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The Great Tea Race Collection

Our Tea Buyer continually searches the world for premium teas that we are proud to offer to our customers. On occasion, we find teas that are so special that we have them shipped to us by the fastest method today – the airplane – so we can share them with our customers as soon as possible. This is very similar to the nineteenth century when tea merchants would ship their precious cargo by the swift tea clippers, ensuring the fastest arrival times. In honor of this great tradition, we offer this collection of the highest quality teas - The Great Tea Race Collection. This carefully curated collection is named in honor of the Great Tea Race of 1866, when five of the fastest tea clippers set sail from Foochow, China bound for London with their cargo holds filled with tea chests. Ninety-nine days and over 15,000 nautical miles later, the Taeping and the Ariel docked first in London, only twenty-eight minutes apart.

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loose leaf Darjeeling black tea
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Harvested on February 26, 2021, this superlative first flush offering is the very first plucking of the 2021 season at the Rohini Estate, located in the Kurseong valley of Darjeeling district. The exquisite leaves display full leaf sets, crowned with downy silver tips. Accented by notes of honey and corn silk, the sweet aroma evokes the freshness of early spring. The delicate amber-gold cup is buttery smooth with classic floral notes, complemented by light vegetal hints. A lively crisp quality lingers in the finish, completing an unparalleled tea experience.

With the introduction of this special tea, Upton Tea Imports is proud to continue our tradition of being the first US tea company to offer the very first harvest from the first flush Darjeeling season of 2021.

TD166 |
loose leaf Darjeeling black tea
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Harvested on March 4th, 2021, this superior selection is the second plucking of the 2021 first flush season at the Upper division of Namring Estate, one of the oldest tea gardens in Darjeeling district. Ultra-bold leaves, in shades of olive green accented with silver tips, produce a pale amber-gold cup, fragrant with hints of tropical fruit. A smooth buttery mouth feel complements pronounced floral notes and hints of corn silk, enfolded in a rich honey sweetness that lingers long into the finish.

TD167 |
USDA Organic loose leaf Darjeeling black tea
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Harvested on March 16th, this organic first flush Darjeeling selection offers bold leaves accented by a plethora of downy silver tips. The amber-gold cup exhibits a bright, refreshing character, which accentuates notes of honey, tropical fruit and melon. A crisp, clean finish completes a delightful tea experience.

TD171 |
USDA Organic loose leaf Colombian green tea
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A fresh vegetal aroma, reminiscent of newly cut grass, introduces this outstanding green tea offering from Colombia. Long, wiry leaves produce a pale gold liquor that hints of sugared tropical fruit embraced by a full buttery mouth feel. A gentle hint of evergreen lends a clean, crisp quality to the finish.

TSA10 |
loose leaf Darjeeling black tea
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Harvested on March 13th, the bold, attractive leaves of Balasun Estate’s very first 2021 plucking are sprinkled with a fair complement of silvery tips. The fresh aroma is delicate, with honeyed floral hints. The amber-gold cup is exceptional, with rich floral notes enhanced by a silky smooth mouth feel. A tropical fruit sweetness leads to a crisp, lingering finish.

TD170 |
loose leaf China black tea
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We are excited to offer this outstanding black tea selection as most teas of this superior quality do not leave China. Less than 9 kilograms was produced in Tong Mu, located high in the Wuyi Mountains (formerly Bohea Hills) of northern Fujian province. The large wiry, ebony-brown leaves yield a dark ruby-amber liquor with an inviting caramel aroma hinting of marzipan. The exquisitely smooth cup fills your mouth with a rich depth of flavor – toasted almond notes, hints of warming spices and honeyed apricot, a whisper of earthy smokiness – all embraced by a sweet syrupy quality. The finish lingers with a whisper of spice. This stellar selection is truly a joy to savor.

ZP102 |
USDA Organic loose leaf Colombian Oolong tea
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The large, neatly twisted leaves of this organic Oolong offering from Colombia produce a medium amber liquor with a fresh aroma reminiscent of a clean ocean breeze. The full-bodied cup is velvety smooth and bursting with a rich ambrosial flavor that fills your mouth with pronounced notes of honey and dried stone fruit. The finish is long and lingering.

TSA9 |
loose leaf Darjeeling black tea
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Harvested on March 6th, 2021, the very first plucking of the 2021 first flush season at Tindharia Estate, this outstanding selection displays beautiful leaves in shades of green, sprinkled with delicate, silvery tips. The fragrance is fresh and sweet, with hints of corn silk. The sparkling amber-gold cup is bursting with honey sweetness and rich floral notes reminiscent of a spring garden. A buttery smooth mouth feel supports light vegetal hints and a crisp, lively quality that lingers long into the finish. Savor each sip of this stellar offering.

TD168 |
loose leaf Pu-Erh tea cake
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With a tea growing history of over 900 years, the Bulang Mountain range of Yunnan province includes some of the most prized Pu-Erh production regions. The aroma reveals a woody/toasty/sweet earthy complexity, complemented by hints of cocoa. The velvety smooth, rounded cup is dark and rich with notes of molasses, chestnut and a hint of spice. The clean finish lingers with nuances of cinnamon and clove. Produced from a large-leaf varietal, this 4 ½ inch diameter round tea cake weighs approximately 95-100 grams and comes packaged in our silver packet.

ZH101 |
New Zealand loose leaf Oolong tea
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The beautiful, handmade leaves of this unique Oolong tea are created under the guidance of tea masters from Taiwan. The pale golden liquor is fragrant with a light floral aroma. The silky smooth cup is light and flavorful with a pronounced floral character. A lingering whisper of spice completes an outstanding tea experience.

TZ01 |
Mim Darjeeling Loose White Tea
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Small, light-green tips yield a very pale golden liquor in this white tea offering from Mim Estate. The mouth feel is silky smooth and delicate yet the flavor reveals a rich complexity with hints of corn silk, light buttercup notes and a floral sweetness. A crisp, lingering finish completes an exceptional tea experience.

TD143 |
Loose leaf Tie-Guan-Yin Imperial Oolong tea
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The dry leaves of this top-quality Oolong offering are fragrant and expertly rolled, producing a sparkling gold liquor with a sweet floral aroma. Notes of orchid are complemented by a buttery mouth feel in the silky smooth cup. Hints of honey lend a richness to the lingering finish. This tea is a great choice for multiple steepings.

ZO33 |
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