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Recent Tasting Notes
Let me start by saying that I’ve really been missing out by not buying a bag of these for myself sooner. These cookies are really tasty and in full disclosure I should tell you they’re a bit addictive (I may have sat here and eaten most of the bag in one sitting, whoops!) You have three different options for flavors: honey rooibos, white berry, and vanilla chai. When I send these to my friends I usually buy the vanilla chai because you really can’t go wrong with spiced cookies and it’s a flavor that will appeal to tea lovers and haters alike. The cookies are gently spiced with chai and the texture reminds me of buttery shortbread. Occasionally you’ll run across a piece of dried pineapple, which is slightly gummy and doesn’t really add to the flavor. I could do without the pineapple in the cookies, it seems like an odd combination to me, but the inclusion doesn’t affect my enjoyment enough where I wouldn’t order these again (and again and again, did I mention they’re addictive?)
You can read the full review on my blog:
This is probably not something I’d have bought for myself but I was given a box of “Orchard Oolong” samplers from Adagio for my birthday.
Upon opening the foil pack the smell of grapefruit is quite intense. So much so that I was worried about the final result being too fruity. However, I needn’t have worried. The resulting infusion did taste of grapefruit but only mildly so. The resulting beverage was inoffensive but it also wasn’t spectacular. However, t was something I could easily drink.
Overall, I enjoyed it more than expected.
Flavors: Grapefruit, Tea
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.
Well, I think I have my fill of No Man’s Sky let’s plays, after many days of watching them. I will probably feel different if I ever get to play it, but from what I can tell it seems like a bit of a let down. I was under the impression it was going to be focused mainly on exploration, that grinding for resources was secondary and that there was not going to be a plot…well, either I was wrong or the advertisement was misleading. Having seen a player reach the conclusion of the ‘plot’ well, I am glad I was never invested in the story because wow, it is anticlimactic!! In a way I am glad I do not have the right system to play it.
Today I am looking at another tea from Adagio Teas, their Formosa Bai Hao. You may know this tea by its other more famous name, Oriental Beauty, though there is a bit of a movement to change that name to one of many other names, since OB is deemed by many to be culturally insensitive. I will probably always call it OB, not a shortening, but like Bob without the ‘b’ mainly because it makes me think of Magic character Ob Nixillis, because that name is hilarious. This tea, other than a very slight name similarity has nothing in common with Ob Nixillis, because he is a jerk and this is a tea, teas can’t be jerks. Well, that got rambling quick, let is go straight into the aroma before I get side-tracked again! The aroma of the leaves is very light, I really had to shove my nose in them to get much, though the notes that were present were quite pleasant. Autumn leaves blend with distant grapes and light honey. It smells autumnal and mildly sweet.
Only one thing to do since sniffing isn’t giving me much, time to brew it up! Once steeped the leaves liven up a bit, notes of apples and grapes blend with squash and autumn leaves, I swear OB is always autumnal to me, like the best parts of autumn distilled into tea. The aroma of the liquid is a fruity blend of crisp apples, juicy pears, a bit of honey, and a touch of grapes. It is very sweet and nectar like.
The first steep is really quite light, in both taste and texture, it is almost airy in its lightness. It blends notes of light and slightly crisp apples with sweet pears and very gentle grapes at the start. Around the middle the fruit takes on a baked quality being reminiscent of fruit pie with a slight crust quality. The aftertaste is sweet like warmed wildflower honey, though it does not linger over long.
For the second steep the aroma is a fruity blend of apples, pears, and a touch of distant citrus, it is light and sweet, again reminding me of fruit nectar. The taste is much like the first steep, but with a bit more oomph. Notes of apples and pears dance with grapes and gentle wildflower honey and autumn leaves. It has a slightly citrus note that pops up towards the finish and lingers for a short while in the aftertaste. Sadly there really wasn’t much to steep three, it was greatly faded by that point. This tea did not really wow me, there was nothing wrong with it, just nothing jumped out and grabbed me as being spectacular.
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I did several steeps of this. They first was 5 seconds and the others were 7-10 seconds. The first was a little light, the second was just a touch astringent but the third was wonderful.
The was very light and refreshing. I enjoyed it so much I took some of the leaves and put them in a glass in the fridge with water to cold steep. I suspect the iced tea tomorrow should be great!
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Spinach
This smelled great, sweet smelling, almost like honey, but the taste was very bitter, tannic and astringent. I think I used too much leaf, not realizing how oxidized this tea was. I’d probably cut it down to ⅓ of what I used the next time.
