Custom-Adagio Teas, Cara McGee

Recent Tasting Notes

90

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80

Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2

And now for the other brother! (The real Hot One, lol) This tea has the same small, broken black leaves, but there are yellow flower petals and also pieces of cinnamon bark mixed in. Dry scent is sweet and dessert-y with cinnamon – like a snickerdoodle.

Mm, the steeped tea smells like a buttery pastry with cinnamon. It’s reminding me of a cinnamon roll, om nom nom. Mm, the flavor is quite nice too. The cinnamon is present but it’s not overwhelming, and the hazelnut flavor is so delicious and creamy and decadent. I can also taste some clove, but it doesn’t completely take over like it does in the Kili blend. I wish I could taste the orange or apple, but it’s still mighty tasty without those.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Hazelnut, Pastries, Smooth

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Yummeh.

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65

Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2

I’m actually quite pleased to see this (along with Fili) in the box, since there are a lot of fandom samplers on Adagio that I’m interested in, but not quite interested enough to buy. I do have to say, I find Fili to be far more attractive than Kili, and I don’t even normally go for blondes. So Fili is totally “The Hot One” imo. :P Anyway, this tea. The black leaves are in very small pieces, and there are tiny pieces of white stuff mixed in (I’m assuming ginger root). It smells chai-like.

I can definitely smell strong clove and ginger in the steeped tea. Yeah, this one is not for me. It’s mildly spiced, but in a way that’s almost savory because of the ginger. This is basically clove and ginger tea. :P Noop.

Flavors: Clove, Ginger

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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25

Not sure how old my sample is, but I really didn’t get a lot of vanilla or coconut from this tea…just a little bit of nondescript fruity flavor and a lot of bitter, astringent black base. I only steeped it for 3 minutes and I wasn’t expecting it to go bitter so fast! :( Oh, well…one more sip-down as I work my way through the pile of samples I’m trying to polish off this week!

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown! 987. Thanks Sil!

My first impression of this tea was that it was simply a blend, without flavourings. Which somewhat suits Donna, although I feel like there should be a bit of spice along with it. Anyhow, in the aftertaste, I’m getting a hint of something… maybe orange, maybe caramel… no, maybe cinnamon? It’s pretty weak, so difficult to pinpoint. I’ll go with caramel-cinnamon. Hahaha – wow! I’m impressed with myself. I picked out all three flavours! :D Because based on a previous tea incorporating Irish Breakfast, I seem to associate a caramel flavour with it (I kind of want to try Adagio’s Irish Breakfast now…) Anyhow, I don’t know if this tea is weak due to age/storage or whether it’s typically like that, but it’s a good flavour combo, I just wish it was stronger. (Checking out others’ notes, it seems like it has probably lost some flavour, so I’ll refrain from a numerical rating).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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53

Sipdown! 988. Another from Sil, of course!

I accidentally saw the “tea type” when bringing up the review screen, so I know that this is a chai blend, but thankfully I tried it prior, and had already established that to me, it tasted like a bit of a spicy tea (very mild though), with some orange essence, and possibly some sort of “herbal” ingredient (although I couldn’t narrow that down any further). Looks like I was more or less correct (aha, raspberry leaves – that might account for “herbal”), but I can’t say I taste the vanilla, nor am I overly fond of this tea. It tastes like a very weak chai… as in, if you added even a splash of milk, the chai-ness would disappear. I like my chais strong and flavourful, so this doesn’t work for me. I do agree that a chai is fitting to Amy’s personality, but this is too weak (likely diluted by the addition of two non-chai teas to the blend).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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78

Sipdown! 989. Another Dr. Who tea from Sil, so thanks! Today is ‘companion’ day, as I have three of those to drink.

My trainer cancelled our session this morning, and as I was starting to feel a bit under the weather last night (topped off by a very bad case of the angries), I ended up sleeping away most of the day today. Oops. On the plus side, I think I feel better, but I also think there’s still a sickness lurking. Sigh. Anyhow, I figured that drinking tea can only be a good thing (though I may need to get into some non-caffeinated teas a bit more later tonight), and I figured a few sipdowns would make me happy.

So! Onto this tea. Delicious sweet, raisiny aroma – reminds me of when you make sticky buns with raisins, and the sticky-caramelly raisins on the edge get a bit burnt to the pan, and you eat them anyways even though there’s a bit more burniness than you’d like. Yep. That’s exactly how it smells (no burniness; that only comes in the flavour with the raisins, not the aroma). Flavourwise, it’s like the raisins that do not get burnt, but just browned and caramelly and very YUM. I didn’t mention it, but I’m playing “guess the flavours!” again, if that wasn’t obvious. I find it very entertaining to do this with flavoured teas when I have no idea what the ingredients are. Anyhow. Looking at the ingredients (sesame, rooibos caramel), it looks like I was about right. I believe I’ve had Adagio’s Sesame before, and it was not good at all, but in a mix, I can see how it would provide those burny notes – I assume the assam is responsible for raisin, and the rooibos caramel, duh, the caramel. I actually forgot that there was rooibos in here, so it’s worth noting that it doesn’t really have much impact aside from the caramel, which is perfect IMO.

