60 Tasting Notes
Holy cow! This may very well be the best tea I’ve ever tasted. The vanilla and the cream mute the overwhelming bitterness that is most EGTs I’ve had. This is like a London Fog without any of the extra work!
The tea is so tasty and smells so good in the bag, brewing, and in the cup that I wish it was a perfume!
We are experiencing a freak cold wave (78F for the high? In July? In Texas?) and oodles of fall-like rain, so I can comfortably drink tea again!
In the bag: Typical Adagio EGT look – whole black tea leaves, blue cornflower petals, chunks of orange peel. Smells divine. The vanilla bursts out like actual vanilla extract should smell.
Brewing: I used the InginuTea and boiling water over 2 tsp for about 4 minutes (didn’t bother with a timer, got distracted by cats milling around my feet)
In the cup: Smells as good as it did in the bag. Black tea colored liquid. Added 2 sugars and a splash of milk. Tastes exactly like the way I make a London Fog without all the hassle.
With temperatures hitting the triple digits suddenly, a regular cuppa tea is just unbearable and I’m not overly fond of american-southern-style iced tea, so I gave this a shot.
Surprisingly, it isn’t bad. Slightly fruity.
One bag from the box I bought makes an entire 2 quart pitcher worth; though I disagree with their directions to brew in the pitcher itself! I brewed it in my brown betty teapot and then transferred the liquid to a pitcher, which I then left to cool a bit, then added some ice to the vessel and finally popped in the refrigerator.
The liquid that forms is an intense red, almost the color of bottled cranberry juice, with a similar yet sweeter scent and flavor.
By itself, this tea can taste tart and bitter, but with some simple syrup, the subtle sweet flavors come out, almost like when the strawberry and caramel syrups get mixed in the same bite of vanilla ice cream in a banana split — though only almost. The taste the follows the last swallow is very addicting; it is smooth, almost vanilla-y, and makes putting up with the first tart burst worth it.
I also tried it, ala Starbucks summer marketing, with some lemonade shaken into the sweetened tea. Perhaps because I threw in only the amount of lemonade mix that would make what was called for had I made lemonade as a separate beverage and mixed the two, but the lemonade seemed to make the tartness more pronounced and obliterated the lovely aftertaste.
I’m still drinking this though, as it makes the horrendous 105°F and climbing days bearable. And unless my palate drastically changes, I’ll probably pick it up again next year.
Finally got around to trying this in a London Fog today. Treating the tea so harshly (ha!) negates the overwhelming “Earl Grey”-ness, while the blackberry-vanilla blends in with the vanilla syrup and milk to make an interesting drink. Although, towards the end of my cup, I got a weird acidic taste; not quite sure if it was over-steeped tea (though I only steeped this for 3 minutes and used my Ingenuitea to brew it) or the milk reacting with the citrus in the EG, or something else altogether.
In case you want it, here’s a standard, very malleable recipe for a London Fog:
I have an immersion frother like they sell at Ikea and World Market
I generally make 12 ounces of tea, 4 ounces of milk, and use 3 pumps of Torani Vanilla and a little less than 1 full pump of Torani Hazelnut when I make a London Fog at home.
I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday and decided to use it to pick up one of these. I have a similar one from Teavana, but for some reason, I had to have this one too.
• It is super easy – throw a scoop of tea in, add correct temp water, wait for tea to brew, set over cup to drain, remove, and drink. Depending on the type of tea, this gadget can then be stashed in the ‘fridge for a re-steep, or the leaves can be swished into the sink/bin/garden/compost bin.
• I have yet to encounter a tea that has particles small and fine enough to slip through the strainer into the cup.
• It is far easier to clean out bits of tea from this than from a tea ball.
• I don’t care that this is plastic. That means I can take it with me without worry on trips, picnics, and work.
• This thing will hold 16oz of liquid. I can brew up an entire travel cup of tea in one go, set this on top of the travel tumbler and not worry about spilling or even having to stand there and hold anything!
• I have a few cups (a Tervis mug, some other ceramic/stoneware mugs) that this will not fit comfortably over the top of. I have to balance one side on the edge of the mug to engage the lift mechanism in the gadget.
• It holds 16oz of liquid. If I want to use a smaller (normal) sized cup that isn’t see-through, I have to constantly pick up this thing and check the level of the liquid in the drinking vessel.
• Occasionally, if I haven’t let it drip completely out, I might have a small drip on the counter when I set it down.
Overall, I really like it and find myself grabbing it from the cabinet more often than the Teavana one. The only actual drawback for me is that it doesn’t fit over certain mugs I have.
I picked up a tin of this when I picked up H&S Birthday tea. Made an entire pot and drank it all yesterday.
In the tin: Smells like: Standard black tea with Peach Jam mixed in. Looks like: This is the looseleaf tea from H&S. Long leaves of black tea and chunks of dried amber fruit.
In the cup: This brewed up fabulously in my brown betty teapot. Lightly fruity and a great tea for both being lazy while recovering from walking around a Rennaissance Faire in a steel boned corset all day the day before, and a nice tea to have at hand while working. I tried it both with sugar and with sugar and milk. It works well with both, depending on mood.
Picked up a tin of this on the recommendation of the owner of the tea shoppe I visited.
In the tin: Reminds me of a fruit salad or what walking into a Bath & Body Works in the late 90’s was like. This is bagged in a nice nylon bag with large pieces of fruit and greenery visible.
