Custom-Adagio Teas, Cara McGeeEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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
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.
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
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!
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.
First tea of the day. I’m glad this week’s finally over – it’s been a long and difficult one for sure. I tend to gravitate towards Chai or Earl Grey when I’m tired – maybe it’s a comfort thing. This one was sitting out waiting to be tried, so it finally got its turn. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
The first thing I noticed about this one was the underlying sweetness. At first I thought cherry, but it’s not quite like that. Cranberry is more like it – just a little tarter. There’s also a distinctive creaminess, which is more than the milk I added. Vanilla maybe. There’s a touch of orange in the aftertaste, but it’s kind of “orange squash” artificial. The chai spices are fairly subtle here, but there’s clove, cinnamon and caradmom for sure. It’s not an overpowering blend, so it allows the fruit flavours to shine. A really nice, distinctive chai. Just the thing for a lazy summer Saturday.
This is my favorite tea right now. It’s so comforting without being weak- unlike a lot of the other comforting flavors adagio offers. I was given the 3oz bag as a christmas/graduation present and happened to discover that it is particularly perfect on rainy dull mornings when you just want to stay in bed but you can’t. (It’s uplifting without being harsh.) I would drink it every day if I weren’t worried about running out of it before I can afford to order a 6oz tin.
Another from the sale – thank you MissB! Mrs. Hudson! I received four of these adorable tiny Sherlock tea tins from MissB’s sale. This one sounded like a unique blend and I know I like the Adagio Melody blend. I’ve tried the almond blend on its own – it was just okay. There is also osmanthus here as well. I’ve only tried one osmanthus flavored tea but it wasn’t Adagio… and it tasted like peach. Together, this isn’t the best Adagio blend. It’s really tough to tell any of the flavors that should be here and also wasn’t as delicious as the Melody base by itself. Really it was rather astringent. Mrs. Hudson would not approve. She loves her tea.
Also at work with me today, the wonderful Ten! Ten is a chocolate blend on a base of irish breakfast, and it’s probably the most chocolatey tea I’ve tried in a good long time. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown. The dry leaf looks fairly ordinary – relatively short black tea leaves, a scattering of chocolate chips and marigold petals, and a few cocoa shells. The scent is out-of-this-world chocolatey, though, and that’s what gave me hope for this one!
Fortunately, it lives up to its promise. The chocolate flavouring is smooth and rich, almost like melted dark and milk chocolate mixed together and poured into a cup, only thinner. The black tea base adds a lovely malty sweetness that really works well with the chocolate, and which helps to stop it becoming too cloying. This is a really wonderful chocolate tea, and it’s not often that I say that. It’s the goldilocks of chocolate teas for me – just right!
Continuing through my sampler of Dr Who fandom teas, the next from the box is Nine! Nine is one of those green/black blends that I’m always a little scared of. I never know whether to use water to suit the green, the black, or somewhere in between. I threw caution to the wind for my first couple of cups, and used boiling water, 1 tsp of leaf, and a 2.5 minute brew time. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown.
As flavoured blends go, this is one of the more intriguing ones I’ve tried. It contains quite a lot of flavours I probably wouldn’t have put together – chestnut, aniseed and cinnamon, on a base of irish breakfast and gunpowder. The resulting flavour is quite complex – I get the aniseed fairly prominently, followed by the rich roastiness of the chestnut, rounded off with the mild spice of the cinnamon. It makes me think of Christmas in some small way! The base is smooth and clean-tasting – irish breakfast was a good choice here, and there’s just the slightest hint of dank, vegetal green.
I’m a bit stumped on the fandom aspect again with this one, but it’s certainly a tasty, unusual tea. The flavours work together a lot better that I ever would have expected, and this is one I’d consider repurchasing if I buy from Adagio in the future.
Finally pulled out my box of Dr Who teas to try! I was looking for a fairly straightforward black tea last night, and the description on the tin fitted my mood perfectly. The eleventh doctor was probably my favourite – we graduated from the same University, after all, so I’m allowed to be biased.
Anyway, the tea. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and have it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. To taste, I’m picking up mostly a very smooth, sweet, malty assam. The coconut and vanilla emerge after a couple of sips, and add a delicious creaminess to an otherwise plain cup. The apple is a little more shy, but it does appear in flashes right at the end of the sip, and lingers just a little in the aftertaste. It’s not especially apple-y apple. It tastes more baked or caramelised; sweeter than I was expecting, and not as tart. A little like the apple in apple pie filling, perhaps. It’s a tasty cup, although I would have liked the flavouring to be a little stronger and more immediate. It feels like I have to search for them a little bit.
As for the fandom aspect of this blend, I’m not entirely sold. Sweet, fruity? Hmm. I’m struggling a little. It’s a pleasant cup, though, and a sample I’ll have no trouble finishing off!
I was super excited to read this tea’s ingredients — earl grey bravo, blackberry, vanilla. At the time, I was looking for “creamy” or mild earl greys, but I stopped dead at the blackberry. I don’t even know if I like blackberries, but I was definitely lured in by its inclusion.
