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.
35 Tasting Notes
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wow, what is going on here? It’s a Darjeeling that thinks it’s a green? This selection from Thurbo Estate look nothing like the Darjeelings you’d expect from northern India. It’s broken very fine and has the hue of woodchips. The steeping time is a done-before-you-know it 1.5 minutes, faster than some green and white teas. The aroma? Smells sort of like a Chinese or Japanese tea to be quite honest. What does this all amount to? How does it taste? Quite good. A strong but quickly passing bitterness; it doesn’t linger. Good viscosity, like a syrup that’s been thinned out. The color is beautiful golden.
A non-traditional oolong due to it’s particularly flowery aroma. Color of the brewed tea is a very light golden yellow. Light to medium viscosity. Slight acidity and aftertaste lingers on the tongue. Good wind down or evening tea.
Organic teas make up probably 10-20% of my collection. I love organic items but to be honest, for teas, I don’t go out of my way to buy organic. The aroma is very characteristic Darjeeling as the hue of the tea. After my first sip, I must report the taste is wonderful. It’s not a standout tea but it’s able to stand up on it’s own. At 16 cents per cup (if buying the 500g pack), it’s definitely an affordable treat for yourself first thing in the morning. I know plenty of people love putting milk, sugar, honey or other oddities in their black teas. I don’t personally, but even if I did, I would not advise messing with this cup since it’s on the lighter side already.
What a short brew time! Not unexpected though since it’s a green. The leaves are short and crunchy and smell really good. The brew is a light light caramel color. Maybe more like yellow-brown than caramel. There is some acidity but nothing really strong. I want to say it tastes slightly citrusy but don’t take that to mean it’s super acidic. It’s not. It’s a good tea but I am not sure if it’s a “WOW” tea.
What’s up? I am back from a vacation in Montreal where I had zero, I repeat, zero tea. I was having tea withdrawals. Luckily, when I returned, Upton had a box for me with over 60 kinds of tea to choose from. Today I am trying a, new to me, Chinese black tea. I’ll be honest, I was busy so I drank this after it cooled a bit. I think that’s fine since I don’t like sipping boiling water. Anyway, the dry leaves are very interesting looking and their aroma is quite inviting. They look like they might be hard and crispy but actually yield quite a bit when touched. The brew has some slight bitterness, not unexpected from a black but it doesn’t have that back-of-the-tongue aftertaste that most black Indian teas have. I drink primarily Indian and Chinese teas but there’s something a little bit harsh about the former and a little more soothing about the latter. This is shaping up to be a very good tea for me and I am going to have to recommend it to all my followers.
Fairly dark (colored) brew. To be expected since it’s an Assam but this one is quite dark almost a red rust color. Very little sediment at the bottom of the cup. Brewing it at the recommended time and temp resulted in quite a bitter cup. Luckily, like most teas it doesn’t linger much but this would not be good for an afternoon tea where I prefer something more subtle and less jolting. This is a good pick me up tea (and definitely higher on the caffeine scale). I wish I had something sweet to enjoy with this.
Despite being a Chinese black, this tastes very similar to an Indian black tea. It’s a medium amber color and brews up cleanly will little debris at the bottom. I get cherry notes when I smell it and it has a good amount of tanins but not overwhelming. There’s also a slight acidity.
Wow, talk about an unusual looking tea. Just look at the picture of the leaves, or in this case, maybe stones is more appropriate. It’s a dull green color, and looks exactly like the foam that florists use to make arrangements. It has a chalky (not shiny) appearance and each stone is the size of a large pea. When you brew it, you expect it to unfurl right? Well it doesn’t! The tea is named Oolong but obviously looks green.
How does it taste? Like a very very light oolong with a hint of ginseng but also some green tea attributes. It has a hint of spiciness (the same way ginger is spicy) that rubs the back of your throat. I normally don’t think tea has much of a smell or at least anything to write about but this one has a nice floral aroma!
A must try!
4.5 grams for an 8-10 oz cup of boiling water. This is an intense tea. Dark and malty with heavy tanins on the back of the tongue. Medium viscosity, good coating. Definitely a morning wake up tea, that’s why I am having it right now (1030A). The color is dark caramel but almost red in hue. Great Darjeeling.
I love Moroccan mint tea. I can’t deny it. I have to admit I think it’s very suspect of Upton, whose tea I drink almost exclusively, to source their mint tea from Germany. I am sorry but what does Germany know about tea? Anyway, this is actually a good tasting tea. It’s a blend and my feelings about tea blends are similar to my feelings about Scotch blends, though I am easing up on both. This tea brews up very cleanly – little to no residual leaves or “dustings” at the bottom of the mug. The color is a light golden and there’s a hint of acidity on the front of the tongue. There is an underlying tone of tanins but nothing like you’d get in a darker tea. The mint is very subtle but is definitely present. This is an extremely relaxing tea and I wish I could on a comfortable sofa right now instead of my office chair.
A truly black black Chinese tea. According to Upton, less than 40kg of this tea was produced. The price certainly reflects it. It’s a very dark caramel flavor. Not the kind you’d find in a supermarket candy bar, but one you’d make on a stove. Maybe close to the hard crack stage. Very strong initial taste but since it’s a fairly thing tea, it dissipates quickly. Not much lingering around after swallowing. I like this but to be honest, don’t really see why it’s supposed to be so special. It’s high brew temp and thinness intensifies the need to swallow it quickly which does not leave much time for enjoying it. I’d recommend pairing with some sweets (cookies or pastry) and letting it cool down 15 degrees before enjoying.
1.5 tsp instead of the standard 1. Perhaps this is a lighter tea that requires more steeping time to fully brew? Medium amber color. Smell remind me of European milk chocolate. Or maybe chocolate chip cookies. Strong tea (but not overhwhelming). Lots of tanins for sure but mild aftertaste. Slightly bitter but not in a bad way. Very Asian flavor. It’s immediately obvious you are drinking a Chinese tea the moment it hits your tongue. Viscosity is pretty thin. This would be good with some cookies or a pastry.
The highest grade of Keemun black tea from China, this does not come cheap. I don’t remember the exact price but I have the label marked with an asterisk which means it was pricey. Dry leaves are brittle and black and look like tiny short sticks. They are not gunpowder fine but not very large either. Brews up nice and dark and reminds me of Lapsang Souchon and while it’s not smoked, it has a very strong smokiness to it. Tanins are present as well as very noticeable acidity, almost like you squeezed a few drops of lemon into your morning tea. Viscosity is on the medium range, and it coats your tongue nicely. If you rub your tongue against the insides of your mouth, you’ll taste the residual tanins/tea which linger for quite a while after you’ve swallowed.
I didn’t have much left so I split the remainder into two batches so I am brew 2/3’s (2g) of what I normally would use. I may increase brewing time about 15-30 seconds to compensate. I simply love the name of this tea. It invokes so many images and emotions. the leaves are very delicate and initially reminded me of a bird’s nest (tiny twigs) or maybe thinly shredded paper used as packing material.
Ok the tea’s done. Tasting notes: Definitely a Chinese green tea. Very apparent. The color is a very light champagne. Good clarity and very little (to no) residue at bottom of cup. It tastes very slightly grassy, which is a term I generally use for Japanese green teas. Viscosity is thin, not much coating going on here.