Upton Tea ImportsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Black tea is a taste that took me a long time to acquire (I am a longtime drinker of greens and oolongs), but after thoroughly enjoying my last several cups of a tin of Prince of Wales, I decided to order samples of several other black teas. Upton Tea included a bonus sample of this tea in the order, and I decided to taste it first. In general, my impression of the first tasting was of a palatable but very ordinary black tea—inoffensive, but not particularly memorable.
The dry leaf had a pleasant, slightly fruity, but rather weak scent; the scent of the wet leaf was overly sour when hot, but became enjoyably sweet and fruity after cooling. The cup was very dark and quite strong, but not at all bitter. My palate did not detect any unique flavors that would draw me to purchase more of this tea, but that may change with a second tasting.
a decent tea
when i smell the leaves dry, they have a dark chocolate smell.
when i smell the leaves wet, they have a dark chocolate smell as well as a roasted/toasty smell
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell a dark chocolate smell as well as roasted/toasty smell.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste dark chocolate as well as a roasted/toasty taste. also i taste grapes, but its so minor its hard to tell if it is me or the tea.
now, the dominant taste is the dark chocolate. also i was told by Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson that this tea is a lot like “Shui Hsien” from Sea dyke brand. if i were to say which is better Shui Hsien or this tea, the former wins hands down.
i rate this tea a 75, as i was kind of disappointed.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Roasted, Toasty
an ok tea
when i smell the leaves dry, i smell peach and floral.
when i smell the leaves wet, the smell is intensified.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell (again) peach and floral.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste peach and floral.
i rate this a 50 because I’m not too keen on the floral strength and magnolia taste. i don’t mind the peach but it seems like a bad mix. :(
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Peach
an awesome tea too!
when i smell the leaves dry, i smell peaches.
when i smell the leaves wet, the smell is intensified.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell peaches and spices.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste peaches and spices.
i rate this a 100 because it tastes like peaches and is not too strong
Flavors: Peach, Spices
this is an awesome tea!
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell floral.
when i smell the leaves wet, that smell is intensified.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell some floral and frutyness.
when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes a little like iron and some frutiness and just the right amount of floral.
i rate this a 100 because this is the best green (unroasted) oolong i have ever tried.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Fruity
Maybe it’s my unrefined palette, but I’m having a hard time discriminating among the three Upton Keemuns I have recently sampled: Mao Feng, Mao Feng Superior and the Hao-Ya B. This one might have a little more body and a more prominent burgundy flavor but all three are smooth and fairly light with a nice sparkle in the cup.
This is one of the very best English Breakfast teas I have ever tried. No, really.
I like a STRONG, BOLD English cuppa (inherited from my grandmother!) and this one suits the bill. It’s got a great malty flavor, brews strong enough to get that delicious caramel color when I add milk.
This was my daily morning tea until I discovered I could buy P.G. Tips in bulk, but now that I’m writing this I’m thinking it needs to go back into rotation. It’s great if you’re a lover of bold tea with milk.
This Sencha has nutty and vegetal flavors that make for a refreshing and slightly sweet cup. The flavors are well-balanced, although it doesn’t finish as smooth as I expected it to. All in all, not a bad tea.
Flavors: Green, Nutty, Vegetal
This is like orange-colored apple-flavored jello mix, with just a touch of whipped cream on the end of the sip. Bizarrely good.
I do get the slightly woody after’flavor of rooibos, but it is not bad or strong in this tea.
On an unrelated note, I have finally decided to add all my samples (since I just got two huge mystery boxes) to my cupboard, so my tea collection has “expanded” exponentially in the last few days. Unfortunately, they are but samples, enough for maybe a cup or two, but at least now I have some way to keep them in order!
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Pear
The thing I love about the decidedly utilitarian Upton Tea site more than some of those glitzy tea sites that show beautiful color pictures of happy workers picking tea in lush China tea farms, is that a devotee of a certain type of tea can choose among an array of estates, grades, or types, while many of the eye-candy sites offer one Darjeeling, one Assam, one Ceylon.
The downside of Upton is it is often daunting to make a choice from the 15 or so Keemuns available, many of which are labeled some variation of Keemun Mao Feng. Luckily there is the 15 gram sample—so I decided to do some comparison shopping.
