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Recent Tasting Notes
On the 6th day of sipdowns (backlog)…
I had this yesterday as I ran out the door on weekend number 5 of apartment hunting and it was the best tasting cup of this I’ve had to date. There wasn’t much pumpkin-y flavor, but the stereotypical pumpkin spice flavor was there, a bit overwhelmed by the black tea, but sill there. I grabbed this in the holiday sampler last year, and I wouldn’t buy it on it’s own, but if it was packaged up with some others I liked again for a good price I might snag it.
Sipdown no. 189. The rest of the sample.
Made a big honking pot of this on the stove top using Premium Steap’s Organic Black with Coconut as extra black tea. Yes, my stove won’t click problem of yesterday has been solved. As has my outlet problem. The gremlins were messing with me but fled when the BF turned things on. Go figure. Internet is still flaky, though.
Definitely improved when made this way, so I’m upping the rating. However, still my least favorite of the Adagio chai samples. The additional coconut benefited this in my view as I can now taste the sweetness of the coconut where as before it got tangled up with the lemongrass and they sort of cancelled each other out. On the other hand, the reason I drink chai is for the chai spices, especially cardamom. The chai spices are very background here and not very strong.
And with this, I will have at least tasted all of the sample chais in the set from Adagio. Some were sipped down long ago. Only three of the original six or seven have any small bits left.
I wasn’t sure what I’d think of this one because the flavors that make this Thai are also the flavors that make me a reluctant Thai food eater. My relationship with Thai food goes like this: ooooh, cool! Thai food! Yum! Want! and then when I’m leaving the restaurant, I’m inevitably disappointed in whatever it was I ate, unless what I ate was the old standby for people who don’t really eat Thai food, Pad Thai. It just sounds so much better to me in theory than it actually tastes to my palate.
One of the main ingredients that makes for that result is coconut. Which I like by itself, and with other forms of fruit. Or with chocolate. But with things like shrimp and chicken and fish it can be too sweet for me. I tend to prefer savory flavors in my meats; I’m not a big fan of sweet and sour, either.
Fortunately, there is no shrimp, chicken, or fish in this tea. I decided to try this for a first go according to the Adagio steeping directions for the most part. I steeped it a bit longer than recommended because that seemed to improve the Spiced Apple.
Straight up, its pretty meh. Kind of like the Spiced Apple was meh straight up, only there is more coconut in this than there was apple in that. Sweetened and with milk, it’s better. But it’s not the coconut that is making this weird for me, it’s the lemongrass. It sort of takes the sweetness I was expecting from the coconut and undercuts it so that it’s not really that sweet any more.
I’ll try it on the stovetop another time, maybe with some coconut tea as the extra black and see what that does. But at this point it’s my least favorite among all the Adagio chai samples.
Flavors: Coconut, Lemongrass, Spices
Sipdown no. 174. The rest of the sample.
For the finale, I gave this the stove top treatment. In addition to the chai mixture, I added Teas Etc.’s Assam Reserve and the Upton Turkish Apple. Two tbsp chai, two tbsp assam, 3tbsp apple.
Definitely an improvement on all fronts, so much so that I’m gonna bump this up a couple of points on the theory that prepared as nature intended chai to be prepared it did better.
It’s actually better than this number reflects, but I’m not bumping it more because a big part of the improvement is, I think, because I added the apple. The blend needed more apple from the get go, and if it had had that, I’d have given it higher marks.
Today is turning out to be a day for experimentation.
Yesterday I mentioned that I’d like to try adding some of this http://steepster.com/teas/upton-tea-imports/6598-turkish-apple and steeping per Adagio’s instructions to see whether that brought out the apple more, but didn’t think I had enough of the Spiced Apple Chai left to try both that and a stovetop session.
Oh joy, I was wrong — after doing some preemptive measuring, I discovered I have enough to try both!
I did a 1:1 ratio of chai to apple, and there is definitely more apple flavor. I think I could have gone even farther and done 2:1. Adding milk and sweetener brings the apple flavor out even more.
I’m not changing the rating because I had to do things to this to get it to where I thought it was really good — but I’m pleased with how this turned out.
Later this afternoon or tomorrow, I’ll try the last bit of the sample on the stovetop and see how that goes. I think I’ll give it an extra tbsp of the apple when I try that.
Today is overcast and wintery looking. If I lived somewhere it snowed, it would look like it was about to snow. It’s not really that cold out, but a bit chilly. If it was just a little colder it would be pretty much all the winter we get here.
With that sort of weather, at this time of year, this blend seemed appealing because it smells to me like what people in Texas used to call wassail when I was growing up. I don’t think it’s really wassail because I’m pretty sure real wassail has alcohol of some kind in it. The kind we used to have at friends’ houses was pretty much heated up apple juice with spices in it.
In the sample tin, that’s what this smells like. Mostly cinnamon and some apple. I thought about preparing this on the stovetop, but I was too lazy today to try that. I have enough of the sample to give it a go a bit later. So today I just steeped according to Adagio’s directions. The steeped tea smells like a heated version of the dry tea.
Unfortunately, though, I wasn’t able to get a whole lot of flavor out of this. Apple isn’t really present for me in the sip, though I do taste it in the aftertaste. Mostly I taste cinnamon. Not much tea flavor either. This saddens me because I enjoyed the other Adagio chai samples quite a bit, and this one sounded so good.
