Custom-Adagio Teas, Cara McGee

Recent Tasting Notes

The vanilla is much stronger here than I expected. I was worried it would be a strong chai taste but mostly it is like a spiced vanilla tea. It is actually quite nice so thank you Roswell Strange for sending some my way. 169.

Kittenna

Spiced vanilla? adds to wishlist

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63

Sipdown! And thanks to Terri HarpLady for a sample of this tea, way long ago! Of course, my boyfriend and I burned through most of the episodes featuring River, so I ended up drinking it while watching Heroes. Ah well. Anyways, it was an intriguing blend. The brewed aroma was strongly earl grey/bergamot, but the flavour was more nuanced – I could taste the lemon (it reminded me of DavidsTea’s Earl of Lemon), and the rooibos (also, it gave me a scratchy throat), but didn’t notice the coconut. Perhaps it added a bit of creaminess, but not much else. I’m sure this would have been a bit tastier had I drank it sooner, but it was still a good cup (and I have a re-steep coming up later tonight, I think). Probably not a tea I would care to have again though, mostly because I didn’t care for the inclusion of rooibos here, and I’m not the hugest fan of earl greys (unless there’s loads of creaminess, which there wasn’t quite here).

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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63

The last Hobbit Tea to try cold brewed!

I’m remembering when I was at Robyn’s place and we watched both the Hobbit movies and her roommates severely judged me when I found sick, on his last limb, dying Kili to be the sexiest thing ever. Hot damn; take me now Kili, if you have the strength to do so. I mean, even though you’re looking fine you’re not really looking so fine, you know?

But anyway; that’s definitely not really super relevant to the tea so…

WHY IS THIS SO GINGER HEAVY? It makes me really, really sad because the ginger was basically all I could taste overtop a mediocre black base with maybe a tiny faint presence of vanilla. I mean, actually it was ok but definitely not anything more than that. And I am fearful of the hot cup. I don’t see the hot cup being any kind of improvement on this one.

So basically, nope.

I recommended Kili, but not Kili inspired tea.

Cameron B.

Sounds like all of the Hobbit teas are spice-themed… :(

Cameron B.

P.S. – I find Fili way more attractive than Kili!

Roswell Strange

Basically all of them but Party King…

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73

Sipdown (99)!

Double digits! Holy fucking shit. I don’t even know when the last time that happened was. Like, a yearish ago? Damn.

Anyway; to finish this one up I added some milk and brewed it in a timolino for work. I didn’t add the milk because I thought it was bring out any of the flavours especially, but the last time I had this I thought it was rather bland and muddled so the goal with the milk was just to sort of add any sort of flavour.

And it was ok; mostly I just tasted the milk and the black base and I was alright with that because that was drinkable and not bad tasting – on a few sips I somewhat got some cinnamon but otherwise nothing remarkable or notable. I’m definitely fine with being out of this one now.

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73

WAY less clove-y than the cold brew which is major disappointing. And really that’s the flavour that mattered the most, to me anyway. The rest was muddled and hard to discern.

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73

Cold Brew!

Even though this is definitely a Chai, I was excited when I opened up the tin because there are lots and lots of visible cloves in the dry leaf. I love cloves! And thankfully, the taste was also very clove heavy. Enough to mask any other unwanted spice flavour! It was also kinda neat experiencing cloves cold – I typically only have them in hot tea. Holla!

I also got a bit of fruity sweetness – the apple I suppose. I’m interested to see how this fares hot. Not a half bad blend.

Also; Steepster chat has entered a very dark place friends. I pulled up the page for 52Tea’s Dreamscile Pu’Erh to do a comparison and that opened a scary can of worms since everyone was reminded of The Hot Pocket Vine.

This has now led into a probably really bad direction and Starfevre is now attempting to find internet content to traumatize me. So far I’ve explored “Goatse” (meh) – but that has led to me typing out the phrase “Obama is gazing into the butthole”. That’s something I can honestly say I never expected to say ever.

