Upton Tea ImportsEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I got a sample size of this tea and brewed about half western style. The wet leaf smells like caramel and woodsy tobacco. The first steep brewed up strong, but its more of a subtle tasting tea. Its not an astringent, metallic, or robust black tea flavor. A bit hard to describe, the front of the tea is a toasty, slight tobacco flavor, and the end of the tea is a toasty, hay, caramel finish. I’m thinking this is more like a cross between an oolong and a keemun, with a bit more of a roasty finish. As this first cup cools, I’m getting more light chocolate notes. The second steeping is a watered down version of the first, rather weak tea.
It certainly is interesting, not sure I’d go out of my way to purchase, but I might be tempted to add it to an order.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Hay, Roasted, Tobacco
Pleasant and extremely drinkable. Classic honey scent and flavor dominates, with a lightly leafy middle and a slightly malty finish. This is nothing remarkable, but sometimes you just want to aimlessly drink some nice, sweet light tea. This is the sort of thing to sip on when otherwise engrossed in something else. Resteeps pretty well too.
The ball does need a little encouragement to break up, mind you. I hassle it briefly with a fork once it begins to expand.
Flavors: Green, Honey, Jasmine, Malt
This Assam is ok. Its easy to brew too strong and get a bitter cup. Though when you get the right amount of leaf, its a fair example of a malty, coppery cup of Assam. It does have a bit of a metallic aftertaste that is more pronounced with too much leaf, but becomes less pronounced as a cup cools. On the whole, I’d call this drinkable but I wouldn’t rush to purchase or call it a daily drinker.
Flavors: Malt, Metallic
I got this tea for Christmas in a sample size. Brewed in a teapot for 3 minutes, the dry leaves are small and wiry and smelled like unsweetened cocoa. This tea has a slightly bitter cocoa aftertaste that lingers pleasantly in your mouth. As far as Keemuns go, I am impressed with its chocolatey taste, though it seems to be just one note. Maybe a slight honey or carmel taste. I do really like the tea, but I have drunk other Keemuns that I liked better that cost a bit less. As other reviewers have noted, this is an expensive tea. I can also think of some golden monkey or fujian teas that were just as chocolatey. I’m glad I got to try such a high grade of Keemun, I’m not sure it is worth purchasing.
My dad bought all the Upton Import Lapsang Souchongs he could find and settled on this as his favorite. I thought I’d give it a taste on this Christmas morning. It is smooooooth. I don’t think I’ve drunk a LS this smooth before. Before I knew it, my mug was half empty and I was refilling. The smokyness is subtle but definite, it tastes like enhanced black tea instead of tea that is hiding something.
I am now thinking I need to taste test all the Yunnans or Assams and find my favorite. What would the world do without the scientific method (my dad was a chemist for 40 years) and spread sheets to rate tea. And yet somehow I have survived without a spreadsheet up until now…
Flavors: Smoke, Smooth
This came as a sample. I knew nothing about it when I opened the bag, and was hit with a very nice scent of Bergamot, like a good Earl Grey. Maybe a hint of lemon scent as well? Not sure. Taste is the same, in my opinion like a solid Earl Grey with something resembling a hint of lemon perhaps. Pretty bergamot forward, in a good way, I think I like this more than upton’s extra/double bergamot.
Edit: Upping the score a bit, I haven’t had an Earl Grey type of tea that I enjoyed this much in a long time.
This was a sample given to me by Sil and it has been one I have pulled out to make countless times and just never got to it. Today I decided to just go for it and while it is not bad, per se, I am not really enjoying it either. Sil got no astringency but I am getting astringency and that sort of perfumey dryness/metallic quality that I normally associate with Darjeelings. It is sort of malty but everything else going on really takes away from that. Perhaps it is age that is to blame? Nevertheless, thank you Sil for the chance to try this.
To all those keeping an eye on their mailboxes for their untracked free shipping Bird & Blend packages (I know I didn’t want my package sitting in the hot mailbox)…. I got mine today. And I ordered pretty early in the sale.
Thanks so much, SkySamurai! First flush Darj is usually hard for me to describe. This one tasted like creamed corn though, which is what I taste with some green teas and not really any Darjeelings, so that’s different. The second steep was a completely different from the first cup. The second cup was a bit oversteeped but Darjeeling is fickle. I should have taken note of the flavor that was like a green tea and steeped it like a green tea. Next time.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Thanks very much for this, Meowster! A decent enough fruity black tea. I think the base might be too astringent to really let the fruit flavors shine… the black tea is on the smaller side, while not being quite a CTC size small. So maybe I’ll try using less than a teaspoon next time. The fruit flavor also might be a generic “fruit” flavor, maybe even because there are a couple different fruits used here, so it’s hard to tell what they are exactly. Or because I have no idea what a Maracuja would taste like. This would be a great option for iced tea with the bitey black base.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
2019 sipdowns: 43 (Bird & Blend – Lift Me Up Angel)
Oh man… the season finale of Supernatural is EPIC. They have ALWAYS outdone themselves every season finale cliffhanger (and usually the mid-season cliffhanger). I think I at one point, years ago, imagined that the idea for this season finale would happen. Didn’t see it coming anyway, though!
Picked this up eons ago due to favourable reviews on Steepster, but I didn’t recall how smoky it was. Luckily, it’s quite smooth, probably due to being a blend, so I don’t feel the need to add milk/sweetener, though I’m sure it would be delicious if I did. The predominant flavour here is smoke, which lingers in the mouth after the sip but is joined by some malty sweetness once the initial punch of smoke settles.
Not bad, but the temptation to sweeten this is pretty high, and if I’m going to do that I may as well just use a harsher lapsang souchong that will produce a stronger cup.
Thanks for the sample, Sil, but yeah, this is definitely another nope from Upton. It actually smelled more lemon cleaner-y than it tasted, but… just not a profile I have interest in drinking. I can handle rooibos/honeybush if the flavours are yummy, but the flavour is not yummy here, and neither is the rooibos. I’m sure someone, somewhere might like this tea, but I’d much rather have Della Terra’s Lemon Chiffon, which was delightful.
This is a lovely tea, I think. A sample where I, after first taste the other day, made a full teapot for my morning.
There’s a floral taste on the back of the tongue. I wouldn’t call the tea sweet at all but there is something there that is close. A dark flavor similar to a simple Assam is everywhere in the mouth but especially on the sides of the tongue… it’s not strong, but it is there in a noticeable point; The Darjeeling taate doesnt wholly cover that aspect.
A vegetal strength is on the middle of the tongue mixed with a yellow tone and touches of a light blue.
It has an overall varied and shifting and complex flavor. It has a Very long finish, also rich and with a stronger floral tone. As the finish fades – over a Very long time – it becomes more and more floral and shifts to the tip of the tongue. By the end it shifts further to include the front of the gums.
I really like this. Am so happy I bought the sample. Can completely see myself buying a normal order of it.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Green, Vegetal