Upton Tea Imports

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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100

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

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

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66

After being thoroughly impressed with the scents of this tea as well as the flavor of the first few sips, I quickly encountered disappointment—not with the tea itself, but with the fact that, in steeping with boiling water, I seem to have burnt the tea. In spite of the burnt flavor, I could tell that this is a great tea; I will have to wait until I find a better steeping temperature before I can recommend it, however.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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84

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Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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84

One of my all-time favorite teas. As soon as you open the package, enrapturing scents of chocolate and cardamom wash over you. One of a handful of teas that I keep in my cupboard at all times!

Flavors: Cardamon, Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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56

After my highly disappointing first tasting of this tea, I decided to try using a reduced steeping temperature this time around. The results were a marked improvement—the astringency was reduced significantly, allowing me to get a much better sense of the flavor of the tea. I was still not particularly impressed, but it was much more palatable than my previous tasting.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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56

I accidentally purchased two samples of this tea (I purchased a sample of it, not noticing that the “Introduction to Fine Tea Sampler” that I ordered at the same time also included a sample of this tea), so I was very much hoping that I would like it. Unfortunately, I was severely disappointed with my first tasting—the flavor was bland and boring, and the beginning of my second cup was quite bitter. I hope I can find a brewing method that produces better results; otherwise, these samples may sit in my cupboard for a very long time.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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72

From dry leaf to final sip, this tea evokes all the best of autumn campfires. The dry leaves have a strong and wonderful aroma of wood smoke. This odor passes directly through to the cup with very little modification. The smoke odor and flavor are strong but never acrid. I did find this infusion to be a bit watery and plan to extend the steeping time to 4:15 for my next tasting. A hint of sweetness is left on the palate for a pleasant finish. I will certainly purchase more of this tea when the sample packet I ordered has been depleted.

Flavors: Campfire, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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10

not to good of a tea.

too green and vegatal for me is all i will say

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 10 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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66

In my first tasting of this tea, I noted promising flavors that seemed underdeveloped after steeping for 3:30. For this tasing, I steeped for 4:00, which seems to have swung the pendulum too far in the opposite direction—those underdeveloped flavors were completely masked by an unpleasant bitterness that was completely absent in my previous tasting. I will continue to experiment with steeping time and temperature for this tea, but for now, I still cannot recommend it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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66

I chose this Darjeeling for my first tasting of a tea from Upton’s “Introduction to Fine Tea” sampler. My steeping time of 3:30 seems to have been a bit too short for this tea—I detected delicate hints of greatness that seemed not to have fully developed. For my next tasting, I will give the steeping a bit more time.

The dry leaf has a fruity scent with robust nutty undertones. The wet leaf had a fairly weak scent when hot, but cooled to a pleasantly sweet, fruity scent with floral notes. The cup was a light reddish brown; the mild taste hinted at delicious fruity and nutty flavors that I hope will develop more fully with a longer steeping.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Nutty

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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This is one big ass piece of sheng for a pot. The compression of this must have been amazing because it would not open after 6 brews… I eventually was a jerk and stabbed it a bit to break it up.
Overall the leaf is beautiful, the aroma is almost unnoticeable, and the taste does not offer anything that would qualify as great in regards to taste of tea. It may be decent, but doesn’t stack up to it’s appearance.

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87

I remember this tasting like nothing but slightly green water when I first tried it. I had followed the directions on the package with one heaping teaspoon of leaves, but these leaves are really broad and long, making it a thin teaspoon. I think I super underleafed the first time, so I didn’t review it.
Today, I finished the sample off with a gong fu session, but I still didn’t have quite enough leaf, so I’ve only been filling the gaiwan half full. It’s still going much better.
My rinse was originally supposed to be a first steep, but 15 seconds was just too short and tasted like nothing again- over the fat-fat horse it goes!
First steep, 30 seconds: White sugar sweet and mid-hi floral flavors. Lilacs in the aroma cup! Reminds me of Verdant’s lilacy Spring tieguanyin, with added sugar.
Second steep, 45 seconds: Slightly green, but sweeter and lilac-ier! Very nice session with this one today!
Third steep, 1 minute: Still going strong, a bit greener, still so sweet! The nose is just amazing on this one, so thick and floral!
Fourth steep, 1:15: Still sweet! I’m really enjoying this! Fat horse isn’t getting any!
Fifth, 1:30: Greener, but still sweet! Fading just a bit.
Sixth, 1:45: Fading, but still so saturated with flavor! If this was still for sale I would consider it.
It’s basically like a nicely floral bao zhong, and I’m super into it!

Flavors: Floral, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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60

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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60

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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70

This is a nice, floral fruity Darjeeling. I don’t think I like it as much as the toasty oaky tasting Darjeelings, but it’s a nice afternoon cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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1

i grabbed the wrong tea when i meant to grab an oolong…

im just going to say, im fed up of being unimpressed with black teas :(

i have one left to try and i doubt i will like it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 15 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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50

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 15 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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100

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

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 15 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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100

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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92
drank ZK80 Hao-Ya B by Upton Tea Imports
123 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
looseTman

Of all the brands you’ve tasted, what’s your favorite Keemun to date?

Doug F

I go back to a Keemun I tried a couple of years ago from Teagschwender, China Keemun Finest Chuen Cha. It was incredible. I don’t know why I haven’t ordered it again; that will change soon.

looseTman

Since you enjoyed Teagschwender’s China Keemun Finest, you may also want to check out: http://steepster.com/teas/zen-tea/46734-black-tea-keemun-finest during one of Zen Tea’s sales.

Doug F

Thanks for the suggestion!

looseTman

You’re welcome!

boychik

Joseph Wesley has incredible Keemun and limited edition Qimen. I love Keemun but didn’t try the new Qimen
https://instagram.com/p/4CqfppC9Lz/
They are running 20% off till August 1 code 2015

looseTman

Cool – thanks for the heads-up!

Doug F

Thanks boychik!

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