Upton Tea Imports

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Recent Tasting Notes

Decided to try out some more of the Darjeeling samples we have today. I meant to go about taking notes on this the usual way, but it was so easy to drink that by the time I realized I hadn’t taken any I was nearly done with the first steep…

That being said, the first steep is smooth, full-bodied and the flavors are very balanced. The liquor has a deep, cocoa-y scent and just a hint of sweetness.

I attempted a resteep, but mostly got bitterness out of it, so I’ll finish up with this one for now.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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This is the first time I’ve had a Darjeeling and, I must say, I’m in a state of shock. First of all, I am having a hard time believing this is a black tea…the leaves are really green (and broken, of course)and the liquor quite light. It is very aromatic and flavorful. Definitely getting some evergreen and some bitterness that makes me think this really needs to be treated like a green.

I’m glad we have a bit more of this sample yet, as I’d like to give it a try another way.

Flavors: Vegetal

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I promised to drink a black tea that morning, so we dug into the samples from Upton and this was the one we were most likely to both enjoy.

The dry blend smells very nice, the spices seem fresh and strong, and the resulting cup doesn’t fail to deliver on that. The liquor comes out dark and strong without too much bitterness, but the tastes are concentrated enough that we do decide to add a splash of almond milk and a couple of drops of honey, which helps even it out nicely.

Overall, I think we were both able to enjoy it, but it wasn’t particularly memorable, so we’ll try some different ways of preparing it with what we’ve got left.

Flavors: Bitter, Spices

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 1 OZ / 16 ML

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ZO07: Season’s Pick Special Purchase Tie Guan Yin. by upton tea imports.


Ru Yao dragon teapot gongfucha.

Dry leaf: floral, musty, fruity.

Wet leaf: floral, fruity (peach).
(forgot to take pic: looks pretty usual)

1x short rinse.

Light steep; I taste/smell: slight -> floral, fruity (peach), honey, spices.

Medium steep; I taste/smell: slight bitterness (pleasant). light -> floral, fruity (peach/grapes), honey, spices.

Heavy steep; I taste/smell: medium
-> floral, fruity (peaches/grapes), honey, spices.

All in all a lovely tea! Nice tastes/aromas. Nice cha qi. I rate a 100

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Honey, Peach, Spices

185 °F / 85 °C 7 g 6 OZ / 165 ML

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Yunnan black snail.

Ru yao dragon teapot. Gongfucha.

Dry leaf: peppery.

Wet leaf: spicy, spices, peppery.

1x short rinse.

Light steep; I taste/smell; light
-> cream, earth, spicy, spices. Medium bitterness.

Medium steep; I taste/smell: light
-> cream, spiceyness. medium -> earth, spices. Medium to strong bitterness.

Heavy steep; I taste/smell: Medium -> spicyness, cream. Strong -> earth, spices, bitterness.

All in all a yummy tea! Nice cha qi. Nice taste on lighter steeps. I rate an 80 as I’m not much for black teas, save for lapsang souchong.

Flavors: Bitter, Cream, Earth, Spices, Spicy

190 °F / 87 °C 7 g 6 OZ / 165 ML

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This is take two. I have to say this tea seems better today. I did brew it at a lower temp (exact temp unknown since I’m at work). The black tea’s flavor is gentler in today’s brew and the rose while still not as strong as I’d like is more noticeable. I think my scoop had a few more rose buds as well today. Interestingly, when at it’s hottest, the flavors were well balanced. Then the black tea peppery flavor became dominant and as it cooled further, the rose became more dominant.

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I continue my search for a tea to replace my prior favorite that is becoming hard to get. This one gave me more hope initially. The leaves were wonderfully fragrant of rose and black tea with a great balance. After steeped, it became a bit more herb like and malty then rose scented. I can smell the rose but I feel like I have to search for it. On taste, it is certainly black tea. It does not feel gentle. It’s not my favorite black tea due to being a bit harsh but doable. The rose seems lost in the tea though. The main flavors are malty, peppery. There is a slight sweet aftertaste that may contain rose. I prefer a more in your face floral rose rather then sweet though. I will note that a lot of reviews note petals, my leaf though contained full buds. It was just packaged 10/31/2016. Perhaps that is a difference in this ones flavor to some of the other reviews that sounded like just what I had wanted. I’ll also note that initial steep time was 4 minutes and I steeped longer to try for more rose flavor and it failed.

Edit: as it cools, the rose flavor does improve. Still doesn’t match my prior though. I upped the rating for that. I just need to remember to let it cool some before drinking.

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Tasting this again today (still had some in the bag). And for some reason, it’s better today. Maybe it’s my mood, maybe it’s growing on me. Still not my favorite and the green is still a bit strong with the rose weak but there is something comforting here today that I can’t put my finger on.

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I got this tea to try to replace one that became hard to get. I will note it doesn’t match that so I may be harsher in my review though I’ll try not to. I found the sent was distinctly green with mild bitterness. I only got a hint of Rose scent. For flavor, it was greener then expected. Much more green then rose. There was less of a bitter aftertaste then with some green teas. I was underwhelmed with the Rose flavor. The aftertaste was mildly sweet.

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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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