So, umm, caution? Steepster chat may be going to a very dark place tonight.

I promise to make my next note for this one more normal.

Flavors: Cloves

Starfevre

you missed it earlier when we were discussing dead Russian Sex Geckos.

Roswell Strange

I am sad I missed that conversation.

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73

Cold Brew!

This one was pretty popular on Steepster for a while back when it used the old formulation (with Sweet Potato instead of Pumpkin Spice). Or at least it feels that way to me; I remember seeing a lot of notes on this in very close proximity a while ago. I’d have loved to have tried the Sweet Potato pie version back when it was making rounds – still, this one smells really good dry. Better than I thought it would, so I was still pumped to get to try it how it is now.

It actually was surprisingly good! Maybe actually the best Hobbit tea so far? It was a little tough breaking things down individually but as a whole this gave off a very “Pumpkin Pie” sort of vibe, complete with the pie crust! I look forward to seeing how it turns out hot, but if all fails I can just finish it off cold brewed! Tis the season for Pumpkin Tea, right?

Relating to the character though; not sure how I feel about the flavour choices. I get why they were picked out, but I just feel like better choices maybe could have been made? I think this should maybe have been sweeter? I don’t know though. I’m no expert.

Terri HarpLady

It’s been awhile since I had this one, but I really loved it :)

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69

Sipdown (109)!

- I did it again where I wasn’t paying attention and I just drank this
- I don’t remember what the flavours were like!
- Vaguely remember chocolate/orange in the initial sip
- But feel like I might just be grasping at straws here and not accurately recollecting
- And now I’m out and sad… Ugh.
- At least it can’t be bad; I’d remember that.

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69

Made in my timolino, but unfortunately this is just another example of why I shouldn’t always drink tea and multi-task (or rather attempt to multi-task) because at some point I got distracted and stopped paying attention to the taste of what I was drinking.

I just remember a generalized sort of impression of this being smooth and comforting. Like, that “homey” nesting sort of feeling when you curl up with a bundle of blankets? I’ll need to pay more attention to the sipdown.

I fooded too fast guys; my delivery order got here and I ate a whole pizza in under ten minutes. Now I feel queasy…

Kittenna

Hahaha, no longer feeling queasy? (Yum, pizza.)

Cameron B.

I don’t think I can eat a whole pizza…

VariaTEA

“I fooded too fast” is an amazing phrase. I hope you feel less queasy soon

Mikumofu

be careful with fooding! :D

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69

Watching The Voice with Tre and eating/drinking some yummy tea things; I’ve got a tiny list of back logged notes from throughout last week to get through, so why not try and pluck away at that while we watch? Yay productivity!

This was a cold brew, continuing with the idea of trying all the Hobbit teas cold brewed and hot at least once. I didn’t expect to like this one; even though there were good ingredients like sweet potato and chocolate there’s also too much spice and stuff but it was ok. Just ok, but ok is better than not ok. It was a little muddled; there were chocolate notes and nondescript Chai spice notes. Overall I mildly got the impression of gingerbread.

I hope it’ll be better hot; there was a lot of stuff in this that I felt I was missing out on that I was sorta looking forward to – Sweet Potato, and the mate. Hmmm…

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A sample from Shmiracles! Thank you. :)

Sadly, I find the Adagio lapsang blends to be almost stomach-churningly like drinking soaked campfire ash. So, uh, not for me. It was pretty smooth, but the flavour just did not work at all.

Maybe if it was 1/16 lapsang and mostly the other blends I’d like it more, but as it stands I had to dump it. :( I hate doing that with tea.

I tried it with maple syrup and milk.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Starfevre

I miss shmiracles. I haven’t seen her for a while.

OMGsrsly

She and Oddree occasionally update on Instagram or Tumblr, but yeah. I miss her notes.

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72

Sipdown (101)!

That moment when you’re lying in bed with all the lights off except for the glow of the computer screen and, out of the very corner of your eye, you see the movement of something on the edge of your bed. At first the realization is slow, but then it hits you all at fucking once. Spider.

