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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!

Idulgashinna Estate OP1 Green Organic
TC38: With its sweet fruity flavor profile and smooth, bright character, this is one of my favorite green teas. It’s the perfect choice for anyone starting their green tea journey as it’s not as vegetal as other green teas.

Putharjhora Estate Silver Spring SFTGFOP1 Dooars
TO61: This tea is cultivated in a region just south of Darjeeling. As a first flush picking, it shares the same sweet tropical notes and cornsilk nuances, making it a great choice for first flush Darjeeling lovers looking to expand their explorations. The freshness of spring in your cup!

James Taylor Breakfast Blend
TB11: This is the quintessential black tea from Ceylon, bright and lively, perfect for a morning eye-opener. History in your cup!
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.

Rama Tulsi
BH106: I love the sweet anise notes, contrasted with the sharp black pepper and bittersweet cocoa hints. I enjoy relaxing with this caffeine-free treat in the evenings.

Vietnamese Eastern Beauty Oolong
TV44: I savor the fragrance of ripe stone fruit and honey whenever I prepare a cup of this tea. This is a cuppa for when I have time to linger.

Golden Kenya GFBOP
TK25: This is top of the list of my breakfast time rotation. The rosy floral sweetness and the crisp, brisk character awaken my senses and I’m ready for the day.
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.

Chai Spice Black Tea
NT33: The flavor of the spices as well as the aroma of this tea gives me a nice lift in the afternoon. I sometimes drink this tea iced and add evaporated milk.

Season’s Pick Japanese Sencha Organic
TJ00: This is the tea that I wake up with every morning. It has a nice but mild vegetal flavor and subtle sweetness.

China Pu-Erh Tuo Cha
ZH30 -Strong, dark with a slightly smoky and musty flavor. This tea has a heavy mouth feel and has a taste that is unlike most other teas. This is the tea that I prefer to drink on a weekend afternoon when I have time to savor a strong flavorful tea.
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.

Jungpana Estate First Flush (2023 DJ-4) FTGFOP1 Darjeeling
TD222: This is my favorite first flush Darjeeling of the 2023 season. The delightfully floral aroma, reminiscent of honeysuckle, lifts my mood

Bulang Mountain Shou Pu-Erh Cake
ZH101: There is something warming about the dark, earthy flavor of this aged Pu-Erh that reminds me of cinnamon and the smell of leather. It’s a very special tea so I reserve it for chilly, rainy days.

Kagoshima Kabuse Sencha
TJ79: I am in love with this Japanese green tea. It is so green, like drinking the essence of life. It smells like spring and takes me back to my trip to Japan. Sip it hot or iced for the ultimate refreshing beverage.
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.
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.

Four Season Spring Dong Pian Oolong
TT77: This tea is astounding, it is the perfect spring season in a cup of tea. It is smooth, with notes of lilac scenting the air. It has a buzzing honey sweetness that becomes even more pronounced as the tea cools. It makes the season sparkle with dewy hints of melon throughout the cup. If you feel like having a serene cup of tea in a proper cottage garden, this tea is pure bliss. I love it and look forward to a venture into the rose garden with this tea on weekends.

Yunnan Golden Tips Supreme
ZY44: This tea is indulgent; if you are a chocolate lover, this tea is next level. It has the sweetest aroma of cocoa, with a fullness of flavor. This tea envelopes the palate with the terroir of Yuannan, which is why I am so fond of it. From the quality of the tips to the color of the cup, this tea is charming. I strongly suggest you try it for yourself. You Deserve it.
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