1684 Tasting Notes
This was recommended to me as a tea that’s good iced – but I had to try it hot first. The flavours are interesting – distinctly fresh with a slightly sweet, hay-like quality. It’s a bit herbal though not as much as I would expect with those ingredients. It’s all very smooth and pleasant – and I’ll definitely ice my next cup to see how it is.
Also, despite the name, it doesn’t contain any orange flavouring – I think the ‘mandarin’ part is supposed to be in denotation of the Chinese origin of the herbs (ginkgo, jiao gu lan).
Guys guess what? – Adagio has lowered its international shipping charges – which means that after several years, I can buy from them again!
This is quite a neat looking tea – the leaves really do look like tight curls. I’ve often heard Yunnan teas described as ‘peppery’ but I think that this is the first time I’ve actually been able to taste what they’re taking about; it doesn’t bite the tongue like pepper does but there’s a spiciness in the back of the mouth at the end of each sip. There’s also a tannin flavour that I’m more familiar with in this tea type, though in this case it’s quite smooth unlike some teas where there’s almost a cigarette-like tone to them (bleh). This tea on the other hand is more like leather with a faint hint of cocoa-like bitterness in there.
I look forward to trying more teas in Adagio’s Master collection especially – they’ve added quite a few new ones since I last purchased from them.
This is tea is surprisingly good with milk which is almost never the case with yerba mates. I think the base being a roasted mate rather than a green one makes the difference. The milk lessens the bite of the cayenne pepper somewhat much like drinking milk after eating something spice eases the heat I guess.
I know the person who owns this company and I often see her at the farmers market in town. A couple weeks ago, when she noticed me eying up this tea, she was nice enough to give me a sample for free.
The scent of the dry tea makes me think of nut brittle, sort of nutty and toffee-like – but when I added the water it changed to something like apple cinnamon (odd since there’s no apple in this blend, but that may be the rooibos). The flavour is mostly cinnamon-flavoured rooibos, though there’s a smooth undertone of vanilla that keep it from tasting too woody. There’s a bit of almond flavour if you tilt your head and squint, but more would be nice.
Not a bad tea at all – red rooibos isn’t really my thing so I wouldn’t shell out the money for a whole tin, but it’s nice enough for drinking in the evenings before bedtime (possibly with a cookie for dessert).
I’ve never tried a Vietnamese tea before, although apparently there’s a fairly big tea industry in the country – it’s just that little of it seems to get imported to N. America. The tea is loosely rolled into balls – or maybe a more accurate description is lumps. Dry they have a fresh green scent but as they steep the tea takes on the floral scent I’m familiar with in green oolongs. The tea is gently lilac flavoured though most tung ting have a roasted or baked undertone while this one has what I would call a mineral taste instead. I wouldn’t consider this the best tung ting I’ve ever had, but it’s certainly decent quality-wise.
The company I purchased this tea from was sadly short-lived but I’m not too surprised – we’re more of a Tim Hortons coffee-type city than anything resembling cultured. They did have some interesting blends while they were active though, among them several flavoured pu’erh blends.
The pu’erh base in this one is fairly mild and gentle with a nice, rich peaty flavour. As you might guess from the title mint is the main flavour component but the vanilla gives the tea a creamy sweetness and the cinnamon gives it a hint of warm spice. It all works very nicely together and it makes me wish I’d thought to grab more of the company’s flavoured pu’erhs while I had the chance.
This tea reminds me somewhat of Adagio’s Thai Chai with its mix of coconut and lemongrass. This one is obviously lighter with its white tea base and it has more of a herbal undertone to it thanks, I’m guessing, to the lemon myrtle and ginger root. The ginger is subtle which is rare for such a strong-flavoured ingredient and I like the creamy coconut flavours that actually remind me quite closely of coconut milk.
So I doubled the amount of tea I used and upped the steeping time and while it is an improvement, I’m still rather disappointed with this tea. It’s quite sweet which may be due to all the sugar on the dried fruits which I could see being a problem for people with dietary restrictions – it tastes as though I added a teaspoon or more of honey or sugar to my cup(!) The flavour is still rather weak though I am getting some general fruity notes mixed with a bit of spice, but nothing that I would call distinctly fig-like in flavour. Meh, it’s quite disappointing overall.