Upton Tea Imports

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Recent Tasting Notes

Brewed in an infuser mug. Went for two steepings: 4 minutes, 8.

The name made me purchase a sample. Based on the leaf appearance, I went in thinking I’d be drinking something like Oriental Beauty. The leaves are thin and a little twisty, mostly dark brown with some camouflage green and few silver and downy – although their length is much shorter in comparison.

I had a hard time making out the dry leaf aroma, although the wet leaf’s smells of green grapes. The liquor is quite aromatic. It leaves behind in the mug, after I’ve finished each infusion, a rich clover honey scent. The kind of fresh honey from the farmer’s market. I had a gigantic aroma cup (the mug is on the tall, thin side).

At this point, I’d say this Taiwanese oolong is very much more like an autumn flush Darjeeling than an Oriental Beauty. The liquor is burnt orange, medium-bodied, and slightly thick. A honey flavor dominates and strengthens as the liquor cools. Red grapes take over in the aftertaste. Doesn’t leave a dry throat after I swallow. The honey and muscatel notes are not BOOM POW like they are in OB. They taste more subdued, gentler and kind of muted. Also, it even feels like autumn flush Darjeeling – both in the mouth and in effect of the body.

Decent quality, good price for 80g. I had an interesting experience with this.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Java BOP by Upton Tea Imports
261 tasting notes

Brewed Western method, in a filter bag and mug.

I received this as a free sample from my last order. It is Incredibly brisk in strength. The flavor is heavily malty, so much so that it is overwhelming. This can’t be drunk without milk or sugar, or both (unless you have taste buds of steel). I had to add A LOT of milk. There was still this bitter taste that wouldn’t go away though. Best suited as an early morning tea, for those who need a hammer on the head equivalent of a wake up call in terms of tea.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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A light Darjeeling, lightly floral, slightly vegetal. Best had without accompaniment.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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A simple, delicious tea.

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Mmm, thanks very much to Oolong Owl for sending me a small sample of this.

I’m sipping it right now and the taste is malty, sweet, and complex. The brewed tea smells similarly spicy and chocolaty. In fact, it smells like chocolate-covered raisins! Now I’m craving Glossettes candy, but this will do in a pinch.

I think I’ll add this to my wishlist.

Edit: I just checked the Upton Tea Imports website and found that shipping to Canada starts at $13.60. Yikes. I may not restock this after all. Steepster-folk, do any of you have any suggestions for anything from Yunnan Sourcing that may have a similar flavour profile? Spice, chocolate-covered raisins?

Liquid Proust

Starts at… that sounds painful. I wish shipping had categories because dried tea leaf sounds like a silly thing to charge a lot to ship.

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1 heaping tea scoop
~300ml 原矿紫砂 zini yixing

warmed pot, added leaves and smell of tea = smoke in the face by a big gust of wind

1) pours at
5sec: smoke again, being outside on a rainy, autumn day
thick mouth, changing flavours not fast, rather practiced & leisurely
+5sec: salt
+10sec: qi is relaxing, a massage on the shoulders

the hotter the tea, the more downward the qi
cooler, qi is upward, meditative travelling in head

2) 5, 10, 10
less complex changing of flavours, more dominant first
mouth feel is rounder, follows shape of a long moustache

3) 10, 20, xx
then a hit of salt
smell of leaves is pure smoke
then earth overturned exposing buried leaves, insect life etc

4) minutes
sweet water

5) minutes, 20min,
30min smokiness is back

3 OZ / 80 ML

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First steep:
2 heaping tea scoops

untimed pours (many)

Second steep in pint glass
after ~8 hours
lightly sugared
left overnight

citrus, not lemon or orange, maybe grapefruit
hiking through rain over earth and leaves towards a welcoming smoke from a cabin chimney

Flavors: Camphor, Citrus, Earth, Peat Moss

200 °F / 93 °C

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first Keemun. Definitely different.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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rather good, so far tried as afternoon tea with milk + sugar

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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2 heaping small tea scoops
35ml porcelain gongfu cup

pours: 30sec to almost 4min
when it starts to deliver rough throat

is poured into coffee cup & turned into excellent breakfast (sweet milk) tea


Flavors: Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 9 OZ / 280 ML

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Thanks for a sample of this one, MissB! There was about a teaspoon left of these gorgeous Yunnan leaves, so I steeped 3/4 of a mug each time. The leaves are a bit wider than usual, mostly dark gold with hints of black. The brew results in a medium amber color. It’s one of those Yunnan teas that aren’t light or dark, it’s the lovely mid-Yunnan that is like honey with hints of molasses. Not like chocolate but also not a light Yunnan. Hints of pepper and all around sweet, with a very smooth texture because of the sweetness. This one is very special. The three steeps were all fantastic.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp with 3/4 full mug each time // 12 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // couple min a.b. // 2 min
Steep #3 // couple min a.b. // 2 1/2 min

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drank Yunnan TGFOP by Upton Tea Imports
7 tasting notes

Two golden tips less in the photo would be a little more accurate.
It’s said that a tea master can make any tea taste delicious.
As a novice, I take that statement as license to experiment.

