Custom-Adagio Teas, Cara McGee

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Recent Tasting Notes

92

This is the 2nd of the Sherlock Sampler from Adagio, That I Tried Today 5-21-2016, Naturally sweet, mild, and most importantly, calming and soothing. The Wife Finished the Tea Pot, I was able to get a Taste cup from the Pot, Very Good Light Tea. Flowery, Warm, Homely, Wet, Citrus, Light, Delicate, Feminine, Re-inviting a 2nd Cup I could not get from this Steep, My wife finished it, Keep on Steeping

Flavors: Cherry, Citrus, Flowers, Herbaceous

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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55

The first time i brew this tea it come out tasting like soap, so i let it sit in my cabinet for a while. I’m not a big fan on mint teas, I got this on a impulse purchase last min, i wasn’t sure i wasn’t going to like it. But it is always good idea to have some mint tea in my cabinet i tend to gravitate to them when my tummy hurt, which is the case of today. I smell spearmint i can definitely taste the gun powder as a mid-note and the jasmine as an end-note. Today I was pleasantly surprise with this one everything works great! I love it so maybe i over steeped it the first time or the temperature was to high.

Flavors: Jasmine, Spearmint

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81

I mixed the end of this with the end of the Spiced Apple Chai so there’s definitely stronger tones of the Spiced Apple Chai in it.

Holy pepper! This is a spicy chai and I really love it. The apple flavor is surprisingly lost (normally apple seems to be overpowering) but I don’t mind. I’d say this is probably a safe replacement for a apple cider as long as you like it spicy.

Flavors: Cloves, Pepper, Spicy

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60

I was feeling something chocolatey today and picked this one up. It doesn’t seem to taste terribly bad oversteeped (oopsies) but this has also never been one of my favorites.
The chocolate is more present than I remember in the past, but I also taste a faint smell of bananas and I know this is an Irish Breakfast base but it really reminds me of pu’erh – possibly the mix of chocolate and Irish Breakfast is similar to my puerh experiences?

Flavors: banana, Chocolate

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60

Lately I’ve just been drinking down a bunch of herbal favorites (I’m trying to make a “Sipdown Advent Calendar” with the last teaspoon or tea bag from the teas that I’m running low on) and didn’t feel like logging again and again how much I love them :P But I figured I’d try some of this one that my friend swapped with me awhile back..

The chocolate flavor is actually there but it’s..mellow, the black tea definitely overpowers it which is a real let down for me. I like blacks but this one just doesn’t “do it” for me. It did remind me that I have to stock up on some more tardis tea though

Flavors: Chocolate

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65

Sipdown! Finished this one off at work today. This was probably my least favourite of the Doctor Who fandom blends. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it didn’t wow me in the same way some of the others did. Mostly, it just seemed to lack a decent punch of flavour – I got a lot of base tea coming through, but not much of the orange I was really hoping to taste. Farewell, Donna!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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65

The last of my Doctor Who fandom blends. It’s nice to have a change of pace from Earl Grey, because I feel like I’ve been drinking a lot of that this morning. This one has a decent, solid base of Irish Breakfast, with cinnamon and orange flavouring. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

For the first few sips, I could only really detect the sweet, caramel-like maltiness of Irish Breakfast. While nice, it’s not quite what I was expecting. Successive sips reveal some cinnamon, although it’s nowhere near as strong as I thought it would be. It lurks in the background, and only really emerges fully in the aftertaste, where it contributes a warming feeling and a hint of spice. The orange, I feel, is almost completely lost. I get the odd citrussy flash, but nothing I’d really be able to pin down as orange if I didn’t know that’s what it was supposed to be. Possibly this one has lost a little of its flavour, although none of the other blends in my sample box have, so I’m thinking it was perhaps a fairly mild blend to begin with. It’s pleasant enough – straightforward and easy to drink, not too in-your-face like some flavoured blends can be. I was hoping for more of an orange/cinnamon play-off, especially as its cold out today, but I’m happy enough with how this one turned out. It’s probably not one I’d repurchase, but I’ll have no problem finishing up my sample tin. Sometimes a fairly simple, reliable black tea is just what I’m after, anyway.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85

First cup of the afternoon – no additions. Today I’m getting primarily sweet potato and cinnamon notes, which are delicious. I don’t think there’s cinnamon in this blend, though? There is supposed to be vanilla, but I can’t taste that at all. Either way, I’m enjoying this one. Sweet potato is totally nommy, and the light cinnamon spice works really well with it. I should neglect this one less!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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85

This is another of my older teas, so I have the original blend with the sweet potato. I consider myself lucky. I’m a little wary of black/green blends, probably because I’ve messed them up royally before, but I think I’ve worked out how to treat them now. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I figured that would be okay, since there’s not a great deal of green tea in this blend as far as I can see. The scent of the brewed tea is sweet with a hint of spiciness lurking behind.

