Upton Tea Imports
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Recent Tasting Notes
I received this tea in the yarn and tea swap with the Steepsteristas group over on Ravelry. Good tea and good yarn. What more could a girl ask for? :)
This is a really light Earl Grey-ish tea. The bergamot is very subtle. In fact, the orange and orange peel are the more dominant flavors. I’m getting just a hint of smoke. Again, it’s there just subtle. There is also a leather-y tobacco flavor. Everything works together to make this an almost Earl Grey in my opinion. It comes close but in the end it stands on its own with just a nod to the classic tea. Very nice. I’m happy I got to move this one from my wishlist to my cupboard!
Another sipdown. This one was my favorite of the teas in the Upton oolong sampler. It has a light pleasant honey flavor. I certainly wouldn’t mind having more, but at the same time, I’ve found other oolongs I like better, such as David’s vanilla orchid. However, if you’re never had a formosa oolong and want to try some, this would be a great tea to start with.
I’ve really fallen behind on my tealog, but now that I’m looking at so many empty tea tins I realize I better face up to it. So this is the last of the mango tea. I’m sorry it’s gone, but I probably won’t go out of my way to restock it, in part because I didn’t like the base when I first got it. I don’t mind it now, but I wonder if I would have to get accustomed to it all over again after going awhile without drinking it.
I received a sample of this in a swap from bluebelle. Thank you!
I made this tea similar to how I would make a chai. It has a very distinct cardamon flavor with hints of chocolate. This was enjoyable, but given the choice between this and a favorite chai, I will probably always choose the chai. Thank you for allowing me to try this!
I have piles of unread books around my house, but will that stop me from buying the new Collected Poems of Derek Walcott today? No. I have scores of albums I’ve downloaded and barely made it beyond track 1. Will that stop me from downloading the new War on Drugs or Future Islands this week? Absolutely not.
My over-stuffed tea cupboard has also suffered from this unbridled acquisitiveness. And it’s keeping me up at night as I pore over all of my teas that are nearing or over the one year mark. So I’ve made a promise to myself to only buy the absolute jewels of my annual tea drinking cycle until I drink down some of my stash: Shincha from Den’s Teas; a first flush darjeeling from Upton and Imperial Mojiang Yunnan tea from Yunnan Sourcing.
So to make room for my spring Darjeelings, I’m drinking a lot of this quality second flush from Sungma that has delicious honeysuckle sweetness,a citrusy vibe and a mild roasted flavor.
Wow, this is super tasty tea, and definitely needs trying as a cold steep! Juicy peach, or I guess in this case maracuya (passionfruit), reigns supreme, and it’s absolutely divine. I may need to get more of this!
Smelled richly of chocolate as I opened the bag, and then just as much after steeping. It was a beautiful cup hot, but as it cools I’ve lost the chocolate flavor other than the richness of it, and it’s become a bit astrigent for my liking.
I am back to review this tea for a second time, after initially disliking it and giving it a meager 15 rating. I learned some things about Darjeeling tea which I wish I’d have known the first time around and now that I’ve learned how to brew it properly, this has bumped my rating up to around a 55. That’s probably still a meager score to some, but I try to use the full range of the scale in my reviews, so that to me is fairly neutral, erring a bit on the higher side. In other words… it was enjoyable to drink, but I wouldn’t buy more of it.
But I do want to stress that it WAS enjoyable to drink. Brew this tea around 194F/90C and you are in for a treat! The flavor is rich and warm. There is an apricot-like taste up front, especially in the second steeping. It is backed by some darker bittersweet tones underneath. I brewed this tea many ways trying to find a good combination, and I can say that brewing it at any temperature above 194 made it have a very dry finish and a good deal of astringency. At 194 these are for the most part not present, though still there a bit.
This is a good tea if you treat it right! Don’t scorch it! Really, try it at a lower temp than the typical “black tea gets boiling water” and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Flavors: Apricot, Dark Bittersweet
Second tea of the day and the end of my sample…..
