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Trailesque

Tea Reviewer

Member since Mar. 29th, 2018. Reviewed 95 teas.

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Picture of Formosa Oolong Spring Dragon

Formosa Oolong Spring Dragon from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Flavored Oolong – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

40 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Feb. 26th, 2021

Are my taste buds missing something here? This is an expensive oolong, and Alex Z. gave it a good review. But it really did not do much for me, sorry to say. There is a little floral aroma, and it tasted light and fairly simple. Nothing to get excited over. Maybe I did not get a good bag of it for some reason or o...

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Picture of Singbulli Estate Second Flush (2020 EX-38) Organic Darjeeling SFTGFOP1 (TD148)

Singbulli Estate Second Flush (2020 EX-38) Organic Darjeeling SFTGFOP1 (TD148) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Darjeeling Second Flush – Region: Darjeeling, India

75 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 1/5
Feb. 24th, 2021

Part of Upton's Great Tea Race Collection, this Darjeeling crosses the finish line with a fine aroma and impressive flavor. There are notes of caramel, fresh leaves, and mild tannins. It is very expensive however - it costs 3 times the price of an ordinary Darjeeling, but does not offer 3 times the quality imo. Nice...

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Picture of Griffin's Wharf Afternoon Blend

Griffin's Wharf Afternoon Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Miscellaneous Tea-only Blend – Region: China

75 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 9th, 2021

Here is a blend of China Congou and Lapsang Souchong that works out quite well. The LS is the dominant flavor, with the other tea smoothing and mellowing the taste a bit. It goes well with plant milk. I thought the price was a little high for this type of tea, but I would reach for it again if I was in the mood for a...

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Picture of Finest Russian Caravan

Finest Russian Caravan from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Russian Caravan – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 4th, 2021

This blend of Indian, Chinese, and Taiwanese teas has a very good aroma imo - toasty and woody, with a little caramel and butterscotch. The flavor is reasonably robust but not heavy, with a dash of metallic tannins. I had it with milk, and tried it with lemon and sugar too. That also worked out well, and which is un...

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Picture of Chamomile (Sachet)

Chamomile (Sachet) from Harney and Sons

Style: Pure Chamomile Tea – Region: Egypt

30 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 3rd, 2021

The only other reviews so far give it 90 and a 100 points, so it looks like this is a contrasting view. I found it to be both a little bitter and bland, without much floral flavor or aroma. I got a sachet of this as a freebie with another order, so they may have been giving away some out-of-date product.

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Picture of Holiday Tea

Holiday Tea from Harney and Sons

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: ?????

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 3rd, 2020

This was another good value tea offered by Harney & Sons. Hats off to their tea blenders, that is an area they seem to excel in - taking mediocre teas, adding to them, and making them into something better. This seems like a cheap Chinese black tea that is nicely spiced up (with citrus, almond, clove, safflowers, and...

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All India from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 2nd, 2020

This is a blend of black teas from Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri. The first 2 I am pretty familiar with, but the latter not really. As the name suggests, it is an all purpose black tea. For me it works best with some kind of milk, but it is decent with lemon also. One reviewer on their site drinks it plain, so I t...

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Chai Hara from Harney and Sons

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 1st, 2020

This seems to be an inexpensive Chinese gunpowder tea perked up with some spices - cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, fennel, ginger, and artificial flavorings to be exact. The results are pretty good, if a little bitter, and the price is reasonable. Interestingly, they do not recommend preparing this chai in the...

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Sencha Yabukita Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: Kagoshima, Japan

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 22nd, 2020

This sencha does not taste or smell like anything else that I can think of. It is complex and nutty, with some broth, toasted rice, and lychee in the flavor and aroma. It is mostly lacking the sharp, capsicum/grass flavor common to inexpensive green teas. It is not a bargain, but I think it is a worthwhile purchase ...

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Upton Organic Tamaryokucha from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

75 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 1/5
Oct. 16th, 2020

Every once in a while, this low income dude likes to have a taste of what the rich imbibe. In this case, rich Japanese, probably. At the princely price of around $14 per ounce, this just might be the most expensive tea I have ever tried. And my predictable reaction is that it is not worth that kind of money, but it ...

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Upton Korean Green Tea Jung-Jak Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 13th, 2020

A green tea from Korea that has some lightly smoky, earthy bite to it. It is robust but does not cross the line into nastiness, and sells for a reasonable price. I would gladly pick this up again.

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Upton Vietnamese White Tea from Upton Tea Imports

Style: White Tea – Region: Vietnam

50 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Oct. 1st, 2020

This expensive white tea from Vietnam offers little that is new imo. It is very mild, with a pleasant white peach taste. The aroma is its most impressive feature, and it made me think of fruit salad, flowers, and woods. The second infusion was more flavorful than the first. A white tea enthusiast might find somethi...

