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Recent Tasting Notes
So this one’s actually pretty interesting for me, because I think I’m beginning to be able to detect taste differences between different varieties of teas!
This one steeps to a medium-colored amber. It’s drastically different than the color of Twinings’ brew, which is so dark and murky it could be mistaken for coffee.
Even though I haven’t ever tasted Assam tea by itself, because I had some Ceylon last night, I was able to pick out the Ceylon taste immediately. In the first couple of sips I kept thinking “buttery” once again for Ceylon. This disappeared as I got midway through the cup, but it was still interesting. After each sip, I’d get a dark and interesting kick. Not bitter (and I think there’s a fine line here), but I guess a taste that could be described as “malty,” as Adagio and Lena have said. And I thought to myself, that has to be the Assam!
I really, really enjoyed this cup this morning. But here’s the crazy thing – I actually wanted it to be even bolder. I think the ratio of Ceylon to Assam is okay, but I would have actually wanted more of an Assam kick. I wanted the brew to be a bit more in-your-face, kicking ass and taking names. Towards the bottom of the cup, the Assam was definitely more present, and I felt myself grinning through those last few sips.
This is definitely more endlessly sippable than the Twinings blend, but I sort of like how assertive and RAWR-worthy Twinings’ Irish Breakfast is. Thinking back on it, it’s probably because they’ve dialed it up on the Assam a bit. Their blend made me feel like a scurvy pirate, slugging down my brew with a big “ARR.” It’s almost masculine. This one was more of a “rawr” without Caps-Lock. Not to say it isn’t delicious – because it is – but I was actually expecting it to be a bit stronger.
I like how the loose leaf tea reviles all of its bounty. With this one you can see the orange peel, apple, flower petals (rose). This filled the room with an aroma that reminds me of spring or autumn. The cup was a nice red with a sweet taste some what bitter of citrus.
Excellent for children who might not enjoy tea or just don’t want to give them sugar.
Excellent tea for two to share. The black tea with rose hibiscus and chocolate (strawberries?) has a good balance. I heated up the water to 212 since it is backed with black tea. Let it step for 5 min (I let my tea maker brew it for me from adagio.com).
As it touches my pallet it first seem to have the sharp taste of black tea. The chocolate sooths the tongue (not candy chocolate, but from the plant). With an accent of a sweet touch. I do not know for sure if there is strawberries (are there any in there?) in it of if it is the rose hibiscus that I am acquiring this taste from.
Bottom line a nice mellow cup to share like a valentine.
Since I’m still a crampy mess, and I don’t really want to go crazy with the caffeine intake for the next day or so, I’m drinking decaf.
I think I have a tea addiction. And I don’t mean that I’m addicted to caffeine. No, I just crave the taste of tea. Any tea, really. It’s just a sippable beverage. And with all of the snow on the ground (around 10-11 inches here), it’s really nice to have something warm in your belly.
I’m knocking this one down a few numbers, just because I’ve had a lot of stuff that tastes way better than this now. This one tastes like upgraded Lipton. Not the highest grade of its type, but entirely drinkable and tea-tasting. Again, I’m going to have to resort to using the word “default,” because that’s what it is. If I gave it to a tea novice, they’d be like, “Is this Liptons?” Because my mom thinks it tastes like a better-quality version of the infamous bagged tea. And I’m inclined to agree.
So yeah, nothing special, but it kills the tea craving… for now!
I have a really annoying canker sore in my mouth. I bit my lip last week, and it’s developed into an ugly little bugger on the inside of my bottom lip. No, it’s not a cold sore, and no, I don’t have mouth herpes or some other thing. And no, it’s not contagious. But still, it’s sore. I read somewhere that tannins might actually help out a sore, so I’m drinking some black tea right now. But of course, it’s late, so I needed something decaf.
Okay, really bizarre thing. I had Adagio’s Decaf Ceylon the other day, and I found it to be a nice, basic decaf drink, perfect for nighttime. But tonight, after drinking Yunnan Jig earlier in the day, I’m finding this to be more flavorless than I remember. It tastes much more basic and much less special than the last batch I made, even though I steeped it exactly the same way as before. While the earlier Yunnan tasted like a yummy earthy beverage, this just tastes like… tea. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I love tea!). But oddly enough, I was actually expecting something a bit different than how this tastes today. It’s comfortable and comforting and familiar, but it’s not dynamic.
Just a late-night cup before going off to sleep. This loose leaf thing is kind of ritualistic and soothing in a way. It’s pretty late, so I figured I should try and steep up some decaf.
