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Recent Tasting Notes
This has that red jello flavor that I’ve found in some fruity teas before, especially from Teavivre. It works pretty well here. The flavor isn’t too tart at all. Sweetener helps the flavors shine. I can definitely see this flavor as being cranberry. It’s not complex or amazing, but it’s good enough cold. I’ve been making big pitchers of this and filling my tumbler when I leave the house.
This blend is pretty simple. The flavor is mostly ginger, but the lemongrass breaks up that flavor slightly to make it not as sharp and earthy. I prefer this one warm, as it gets a little weird cold. The resteep tastes strange, so I skip it. I ended up with a 4 oz bag of this, and I’m getting pretty tired of it. It’s just too savory for me to want to drink all the time. I don’t know if I love the inclusion of licorice and mint in here.
My dad seems to like this tea, but its not what I would normally choose. A cross between lapsang and keemun – a hint of smoke and a hint of sweet. The aftertaste reminds me of a congou. This one from Upton is a bit finicky to brew, easy to get too much leaf and some bitterness. I wouldn’t purchase, but I don’t mind drinking it .
I’ve been working on this tea and Myrtle’s Tea House since last month and am really ready to move on, so I decided to go with some iced and latte preparations (which use more leaf) to speed up the process. So I used the remainder of my packet of this for a latte with Vanilla Almond Milk. Using it as the February sipdown prompt “Drink a tea that starts with a Periodic Table abbreviation” (O for Oxygen!)
I found in the latte it was still quite malty and bready, but I didn’t really taste any floral or muscatel notes. Rather, a sort of lemon citrusy flavor came forward, which was quite pleasant with the very sweet milk.
Not a bad send-off.
Flavors: Bread, Citrus, Malt
Pulled this old tea I was gifted from Meowster during a cupboard de-stash. Thank you!
Brewed 3.5g in 500ml 190F water for 3 minutes. I managed to get in a few wiffs before it was emptied into the work thermos for the day, and found it surprisingly flowery in aroma for such an old tea. The thermos is now drinkable, and the flavor definitely tastes a little stale/muted from age, but notes of malt, baked bread, raisins, honey, and flowers are still present. It’s also very smooth, with just a bit of a drying quality after the sip — at least with this preparation, I’m not getting the sort of astrigency I come to expect from broken leaf tea.
Flavors: Bread, Drying, Floral, Honey, Malt, Raisins, Smooth
I think I chose this one for a christmas gift tea due to the good reviews on the Upton site. My dad seems to like this one but it took a few times to get a good brew time and leaf ratio (less leaf and less time is best). This certainly does brew up strong and quick. It has a nice metallic and amber twang to it without bitterness. Of course I compare this Awesome tea to my favorite S&V CTC tea in my head and this comes up up short in the complexity department. I’d like to do a head to head taste test but I need to restock the Assam Beesakopie to compare. I would add this to an Upton order if I was low on Assam.
Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Metallic
A complex and tasty tea with different layers of fruityness, briskness, and metallic taste depending on steep time and tea temperature. I got mostly coppery notes on a first sip, with fruity and complex notes arriving as the cup cools. An interesting tea to experiment with or blend (Yunnan comes to mind). I might add it to an order, but its not something to seek out.
This is my second session with these same leaves. Steeped once in my favorite mug, which sadly didn’t reveal nearly as much flavor as I was hoping and so me thinks it’s time to give the mug a good scrub. This second round is being done gong fu style. The flavors are much more pronounced. The first sip revealed honeyed flavors and earthy wet wood notes. As the session progresses each becomes increasingly tainted with astringency and damp forest. Decomposing wood.
Started drinking this while eating my bacon-wrapped potato wedge and I realized I couldn’t really taste the tea. So I steeped it longer. This is a good tea for this type of breakfast. The bacon escalates some of the woody notes and tones down the tobacco. The banana doesn’t help. Its sweet flavor almost makes me want to stop drinking the tea. But maybe… Nope. It’s not the banana. I oversteeped it a bit. But what is this flavor? It is tannic. It is tanned leather. It is not something I enjoy in my mouth. Burnt… something.
This was included as a sample in my christmas gift order for my dad so I thought we might open it and drink a day early. Its very malty up front, smells amazing, but the aftertaste that lingers post-sip is astringent and bitter. This would stand up to milk and sugar, but since I drink my tea plain, I won’t be seeking this one out again.
Flavors: Bitter, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Yeasty
This is one is highly rated by my dad, and while its not solely a souchon, it does have a slight smoky taste. It reminds me of a candy version of a smoked tea, as it has a sweet aftertaste. Probably why he likes it, he has a sweet tooth. The tea has a burnt creme brulee vibe, but for some reason, I never remember I like this tea until I brew another cup. I like it better than the Old South Meeting house blend that is an Upton ‘Boston tea party’ theme tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Smoke, Sweet
You know how, when you near the end of a tea tin or packet, there’s more than you really need for one cup, but not enough for two? Not wanting to be a wastrel, I put all of the last of my leaves in a DIY filter bag and grabbed my biggest work mug. Turned out very nicely. My first review highlighted the rye toast aspect, but this morning, maybe due to the added strength, it reminds me a little of a good keemun with apple peel as well.
Next time I can see my way clear to invest in an Upton order, this one needs to be on it.
Numerical ratings don’t work for me—one must be consistent to play the rating game and I am far too wishy-washy and moody. One of the few teas I ever bothered to rate, and 100 at that, was Fujian Congou by Nature’s Tea Leaf, now long gone. I wrote rambling rhapsodies about its toast-and-cocoa goodness.
However, after tasting my first cup of Old South Meeting House, I was deeply tempted to start messing with the “Drag Me” bar. The Congou part of this blend is strong enough to take me back to that old favorite, and I have had my nose in the mug all morning like a horse with a feedbag. It smells like Ry-Krisp crackers and tastes like toast made from homemade wheat bread.
Thanks to Michelle for the special treat!
Aren’t these leaves just the cutest?! Remind me of those sweet African curls on a baby’s head. The leaf color is dark when dry but is a mix of dark chocolate and milk chocolate when wet. The flavor is full of earthy notes. Woodsy, mahogany and a freshly sealed pine chest. Traces of cocoa but very few. Wet aroma is musty. Pick up wet leaves and stuff them in your nose.
Another of the teas I received back in 2018 from Meowster’s cupboard destash… thank you, Meowster! I think this tea is from 2016, so it’s quite old at this point, and I’m expecting flavor degradation as a result.
2.5g steeped in 350ml 195F water for 3 minutes. I am getting a very pleasant aroma from the steeped cup; a rosy floral, citrus, and a sort of honey graham biscuity note. On the mouth, I’m tasting a strong wet autumn leaf flavor first, with a hint of cucumber/melon, and subtle rose and lemon note, and a somewhat biscuity aftertaste. The flavors do feel a bit muted, but this is holding up much better than the Malabar Estate Java OP Clonal I sipped down recently. I’m actually surprised this many notes are still presenting in this tea after so much time.
This is quite nice, I can only imagine how great it is fresh!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Citrus, Cucumber, Floral, Graham, Honey, Lemon, Melon, Rose