Adagio Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

8
drank Dragonwell by Adagio Teas
260 tasting notes

Right. I think I’ve been entirely spoiled by the phenomenal nature of Dream About Tea’s Dragonwell Spring, but this tastes like sewage now. I mean, not that pungent, but…sewage light? Essence of sewage?

I’m taking liberties a bit here, but it really is not pleasant. I subsequently had to give the rating a hearty knock down. For whatever reason, maybe because I just wanted to rid the sample from my collection, I spent a good portion of a studying day steeping this at different times and temperatures, to no avail. I became so consumed, actually, that physics had to sit on the back burner whilst I traveled a range of temperatures from 130 to 190. At each new temperature I took fresh batch of leaves and let them sit. Took the leaves out around 3:00 minutes, tried to drink it, then resteeped them once just to be sure. All I got nothing more than a variety of different intensities of the taste of dirty water. Almost soapy. It reminds me of when I was at camp and we jumped in the lake and I accidentally swallowed some water. It’s just less…silty. Actually, it really reminds me of the taste of lukewarm pool water.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the anal methodology here, it’s because I feel like I’m getting to the point where I’m going on autopilot with Adagio in terms of the quality of their tea on my internal scale and I wanted to be sure I was giving them a fair shake. I went to the point of sipping out the cup while the leaves were in the infuser to make sure that I wasn’t missing out on some some magical steep time on the way to 3 minutes. Unfortunately, all the happened was that the salty, soapy taste got stronger.

What’s frustrating is that the smell of the wet leaves, and even the tea itself steaming in the cup, was making me think I could have hit it right at some points, but it was misses all over the place. A good cup of this was the dartboard and I had put several hundred holes in the wall.

I think that this is a suitable place to add that I made a rather horrifying [and yet…comforting?] discovery while I was away from Steepster. Part of my 52 teas order included a Taylor thermometer [about that time, eh chaps?] and upon the first few uses, I discovered that Adagio’s UtiliTEA is wildly inaccurate. I mean, to the tune of 20 degrees variance on the same dial setting. Could be that mine’s defective, but needless to say I won’t be recommending it to anyone anymore. Things that I noticed were that the cooler temperatures occurred when the water level was higher [made sense] but that the temperature inaccuracies occurred more often at the higher temperature settings [didn’t really make sense]. A number of times, when it was set to boil, it would give me water at 180 degrees, and that’s just ridiculous.

This is comforting to me only because it means that my oscillating opinion of black teas is likely directly correlated with the faulty kettle. For reasons I cannot determine, when put into the green range it only seems to vary around 10-15 degrees, and more often than not medians around an acceptable temperature. I don’t get it either, but what I can say is that I only really use the utiliTEA anymore when I need a lower water temperature and I know I can heat it above the desired temperature and cool it if necessary. To be safe, I tested the thermometer on water off the stove and any error in reading it may be experiencing appears to be negligible. It’s definitely the kettle.

So, I guess that’s a partial danger of discovering a new relative high on the spectrum of your awareness of anything. Things that sufficed can be demoted to the status of “only if desperate” and things that were mediocre at best can plummet to the depths of the red yucky face. I am not going to list a steep time or a water temperature because there were so many. And I’m going to leave this at one entry because I don’t want to spam you guys with the nuances of dishwater that I got from the varying trials. Dirty dishwater will suffice enough, I think. After using up almost the entirety of my sample, I had to toss the rest. I couldn’t willingly subject someone else to it, nor justify the cost of shipping to send it anywhere else other than the trash can.

There is really only one other tea that I can claim to vehemently dislike this much, and I hope that this one is the last. In any case, I can say without hesitation that I do not like this tea.

Auggy

I feel ya. Adagio’s Dragonwell was the second one I’d ever had (and the first one was even worse, if you can believe it) and I was scared off of Dragonwell for a good year and a half. A&D’s DFT Dragonwell is the only other one I’ve tried since then and thankfully it didn’t make me want to pour it out. I even liked it.

sophistre

I have sniffed mine and not tried it. Now I’m probably going to have to try it, and I’ll probably hate it. Whee!