Eventually I pulled out half of what was in the gaiwan but by that point the damage to my palate had been done so this ended up being a fairly disappointing evening of tea. But, I don’t think I can blame the tea in this case but rather the woman between the chair and the gaiwan.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Honey, Tannic
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.
The amount of cute in my lap right now is unreal. Espeon jumped in as soon as I sat in my chair and immediately rolled over onto her back, she then proceeded to bat at my hair with her paws. I am trying to type around her doing this which is exciting, though with the increase in purring level I think she is about to just drift off to kitty lala land. Ben’s new work schedule seems to have shaken her a bit, so she has been extra clingy, I am pretty sure she adjusts to change worse than I do and I was unaware that was possible. Tao on the other hand, she could care less, as always.
Today I am taking a look at Adagio Teas’ Golden Spring, their name for their Bailin Gongfu, a delicate Fujian Hong Cha that has long been a favorite of mine, though this is my first time tasting Adagio’s. The leaves on the website are super fuzzy and golden, and my sample, while not quite as fuzzy and golden, is still quite pretty with an even speckling of golden trichomes and delicate leaves. The aroma is sweet and rich, notes of malt and molasses with yams, brown sugar, roasted peanuts, and a finish of ripe currants and a touch of apple butter. I want to keep my nose in these leaves for a while, but I learned many years ago, tiny Fujian curls will easily fly up one’s nose and that is not fun.
Into my beloved little Petr Novak pot the leaves go for their steeping, the aroma of the steeped leaves is a bit brisk with a slightly woody cocoa note, alongside that are notes of sweet cherries and juicy ripe currants with a starchy yam finish. The liquid is sweet and malty, with notes of cherry, cocoa, apple butter, and a bit of starchy yams. It is not too strong, but it is quite distinct, though I am sad the currant notes did not carry over in the aroma of the first steep.
The first steep is pleasantly light, specifically in the mouthfeel which seems almost fluffy and airy in its texture. It starts with a blend of cherries and currant at the beginning (yay, currants!) and moves pretty quickly to apple butter and starchy yams. The finish is a gentle cocoa and slight woody briskness, with a cocoa note that lingers into the aftertaste.
For this steep the aroma is sweet and surprisingly fruity, notes of apple butter and cherry, currants and yams, and a gentle finish of brown sugar dance up to my nose through the steam. Where the first steep was light and airy, this one is smooth and a bit thick in the mouth. Wow, this steep is sweet! Strong notes of brown sugar, apple butter, currants, and cherries blend with a delicate and starchy yam quality at the finish. It manages to have heavy and sweet notes while not being too intense, a quality I find very enjoyable in this style of tea.
This steep has a sweet and almost tart aroma of cherries, cranberries, and currants with a touch of woody cocoa and peanuts, no yam this steep! It starts sweet and light and pretty much stays that way for the rest of the session, which is only one more steep. While tasty, it does not have a ton of longevity, which makes me a little sad, a tea as tasty as this should stick around longer. It does have the distinct pleasure of being one of the fruitiest Bailin Gongfu teas I have had, so congrats there!
I was really excited to try this tea. Many people said how great of an earl grey it was. I have nothing against flavored teas as a general rule. At first it smelled kind of nice when I opened the bag. Creamy vanilla with a hint of citrus, okay.
But then I brewed it and tasted it, oh Lord. It was sickly, the “cream” tasted like some kind of sickly sweet chemical. I opened up my bag of Cream black tea to smell it and had the same experience. It made me nauseous. Sweetening it didn’t help to mask anything, nor did adding milk.
It has a very smokey, campfire taste. Maybe a bit too strong for me. No bitterness There was a strange metallic taste to it as well. I’ll try to mix it 50/50 with an Assam, maybe that will mask the metallic and mellow out the smoke. I don’t think it was due to the water because none of the other teas taste metallic to me.
Flavors: Campfire, Metallic, Smoke
Opening the bag, it has a very toasty, popcorny scent. Once I brewed it (2.5 grams, since the gram amount below rounds down to 2) , it had a slightly fishy and toasty aroma. The taste was similar, but milder, and more floral in the aftertaste. I’m thinking about increasing the amount for the next time. I also tried resteeping at near boiling water, for five minutes, and got the same taste and aroma.
Flavors: Fish Broth, Floral, Nutty, Rice, Toasted
You know what is kinda fun? Playing around with the wedding registry! I have not made it public yet since we don’t have a date set and that seems disingenuous, so I am occupying myself by perfecting it. By perfecting it I mean adding ridiculous captions to all the things on it, and of course removing the completely random nonsense I add at three in the morning when I am bored. The majority of things on it are things that are useful but we have just not acquired, like silicon baking mats and a deep fryer, but there are also silly things like a skull shaped trinket bowl, replacement nerf darts, and of course the much desired skull shaped ice trays. There is a real skull theme going on.