To taste, I’m picking up strong initial notes of sweet potato. It’s wonderfully creamy, sweet, and almost a little starchy in flavour. Underlying, there’s the thicker maltiness of the irish breakfast, with just a hint of something cinnamon-like. There’s also a very slight edge of sweetness from the vanilla, with just a touch of dankness from the green tea. It sounds odd, but it’s actually a combination that works pretty well in practice. It’s a really great autumn tea, with its delicious sweet potato notes and creamy sweetness. I’m not entirely sure where the spiciness is coming from, but it seems to build with successive sips and leaves a pleasant warmth at the back of the throat. I really enjoyed my cup, and I’ll savour the rest of my sample tin over the coming months. This might become my cold day go-to for a bit.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

Mmm, sounds perfect for fall.

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90

After yesterday’s success with Rose Tyler, I was more than up for another earl grey blend this morning. River Song has a base of Earl Grey Moonlight, which is Adagio’s vanilla/cream earl grey. It also contains Rooibos Lemon Cloud and, looking at the dry leaf, it’s about a 50/50 split between the two. There are a few strands of toasted coconut running throughout as well. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up pretty dark, so I added a splash of milk.

I wasn’t sure about this one when I first read the description, which is probably why I’ve left it until now to try. I’m really impressed, though! The initial flavour is coconut, and it’s a smooth, coconut cream kind of flavour, with none of the soapiness I sometimes get from Adagio’s coconut blends. The lemon emerges in the mid-sip, and is bright and citrussy, but also a touch creamy in the way of lemon mousse. I can detect a touch of bergamot right at the end of the sip, but it’s barely there and by no means overpowering. It does cut through some of the rich creaminess, ending on a sharper citrus note, which is welcome after a few sips. Mostly, though, this is a lemon and coconut cream blend, and it’s as delicious as that sounds. A real tropical dessert tea! I didn’t expect to enjoy this one so much, but it just goes to show I can still surprise myself. An unexpected hit.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

Raspberry Earl Grey sounds pretty good to me, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever tried/come across one before. Not that I can remember, anyway. The dry leaf smells pretty good, in a sweet, candy-raspberry sort of way. I can see pieces of dried raspberry, cubes of dried apple, and a scattering of lavender, so it looks pretty good too. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The lavender is a lot more prominent in the scent once brewed.

To taste, raspberry is definitely the main flavour. This is a good thing, to my mind. It’s nicely done, with a pleasant sweet/tart balance, and it’s not too candy-like. It’s not exactly dead-on fresh raspberry, either, but it’s close. I’m also enjoying the earl grey aspect, with it’s mild notes of bitter orange, and lightly floral, lavender edge. Neither the bergamot nor the lavender have become overpowering, which is a relief. They’re not my favourite flavours, but I’ll concede that they work well here.

This one made for a pleasant mid-afternoon cup, and it’s made me wonder whether there are other red-fruit flavoured earl grey blends out there that I’ve not come across. This could be the start of a new obsession.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
rosebudmelissa

Ooh, raspberry earl grey. That sounds like something I’ll have to try eventually.

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80

So I’m finally getting around to writing notes for the remainder of my Adagio Doctor Who teas, which I’ve been drinking my way through for a little while now, but apparently not logging. Hmm. I’ve had two cups of Captain Jack this morning – he’s that good. Adagio’s Ceylon base isn’t my favourite – I find it a little thin and a bit over-citrussy, and it has a tendency to become bitter. It’s not bad here, though – I think the addition of rooibos helps to tone it down a bit. Equally, the ceylon stops the rooibos from being overpoweringly woodsy, so maybe it’s a good pairing after all. It works, anyway. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The kitchen smelled deliciously chocolatey, so I added a splash of milk because that’s the kind of mood I’m in – I want something creamy, decadent, and warming. It’s cold today, and I put my winter boots and coat on for the first time this morning – that must mean it’s comfort tea time!

Anyway, the main flavour I can taste here is chocolate. It’s a dark, slightly bittersweet, cocoa-heavy chocolate, the kind that would taste a little dry if you were to eat it. There’s a touch of almond, too, but it’s not strong. The nuttiness is a nice counterpoint to the chocolate, at any rate, and pairs really well. It takes this one from being an ordinary, fairly unremarkable chocolate tea and makes it into something a bit more special and dessert-like.

I enjoyed this one. It’s smooth and seductive, like the Captain, and it’s one I’d consider repurchasing if I ever get my cupboard back under control. Total yum.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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95

This is one of my all time favorite teas. Great for waking up in the morning with Irish Breakfast, and the spices really give it a nice kick.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

This has to be one of the best blends I’ve had. Even if you’re not crazy about Peppermint, the vanilla and slightly lemony characteristics help make it less overbearing. Even when I serve it hot it leaves this slightly cool sensation in the mouth. A lot of people look down on big blends due to the focus being on the flavoring rather than the tea, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to enjoy a little frivolity in your tea. I serve this one with a little vanilla froth on top and add a little honey, legitimately just a little or it can get cloying as with any tea.

Flavors: Lemon, Peppermint, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 26 OZ / 768 ML

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79

A very nice tea with a good peach flavor. I received this as a free sample at a tea party. I’m not a huge fan of peach, so I probably wouldn’t buy this by itself, but it was pretty good!