I was skeptical when I bought my Zojirushi. I don’t want to use plastics anywhere in contact with my hot water, ever…though I think the only plastic the water really comes into contact with in it is the nozzle it dispenses from. I thought the ‘new plastics getting warm’ smell would not go away…but…it has. And it is pretty awesome. I recommend it.

Fred

I feel that dragonwell is definitely not a very good first or second foray into green tea. If you are a beginner and want to try a good green tea that wont scare you off I would suggest genmaicha. I know you’re over there saying but genmaicha is not strictly tea. Well yes it isn’t, but if you want to not be scared away by green tea it is a pleasant first way to go. I don’t drink too many Chinese green teas, but to me dragonwell was just kind of blah.

takgoti

@auggy I enjoyed A&D’s Dragonwell, too. Though not as much as that Dragonwell Spring! May need to try both of them in succession tomorrow just to play around with temperatures.

@sophistre Don’t let my opinion on the Dragonwell sway you too terribly; there are people who enjoy this one! This was just too horrible to me not to write about. I’ve definitely been rooting around for a new degree setting heater, so thanks for your testimony on the Zojirushi! I shall add a tally mark in my little book.

@Fred Sorry, no newbie here. I’m no expert but I’d definitely not consider myself to be a beginner. I’ve had what I consider to be a sizeable enough number of greens to have some footing in the region of both Chinese and Japanese greens, and the beginning of my review stated that I’ve recently-ish been introduced to a Dragonwell that was through the roof good. This one has, partially as a result of that, partially because I didn’t like it terribly to begin with, fallen into the bowels of the under 10 rating.

Ricky

Look what you’ve done, I’m looking at a zojirushi now and it looks like a pretty Asian rice cooker. Okay, I meant design wise. You know what! I’m going to stick with my $40 water kettle that burns 1500 watts of power and continue my gestimates :D

Auggy

Zojirushi does make rice cookers so I bet there’s a reason for the similarity!
But it is so awesome. Even more awesome than my (Tiger) rice cooker. And I love my rice cooker.

teaplz

Those Zojirushis sure as expensive! Definitely not in my price range right now… I don’t even really know what I’m looking at. I’m way behind on these tea gadgety things.

Yay, the infamous Dragonhell review has arrived! DRAGONHELL. That’s right. ‘Cause that’s what this is, apparently. I trust your opinion on this, tak-tak. You’ve definitely tried tons of greens, so there’s no need to drink a sub-par Dragonhell. Especially when there’re way better ones out there that you’ve tried (i.e. Dream About Tea’s version). Nobody can accuse you of not giving it your all, though! Srsly, you tried with this mess. I applaud you for the effort!

Fred

@Takgoti Sorry I didn’t think you were a newbie. I guess I may have implied that. I was just speaking of newbies in general to green tea. I apologize.

Jillian

I really enjoyed the Dragonwell I got from a local shop. I used up the whole sample but I can maybe send you a bit when I buy more (and I definitely will!)

Suzi

@teaplz Zojirushis are a pretty penny but totally worth it. I love mine, which I got through Amazon.com – keep an eye out, they pop up in the Gold Box deals every once in a while.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever had the Dragonwell from Adagio. But I don’t think so – seems that if I had, I’d remember, based on the comments here!

Grinnyguy

Is it possible you were just having a bad day? I had a month of drinking nothing but one type of first flush darjeeling and although I loved it at the start, I was sick of it at the end. I also sometimes feel like one tea more than another, and the weather, or the food you have it with, or what you’re doing when you have it. I say wait until a nice sunny day and see if you prefer it then. Just an idea (but don’t shoot me down too hard, I’m very busy being earnestly grumpy today)

takgoti

@Fred No worries.

@Jillian Oooh, nice! I could be down with that! I think that I could be ready for another tea swap in mid to late January?

