Upton Tea Imports

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Recent Tasting Notes


Drinking this one for breakfast with some milk. it is very bold a strong wonderful with milk, Perfect for breakfast. This one is an eye opener
I have 2 of these with 2 different product numbers of TK05 and TK07
I drank both and they are bother very much similar, with the exception that the TK07 was just a little bolder than the 05 with a slight almost coffee-like taste to, The 05 was a little smoother.
These seem to have a high caffeine content, I’m bouncing off the walls this morning lol
BOTH were tasty and Very strong, I probably wouldnt drink this one without cream or milk and most likely in the Mornings.
Damn good Morning tea :)

These are CTC teas so it dont take much leafe to make a strong cup, Also not a good resteep with these, they tend to give it all up at the first steep. I think i like it pretty good.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

After tasting both of these and they were both good, I decided to combine the left overs from each sample to make into one bag and make a single blend with them.
I Havent tried it yet but i’m sure it will be good :)


I’m sure the blend will be good too!

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I know this sample I got has to be older… something about Upton’s quality and storage makes it like liquid cardboard though…. not appealing :/


I’ve had aged oolongs that tasted like that. No fun.

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This tea smells smoky and sweet in a way that reminds me of when we cruised the campgrounds on Sunday as a kid, looking for campfires that hadn’t been put out all the way and restarting them. There’s something a little dry and pine straw about the aroma.

I was surprised at how much the tea comes through the smoke—dark, a little sweet, and malty. It gives a nice contrast between savory and sweet, like smoky molasses? There may be a hint of cocoa in there.

The smoke is on the lighter side, but still a little too strong for me. It comes out the nose like cigarette smoke and tickles the back of my throat.

Flavors: Malt, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco


Smoky molasses is an interesting description. I hear you, I’m sensitive when it comes to smoke, so smoky teas on the lighter side even tend to be too much for me.


If you like a light, smoky molasses flavor that isn’t overpowering, try the pure gold Jin Jin mei from YS. It’s very nice!

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Flavorful enough to be interesting after a good dose of cream and sugar. My favorite breakfast blend so far.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Highly recommend that you do not purchase this nor do you drink it.

Lowest quality pillow I’ve had. Best to just go to Hello Tea Time and stock up. This was one stemy pillow with no traits I want in my tea. Dark liquid comes through with a strong odd roast which doesn’t allow any part of the oolong flavor to be enjoyable.


And we thought all pillows (lol!) were created equal

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Very grassy, and slightly vegetal. Not sure I’d drink again, but then I don’t quite have a taste for first flushes yet.

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You know, I had such low expectations going into this session, (because of my history with upton’s white teas, or.. really all of upton’s tea) but it’s actually slightly less bad than I expected. Musty florals, mint, grass, hay on the first two steeps. It brews up really dark coloured, a pale orangey-yellow. It develops some malty cocoa in the third steep, along with a hefty amount of bitterness, citrus, raddish, carrots, dry wood, stems, beans, ugh I got to steep 5 and I can’t do anymore. It was perfectly drinkable in steeps 1 & 2, but it’s gone drastically downhill and yeah I’m not drinking anymore of this.

I can’t believe I still have like 3 unopened upton samples. I wish I hadn’t gotten all this :/

Flavors: Beany, Bitter, Carrot, Citrus, Cocoa, Floral, Grass, Mint, Musty, Stems, Wood

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Stale sticks.

Now I don’t believe all of Upton Teas are stale like, but I am aware of the comments that have been made and I’m sure it comes about by having such HUGE stock of these basic teas that they source that may or may not move as quick as they should to ensure freshness

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I’m not normally a fan of CTC tea, but this is all you can ask for in a breakfast tea! Full bodied, aromatic, energizing. A very satisfying wake-me-up brew even sans sugar/milk

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Roasted

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Great value at just $4.80 for 100g. Lychee scent is very pleasant and the fruit flavor does not overpower the tea. A nice change of pace for me, as I normally drink straight black teas. Has a slightly citrus flavor and aroma, even though lychee is not a citrus fruit. Great iced or hot, but it does seem to be lacking in the more complex and lingering flavors I find in my favorite teas.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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im really confused by how what im drinking here is the same tea as im seeing these high ratings on.
okay. i think i have 3 more upton samples left after this, but ok so I will tell you that once I opened the sample and smelled the leaves, I basically lost hope that it would be any good. It smelled like bad hot dogs. After trying it, it’s nowhere near as bad as I thought it’d be, it’s a little bit floral, mostly grassy with a sort of meaty texture at the back of the mouth, and a hint of some kind of fruit. Maybe like a creamy strawberry? that strawberry lasts only a couple steeps, it develops what I can only describe as a dirty, muddy flower? I dont think the muddy flowers are gong to go away, unfortunately.
Bitter lemongrass, wood, hay. I got an odd taste of salmon skin. there! Okay, FINALLY, after like a litre of brewing, I’m getting notes of apple, honeydew, but its crowded by very powerful astringency, which makes it difficult to appreciate any of the light fruit notes. The back/middle of the tongue and roof of the mouth are left dry. This definitely isn’t a pleasant tea, but it isn’t terrible.

Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Cream, Dirt, Drying, Floral, Flowers, Hay, Honeydew, Lemongrass, Meat, Mud, Sour, Strawberry, Wood


You’re brave for trying a tea that smells like bad hot dogs.


I paid like a whole dollar for this sample I had to at least try it!

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I see that I drank up a 100g packet of this tea without remarking on it. It is a fine grade of daily drinker at the price. The leaf grade is not fancy enough to use for gongfu and maybe it’s not strong enough anyway. But it is a good tea for making with a basket infuser. Cocoa dominates the aroma and it has nice mouthfeel and smooth somewhat sweet taste. A very nice economical red tea.

Flavors: Cocoa

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I’m down to the last 5 or 6 of my upton samples; the ones that I’m not really sure why I got, and well I’m going to be frank these leaves look weird. They’re irregularly twisted, but more prominently they’re an off-greyish green colour, and they smell like ginseng or matcha powder.
At first, it tastes like bitter ginseng, and lemongrass, but with a dirty and sharp taste. it’s very lemony, very bitter and very ginsengy, there really isn’t much else that ever happens. I actually noticed at one point that it does have quite a nice, thick, creamy mouthfeel, but it’s not something that you notice while drinking this one, since it’s so sharp and abbrasively bitter.
the lemon eventually steeped out around the fifth or sixth steep, and left really just ginseng, with hints of florals and earth. I used a moderate temperature, about 80C, and varied my steep time around, but to no avail.
It’s very uncomfortable drinking this tea, and I wound up cutting my review session short because of the discomfort.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Lemon, Lemongrass

180 °F / 82 °C

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I wasn’t planning to review this one right now, but I was saying to myself how annoying it is when teas are… just so broken up so I decided to do it. Does that make sense? Ah, I don’t need your confirmation anyways.

So uh this one’s all broken up! into bits! and it’s annoying me >:(! Anyways.. I mean it actually tastes good, like hot apple cider. nice cinnamon notes, and a dark richness to it, with some grape and sour cherry notes, orange zest is quite strong as well.
It doesn’t actually have a very nice mouthfeel, it’s uncomfortably astringent, and not very thick. I’ve never had Indonesian tea and I’d actually be really excited to try higher quality Indonesian tea based on this one, and on a mostly unrelated note, it’s making realize I need to revisit Indian tea.

Flavors: Apple, Astringent, Cherry, Cinnamon, Grapes, Orange Zest, Wood

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This is okay; I first tried cold-brewing it and it was really earthy and tasted like kinda dirty and sharp and a bit floral, but anyways that’s not as important to me as brewing gongfu:

The first steep was decent, it definitely wasn’t awake and you could tell, since the body was quite a bit thinner than it should’ve been, but still floral and earthy;

The second is thicker, thankfully, and earthy, floral, tastes like stems of a flower.. Wait how do I know what those taste like? When have I ever eaten a flower stem….. I.. well whatever, that’s what I’m going with. It’s a little sweet, and a little sour, there’s even a bit of mint in the aftertaste.

The third is much earthier, and astringent this time, with a kind of gross sour flower aftertaste, but the soup does have a very nice mouthfeel,

I’m really enjoying how thick it is, I think this time I used more leaves than I usually would for any tea, and it’s working out nicely for this one, not that the tea’s all that great or special,

I’m getting about the same in the fourth, but with some grassy notes as well.

The fifth gives me a very astringent feel, a bit of tangerine, quite a bit grassier, maybe a bit of hay,

Shorter steeps lend a lighter, warmer, fruiter (a bit of orange, lime, cranberry) tea while longer steeps give a darker, earthier, floral astringent cup, I much prefer the shorter steeps; but I think this tea is giving me a headache……. in fact, it definitely is. But it’s okay, I gave the rest of this one to my friend. I don’t really like it that much. Also the leaves are really, really ugly like shou mei’s usually aren’t pretty like at all but this one is very torn and seems to have an abnormally large amount of stems. Not that that really means that much, but I mean at the same time it kind of makes me disregard shou mei and bai mu dan teas, well actually I don’t think it’s because of how they look but that contributes a bit wow I’m rambling so ..

Flavors: Citrus, Cranberry, Earth, Floral, Flowers, Grass, Lime, Mint, Orange, Sour, Stems, Sweet

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Received as a free sample from Upton, thought I would give this a whirl.

I initially brewed this up as a breakfast tea in my 6 cup Chatsford teapot – served in a bone china tea cup:

The dry leaf aroma is malty with subtle floral and stone-fruit notes as well.

Tawny-copper liquid while clean is not especially aromatic, though there are some low biscuit notes and hints of putty. The wet leaves are somewhat vegetal, though not unpleasantly so.

Moderate malt character on the palate along with a light (pink?) peppercorn note – faintly floral and spicy with a very smooth finish. Hints of marconi almonds or biscotti as well.

