“If I were a coffee drinker easing into the world of tea, I’d like this,” I thought as I sniffed the aromas of my freshly brewed cup of Upton TI69: Jolotigo Estate Orthodox Java BT. Richly tannic and woody smells were evident in the leaves after brewing (it’s wise to use an easily-cleaned strainer with this tea, since the leaf pieces are rather small), so I was surprised when I tasted the cup without milk and found the tea tasted so mild. I added milk to tone down the tannins and that subdued most of the flavor; even though my cup was a good strong color, my milky tea tasted more like tea-ish milk. It was nice of Upton to send this to me as a free sample with my recent order, but this is not my cup of tea.

Flavors: Tannin, Wet wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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A highly domesticated creature living in the outer boroughs of New York City.

Dad worked for Lipton, but we drank Swee-Touch-Nee instead. Later found out that “Swee-Touch-Nee” is a rough transliteration of the Russian word for flowery: цветочной.

I am a foodie first and a tea drinker second. But one informs the other, of course.

My tea preferences vary according to season and weather. I know just what to do with a raw cold wet dark winter day: East Frisian with milk! On the other end of my taste range is Tazo’s Cucumber White, which when chilled is a good antidote for humid summer weather. Middle ground: Frances Bissell’s Special Blend Ceylon; Upton’s Mincing Lane Black Tea Blend; Scottish Breakfast. My favorite smoky tea is Upton’s Baker Street Black Tea Blend.

I am still exploring and learning about tea. Think of me as an advanced beginner.


Brooklyn, NYC



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