Bohea Imperial Organic (ZK72)

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Black Tea
Chinese Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Rumpus Parable
Average preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 12 oz / 354 ml

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19 Tasting Notes View all

From Upton Tea Imports

A Fujian province classic Congou, with smooth character, delicate hints of chocolate and subtle smokey nuances.

Ordinary black tea was often called “Bohea” in the 1700s, and while documents show that Bohea was the primary tea of the famous Boston Tea Party, it happened to be the cheapest of the teas thrown into Boston Harbor in December, 1773.
Authentic Bohea is in a class by itself, grown in the Bohea Hills (Wu-Yi Shan), and hand processed as in the days of Robert Fortune’s visits to that area.

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19 Tasting Notes

2816 tasting notes

So evidently this is the tea that was thrown into the Boston Harbor, it makes me wince a little just thinking about it!

As far as I know, this is my first Bohea but I decided I wanted to make a pot of it this morning to enjoy. I steeped it for 5 minutes and it is a medium bodied tea in color, a dark reddish brown (and this is why I love glass teaware).

The aroma of this is very intriguing. I’m getting a lot of pine which is actually nice and not overwhelming. This has a gentle, rich mouthfeel with no astringency whatsoever. I am definitely picking up lots of cocoa in the aroma. Since this tea is also from Wu Yi province I am picking up some of the flavors that are present in a Wu Yi oolong, only less pronounced. I also wonder if this is ever (or was) used as the base for a Lapsang Souchong. It has a slightly malty, slighty sweet aftertaste. I would definitely not add milk or sugar to this, for it would ruin the delicate flavor. After checking the price again I just wish Upton sold 50g bags instead of just the samples or the 100g size. I have enjoyed this!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Autumn Hearth

This is on my very long Upton wish list that I have been neglecting in favor of getting new Verdant Teas, though we just ordered some more British blends for the husband from Upton. I shall up the priority.


I do recommend trying this. I went through my Verdant phase about a year ago and they have some good selections as well.


This sounds lovely! Bookmarked!


Did you see Upton has another Bohea…A Pre-Chingming? I think it is over $80 for 50 grams. I may break down for this one, but the other one is a little too rich for my wallet.

Autumn Hearth

Yow! Sample size? I feel like even that would require sharing the experience to make it worth it. Local tea meet up where we all bring an expensive sample we wouldn’t ordinarily try on our own?


It’s not cheap, but I think their previous lot was more $$$. I’ll at least sample this one next time I order-been eyeing it for a long time.

Doug F

That new pre-chingming bohea is $10 per sample but I might have to try it.

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419 tasting notes

Ok this is cup two of the day and this time around I am really getting the Lapsang! I’m also getting a little chocolaty sweetness which is most welcome this morning. It is super dreary and not looking too great outside. But I’ll take it…any day I don’t need the A/C is ok by me!

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985 tasting notes

Tea of the morning….(SRP #48)

I definitely wanted the opportunity to taste a high quality Bohea. And this one is also from my favorite region for tea (it is a Fujian Province black tea.) Lucky for me and all of us, really, Upton offers just about anything in a sample. I have to admit, this is probably the most expensive sample I have purchased there, but this is worth it!

I will probably be comparing this to other smokey teas. I think it is sweeter and less smokey than Upton’s Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon. TeaVivre’s Lapsang has a slight bacony edge over this one. Hu Kwa from Mark T. Wendell is much smokier. Light notes of malt and honey, but no where near the cocoa notes like you would expect in a Keemun. I would not call it particularly winey, either, like Keemuns can run. I guess that leaves me with light smoke, malt, and honey. The stand out characteristic for me that makes this tea unique in comparison to other light smokey teas I have had…the honey notes.

I have enough for another cup or two, and I will thoroughly enjoy them. Does that make this worthy of purchase? Price is definitely a factor here. If I did not have a few other smokey teas or so many black teas in my stash, I could probably get over the price and purchase. With the current state of things, though, I need to pare things down a little more first.

Usual mug method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I gave in and bought the large size of this, I certainly loved it. :)


This is going on my Upton order!

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294 tasting notes

This truly is an elegant tea. In my previous tasting I thought it was better suited as an evening tea. It does not have a robust flavor but it does have an intense energy that is capable of awakening any hardened tea drinker. I just wish it was not so expensive. See my previous notes and others who love this tea.

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6770 tasting notes

Thanks for this one Amy Oh!

This tastes like a very gentle pepper with a little bit more of smoke. There is a nice amount of maltiness and cocoa especially as it cools.

This is tasty!

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109 tasting notes

Brew temp 208

Yes, I bought this because it is supposed to be one of the teas thrown into Boston Harbor. Why not-the sample was only a dollar or so.

This is really nice. It tastes like a cross between Keemun and Lapsang. The aroma is unusual, I smell perhaps pine, but also something else that I cannot identify-I’ll have to work on that. Smooth, flavorful and pleasant.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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4846 tasting notes

I came across this tea as I was sorting through my stash. It’s nice. Top notes of smoke, these are the flavors that cross my palate first but they aren’t overwhelming, and soon they make way for notes of chocolate and caramel.

I find this tea to be much more to my liking than a stronger smoky tea like a lapsang. The amount of smoke here is nice – not too strong, but not too wimpy either. It gives this tea character.

I like this.

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