Upton Tea Imports

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Recent Tasting Notes

91

(Appearance) Nicely pressed into a heart-shape. The tuocha falls apart in the cup fast and easily. (Aroma) Strong smell of rice and mushrooms.

(Taste) A very nice blend of rice, mushrooms and earth. It can be re-steeped many times without any appreciable loss in flavor, which is very consistent. Overall it is a very comforting and relaxing tea (if not the most complex), one of my favorites for winding down. Will certainly buy again…and again… and again.

Flavors: Earth, Grass, Mushrooms, Rice

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76

I got a bunch of samples from Upton when they had some free shipping deal, and this is one of them. It is a solid breakfast tea, though it turned a bit astringent. It was good with milk, and would be an okay basic black tea to have around, but I don’t think I’ll get more of it. It has inspired me to check out other assams when I get the chance though.

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88

Smells like molasses and fig cookies in the bag

Taste mostly makes me think of honey, with some hints of the scents mentioned above.

A good bang for buck Chinese tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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71

Not a bad Keemun but quite unremarkable. The aroma is so-so, the sour notes predominate in the taste. Upton has much better Keemuns that cost just a bit more, such as China Keemun Mao Feng or Hao -Ya B Superfine Keemun. Will not buy again.

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77

Inoffensive, good for blending or some mindless drinking but does not stand out in any way. So far it was my impression of all Nilgiri teas I had tried.

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81

Yum yum. This one is earthy, starchy and rich. It’s a go-to tea when I’m looking for something dark and strong.

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56

I just didn’t care for this one much. Based on other reviews, maybe I should give it another go, but to me this tea tasted sort of grassy and sour and was just not for me.

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67

This is a flavorful green tea. I thought it tasted fresh, and almost spicy and sweet somehow. I like it a lot.

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63

The good news is that it is a better balanced tea than many souchongs: the smokiness is not excessive and does not overpower the taste of the tea itself, which clearly comes through. The bad news is that that tea is not of a good quality and the taste is quite blah. Will not buy again.

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87

The best “non-tea” tea I ever tried. The taste is much richer and less medicinal than any pure rooibos I tried. It is also tastes much more natural and less contrived than any rooibos-based mix. I will certainly buy it again. Highly recommended.

P.S. Don’t forget to steep it for a while – no less than 5 minutes.

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75

A solid but unremarkable daily drinker. The aroma is pleasant but not very strong. The taste is not particularly long lasting and rather uncomplicated: dry autumn leaves, some sweetness. It is OK for a daily drinker or with milk/sugar and is very affordable but there are way better teas at Upton if you are ready to pay just a little bit more.

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Long time no steep! Don’t you hate how life and unseasonably warm weather mess with your drinking routine?

First, I think this is the correct tea title: I’m not near the packet and I don’t pay attention to product numbers. (Upton has lots of numbers :)

At any rate, this is a wonderful, bready, cocoa-y tea that reminds me greatly of the Assams I love so much. Got three decent steeps out of a pot-sized basket of leaves, one of which was great with milk. Nice mid-range price point; I think next order, I shall have to get more than a little sample packet.

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95

For me, the smokiness of Lapsang Souchong has relegated it to an afternoon or evening cup. Until now. This Black Dragon variation from Upton Tea is worthy of the first-cup position in my day! The smoky edge is simultaneously subtle and evident, and the underlying tea is smooth and flavorful.

While I might generally describe Lapsang Souchong as “perfect for a cool, blustery day,” I would be quick to define Upton’s unique variation as simply “perfect”. No caveats.

Flavors: Ash, Smoke, Smooth

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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What a treat! I was only recently introduced to Lapsang Souchong, and was warned it was a love-it-or-hate-it type of tea. We’ve had the opportunity to try several renderings of this unique tea, and the ZS20 from Upton proves to be the most mellow, but with no loss of flavor. The smokiness adds a nice edge to a super smooth cup. Trusting across the board assessments that souchong is naturally low in caffeine, I liked it enough to get on Upton’s website and order a tin.

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85

Not especially sweet. Some notes of grass, a hint of chocolate and toast. Little or no astringency or tannin aftertaste. I can imagine this as a really good tea for a winter day.

Flavors: Chocolate, Grass, Toast

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

Would re-buy. Simple and sweet tea. Beautiful golden color when poured. More substantial with later steeps.

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I need to preface this review by saying that we drink a fair bit of Lapsang in this house and we love it. I see lots of bad ratings for Lapsang teas and they frequently come from people who have never had Lapsang and didn’t know what to expect.

I like this one, but I expected to love it. I thought yesterday’s Upton Lapsang was better, yet this one is more expensive and is supposed to be a higher grade. I wouldn’t turn a cup of this down, and I will say it resteeped nicely, and maybe the rain and dark clouds made yesterday’s cup cheerier and more comforting. Sometimes mood and company factor in strongly to one’s perception of a tea.

Bottom line – it’s good, but I am just as happy with the cheaper one between the two. I still prefer Dammann Freres Lapsang Souchong Crocodile and the now extinct Harney Wuyi Shan Lapsang. One more Upton Lapsang sample to go!

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Well, this is a shocker for me. I ordered our much loved Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon and the slightly less smokey Baker Street blend, and I added on three samples of their other Lapsang teas to test.

I thought I wouldn’t care much for this one. It is the cheapest of the teas I bought, but I do love a Chinese tea base so I had a little hope for it.

I find that I really, REALLY dig this tea. So many Lapsang teas taste like half strength tea with smoke layered on top. I like them very much, especially on a cold or rainy day. But this one – I can really taste the base tea! And the smoke really isn’t lighter than the other Lapsang teas I have tried.

Thumbs up for me on this sample. And Comm Guy, I have saved the rest of the sample for you along with a couple of others.

Comm Guy

…aaaaand I just tried it! This is really good. I’ve been drinking mostly Chinese black teas lately, and like you found, there’s no real base tea flavor, but the smokiness is really nice. Smooth and enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!

ashmanra

Glad you liked it! I am looking forward to your opinion on Black Dragon and Baker Street! I hope I can get my hands on some Crocodile from Dammann soon.

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When I first got this sample, I overlooked it, thinking it was a chocolate heart in its gold foil wrapper. Once I saw the label, I started plotting the perfect day to give it a shot.

Wow! This could easily become a habit. This smells exactly like sticky rice (a staple in my home). The aroma is so powerful I can’t help but taste it with each sip. There’s a hint of mushrooms or something similar, too.

Now I need to invite my wife to try it to justify an inevitable order. Ho-o-o-o-o-ney!

ashmanra

It is bizarre how much it smells just like sticky rice, and all due to an added herb. Teavivre has some bagged, and I think I have by…Whispering Pines perhaps? Or it may be Upton. I have a couple of Lapsangs on the way that you guys need to try! Will send asap.

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100

I have tried this tea with and without milk and steeped it twice, the first with milk. Both ways are terrific. Second steeping was without milk and went just over 3 minutes and it was perfect although I do not think it would hurt to steep a little longer the second time.

Preparation
1 tsp

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