1679 Tasting Notes
This came as a free sample from Taylors of Harrogate. It’s a fruit tea, in a bag, and its predictably heavy on the hibiscus. It takes on that tell-tale bright red hue pretty much straight away, and it’s mostly all I can taste, at least initially. There is some cherry in the mid-sip, but it’s more fleeting than I would have hoped. It reminds me a bit of cherry throat sweets – soothers, or tunes, or something along those lines. It’s a little bit sour, but I think that’s mostly the hibiscus and rosehip. I get flashes of liquorice and aniseed, which are a little odd, but they do add a sweetness that helps to pull the tart, sour hibiscus back a bit and make this a palatable cup. Really, though, it’s not particularly well balanced, and there are definitely much better fruit teas out there. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this one, but it wouldn’t be one I’d go out and buy in quantity.
A sample from Miss B! Liquorice kind of strikes fear into my heart, because it’s usually super-sweet and cloying and I just can’t enjoy it. Not the case with this one (I don’t think it actually contains liquorice root, so hallelujah!) It’s sweet, but gently so, and it reminds me most of blossom honey with maybe just an undertone of dark, sticky liquorice. It’s an interesting combination, and quite light in flavour so it’s also nice and refreshing on a hot day (and today is HOT – 34 degrees outside, and it’s usually 5 degrees or so hotter in our overcrowded, computer-stuffed office.) Heat like this is rare in the UK, and I’m glad for that because I’m finding I can’t actually function as a human being.
The other thing about this tea is how pretty it is. Little purple flowers (lavender, maybe? I could smell lavender while it was brewing), yellow lemongrass (or something like it) and then a whole lot of pale green, fairly finely shredded leaves. It looks like spring to me.
I enjoyed this one, totally unexpectedly. It’s a sweet, delicate cup and I’ll enjoy finishing up the rest of my sample!
The last of my Adagio teas, and today’s work cold brew. I used 4 bags in 2 litres of water, as per my usual method. To taste, it’s not particularly pumpkiny. I get little flashes of squash here and there, but nothing that really makes me think “pumpkin!” The spicing is more of a feature – this blend is very heavy on the cinnamon, with maybe a touch of ginger adding a little warmth. The honeybush base is fairly prominent, and although it’s sweet and unobjectionable, I was really hoping for more pumpkin to balance out the base/spice combination which is basically the whole flavour. It’s not my favourite of the Adagio Fairy Tale blends, but it’s by no means bad. Just a little…lacklustre.
A sample from Miss B. I’ve only had a couple of tulsi blends, so I was excited to have the opportunity to try another. It’s slightly earthy in taste, which works well with the spiciness of the ginger. The pink peppercorns add an additional edge of heat that lingers at the back of my throat. I can’t taste the orange at all, which makes me a little sad.
This one would be a good sore throat tea. It’s flavourful enough as it is, but I’m not a huge ginger fan so it’s not one I’d drink on a regular basis. I like the pepper, though. It’s rare that I can taste pepper in a tea, and it’s a delight here with the earthiness of the tulsi. A good winter warmer! It’s a shame it’s 30 degrees out today. I feel like I chose an unseasonable day to try this one.
Today’s cold brew. Of all the Adagio blends I’ve tried recently, this is the one where the honeybush is most prominent. It’s a little bit woodsy, and it gives me a scratchy throat. Having said that, there’s also a really excellent (albeit artificial) peaches and cream flavour. There’s also some chamomile, but if anything that actually helps to amp up the “sweet” and “thick” aspects of the “cream” flavour, while adding a honey-like edge all its own. The aftertaste has a whole lot of rose, which I’m not massively sold on. It’s a touch perfumey for my tastes, but it does work with the peach flavour a lot better than I expected it to. On balance, not a bad cup. It’ll never be my favourite, but I like it more than I expected to.
A sample from Miss B. Clearing has finally started, so I basically just grabbed a handful of sample bags from my cupboard to take into the call centre with me. This was one of them. I gave 1.5tsp of “leaf” about 3.5 minutes in boiling water. Longer probably would help, but I’m short on time (and long on work) today!
To taste, this is mostly orange and mint, plus a mild background toastiness from the rice. It’s pleasant, easy to drink, and definitely one of the more unusual herbal teas I’ve tried. More than worth a try, if you get the chance.
Today’s cold brew. This one’s reminding me of one of the other Adagio blends…maybe Tea Rex? Something with cherry, anyway. It’s nice enough, but I’m not sure how it’s supposed to relate to Snow White. I’m getting mostly cherry, and a hint of coconut, plus something slightly milk chocolatey in the aftertaste. I think I read apple in the ingredient list, which makes sense, but I can’t actually taste it. Maybe this is one that would be better hot?
As a cold brew, it’s an enjoyable cup. The flavours work well together, and it’s tasty and flavourful without being excessively sweet or artificial. I don’t feel that it’s particularly unique, and I’m sure it’s very similar to one of the other Adagio blends I’ve tried recently, but…small complaints, really. It’s a hot day, it tastes nice, it’s refreshing. Really, that’ll do.
Today’s cold brew. I thought I’d mucked up on this one at first, but then I read a couple of other tasting notes and I think I probably haven’t – it’s just that this is a lightly flavoured tea to begin with. I went with my usual preparation – 2 tbsp of leaf in two litres of water, into the fridge for 10 hours or so overnight. The resulting brew is very pale, but it’s white tea so I wasn’t expecting anything else. The flavour is just about blackberry. The initial sip is very watery, but the berry flavour starts to develop in the midsip, to the point where it’s slightly tart and slightly sweet in the best way. The creaminess is a high point, although it’s mostly confined to the end of the sip. The whole thing puts me in mind of some impossibly light, airy berries and cream confection, and icing sugar. It’s pleasant, but very…insubstantial.
Today’s iced tea. We’re super-busy at work at the moment (I’ll be working Saturday, sadly, and extra hours all of next week), so I wanted a plain, simple, caffeinated tea to sip on that I wouldn’t have to concentrate on too much. This one fit the bill perfectly! It got my usual SBT treatment – 3 minutes in 1/4 litre of boiling water, topped up to 2 litres with cold and then into the fridge for around 10 hours overnight.
There’s not a lot to say about it. It’s the usual SBT base, as far as I can tell, only without any flavouring. It’s a solid, malty black tea with no bitterness or astringency. Just easy to drink, plain tea. I could add lemon, sugar, or both, but I probably won’t. It’s fine just as it is. I don’t usually go for plain when it comes to iced tea or cold brews, but today it’s a welcome simplicity.
A sample from Miss B, and today’s cold brew. I used my usual method of preparation – 2 tbsp of leaf in 2 litres of cold water, into the fridge for around 10 hours overnight. I think this one had me at hello, because the dry leaf smells so good. Very candy-pear, and something else – maybe quince? Delicious, anyway.
To taste, it’s just as wonderful as I’d hoped. The initial flavour is sweet candy-pear, very reminiscent of pear drops (especially in the way the flavour lingers). The ginger comes out in the mid-sip, very strong and spicy, and it makes for an unexpectedly delcious pairing with the much sweeter pear. I wasn’t sure whether the two flavours would go together at first, but it seems obvious now that they would.
This is one I’d happily drink hot as well, maybe in the autumn or early winter. It’s got a lovely spicy kick cold, and I can imagine it being a very warming cup on a cold day. I wish there were more pear teas around. They seem to be a relative rarity in the UK, and that makes me sad. More so because this one’s such a winner!