Upton included a free sample of this with an order that was given to me as a Christmas gift. As others who have reviewed it have noted, the strong scent and dark color of this tea left me surprised at its mild flavor. For me, that was a good thing—I’m not a big fan of strong black teas. Nonetheless, although it was enjoyable enough, there was nothing about this tea that would compel me to want to buy it. In the past, I have been able to significantly improve my ratings of some black teas by adjusting steeping time and/or temperature. In this particular case, I feel like I hit a decent balance in the first steeping, and there’s probably not much I can do to extract more flavor without making the result overly astringent.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 5 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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I’m a software engineer who loves classical music and good tea.


I calculate my overall rating of a tea from weighted scores of the dry leaf, wet leaf, and (most importantly) liquor. My overall scoring ranges are as follows:

71–100: These teas are “recommended”. When replenishing my supplies, I am likely to consider purchasing larger quantities of these teas.
50–70: These teas are neither “recommended” nor “not recommended”. When replenishing my supplies, I may consider purchasing sample quantities of these teas, if I feel there is potential for improvement by adjusting the steeping parameters.
0–49: These teas are “not recommended”. When replenishing my supplies, I am very unlikely to consider these teas.


Woodbridge, VA

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