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Another fandom tea I picked up a while ago…
I’ve never thought about what a Ditto blend might taste like – mostly because, given Ditto’s functional use in game, it’s not the best imagery that comes to mind if I dwell on it too long. That said, this tea is good! It’s a black tea mixed with some fruits like strawberry but also fun multi coloured sprinkles. I don’t typically love sprinkles in tea but for some reason it doesn’t bug me here.
The taste is basically strawberries and cream, with a hint of malty and tannic black tea. I like the strawberry a lot; after doing more investigation of Adagio’s teas over this last year I think the strawberry flavouring that they use might have been an overlooked hidden gem. The “cream” fluctuates for me between a more fresh cream or vanilla flavour and a cake-y sort of vanilla, and so this goes back and forth between strawberries & cream and a strawberry shortcake sort of vibe – the sprinkles pushing the cake feelings ever further.
I need to double check the ingredients for hibiscus, but I feel like this would be a tasty latte if I don’t have to worry about curdling!
Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a big fan of the Fruits Basket anime. I watched the original when I was in highschool, and have been closely following and obsessing over the reboot – some day I will get into the manga, but right now I’m holding back from diving into that rabbit hole…
Kyo is my favourite character in the series – and the most recent episodes of the second season have been some really good Kyo episodes. I love soft, tender and gentle Kyo. The Kyo underneath all the anger and resentment, and the defensive shield he puts up to hide that. I’ve wanted to sample through this Fruits Basket inspired set of teas for a long time now, and while I didn’t go all out and order the whole sampler I did toss in this Kyo blend with my last order.
The teas picked for the blend seem perfect for the character – Tiger Eye, Blood Orange, and Cream. Kyo is possesed with the cat zodiac spirit, which ties in the Tiger Eye. Blood Orange fits because, aside from his orange colour scheme/character design, this seems appropriate for his fighting spirit as well as the bracelet he wears fashioned of blood and bone. Cream for the soft person underneath it all, who had his childhood stolen from him.
The bonus for all of that!? The blend tastes really good! I often forget that the black tea base Adagio uses for most of their main assortment is a bit more fickle/sensitive to oversteeping and as a result I usually get astringency in bitterness in my cups because I tend to not be the most attentive to steep times when I’m working. However, even with a long steep time I’m finding this blend reaalllyyy smooth and enjoyable. I’m not tasting as much of the Tiger Eye as I thought I would – but I’m not mad at that because the result is essentially a rich, deep Creamsicle type of flavour that it so scrumptious! Feels like tasty, sublime relief on a hot summer day.
Plus, it just feels righ for Kyo as a character.
It’s always so fun when a fandom blend not only makes sense for the character in the teas that were composed, but is also just really tasty to boot!
Another Spooktober appropriate Halloween tea!
This is a really pretty looking fandom blend; the pop of bright red from the small cut strawberry and the cinnamon chips contrast so lovely against Adagio’s black tea base. It smells cinnamon forward, with undertones of ripe strawberry. The taste is a bit weird? I think I’d get used to it with more cups; I guess I just find cinnamon and juicy strawberry a little strange. A creamy or baked strawberry fits a little better in my head. There’s some nutty flavours, but not as much as I would expect from the ingredients list – the focus is definitely strawberry/cinnamon. A little drying – I think that’s just Adagio’s more finicky black tea base.
Oh Seahawk… What do you even say about Seahawk!?
He’s definitely a character that annoyed me a bit at first, but he kind of grows on you in an irritating sort of why where at the end of the series he was in my top three favourite characters. I particularly love his relationship with Mermista. It’s hard to verbalize why their relationship is so endearing to me, but I think a huge part of it is how completely supportive he is of her in everything she does and also how he is ALWAYS completely honest about how he feels about her.
So lets talk about this blend! It’s one of the most clever Adagio fan blends I’ve seen in a long time! You have a mix of tropical fruit heavy teas along with Lapsang Souchong. This confused me at first, but then I realized the tropical fruits are because he’s a pirate sailing through exotic locals and the Lapsang is because one of his reoccuring character traits is that he burns down ships. It’s genius, and hilarous!
