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35 Tasting Notes

72

I rarely add milk or sugar to my tea so I brewed this black tea on the lighter side (4 mins instead of 5) to make sure it wasn’t too bitter. It brews up nice and dark, as one would expect looking at the leaves. There is very little sediment at the bottom of the cup. The aroma? Hard to decipher. I think maybe a dark toffee or burnt caramel. The taste is slightly acidic, mostly sweet. There’s no mistaking it – this is a dark black tea but with something to temper it,perhaps as a morning tea with scones, this is great. For me, I’ll drink it on it’s own.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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55

The moment you open the package, you know this is special. All the other teas are packed in foil packs but this tea is in a brick with wrapping that reminds me of a certain kind of Chinese candy. Also, the 9g same is a costly $4.80 which is almost five times the cheapest tea you can get on Upton. I unwrapped it and broke it up with my fingers. I put two chunks into my Bodum steel filter and placed it in my mug to brew.

The leaves stay pretty compacted even when brewing. They hardly separated at all. They are also quite large! The liquor is not very intense. It’s clearly an oolong but a very light one. Not at all like you’d get at Sunday dim sum. The color is a light gold and the aroma is slightly caramely. I am tasting tanins mostly on the back of the throat.

For the price, I don’t know if I’d get this again. It’s good but not great.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Whoa, what is this? Yellow tea? I’ve never heard of it so I thought I’d give it a try. The brew is a very light golden color. It reminds me of a gold coin that could use a polish. Since the leaves are quite large, it’s very clear. There’s very little sediment at the bottom and certainly none floating around. The flavor is very very good and has a clean finish. There are virtually no tanins and the mouthfeel is great. It’s not very viscous but it coats the tongue quite well. The front notes are kind of hard to discern; most of the flavor is in the background. You guys have to try this!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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94

I didn’t realize I had tasted this about a year ago but here’s a new harvest/batch. The leaves are quite large so it brews exceptionally clean/clear. Color is a light molasses or a dark honey, depending on your experience. Pleasing aroma but it’s very faint. There’s a slight acidity at the back of my tongue. Little to no aftertaste. I am really enjoying how approachable this is. Would be a good tea for people getting into Darjeelings.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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65

I usually like to stick to the strong points of a country’s tea offerings. For me, that means I get greens from Japan, Oolongs from China/Taiwan, etc. i decided to give this Japanese black tea a shot because of the great description and cool sounding name. The leaves are a dark gray, not quite black, hue. they are medium sized with some long (3/4") brown sticks in there. It smells, honestly, like green tea, not black. In contrast, the brew smells decidedly black, very much like Chinese black tea, in fact. The color is that of a dark reddish brown stained wood. It brews very clean with little sediment at the bottom of the cup, when using my Bodum mesh steel basket.

There’s a strong tanin (bitterness) in the tea but nothing out of the ordinary for a black. It is a fairly thin brew, with not much viscosity. I am drinking this as a morning tea but I can see it working as a late afternoon one as well.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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47

The leaves are very furry; just as you’d expect from a white. There is a a unique odor smell to the brewed tea. It’s not bad, just different. It kind of smells floral, but artificial. Like an air freshener rather than a bouquet of flowers. Very little to no tanins. Medium viscosity. Interesting flavor. Almost saline.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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74

This is a dramatically different Oolong than you’d find at your neighborhood dim sum joint. The tanins are more pronounced and there is less of a metallic tinge that I normally associate with cheap Chinese teas. The aroma is slightly floral and the taste is ever so sweet. The color is a classic light caramel and it brews up cleanly with few particles making it through the filter. Of course this depends on how fine your mesh is.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100

This is a really pricey tea. $24 for a 50 gram packet. The instructions are sort of confusing too. On the label, it says 2-3 tsp. On the website it uses grams (which I convert to anyway) and list the steeping suggestion as 2.25 grams / cup, which is Upton’s standard for everything. In other words, they consider 2.25 grams per cup the same as 1 tsp per cup. Anyway, is it 2-3 tsp (6-9 grams) or 2.25 grams? I went with the latter since my 6 gram packet would have yielded me only one cup had I gone with the 2 tsp scale.

Anyway, the tea is incredibly fragrant and floral and does not smell like a traditional Oolong you might find at dim sum. It smells sweet like lychee or a southeast Asian fruit cocktail. The hue is fairly light, even lighter than honey. It has a mellow comforting taste and not surprisingly is a little “sweet.” It has very little tanins; just a little in the aftertaste.

Upton was not lying, this tea is legit.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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41

It calls for 2-3 tsp and so for me that was 5 grams for an 8 oz coffee mug. I brewed at 3.5 minutes, 180F. This used up my entire Upton tea sample so if you order don’t expect to get more than one session out of it. Now on to the taste, but first the aroma. It smells ok. I don’t know how to describe it. Kind of musky. That sounds bad, huh? The color is a very light golden. The flavor is sort of bitter with an aftertaste that lingers for a little then disappearing. Overall, I am not a huge fan.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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47

1.5 tsp (for me that’s 4.5 grams), and a 4.5 minute brewing time. What does this tell you? This is a dark heavy cup of tea. It smells almost alcoholic, the same sensation you get when taking a whiff of bourbon or scotch. You also get a very strong caramel note, more pronounced than almost anything I’ve had. How does it taste? Good but also bad. I can’t make up my mind. I don’t think I like it. But it’s not bad. It’s like eating venison. Your mind is so confused because it’s gamey but it’s not necessarily bad. Maybe it’ll grow on me.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

I love tea. I have been drinking tea at least twice a day for over 5 years. I enjoy all types of tea but like Chinese and Japanese the most, though I drink Indian mostly (go figure). Accurate tea preparation is very important to me and I am very methodical in my approach.

Location

Santa Barbara, CA

Website

http://www.sygyzy.com

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