445 Tasting Notes
I’ve heard terrible things about this tea, so it was with trepidation that I opened the packet. I think we’re okay, though. I can smell warm, ripe pineapple, coconut, and a sort of slightly sour red berry scent. I’m guessing it’s the hibiscus or the rose hip, although I don’t think it’s decidedly either. The dry mix taken together does have a bit of an odd scent, but, to be honest, I find that with most Adagio teas.
So, on to the tasting. Brewed, this smells mostly of pineapple, with a bit of an undertone from the hibiscus. I don’t think there’s anything I can’t smell hibiscus in, when it’s there. I was hoping the pineapple scent would come through into the taste, but it doesn’t really. Dasappointingly, as it smells almost like the real thing — and amazingly juicy to boot. Instead, this tea tastes primarily of coconut. There’s an odd berry-like taste in the background which is throwing me a little, but it’s not unpleasant.
After everything I’ve heard and read, I’m glad this tea turned out to be drinkable. Pineapple is one of my favourite flavours, so I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. It’s a shame the pineapple doesn’t really come out too much in the taste, but the smell is completely mouthwatering. The only thing I really can’t detect is the apple, but I guess I can live without that. I might take this to work tomorrow and try it with some honey, but I’m pretty happy with the way this turned out. One of Adagio’s better fruit blends, I think.
Took this to work today and tried it with milk and honey. All I can say is — yum!!. Like this, I can really taste the orange and it comes over all sweet and creamy. The spice aspect seems to be a little dulled as a result, but when something tastes this good…
Added some honey to this today, just to see what would happen. It becomes far too sweet, is the answer. Not a great success. I think I’m going to go back to drinking the rest of this sample just as it is. It’s not a favourite, but at least it’s drinkable that way!
Sipdown! Drank my last cup of this without sugar, just to see what the taste difference was. Turns out it didn’t actually alter the flavour that much after all. The last cup I had didn’t have any whole cloves in it, and I did notice that the lack of these impacted on the flavour for the better. I could taste the spices and orange better, which was what I was wanting from the first cup I logged.
A successful chai that I’m glad to have tried, but probably not one I’ll be restocking for a little while.
Continuing the rooibos theme, tonight I decided to try another of my adagio samples: rooibos vanilla chai. Cinnamon, ginger, orange, clove and cardamom are the ingredients, so I’m expecting a pretty conventional chai in terms of smell and taste. On opening the sachet, I can see that the orange pieces are actually quite large and generous. I like the combination of orange and rooibos, so that’s a welcome discovery. Orange is the dominant scent, but I can definetly identify the clove and cardamom. The cinnamon and ginger are less pervasive, but I imagine that’s what’s wontributing the generic “spice” scent that comprises the backbone of this tea. I can’t detect the vanilla at all in the dry leaf, either by sight or smell, so I’ll be interested to see whether, or how, that develops when brewed.
I’m going to drink this conventionally for a chai, with milk and a piece of my now much-loved crystal sugar. Brewed, the vanilla scent comes through much more clearly, and my overall scent impression is of oranges and cream with a light undertone of spice. To taste, though, I get predominantly clove. It’s a little odd, but not entirely out of place. I can taste the vanilla, orange, and cinnamon, but they remain fairly resolutely in the background. I guess I’m kind of wondering whether the taste here is a result of the two whole cloves that went into this particular serving. I’ll be a little more careful next time, for the sake of finding out.
What impressed me most about this tea is that I kept forgetting I was drinking a rooibos, and found myself judging it on the basis of a black chai. It takes a lot to deceive me where rooibos is concerned, so that’s a really strong point in its favour as far as I’m concerned.
This is a pleasant, convincing chai. Overall, I think I’d prefer it brewed as a latte, so I may try that this weekend. I’m impressed, though. There’s definetly more to this tea than I was expecting!
I finally remembered to buy a new jar of honey this morning, so I’ve been drinking it with this for most of the day. I wasn’t over-keen on this when I tried it alone, but the honey works really well with it. The strawberry and raspberry come through in the flavour a bit more, whereas I felt they were kind of lost before. The honey also adds a really nice smoothness, which is very welcome considering how much my throat hurts at the moment. If I’m going to drink this tea hot, this is how I want it to be!