More than that, though, it also tastes incredible! I swear something magic happens basically whenever you use Lapsang in flavoured tea blends, but the combination of really sweet and fresh pineapple notes with hints of coconut, cinnamon, lemongrass and then a really lingering finish of woody pine smoke from the Lapsang tastes fucking incredible together! It’s the perfect marriage of this very Thai inspired tasting tropical chai/pina colada vibe mixing with the savory smoke. Yum yum yum!!
I swear, this is giving my long standing favourite Adagio blend (The Woman) a real run for its money!
I recently binged the entire She-Ra and The Princesses of Power series on Netflix, but about halfway through my binge I placed an Adagio order for Halloween teas and I decided to add some She-Ra blends into the mix too…
It was tempting to buy a tea for each character I loved (which is A LOT of the characters), but I was smart and only bought blends for characters I loved that also sounded like teas I might enjoy. That ended up being two characters; Scorpia and Seahawk. Scorpia is actually my favourite character in the entire series so I was excited to get this blend! I also love Catra/Mermista/Entrapta, but their blends didn’t speak to me the same way. I ended up drinking this tea, and the Seahawk tea which I’ll write a note for after this, while binging the final season – and it made that last season feel SO SPECIAL. I could gush about She-Ra for hours, but I wont. Instead lets talk about the tea…
This is essentially a chocolate and cherry blend, which is a tricky combo but always nice if done well! In particular, it uses Dewy Cherry which is a blend from Adagio that I actually really enjoy. My all time favourite Adagio fandom tea (The Woman) uses this blend so I had high hopes. Maybe too high, honestly. The flavour of dewy cherry comes through and, as expected, it is the best part. However I don’t like it with the milk chocolate notes and very tannic black tea; it just doesn’t mesh well. The idea for this blend, I think, was to combine to sweet and bright/cheerful things – which is perfect for Scorpia as a character. She’s drawn as the most masculine/tough and intimidating of the princesses and covered in sharp armor, but in reality is the gentlest and kindest and most cheerful of the characters. So either a sweet and soft milk chocolate or a bright and cheerful cherry would have been perfect for her! But creamy milk chocolate and vibrant cherry just don’t couple well, sadly.
But it’s a Scorpia tea – so I was happy either way!
Candy Corn is a Halloween classic so how could I resist picking up a Candy Corn tea for this October!? Let me tell you a secret though; when it comes to actual candy corn it’s not a flavour that I enjoy…
It’s a testament to the power/influence of it as a Halloween icon though because I see basically any Candy Corn inspired thing other than real Candy Corn and I immediately want to buy it because motherfucking Halloween! Shockingly, there are probably a DOZEN different Candy Corn inspired tea blends on Adagio so I had a lot of range to pick from. I chose then one that had the most appealing to me flavour composition and not the one I thought was most accurate to actual Candy Corn, which is basically just a mix of fondant/icing that tastes like pure sugar. No thanks…
So this is essentially caramel/orange/cream with black tea and honeybush. I guess I have seen cream and caramel flavour candy corn so it’s not totally off base in the interpretation of the flavour – but orange seems more out there and I would guess is only included because of the actual colour of candy corn. I’m okay with that, though!
The taste is straight forward – literally all of the flavours I just mentioned are represented, including a malty backbone from the black tea and that sweet and nutty flavour of honeybush that is so distinct. I would say the strongest flavours are orange, cream, and honeybush. It loosely reminds me of Candy Corn, but whether it’s accurate or not isn’t really the goal that I wanted from this cup – the important thing is that it tastes good, and it does. I find it a little thin, and the caramel could be better but I enjoy the orange and cream combo a lot – and I get the FUN of Candy Corn for Halloween which is exactly what I wanted.
I also drank this while watching Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror episodes which was a massively fun and nostalgic Halloween evening activity that only made the tea that much better!
Couldn’t resist stocking up on a bunch of Halloween inspired tea blends to sip throughout Spooky Season this year, and I do love a good caramel apple so this was the first one that I tapped into when I got the order earlier in the week!
