Is Upton tea a normal shop?

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Re: Is Upton tea a normal shop?

Postby JRS22 » Mar 12th, '13, 19:03

I bought from Upton when I first began drinking tea. I've since moved on o specialists in particular teas, e.g. O-Cha for Japanese Greens, Seven Cups for Chinese Greens, etc.

One other aspect of Upton that's "old-fashioned" is that real people answer the phone and can answer questions. If there's no harvest date in the catalog you can find that out with a phone call.

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Re: Is Upton tea a normal shop?

Postby Chip » Mar 12th, '13, 19:12

JRS22 wrote:One other aspect of Upton that's "old-fashioned" is that real people answer the phone and can answer questions. If there's no harvest date in the catalog you can find that out with a phone call.

Yes, they actually told me this around 5 years ago ... the only problem is they have so many teas ... this was my biggest frustration with them. I may have been considering 10, 20, or more teas since the selection is so ... vast! I just could not be bothered.

But their customer service and shipping is outstanding. The labels are nice and include rarely seen info such as the customer's name and when it was packed for the customer.

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Re: Is Upton tea a normal shop?

Postby gingkoseto » Mar 12th, '13, 19:26

I feel they might be a good place if you are not sure whether you will like certain type of tea and want to try some inexpensive samples.
That being said, I've only bought non-Chinese black tea from the, and have decided to stick to them for some teas in "breakfast tea" category, after trying a couple dozen samples.
On the other hand, like others, I also feel their inventory is overwhelming. When I chose my samples, basically I just chose blindly and avoided expensive ones. Then I would decide from the samples which I like. If I tried to really "select" something, I would probably get lost at the very beginning :mrgreen:

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Re: Is Upton tea a normal shop?

Postby Muadeeb » Mar 12th, '13, 19:43

gingkoseto wrote:I feel they might be a good place if you are not sure whether you will like certain type of tea and want to try some inexpensive samples.
That being said, I've only bought non-Chinese black tea from the, and have decided to stick to them for some teas in "breakfast tea" category, after trying a couple dozen samples.
On the other hand, like others, I also feel their inventory is overwhelming. When I chose my samples, basically I just chose blindly and avoided expensive ones. Then I would decide from the samples which I like. If I tried to really "select" something, I would probably get lost at the very beginning :mrgreen:


I think they acknowledge this with their sample and return policy. They also make it easy to see your order history, so at least you can keep track of what you've tried. I like to spend an afternoon drinking tea and leafing through the catalog slowly, as if it were a Victoria's Secret catalog.

"mmm I'd drink the hell out of that one...."

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Re: Is Upton tea a normal shop?

Postby gingkoseto » Mar 12th, '13, 20:54

Muadeeb wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:I feel they might be a good place if you are not sure whether you will like certain type of tea and want to try some inexpensive samples.
That being said, I've only bought non-Chinese black tea from the, and have decided to stick to them for some teas in "breakfast tea" category, after trying a couple dozen samples.
On the other hand, like others, I also feel their inventory is overwhelming. When I chose my samples, basically I just chose blindly and avoided expensive ones. Then I would decide from the samples which I like. If I tried to really "select" something, I would probably get lost at the very beginning :mrgreen:


I think they acknowledge this with their sample and return policy. They also make it easy to see your order history, so at least you can keep track of what you've tried. I like to spend an afternoon drinking tea and leafing through the catalog slowly, as if it were a Victoria's Secret catalog.

"mmm I'd drink the hell out of that one...."


:mrgreen: Indeed! I just received one physical copy of newsletter kind of thing, and that's a nice surprise. I can definitely spend some time with it!
For most other catalogs, it took me 2 seconds to dig out any coupon or free samples in it and then I'm done with it :wink:

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Re: Is Upton tea a normal shop?

Postby JRS22 » Mar 12th, '13, 22:56

Chip wrote:
JRS22 wrote:One other aspect of Upton that's "old-fashioned" is that real people answer the phone and can answer questions. If there's no harvest date in the catalog you can find that out with a phone call.

Yes, they actually told me this around 5 years ago ... the only problem is they have so many teas ... this was my biggest frustration with them. I may have been considering 10, 20, or more teas since the selection is so ... vast! I just could not be bothered.

But their customer service and shipping is outstanding. The labels are nice and include rarely seen info such as the customer's name and when it was packed for the customer.


The problem is that once I learned about harvest information on Teachat I wasn't satisfied with the Upton approach. I asked them about it and they said at the time that if the new tea tasted like the old tea then it was a valid substitute. That might work for black tea, but I don't see it working for green. I buy certain blended teas, like my beloved O-Cha Otsuusan, that are supposed to taste the same year after year. I still want to know that the tea I'm drinking is less than a year old so I have time to drink it while it's still fresh.

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