Sipdown! I’m sad to see this go, because it’s so gorgeous and I’ve had a genuinely nice time drinking it. I’ve got so many other teas vying for my attention, though, so I won’t be allowed to grieve for too long.
I drank four cups today, and enjoyed every single drop. A great end to a great tea.
My crystal sugar arrived today, so I tried this again tonight with a smallish piece and some milk. One word: yum! I think I’ve reached perfection with this tea, at least for winter evening drinking. I’ve never been one for putting sugar in my tea the past, but I’m glad I gave in and tried it. It doesn’t change the flavour as much as I feared, it just seemed to help the natural flavours stand out.
I’m in sweet, creamy, vanilla heaven…
Last night it was honeybush vanilla, tonight it’s rooibos. I thought I’d compare these while the honeybush is still fresh in my mind. I’d like to know what the difference in flavour really is, if I can pinpoint it, and I know I’ll only be able to do that with a clear recollection. So…
The first thing that strikes me about this is the immediate difference in the scent of the dry leaves. This one has a much milder vanilla scent, although it is there, but the dominant note is the rooibos. It’s almost woodsy, in a sawdust-esque sort of way, and there’s something slightly straw-like in there as well. The vanilla is quite rich and cloying in scent, as it was in the honeybush, but it’s very much second-fiddle to the rooibos here.
Brewed, the vanilla comes through more clearly and the strong scent of the rooibos has faded into the background. The vanilla is sweet and creamy but not overpowering. Somehow, it just seems to fit the rooibos base better than it did the honeybush. It might just be me. Previously, most of the hineybush blends I’ve tasted have been fruit flavoured, so I guess that’s what I’ve come to expect, and anything really sweet sort of throws me. Still, of the two, this is the one I think I prefer, which has come as a surprise. Rooibos is not usually my thing. I also surprised myself by not adding milk to this. I definetly know I’m drinking rooibos — it just has that taste about it, which I can only adequately describe as slightly brassy or metallic, but for some reason I’m okay with it. Maybe the vanilla is addling my brain. The only other complaint I have is that it’s slightly drying on the palate, but it’s not too bad. I’ve certainly drank teas the worse for this.
To taste, this is ultimately very similar to the honeybush. The vanilla is rich and creamy, the base substantial. It is a little like drinking warm vanilla ice cream, and I guess I will try this with milk at some point. I imagine that will augment the creaminess very nicely. Otherwise, this is a very pleasant, comforting, hug-in-a-cup style drink — perfect for a snowy night like tonight! This is definetly one I’ll be revisiting — maybe with a little sugar or something along those lines. If I could tone the rooibos down just a little bit more I’d be all the happier, but this is still an unexpected hit!
Thus far in my experience with rooibos and honeybush, I’ve tended to prefer honeybush blends. There’s something I find quite “brassy”, if I can put it like that, about rooibos, whereas I find honeybush to be more naturally sweet and pleasing.
On opening the sachet, I’m overwhelmed with the scent of vanilla. It’s very strong, and reminiscent of whippy-style ice cream, if the essence was bottled and distilled. Vanilla extract is another thing that springs to mind — it has the same, slightly overdone, almost alcoholic-smelling vanilla-ness about it. Part of me quite likes the scent, and is off reminiscing about vanilla ice cream eaten on childhood summer holidays. Another part is concerned that it’s going to be overwhelmingly sweet and very cloying.
Brewed, the liquor is orangey-red, and the vanilla is much more delicate. It’s still an identifiable scent, but it’s lost some of the punch it had dry, which is no bad thing. To taste, it’s deliciously delicate and creamy. The honeybush base is smooth and substantial, and the vanilla adds a rich, heady finish. It’s almost like drinking hot ice cream.
I’ve been drinking a lot of kooky honeybush-based teas in recent months, and I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to drink a simple, straightforward blend like this. It’s not exciting or intriguing, but it is good. Sometimes, that’s enough.