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

Following the suggestion of other reviewers, I reduced the temperature and steep time dramatically, and it’s really an improvement! (Previously I was doing boiling, 10 min.) Used a heaping teaspoon again since the pieces are so large.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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85

Molly is my favorite character on Sherlock, mostly because I identify with her a lot so I bought this tea. This is a really nice tea to relax with. The pieces are large so I usually wind up with a heaping teaspoon. I steep for 10 minutes with boiling water (shorter is too weak a flavor), but I’m seeing other reviewers treat this as a white tea so I will try that next time.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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82

Sherlock tea! Thanks, MissB! I actually like this one. It kind of tastes like baked goods or something, which incidentally in my dream last night, Benedict Cumberbatch was packing up pastries for me in a bakery. What a coincidence, but the dream is kind of why I had a Sherlock tea today. This one is a combination of Adagio’s Mambo black, Chocolate chai and Almond. It’s tasty – a sweet cup. More enjoyable than I thought it would be, though I know I love the Mambo. The chocolate in the chocolate chai doesn’t seem to be very chocolate, and the spice of the chai seems to be mostly cinnamon. The almond is plenty present though! Overall, this one tastes like an almond cinnamon roll of some sort.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4-5 min

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86

I’m really surprised I haven’t logged this one already! I should really be working through the EU TTB teas before going back to my own, but there’s a lot of unflavoured teas in that box and everyone’s talking about Doctor Who because it starts on Saturday and drinking Doctor Who teas and I wanted it okay? Maybe I shouldn’t be drinking tea this close to bedtime, but it’s half rooibos which in my mind makes it practically caffeine free. The description says you can take it to bed but it might keep you up all night, which is pretty accurate. Despite having caffeine, it’s very relaxing and definitely a good drink to have in bed while I read a bit and catch up on steepster before I go to sleep. It’s smooth and silky and seductive and a good fit for the captain, I think. I left the tea brewing and went to get changed. When I came back, the whole kitchen and utility room were filled with the delicious intoxicating chocolate scent. Because of this, and because it’s bedtime, I added half a spoon of homemade vanilla sugar and a splash of skimmed milk, and it became quite decadent. It was good on its own too, with a dark chocolate taste dominating, and the base teas working well together. The black base masks the moodiness of the rooibos, and the rooibos masks the usual bitterness of the adagio black tea base. With the additions the almond comes through a little better, though the dominant flavour is still the chocolate, which is more of a milk chocolate flavour now. It’s a fairly robust cup of tea considering that it’s half rooibos. I’ve just reached the bottom of my cup and would quite like another. If it weren’t 1:30am I would probably have one. I’m getting excited for the new series now!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML
keychange

Yes to adding vanilla sugar!

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75

This was a sipdown today. I had the choice between two weaker cups and one stronger one, and in the end I went for the stronger option and threw in all of the remaining leaf. I’ve enjoyed this one for its caramel flavour, but I was hoping for at least some sesame maybe some of the time. I got none. Still, you can’t win them all.

This tea is actually one of three sipdowns I’ve achieved this morning. The others were River Song (also from the Adagio Doctor Who fandom tea sampler) and David’s Organic Egyptian Chamomile. I’m going to try and finish my sample of ESP Emporium’s Lime Deluxe (from the EU TTB) this afternoon as well. At least it feels like I’m making some progress on my cupboard, even though it’s grown again recently!

Yesterday’s post contained another two tea orders – one from 52 Teas (inspired by the Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha I drank last Friday) which contained 8 taster pouches, the other a David’s box set that I picked up on Ebay – so another 8 in there. I’ve got one more order en route, from Liquid Proust, which is probably the one I’m most excited about. My cupboard will explode if I go over 300 (I will not allow this – I think it’s only happened once!), but that order was inevitable. I might sneak in another Bluebird before Christmas, but I have to promise myself that I really will stop there.

I really will stop there.

I think.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75

Last night’s early evening cup, to accompany the Great British Bake-Off on TV. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up pretty dark (darker than I was expecting given that this one seems to be pretty much 50/50 assam to rooibos), so I added a splash of milk.

To taste, I’m mostly getting the sweet maltiness of the Assam followed by the even sweeter creaminess of caramel. I know there’s supposed to be sesame in this one, and that’s one of the reasons why I was excited to try it. Sadly, I didn’t even get a whiff of sesame – I guess it was overpowered by the assam/caramel, which are pretty strong flavours in their own right, or maybe the milk drowned it out. Either that, or I need to shake my tin up a bit. I think next time I’ll maybe try it without milk (maybe a shorter brew time), and see if that changes things at all.

If it doesn’t, I won’t be too sad. I mean, it’s a pretty good caramel tea as it is at the moment, and I like caramel tea. It’s not the best one I’ve ever tried, but it’s rich and creamy and sweet, with a decent base, and not at all thin tasting. That in itself is all right with me.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Nattie

Proportion of leaf really does seem to change the taste of this one! For me it’s been different almost every time I’ve had it

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96

One of my favourite blends ever.

Flavors: Fruity

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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