@Grinnyguy I’d almost like to think so, but no. I’ve had this a few times now [meaning on completely different occasions – I don’t log tea every time I drink it] and there was nothing remarkably different about the taste between this one and the ones then. If I’m sitting down to taste a tea I do it when I’m not eating and I’m usually not doing much else besides sitting there and drinking the tea for the exact reasons that you stated – external factors can really influence how I’m feeling about something if I let them. The real thing that so deflated my opinion of it was the introduction of a new, far, far, far superior dragonwell to my palate. I do appreciate your playing devil’s advocate, but unfortunately I don’t think I can pen this one down to simply having a bad tea day. [Consequently, I hope you enjoyed your grumpy day for what it was worth and have now shook them out for a while. We all need those days periodically.]

Grinnyguy

Fair enough, as long as you’ve given it a chance. I feel much better after getting the grump out of my system thanks. Have a wonderful christmas

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8
drank Dragonwell by Adagio Teas
260 tasting notes

Sorry Adagio, not impressed.

I haven’t been drinking a lot of Adagio lately for whatever reason, When I read @Cynthia Carter’s log yesterday I thought to myself, “Self, this might be a good time to try this one.”

I also have a UtiliTEA and Adagio recommends 180 degrees, so I set the dial near the top of the green region and brewed a cup. The first couple of sips were overwhelmingly salty. Then it was like what @CC said – bath water. And then I wasn’t getting enough flavor, so about halfway through the cup I tossed it and moved the dial back.

The second try was a bit more mellow, though more flavorful. However, it still isn’t doing anything for me. The taste becomes a little bit more obvious as it cools, but…

Okay, here’s the thing. There are moments when I think that this could be a tea that I would really like. The scent has this nice roasted quality to it, and the finish is enjoyable, but getting to that point is not at all fun for me. The beginning part of this for me has a hint of bitterness [which I’ve gotten accustomed to from some of the greens] but it’s accompanied by this distinct blechy taste that’s almost sour. It reminded me of this time when I drank water out of a glass I hadn’t rinsed very well and still had some dishwashing liquid on it. So I resteeped the leaves in a new cup, just to be safe. Still there.

The tricky thing is that the aftertaste on this makes me think that I drank something good. It’s got that nice grassy sweetness that is in many of the greens I enjoy, especially when I breathe air in over my tongue. So I keep picking it up and sipping it. Even as I’m writing about how I’m not a huge fan of it. And there’s the dishwashing liquid.

I think I’m going to have to shelve this and try it again sometime when this experience has faded and I’m feeling up to it again. [If anyone has any suggestions I was at 1 tsp leaves, 8 oz. water at 170-175 degrees. Ish.]

Ironically, though, this has my curiosity piqued, so I think I’m going to try Tavalon’s dragonwell and see what happens.

Luthien

I’ve found that some of the vendors’ temperature estimates for green teas tend to be standard for all the green teas they sell, but some green teas really need to be treated more gently than others. Dragonwell seems to brew best for me steeped for two minutes at around 70C (158F). One time I wasn’t thinking about which green tea I was brewing and steeped it at my green tea default temperature, 77C (171F). It really didn’t taste anywhere near as good as it should have that time. So yeah, I’d suggest lowering the temperature next time and see if that helps.

takgoti

Sweet. Will do. This made me pretty sad.

Cynthia Carter

Thanks takgoti – I’m glad it’s not just that I am woefully ignorant of green tea – it’s reassuring to know someone else tasted this and said “Blech!”

That said, I think I will try the lower temperature as well. Thank you for the suggestion, Luthien.

mr.base

Fortunately i never came across a bad dragonwell, but this one sounds like it. I agree with Luthien about the temperature. But even between the dragonwells there are differencies and you need to test what temperature is the best. I steep the dragonwells usually for 50-60 seconds. Until 1 min. they don’t have a slightest bitterness. Also the leaf quantity gives you very different experiences. Usually the dragonwell requires some more leafs for rich flavour. Can’t tell you how much to use because i don’t use a spoon, i usually cover the bottom of the tea pot with a approx. 2-3mm thic layer of leafs. Also, sometimes when i want some more flavour i do it via gong fu cha using a gaibei(gaiwan). I this case i use it approx. in ratio 1:4 (leafs/water). This is creates rather a strog beverage, but no bitter. So you really need to experiment a little bit.

