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Spring, 2004 Newsletter - Homepage
Thanks to Our Customers
Fifteen Years of Growth at Upton Tea Imports

   In 1989, Upton Tea Imports was founded to bring the finest loose-leaf tea to the North American market. Through dedication to this original goal, we have grown into one of America's premier sources for tea. Today, we remain committed to providing the highest levels of service and quality to our customers. From the start, customer feedback played an integral role in shaping the company as it evolved, and to this day, we value each and every comment that we receive.

   In response to several customer suggestions, we introduced an improvement to our product labeling at the end of December. The inevitable lull that occurs between Christmas and New Year's Day provided us sufficient time to modify our tea labels to include brief brewing parameters specific to each unique tea. On each label, next to the item code and item weight, you will now find recommendations for quantity of dry leaf (per 6 ounces of water), steeping time in minutes, and water temperature in degrees Fahrenheit -- three variables key to brewing flavorful loose tea.

   For optimum steeping, we generally suggest weighing 2.25 grams of tea for each 6 ounces of water. However, our tea labels address leaf quantity in terms of volume, not weight, to make the measurement more accessible to those without a precise gram scale. Use the indicated number of measuring teaspoonsful as a starting point for future experimentation with the amount of tea. Keep in mind that bulky, bold-leaf teas generally require more than one teaspoonful of tea per cup for optimum brewing, as indicated on our label.

   Steeping time and water temperature can greatly affect the flavor of an infused tea. Begin by following the new label instructions, but adjust these factors according to personal taste. While regional brewing methods, tea styles, and individual preferences make it impossible to describe definitively the "right" way to brew a tea, we hope that this new label information will enhance our customers' tea experience.

   Over the past year, we continued to convert our packaging to the new heat-sealed foil bags which were introduced in 2002. Most customers have noticed improved shelf life with these packets and appreciate the convenience of zip lock closures. By the end of this year, over 90% of our teas will be shipped in this new form. We are also evaluating various storage containers to replace the traditional tea tins that we currently offer. Recent inhouse tests have shown that teas stored in our new zip lock bags stay fresh longer than teas stored in traditional British tea tins. Since tins are preferred by many of our customers, especially for gifts, we would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

   As we begin our fifteenth year of operation, we again turn to our valued customers for feedback and direction. We have creatd a brief customer survey on a range of topics. We hope that you will take a few moments to respond. The information that we collect will help us choose new products and packaging, refine procedures, improve service, and promote continued customer satisfaction.

Our survey has now ended. We sincerely thank everyone who took the time to respond.

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"Upton Tea Imports was founded in 1989 with the objective of providing the North American tea drinker with the finest teas available. We purchase teas from reputable brokers and estates worldwide, dealing only with sources who are capable of providing top quality teas. We sell directly to the consumer, thus ensuring the freshest product and fairest pricing."