Overall, a pretty decent tea, but probably not quite decadent enough for me to want to grab any. I’d happily drink it again if the opportunity arose, though.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

It’s a shame that their sesame tea isn’t good, it sounds like such an interesting flavor.

carol who

Hurray for Martha Jones! Love this tea!

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71

The fourth and final Dr. Who-themed tea for tonight (my bladder just can’t take any more). The aroma is fairly chocolatey, which is quite present in the flavour as well. I can also taste the distinct flavour of rooibos, though it’s not the objectionable medicinal flavour, just that characteristic woody/herbal-ness, which is bearable. This tea actually tastes much like a chocolate rooibos I’ve had previously… I’m thinking the one from the Amoda box, but I could be wrong (I could probably confirm that if I was less lazy, because I know I still have that one around). It has a bit more body to it though (probably the black). What’s odd is that the chocolate comes through as almost bitter – I’m probably influenced by noticing the documented flavours before pulling up the review screen, but it’s certainly not the milk chocolate flavour that most teas seem to aim for. It’s not unpleasant, though.

Upon looking up the tea ingredients – I think almond might account for that flavour that’s coming off as bitterness to me, and there’s surprisingly not much chocolate in here given the number of chocolate-related ingredients. Ah well. Not overly enamoured by this blend, but it’s not bad. I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy it more sans rooibos. Thanks Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Another delicious yum-smelling tea, a bit like caramel and vanilla. That’s kind of what I’m tasting too – kind of a caramel vanilla black. I was expecting a bit of fruitiness from the… fruit chunks (apple?) but am not really detecting anything. I see that this is supposed to be coconut-vanilla-apple (which sounds fabulous!), so I’m wondering if spending time in a baggie zapped a bit of the flavour. Possible, though it’s still good. Nine has won out for me, when comparing these three blends though (which is funny, since I even steeped it incorrectly!) Thanks for sharing another one Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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67

Another thanks to Sil for a sample! And again, I get to play the “what’s in this tea?” guessing game! This one is a lot less aromatic than “Nine”, but there’s still a little something peeking out that’s not quite straight tea. I’m tempted to say caramel, or perhaps even chestnut, again, but that’s not too likely. Other than that, though, it just tastes like black tea. A little mouth-drying (so a bit astringent), but not too bad, and that’s probably a result of again, the extra 45 seconds it got due to inattention (I try to be very strict with blacks).

Seeing that this is supposed to be a chocolate banana tea…. comes as a surprise. Maybe that caramelly flavour is actually chocolate. Or banana. It’s impossible to tell, really, because it doesn’t taste overly like either. I see that Sil also found it relatively flavourless, so maybe this was just a poorly flavoured or old batch. Or, maybe Adagio isn’t great at banana or chocolate flavouring. Either way, I’d happily try this out again, since as a plain black tea it’s certainly not objectionable, but not by means of purchasing it myself (whereas some of the other blends…. yes.)

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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76

Sipdown! 982. Thank you Sil! (I think there were a few teas accidentally missed in the count previously. And I need to add a Verdant and Butiki order. Plus the incoming 52teas’ Christmas sets. Crap crap crap.)

I took the time to look up all the teas I was steeping to check if any of them needed different parameters…. and then proceeded to steep the only one with green, with boiling water. Sigh. It doesn’t seem to be ruined though, but there is some bitterness and astringency, which I would definitely chalk up to user error. Anyhow! This is one of a few deliciously aromatic mugs I brewed up tonight, from the Doctor Who custom blends by Cara McGee. I genuinely have no idea what any of them are, so I get to play a little guessing game!! This one smells caramelly, with a hint of cinnamon or spice, but JUST a hint. The flavour is more or less the same, being thick and somewhat sweet/caramelly, fairly malty, a little bit spicy, and kind of astringent, which definitely impacts my tasting of the base teas. I assume, though, it’s Adagio’s standard black (and some sort of rolled green; I’d maybe guess gunpowder but I’m not detecting smoke). Despite the overly hot water, and 45 seconds longer infusion time than I intended, this is pretty good. I’d guess it’s a caramel spice tea (emphasis on caramel, not spice), but it appears to be chestnut and irish breakfast (with gunpowder?) Quite an interesting combination, but it does actually work. The chestnut must account for the sweetness, and the spice is perhaps an artefact of sample contamination or my imagination (I do have a Laoshan Chai a couple teas down the line).

Anyhow, I’m pretty impressed with this blend, and it makes me quite curious to try Adagio’s chestnut tea, if they have one available, because that caramelliness is gooooood. Thanks again Sil!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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This is definitely my favorite of the bunch. It is like a big cup of pumpkin pie and it is delicious! Warm and comforting and oh-so-tasty. Thank you so much for sharing, Roswell Strange. I would certainly consider getting this one again to experiment with or simply to enjoy another hot cup. 170.