Infusing the tea for an additional 4 minutes leads to a darker more reddish liquor. The tea is increasingly brisk, and while not especially bitter, the tannins make themselves known in the finish. Takes milk fairly well – all in all a decent morning cup, more refined but also less robust than a comparable Assam or Kenyan tea perhaps.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 36 OZ / 1064 ML

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This ones a bit sour, it’s grassy at first, earthy, bitter, quite acidic actually, with some cocoa notes,
the second steep gives oats, milk chocolate, caramel, and burnt notes
Then i get some sort of plum or apricot, wood, sort of like licking a popsickle stick that had just a bit of chocolate ice cream left on it still, the next steep is creamier.

The tea fades to earthy, woody caramelness, wit a bit of burnt ntes and an increasing bitterness, with some minerals; the caramel eventually the caramel steeps out, after which it was quite bland, a bit roasty, with some wood and earth .

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Burnt, Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Creamy, Earth, Grass, Mineral, Oats, Plums, Roasted, Sour, Wood

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Nice tea, I think I may try to steep a little longer at maybe 90c next time as this was a bit more bitter and astringent than I liked.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Muscatel, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Ceylon is a region that’s been left relatively untouched by me, so uh

The leaves here smell a bit smokey and musty, it actually smells quite good, I think I’ll enjoy this one.

it’s buttery and creamy, with a light smoke, and a lot of astringency. This is genuinely the least vegetal green I think I’ve ever had, it’s maybe slightly grassy? but that’s kinda debatable;

it really isn’t very complex, though my mouth is extremely dry

I tried doing really short steeps, but the astringency is still very uncomfortable, it’s very powerful, and makes the tea very hard to enjoy. It’s nice and creamy while sipping, but after, it just dries out your mouth.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Cream, Grass, Smoke

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Why are these ratings so low? I don’t even like smokey teas but I genuinely enjoyed drinking this, much more than I expected to anyways.

The dry leaves smell of campfires, charcoal, smoked meat

I’ve only ever had one lapsang souchong other than this and i believe it was from davidstea (do they have one? They must, I don’t know where else I could’ve gotten it.) but I dont even know if DT properly counts because this smells much stronger. Oh wait I think it might’ve been zen tea. oh it totally was, anyways dont worry about that:

The tea itself is much sweeter than it smells, it’s a bit peppery, but it does still have all of the campfire, charcoal, smoked meat of its smell, but it tastes a bit more like barbecue sauce.

There’s quite a strong astringency near the end, and I get hints of cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, which are really easy to discern; it’s almost like the smokey notes show at the back of my mouth, but the leaf’s own sweetness settles on the tip of my tongue, creating sort of a spectrum of sweetness beginning at the front of my mouth and smokiness at the back, it’s an interesting sensation.

The smokiness is nearly gone by the fifth steep but after that point it stops steeping out, so it never really leaves,

the tea finishes sweet, with a honey-like taste and a very slight bitterness creeping in

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Campfire, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Meat, Pepper, Smoke, Smoked, Sweet, Vanilla

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I actually quite enjoyed this despite its heavy bitterness, it’s a bit more complex than the Bi Luo Chuns I’ve had before:

It starts out lightly vegetal with notes of melon, a little bit roasty and a smooth mouthfeel in the first steep, no bitterness as the leaves are unfurling, which only took one steep so

After that, it became bitter and reminiscent of smoked meat, but not overly prominently, there was also a lot of melon, cabbage, spinach, and a bit roasty,

Later, in the middle of the session I was getting somewhat tropical notes of mango, and also some orange as the bitterness was steeped out and was replaced with very noticable astringency

The session faded into a very astringent, very plain tasting vegetal green, with still the slightest bitterness.

I really just appreciate the mango notes I found in there, it was very unexpected, which is always fun; the middle steeps made me think much higher about it than I would have after the beginning, it was very strong and smokey to start with.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Green, Mango, Melon, Orange, Roasted, Smoke, Spinach, Tannic, Vegetal, Wood

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Nothing overly special here for me, it has the nice sweetness of a bai hao yin zhen, with a nice floral finish,mild astringency, but there’s a lot of earthy and almost woody notes, and these for me made it slightly imperfect, my friend really liked this one though, so I wound up giving her the rest of my sample, thus the lack of real depth in this review.

Flavors: Astringent, Earth, Floral, Sweet, Wood

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I’m really not in a good mood (I don’t know why, it’s frustrating) and instead of getting a tea that’s going to be comforting for me I decided to review a standard grade Formosa oolong, and honestly just from smelling the dry leaves I’m pretty sure I’m not going to enjoy this one, also the leaves look much nicer in the picture than in person, they’re much more broken up and aren’t as dark as shown, in fact a few of my leaves are green, but anyways

It’s very woody, and mildly roasty and nutty with this sort of dark decadence about it, its rich and actually quite nice, except for this slight .. oddly acidic aftertaste which in all honestly is very unpleasant, so I’d have to recommend just not stopping your sipping, like ever because then you’ll just be sad and that’s no good, there’s also kind of a very concentrated sort of astringency that’s just sorta setting up camp in the back of my mouth, also not very excited about that, really though in all honestly it isn’t that bad, it’s mildly complex, it just doesn’t excite me at all, and i’m not typically big on darker oolongs personally, but I could see people liking this


Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Wood, Fruity, Nuts, Peach, Roasted, Wood

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