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Staff Favorites

We're passionate about tea and love every opportunity to share that passion with our customers. Below is a list of our favorite teas, along with our cupping notes and a little bit about ourselves and our tea experiences. Enjoy!
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 rich black tea for breakfast most of the time and 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!

Rohini Estate First Flush FTGFOP1 (2022 EX-3) Darjeeling 'Jethi Kupi'
TD202: Every spring, I look forward to the arrival of the first flush Darjeelings with much anticipation! This selection is my current favorite. With its fresh aroma and delicate floral flavor, it brings me joy with every cup.

Organic Premium Matcha
TJ91: I love starting my day with a thick cup of Matcha tea. With its rich brothy flavor, complemented by toasty hints, this tea renews and inspires a great day ahead.

New Zealand Oolong
TZ01: All I can say is wow, wow and wow! With its aromatic floral character, this tea amazed me at first sip! This was my first time enjoying a cup of tea that was grown in New Zealand and I look forward to drinking many more cups. Outstanding.
I confess to starting out with strong coffee from the time I was old enough to drink it. The occasional cuppa served well as a comfort beverage. It was not until 2002 and at the insistence of converted family members 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 the strong cups but have vastly expanded my range thanks to the education I've received over the years from fellow staff members and Upton customers.

Somerset Estate BOP Ceylon
TC57: The richness and velvet smoothness of this cup make it my favorite morning cup. The complex range of the aroma and flavor notes evoke fond memories of my amazing visit to Sri Lanka.

Sakura Scented Kukicha
TJ77: I savor the buttery smoothness of the Kukicha base, which the delicate cherry blossom petals imbue with sweet floral notes. It is the perfect tea to follow a meal.

Whisky Barrel Smoked Japanese Black Tea - Cherry Wood
TJ103: The distinctive aroma of cherry wood smoke arising from my steaming cup is so warming and comforting, I can feel myself relaxing right away. The layers of Burgundy and toffee in the complex flavor profile make each sip a sweet treat. An entirely luxurious experience!
I started drinking tea with my wife after we were married 25 years ago. The first teas I enjoyed were Irish-style breakfast blends that I enjoyed with a little milk. Over time, I discovered Oolong, Ceylon and Pu-Erh teas. Now that I'm at Upton Tea, I've expanded my enjoyment to all loose-leaf teas. My current favorite is the Formosa Oolongs and first flush Darjeelings. I enjoy their complex character and the earthy, citrus notes often found in Oolong teas, as well as the freshness.

Formosa Oolong Choicest
TT18: This is my go to tea. It is not a complex tea but it does offer a variety of flavors that makes the tea very enjoyable. I especially enjoy the citrus notes. I will often drink an entire pot of this tea on a Sunday morning.

Season's Pick Assam GFOP Organic
TA07: This full flavor Assam tea with a hint of cocoa is a very good tea at an outstanding price. I particularly enjoy this tea in the early fall.
My introduction into the world of tea started in my thirties as an interest in drinking green tea for its health benefits. This meant drinking plain tasting grocery store tea. After receiving a mug infuser as a present from my mother and doing research online, I started to learn about loose leaf tea and discovered Upton Tea Imports (I was a customer of Upton Tea long before I became an employee). My early tea favorites were the vegetal Japanese Sencha and the Chinese gunpowder teas, which I still enjoy. After a few years of sampling many different teas, I discovered how much I enjoy very robust, dark, earthy, or toasty teas, which for me means Pu-Erh, Oolongs and Lapsang Souchong. My favorite tea experience is sitting down on a cold autumn or winter Saturday afternoon and enjoying multiple cups of Pu-Erh or Oolong teas while reading.

China Pu-Erh Tuo Cha Size 1
ZH30: This hearty tea is not for those who enjoy a light, subtle brew. One small bird's nest (tuo cha) yields a robust, dark, earthy brew with a hint of smokiness in the aftertaste. Pu-Erh, with its strong flavor, dark appearance and full-bodied mouth feel, really warms me up on a cold day and stimulates my mental energy.