Auggy

Your experience with this is sort of an exaggerated version of my experiences with Chinese greens. I do use a lower temp (160-ish) for my greens so I think the “ick” isn’t as strong for that reason but yeah. Salty is pretty much what I taste and I never really got Dragonwell to a point where I liked it. Just where I didn’t have to pour it out.

takgoti

@Cynthia Carter No worries! Hopefully we’ll both learn from this!

@mr. base Oh wow, thanks! I’m getting all excited about trying to make this tea good now. I think there will be a fair amount of experimentation going on this weekend.

@Auggy Hmm. Maybe I just don’t like Dragonwells. I’d say maybe I don’t like Chinese Greens but I think I’ve had a decent number of them and they’ve been okay to me thus far. Now I’m pondering. Looks like it’s going to be a green tea weekend.

Auggy

I’m not a huge Chinese green fan personally but I’ve found some decent ones. Honestly, Rishi’s Jade Cloud is my favorite but I tend to like it best after it gets a little older – smooths it out for me. There was one from SpecialTeas (Clouds and Mist or something?) that was awesome on the first steep but after that not so hot. But yeah, that’s pretty much it for me. I keep trying them though!

Cynthia Carter

OK, so I’ve taken on board a lot of what you folks have kindly suggested – lower temperature, more tea leaves, a brief steep. I doubled the amount of leaves I was using (farewell, little sample tin!), set the temperature on my UtiliTea to the lowest green setting, and steeped for about two minutes.

The best I can say is that it is somewhat improved, and I think the largest difference came from increasing the amount of tea brewed. My palate is accustomed to hearty blacks, or delicate Darjeelings or oolongs, and I suspect this tea is just a little subtle for my tastes. In short – just not my cup of tea.

Cofftea

As I sip my 20th infusion, this makes me sad…

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80
drank Yunnan Noir by Adagio Teas
8 tasting notes

Just made this for the first time, and it’s really strong and good. Sort of a mix of wood, chocolate, and smoke.

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34
drank Yunnan Jig by Adagio Teas
509 tasting notes

Gave this another try last night, I guess to see if my tastes have changed. They haven’t. This just tastes like leather to me… like I steeped leather in my teapot. I do not dig it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Yunnan Jig by Adagio Teas
509 tasting notes

Yep, I was right. This is good with a big glob of honey. I steeped it a little longer since the description practically encourages it. Seven minutes instead of five. It got stronger, yeah, but not bitter. This might taste a little bit too much like wood for me, though. I’m still curious to try Yunnan Gold and Yunnan Noir despite this.

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34
drank Yunnan Jig by Adagio Teas
509 tasting notes

Very… dark tasting tea. Earthy and definitely smoky. Something about it reminds me of a river in the woods. I brewed it at boiling point for four minutes. Sweetened it with 2 Splenda packets. Next time, I’m going with honey. This is probably amazing with honey. Also, this is my first yunnan.

East Side Rob

Nothing like a good Yunnan. See how you like Adagio’s other Yunnans. (I haven’t tried them myself.) And also try Rishi’s Organic Golden Yunnan. It’s really good and wild harvested from tea trees that are hundreds of years old. Had a cup after lunch today, in fact.

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75

It’s a little like drinking the scent of the forest ground as it wafts up in the early morning. That’s overly poetic, but it’s what I like about white tea—that hint of still growing, still in the earth bitterness. This has bright overtones making it delicious even unsweetened.

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69

Finished off this tin today, so I wanted to log my parting thoughts:

I really like this tea. It brews a deep, dark brown color, and has a rich and smokey aroma/flavor that demands your attention. That said, it’s not bitter or sharp, so you can really sip it and enjoy it without adding anything to it. (The way I prefer my teas.)

