Another soothing cup of my favorite chai blend. It looks like I will soon be out of it. I’ve learned that when I experience a pang of fear at the thought of running out of a particular tea, that means the tea is one of my favorites.
223 Tasting Notes
Backlogging from Chicago trip:
One of the best teas I’ve ever had. The fragrance was perfect and simply inhaling the tea as it cooled brought pleasure to my senses. Drinking the tea was excellent as well. Even my beloved who thinks he hates teas loved this one.
A note on the tea shop: It was excellent. The proprietor is knowledgeable and very helpful. It is a great sadness to me that I couldn’t spend more time there.
Backlogging from the trip to Chicago
Made with black tea and soy.
Totally uninspiring. It was a boring black tea with an unimpressive soy milk. Probably won’t go there again.
Fragrance of cloves and a note of apples. It tastes primarily of cloves but there is a sweet mixture of tastes below that strong note of cloves. It is, overall, an average chai. I like it but there are chais I love. This one may improve by being prepared in the traditional way: simmering in milk or by being steeped longer.
It has a strong, odd smell and brews up very dark, almost coffee-level black. The taste is strong with multiple notes of cocoa, malt, and leather. It’s not really one of my favorites (I never really like teas that have a fragrance or taste of leather), but I can see that it is a good quality tea.
Adagio Teas included this as a free sample and I’ve tried hard to like it. It seems almost disloyal to Libras everywhere to dislike it this much. But it is truly not for me. It tastes artificial and cloying to me. It reminds me of when I was 13 and ate my lip gloss because it smelled like strawberries. The lip gloss also had this strange, artificial, somewhat bitter taste.
It has a slight smokiness but it’s a good basic English Breakfast blend, strong enough to get me going in the morning.
Good-bye pretty, delicious Sinharaja. I will miss you and wait with bated breath for the next delivery. All out for now. :(
My box of tea samples from Adagio came today. The samples are all in tiny tins! It is very cute, but I’m not sure what I will do with so many little tins once I’ve finished the tea.
This Decaf Tropics has an excellent flavor and fragrance that makes me think of sunny days on a beach sipping a drink with an umbrella in it. The fragrance is true to the flavor.
The black tea base is ok. It isn’t Lipton, but it isn’t up to the grade of my favorite black teas either. It has more tannins than I like and a slight bitterness. Also it doesn’t have much complexity. (On the other hand, it’s better than most grocery store tea. However, I’ve been getting spoiled with the great black teas I’ve been trying.) I steeped it for 4 minutes. Next time I’ll try 3 minutes and see if that improves it.
Despite my slight disappointment with the black tea, the adept hand Adagio has with the flavoring makes up for the dull tea. It is pleasant to drink and a good bedtime tea. I look forward to trying the rest of the samples.
Sometimes one just needs a stern tea. Pu-Erh Chai is that for me. I like the strong black liquid, the spices and the salty, musky taste combined with the strong black tea. It helps me get up and do what must be done.
I felt like a tea that smiles back this morning and Mango Tango is it. It has a fresh fruity smell and taste (but it is not excessively flavored or excessively sweet). The black tea is mellow in the right way and blends very well with the mango and passionfruit. It’s all smooth, rounded edges. Nothing sharp. Just a happy tea for a happy morning.
I’m nearly at the end of the Sinharaja. I’ve ordered a much larger supply this time. It is so good!
I love this tea. I drank a few cups today and was pleased to note that the second steeping was also quite nice. The leaves are also pretty both wet and dry.
Beautiful pale green tea with a delightful fragrance of roasted rice. It has a light vegetal taste that invites small slow sips as one inhales the almost coffee-like toasty fragrance. Very soothing.
A slightly cloudy green-tan liquid with the hypnotic smell of rose petals. Despite its sweetness it has a slight bitterness that is unpleasant. I think the bitterness is actually coming from the rose petals rather than the tea. The tea itself is submerged under the rose petal taste. Not one of my favorites.
Pretty pale green color. Slight smell of turpentine but it tastes ok.
Developed more turpentine as it cooled.
I know. Today was supposed to be Oolong Day. I was supposed to sit and experiment with steep times and temperatures of the various oolong teas. It was supposed to be a sophisticated, elegant day. I’d even though of planning our trip to the Art Institute of Chicago as I sipped.
What happened? We decided that today would be a good day for a hike and geocaching adventure through a swamp. That’s what happened. My beloved said, “Don’t worry. It’s been cold enough to kill off the mosquitos. Besides, it’s mid-October there won’t be any mosquitos.”
No mosquitos, hah! I am covered from head to toe in little itchy bites. I don’t want to appreciate my tea while reviewing artistic possibilities. I want my tea to appreciate and love me. If it could kiss my mosquito bites and make them better, that would be ideal.Since it is really just tea and can’t do any mosquito-bite aftercare, I’m doing my best to make it comforting. I’ve simmered it in soy milk with a small amount of sugar. It is a real chai instead of my normal steep and add creamer style.
It is worth it. It smells warm, creamy, spicy, and sweet. It smells like it wants my mosquito bites kissed. Made this way the cardamon comes into its own with a sweet fruity smell. The cinnamon makes it taste like a cookie, the perfect emotional salve. And the taste? Divine! Each layer of cocoa, cardamon, tea, and cinnamon takes over my palate briefly revealing depths within and then retreats for the next flavor star.
This is my very favorite black tea. It is very difficult to over-steep and doesn’t get bitter and it is very low in tannins. It has lovely chocolate and carmel notes with a slight toastiness. It is definitely a comfort tea for me.
I started out with this tea this morning. It turns out that I was over-steeping it and the water was too hot previously. Today it was light and grassy with a slight nuttiness. A pleasant experience overall.
When I first tried this tea I thought I liked it and I ordered a canister of it. Since getting the canister I’ve found that I don’t like it as much as I thought. It may be that I am over-steeping it but it has a strange taste to me.
Typically I like green teas, white teas, yellow teas, and black teas but haven’t much cared for oolongs. On the other hand, I love Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong tea, which is also an Oolong. So I’m not certain what is up with me.
Fortunately, I have more of the Sugar Caramel Oolong and can experiment with steep times and temperatures.
This one has beautiful long slender leaves that tangle together and produce a coppery broth with fragrance notes of mint and a light spice. It has a strong tea taste with some tannins but no bitterness. Overall, it is one my favorites of the blacks I’ve tried.
It sounded so wonderful in the description but it is disappointing in person. The tea is harsh and, while the spices are fragrant in the bag, their flavor rapidly falls away once the hot water is poured upon the leaves.
It must get dull to see me drink chai agni night after night. It really feels like the perfect evening quaff to me, though. It is warming, sweet, dark, and homey.
It’s a “be brave” day. I’m trying pu-erh again. This time it’s the cute looking little tuo cha nests. I have followed the directions rigorously. I’ve boiled my water to 212 degrees. I rinsed it in boiling water then steeped it for six minutes.
The pu-erh tea is thick and black. It smells of leather and grass with a slight sweetness. I added creamer to it as I do to all of my black teas. It isn’t too bad, which is not to say that it is all that good either. Still, it doesn’t smell or taste like dung, which is my previous pu-erh benchmark. There is a slight saltiness and the leather smell carries through to the taste. It still turns my stomach over, though.
I think this is a pretty definitive test. I am a failure at pu-erh appreciation. Does anyone want the rest of the pu-erh sample?