I had this one at my office, but the idea is to drink these blends while doing fun Spooky Season activities throughout the month – like watching TV shows/movie and pumpkin carving. I did over steep this by a hearty ten minutes because I got caught up in responding to emails, and my inattention to steeping was punished with a hefty dose of astringency. However, the flavour of the blend itself was good and I could see from the taste that with proper steeping I would have enjoyed this a lot. Very sweet, bordering on caramel with hints of apple, cream, and cinnamon. Caramel is an infamously hard flavour to capture in tea – this felt a bit more like the thin and sort of artificial/generically sweet caramel like might see used as a Sundae syrup? On the cusp of nailing it, but just a bit off.
I look forward to brewing it properly later this monthl.
Samurai Travelling Tea Box – Tea #47
Finished off the cute little tin of this one yesterday, actually steeped up as a big old teapot of tea! It has been a looonnggg time since I last made a Western pot of tea but, as I mentioned in a tasting note I posted during the freeze, a good friend of mine here in MTL and I are starting a podcast all about tea and different kinds of geeky fandoms and our instagram account for the podcast “went live” earlier this week so I was feeling especially inspired to pull out some of my nerdier teaware and brew this Star Wars tea in a Star Wars themed teapot!
I think I’ve probably tried the teas from Adagio that compose this blend in at least a dozen, if not more, variants through other fandom blends – they don’t taste bad but the flavour is so distinctly “sweet, nutty and brown” (ie. chocolate/caramel and generic) that no matter what combination they seem to be used in with other teas they all sort of taste the same. In particular, this combo really reminds me of another fandom tea that I like a lot – Apache Tracker, from the Welcome to Nightvale sampler.
As for our podcast, I’m really excited about it! When we get closer to releasing episodes, I’m going to make a discussion post for it with more details and a longer overview of what it’ll be about – but the tldr is that it’s a podcast exploring different types of fandoms and the teas we (my friend Marika and I) think that they go well with! Each week, we’ll look at a new fandom and a specific “piece of content” pertaining to it and the discussion will be about our experiences with this fandom, first impressions, anything relating to the content we reviewed that really stuck out to us as meaningful and the tea we paired with it and why! It’ll be a mix of things that we know inside and out, than one of us is sharing with the other, and that we’re both experiencing for the fist time!
I hope people will enjoy it, but regardless it’s just going to be great to geek out with one another and learn about some new things!
I LOVE this tea. I’m still very new to explaining flavor profiles and undertones and such, but this is such a pleasant blend. While naturally sweet, it isn’t overbearing, the rose petals help balance it with just a touch of bittersweetness as an aftertaste.
If you are a fan of Steven Universe, this is truly a perfect embodiment of the titular character! The caffiene level was also quite enjoyable.
This is definitely a blend that I will be purchasing the larger 3oz bag when the sample tin gets low.
I personally add roughly 1 tsp of beet sugar crystals and a splash (1 Tbsp?) half and half.
Flavors: Candy, Chocolate, Fruity, Rose, Sweet
Experimented with this and peach black tea from Fortnum and Mason. The flavor of this tea is light when I tried it iced by itself and very weak hot by itself. I decided to add this to the peach black tea and cold steep the two. It is beautiful. The light peach flavor from this tea add to the peach flavor from the peach black tea. It creates a wonderful blend together.
Tea latte again, but tonight I steeped the leaf for 4 minutes instead of 6 and the caramel and honeybush notes aren’t as strong now. It’s mostly almond, with some hazelnut notes and woody and cherry-like honeybush in the background. I prefer it this way, nutty instead of just sickly sweet. Upping my rating just a bit from 70.
The last tea latte went down so well I decided to make another one, and settled on this because I needed a caffeine-free option and thought this would be a good choice. It wasn’t bad, but I think I used too much leaf (3 spoons instead of 2) and it’s already such a sweet blend that when added to so much milk it became pretty cloyingly sweet and syrupy. Still tasty, but it took me a while to get through, and the almond and hazelnut notes were overshadowed by the caramel sweetness and some cherry-like notes from the honeybush. I think I prefer my tea lattes with a bit more of a kick!
I never order Adagio’s fan blends because they’re super overpriced for the amount of tea you get, but I’m certainly happy to try one in the tea box! The main flavor here is a tasty nuttiness – maybe hazelnut? You can also taste the black base, which is pretty soft and nice. It’s not super chocolatey despite all the chocolate ingredients. I actually quite enjoyed this blend, but I’d probably be more likely to buy their mocha nut mate since that seems to be the most prominent component of this tea, and it would be way cheaper. The second steep was still very strong and delicious. I had that steep with milk, and I like it both ways very much.