Plus, it’s fun to watch the tea unfold and unravel, and you get some odd looks when you’re prepping a pot of tea that just includes a few marble sized balls of leaves.

All in all, a winner in my book.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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69

Let this one steep for a few extra minutes, and that really helped bring out the flavors. I still can’t put my finger on exactly what the taste is, but it’s smooth and smokey and I like it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Jillian

I’ve never tried this tea (although it is on my list) but some people have likened the taste to dark chocolate.

Cynthia Carter

Smoked salmon, maybe? It has that almost unctuous, smoky feel to it.

Jillian

LOL, now you’ve probably scared him off this tea Cynthia! ;)

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69

Half the fun of this tea is just watching the pearls unfurl as the tea steeps. The unsteeped pearls have a very strong earthy/smoky/gun powder smell, but sadly that doesn’t all transfer into the final cup, as the tea itself is on the bland side. It does make a nice, dark tea, but I could go for a stronger, earthier taste. That said, it’s not a bad tea, I just wish it had a stronger flavor to match the appearance.

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75
drank Foxtrot by Adagio Teas
3 tasting notes

I love this blend because the chamomile is so sweet when mixed with the roobios. I’ve never had a a problem with chamomile putting me to sleep before but after a cup of this at work I struggled through the rest of my day. I will definitely save this for evenings at home.

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75
drank Dewy Cherry by Adagio Teas
3 tasting notes

Very sweet, but not too sugary. I love it because I can’t drink caffeinated tea’s and it still has plenty of flavor. I also mix it with a white tea when I want something a little more mellow, but with less caffeine then straight white tea.

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75

This is a tea I blended on Adagio’s Site and it can be found – with more info and to purchase – here http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/blend.html?blend=9351&SID=f9c12fbbf9284f52191b901d8bb407e7

I was craving Strawberry Rhubarb but also wanted both black and green teas.

You can smell a medley of strawberry, rhubarb, chocolate, and mint after steeping. The coloring is between a dark oolong and a light black tea coloring.

It’s a fun tea! I am really liking it!

You can taste the black tea, strawberry, mint, and green tea flavors more than the rhubarb but it all blends pretty good and I feel this is a nice – creative blend!

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77
drank Snowbud by Adagio Teas
110 tasting notes

This is the first unflavored white tea I’ve ever tried, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I like it!. The first sip was a little grassy tasting, but I am surprised by the intensity and fragrance of this cup. It seemed delicate at first sip, then intensified, as though my palate adjusted to it. I read Cofftea’s notes, and I agree, there is something like butter or toffee in the flavor.

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75

Adagio’s White Symphony has become a new favorite – slightly sweet and a nice cup while I’m getting some work done.

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75

Great by itself. I’m going to try blending it next time though

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75

Clean, light and relaxing.

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75

Very soothing and that is exactly what I need at the moment.

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82
drank Sour Apple by Adagio Teas
104 tasting notes

When I first smelled this tea, I was worried that it would taste like a Jolly Rancher, but it was a surprisingly pleasant tea with a nice sour taste that makes it fun to drink.

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81
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

The weather is overcast, humid and rainy for the second week in a row and I’m getting grouchy about it. So grouchy, in fact, that I am too grumpy to really make tea. My tea consumption had been drastically reduced because of this and I’ve felt the lack. I’m still grumpy and grouchy and sulking about the weather but decide that I needed tea, even if I didn’t really want to make it. So I put some water into my 10oz cup, dropped a dragon ball in, meandered into the living room and flipped on History Channel and answered some emails.

The first few sips were like hot water sprinkled with a bit of cocoa powder but I had only let the ball soak for a maybe couple of minutes, not nearly long enough. The water was too hot still anyway, so I let it cool a bit more. By the time it was easy sipping temperature, I ended up with a lovely cup of tea. The last two or three sips (I emptied the cup because I was too lazy to refill) were perhaps a bit on the tannic side but still quite pleasant.