I’ve had Harney & Sons Decaf Ceylon bagged, so I sort of knew what this one was going to taste like. Ceylon has a very default “tea” flavor. It’s pretty mild, light, and soothing.
Adagio’s Decaf Ceylon was no different. It brew up a nice orange color, and didn’t have any strong smell (neither in the wet leaves nor in the actual cup). The taste was pretty full-flavored, even though it was decaf. My palate isn’t good enough to detect the difference between decaf and regular tea. Or maybe it’s the CO2 process that makes it taste pretty much the same.
The boyfriend tasted this one and he like it enough to have a couple of sips, commenting that it was smooth. I have to agree. I’m still surprised at how not bitter loose leaf is in any way. How pure and clean everything tastes. It’s like the essence of the tea leaf (which it essentially is).
Excellent morning tea. It’s strong and robust and fully flavored. Rich without milk or sugar but could tolerate both, I think. There’s a hint of peat bog, moss, and smoke which makes me think of Ireland.
I would call this a great everyday breakfast tea, especially for those who want a good infusion of caffeine.
I don’t normally drink black teas but tried this with breakfast this morning. I had it plain and love the full mouth flavor of it. I usually lightly steep teas but followed the directions using boiling water for 5 minutes and was granted a full flavor tea that was not bitter or overly strong.
I didn’t find the need for sugar or milk though I rarely drink my teas “English style” and I didn’t think this one needed it at all.
No. Just… no.
Thanks Auggy for giving me different steeping instructions for this guy. It actually tasted a bit better this time around – the bergamot flavor was almost manageable, but it’s still So. Bitter. I did get to taste the Ceylon this time around, which is just smooth default Adagio Ceylon. But the bergamot here just kills me. It’s noxious and overwhelming and just not fun.
If I can’t finish a cup, I really can’t rate this very highly. Is it the worst tea ever? No, and I’m sure that someone that LOVES bergamot would like this. But to me it’s just an unbalanced mess. Too bad it smells so gorgeous. It tempts me into making it only to disappoint me into oblivion.
I should just throw in the towel with Earl Grey, or perhaps I didn’t like Adagio’s blend. Or maybe I brewed it up incorrectly. :(
Whatever the case, this didn’t work for me this morning. This tea smells absolutely delicious – more like a Lady Grey than an actual Grey. I’ve had my nose permanently stuck in it since my Adagio order came in. It’s mouthwatering. And pretty, with the little blues and the dark black of the tea.
And it steeped up to a beautiful amber hue, with a very pleasant smell. Bergamot and citrus and floral.
But the taste left something to be desired for me. It was fairly smooth at the get-go, but then there was a really bitter kick at the end. Very bitter. As in, over-steeped tea, even though I followed the directions that Adagio gave for brewing this baby. Or maybe it was bergamot overload. The bergamot flavor here comes on stronger in the sipping than it does on the nose. Like really, really strong.
I think I need to lower the steeping time on this one significantly. I’m feeling fairly disappointed right now, though. I thought I was going to experience an Earl Grey revelation. As in, “Ahhh, now THIS is what Earl Grey is supposed to be.” I was able to finish the entire cup, but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I hoped I would have. Maybe it’s time for me and Grey to part company – even though I really do love Twining’s Lady Grey.
I’ll keep experimenting with steeping time, though, and see if I can mellow this beast.
(P.S. This is one of the funniest reviews that I’ve read about this tea: http://www.teaviews.com/2007/06/25/review-adagio-earl-grey/ I can’t say my experience was AS bad, but it was disappointing on so many levels.)
The Final Sipdown: Day 4.2
Y’all, we are in the middle of a RAIN. STORM. I can hear it coming down in sheets on the other side of my window shade and, oh yes, right on cue – thunder. Rain like this makes me wish I had a screened in porch to enjoy it from, but as I don’t I’ll settle for making some more tea and finding a blanket.
The wet…leaves?…smell of a strange melange of butter and cedar sawdust and [unsurprisingly] hazelnut. The tea is OUCH. Too hot to drink.
Sniffing the hot liquid, I get a whiff of butter + hazelnut again with an added note of popcorn, and that makes me excited to retry this tea. I’m catching up on last week’s episode of Castle, so I’ll wait patiently for this to cool so I can try again it. I’ll just sit here and smell it while the rain pounds down. Waiting patiently. Waiting…patiently. Watching a commercial about Djibouti. Djibouti is fun to say. So is
Argh, impatient. Going to try this again.
