Richmond Park Blend TB86

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Black Tea
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Baked Bread, Malt
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Edit tea info Last updated by erteke
Average preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 6 oz / 177 ml

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From Upton Tea Imports

A mellow, whole-leaf blend of Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling. An exceptional tea which is smooth enough for drinking plain, and sturdy enough to take milk or lemon. From our London blender.
Origin: England

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21 Tasting Notes

6770 tasting notes

YAY! YAY! My order came! Woot!
It will never get old getting tea in the mail! EVER!
Even with my tea stashes I was in need of more black teas – so – I bought some!

This is the first of many-new-to-me-teas!

I try and not drink teas back-to-back by the same company but I prob will the next several days or weeks – at least in the mornings!

I LOVE that this one has 3 different teas blended into the base! YAY!

It infuses to a medium brown. The smoky notes pop thru a bit more than the others when I sniffed it.

This is a nice medium-strength black tea combo and I like it just fine and dandy. There are aspects of it that are smoky – but not overly-so and others that are crusty/bready but again just hints.

This is pretty good!


I love this black tea kick youre on! Black teas are the best :)


I have TONS more! MOST of my order was black teas :) You know I LOVE them!!!

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2219 tasting notes

I was surprised and excited to see that Upton had included a free sample in my order! I wanted something to go with my bagel and hoped this would be a good choice.

The dry leaf smells like a nice breakfast tea, not overly fragrant, but pleasant. I saw that there is Darjeeling in this blend and decided to cut my steep time down to 3 1/2 minutes snce Darjeeling and I sometimes don’t see eye to eye. It is listed last, so I thought perhaps there wasn’t a lot in here and I think I was right. I think this is mostly Keemun and Ceylon.

I am drinking it plain because that is my preference whenever I can possibly get away with it.

The tea has a bright flavor on the citrus-y side, no doubt from the Ceylon. The Keemun is not as apparent to me but maybe it got lost in the first sips due to the toasted onion and garlic of the bagel.
The Darjeeling adds a fruity and wine-y aftertaste.

It is very drinkable and pleasant, but not one I just have to have, but good and I am so glad I got to try it. I think if it were steeped longer with a little more leaf, it would be an excellent breakfast tea for those who like to add milk and sugar.

Thank you, Upton Tea, for the sample!


Were you having an “everything bagel”?


Indeed, but it was a Thomas’ Bagel Thin plain which I had toasted with butter and a touch of Penzey’s garlic salt and toasted granulated onion. With cream cheese, of course!


Wow. Making your own Everything Bagel. That’s dedication!

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1183 tasting notes

This is the fourth and last of the teas in the British Blend sampler. I have to say I really like the little tins Upton uses for its sampler sets. They’re very cute.

The darjeeling owns the smell of the dry leaves here, along with a little smokiness that must be from the Keemun. Fruity and smoky. Yum. The Ceylon seems to be coming out more in the steeped tea’s aroma. I am getting that sort of berry undercurrent I’ve found in other Ceylons.

The tea is flavorful and medium bodied bordering on full with a mouthfeel that is thicker than water but not thick enough to feel like it’s coating your throat. I didn’t try it with additives yet. It doesn’t really need it, at 3 minutes of steeping. There’s nothing harsh or bitter about it. It has some astringency.

It’s deceptively simple tasting. It seems to me sort of a Rorschach inkblot of black teas. If you want to find a chocolate note in here, I think you can. Vanilla, probably. Fruit? Definitely. Nut, I think so. Smoke? At tad. Wood? Some. Earth, probably. Name some other things you typically find in tea and if you let your mind wander during the tasting you can probably convince yourself it’s there. At least until you’re more highly caffeinated than I am this morning, as this is my first caffeine of the day.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

The leaves will look up and shout “steep us” and I’ll whisper…….no.


great watchmen ref’s!

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911 tasting notes

Surprisingly, this is not vile. I know, I know. I’ve turned out to be so anti-Upton. I don’t mean to be. I’m just constantly disappointed by them. For the most part I’ve either not liked their teas or liked them enough that I would pick them up at a grocery store but not go out of my way to order them online. (There are a couple of exceptions that I would possibly order online but there are better versions at other vendors so I’d ultimately go to the other vendors.) Anyway, enough Upton-bashing (I seriously don’t mean to, it just happens.) On to the tea.

Without additives, I was kind of prepared to have to add sugar and milk to it to make it drinkable but nope, drank the whole cup straight. It’s surprisingly smooth with zero bitterness and a decently full flavor. The only problem I really have with it is the main flavor was kind of… fresh, young tree limb. I think it was the Darjeeling in there but it made me think of a Nilgiri (though a bit smoother) and that’s just not a flavor profile I’m in love with. It makes me think I’m munching on plant-life.

It’s definitely a mellow tea and that’s kind of nice but it makes me wonder how well it would truly hold up with milk and sugar. Though I gave some to the husband steeped for 4 minutes with milk and sugar and it was good enough that he was surprised when I told him it came from Upton. So apparently it can hold up to sugar and milk. Though I’m the type that likes to pee on the electric fence myself so I’ll try it later just to be sure. Until then, this rates as a decent tea that I would have no trouble drinking but would only buy if 1) I could find it at the grocery store and 2) There were no other better options there.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

I’m an upton fan, but this tea was a flop. It tasted like kelp. So I was happy to see someone else thought it tasted like shrubbery. I know I’m commenting eons late, I was just excited when I read “munching on plant life”.

