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Alex Zorach

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Member since Sep. 1st, 2009. Reviewed 1429 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas from Upton Tea Imports

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Picture of Japanese Matcha Gen-mai Cha Premium Organic

Japanese Matcha Gen-mai Cha Premium Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Genmaicha – Region: Japan

76 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Dec. 13th, 2018

An enjoyable, but not super interesting tea that struck me as a little pricey. One of my favorite genmaichas yet. Thank you to Upton, for throwing this in as a free sample with my order!

Dry leaf looks a dusty bright yellow color, much more yellowish than most Matcha. Aroma is very mild, mostly of the toasted rice.
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Picture of Mouling Estate SFTGFOP Arunachal Pradesh White Tea

Mouling Estate SFTGFOP Arunachal Pradesh White Tea from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: Arunachal Pradesh, India

54 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 9th, 2018

An exorbitantly-priced tea that didn't deliver the quality I demand in this price range, and in the end, wasn't that enjoyable to drink. This is the first white tea I have ever tried that was produced in any region of northeast India other than Darjeeling. I remain open minded, but this experience was a let-down. Thin-...

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Picture of Ramanugger Estate FTGFOP1 Organic

Ramanugger Estate FTGFOP1 Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Assam – Region: Karbi Anglong, Assam, India

74 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
May. 21st, 2018

I specifically sought this tea out because it was from a region of Assam that is a little higher-altitude, and from where I hadn't previously tried any teas. Interestingly, it did taste a little more like a Darjeeling and other high-grown Himalayan region teas. Although I thought it was a very good tea, I liked it less...

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Picture of Season's Pick Colombian Leafy Black Tea Organic

Season's Pick Colombian Leafy Black Tea Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Colombia

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
May. 17th, 2018

Another exquisite tea from the Bitaco estate in Columbia! This was a smooth black tea that tasted top-quality, but was a bit weak on the resteep. Tastes better when brewed strongly. I served this tea to two different people as well and they both loved it.

I've been trying different grades and batches or variants of ...

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Picture of Nandi Royal GFBOP Black Tea

Nandi Royal GFBOP Black Tea from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
May. 13th, 2018

Probably the strongest tea I have had in a long time. I loved this one. It's not for the faint of heart, though!

Upton's humble "Nandi Royal OP" really blew me away, so I was eager to try this. Compared to that one, this is a higher-grade broken-leaf tea, more tippy, but more broken. The price on this is slightly hi...

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Picture of Rukeri Estate Rwanda BOP Organic

Rukeri Estate Rwanda BOP Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Rwanda

96 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 16th, 2018

This was a remarkably good tea for a low price: a strong black tea that was still quite smooth and had great aromatic complexity and depth. One of the best broken-leaf teas I've ever tried.

The dry leaf smells amazing! It's a sort of sweet bready smell with toasty notes and a hint of wintergreen. It made me excited...

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Picture of Marangi Estate TGFOP1

Marangi Estate TGFOP1 from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Assam – Region: Golaghat, Assam, India

75 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 12th, 2018

A subdued but rather strange Assam tea, muted in flavor and with a few off qualities.

This tea was kind of fascinating to review because I just tried a tea of a higher grade, from the same estate, from a different company, Simpson & Vail. I was surprised at how different the teas were. The difference of adding that ...

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Picture of Doomni Estate TGBOP

Doomni Estate TGBOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Assam – Region: Baksa, Assam, India

92 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 19th, 2018

This is my type of Assam. An intensely strong tea with a brisk, refreshing character and a satisfying depth. Requires care in brewing though; this tea can become unpleasantly bitter and sour if steeped too long.

Dry leaf, broken but with ample golden tips, is lightly aromatic, malty, and pleasant.

Upon brewing t...

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Picture of Donyi Polo Estate SFTGFOP Tippy Cl.

Donyi Polo Estate SFTGFOP Tippy Cl. from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Arunachal Pradesh, India

71 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 19th, 2018

This tea threw me off because it was so radically different from what I was expecting. It's only my second tea ever from Arunachal, and I didn't know what to expect, but based on the location, I was expecting a darker, Assam-like tea, and it was instead, a light, Darjeeling-like tea. I think Upton's description is poor...

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Picture of Doomni Estate TGFOP1 Cl.

Doomni Estate TGFOP1 Cl. from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Assam – Region: Baksa, Assam, India

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 15th, 2018

This was a very pleasant Assam, with a slightly more bready character, but otherwise what I expect from an Assam. A good, strong breakfast tea with a smoother than average flavor and some aromatic complexity.

Dry leaf smells pleasant, soft, slightly bready. Unlike some of the other teas, this one looks exactly like...

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Picture of Nandi Royal OP

Nandi Royal OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 13th, 2018

An outstanding tea for a great price, but does not resteep well.

This tea surprised me; a truly artisanal tea at an amazingly low price, with the only downside being that it does not resteep well. It also resembled a Darjeeling more than any other African-sourced tea I've ever tried. Kenya keeps producing remarkab...

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Picture of Fuding White Tea Cake

Fuding White Tea Cake from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: Fuding, Fujian, China

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 9th, 2017

I tried this together with Upton's ZW42. I actually liked this one a lot, and not the other.

Brews up a dark, full-bodied cup that, like the other compressed white tea cake, is rather bitter. I find the bitterness more blunt though, whereas ZW42 has a sharp bitterness.

The aroma is strange and hard to describe....