Bought myself the $4 sample tin in my big Happy Birthday to Me order back in February, since it runs slightly on the pricy side. The next size up was a 4oz bag, and did I want to drop $10 on that much tea, if I didn’t know that I might like it? Well, that’ll teach me to play it safe. I ADORED this tea. Super comforting, so creamy, and the blackberry is super sweet like a pastry — not tart, like most berries are (to me). I almost feel like this is a perfectly English tea, absolutely suitable for its namesake. I am really picky about Adagio’s flavored teas because they taste rather fake to me a lot, but this combination tastes so good that I can’t even tell if it tastes artificial, I’m just lost in how yummy this tea is.
Flavors: Blackberry, Creamy, Jam, Pastries, Vanilla
My favorite of the Teas for Travelers sample! I’d never tried hojicha before, and I tend to prefer steamed greens to roasted greens, but the smokiness of the tea blends so well with the apricot and citrus. Just awesome! The rest of the sample set was dwarves (and Bilbo!) which are largely black teas, and while they’re pretty great, I think I should branch out into her elvish blends if this is an indication…
I don’t think of myself as having very refined tastes or anything, and I’m not much of a reviewer, but I had to leave a review here because this is honestly the best tea I’ve ever had. I really hope it becomes available again sometime. I’ve been trying to make my remaining bag last as long as possible!
This one is at work with me again. I figured the best way to finish up the last 4 Sherlock teas would be to leave them on my desk, and so far I’ve been right. I’m really enjoying this one today – the cherry is really prominent, and there’s a wonderful sweet creaminess from the vanilla honeybush. The smoke is very muted, which is how I prefer it. I’m not sure why I waited so long to try this one – there was nothing to be scared of after all. Much like a meeting with The Woman herself, perhaps? Or maybe not. Either way, I’ll miss this one when it’s gone! It would be a potential repurchase, if only I had less tea. Ah, one day…
This is one of Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends, created to represent the character Irene Adler – otherwise known as The Woman. The description is perfectly suited to the character; beautifully sweet with a fruity edge, trailing a puff of smoke. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium brown, and smells like a mild Lapsang Souchong.
Upon taking a sip, the first flavours to emerge are the cherry and vanilla. It’s a sweet beginning, maybe even a little cloying (although only momentarily). It’s saved by the smoke, which emerges in the mid-sip and takes the sweetness down a peg or two, adding a slightly acrid, sour note that isn’t at all unpleasant. I say this as someone who’s not usually a fan of smoky teas, so it’s a big compliment coming from me! It’s possible to detect the woodiness of the honeybush slightly at this point, too, and that again helps to mediate the sweetness of the cherry and vanilla. It makes the whole cup more layered and complex, too – rather like the character herself. The cherry and vanilla emerge again right at the end of the sip, once the smoke fades. This time the sweetness is more welcome, and it’s possible to appreciate how flavour-accurate the cherry is (no pseudo cough medicine here), and the light creaminess contributed by the vanilla. It’s actually a pretty delicious combination, and it reminds me a little of ice cream.
As a fandom blend, I think this tea emblematises Irene pretty well. She is beautiful and alluring, with a sweet, decadent edge. The smoke is characteristic. The combination of the two hints at something more complex, a little darker and more dangerous. Irene isn’t straightforward character, and this isn’t a straightforward tea. So far, they’re equal.
See my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/04/25/woman-custom-blend-adagio-teas/
A Cara McGee Sherlock fandom blend, and the only white tea in the range. The leaf of this one is particularly pretty to look at, with the downy white Snowbud buds, the odd brown leaf, whole yellow chamomile flowers, red cherry pieces, and a scattering of burgundy hibiscus and rosehip. The dry leaf smells mildly fruity and a little herbal. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a rather unusual grey, the scent sweet and primarily chamomile.
To taste, this somehow isn’t quite the blend I expected. The white tea is most prominent in the flavour, and it’s quite floral and a little dusty-tasting. It’s also quite drying on the palate. The chamomile emerges in the mid-sip, and adds a honey-like sweetness to the cup. It’s actually not a huge improvement, because it now tastes like sweet floral dust. The cherry emerges only towards the very end of the sip, and adds another layer of sweetness. I had hoped that the fruitiness would rescue this one, but it really just tips what was already a sweet tea into the “unbearably cloying” category. Sadly, there isn’t much in the way of cherry to be discerned, and the overall cup tastes mostly like warm sugar-water to me.
Sadly, this one is a disappointment to me. It comes as a surprise, because I’m usually a fan of white tea. I also know Adagio’s Dewy Cherry blend to be a wonderfully fruity concoction – sweet, yes, but with strong, natural tasting cherry to boot. For some reason, it just doesn’t work here. Perhaps the chamomile isn’t the best partner – it’s just too sweet when added to the already-sweet white base.
Although the taste of this blend isn’t for me, there are aspects of it that do suit Molly’s character. She’s sweet, for sure. Too sweet, maybe, when it comes to Sherlock. She’s also self-effacing and a little shy, and for those reasons I think a white tea blend is the right choice for her. I even like the idea of chamomile/cherry, but perhaps not in combination. One or the other probably would have been enough, perhaps with a touch more hibiscus to cut through the sweetness just a little bit.
I’m sad about this one. It’s not undrinkable by any means, but it is ridiculously sweet and fairly one-note, and I don’t feel the flavours work very well together. In theory, a great blend to characterise Molly. In practice, not so much.