I swear, I nearly shit myself. I don’t know if I’ve bolted so quickly anywhere in months but in two seconds flat I had moved from totally stretched out across the whole couch (my bed) to blanketless in the fetal position pressed into the far corner of the couch on the opposite side. I fucking hate spiders, and that this was like four inches from my face. Plus, it was HUGE. Like, the size of a Loonie or a Twoonie. I had to call Tre from his room and make him kill it for me because I was too paralyzed with fear to go anywhere except farther away. When he squished it; we could hear an audible “pop”. I may have cried a little. He may have cried a little.

And then I couldn’t sleep for a few hours, so I made a cup of the most calming/relaxing thing that came to mind – the last of this roasty toasty tea, with extra vanilla notes present in this last cup. I had the heebiejeebies for days afterwards. So much nope.

Anlina

Oh god, that sounds awful. I’m glad Tre came to the rescue.

VariaTEA

Haha we had spiders in my apartment in Montreal and usually we just let them hang out. The only ones I killed were the ones that decided to dangle over my bed because they were being rude and getting in my personal space. If they stayed on the walls/ceiling/ground, I just let them be.

Shadowfall

Loonie or a Twoonie?
Also, ugh. I hate when that sort of thing happens. Though I mostly get more when the cat stills and stares intently at something and then I spot the spider/bug/whatever. /shudder/

Roswell Strange

I forget some of you aren’t Canadian. Shadowfall, Loonies and Twoonies are, respectively, the (nick)names of Canadian one dollar and two dollar coins.

Kittenna

VariaTea – My roommate and I have also given up on our house spiders. Mostly, they are unobtrusive, and hang out in corners, or up on ceilings. But every now and then, one decides to scurry quickly out from under something, and it must be relocated (I have a little trap thing, and take them outside). I don’t like it when they move quickly. Also, anywhere on the bed is grounds for relocation. They only die when they’re stupid enough to greet me in the shower – I really have no other options then!

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72

- I think this is far better hot than cold
- It was vegetal and roasty almost on a 50/50 level
- Vanilla was still present and it sweetened everything and added depth of flavour
- And unlike the CB I could taste juicy apricot! Lighter, but present.
- There was an almost indescribable elegantness to this
- Felt like an accurate representation of the character to a fairly good degree

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72

Don’t know how it happened, but somehow this ended up being the Hobbit tea I was most excited about. I mean, it’s all green tea – but I guess green tea I can get behind? I mean, roasty Hojicha and then vanilla/apricot? Yes please. Plus, I think it’s the only blend that doesn’t have spices of some sort in it.

So this was my morning cold brew today! I spent all morning drinking it while I put together some awesome Halloween packages for my Tea Friends. Actually, assembling everything took much longer than I thought it would (so worth it, though); but I’m all done now with one exception. I’m still waiting to hear back with the address for one more person. No pressure. After that I can mail things out!

This was pretty good cold brewed; the Hojicha and vanilla absolutely were the most present/noticable things and were very smooth and thirst quenching. I with they had been a little more noticeable, though. As for the apricot? Totally absent, which was disappointing; that would have added perfectly to the taste, and captured Thranduil’s dramatic/flamboyant flare so perfectly.

I love Thranduil. Everytime I see him I just picture this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJmHPprVBnw Those two might as well be one and the same. I mean, they’re both highly disappointed in their sons and long, pale blonde haired “Kings” with a dramatic flair. Perf. But also, Lee Pace is a BAMF.

So this worked for the character and was good, but just a tiny bit disappointing. I am excited to try it hot though because I think this is just more suited to that format in general – so I’m retaining the same high hopes I had initially for this prep method.

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Ok, this one must have gotten blasted with the Febreze during Tre’s cleaning rampage because surely it can’t be this disgusting all on its own.