I wondered if it would be better with a drop of milk and some Splenda, but that didn’t change the flavor a whole lot other than muting the cinnamon just a bit.
I’m tempted to put a bit of the Turkish apple fruit tisane I have from Upton in with this and see what that does. Haven’t decided whether to do that instead of trying it using the stovetop method. Or I suppose I could put the Turkish apple into the mixture and prepare it stovetop. I don’t have enough left to try it both ways, so I’ll have to pick one.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon
Another questionably old tea, this one is from a swap or TTB so I have no clue how old this one is. But it is at least over a year old, so take this with a grain of salt.
The dry leaf smells like buttered popcorn to me, though brewed up it smells like an apricoty, peachy jam. It definitely seems to have lost flavor due to age. Nothing tastes bad, but instead of distinct flavors I’m just getting a vague fruity sweet flavor
I’m finally getting around to trying this, I’ve had it for maybe about a month now. The dry tisane itself smells delicious – very nutty and chocolately. I ended up steeping mine for about 3 min at 160 F. The resulting liquor is a light golden brown. You can definitely smell and taste the nuttiness but I feel like the chocolate flavor is lacking. Perhaps I need to steep it a little longer since Adagio suggests 3-5 min. Regardless, this tea is pretty yummy and smooth. Not bitter at all. This is the first mate I’ve ever tried. I also like how there is no oily film in this tisane as there are with some others that include chocolate pieces.
My last cup of tea for the night is another sipdown (the upcoming TTB boxes are making me feel the need to clean out my cupboard so I can try new things!)
This guy definitely lost it’s flavor as time went on (and quickly!) But I really do enjoy it. It has a sweet, marzipan flavor and the rooibos is definitely present underneath with some woodsy tones. I definitely will pick up another sample packet of this (but probably not a 3oz bag because it loses flavor so fast.)
Flavors: Earth, Marzipan, Rooibos, Sweet, Wood
I haven’t had much luck with adagio’s rooibos flavors in the past but one of my friends suggested this one so I picked up a sample.
It tastes like marzipan, but in a good way. I wish there was a little more true almond flavor, but I still like it. It’s got the woodsy rooibos undertones with the strong marzipan almond flavor. I’d classify it as a dessert tea.
Flavors: Almond, Marzipan, Rooibos, Wood
My son has taken an early interest in tea (which makes his mama proud) so I decided to order the ice cream trio. We’ve spent the last month mixing up fun blends like vanilla with strawberry bits, peppermint cacao chocolate, and chocolate coconut. We ran out of sprinkles early on in our experiments, little man decided to munch on them as he created his blends, so we’ve refilled the glass container a few times already.
Unfortunately Adagio doesn’t sell refills for this set, but you can purchase additional base teas for $2 per sample-size package (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry) and raid your kitchen for new add-ins to fill your jars. The possibilities with this set are endless which is one of the reasons I think it’s so much fun.
You can read the full review on my blog:
This is a comforting sort of cup – it’s nutty and tastes kinda like fall leaves look, although at first taste it’s a bit thin, flavour-wise. A hefty slosh of soymilk helped to balance out the toasted hazlenut notes and left me with something that reminds me vaguely of cookies.
It’s not the cup I expected to get from this tea, but it’s definitely delicious. Better suited to an evening cup than a morning one, though, so I’ll save this for my pre-bed ritual from here on out.
I did use more tea than recommended (3 tsp) so this may account for my mediocre reaction. My first impression was it tasted like Citronella smells. I didn’t like it. I worked to finish it but as I worked on the cup, my dislike lessened and fell into just okay. I notice that I liked it better on the second steep which suggests that I made it too strong. I liked the quality of the leaves themselves and they opened up beautifully. I don’t know if I would go out of my way to purchase it again because citrus based tea isn’t my first like. It came with a sample pack and I’m looking forward to trying the others.
I got this in a swap awhile back and I’ve been waiting to try it for awhile. It’s vegetal but not heavily, I do taste more hay, grass, and overall earthy tones but it’s mellow. This is the first green tea I’ve had (other than some flavored ones from Teavana) that I’ve had and actually enjoyed – thanks Uchinaguchi for the swap & introducing me to new teas I never would have tried on my own!
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Honey, Vegetal
Dry: smells very strongly of orange and chocolate. Instantly reminds me of those chocolate orange balls!
Wet: mostly orange. The smell of chocolate seems to go away here.
Liquor: a dark brown with some orange. The smell of chocolate and orange is more subtle here.
The actual tea has more of an orange taste with the chocolate note hitting at the end before you swallow. It’s pretty interesting. There is also some very slight earthiness from the pu’erh but to me it is very subtle. The tea leaves me with a slightly dry mouth.
Overall I think it’s a decent tea and I like it, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to repurchase it.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Orange
It has taken me forever to drink through a bag of 15 tea bags with this tea. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this tea. At first, I really did not like this tea because it was just a watered down version of a chai tea (milk especially didn’t help. It only added to the watered down-ness of the tea). It wasn’t until recently that I found (as with so many other teas) if I sweetened it with light agave nectar, the taste was what I was looking for. It’s a nice spicy chai tea with a little kick of apple. Turned out to be a great tea for autumn.