Hmm. Bother. I’m remembering why I rated this so low. It tastes like cardboard. Specifically…tongue depressors. Like the taste of a popsicle stick once the popsicle was gone. That’s what this tea tastes like. Except it doesn’t even seize that completely as it’s watery.
Blast. That was a disappointment. I’m going to grab tea number three. In the meantime, however, I’m going to continue to smell this. Mmm…
Teas Downed: 11
All right, Steepster-verse. It’s late here on this slice of the planet and je suis fatigue. So fatigue, apparently, that I’m pulling out my high school French to express it to you. I’m not motivated to go to a Word document and copy out the accent aigu [not sure on spelling there] to properly spell the word fatigue, so just let’s just pretend.
I needed something to drink that wouldn’t keep me up for hours and so I decided to give this one that Auggy sent me a boiling hot bath. Upon typing that it sounds horribly painful.
Dry, this tea just looks like mini wood chips, but wet it takes on a nice, deep burgundy coloring. There’s also a couple of pieces of what I can only assume to be actual hazelnuts in the mix. Here, have a picture.
See? Wet wood chips!
I can see why this reminds people of coffee. Hazelnut syrup or hazelnut flavored creamer are often used in coffee drinks, and the scent of it on its own is reminiscent of coffee beans.
Does it taste like coffee?
Does it taste like hazelnuts?
This reminds me of the Almond Cookie I tried [that Auggy also sent me], in that the taste mainly blooms once it is downed. There’s a faint, and when I say faint, I mean really, really faint, sweetness floating in the liquid, but I’m not getting much else. Sometimes that sweetness takes on a nutty profile, and sometimes it tastes like when you dump a packet of sweetener into a cup of bad coffee.
I also don’t consistently get a lot of flavor in the aftertaste, which is a shame, because when I do it’s good. [This might sound weird, but I get that taste more consistently if I keep my mouth shut and breathe out my nose. Don’t know why.]
It reminds me a lot of wafers. That kind of dry, flavorless flavor. Also, biscotti. I had hazelnut biscotti once that tasted very bland and this reminds me of that. Actually, I’ve never had biscotti that really tasted any good. I don’t know why I keep trying it. If anyone knows where you can find good biscotti in the DC/MD/VA area let me know, because I want to know what all the fuss is about.
I know a lot of people don’t like rooibos, but I’ve found myself planted on this little island of people who do like it. That may be why I was expecting more. To me, rooibos has a fuller flavor to it, so I don’t know if it’s just because this is honeybush, of which this is the first I’ve tried, or because this tea is just made of weaksauce.
So…yeah. This unfortunately isn’t nearly robust enough to fill any coffee needs I may have still lurking about. It also isn’t flavorful enough to be something I would consider buying. But the smell is absolutely delicious and it isn’t so completely devoid of taste that it’s a pain to drink or anything.
Siskel and Ebert give it two thumbs sideways. WAY sideways!
I accidently forgot my mug on the counter so by the time I remember it had gone stone cold. Not daunted, I took a sip and found that it actually isn’t that bad in that state – cool, green (if that can be used as a decription of taste), and refreshing are words I’d use to describe it.
I’m still picking up the faintest trace of cinnamon in the aftertaste, however. I’m curious now to see if Adagio actually uses cinnamon oil or something similar in this blend. Maybe I’ll email and see.
My second try at this tea and I reduced the steeping time in hopes that would tone down the flavour a bit.
When I opened the tin I noticed that there’s some sort of sticky residue on the inside of the tin – presumably from the leaves. I’m almost afraid to ask what it might be from. o_0 The smell of the dry leaves is still a veritable kick upside the nostrils. My brain seems to be interpreting it as a cross between Old Dutch Dill Pickle potato chips and those candy cinnamon hearts that always show up in the stores for Valentine’s Day.
When I tasted the tea I braced myself, but it actually wasn’t that aweful. Ignoring Adagio’s steeping recs definitely paid off, I think. It has a watery, green flavour that does in fact remind me off freshly-cut, raw cucumber.
So in short, not a fantastic tea but I honestly don’t think that it’s as horrible as everyone’s saying it is. ;)
Pulling off the lid of the sample tin (this one was on tight) I caught a wiff of the dry tea. The only thing I can describe it as is a cross between cinnamon and light dill pickles. Yeah, I don’t get it either. It’s not that I don’t like it – I LOVE dill pickles – it’s just such a non sequitur for me and my nose.
I’m glad to see the large number of buds in this tea instead of the crumbled up bits you sometimes get. Taste-wise this tea is actually very close to the taste of raw cucumber, though I’m also still picking up a very minute trace of cinnamon or some other spice.