Firstly; I can see how the Chai comes into play here – but it’s not even the spices in this that are grossing me out. It just tastes oily and dirty. Not “earthy” – but dirty. Like someone dropped food on the kitchen floor and then waited like ten minutes before picking it up – only to discover it’s now coated in lint/dust and little bits and chunks of spoiled food. Like, one of the things that came to mind to describe this was “sour milk” – but I didn’t even add a touch of milk to this nor are there really any dairyesque things in this blend to begin with.

I seriously don’t remember it being this bad cold brewed. I mean, I don’t remember loving it – but I’m pretty sure it was drinkable…

EDIT: I just went back and read my cold brew tasting note; apparently it was worse than I remember it being. I used the word “slimey” to describe it, and that seems like an apt description here as well. So maybe it’s not Febreze – and I’m just not a fan of this one in the slightest.

Cheri

I’m sorry, but this note made me laugh. Sorry the tea was so bad.

Sami Kelsh

Man – I actually quite like 2 out of the 3 teas in that blend, maybe their gingerbread is just unpleasant? That just sounds downright nope, and I’m really sorry that it was gross, and I’m also really sorry that this review totally amused me :p

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So I bought Cara’s Tea for Travelers sampler!

It’s my first Adagio sampler, although I’ve tried all of the Harry Potter and Firefly blends in their respective samplers, and sampled a few odd ones from other samplers. I have to say, the tins are precious and adorable and once they’re empty I look forward to finding stuff to keep in them. Although, I have to say they were pretty packed – almost to a point where I’m unhappy because when I opened a few of them it was impossible to not spill the leaf despite how careful I was trying to be.

I’ve decided I want to try at least one cold brew and straight cup for all the blends, and then go from there and fiddle around with things – and I started with the “Majestic King” (aka Thorin) as a cold brew. I ended up straining this one, and then drinking it on my day out with my Aunt and Grandma yesterday when they came to visit. We stopped at my store because my Grandma wanted to see where I work, and then we went back to my Aunt’s house in the city where we just watched daytime talk shows like Dr. Phil and Ellen and had a nice sit down meal. So it was a relaxed, casual day.

Taste wise; I don’t know how I feel about this. I mean to be fair, there are a lot of ingredients in it that I’m not huge on such as the ginger but even still there was something sorta weird and off about it. There was this very oily/slimey taste present throughout the whole thermos and immediately my mind went to the Pu’Erh in the blend because of the whole “fish” comparison, but it could possibly have bee from something else. I did taste the ginger fairly clearly, and recognized Adagio’s black base – other things like the cinnamon or orange were much, much more subtle and hard to pick out.

For now I wont rate until I’ve tried this hot; partly because I know I have some bias towards the ingredients, and partly because of the weird slimeyness that I’m not one hundred percent sure was from the tea; it’s possible something else like my teaware was causing it (though I am pretty confidant everything was properly washed).

As for character accuracy; I can definitely see the intentions behind what went into the blend and for the most part I think they were well thought out; I don’t know how well I think the oranges mesh with everything else though and I’d have liked to see something sweeter in here (vanilla, perhaps) to sort of emphasize how Thorin’s attitude develops in regard to other characters, like Bilbo. Oh well.

VariaTEA

Dude, I had the same problem with the tins. How do they get all the tea in there without it going everywhere when they close it?!?!

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coconut and apple rounded out by sweet vanilla. It gets bitter/astringent very quickly but when I remember to lower temp(very low) all the flavors are balanced and the tea becomes malty and not bitter.

I made fish fingers and custard for dinner last night, I don’t recommend that combo.

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70

A robust tea that makes one think of leather and smoke. But don’t let it frighten you off; it’s got plenty of heart. This tea is full of gruff flavor between the pu erh dante and gunpowder. The hazelnut is faint among the presence of the other two teas, but the blend is comforting in a way that reminds you of curling up in your father’s armchair, wrapped in a well worn flannel shirt.

