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 (, 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!)


  1. Once again, you did a great job with your photo styling. The tea flowers blend is very pretty. I didn't know they made tea from the flowers of the Camelia sinensis bush, as well as the leaves. Thanks for the info on Upton and their low shipping rates. It's nice to be able to order a couple of samples and not pay more for the shipping than the tea.

  2. I have long wondered about that particular tea, but never tried it. I am going to now! Thank you for sharing!


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