I might as well come out and say it: I’m one of them. I bat for the fragrant other team, I really do. I love jasmine.
And one of my tea goals (Yes, I really set some – and let this also be a reminder, sweet friend T, that we are not under any circumstances to buy any more tea in January, okay? Okay.) for 2014 is to find the perfect, 90+ rated jasmine tea that can always live in my cupboard.
So this was a perfect start – another one from the EU swap box, chosen solely because it smelled so delicious. I have very little experience with Adagio teas in general. When I’m in Chicago, I like to go into the store and try a few samples, but I’ve never really found anything that really resonates with me – mostly because I’m coming straight from a state where there is a Lupicia branch, or a country with stores full of Anna-sized Mariage Frères tins stacked floor to ceiling. Those tea experiences just make everything else sort of underwhelming to me. Unfairly, I’m sure, because this is a lovely jasmine.
The dry tea smells… so good. It’s a perfectly balanced jasmine – not too floral, not too perfumey, just right. In the cup, incomprehensibly, it smells even better. I’ve been sitting for a long time making a dome for the cup with my hand, just inhaling. There’s this added quality to the scent of the brewed tea – a flow of sorts. Usually, a tea’s scent has a staccato-like character; there’s something first, and then something else and then those scent strands switch places and fight for space and it gets pretty rowdy. With this tea, though, there’s just smoothness, and it goes on forever. The perfect scent loop; the perfect tea.gif if there ever was one.
Flavour wise, there’s an echo of something else, though. Something vaguely vegetal that turns up not in every sip, but maybe every third, or so. But all in all, this is a very well-executed jasmine tea – I finally have something I know I want to buy next time I visit the Adagio store.
In terms of the 2014 jasmine project, this will be a tricky act to follow – it’s only January, after all.
[Sample from the EU Travelling Box, autumn 2013.]