The “superior” is a medium-bodied Keemun with a smooth red wine flavor up front, a cherry tobacco and leather finish, and a hint of cotton-candy sweetness. As it cools it reminds me of cinnamon raisin bread.
A refined and elegant tea. Next up: Another Keemun Mao Feng, minus the “superior.”
I have to disagree with the lukewarm reviews of this tea. While it is reminiscent of a golden monkey, it has a unique flavor profile that includes the mace that Upton mentions and perhaps cinnamon. I’ll definitely order a bag of this and I expect it to move to the top of my black tea rotation, along with my Yunnan Sourcing blacks and Black Beauty from Mandala
Hands down one of my favorite teas ever. While it has very, very faint vegetal notes that are characteristic of green teas, the almonds and cinnamon combine to make this good enough to be a dessert substitute. I could drink this tea every day.
Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Vegetal
I just finished off the last of this tea, and since it was one of the first teas I bought, I thought it would be fitting to review it. This is my favorite oolong from Upton, it’s very smooth with a toasty feel to it. I’ve drank it both western and gongfu and can’t say I have a preference, but the western method brings out the toasted taste more.
For the price I think it’s one of the better teas I bought from Upton in general.
Flavors: Mineral, Smooth, Toasty
a nice tea :D
little glass pitcher, grandpa style:
when i smell the leaves try, they have a floral/roasted smell.
when i smell the leaves wet, i get a strong floral/roasted smell.
when i smell the brewed tea i smell a strong roasted smell and hints of floral.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste a strong roasted/toasty taste and a hint of floral.
i rate it an 80 because it tastes nice but could use some more flavors.
many thanks to Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson for this nice tea :)
Flavors: Floral, Roasted, Toasty
This one makes a really damn good London Fog, The Vanilla and Bergamot in this one is quite gentle but the flavor is quite nice. I don’t think of it as a Darjeeling but as an Earl Grey version, I usually like earl grey with really strong Bergamot but I appreciate the subtle bergamot in this one, its lovely.
I like it :)
Flavors: Bergamot, Fruity, Vanilla
My eldest daughter gave me this for Mother’s Day. I have been having it for breakfast nearly every day since. I love Keemuns and this is a really good one.
Today I especially noticed the fruitiness, rather similar to Grace Rare Tea’s Winey Keemun. There is a tiny bit of briskness that makes me think it would be loved by people who add milk and/or sugar to their tea, but it is still smooth enough for someone like me who likes their tea sans additions. The dry leaf has the hearty tea scent that evokes a little grunt of appreciation when measuring the leaves.
Packaged a bit up to send off yesterday, and wanted to try it (finally). Really, truly beautiful leaves, and smells absolutely divine. My crop seems to be more of a malty, rich, creamy batch than anything fruity – I discern zero fruit, but there are a lot of layers to this. Something to definitely savor and re-steep… which will have to wait, as I need to go send out some packages and then grab a plane.
Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Malt
This was one of my Mother’s Day gifts from my daughter, Superanna. She didn’t know that the tuo cha were shaped like little hearts and wrapped in gold paper until I opened it, and she was delighted! As was I!
My experience with this tea was little different from the other two reviewers, but my opinion of the flavor was nearly the same.
I used my 21 ounce Kamjove with the 7 ounce steeper basket. I was a little worried the tea would be weak because the tuo cha are so small, I was definitely going to be combining a number of steeps, and I like my puerh fairly strong.
The tuo cha began breaking up almost instantly when the water hit it which meant it would steep pretty quickly. Six minutes? For reals? I gave it maybe two if we are generous. Then I resteeped for about five to seconds, over and over, and got a really dark brew. It was almost inky in fact.
I think I made a total of eight steeps and I could have gotten more. The first steeps had the strongest rice flavor and aroma and the latter steeps had a nice hint of it. The overall flavor was mushroom. This is a pretty full-bodied tea, giving the impression of being thick.
This does not taste a great deal like the Teavivre Rice Ripened Puerh, which has a lighter body and more of the rice water flavor, quite strong. I wish Teavivre sold theirs as a loose tea.
This is a nice puerh and so pretty it would great to repackage in little cellophane or tulle bags tied with ribbon to give as a gift, like wedding favors for puerh lovers! Or Valentine gifts!