Original Earl Grey (TE10)/Upton Tea Imports -VariaTEA

Photo Credit: Upton Tea

I don’t really like strong bergamot flavor. Every now and then I’ll reach for an Earl Grey Cream or a flavored Earl Grey but a straight Earl Grey has never been my thing. However, a friend was kind enough to share a sample of Upton Tea Imports’ Original Earl Grey (TE10) and so I figured it was at least worth a try. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to try and make the best of it so I found a London Fog recipe online and got to prepping.

I steeped 3 perfect teaspoons in 8 ounces of boiling water for 4 minutes per the company’s steeping parameters. I used the 3/4 of cup of leftover coconut milk in my fridge, topped with some 1% milk to get to 1 cup. I frothed the milk with 2 teaspoons of honey and one removed from the heat I added 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract. This got poured over the steeped tea.

This is a super creamy latte with a whole lot of coconut and vanilla flavor. Coconut milk is always very rich but to me it is always a touch heavy and seems ever-so-slightly savory (for lack of a better word and maybe because I associate it with thai food more than anything else). I am glad I diluted it down with the 1% milk as well. The honey comes through as a nice balance to the coconut and vanilla, adding some sweetness but not as much as I expected, which is preferable for my tastes.

Of course, how could I talk about a London Fog without mentioning the earl grey itself. I actually am happily sipping away at this one because the bergamot is very nicely balanced. It adds a freshness and a nice citrus flavor but one that is more suited to the cool fall weather. Whereas lemon and lime are typically bright and zingy and make for a nice and refreshing tea in the spring and summer, London Fogs are more cozy. This definitely fits that description.

Unfortunately given all the other ingredients I can’t definitively say that this tea is good or bad but as a base for a London Fog, this tea is perfect. It’s got enough bergamot flavor to push through everything else in the mug without being too harsh or overbearing. Furthermore, from what I can taste, I would say this is good quality given the base is not bitter or astringent either. I still have a fair amount of leaf left in the sample but with this new recipe, courtesy of the Nourishing Gourmet .  I am sure I will make quick work of it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea Imports

Description

China Black tea base with bergamot flavor. Produced for the British market, this tea has less bergamot than some American counterparts.

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!

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.

 

Turkish Style Blend Tea from Upton Tea

TB22-@DFL-dry leaf imageTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Upton Tea

Tea Description:

A proprietary blend of Ceylon teas created to mimic the style of tea produced in Turkey, which is rarely, if ever, exported. The bold leaves have the faint aroma of vanilla which is also present in the creamy-smooth cup. Infuse for 4-5 minutes to drink straight, or longer if the addition of milk is preferred.

Origin:
Sri Lanka

Steeping Suggestions:
Leaf Quantity: 2¼ g/cup
Water Temp: 212° (boiling)
Steep Time: 4-5 min.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Turkish Style Blend Tea from Upton Tea is a Ceylon Tea of a more gentle to medium strength black tea.  I think it’s ideal to have on hand for black tea newbies.  It could make a nice staple to your tea cabinet and/or gentle black tea base to other blends.

Turkish Style Blend Tea from Upton Tea has smaller to medium length leaves and has a subtle crusty aroma to it once infused.  It’s medium dark in color once infused, too.  The aftertaste is fairly smooth for an unflavored black tea.

This Ceylon Turkish Style Blend Tea from Upton Tea would please the masses!

 

Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea

RichmondTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Upton Tea

Tea Description:

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

Origin:
England

Steeping Suggestions:
Leaf Quantity: 2¼ g/cup
Water Temp: 212º (boiling)
Steep Time: 4-5 min.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

According to the production description Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea is ‘mellow’.  I disagree.  That’s not a word I would use to describe this tea at all.  However, the product description for Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea does go on to say that it is sturdy enough for the addition of milk or lemon.  Eventho I don’t add anything to my cup of tea I will agree that it’s a more sturdy tea overall.

At first sip I wasn’t sure if this tea was on a level playing field when it came to the other black teas offered from Upton Tea.  This was a tea that I’m glad I didn’t judge at first sip.  It ended up growing on me.  It took me a little time to understand Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea.  Once this tea and I ‘became friends’ I ended up enjoying it a lot more.

Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling are blended together for this offering.  The flavor layers are ever changing throughout the sip.  It’s heavy, then malty, then sweet-woodsy, then smoky, then earthy.  This does live up to multiple infusions but be careful not to over infuse!

This is a complex blend that I encourage you to try but be patient with because it’s ever changing and taking the time to get to know will pay off in the end!