Recently I was given the opportunity to look at an old favorite tea company, Adagio! Over the several years I have been tea rambling they have shown up many times, they were the first online tea company I tried after diving into the vast ocean of online tea shopping, so I have a real nostalgic fondness for them. I am looking at Casablanca Twist, their take on Moroccan Mint, something I have been craving lately but have had no luck getting my hands on any that has been enjoyable. Granted I am not a huge fan of gunpowder, so seeing their blend used Sungma Summer Darjeeling and Peppermint I was very intrigued. I think I got really unlucky with my sample pouch though, I am pretty sure it is 90% mint. You can see a few spindly leaves mixed around with the mint, but mostly it is bright green minty fun. When sniffing this tea, all I smell is mint, fresh and cool and super strong. My nose is now clear and my lungs are happy, mint is good for the sinuses!
I decided to cold steep the tea, it just seemed right…maybe because I am Southern and chilled mint and black tea is kinda a big thing. The aroma after I crack open the cold steeper is a minty blast in the face, it is like walking into a snowy crisp landscape, and considering it is summer this is not too bad a thing. I get absolutely no notes of the Darjeeling, the mint has totally overpowered it. The aroma of the liquid sans leaves is pretty much the same, there is a tiny hint of brisk sweetness but mostly it is all mint all the time.
Well, tasting this tea is tasting mint. There is a slight bitterness to it, not the bitterness of tannins but the bitterness of vegetation, for me mint always comes off a tiny bit bitter, it is one of the main reasons I like mint blends and not just straight up mint. I also like my mint blends a bit more balanced, it is such a potent herb that it will almost always overpower what it is blended with if it is used in abundance. The photo on the website made it seem like it was a more even split, so I think I just got unlucky and since mint is fluffy I got the mint…somewhere out there maybe someone got a sample that is mostly Darjeeling. I really like the idea of a mint Darjeeling blend, but sadly I just got to really explore the mint side, so I do not have a real opinion on this tea. The quest for a Moroccan Mint continues!
Hard to review this, as this is the first matcha I have ever had. On it’s own, and not comparing it to anything else:
It’s a little seaweedy, green tea tasting, umami, and surprisingly creamy, considering I am drinking ground up leaves.
It’s definitely something I will finish.
Flavors: Creamy, Seaweed, Umami
Today’s work cold brew. I nearly made this one up on Saturday, but then I realised how much chamomile is in it and changed my mind. As it turns out, chamomile isn’t really the main flavour when this one’s cold (it really is when it’s hot, though.) I was hoping that would be the case, but I was prepared for the worst.
To taste, there’s a hay-like sweetness, but it’s very much in the background, and it actually provides a pleasant counterpoint to the slightly tart, slightly sour blueberry flavour that’s the main draw here. It also seems appropriately on-theme with the Three Little Pigs, so I guess Adagio get points for that. I like blueberry a lot, so this one was almost bound to be a winner with me. It’s not too sweet, in the end, and the fruitiness is at the forefront and fairly natural-tasting. Another decent blend.
Got this as a sample from the Adagio store because I spent a good hour there with a friend talking with the employees. It would never be something I’d buy myself since it’s pretty expensive, so I was really thankful that this was my free sample!
And honestly, I can understand why it costs so much. I never thought I’d use “buttery” to describe tea, but it’s absolutely applicable here. You can steep this tea twice and it will taste just as good the second time, which does make it a bit more cost effective. So Ali Shan, I will never buy you, but I’m glad I got the experience somehow.
This tea has a special place in my heart. I need to have it every winter season. However, I feel like it isn’t always blended the same way with the same ratios of ingredients? I really liked the sample I got first but the bigger bag tasted a little different. More clovey.
Also, I remember when I went to the Adagio store with a friend before Thanksgiving and was already craving this blend but it wasn’t on the shelves. One of the guys custom blended it for me. I asked him if he’d “make Christmas” so for the remainder of my time, we were constantly breaking into the song “Making Christmas” from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Good times.
Not sure why the rating is so low for Candy Cane! I love this tea in the winter. In fact, almost every time it’s snowing, I brew up a pot of it. Makes me feel nice and warm while it’s cold and blustery out.
I even had this tea in the summer when I had a cold. The peppermint has a way of making my throat and nose feel better.