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Archive for Tea Review

Tea Review

Tippy Orthodox Assam GFOP

Upton Product TA40. 2.2 grams steeped for 5 minutes at 212℉. Impression: orange pekoe-size bits, see photo. Dry tea has typical spicy black tea scent. Brewed tea scent is malty and a little stale. Taste: malty, like all Assams. Trace of bitterness. Not astringent.


An excellent Assam black tea. This has been my favorite black tea since I first opened the package in May. I am running out just now, and am sad.

Tea Review

Kandy District Ceylon OP

Upton product TC32. 2.2 grams steeped for 5 minutes at 212℉. Impression: orange pekoe size dark bits, see photo. Dry tea smells like typical black tea, slightly spicy. Brewed tea scent is woodsy. Taste: Sweet and brackish notes. Moderately astringent.

A disappointment. I’ve had one prior Kandy District tea, which I enjoyed, and had hopes for this one. I like a little natural sweetness in some green teas, but it seems out of place in a black tea and melds poorly with the normal brackish taste of black tea. My taste may not be typical; this tea gets good reviews on Upton’s site. It is not expensive, and if you like Ceylon teas, you might try a $1 sample packet.

Tea Review

Dimbula District, Ceylon B.O.P.

Upton product TC20. 2.2 grams steeped for 3 minutes at 212℉. Impression: Very fine bits, see photo. This is the size usually found in commercial teabags, called ‘dust’ in the Chinese tea trade and ‘B.O.P.’ (broken orange pekoe) in the Indian and Ceylon trade. Dry tea has typical spicy black tea scent, hints of cedar, sandalwood and camphor. Brewed tea scent is warm, slightly sweet, with hints of fruit and baked bread. Taste:  typical supermarket black tea. No maltiness. Body is thin. Strongly astringent.

This is a typical supermarket black tea in appearance and taste.

Tea Review

Tea Bank Estate, Ceylon FBOPF EX SP

Upton product TC22. 2.2 grams steeped for 3 minutes at 212℉. Impression: broken orange pekoe-size dark bits with a few lighter ones. Dry tea smells has faint citrus scent. Brewed tea scent has scents of citrus, candy-like sweetness, woods and eu de wet dog. Taste: thin and harsh, with some brackishness. Faintly sweet, bitter and brackish finish. Moderately astringent.

Rating: ★★

Reminds me a good bit of Keemun, not a favorite of mine. Incidentally, Upton packets suggests brewing from 3-5 minutes, but when I brewed longer than 3 minutes, the result was unpleasantly bitter. I don’t see why a B.O.P. size tea would require longer than 3 minutes anyway.

Tea Review

Ceylon Select English Breakfast Blend

Upton product TB18. 2.2 grams steeped for 3 minutes at 212℉. Impression: BOP size bits, see photo. Dry tea smells of cedar. Brewed tea has scents of warm flannel. Taste: cedar, sandalwood, tobacco, and a hit of fruit. Moderately astringent.

A very pleasant English breakfast tea blend. Nice flavor, smooth, no edge or harshness. Sometimes, this is exactly what I want.

Tea Review

Shui Jin Gui ‘Golden Water Turtle’ Wu Yi Rock Oolong Tea

Yunnan Sourcing. 3 grams steeped for 3 minutes at 200℉. Impression: wiry dark strands, see photo. Dry tea smells sweet, floral, fruity, baked. Brewed tea scent is sweet, with hints of baked bread. Taste: Typical wuyi oolong ‘baked’ flavor, with woodsy notes, little body, not sweet. No unpleasant notes. Not astringent.

A very pleasant wuyi oolong. As with other teas of this type, 3 grams were required to achieve proper flavor, not 2-2.4 g, as with most other teas.