46 Tasting Notes

79

This is one of the better flavored black blends I’ve had lately. As other people have noted it comes in a cute black Alice in Wonderland tin. I still wished it had a bit more tea flavor, but I didn’t find it as bitter or acidic as most blends. It says Indian tea and I’m assuming Assam, but am not quite sure. I like the flowery fruity bits with hint of ginger. This is a very good summery tea and I liked it even more iced. The fruit flavor is quite sweet so it doesn’t really need sweetener. I found it was tasty with a smallish teaspoon and a longer steep didn’t make it bitter. A nice tea overall.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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83

I made a batch of this on a hot day and tried it both iced and hot. I much preferred it iced with no sweetener. I tried different steeping times and it had much more punch and flavor with a much longer than prescribed steeping time — toward 5 minutes or more. The predominant flavor for me is orange with other herbs and the tea taking a back seat. Its very lovely and fresh tasting. I also noticed you could do quite a few steeps.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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63

This is nice tea, but nothing special. It definitely does not live up to the delightful Upton Mao Feng Imperial though seems similar to their Jade Pekoe. It has a mild honeyed flavor, but not much smoke or deeper flavor. The leaves seem to be broken into small pieces, which I didn’t expect. I don’t catch any spice or fruit really. It is just a plain jane non-offensive tea that I probably wouldn’t have even pegged as Keemun had it not been listed on the package as that. It is not bitter, astringent or mineraly which speaks well, but probably best looked at as a bargain tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

The smell of the brewed leaves and brewed liquor is lovely with a nice fig-like tobacco smell with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. The taste is extremely smooth and nuanced. Not quite as complex as the smell from the actual leaves, but still nice. There is no astringency at all and it almost seems like a less smokey Keemun or a mild Assam. I think I could drink this every morning . . . its quite excellent and tastes lovely with a breakfast pastry.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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71

So this is the first black blend that I’ve tried from Upton. I like Vanilla and enjoy Assam, so though this would be just right. I like it, but in the end it was just okay for me. The leaves are dark and medium sized with small bits of vanilla. The smell is a lovely mix of chocolate and vanilla with the hint of Assam spiciness. I think this might be a good afternoon tea on a cool day. When I drink the beverage with milk and sugar, I really don’t like it; it makes the vanilla too sweet and loses some of the tea flavor. Drank it bare on a second steep. The vanilla though nice and mild seems a bitter superficial and the tea a bit astringent. Its nice, but didn’t quite live up to the expectations of a deep bourbon-like vanilla and good Assam.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82

This is a lovely black brew with twisty little dark leaves. When I smell the brewed leaves a hint of spiced orange and apricot come through. I think this is very comparable to a golden monkey or similar Fujian black tea though this is from Anhui. Its not as deep as my favorite Keemun or as complex as my favorite Darjeeling, but still quite tasty. There is a whiff of smokiness that is worked with the sweet honey notes and a bit of astringency at the front of the notes.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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81

This is definitely a lovely Keemun. I don’t like it quite as much as the Mao Feng Imperial as I don’t find it quite as bold in flavor and taste, but its nice nonetheless. It is a slightly more tender and malty Keemun with a whiff of high quality Darjeeling mouth feel. The smell of the dried leaves is robust and aged with a hint of deep red wine. Brewed it is very smooth with a nutty caramel smell and a bit of cocoa and spice on tasting.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84

This is an interesting Darjeeling. I gently brewed three minutes and it seemed a bit mild for me. I will try brewing a bit longer and cooler next time. It doesn’t seem as complex as other 2nd Flush Darjeelings I’ve had, which disappointed me a little bit; however, its still a tasty middle of the road Darjeeling. I think I prefer a recent Thurbo estate more than this. This tea is sort of a tea equivalent of a Sauvignon Blanc; smooth and mild with touches of crispness and floral notes. There is a bit of vanilla and tropical fruit on the nose and a terribly smooth mouth feel with no astringency.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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82

This one was surprisingly just above average for me. A smooth and tasty cup to be sure, but I’ve had better Yunnan and Fujian teas than this one. The leaves are huge with quite a few golden tips. It has a nice dose of cacao and maltiness in the flavor with a lingering bit of honey on the palate. It is definitely quite smooth and I’ve enjoyed drinking it, but nothing makes it really stand out for me from any other high quality Chinese black tea. I would say the most exceptional thing about this leaf is that it stands up to quite a few brewings. I was still getting a lovely mild tea flavor even on a fourth brew.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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73

This is my first experience with a Kenyan tea. I like it, but it didn’t knock my socks off. It tastes very much like a standard bagged blend to me. Very similar to some Ceylons I’ve had. At first I didn’t notice the astringency, but it seems to build a bit as you drink it. I get hints of apple as described and a bit of vanilla, but not as flavor forward as I’d like. The leaves brew up a red color and a chestnut colored cup. I used a bit less than the 1+ tsp suggested and it tasted just about right. Its nice enough. The brewed leaves have a wonderful caramel smell, but it doesn’t quite make it into the cup.

I think I figured out the key with this one. It tastes noticeably better with lemon and honey and I think it would be quite good iced. The honey really milds up the astringency quite a bit.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I started drinking coffee at the age of 12, but I have recently found that the coffee I always enjoyed gives me headaches. Luckily I have no such issues with tea. I have just begun to discover the joys of a good cup of tea and figuring out what I like and don’t. So far I prefer black tea either Fujian, Keemun, Assam or Darjeeling that are fruit forward with a wisp of acidity or smokiness. I occasionally will drink green, jasmine or a bold white, but typically just to change things up. I hate fake fruit flavors, bitter tea or blah tea with no punch.

I live in the desert southwest, so in the hot summer afternoons you’ll likely find me iced tea in hand with a slice of lemon and sprig of mint. I also am a semi-foodie who enjoys a sharp sauvignon blanc, a jammy zinfandel or a dirty martini with the stinkiest cheese possible.

I am science nerd librarian with a love of fantasy books and astronomy. I am slowly writing a novel and dream of becoming a real writer and escaping the stacks.

Location

Arizona

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