Yes, this is smokey and really reminds me of a mid range Keemun. Perhaps a little less smokey, and slightly more cocoa noted. However, I don’t think it differs enough to make it a part of my stash.
I did have just a little left over, not quite a mug worth. I have started a ‘Franken-Blend’ of all my black teas and cant wait to taste it. It has a little Golden Monkey, a tsp of Laoshan Black, the end of my Joseph Wesley Dian Hong sample, and the end of this one. I am thinking I need to tackle that little bit of tea soon!
Tea of the afternoon……
I recently bought a few black tea samples from Upton again. I tend to do this for entertainment, mostly, but every now and then I find something great.
I get the typical profile of a quality Keemun. This is oh so smooth and gentle. Very low to almost undetectable on the smoke. Notes of cocoa, bread, malt (I kind of think the bread/malt note is very similar in a way) with a touch of floral. One of the reasons this one caught my eye is that it is the same type of tea that Andrews & Dunham is offering as their limited Edition Spring Keemun. I am still on the fence about that one due to the cost and no samples. This one is pretty pricey on its own. It hits about the max I feel comfortable spending, if the tea is special. I am not sure if this one is worth it.
Usual mug method.
Tea of the afternoon……
I have had this sample in my stash for a while. I am not sure why it took me so long to try it. Oh well. It is an interesting one. A Panyang congou with a hint of smoke. Very Keemun-like. Fun to try for someone like me, but I am pretty sure this one will not go on the rebuy list. It kind of seems to be in the same range as the Keemun at Joseph Wesley, but not nearly as good.
Usual mug method.
Flavors: Berries, Malt
This tea is a good value and a good herbal tea for health benefits. I would say there is nothing outstanding with this tea its average for a green rooibos. This is not a review about Upton teas but I enjoy how fast they ship and have good experiences with Upton Teas.
I clearly don’t have the delicate palate that the below reviewers have. I don’t taste the notes others do…never have, never will. My palate is pedestrian. But what I do have to say about this tea is this: It’s a lovely black tea. It doesn’t have any bitter notes. It has a certain clarity to its flavor while still being full-bodied and complex. It continues to taste good, even when it cools.
Phwoo! Lots of jasmine in this. Flowers flowers flowers!
The jasmine I think may be a little more than suits me, but it rides that line to where it’s good and might qualify as a here-and-there tea.
Because this is very pleasant.
The white tea is somewhat overwhelmed by the jasmine, but again not to a bad level… Riding that line, as said. You can taste the underlying white but as a backup supporting taste, vaguely a base flavor.
This is very jasmine.
Note: after posting this I looked at the numbers and realized I put way too much tea in to my container due to Waking-Up Math. So that may be effecting the above review lol.
Tea of the morning here. I notice I am sleeping a bit better through the night. Yesterday I was trying to prop myself up with various pillows and notice I am more comfortable with my teddy bear propping my elbow up, lol. I’m sure it looks quite silly. ;-)
So I finally decided I like this one, 3 minutes is plenty of steeping time for it. Yes it has a bold malt note with chocolate and I do think “stout” is an appropriate adjective. I’m not altogether crazy about the finishing note which is a bit too brisk and winey for me, but it is tempered a lot with soymilk and a pinch of sugar.
Probably not a replacement for the resident assam, which I no longer have, but I’ve enjoyed the sample.
This is a sample I got with my last Upton tea order a little while ago. It sounds good on the package, definitely got bad reviews on Steepster though…
It’s a green rooibos blend with various fruits. I think it smells like cherry cought syrup upon opening the package. After steeping my impressions are pretty much the same. It’s got this sour cherry flaor which might have been more tolerable with a red rooibos or black tea base but the green rooibos isn’t doing much to temper it. I added a bit of sugar that helped mellow it out some, but I don’t think I need to order any of this or even finish the rest of the sample. Goes in the “ick” category unless you really like the flavor of cough medicine.