Flavors: Leather, Smoke

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Everyone says that this tastes like blueberries, I’d like to respectfully disagree! This is definately blackberries! Or at least it strongly reminds me of a blackberry candle I once had. I used to burn that candle along with a vanilla candle all the time, and THIS is what that combination yielded! Well, plus a helping of sweet earl grey, but that doesn’t detract from that wonderful scent memory at all!

The cup is definitely sweet. I can understand the confusion with black/blue berries. I just associate blackberry scent with that candle, and blueberries with baked blueberries. Rarely do you get faced with a ‘fresh’ black/blue berry smell. And let’s face it, when you bake blackberries, the results are far from pretty, I assure you.

I was a little alarmed when I was watching Cara’s video and how she brews this one, but yes, you DEFINITELY do not need to follow her way of brewing tea for a flavorful cup!

Sometimes I feel a little silly buying the full sized pouch of blends before I try them, but I don’t regret this one! Well, I don’t know how on earth I’m going to finish off this 4oz baggie, but it’ll probably disappear faster than I know it! I’m definitely getting the tin next time! I have a few other Dr. Who blends to try yet. I just need someone to come do a DW marathon with me, just cause.

Flavors: Berries, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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95

Initially, I found this tea slightly bland. (I like my chai to burn the back of my throat as I drink it). However, as I got better at brewing it, and worked my way towards the bottom of the bag, the spice started to become more powerful. This is an excellent masala chai blend. Also, I adore the label art!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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66

Sipdown (130)!

This last cup was especially roasty and black, still not much of any fruit to be found. Oh well; I got to try it and have fun with the fandom aspect. Time to move on.

Somewhat related; I’ve been planning an Adagio order. I thinking I want to get the Hobbit sampler; I haven’t tried any of the teas in it – and I’ve had everything from the Firefly and Harry Potter samplers, and a few from the Sherlock, Dr. Who, and WTNV ones which are the only others I’d be interested in otherwise. Plus those tins would be SUPER cute. Anyone tried any of the teas in it? I know Bilbo Brew The Burglar was popular here on Steepster when it still had Sweet Potato in it, but has anyone tried the new formulation?

Also; this is a thing (http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/fandom_set.html?groupId=2171) until the end of the day. I wont be getting it because I’m not ready to place my order – but damn if those tins aren’t stunning. Seriously; amazing artwork. Someone should take advantage of that. I know there are lots of Hannibal fans here on Steepster!

:)

OMGsrsly

Post that link on FB for Cavo! I would but I haven’t been added back and I don’t want to completely expose my fannish tendencies in public. :D

Roswell Strange

Posted for her :) Hopefully she sees it in time :P

OMGsrsly

I’m sitting here thinking, “Well, it’s only $7 shipping…” but I don’t watch the show (too scary!) and I wasn’t in love with the teas I’ve tried. (I’m also kinda sad there isn’t a tea called “Swiggity Swag” because that’s my favourite tag for the nightmare stag. :) )

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66

This has been on my Steepster wishlist for probably half a year, so GIANT thank you to VariaTEA and Cavocorax for helping me to finally taste it.

Honestly, I don’t even know why I so desperately wanted to try this Marvel hero blend over any of the others – while I like all of the ingredients in it, none are die hard favourites of mine, and I feel the same way about Thor too actually. I like him, I like the comics, and I like the movies but he’s not my favourite and I’m not about to freak out over him.

Anyway, I prepared this first cup in my timolino and I have to say that I found it a little underwhelming. Perhaps my coveting it for so long put it on a pedestal it could not live up to. I mean, it wasn’t bad it just wasn’t what I wanted it to be either. The black tea outweighed the mate greatly and it tasted thin/watery with only the most subtle generic fruitiness. The closest I could get to telling you what fruit would be to maybe wager a guess and say “Stonefruits?”. It’s pretty average.

So yeah, that’s how I feel about this one. But hey, now I know – right?

Cavocorax

I find it tastes better if you do it at a lower temperature – maybe 180, or 190F? Then the fruit pops a bit more, but meh. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t! These Adagio teas are so tricky…

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