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Recent Tasting Notes
Steeped for longer today, and still didn’t get the flavor I was looking for. Has a great aroma, but that just doesn’t transfer to the taste, and you end up with a bland (and when over-steeped, bitter) taste with a bit of spice and no pumpkin. If you’re looking for a tea that tastes like you’re drinking a pumpkin pie, then this isn’t it.
Good, but not great. Wanted something special out of the Pumpkin Spice tea, but the pumpkin smell is much stronger than the taste, and it ends up being a pretty normal cup of black tea with a slight hint of pumpkin and spice. Maybe bump up the steep time and add milk? As suggested though, this was not a winner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.