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Picture of Bond Street English Breakfast Blend

Bond Street English Breakfast Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

65 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 28th, 2020

Here is a middle of the road English breakfast offering from Upton. It is pretty smooth, with some malty notes and tannins. It is not too heavy, nor too light. The aroma is woody and a little cardboard-like. This is meant to be served with milk, and that works nicely. I tried it with lemon also, but that brings ou...

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Picture of Monk's Mead

Monk's Mead from SerendipiTea

Style: Chamomile Blend – Region: Blend

75 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 30th, 2020

Here is a nice organic tisane, made predominantly with chamomile and bolstered with some fruits, rose hips, and hibiscus. So it tastes mostly of chamomile, but with a steely, acidic undertone. The aroma is fairly strong and floral. The price is a little high, but I guess that is due to the organic ingredients. This ...

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Somerset Estate BOP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon

50 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 4/5
May. 4th, 2020

An unspectacular but good enough Ceylon tea. The aroma has a hint of freshly baked muffins to it. A 3 minute steep (which is what the directions called for) results in a bland but perfectly drinkable beverage.

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Picture of Earl Grey Blue Flower

Earl Grey Blue Flower from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Blue Flower Earl Grey – Region: Blend

85 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 30th, 2020

I was blown away by this when I first tried it, but a little less so now. Btw it has a slight name and number change: it is now Blue Flower Earl Grey, NT16. The use of flowers and flavoring adds a unique and refreshing twist to the Earl Grey model. The base tea is fairly light, and I think they have reduced the inte...

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Picture of Chun Mee (Moon Palace)

Chun Mee (Moon Palace) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Chun Mee – Region: China

80 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 24th, 2020

This has a pleasant, grassy aroma that comes thru clearly. The dominant flavor is herbal bitterness, but it does not become overbearing when brewed according to the directions. The price could not be better for an organic product. This is a good choice for an everyday green tea.

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Picture of Java Blend (Java BOP)

Java Blend (Java BOP) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Indonesia

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 22nd, 2020

This is certainly a robust-tasting tea. It has some iron-like tannins and malty, smoky notes. The second infusion was a bit of a letdown - it had already lost a fair amount of its flavor by then. This was not super thrilling, but it was well worth the rock-bottom price.

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Picture of Kandy OP

Kandy OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Kandy, Sri Lanka

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 21st, 2020

You simply can't go wrong with this tea. The average tea drinker who buys bags of Lipton or Tetley would probably agree, because this is like a premium version of those products. This is smooth and pleasant, but not lacking in flavor. It contains dashes of caramel, fruit, steely tannins and a fresh, leafy aroma. It...

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Picture of Thé Mélange Russe (Russian Blend)

Thé Mélange Russe (Russian Blend) from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Blend

75 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 5th, 2020

I wasn't even aware that this is a variation on an Earl Grey when I sampled it; I thought it was more of a standard Russian blend. So it is not a well-named tea; since when is Bergamot an ingredient in Russian style teas? But it is a pleasant cup with a very nice fragrance. A middle of the road black tea blend with ...

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Powerhouse from SerendipiTea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: ?????

90 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Feb. 19th, 2020

This is an organic fruit and spice tisane that is made with apricot, apple, raspberry, orange peel, spearmint, hibiscus, turmeric, black pepper, and rosehips, plus some (organic) apple, raspberry, and orange flavoring. So quite a blend! It is not a typical tart and fruity hibiscus plus fruit flavor mix. The apricot ...

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Golden Milk Mix from SerendipiTea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 17th, 2020

This is an interesting blend of spices that is designed to be infused with milk. I make mine with non-dairy milk, and that may have affected the flavor some. The result is a very hot and spicy tea. Black pepper and chili pepper are the 2 main ingredients, bolstered by some ginger, coconut, cinnamon, and turmeric. I...

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Picture of Koh Samet Sun

Koh Samet Sun from SerendipiTea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: Blend

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 14th, 2020

This is a simple but charming tisane, made entirely of organic ginger, lemongrass, and orange peel. It is naturally very sweet, and even a teaspoon of honey or sugar makes it taste very sugary. The lemongrass dominates, with the orange and ginger playing supporting roles. I have to take a couple of points off for th...

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Picture of Season's Pick Vietnam Eastern Beauty Oolong

Season's Pick Vietnam Eastern Beauty Oolong from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Oriental Beauty – Region: Vietnam

40 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 1/5
Jan. 29th, 2020

This gets some good reviews on Upton's website and sells for an above average price, but it didn't do much for me. The aroma is pleasant enough, but the flavor is bland and weak. I can't recommend this one.

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Picture of Upton South Street Breakfast Blend

Upton South Street Breakfast Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

65 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 6th, 2020

This is a new entry in Upton's growing list of breakfast blends; it was created as on of their 30th anniversary specials. It is not as robust or malty as some breakfast blends, but not extra mild either - it falls somewhere in the middle. This has a little nip to it. The price is a little high.

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