As many of you know, I am not a fan of Upton Tea. Why? Well several reasons.
One, up until this week, I had never had a tea from there that I liked. And I have had quite a few that were bad. I would never recommend buying Oolongs there to be sure. But this post is about blacks and I know many people say their blacks are good. I might venture to say their blacks are ok. Since blacks seem to keep well over the long haul, I am guessing that sitting in a huge warehouse for who knows how long may not adversely effect a tea that is already average. Their packed on date, packed especially for me, isn't fooling anyone. Plus shouldn't a WHOLE LEAF tea be WHOLE leaf? What is with all the chopped small pieces? It's like a tea bag without the bag. If you are going to sell tea bag tea, at least throw in the bag! They do have fast and reasonable shipping, good customer service and some great tea accessories. Just don't buy the tea.
And sorry SpecialTeas, but you are an Upton clone with nicer teaware.
You want to see what a beautiful thing WHOLE LEAF black tea is? Venture over to TeaSource
and try the Nilgiri, Glendale Estate, Handmade. One of my favorite black teas, this Nilgiri tea is a stepsister of Darjeeling. I really haven't found anyone yet who didn't like it, a beautiful full bodied cup with light astringency. I also recommend the Glenburn Estate Vintage Wiry, although out of stock at the moment.
Speaking of Nilgiri, Tao of Tea
has two very nice ones; Neela and Nilgiri Blue. Of the Two Neela is my favorite and really shines. Similar to the Glendale Handmade from TeaSource, it is full bodied, smooth with light astringency.
While at Tao of Tea
, you may want to check out their Limited Edition Bohea. A beautiful tea with a light smokiness. You can read my review here: viewtopic.php?t=7143&highlight=bohea
When I started drinking tea, I was a big fan of Ceylon. Years and years actually until I found Adagio
and discovered two new loves: Yunnan Gold and Darjeeling. The Yunnan Gold with its light peppery character and the smoothness of a great First Flush Darjeeling with a hint of green and mild astringency. Favorites from Adagio include: Spring Darjeeling, Yunnan Gold, Yunnan Noir, Nepal FF.
So my go to sources for black teas are TeaSource
, Tao of Tea
Now all this is just my opinion of course. And if you like/don't like the above that's fine and you certainly are entitled to your opinion too, so please feel free to share! What are your favorite Black Teas?