Oolongs from Upton

Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Postby greenisgood » Jun 1st, '08, 18:02

I don't know about Upton's OOLONGS but I like their (black tea). Maybe you should buy your OOLONGS from somewhere else like Houde, Teaspring, TeaFromTaiwan, Rishi, etc. and shop at Upton if you want good (black tea) instead of OOLONG.

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Postby Salsero » Jun 1st, '08, 21:29

greenisgood wrote:I don't know about Upton's OOLONGS but I like their (black tea). Maybe you should buy your OOLONGS from somewhere else like Houde, Teaspring, TeaFromTaiwan, Rishi, etc. and shop at Upton if you want good (black tea) instead of OOLONG.

Gee, could you make a little effort to stay on the topic of oolongs! :lol: It is the mod-declared international drink of the day today, after all.

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Postby Mary R » Jun 2nd, '08, 04:13

Geez, this thread got snarky in a hurry.

For the record, I'm with Katrina. Upton is a good company and shouldn't be written off entirely. They have extensive offerings from around the globe, their customer service is lovely, and they make exploring tea very easy for those in the anglophone world. That counts for an awful lot. The only major criticism I have of them is that their website is poorly designed and comparatively difficult to order through.

In terms of 'better' teas...there's always going to be something better sold somewhere else no matter what company you look at. Upton does pretty well, but clearly if you're something of a connoisseur and really know what you're looking for, you're going to be a little disappointed with most of their offerings. That doesn't mean the tea or the company is bad...it's just not up to your personal level of subjectivity. A 'good' tea really is made of three things: the conditions under which it was grown, the skill of the master who made it, and the tastes of the person drinking it.

A company can only control one of the three.

Just sayin'.

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Postby Hyllan » Jun 2nd, '08, 05:30

I've found the oolong samples I've had from Upton (Formosa Pouchong, Heavy Baked Ti Guan Yin, Arya Estate Darjeeling Oolong and Poubong Estate Darjeeling Oolong) rather disappointing but on the other hand the best golden Yunnan I've ever tasted was from them (China Yunnan Golden Temple). In comparison, the Golden Buds from Yunnan Sourcing LLC was disappointing. I also sampled a Thai oolong from Upton which was excellent, but I don't think they carry it any longer.

I don't think I would recommend anyone ordering oolong from Upton when better vendors are available but I would recommend them for some other teas.

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Postby towerofdabble » Jun 2nd, '08, 08:33

A 'good' tea really is made of three things: the conditions under which it was grown, the skill of the master who made it, and the tastes of the person drinking it.


Well, freshness & how it's stored matter too.

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Postby Victoria » Jun 2nd, '08, 09:44

The point of this thread is that the oolongs from Upton are not good.

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Postby augie » Jun 2nd, '08, 12:06

Mary R wrote:Geez, this thread got snarky in a hurry.


Heck, I wasn't even in here at the time!!! :wink:

Their newsletter thingie totally rocks!

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Postby Salsero » Jun 2nd, '08, 12:11

augie wrote:Their newsletter thingie totally rocks!
Yes, indeed! And Harney's paper catalog is always gorgeous.

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Postby Mary R » Jun 2nd, '08, 13:07

Victoria wrote:The point of this thread is that the oolongs from Upton are not good.


Yeah, I know. But it looked like it was becoming more of a "Hate on Upton" thread than staying on the titular topic. I was just trying to balance it out a bit. I've not been wowed by the Upton oolongs either, but found several of their Chinese greens pleasant and enjoyable.

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Postby ABx » Jun 2nd, '08, 13:47

To further Mary and Katrina's point, I think you just have to keep in mind that each vendor will have their specialty. Vendors like Upton, SpecialTeas, and Tao of Tea (to be honest, I also include Adagio) market more to the average American, which usually means more black teas and maybe whites and/or greens. Most vendors will include some teas outside their specialty for variety, but since they don't know them well they usually end up with mediocre stuff.

When I was first starting out I drank some of Upton's oolongs and enjoyed them. I moved on fairly quickly and haven't looked back, but they were good for an initial introduction. I also agree with Hyllan that their Thai oolong is really quite good. I keep forgetting that I still have some, but still very much enjoy it when I do.

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Postby towerofdabble » Jun 2nd, '08, 13:58

Unfortunately, the listing for the Thai oolong notes: "this item has been permanently removed from our listing."

Bummer.

BTW, I didn't start this thread with the intention of slamming Upton at all -- it was really an "is it just me?" thing. I'm an enthusiastic amateur and excitedly tasting Oolongs from a bunch of different sources. I didn't generally like the Upton ones as much as some others, but thought maybe I was just missing something.

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Postby Salsero » Jun 2nd, '08, 14:17

towerofdabble wrote:BTW, I didn't start this thread with the intention of slamming Upton at all
You are the last one anyone would blame! I think you can see, however, that we are all a little conflicted on some -- maybe all -- of our vendors.

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