I’m not a big one for imprecise brewing methods but this tea makes it so easy and rewarding that I’m probably going to be doing it more while the weather is so icky.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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81
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

Oddly enough when I searched from “Dragon Balls”, this tea did not come up. Boo. Anyway…

As the song Cup of Brown Joy says, “If you’re tired of tea then you’re tired of life.” Well, I’m not so much tired of life, but it has been feeling somewhat blah lately. And so I’ve been somewhat blah about tea as well. So yeah, I’m still drinking it but I’m just not that excited. Which is stupid because I have some teas to try that I’ve wanted to try for a while and now I have the chance! But I feel that they deserve more than blah me so I’m holding on for enthusiastic me to come back. (If the freakin’ wind would stop trying to blow my house down and the sun would stay out, enthusiastic me would probably show up quicker.)

With my lackadaisical attitude about, well, everything lately, I took a different approach to this tea today. I tossed a couple of balls :snicker: in my cup, boiled some water, brought the kettle to my desk, filled up my cup and just kept topping my cup off as I sipped. So there’s no real steeping time, no real water temp. I really wish I had some oolong at work to try this with but maybe tomorrow.

So how did the experiment work? Okay, so I ended up with a slightly strong first cup since I needed to let the water cool so I could drink it and it kept get stronger as I got about half way down into the cup. But it didn’t get bitter, just strong and I learned to top off my cup frequently-ish and that took care of the too-strong issue. And I might have had to put a leaf bit or two back in the cup at the beginning. But a bit of leaf floating into my mouth isn’t near as bad as a gnat or something and once things got going the leaves stayed firmly in the bottom of the cup (which was kind of neat). The tea tasted good even though there was fair amount of variety depending on how much water was in the cup and how long it had been since I last added more. In fact, towards the end it ended up being pretty sweet which is something I don’t think I’ve hit on with this tea before.

All in all it worked out pretty great and the brewing style fit in well with my current meh-ness. It seemed like I got a lot more tea out of the leaf than I would have otherwise (close to about 26oz I’d guess) and it was pretty tasty once I got the hang of when to top off and by how much. So I’m gonna count this as a win and make note to do it again. Even if the leaves in my cup did make it look like I was drinking a cup of swamp water.

TeaEqualsBliss

DRAGON BALLS! LOL
LOVE IT!!!!

S

I know what you mean about the teas deserving more that “blah me”…I’ve been kind of put off of tea after my Samovar order, because it was so hyped up yet the tins were so tiny and the one I tried so far (Four Seasons) was just a “meh” weak tie guan yin for me that I spent a (very small) fortune on…I haven’t been able to really write a review since then because I know I have to write a “meh” review for FS but then everyone on steepster will kill me in my sleep, heh. And that’s just makes me feel “blah” because whenever I remember the tins, I feel like I got ripped off big time, and that depresses me, and I get put off of drinking the tea…

Auggy

TeaEqualsBliss, I kid you not, that’s what I searched for. It didn’t show up. :(
Aww, poor Shanti. I didn’t really ‘get’ the Four Seasons love until I went a bit heavy on the leaf – then I got a fuller taste to it. Before that it seemed a bit flat. So hopefully you’ll find the love.

TeaEqualsBliss

I just might have to blend an Adagio Signature Blend and call it DRAGON BALLS…lol…

S

I’ll have to try it that way. I just feel deceived…the website says 40 servings with multiple infusions. How big are the servings supposed to be?? There can’t be more than 15, maybe 20 teaspoons in my tin, which is barely half full. After this experience, I will not be ordering from Samovar ever again, nor will I recommend them. Plus, I had to steep FS for like 4 minutes, and I could barely taste anything, whereas my other TGYs for around 45 seconds and the flavor is much stronger and has that signature TGY heavy mouth feel. So boo to FS, and boo to Samovar.

rage>

Somehow I feel better after typing that out publically, heh…I’ve been avoiding Steepster since I tried the FS, but I feel motivated again to type up some tasting notes now. :)

Auggy

Wow, that seems very not good. I don’t know what to tell you. Even when I went lighter on the leaf there was still taste at 2 minutes but it didn’t truly shine for me until I did about .8g/oz (instead of the normal .5g/oz I start out with – yes, I have ratios, I’m a dork). I don’t know how that would equate to teaspoons though so I’m no real help there. Hopefully you got other things from them that are awesome and won’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth (literally or figuratively!)