In the cup: The liquid is reddish-pink. It tastes very very fruity, a bit like a kids cereal. Apparently, there’s flower petals in here too, but I can’t taste them! (A good thing, as I don’t like “floral” teas at all.) This needed barely any sweetening for me, but it did need a dash of sugar.
This is decaf, and would probably be fantastic iced in July when the days are over 100F and humid.
I’ve been drinking a lot of the same teas over and over lately and haven’t been logging them, because, well, who wants to see the same teas with the same notes, from the same person, everyday for weeks on end?
Since I have been drinking so repetitively, I decided a change was needed and began scouring the internet for ideas. I kept seeing Starbuck’s Passion Tea Lemonade copycat recipes in the results, read a few, and decided I could mix up a similar beverage with the Ruby Sipper sitting in the cabinet (since I’m forbidden from buying more tea and don’t really like most Tazo).
I brewed up a double strength 16 oz of Ruby Sipper, added 2 tsp of lemonade mix, and two pumps of Vanilla syrup to a big glass full of ice. It was good, but I’m not sure I need to add lemonade mix next time. Ruby Sipper is plenty tart on its own! I think I should stick to regular simple syrup or just sugar if I make this again; the vanilla didn’t seem to hurt, and I picked up subtle vanilla hints drinking this, but it didn’t enhance it either.
This is finally back in stock at Adagio, and the lovely ladies at BSB had a promo coupon – I couldn’t resist picking it up! I just wish I had picked up a couple other of Cara’s blends I’ve had my eye on while I had a coupon!
Cara’s description on the Adagio site sounds good — Earl Grey Lavender, Green Chai, Cherry Green, and Marigold Petals.
In the bag: It certainly does smell of Earl Grey and spice. It looks pretty, like “tea potpourri” with the marigold and other flower petals. It would be pretty (and smell good!) in a glass bowl, if one did not want to ever make tea out of it and instead wanted to use it in a display.
In the cup: It smelled of Earl Grey and an orangey-cinnamony spice I associate with Christmastime (from the chai). There’s a lot going on but it blends together to smell warm and homey. The tea liquid is dark brown. I brewed it with boiling water, steeped in an Ingenuity for 3 minutes and drained into a white pottery mug.
First sip plain: I just taste “hot water” with a faint, bitter flavor. If this is how most people drink tea for the first time, I’m not surprised that most of my friends and colleagues in the “real world” claim not to like tea.
Second & Third sips: I added 2 spoonfuls of sugar to it, 1 at a time, and wow, the flavors popped! I definitely tasted orange spice and the flavor of the Earl Grey base came roaring out. I never got a separate flavor of flowers, lavender, roses, or marigold (which is good, as I don’t particularly fancy drinking a get-well bouquet), but I also never got a distinct cherry flavor.
Fourth sip – rest of the cup: I added a splash of whole milk. Normally, to a green tea, I wouldn’t, but it seemed to help, quite a lot. After the milk addition, the tea became even better tasting. The subtle cherry came out, more like grenadine and maraschinos in a Shirley Temple rather than the cherry lollipop so many “cherry flavored” things are; it was definitely cherry flavor rather than actual cherry. There was also a subtle vanilla hint. It reminded me a little of the “London Fog” tea lattes a lot of the coffee shops make.
Basically, there’s a lot going on in this tea! No one flavor overwhelms, competes, or even stands out; they all blend together and make a very “girly” tea that isn’t a standard flavored tea.
Backlog from yesterday!
In the tin: The tea smells so good – like fruit, but not “fruity”. The bergamot blends in well with the other fruits used and does not stand out; the honey is barely noticeable, except as a sublte sweet smell. The bags Harney & Sons use are really nice. I made a pot of this, because the weather was dreadful and called for a lot of tea. The directions on the side of the tin say to steep for 5 minutes. That’s a bit long to me for a black base tea, but I increased my usual steep time by 30 seconds as a compromise.
In the cup: The tea was a dark reddish brown and still smelled of fruit. It was not very sweet or fruity, until I added a bit of sugar and a splash of milk. I debated over the milk, especially since this tea does have bergamot oil in it, but the slight astringent “teaness” brought out by sugar alone necessitated it. The bergamot flavor (I expect anything with bergamot to taste like earl grey) was not noticeable on its own, but combined with the fruit well. The honey was not distinctive, did not add to the sweetness of the tea (though I did add less sugar than I normally use in a black based tea)
All in all this was a delicious tea to sip while reading a Victorian murder mystery, huddled under a blanket and a cat, watching the Texas winter weather pour down outside the window.
Entering a review on my phone is impossible!
Anyway, I had to go to an in-law thing on the other side of Texas last weekend and they are all hardcore coffee drinkers. I took a little of my own tea along, and an electric kettle, mug, etc for the hotel, but hauling all that to aunt-in-law’s house would have been a bit rude. However, there were a bunch of Twinnings Earl Grey bags hanging around in a cabinet and one of the cousins-in-law introduced me to “a coffee house tea drink” called a London Fog. Basically, earl grey tea brewed from a bag, vanilla syrup, and hot milk mixed up together. Except in very rare occasions (Cara’s Reichenbach Recovery from Adagio being THE Exception) milk never goes in an Earl Grey for me. However, this was surprisingly drinkable, and now I have a way to use up the ridiculous huge amount of Twinnings Earl Grey I have hanging around.
I also found a recipe for Earl Grey Shortbread. Those came out smashingly delicious!
Apparently, according to Wikipedia anyway, London Fog was “invented” in a coffee shop in Canada.