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Recent Tasting Notes
New to darjeeling, they seem much lighter than the blacks I am used to. So far, enjoying very much! I can drink this tea straight but I do prefer a smidge of sugar (maybe 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon for a mug). Normally in my strong blacks (breakfast tea, golden monkey, black dragon pearl etc) I do scant teaspoon and splash of milk, but this is so light and delicate I would never add milk. Wonderful aftertaste. I did 1 steeping teaspoon per cup, steeped for a full 5 minutes and next time I am thinking of increasing the leaves to see if I can make it a little bolder while still having the light taste.
The first time I tried this it came out bitter. I gave it the benefit of the doubt by assuming that was probably because I had followed Adagio’s deficient brewing instructions, which say to use boiling water. The next time I tried it I used pre-boiling water (probably 180-190F; I’m really just guessing though) and it’s pretty heavenly and not bitter at all. It tastes a lot more like it smells, too, like sunshine on fields and fresh sweet grass hay and all the best hints of wonderfully oxidized tea leaves.
The smell of the tea reminded me of twisting open an oreo, but it tasted exactly as advertised: somewhat astringent black tea with a sweet cream flavor. Not going to be a favorite but I can see why people put it in blends.
Flavors: Astringent, Cream
Good, but a bit too bitter to be up in my favorites. I steeped for 3 minutes at around 190, so I may need to play with the parameters a few times to get it just right. The toasted rice flavor was very nice, but I would have enjoyed it even more if the bitterness of the green tea was toned down just a tad.
I can’t give this one a fair review because it’s my own damn fault I didn’t notice I’d added a sample of pumpkin spice rather than pu erh spice, which was adjacent to it on the alphabetical list.
I do not like pumpkin spice drinks. Believe me, I’ve tried. I love pumpkin in pie, in cheesecake, simply roasted with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of sea salt. I have a recipe for pumpkin muffins that I’ve been making for 25 years. And I love spice: I have so many variations of chai that I love, and I’m always finding new ways to incorporate new spice blends into my baking and cooking. My five-spice gingerbread biscuits were a highlight of the Christmas season.
And I love when black teas have pumpkiny notes in and of themselves, but this doesn’t taste anything like that. I’m not sure what it tastes like. It doesn’t taste like pumpkin spice lattes, which I also hate, but I kind of also hate it.
Which makes me sad because there aren’t a lot of adagio’s flavours that I’m not keen on.
So I know I’m not selling it well, but if anybody wants an almost full sample sachet of pumpkin spice tea…
I’ve been drinking this tea all week (on the strength of one sample from Adagio. Three cheers for multiple steepings!) and I can’t get enough of the great balance of flavors. The fruity note does come out a little too strongly on the first steep, but I add milk and that balances it. The hearty Pu Erh flavor is evident as well, though it comes into its own more on second and third steeps. I’ve only gotten it to about four steeps before it gets watery, but that’s probably because I’ve been using 2-3 times the amount of water recommended by Adagio.
After reading reviews of this tea on steepster, and a few on Adagio’s own site, I decided to drink this tea paired with other teas, instead of alone. That seems to be the best way to do it, and my first experience was a great one. First thing this morning I had a big mug of Irish Breakfast (a favorite), then a few hours later, steeped the Irish Breakfast leaves a second time, this time adding 2 tsp of Cream to the pot. And it was wonderful! A very “creamy,” soft and silky tea, with notes of caramel and vanilla. I think it’s absolutely delicious, and I’m going to love trying this again with other black teas like my favorite (Chestnut).
I remembered after steeping this that, since it’s mate, you shouldn’t actually steep it in boiling water no matter what adagio says unless you want it to be kind of bitter. Whoops, lol. Anyway, I still really like it. I’m currently of the opinion that spiced is one of the better ways to drink mate. :)
I really liked this tea when I first tried it; it was spicy, pungent, and interesting. It didn’t really remind me of the holidays per se, but at least it was nice and warming with the strong flavors of cinnamon, clove, and orange peel.
The last few times I’ve made it, though—despite steeping for quite a while—it came out a bit bland, actually…like diluted cinnamon/orange black tea. Hm…maybe I’ve inadvertently cut down on the amount of tea I’m using, or maybe I somehow managed to concentrate all of the delicious herbal/spice bits into earlier cups…?
Anyway, the tea WAS good when I made it properly, but I’m hesitant to recommend this one since if you’re ordering from Adagio and want an interesting “holiday” flavor, I’d personally go with the gingerbread for the same price per cup.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange Zest
The first few sips of this one didn’t excite me. I thought it a fairly weak black, and the flavor profile vague and not at all what I expected. Too fruity? But by the time I had finished my mug, I changed my mind. The flavor seemed to grow on me, gaining strength and definition. I was now picking up a lot of the chocolate and caramel advertised, and enjoying it thoroughly.
I tried a second steeping with some added Chestnut. This is turning into my go-to strategy for all the Adagio blacks, and it hasn’t let me down yet. The combination was fantastic. Is there anything that doesn’t pair well with Chestnut? If so, I haven’t found it yet!
Enjoying a little Chocolate Chip this morning, combined (I almost always take this tea with another one…I like my chocolate flavoring with something else, not so much by itself) with the last of my Coconut Macaroon. It’s really nice, and I can get away with using less sweetener, because chocolate is one of those flavors that I like just fine on the un-sweet side. Yes, I have been known to drizzle plain, unsweetened “bakers” chocolate on top of homemade energy bars, trusting the raisins in the bar to carry enough sweetness. My kids think I’m insane.
I just have to say, this is a tea I’m keeping as a pantry staple. I never drink it alone (chocolate flavored tea by itself just seems boring), but it combines SO WELL with other flavors. I like it with all manner of chais, with this coconut tea, with my Irish Breakfast, even with some herbals like Peppermint. I can’t imagine not having it on hand.
I’m still not over the Star Wars. I don’t know if that’s evident by my, like, having gotten a buttload of Star Wars teas in. This is normal behaviour, isn’t it? I’m also holding out for my friend’s shop getting a backorder of the Pop vinyl figure of helmetless Poe Dameron, and if my finances weren’t utterly decimated for the forseeable future, I’d be tempted by the lego set with little Admiral Ackbar. He’s my favourite! NERDNERDNERD
As it is, I’m presently mainlining tea whilst I binge-listen the Arcade Fire Meets David Bowie EP for an essay I’ve been asked to write for a forthcoming book. There’s a lot of memories in this for me.
But first, tea. There are so many layers to this tea, it’s astounding. The dry leaves yield an intensely nutty, sweet buttery fragrance, with fresh strawberry following. As soon as it begins to brew, the perfume transforms into warm, spiced honey. The flavour is wrapped in luscious, bright strawberry, underscored by creamy, earthy notes of maple and buttery hazelnut, while hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger add lingering warmth to the finish. And to my eternal delight, the coconut doesn’t really flavour it (as it just kills every other flavour for me when it does) but lends an extra creaminess to the texture instead. It’s as beautiful as Poe’s shining, tousled hair, as warm as the light in his eyes when he looks at Finn. Balanced, beautiful, and perfect.
Adding a second note to this tea, because as I took my time drinking through my first mug, I found I liked it more and more with every sip. I didn’t expect that. Now an hour after finishing it, I’m still thinking about it and wishing I had another mug of it. So I’m bumping up the rating a little to reflect how it’s grown on me. I’ll definitely buy a full-size bag of this sometime in the future. Nice tea!