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Picture of White Tea Cake

White Tea Cake from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: China

60 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 9th, 2017

This was the first of two compressed white tea cakes from Upton that I sampled. It was interesting but I'm not sure I'd want to drink this tea regularly. This was a strong tea, unpleasantly sharp but also thin-bodied, and I think I may have brewed it too strongly, wanting a fuller-bodied tea, but by the time I had fi...

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Picture of Japanese Oolong Organic

Japanese Oolong Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oolong Tea – Region: Japan

53 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Dec. 9th, 2015

This is the first oolong tea I've ever tried from Japan, one of a few Japanese teas other than green teas that I've ever sampled. It has a classic oolong character, but I was disappointed, it just doesn't seem all that good.

The aroma of the dry leaf is pleasantly nutty, with light notes of roast. The dry leaf look...

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Picture of Jolotigo Estate Orthodox Java BT

Jolotigo Estate Orthodox Java BT from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: West Java, Indonesia

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 7th, 2015

A very enjoyable tea for a very reasonable price. I agree with Upton that it is versatile, and I found it easy to enjoy (I shared it with two others and they both also liked it). This is the second excellent Indonesian tea I've sampled recently, and I think it ties for my two favorite teas from this region.

The dry...

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Picture of Season's Pick Assam GFOP

Season's Pick Assam GFOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Assam, India

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Nov. 29th, 2015

I thought this a typical, middle-of-the-road Assam of good quality. but not mind-blowing. Good for people who value smoothness in a full-bodied tea.

Dry leaf has a mild fruity aroma. Brewed cup is very smooth, but rich and full-bodied. Aroma is predominately fruity, but also malty, with the fruitiness resembling ...

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Picture of Milima Estate Kenya OP

Milima Estate Kenya OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kericho, Kenya

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Nov. 29th, 2015

A good black tea, but not among my favorites. This is now the fourth tea I've tried from Milima estate in Kenya. I've become a huge fan of teas from this garden: two of their teas are among my top-rated black teas of all time.

I thought this one was good, but I didn't like it quite as much as the examples I tried ...

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Picture of Original Blend Russian Caravan

Original Blend Russian Caravan from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Russian Caravan – Region: Blend

47 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 29th, 2015

A disappointing blend from a company that usually impresses me with their black teas. The one thing this tea had going for it though was that it was hearty and warming.

Dry leaf doesn't wow me, it has a mild, almost stale smell.

Upon brewing though, becomes much more pleasant. Aroma is oolong-like, like a dark,...

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Picture of Idulgashinna Estate Organic Green OP

Idulgashinna Estate Organic Green OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: Uva, Sri Lanka

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 16th, 2015

This tea was multifaceted and intriguing. I also found it resembled aged sheng Pu-erh in certain ways.

Interesting wiry leaf, some pieces broken but most not. The smell of the dry leaf is mild but very pleasant and, in spite of its faintness, quite complex, resembling high-quality Chinese green teas a bit, but als...

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Picture of Formosa Pouchong

Formosa Pouchong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Pouchong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

47 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Nov. 16th, 2015

This tea was a disappointment and I don't recommend it. I sampled and reviewed this tea some time ago but forgot to post the review.

Dry leaf consists of long, intact wiry leaves with a slightly dusty look, and smells very different from any other pouchong I've tried, an intense smell of jam or fruit preserves, lik...

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Picture of Season's Pick Organic Green OP

Season's Pick Organic Green OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: China

77 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 11th, 2015

An inexpensive tea of surprisingly good quality.

Dry leaf smells wonderful, suggesting fresh and savory qualities of some higher-grade green teas, but also reminding me a lot of raw Pu-erh.

Upon brewing though, there's not as much aroma in the cup as the dry leaf suggests. The brewed cup is light in color and bo...

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Picture of TB05: Mincing Lane Breakfast Blend

TB05: Mincing Lane Breakfast Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

83 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 8th, 2015

Another outstanding and powerful black tea blend from Upton. This was also one of my all-time favorite blends from Upton.

The dry leaf of this blend, which consists of quite large pieces of leaf, has a strong and wonderful aroma, lightly smoky, spicy, and fruity, with floral hints, suggesting rose.

Flavor is bri...

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Picture of Livingstonia Estate Tanzania GFOP

Livingstonia Estate Tanzania GFOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Tanzania

73 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 5th, 2015

The dry leaf smells mild, but pleasant and interesting, hinting at baked goods.

Produces a moderately full-bodied cup, only lightly bitter, with a somewhat subdued flavor. The aroma is a little weak, and easy to ignore. I find if I pay attention to it though, it's quite interesting, I do notice the hints of mace t...

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Picture of Blackwood Estate Organic Green

Blackwood Estate Organic Green from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: Uva, Sri Lanka

87 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 4th, 2015

An excellent green tea of top quality, definitely among the best green teas I've sampled to come out of Sri Lanka.

This was my second Ceylon green tea that I tried from Blackwood Estate; the first was from Simpson & Vail. It was certainly recognizably similar to the other tea. I liked this one slightly better; it ...

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Picture of Kibena Estate Tanzania BP1

Kibena Estate Tanzania BP1 from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Tanzania

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 30th, 2015

A kind of odd CTC tea; the dry leaf is pleasantly aromatic, suggesting grains or bread, but the aroma is a little flat and suggests a relatively low grade of tea.

Brews up a rich, dark, very full-bodied cup. Initially tastes smooth, but there is a strong muted bitterness that I find becomes stronger as I drink it. ...

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