First steep:
2 tea scoops (~1t)

pours: 30sec to ~7min

Second steep:
per practice of using lower temperature water for longer infusion to coax out the qualities of the tea

transferred tea, including leaves, to a pint glass
tasted after ~6 hours
unbelievable sweetness
after ~8 hours
still sweet, with a touch of bitterness in the throat at the end
left overnight
quick bitter that mellows into almost sweet

Flavors: Bitter, Brown Sugar

180 °F / 82 °C

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drank Yunnan TGFOP by Upton Tea Imports
7 tasting notes

1 generous tsp loose tea
Muji (~12oz)
shot glass

4 pours, with steep time increasing by double-digit seconds
early pours the best
smooth filmy texture

another round with a second 6oz
middle pours the best

too much tea to drink alone, i just taste each pour
the rest gets mixed in coffee cup & turned into surprisingly lovely sweet(milk) tea


Flavors: Smoked

190 °F / 87 °C 6 OZ / 177 ML

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2 heaping tsp loose tea
small pyrex measuring cup (plate as lid, plate below, merino hat as cozy)

i* >4min
delicious in wine cup
different but no less delicious with touch milk/sugar in coffee cup (better heat retainer)

delicious in coffee cup
flat in wine cup and flattened by milk

Approach 2
1 generous T loose tea
~6oz water
small pyrex measuring cup (plate as lid, kitchen towel wrapped as cozy)

30sec infusions (ea additional +30sec)
one of those is usually good

the rest get poured together & turned into milk/sugar tea

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This tea was the first Japanese tea I ever purchased, albeit certainly not the last. From the heavenly-smelling dry leaves comes a light, smooth, and slightly nutty tea that always pleases. This is one of my favorite afternoon teas.

Flavors: Nuts

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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3 heaping tsp loose tea
Muji Hakuji Porcelain Tea Pot – 360ml
Original Bohemia thick, taller porcelain coffee cup: richer aroma than
thin Meissen asian wine cup

Simple (Ceylon?) note of later infusions, as with initial ones, became more pronounced as tea cooled.
Lovely bright blue flowers against black tea.

Did not do well with milk.
Became a different cup, if still soothing, with milk & sugar; much as a fine bourbon neat becomes a different drink as a Manhattan.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Made this English style with milk, and very strong on the leafing. It’s very smoky but also slightly floral in the aftertaste. Has a nice brisk bite of bitterness too. It’s the consummate breakfast tea, really— the kind of tea that you’d drink whilst preparing yourself for a busy or potentially stressful day. It’s reassuring and bracing and no-nonsense.

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Smells good in the bag, I keep sticking my face in there and enjoying the aroma. It actually kind of smells almost more like a Chinese tea to me. The leaves are cut very small, and expand greatly while steeping.
Taste: it has a somewhat typical UK breakfast flavor, but i’m getting spice-like notes that remind me of clove. Pretty refreshing iced.

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This one surprised me with a surprising smokey/bbq flavor that I was not expecting (that is not a negative). Very robust and strong. From the smell i was thinking it’d be very Yunnan tasting, but this tea kind of has its own thing going on. I think it is good on it’s own, but I can see why they recommend milk with it, which I am going to have to try.

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Oh snap, first tea review in a year! I took a long tea buying break to try and drink down my supply, and a year later my cabinet is still overflowing with tea…a good problem to have I guess.
I got this and a bunch of English/Scottish/Irish breakfast style teas for iced tea during the hot days of late Summer (if you read my old reviews, I turned into an iced tea fiend the past couple of years). This is the first one I’m trying of the batch. It’s a winner. Brews up strong nice and quick. Smooth for it’s strength. Tastes nice and malty to me, which I expected. Kind of gives my mouth a drying sensation on the tail end. I’d definitely buy it again, if there isn’t anything similar selling for way cheaper.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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This was 2014th pick given to me in a swap and I must say that it was a rather disappointing 1st flush tea, regardless of time elapse between plucked and drank. Drinkable, but not wanting to sip through this again. This tea misses out on all the high notes that give a tea its name and fame.

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a great tea!

when i smell the leaves dry, they have a musty peachy smell.

when i smell the leaves wet, they have a sweet peachy smell.

when i smell the brewed tea, it has a sweet peachy smell too.

when i taste the brewed tea, i taste sweetness, floral and peaches.

i rate this tea a 100 because its just awesome.

Flavors: Floral, Musty, Peach, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 15 g 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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My second steeping of this tea was a significant improvement over the first. I reduced both the temperature and the time, resulting in elimination of the unpleasant burnt flavor that ruined my previous pot. Piping hot, the flavor was extremely good; like many blacks, this tea increases in astringency as it cools, which resulted in my last half-cup being quite difficult to swallow, the only negative note in this otherwise very enjoyable pot.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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