.
Sipping… I taste a sweet, juicy pear. It’s nice because I’m not just getting the flavor, but the texture of the fruit. The sip finishes with the green rooibos base. It’s a very flavorful, but light tea at the same time. There is a little something odd about the general taste of the tea. I’m not sure how to describe it… perhaps the artificial flavor? It’s not bad enough to keep me from drinking, but it’s not really something I want in my tea.
I’m happy to have gotten the chance to try this tea after wanting to for so long, even though it’s not a future purchase for me.
If I was a better tea drinker I would be drinking more of the good stuff that I love every day and saving the crappy stuff for an emergency, but somehow I haven’t been doing that! I’ve had this darjeeling since mid-2012 and here it is almost 2014… I feel that I should drink more of my current darjeeling stash before buying any more so I need to make an effort here. Fortunately this won’t be a hardship. ;-)
I was worried it was losing some of its flavor, but this still seems really good to me with loads of tropical fruit and floral essences. See previous notes if interested.
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea to try. A really decent Ceylon. Very flavorful. Sweet fruit notes, faint hints of earth, moderately astringent, and an aftertaste that is like citrus. A pleasing, medium-bodied cuppa.
This is the 2011 batch, which isn’t available any more from Upton. But I thought I’d write a review anyway.
I really liked this tea. It had character and richness but was completely smooth, with a mouthfeel that was almost milky-silky. The brewed tea was beautiful coppery clear brown, and had peach, cured wood, and muted vegetal scents. Better without milk.
I brewed 2.20 cupweight in 12 oz water poured from a just-boiled electric kettle, 5 minutes. (Directions on Upton’s packet said 3-6 minutes, which is a larger range than I usually see for tea brewing time.)
After I poured off the tea I hovered over the teapot and enjoyed the steam rising off the wet leaves. I got sweet rich scents of earth and chocolate, and perhaps dry grass.
Neat, I found the tea a bit too thin and sharp-tasting.
With a bit of 2% milk (not as much as I put in Assams or the Ceylons that can take it), I thought the taste was a bit funny, reminiscent of the clash between dairy and citrus.
I found it hard to “place” this tea – it had a neutral pleasing quality but no personality I could recognize. Yet it did have a “satisfying mouth feel” as Upton puts it. Odd. It’s almost like how tea tastes when you are reading something very interesting; your attention is usurped by the text, and your mind just registers “I’m drinking tea” rather than getting into the flavors and experience of it. A good “background” tea, then, when you want a good cup but don’t want to fuss all gourmand-like over it.
Holy floral bergamot, Batman! This is one strongly flavored tea.
I can’t remember why I grabbed this initially – I think perhaps it was to assuage a guy I once knew that loves Earl Grey, and wanted more decaf options, so I grabbed him this sample. Regardless, he’s out of the picture and this tea is what fell on me tonight, and so… I’m drinking it.
It smells VERY strongly of bergamot in the bag, and even more so as it steeps. This is very definitely a strong tea. Plus, an EIGHT minute steep? Okay, if you say so.. and it’s strong. Faintly floral, very bergamot, and a hint of rooibos.
I think if I was gaga for strong Earl Greys and wanted a nighttime fix, I’d drink this. Is it for me? Not really.
this enticing sample came to me by way of MissB.
not a blend i would normally have purchased for myself, but lovely to try nonetheless. this tea is stewed apricots in a cup! i have tried mangosteen, lychee, dragonfruit and any number of other exotic fruits that make steepster’s autocorrect put endless red squiggly lines under my writing.
i had never heard of maracuja before, and i will likely forget the name until i read it again, lol. i will however forever remember this blend as rich, heavy, juicy stewed apricots. delectable.
Tea of the morning…..
I am loving this. Of course, like most black snail teas, the leaves expanded so much during steeping. This one has cocoa notes, is sweet and has maybe just a little spice. I will definitely enjoy this one while I have it because Upton is out of this one since my last purchase. Bummer. I love the funny shaped teas. It is like a little side adventure added to your tea experience.
I am thankful for many things. Family, Friends, Health. The big ones. But also small things like the time to slow down a bit and to catch a breath after Thanksgiving and before the craziness that is most of December for me. And also tea, because I feel it is something that helps bring moments of peace in a hectic world.
Usual teapot method.
It’s pretty much cold all the time now. That’s when I enjoy making a large pot of tea to drink throughout the day. I usually prefer to go with a caffeine free tea or else I’d be bouncing off the walls after my second cup. I’ve had this particular sample for a while now. I should not have waited so long.
