I recently unearthed a box full of Upton samplers from late last year that had gone unopened. Upton’s is rarely a top choice of mine for almost anything these days simply due to the fact that there is better, fresher, tea available elsewhere for about the same price. Occasionally they have a rare gem or a good deal on some sort of teaware, but outside of that I normally point my web browser somewhere else.
I grabbed one of the sealed foil pouches containing “ZH65 Pu-erh Loose Jia Ji” as this is one of their upper-level puerhs and claims to be mellow and respectable. Out of the packet my hopes diminished a bit because it consisted of small bits of broken medium brown leaf almost entirely. It brewed up to a nice medium brown though that didn’t have any harsh notes in the aroma. A very mild earthy quality, but nothing like a dank, mushroomy, potting soil earthy… instead it was light and inviting. The first sip put a lot of my uncertainty to rest as it was quite good! It followed through with a very mellow/mild earthy tone as described on the packaging and it didn’t exhibit any of the unpleasant hallmarks of young or lower quality puerh. It wasn’t overly strong, brewing up to a super dark liquor as some do (and as some, not me, may prefer), but just right on all accounts.
This was a welcomed exception to the rule and a nice little find for a slightly chilly Tuesday morning, hopefully that box continues to produce more like this one.