I found a free sample of this tea at the very bottom of my pantry. It must have been from an order that I received a year ago so it is quite likely that this tea would be better when fresh but I would likely never know: I have pretty much abandoned Upton as a source of cheap everyday tea in favor of Harney and Sons and so far have been having very few regrets.
So I tried this sample. It has very little to offer for the nose: I had to breath like a whale to pick up some faint generic Yunnan smell. No points for that. The leaves look rather boring: small, slightly twisted, no golden tips. More than a few appeared to be broken.
Then I made it Western style for a minute or two and it came out awfully weak. Undeterred, I steeped another teaspoon for something like 4-5 minutes and was pleasantly surprised: this tea displayed a comforting cherry maltiness and sweetness. It lingered and was quite pleasing. I still had a bit of this tea left and was really looking to that final cup to set my impressions but oh horror – someone from my family mistakenly judged that pouch to be empty and disposed it. Ouch.
I was bummed by it more than I want to admit and had to reinforce the rule that any tea-related thingies randomly strewn throughout my house are to be treated with the utmost respect and never touched /moved by anyone but me, be they full, empty, broken etc.
In any case, this tea will probably remain my personal unsolved mystery. Despite all of its typical cheap tea drawbacks it had a simple comeliness and some potential that will be never realized with me. In any case, I can totally see how somebody else may choose to use it as an affordable everyday sipper.
Flavors: Bread, Cherry, Honey, Malt