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767 tasting notes

i don’t know. i drank 2 cups of this today trying to get to know this tea. but it just wouldn’t open up to me. i’ll try again in a few days. some teas just aren’t quick to trust.

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300 tasting notes

This is such a well balanced cup, I get a bit of sweet cocoa from the Keemun, there’s a winey buzz from the Darjeeling, but mostly I get the high cider note from the Ceylon that unites the two. I don’t know where I get this cider Ceylon association, but I just finished my second steep and it was like a mulled cider, with just a bit of spice at the end. Going for a third! (Edit: didn’t translate well into a third, or a fourth, :shrug:)

Autumn Hearth

Husband brewed this tonight, while I had my Sacher blend, and took it with a bit of sugar and milk, he got weirded out as it reminded him of “chai”. He poured a bit for me, eventually giving me the whole cup. Oh my yum! It wasn’t a bold spice or anything, but it did remind me of a chai latte at Borders (now gone). We did a second steep plain and he found it to be watered down, I thought it was mild but enjoyable, little bit of rock sugar and I get the cider again. Weird.

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58 tasting notes

I was really slogging my way through this sample. This tea is mostly boring until suddenly it tastes a bit like kelp. Is that vegetal? Sea vegetal?

I’ve tried it a few times now and it only gets worse. Musty and pickley and undelicious. I tossed out the rest so I wouldn’t do this to myself again.

If anyone can tell me what tea in this blend imparts the undercurrent of seaweed nastiness so I can avoid it in the future, I’d really appreciate it.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Hmm, usually it’s Japanese greens that are seaweedy. I’ve never had a black with that kind of note!


Thank you. It is a mystery blend where they only list the country so I’m a bit baffled. I prefer my seaweed in miso soup!


Aaaaah tea twin validation! I just tried this for the first time and it was horrible. It’s the first thing I’ve had from Upton where yeah, I struggled to finish the first cup. I don’t know why it brings me such joy to know I’m not alone and some weirdo, ha.


And YES, pickle-y!! That’s what it is! I couldn’t figure out how to describe the weird gross tanginess.


Finally! I thought I was the only one! This tea was ghastly.

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82 tasting notes

Had this a couple of days ago, but I was having loading problems, so I wasn’t able to log it. So I’ve had several cups since, and I’m actually rather glad, because I learned something: This blend is super, super forgiving if you accidentally oversteep it for, say, 12 minutes. Oops. Most of them I’ve gone a little over 5 minutes, though.

I started the British Blend sampler from the end because I am contrary, and this proved a bad idea because I’ve just been drinking this one and have yet to touch the rest. But it’s really good! It’s good, smooth cup with this really nice hint of smokiness to it. If it was decaf, I could drink it all day. It could stand to be a little stronger, but I guess then I couldn’t steep it for 12 minutes and have it come out still drinkable, so that’s alright.

Another note: When I ordered the sampler, I thought the price was a tiny bit steep, but wanted to try Upton so I bought it anyway. Then, when it arrived, I realized that each of the samples is more than an ounce of tea, closing in on 1.5 oz. That’s a lot of tea for a sample! So it gets a thumbs up for that.

My only complaint is that I like to smell my tea and none of the Upton blends in the sampler, this included, has much of an aroma dry or steeping. It’s not completely absent — that would be weird — but it does take some of the fun out of opening the tin, to not get deliciousness wafting right up to your nose.

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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11 tasting notes

Continuing on with my British Sampler, and we come to this one.

There is a very faint hint of berry flavor, but then in the next sip you taste the Keemun cocoa flavor. The good thing about this blend is that it is so well balanced that none of the constituent teas takes precedence. Contrast this with the Baker Street Blend where you definitely taste the Lapsang Souchong in it. This is the kind of tea you drink continuously while working on a writing project — fill up the Zojirushi and re-steep each batch in the tea maker three or four times. It’s a satisfying cup that doesn’t distract you with “hey look at me” notes but is still deep enough to not be boring after two cups.

No astringency in first half of cup, and only slightly after that. I put in my standard 2 tsp of rock sugar but I think it needs a 1/2 tsp more. (Oh, I might want to mention that I typically drink a large mug full, 12 to 15 ounces, so the 2 tsp is not out of line. Anything less than 12 ounces is for wimps, unless you’re drinking $60 / ounce pu-erh.)

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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612 tasting notes

More Upton thunderdome-ing. Today it’s TB70 Finest Russian Caravan (India, China, Formosa) against TB86 Richmond Park Blend (Keemun, Ceylon, Darjeeling).

This one’s greener, grassier smelling dry. Whoa, this is weirdly tart and bitter. A very odd tea, and while I like being open-minded to teas that don’t taste like anything else I’ve had I’m pretty sure I would not seek this one out again. Some milk and sugar helps a little but it’s still weirdly tangy in an unpleasant way. Worse than Finest Russian Caravan (which was merely disappointing), probably worse than anything I’ve had from Upton. This is one of the first loose teas I’ve had where I’m struggling to want to finish the cup. Bummer.

EDIT: Anyanka put it so well when she said it was pickle-y. Yes! That’s a good way of describing the strange planty tanginess it has, which I was struggling to find words for.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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