Doulton

Shanti, I hear you. I figure that the amount of dry tea called for on the packages is suitable for a 4 ounce dainty little tea cup or even a demi-tasse. So I adjust like mad. I typically use 3 or sometimes even 4 times the amount called for in a typical mug of mine that holds perhaps 8 or 10 ounces. And I’ve never felt that there was too much tea in my tea!

Miss Sweet

Aw I’ve been wanting to try black dragon pearls for ages but never see them anywhere! Simply because the green ones are so pretty to watch unfurl but I’m not much of a fan of the taste.

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81
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

Cocoa, earthy, a little malty, smooth and sweet. Not really sure why I ended up going with a shorter steep time this time, but I did and it is still good.
5.2g/14oz

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

3 balls for 8oz… I pretty much can’t smell it today because my nose is so stuffy. Then I brilliantly decided to have a cup of Odwalla’s Strawberry C Monster, which I love but is by NO means flavorless. So sipping on a more delicate tea afterward (because almost any beverage has a more delicate flavor than Strawberry C Monster) made me think, “Wait, is this water?”

Thankfully, I’ve washed the Monster out of my mouth and can actually taste again. Mmm, this tea is good. Makes me think of baking cocoa, the stuff that any chocolate lover has tried eating straight just once, thinking that it will actually taste like chocolate.

It doesn’t.

This doesn’t taste exactly like that. There is so spitting or face-making involved when I drink this. But this isn’t chocolaty either because it isn’t sweet enough. I kind of feel like I’m having a grown up version of hot chocolate. So glad I got a tin of this with my last Adagio order!

Jillian

I got a sample tin if this tea in my Adagio order that just arrived. After all the conversations about the ‘balls’ I knew I had to try them. :D

Auggy

I really like them! It’s a very mellow, chill-out sort of tea for me. And they are in big balls. What’s not to like? Hehe.

takgoti

What else is Steepster good for if not some hot double-entendre on double-entendre action?

Well, a lot. But you can never have too many ball jokes in your life.

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81
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

Thanks to Lena for sharing this with me!

First off, the dry leaves (balls) smell like someone sprinkled cocoa on them… not my cat but rather the baking powder. Really surprising. I had a little trouble getting the right amount for my cup because I weigh my tea. I had to shuffle around a combination of 5 different balls (ahem) to get my 2.3g for 6oz that I wanted. The large and irregular ball size could be a problem for me. Or else I need to relax. (Probably that last one).

Once I got them in the pot, I was good to go. I was also way too entertained by watching the balls open. How do they get the leaves to stick like that? Anyone? Way too easily entertained.

The smell of the tea post-brewing is much earthier than the smell of the dry leaves. And I don’t get the strong cocoa flavor/smell anymore except as a bit of the aftertaste. It does have a little bitterness to it that reminds me of cocoa, though. Not a bad bitterness, just an unsweetened chocolate bitterness. But without the chocolate.

All in all, I like it. It’s smooth and has a good, complex flavor. Not really knock my socks off with flavor or anything but I think this is probably something I’d get to have every so often as part of a black tea rotation. Not a have to have on hand at all times kind of thing but something to bring in occasionally, use up, then move on to a couple more before ordering it again.

And if I haven’t babbled enough – my next door neighbor is trying to start the motor on his sail boat. Yes, it has been raining all day, but it isn’t that bad yet.

takgoti

You’ve been shuffling balls around, then, have you? This tea has been great, at the very least because the “ball” per tasting note count has skyrocketed on this site.

Carolyn

I’ve been using between five and seven balls per 8 ounce cup. Perhaps I’m just a ballsy kind of woman. The more I drink this tea, the more I like it.

