87 Tasting Notes

40
drank Sencha Overture by Adagio Teas
87 tasting notes

This is as basic sencha as you can get. It smells nice from the tin, sweet and creamy and looks fresh with deep green colored leaf.

I’m brewing it as I usually brew senchas – 3 consecutive steepings at 160F in a kyusu.

1st infusion – 1 min 20 secs – sweet creamy taste, not bad but not complex either.
2nd infusion- 10 secs – deeper color, somewhat murky brew with noticeable bitterness that I don’t appreciate at all.
3d infusion – 30 secs – lighter, still bitter, flavor is almost non-existent.

Summarizing everything I said above this sencha can be brewed only once and should be considered as an introduction tea for those who haven’t tried Japanese teas before.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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55

I’m finally finishing off this sample… it actually took me a few weeks because I opened it, tried it, didn’t find particularly interesting and put it away.

It’s one of the higher priced white teas that Upton offers but it just doesn’t deliver the way others do. The leaf looks like a regular Silver Needle but is shorter and partially broken. The smell is pretty generic but strong.

I’m really missing out on “velvety cocoa tones”. The flavor is somewhat dry and powdery, without sweet-mushroomy taste I usually find in most Silver Needles. Maybe it is the promised cocoa but I just don’t feel it should taste like this.

On the positive side it is quality tea, it brews very aromatic and holds 4 infusions easily. Just not my cuppa.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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50

I had to buy a 50 g bag to try this because TeaGschwender doesn’t offer any samples and I am not happy about it now.

This tea feels watered down no matter how much leaf I use or how long I steep it; water temperature doesn’t seem to affect it either. The brew totally lacks depth. It isn’t sweet or flowery in particular, a bit smoky perhaps but again this smokiness is very muted and does not exactly contribute to the flavor.

Overall it’s drinkable but not enjoyable. I also find it goes better with food.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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70
drank Green Needle by Adagio Teas
87 tasting notes

I’ve been pretty picky towards Adagio naming its teas lately and this isn’t an exception.

Why would they call it Emerald Needle? It has drab brown appearance,at least my sample does. It smells brown – woody and spicy. And finally it tastes brown – dry and almost with coffee-like bitterness. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. This truly is Brown Needle, the name maybe not so poetic of course but very descriptive of what you get.

On the other note I have a weird relationship with this tea, it started with something close to hatred (brown aspect contributing a lot to this fact) and now by the end of the sample it has migrated to the I-quite-like-it stage. The taste is really unique and grows on you.

I’m very close to repurchasing so I’m giving it 70 for now. I usually repurchase only the teas that score 75 and higher in my rating system and this one is almost there.

P.S. Adagio renamed this tea into Green Needle recently.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Green Needle by Adagio Teas
87 tasting notes

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40

So… I finally gave up to the hype surrounding this tea and ordered myself a sample.
I read all the praising tasting notes before trying it and was prepared to face something extraordinary.

I like jasmine teas and am always on the lookout for the perfect jasmine. This isn’t gonna get to the top, that’s for sure. My main gripe is the smell. What I’m looking for is fresh-off-a-bush-jasmine and all I’m getting instead is old-lady-perfume-jasmine. It’s heady, powdery and strong. I can vividly picture an old English lady wearing jasmine perfume and serving this tea to her grandchildren. The lady is so stuck in my mind that I think of her each time I brew this.

I decided to use a gaiwan because I figured since it’s Silver Needle it should stand up to several infusions. And indeed it does. Actually I like the subsequent infusions much better than the first one. The perfume is pretty much gone and now I can enjoy Silver Needle taste with the traces of jasmine flowers.

I’ll continue my experiments with this tea and maybe I’ll find a way to beat the first wave of flavor…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Sad day. This is one of my favorites! I started steeping mine at the recommended 7 min.

Oolonga

If I’d steeped it for 7 minutes I’d had to pour it down the drain, that’s for sure :D
I also find Adagio’s recommended 7 min steeping time for whites to be quite excessive.

Ricky

I think the full seven minutes are necessary, then again I like stronger tea. For the smell, just let it cool a bit and it’ll die down. Oh god, now I have the old lady picture in my head, haha. Next time I drink jasmine I might think of it and I won’t enjoy my cup of tea.

Jason

Oolonga: Sorry for the unrelated comment, but I saw your discussion (which I have since deleted) about problems adding new teas and I just wanted to follow up and see if you're still having an issue (I tried to email you using your signup email but it didn't work). Shoot me an email at <a href="mailto:jasonsteepster.com" rel=“nofollow” target="_blank">[email protected] if you are having problems and include any relevant details about the situation if possible. Otherwise…have fun experimenting with the jasmine tea :)

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5
drank White Pear by Adagio Teas
87 tasting notes

I finished drinking this about 30 minutes ago and still have bad aftertaste in my mouth that won’t go away…
Awful, just awful.

takgoti

Eep. I think that this was already on my mental do not order list from a past review, but thanks for the remind.

Oolonga

Yeah, don’t waste your money on it… so far it is the worse tea I tried from Adagio, they need to give it a total make-over.

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5
drank White Pear by Adagio Teas
87 tasting notes

Adagio really dropped the ball on this one…

To begin with, the tea doesn’t taste or smell of pears at all, not even close. The brew has an indescribable sweetish artificial flavor which is quite unpleasant. The worst thing about it however is that this God-awful flavoring totally ruins the lightness in White Peony that is used as a base here, making it bitter and heavy instead. As i drink it I can’t get rid of the feeling that this poor White Peony has gone bad a hundred years ago…

I’m not even sure if I will be able to finish my sample, it’s that bad. I’m fighting the urge to go and throw it in the trash right now.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Anji Duet by Adagio Teas
87 tasting notes

I knew I would love this tea the moment I opened the tin. I am not a big fan of Chinese greens, most of them taste too sweet and bake-y to me to enjoy on the regular basis. This one is extremely different. The dry leaf has a very green, flowery and a tiny bit spicy aroma, it actually reminds me of freshly-cut-grass smell or fresh hay. I don’t really get any sweetness or creaminess from it which is exactly what I’ve been looking in green tea for quite a while.

The brew has a light yellow-greenish color, even somewhat similar to sencha and maintains the same aroma the dry leaf has. The flavor is absolutely amazing, it’s green with a very pleasant bitterness and leaves the back of my tongue tingling after each sip.

The flavor is also highly addictive -once I tried it I got hooked and can’t really stop. Three pots in a row talk for themselves…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I KNOW I had a sample of this. I ordered their new arrivals sampler… but I can’t find it ANYWHERE. So I’m jealous.:)

Oolonga

Please share your thoughts on this one if you manage to find it.

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65

Upping the rating a bit. These buttery-sweet notes really grow on me… the more I drink it the more I like it.
The second infusion is surprisingly good although less sweet and a tiny bit astringent.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I’ve been drinking loose leaf tea all my life. I always take tea plain without adding any sweetener or milk to it. Would love to swap for tea, feel free to contact me about it.

Teas Ratings:

1-9 Undrinkable
10-19 Hardly drinkable
20-29 Strong dislike
30-39 Dislike
40-49 Unpleasant but still has some merits
50-59 Average tea, no strong feelings either way
60-69 Good solid tea, isn’t worth repurchasing for some reasons
70-79 Quality tea, might repurchase once in a while
80-89 Great tea, will keep in my regular rotation
90-100 Outstanding tea, staple of my collection

Location

El Dorado Hills, CA

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