The dry leaves smelled like intense sweet honey and plum jam. Wow. There’s practically zero body in the brewed tea, but there is a lot of aroma and flavor. I much prefer this over the fermented variety. So much fresher and fruitier. I’d imagine that this is much better for pairing for fruity favoring than the fermented variety. But the fermented kind has more body so maybe that’s why? Dunno.
Anyway, I’ll be happy to drink this pot down to keep me warm today. :)
BOO for being sick. But YAY for having this tea when I am.
I still mix this with Upton’s spearmint whenever I have it, but the ratio today was 4 tsp. lemongrass to 2 tsp. spearmint with some honey to help quiet this ridiculous dry cough. I worked Thanksgiving night and I still want to make a Thanksgiving dinner but unfortunately this cold is not making that possible. Maybe the tea will help turn things around and get me my energy back.
Backlog from a few days ago. I know it’s redundant that I keep noting this one, given that I always like it and it can do no wrong, but I’m a ‘log every tea I drink’ kind of girl.
This is always a sure bet to reverse any bad tea luck I’ve been having, or to end any kind of tea rut. I love it to pieces.
Beautifully well-balanced cup!
Wasn’t much to this other than a ‘normal’ chai smell both in the bag and as it brewed. It’s got a bit of bite to it at the end (just like it says in the description), however it’s minor and complements the tea well. I can taste everything here in perfect proportions… cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, even the black decaf. I think it’s perfect just as a decaf black; adding Truvia upped the ginger a bit and the heat dimmed down ever so slightly.
Tea #6 from Another TTB (5th and last darjeeling sampled this morning)
Of the five darjeelings I tried this morning, I liked this one the least. It tastes musty, like old clothes in an attic with moth balls and cat pee too. icky.
Tea #5 From Another TTB and fourth darjeeling sampled this morning
This first flush darjeeling has much of the flavor characteristics as Giddapahar Musk from Thunderbolt teas, but they are not as pronounced. Namely the sparkling (and astringent) characteristic. The liquor is in between the colors of the other 1st and 2nd flush darjeelings that I brewed thismorning.
Tea #4 From Another TTB
With the help of this tea box and a swap from Moraiwe I was able to compare 5 different darjeelings together.
I’ve had one darjeeling before this (Makaibari Darjeeling from Della Terra) as well as the oolong variant “Oooh Darjeeling” from Butiki. I did not particularly care for either of those, but I wanted to give Darjeelings a fair chance. I think I can safely say now, that I am not a darjeeling person. Makes sense though as Im not much of a wine person, so why should I like the “fine wine” of teas? :p
This particular darjeeling is the most similar of the five to the one I’ve had before. It’s a heavy, overwhelming flavor, muscatel, apparently. I think of it like the same heavy honey flavor in some dark oolongs. Why this flavor becomes “muscatel” in a darjeeling is beyond me. I can’t tell the difference. It hits my stomach like a brick and leaves me feeling momentarily unwell. Fortunately, the feeling doesn’t last long after I stop drinking.
I tried. I really did. More/less tea, hotter/cooler water, longer/shorter steep times. Okay, so I didn’t try all 24 combinations of those variables — I had a sample pack after all — but I think by now I’m competent at making a good cup. Nevertheless, this tea turned out weak or bitter for me. On the weaker side, I thought it was a very nice weak tea, with hay notes. I hope others have better success with this one.
I’ve had this in my cupboard for over 2 years and never written a note about it. Shame on me! Well, it’s time to turn this poor overlooked tea into a sipdown! I originally received this from Camiah who was my first swap partner on Steepster. Thank you, Camiah!!!
The brewed tea aroma is very strong! The base is Chinese, but that’s all I could find about it. It reminds me of a cross between Assam and Keemun. That is to say, this has an odd, pungent, almost smokey aroma that calms as the cup cools.
Upon sipping it, the initial flavor is the base. Again, it’s a bit strange. I can’t figure out what it is. I guess that’s because I just haven’t had it before! The aftertaste is a lovely, sweet lychee flavor. It’s a tad astringent but tolerably so. No bitterness. The lychee here is delicious! It’s not the best I’ve had but that could easily be attributable to age.
Overall, this is a lovely tea. I’m sorry I neglected it for so long. But I am happy to move on to new tea adventures! I never tire of trying new things. After all, isn’t that what life’s about? And now that my husband enjoys tea too, we can share in the exploration and discovery together. :D
Tea of the morning here, I am finishing off this small tin from the Upton Assam sampler. The weather has been cold and rainy here and this assam was just calling my name. I definitely made this too strong! I had enough leaf for about 1 mug of tea + a bit extra so I put it all in here. Strong and malty, winey and slightly bitter, I think due to the overleafing. Still good with milk and sugar and hopefully it will wake me up! See previous notes for more details.