Okay, so there are a ton of teas that I have not added to cupboard. Some of them are small amounts, some of them are not listed on Steepster and I just don’t feel like adding them. With the quarantine, I am trying to sip down small packs and get my cupboard cleaned and organized, both online and in real life.
I don’t like most red rooibos, but I DO like honeybush. This has both. I figured this blend would have enough flavoring to mask the unpleasant cough syrup flavor. Happily, I was right.
This is really strong on the caramel flavor and is sweet and smooth. I added nothing to it, but if you wanted to go wild with milk (or cream) and sugar, I can tell this would be an amazing latte.
It says there is hazelnut, and it is a bit nutty, but I still feel like caramel dominates. I am drinking it hot right now, but made a liter of it lightly sweetened to serve as iced tea tomorrow.
I might try it soon as a totally unhealthy, rich and sugary latte.
This is the tea selection for Adagio’s “CommuniTEA” sampler for today, April 6th…
I didn’t realize that they included fandom blends in this sampler/activity and I really like that inclusion – it seems like an even deeper/richer way to involve their own community and give exposure to some of the wonderful people who put together these really thought out collections on the fandom half of the site.
This one is from a creator I’m not familiar with, but I do love some good Greek Mythology, so after making my cup I did immediately go look the creator up to see if they had more mythology blends – turns out they do, and some sound pretty interesting conceptually so I’m making a BIG mental note of that.
Apollo is one of the Greek Gods that I don’t know as much about, aside from the basics: brother of Artemis, God of music and dance as well as the sun! So, it makes a whole lot of sense to me for this blend to be really bright and lively, and heavy on the citrus flavours! I can 100% see the intention and deliberate selection that this creator put into their mix. The dry leaf smells super good too – you know the “effervescence” that sort of sprays out when you crack a can of Sunkist? That sweet, zingy and bright orange note? That’s EXACTLY how this smells!
Steeped up, it’s a bit mellower but that lovely juicy Sunkist orange/tangerine note is still really prominent, I like how much it pops over a white/green rooibos base a lot. It feels full of life! I also taste some other citrus elements, like grapefruit. It’s really well balanced and summery, perfect for Apollo! It also makes me excited to try the White Tangerine sample that I picked up, because I think it’s that juicy and bright tangerine note that I’m really honing in on. It’ll be excellent to taste that without it being cut by other teas…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=530sEJ16PQY
Cold Brew Sipdown (1118)!
Feels good to get another sample out of my cupboard, though this is one that I did enjoy having around for a non-fruity cold brewing option. I’m really happy that I realized so soon that cold brewing this blend was the sweet spot; if I had continued to drink it as a hot tea it would have been alright but definitely not nearly as enjoyable. It’s got some lovely vanilla fondant type notes that just work better for me chilled; somehow less doughy…
Flavors: Cake, Vanilla
Sipped on this during the afternoon; I did add a generous splash of full fat cream to my brew after straining it, mostly on a whim. It resulted in a super thick mouthfeel and lush, velvety texture as well as a fatty vanilla/cream note. Really decadent/indulgent and a bit heavy and borderline too sweet but also delicious and a really nice use of this sample imo.
This was my morning cold brew for the commute to work, and it was really nice. I’ve been thinking how I might use up this sample since it’s fine hot but nothing that I really crave and I remembered how amazing DT’s Birthday Cake had tasted cold brewed and I thought that there’d probably be significant overlap in the concept here…
It’s definitely a great use of the tea; the vanilla is very forward and creamy and quite smooth and rich without being sweet/sugary. Another win? Well, all the tannin/astringency that I was experiencing with the hot brews doesn’t come through at all, creating a much smoother and enjoyable brew overall.
Pretty sure this is how I’m going to finish off the leaf.
Steeped up a cup of this one yesterday morning, and while the vanilla note was nice I thought the whole cup overall was fairly drying on the palate. Milk would have helped a lot but, as I just said in another tasting note, that’s not an option at work currently…
I need to stop bringing teas to work that require milk, is the main takeaway here.