I suspect this is from the same source as What-Cha’s Colombian Bitaco “Golden Tippy” black tea, though Upton is charging at least 40% more for it.
The dry leaf is redolent of sweet grain, giving it an assertive but pleasant feed-store aroma.
Los Angeles tap-water, just off the boil throughout. Brewed in a Korean infuser cup. I tried successive infusions, but this is best Western style.
2 minutes: lovely sepia liquor; grain and cocoa throughout, light and gentle in the nose and deep and brooding on the palate. Moderately malty, though the bitter-sweet chocolate notes are center-stage. Toasted grains (oats, spelt, millet, barley) and hints of wood and earth in the finish. Almost like a chocolate brown ale.
4 – 8+ minutes: similar results to the first infusion, just a bit weaker presentation – like good Assam, it is difficult to oversteep.
A proper self-drinker, but I suspect this would be lovely with some cream as well. While it won’t supplant my CTC Assam addiction (especially at this price point), I wouldn’t hesitate to add this to my regular rotation.