My first experience with "real" tea was at a Zen monastery located near my childhood home. Tea was often a welcome respite during the day's visit. I've come to appreciate and enjoy most teas - from the hearty Assams and earthy Pu-Erhs to the exquisite Darjeelings and the most ephemeral whites. My days usually progress with the aid of several cups.
Since the early 70s, I have always loved to drink breakfast style teas with milk, no sugar. When I first came to Upton Tea in 1995 and started to discover the depth and variety of fine loose leaf tea, I found myself drawn to the teas I could drink plain - the refined Darjeelings, the spicy Oolongs, the clean greens and the delicate whites. I still enjoy a malty, rich Assam with milk for breakfast but then move on to lighter bodied teas for the rest of the day. I do love the taste of tea but it is the aroma that I find uplifting and inspiring!
I started drinking tea as a young girl and have loved it ever since. My choices used to be quite simple: English and Irish breakfast blends or strong Earl Grey. A family member finally introduced me to loose leaf tea and from then on, I was hooked. Once I was old enough to buy my own tea, I started to experiment a bit more. I discovered Upton Tea Imports first as a satisfied customer but now enjoy tea daily, as an employee.
My tastes in tea and my appreciation for variety has grown significantly since working here. Though my journey with tea started with a love for strong, hearty breakfast teas, I find that I now prefer lighter, more floral teas, such as lightly oxidized Formosa Oolongs and First Flush Darjeelings. My preferences continue to change and I find new favorites everyday.
I confess to starting out with strong coffee leanings from the time I was old enough to drink it. The occasional cuppa served well as a comfort beverage. It was not until around 2002 and at the insistence of converted family members that I had no Idea what I was missing that I began to make the transition to loose tea. Made easier, I suspect, by the aid of some good Pu-Ehr and Assam teas. Today I still favor those strong cups as well as vegetal Japanese greens but have vastly expanded my range thanks to the education I've recieved over the years from fellow staff members and Upton customers.
I became interested in loose-leaf tea in 2008 during a family trip to London. A cup of tea each afternoon was a welcome break from dodging raindrops and an overly ambitious sightseeing schedule. I find it remarkable that tea can offer such a diverse array of sensory experiences. As someone who had an interest in history from an early age I love how tea is quite literally steeped in it.
Since discovering Upton Tea, I've come to appreciate an amazing variety of teas from around the world. I still enjoy robust Assams and breakfast blends. However, I now tend to enjoy warming up with a peppery Yunnan, taking a break with a brisk Ceylon, or relaxing with a nice cup of oolong, which can run the gamut from woody to fruity to floral depending on how the tea is processed after plucking.
"Upton Tea Imports was founded in 1989 with the objective of providing the North American tea drinker with
the finest teas available. We purchase teas from reputable brokers and estates worldwide, dealing only with
sources who are capable of providing top quality teas. We sell directly to the consumer, thus ensuring the
freshest product and fairest pricing."