Jillian

No idea how they make them but I love watching jasmine pearls unfurl in my mug. There’s something terribly ‘zen’ about it.

I missed the promo-thingy on these guys unfortuntely but they sound interesting enough that I might buy them the next time I order from Adagio.

Auggy

@takgoti: And there are sooo many jokes that this tea encourages me to make. That’s a total plus!

@Carolyn: I think 7 balls would scare me. That’s gotta be a fairly stout tea, yes?

@Jillian: These seemed fuzzier to me as they open compared to the jasmine pearls but that could have just been because of the size. Still, so fun.

This tea makes me wish Adagio sold something between the sample size and the 4oz tin (well, 5oz for this tea).

Carolyn

@Auggy: It brews up black as death with 7 balls and it produces a very stout, very caffeinated cup but not all that bitter. (Or at least it is bitter in a good, chocolatey way, not an unpleasant way.) It has a real body to it.

I’ve only drunk it at work where the water temperature gets to 190 degrees max, so that may be part of why 7 balls works.

Auggy

I’m sort of tempted to try what I will now think of as Carolyn’s Black Balls of Death brew.

Jillian

@Auggy: You make it sound almost like an STD! XD

/Sorry, my sense of humor isn’t very sophisticated when I’m this tired.

Auggy

Haha – and please! I snicker every time I type “balls”! You ARE the sophisticated one here!

takgoti

I’m really glad that I’m not alone when it comes to this kind of stuff. When I was in choir, we had to sing this song in Latin that had the word poenis [where the o and e are squished together – I don’t know how to do that on here without it involving more work than its worth]. It wasn’t even pronounced like what I think you know I’m getting to [poe-niece, if I remember correctly], but EVERY TIME, I would LOSE IT. And I’d make whoever was next to me start to lose it. Not too helpful when you’re trying to be all serious and dynamic and choir-y.

As for “Carolyn’s Black Balls of Death,” well done. I think that has a really nice ring to it. Someone should edit the tea name.

Auggy

I would ask what a poenis is… but in my world I already know the answer.

Hehe.

Cofftea

Auggy, glad to see I’m not the only one here that weighs her tea!:) Mine has a .01 accuracy so I go for 2.25g/6oz. Although these balls are so dense I just round up and don’t sift thru them.

Auggy

My scale is only accurate to .1g but I normally go for my normal 2.3g but sometimes I let it go of by .1… These little balls are tricky though! I think I just called it good at 2.5g after a few swaps and resisted the urge to dig through to get me the balls that would put me right at 2.3.

High-strung? Who, me? Nooooo.

Auggy

Nice! I have one of the My Weigh pocket scales… I’ll admit, I felt like Amazon thought I was a drug dealer when I bought it.

Cofftea

Why’s that?

Auggy

I tend to think that more people buy inexpensive, small weight scales to weigh their drugs into friendly, deal-able amounts than those that use them to measure tea.

Of course, there could be dealers out there that are big time into tea and they get a 2-for-1 deal. Bonus!

Jillian

lol, maybe they sell ‘special’ tea. ;)

Cofftea

Well I guess, if you want to automatically assume that they use those scales for drugs then don’t be surprised if amazon does as well. I; however, think tha’s very judgemental.

Auggy

Okay then.

Cynthia Carter

Wow. I’m surprised the mugs don’t dissolve with the amount of this tea you all are using. I made a pot tonight – 5 balls for a one pint pot.

And reading all of the comments on this tea, I am beginning to understand why Adagio refers to this tea as “pearls.” Dragon balls would be just way too entertaining.

Auggy

I weighed them and to get 2.3 – 2.5 g I needed per cup was 3 balls. I was somewhat surprised but the tea is good so I run with it! :)

S

Auggy, how did I miss this epic post until now?! STDs, poenis, and drug dealing (and related “judgmental”-ness), oh my!

Auggy

Thank you for commenting on this because it made me reread it all and laugh. So fun!

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