Japanese Sencha
TJ10: Sencha is my first choice when I want a tea that is very different than the Oolongs and Pu-Erhs that I drink most of the time. I enjoy the smooth, vegetal flavor that also has a slight hints of nuts.

Lapsang Souchong
ZS20: This tea shocks my taste buds on every sip. There is no other tea that is comparable to Lapsang Souchong. The tea leaves are smoked over pine wood fires, which gives Lapasang Souchong its unique burnt wood flavor and scent. In fact, this is one tea that tastes exactly as you would expect from the aroma. The strong smokiness of this tea seems to linger pleasantly for a long time after every sip. Surprisingly, this tea has a dark golden appearance instead of the black color that I would have expected from the black leaves. I find Lapsang Souchong to be simultaneously comforting and slightly stimulating while creating a pleasant feeling of warmth.
My relationship with tea began when I started sixth grade. Deemed too young for coffee by my mother, I drank grocery store black tea with cream and sugar every morning. As much as I enjoyed my routine, it was not until years later when I began to branch out and try loose leaf teas that I truly fell in love. I started with Japanese greens and traditional breakfast blends, but my colleagues at Upton Tea have coaxed me out of my comfort zone and now I enjoy an eclectic variety of teas from around the world. I firmly believe that a good cup of tea, regardless of origin, strength or variety, can turn your whole day around.

Hao Ya A Superfine Keemun
ZK90: This was one of the first teas I ever tried to simply blow me away. I strongly feel that nothing compares to the rich notes of earthy Burgundy and silky smooth mouth feel of a high quality Keemun. It’s the perfect choice to treat yourself to an afternoon pot of tea.

Organic Competition Grade Matcha
TJ93: The bright green hue of this high grade Matcha is mesmerizing. Its sweet vegetal flavor lingers pleasantly after I finish my cup. I savor every sip of this tea whenever I drink it, and I find its effect energizing and invigorating.

Lung Ching Green Superfine
ZG71: I find myself reaching for a relaxing cup of Lung Ching whether it’s morning or night, winter or spring. Its distinct and complex notes of chestnut and buttery smoothness enhance what is already an exceptional cup of green tea.
Working at Upton Tea Imports for the past 18 years has given me the opportunity to explore and learn about the many different teas from around the world. Being that I like an occasional cup of coffee, the teas I am drawn to are the darker, full-bodied teas.

Cacao Kisses Colombian Black Tea
TSA5: This is my absolute favorite tea. I love its cocoa flavor and richness.

Keemun Mao Feng Organic
ZK68: I love this tea for its hints of cocoa.
My great love of tea started very young with my mom who always believed in tea for common ailments; in our house, chamomile with some honey could fix just about anything. As I got older, I soon learned that there was a whole world outside of chamomile and plain black tea. Once I discovered the expansive culture of loose leaf tea, I was mesmerized, I was changed and became unequivocally certain that this was my calling in life. I have been drinking many a tea ever since. I love traveling through tea and I believe tea can unify the world one cup at a time. Joining Upton Tea has been a dream come true. I’m honored to be part of a team whose passion for tea is matched to my own and I’m excited to share some of my favorites with you.

Competition Temomi Shincha
TJ99: Japanese green teas are my personal favorite as I love the vegetal taste. This tea is elegant, and the flavor is delicate and meant to be savored. It has all the embodiment of umami. The leaves are traditionally hand rolled, and it is beautiful to watch. I not only enjoy this tea for its unsurpassable flavor but respect its origins as well.

Ya Bao White Tea
ZW103: This Yunnan white tea is special and has a beautiful flowering sweetness to it. It’s smooth and is my treat yourself tea. The buds on this tea are young and handpicked, which makes me appreciate it more. This tea makes me slow down and live in the moment while making me feel like royalty.

Jun Chiyabari Estate First Flush Nepal Black Tea
TM102: I love this tea for many reasons, the first being the flavor. I enjoy a light and floral tea and this tea not only has that but a blossoming effect. It's sweet and buttery. I find it lovely. The second reason I love it is the estate name translates to 'moon lit tea garden,' which I find enchanting.
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