Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Upton's Heirloom Tea Flowers
Here you can see where I quickly tore into one of the sample packets in my Upton Tea order that arrived last week. One of the samples I was most looking forward to trying: the Organic Heirloom Tea Flowers shown here.
Here's how Upton describes this tea: "An unusual tisane made solely from organic Camellia sinensis flowers, which are carefully plucked from heirloom tea bushes in full bloom, and then sun-dried. Tests show the flowers to contain similar amounts of catechins and polyphenols as regular leaf tea, but with a significantly lower caffeine content. The flavor is surprisingly full, with notes of honey, caramel and citrus." My palate isn't refined enough to detect "notes" and requires more of a loud "symphony," so I have to say that while I wouldn't have used those words to describe the flavor, I do agree it had a very "full" taste, a richer, more pleasant flavor than I expected.
If you've never ordered from Upton (uptontea.com), you might be surprised the first time you order to see that they personalize labels (free of charge!) on each bag or tin of tea -- unless you ask them not to. How helpful is that? Instead of wondering how old a particular tea is, you have it right on the bag or tin. I ordered a full size bag of this delicious Green Rooibos Pear Cream when the sample I'd been slowly enjoying ran out. And I have to add another word of praise for Upton. Standard shipping is just - get this - $4. Four hardly-buys-a-gallon-of-gas-anymore dollars. My little order shipped from Massachusetts for less than it would have cost me to drive to the nearest tea shop and back. (Can you tell I appreciate the thrifty shipping?)
And while this is no Heirloom Tea Flower, I do think it's awfully pretty! (Can't claim credit, though. Previous owners had it growing when we bought the house, bless 'em!)