Terri HarpLady

This one is, without a doubt, my fav adagio blend. I haven’t had it in awhile

VariaTEA

I can see why. It is a really nice tea.

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I’m sorry Roswell Strange but this tea was lost on me. I made the mistake of drinking this while focusing on school applications and I honestly don’t remember this at all. I believe it was sweet but with heavy chai spices but I am not certain at all. What I do know is it wasn’t something I enjoyed to recall, let alone want to own in any quantity. Still, I am grateful for the share :)

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47

The pu’erh in this one scared me so with that in mind and given the flavors, I decided to have it over milk. That may or may not have been a bad choice because the milk is giving this a thickness that is leaving me very confused. At first, I was really put off because the drink that hit my tongue was so thick that it seemed like I was drinking pudding except slightly mushroomy pudding because that is what I was anticipating from the pu’erh. However, I think I might have been so put off because I was expecting to be put off because as I continue to drink, I am getting the flavor of gingerbread more and more. Still that hint of the base lingers and that is enough to make me not want this again. I am grateful to my tea twin, Roswell Strange, for the share though as it is always fun to try new things. 166.

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82

Sipdown! …989… (That’s tonight’s final count. Yikes.) Thanks to Sil for a surprise sample of this and some other Adagio fandom blends!

I wasn’t sure what was in this, but it looked like there was some green… so I brewed it accordingly, not wanting to risk it. I still haven’t checked to see if I was correct, but it’s pretty tasty, so at least I didn’t mess it up! To me, this is a smooth, sweet blend – there are raisiny tones coming out post-sip, and there’s something creamy in here – perhaps vanilla? I’m not identifying much else, but I am enjoying this cup of creamy raisiny goodness… while playing Doctor Who Legacy on my phone. Heh.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

haha only a surprise because you forgot you asked to try them :P

Tabby

Rory! <3

Kittenna

Still a surprise!! The only teas I knew I was getting were Lupicia and I wasn’t sure if there was one more round of blends club.

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69

The most prominent flavor notes are sweet potato and mate and it is making for a weird blend. I am not getting much of the chocolate or vanilla which is disappointing. However, the sweet potato provides a nice fall-time element to the cup. It is an alright tea but I find myself craving Lupicia’s Sweet Potato tea instead for that particular flavor. Anyways, thank you Roswell Strange for sharing. It’s a nice cup and I would drink it again if I came across it but this isn’t something I would seek out. 172.

Roswell Strange

I was REALLY bad at paying attention while drinking this one :(

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79

It is just barely past midnight here but it feels like 2am to me. A couple of hours ago I actually dozed off while sitting upright with my laptop on my lap, my television on, and my bedroom light shining bright above me. It wasn’t until my laptop started sliding that I woke with a start and realized what had happened. I guess its just one of those days so I will try to get this tasting note out before I actually pass out for the night.

I made this in my carry mug, just because, and so luckily, despite being made hours ago, it is still hot (well warm since it was brewed in 175F water for 2 minutes) Yay for thermoses!

First thing I noticed was this tea has a strong apricot smell. That’s certainly a good thing. As for taste, I didn’t expect much but this is really flavorful. Wow. The first sip was vegetal but in the best way possible – creamy yet fresh and verging on corn/hay/wheat territory. That doesn’t sound quite so appetizing but it works. As I continue to sip however, the apricot takes over while blending perfectly with the vegetal base. At the end of each sip, I notice the roastiness of the hojicha which is just enough to keep things interesting while not taking over the blend. All of this is woven together beautifully by a rich vanilla sweetness. Honestly, I had no interest in this blend apart from its namesake but now I could see myself actually wanting more of this in the future. Thank you Roswell Strange for forcing me to try this by sending me a sample because this isn’t one I would have picked up on my own. 173.

In other news, the carry mug tipped over and some of the tea spilled out onto my leg. Given the tingling sensation I now feel, I can confirm that the Davids Carry Mug is indeed successful at keeping tea hot. Anyways, good night steepster! To bed with me…

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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

Sipdown (115)!

Well, this is the last of the Hobbit sampler and I’m sad to say I didn’t really find a single blend that I’d want to buy more of. Oh well; I still have all the tins though and they truly are beautiful.

For some weird reason, I had less of this one than all the others so while I was able to do one cold brew, one hot cup, and then one “other” for each of the blends this one i could only do a cold brew and, instead of a hot cup, a latte. It wasn’t really as bad latte per say, but it didn’t stand out either. Hot, thick creamy milk and maybe the tiniest extra touch of ginger or vanilla.

Wont go down in history as one to remember.

aisling of tea

We did the same thing with the Adagio samplers we got, Scott Pilgrim and Welcome to Nightvale. Most of the teas were pretty okay, but there is only one I’d repurchase (Ramona Flowers) and that’s only because we’re heading down to the States soon and I can have it shipped there. Adagio, for me, always looks so good and never lives up to potential.

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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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