Upton Tea Imports
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Recent Tasting Notes
Tea of the afternoon here and another small sample from Upton.
I wasn’t sure about their suggested steeping parameters since 4-5 minutes seems like a long time for a Chinese tea. I settled on 2 minutes for mine and this seems to have been a good choice. This is a little darker than some Golden Monkeys I’ve had in the past. It has some gentle malt and cocoa notes along with a bit of winey-ness but there’s not bitterness or astringency anywhere, just a nice flavorful cup! My favorite Golden Monkey is Red Blossom’s version but this is good too. I decided to steep the leaves for a 2nd time at 4 minutes and that was good as well. Equally good neat or with a splash of soymilk.
I got a few samples from Upton to try recently. Being alone at home all day with my credit card and the internet is dangerous for tea buying! I’ve been trying to focus mostly on small purchases until I make more progress getting my cabinet decupboarded.
This is a VERY strong blend, the keemun and assam combo are extremely winey and brisk. This is a little too bitter and pungent for me to drink it plain. Adding soymilk did help some, but I’m afraid I’m not a super big fan of this. Even adding sugar didn’t help it out too much. Well at least I only got the sample size :)
I thought I had some kind of allergic type reaction to hibiscus But I’ve been drinking teas with it here lately and it hasn’t seemed to bother me, weird, Anyways……This one is not very tasty, Don’t taste much Vanilla and it’s way too tangy and tart and kinda sour, this just tastes like a really strange fruit tea, It don’t even taste like a specific fruit just some weird tangy sour fruit. Not very enjoyable as a warm tea to me, Maybe it would be better cold but I’ll never know that cuz i’m done with it after just half a cup.
Not My Cup Of Tea :)
I’ve never had anything quite like this before. It feels very heavy, if that makes sense, but in a very good way. I liked this a lot.. I definitely notice a grape flavor and a bit of astringency. I loved this even more with some milk (per the packaging’s recommendation).. And I usually do not add milk to my tea.
This black tea has a nice red orange liquor and a very full flavor. The mouthfeel is incredibly thick, almost like half and half, and I’ve added only water to the leaves! The initial taste is quite fruity. I’m getting more of an orange zest flavor than anything, but there’s a red fruit flavor underneath like grapes or a tart strawberry. The finish is somewhat astringent and dry with a slight woodiness. This is definitely a robust tea, leaning on the tangy and tart side. Quite unique, but a bit too bangin’ for me.
Another pick from the Steepster Select box.
Pretty standard. Was expecting more of a coffee/bitter brew, but was pleasantly surprised by what seems as a normal breakfast tea. A little astringent, but not too overbearing. I’m getting more of a note of wood than any fruit. The after taste at the back of my tongue is slightly reminiscent of grape skin…a little tart/bitter, but not too fruity. I’m not picking up on the grapes though. Doesn’t need milk or sugar, as it is pleasant on its own, but I will try a little sweetener to see if any more notes come out…
1 sugar in the raw packet seems to make it taste of sweetened wood (huh?) with the slightest note of chocolate toward the tail end. But that might just be the natural molasses in the sugar cane.
Had what is becoming my customary cup of earl grey creme for breakfast, and somehow I was still craving earl grey, so I steeped this. I was kind of disappointed in this one the first time I tried it, but now that I don’t have so many expectations for it, I like it pretty well. It has that malty breakfast tea undertone, and today (I think I oversteeped it a bit; people were talking to me and I got distracted) it tastes quite buttery. As far as the chocolate and the bergamot, I don’t think this tea delivers, but if you can accept it as a dark breakfast tea with interesting unidentifiable side notes, it’s pretty good.
First sample from the Steepster Select box I won! Woohoo!
I chose this as a sample because I was at a nice folksy-hipster restaurant the other day and they had a wide assortment of loose leaf tea. I always try to get a pot to finish my meal with, and I wanted to try their Organic Darjeeling FTGFOP from the Makaibari Estate. It was TREMENDOUSLY delicious, and so I bought some…don’t know what it is, but it tastes like low quality tea…I’ve been messing with the temperature and duration, but have yet to find a combo that yields as good a result as I had in the restaurant. I went back the next day and ordered another pot, and it was just as delicious as the first, so I don’t know what I’m doing wrong….but I digress….
Anyways, this brewed up a beautiful red. Initial scent was of pine nuts or chestnuts? I’m not sure, but something a little nutty. Since this is my first actual Darjeeling (well, second I guess…), I don’t know what to expect or look for. Tastes like black tea to me! Haha. But in all seriousness, I’m not really picking up the muscatel notes. The Darjeeling I had in the restaurant was almost malty and grapey…it was fruity, with the mouth-feel of eating grapes. I swear, I understood the whole “muscat grape” description. I’m not really getting that with this one. It’s a little astringent towards the back end, but that might also just be because I was eating cinnamon Life cereal earlier (whoops!). Definitely will have to edit and give this one another chance with the 2nd packet they supplied. Decent tea, but still unknowing of what to expect.
EDIT: After nearing the end of the cup, I definitely notice the strong aroma of grapes and wine, but I am not picking up the flavor
Very good flavored tea. You must respect the steep time. 3 minutes is the limit. More time will give you a bitter cup. Produces a red-ish liquor and scent of honey. I believe this will be one of my go to teas when I want just a straight up black tea flavored tea.
Trying this a second time, and it seems more balanced now. I may have oversteeped it before without realizing it. Still not a favorite of it mine, but if you are into plain whites, this one is worth a try, as it does have an interesting flavor profile.
I am just now digging into my second Steepster select box. I actually cancelled for the time being because I am a bit tealogged at the moment, and I don’t want the tea I have to get old and stale. The tasting notes for this tea mentioned a grape flavor, so I was initially a bit apprehensive. I love grapes, I like wine, but I have never been a fan of grape flavor. However, it is such a natural and subtle note in this tea that I actually enjoy it quite a bit. This tea is a lot of different from other black teas that I usually drink, but not in a bad way. It’s a bit more mellow, with a nice mouthfeel. It’s not too weak or too strong, and the grape keeps it interesting. I am glad this was one of the Steepster choices!
I’m on the re-steep of this tea, & although I don’t always love Darjeelings, I don’t hate them all either. This one is actually pretty nice, with a musky fruity quality, & a tart aftertaste, like apricot. It comes from the Steepster Select box for February.
I’m still working at my desk, & have completed a few tasks that I’ve been avoiding (I don’t know why I avoid these things, they are never hard to do, & never take long either).
Now on to a few errands, & then more desk work.
i’ll do a full review from the get go:
when i open the pack, the tea smells like campfire, pine, nike shoes and basketballs :)
when i steep the leaves, they smell is a tad bit weaker. (same with the steeped tea)
when i taste it, it tastes really good.
real men drink this smokey tea :)
Flavors: Pine, Tobacco, Wood