China Keemun First Grade/Upton Tea Imports -Ashmanra-

I received a gift of this tea in the mail from a fellow tea lover. Tea people are THE BEST! And Keemun is one of my favorite tea types, so let’s get down to business!

The package says First Grade China Keemun but the website puts it the other way around as China Keemun First Grade. This is an entry level Keemun with an astonishingly low price, so if you are not overly picky and want a daily drinker, this would be very economical.

The aroma of the dry leaves is very nostalgic for me. It smells just like the tea section of A Southern Season, harkening back to my earliest explorations of tea. This smells like TEA. The aroma is bracing and rich, and very comforting to me.

I erred on the side of caution and made this more like they would in China with a slightly lower temperature and a short three minute first steep, followed by a four minute re-steep.

Wow. I can not imagine taking this to five minutes with boiling water unless you are adding milk and sugar. Strong stuff.

I am getting no cocoa at all, no chocolate. The overwhelming impression is tobacco and wood.
There is a touch of wine or muscatel, like a darjeeling. There is a definite natural smokey flavor, not like lapsang but rather the light smoke often found in daily drinker Chinese black tea.

The aroma had so many layers and was so rich that I really thought the tea was going to blow me away. But it isn’t quite my favorite profile. I enjoyed it without milk or sugar with my breakfast, but this wouldn’t do double duty for me as an afternoon tea or a dessert accompaniment.

What I think it WILL do very well is sweet iced tea. It has the heft and smoothness to carry it off.

UPDATE: I made it as a sweet tea and let it chill overnight because we all know iced tea tastes best after it has had time to meld.

The taste really surprised me. I thought it would be a really classic iced black tea flavor but somehow the fruity aspect really amped up, to the point that it almost tastes like a flavored tea! Interesting!

Not a favorite Keemun type for me, but glad to have tried it. If you like winey Keemuns and are looking for a super economical price point, this is worth checking out.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea Imports

Description

With its rich flavor profile and smooth mouth feel, this standard grade Keemun represents a great value for a China black tea. Hints of wine and a suggestion of smoke round out the earthy, full-bodied cup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Mist Valley Estate TGBOP1/Upton Tea

I usually drink black tea from China, but today I am making a little excursion to Nepalese black tea! My expectation is that it will taste more similar to tea from India than from China, and I was correct. It even had a tiny darjeeling vibe!

This is a high-grown tea from an estate that has been in operation since 1989 and has been processing their own tea since 2004. They are currently converting their operations to all organic, so I am looking forward to trying it again in the future!

This is indeed a broken orange pekoe with shades ranging from golden tan to deep brown. In the photo online it shows a lot of green like a darjeeling but my own sample is more tan and almost a cream color mixed with the darker leaves.

I kept the steep on the short side (two minutes) in case this was more reminiscent of an Assam, a tea that is tasty but wreaks havoc on my tender tummy, but I must say it was very well-behaved and perfectly drinkable without additions.

Being high-grown, I thought it might be a bit on the astringent side, but it is only pleasantly brisk. It has a truly classic black tea aroma and taste, mild but not wimpy, lightly brisk but not tart and puckery, and I would call it all around a good basic black tea. It is not overly complex drinking it western style as I am, but at this price I do not expect complex tea. It was a very good accompaniment to my lunch.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea

Description

In hues ranging from light to dark brown, the small, neatly made leaves of this Nepal black tea offering are sprinkled with silver tips. The golden amber liquor is fragrant with a light, fresh aroma. The flavor is rich with floral notes and a sweet, lingering finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

First Flush 2019 Darjeeling Blend / Upton Tea Imports

Did you know that one of the aroma descriptors for wet tea leaves is wet leaves? I laugh every time I read it and yet it perfectly makes sense.

If we really want to get complicated we could define how wet leaves differ in smell. For instance the wet leaf of this Darjeeling smells different from the wet leaf that falls in our forests around here in MN.

The wet leaves around here have a somewhat musty and crisp smell in fall whereas this Darjeeling smell is smooth and clear. Generally I don’t like to use clear as a descriptor but it literally feels like the air is clear and being cleansed when you smell it.

Perhaps there is some unknown air cleansing property to it like coffee.

This Darjeeling is quite lovely. It brews up a medium dark, clear, amber. Typical crisp Darjeeling flavor with a silky mouth feel and only a tiny amount of astringency in the after taste.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Darjeeling / Black
Where to Buy: Upton Teas
Description:

This 2018 first flush Darjeeling blend has a sweet aroma, hinting of honey and flowers. Those classic hints spill over into the golden amber cup, complementing the silky smooth mouth feel. The finish lingers on a clean, crisp note. A great value.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Japanese Sun Rouge from Upton Tea Imports. . . .

Ever once in a while, I will come across a tea that will awaken my test buds and remind me of exactly why I love tea so very much. This blend will wrap me in a warm cozy hug and delight my tastebuds all while soothing my ever stressed out soul.

Today, this particular green tea did just that.

Brewed up with a tea spoon of leaves, 6 oz of water prepped at 170F and allowed to brew for 3 minutes, this tea gives you such a simple yet complex variety of flavors in each and every sip.  Each and every sip you are greeted with a lovely sweet note that doesn’t overpower but brings a smile to your face with a subtle melon/floral note coming not far behind.  Then the sip takes you on a different direction with a more vegetal feel. Every once in a while, I do pick up this adorable nutty flavor that I really adore. With this tea you are greeted with both the sweetness and vegetal feel that only a green tea can provide.

I have brewed up the sames leaves three times and still am greeted with this gorgeous sweet yet vetegal melon floral beautiful brew that is making my heart sing. Exactly what I needed to start my day off right. This tea is for sure is a recommended delight.  I don’t believe I have ever had an Upton Tea Import tea before but I am so happy to finally have enjoyed their offerings. I have already placed an order and am looking forward to placing several more.  I may actually need to pick up another oz or so of this tea since I don’t know if I’ll be able to share this particular delight with the rest of the Sisters. I may be a little stingy with this one!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports
Description

This selection has an interesting pedigree, being a mix of two special varietals. The result is a cup somewhat akin to a Kenyan purple tea, with its lavender-brown colored liquor. The aroma has a toasty/nutty sweetness. The cup is delicate and smooth with sweet herbaceous notes and hints of flowers and melon.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Golden Kenya Black Tea GFBOP from Upton Tea

TK40-@DFL-dry leaf imageTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Upton Tea

Tea Description:

This tea is no longer in the Upton Tea Catalog however I thought it was worth a mention due to its heavy black tea tastes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Golden Kenya Black Tea GFBOP from Upton Tea is no longer in their catalog but the closely searched and suggested teas that are seem to be their Milima Estate Kenya GFOP and Milima Estate Kenya OP in case you are interested in somewhat comparable teas.

As for my thoughts, opinions, and findings on Upton Tea’s Golden Kenya Black Tea GFBOP – they are as follows…

Golden Kenya Black Tea GFBOP infuses to a very dark brown and has a strong and sturdy black tea taste.  Therefore I find it to be exceptional in the morning as a nice ‘wake me up’ tea.  There are cocoa notes, too, especially on the end sip.  There are deep and dark black plum notes that are barely there as well.

I once tried this iced and at the beginning of the sip found interesting floral notes as well.  I though this was pretty fascinating as I didn’t notice those notes with the hot cuppa.

Golden Kenya Black Tea GFBOP from Upton Tea was a mighty fine offering and I hope they bring it back at some point.  In the meantime I am looking forward to seeing if their other Kenyan Teas are comparable.