Custom-Adagio Teas, Cara McGee

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Recent Tasting Notes

75

A creamy pumpkin spicey sort.

Flavors: Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor, Pumpkin

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78

Ah, Rory the Roman. I drank this earlier watching the end of DW series 5 and it was tasty as always. My version of this blend is the old one with sweet potato, and I really think that that’s the element that makes this tea so yummy. I’m sad that it got discontinued, because I’d likely keep this in stock if it were still a part of the blend. I didn’t review Amy or 11 when I drank them but I’m finished going through my DW sampler again now. I’ll give more detailed notes on those (and this) later but for now I’m concentrating on my Butiki stash.

Drank with milk and sugar.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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82

Sipdown 74/391!! (I’m still on a no-buy, but VariaTEA very generously sent me a load of samples and it’s single-handedly destroyed my hopes of reaching 400 by the end of the month).

This was a very fitting final cup and a lovely way to part – for now, at least – with this tea. I drank my final cup from my Arthur Conan Doyle mug whilst watching the last episode of Sherlock series 4, and made sure I had plenty of time beforehand to make it properly for once. Either the base has gotten weaker over time or I’m getting more used to astringency and brisk teas, because I drank it without milk and had no inclination to add any. Either way it was really lovely. The Earl Grey bergamot note was much more present this time, and the cinnamon took more of a back seat but was still noticeable, and gave a lovely warmth which grew as I drank the cup. This tea fits John well, and I enjoyed it almost as much as I did the finale. I will most likely buy a bag of this in the future, too, even though Adagio have raised their prices on it by over 20% since the last time I bought it grumbles.

Upping my rating again, this time from 80.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

Drinking this again because it’s SHERLOCK NIGHT! I think my second sample tin will be all gone this time next week, sadly. Perfect timing, though. This was weak tonight because I had to choose between a weak cup of tea and missing the start of Sherlock, and well, there aren’t many things I’d choose over tea, but Sherlock is one of them (especially when I’ve drank said tea many times before). I will make sure I brew it properly for the send-off, though. Cinnamon was actually surprisingly prominent and Sherlock was amazing.

Upping my rating from 73 because this tea consistently makes me happy.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Scheherazade

I really wanted a cup of Mrs Hudson last night. It was an actual craving.

Nattie

I almost said that exact same thing in my note! Mrs H. was such a BAMF in that episode.

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82

I can’t believe I’ve never reviewed this tea! I’ve drank almost two full tins now and I could have sworn I’d written about it. When I first bought the Sherlock fandom sampler, the tin from this tea kept popping open, so I emailed Adagio and asked if it would be possible for them to send me an empty tin for me to transfer the tea into since I wanted to keep them after the teas had been drank. They were good enough to send me another full tin, and so I’ve had twice as much of this than any of the others in the set. Now that I’ve written that, I’m even more sure I wrote a tasting note on it before, because I swear I remember mentioning that story the last time, too… weird…

I’m almost done with this one now, and I have a feeling in a couple of weeks I’ll be completely out. I drank it on Sunday night watching the first episode of the new series of Sherlock (eep!) and again tonight rewatching it with my mam, who didn’t see it the first time. I’m going to miss the second and third episodes because I’ll be working – is watching TV a valid reason to take a night off? – but I’m sure I’ll drink it again when I finally get around to watching them. I can’t wait for the next episode!

Anyway, the tea! Good old reliable Watson. I love how much thought has been put into these teas, and this one I think fits John very well. I’ve drank it a variety of ways, but tonight had it with one sugar and a dash of milk. So comforting. It’s strong, but not too strong, with just a familiar hint of bergamot from the Earl Grey green. The cinnamon note comes through at the end of the sip, warming, comforting, and just a little bit different. Like a striped woolly jumper in a mug.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

I’m currently watching The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, so it seemed like a good time to have a cup of River, since I watched Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead at 4am on Christmas morning and didn’t feel like tea. I’ve always really enjoyed this blend, and every time I drink it I wonder why I don’t drink it more often. I don’t think I’ve actually looked at the separate ingredients until now, though – it always seemed like a bit of an enigma, only now that I’ve read what’s actually in it it makes perfect sense, a bit like the character herself. This is first and foremost an Earl Grey tea, but it’s soft and creamy rather than harsh and chemically. The bergamot mixes very naturally with the lemon, and the cream and vanilla complement the coconut. Overall I think it’s a very well thought-out blend. Citrussy bergamot and lemon in the initial sip is rounded out with cream and coconut which though only really present as a creaminess at first is much more pronounced at the end of the sip. The bergamot fades and the aftertaste is mainly lemon, cream and coconut to me. It actually reminds me quite a bit – in aftertaste only – of Butiki’s Lemon French Macaron. I am guilty of frequently overlooking this tea, but I actually think that if it’s still available I might pick up some more when I eventually come off my no-buy.

The more this cools, the less flavourful I’m finding it. This is definitely one that’s best when still hot.

ETA: I drank this with milk and half a sugar. The sugar brings out the lemon note more, and milk tackles the mild astringency and brings out more of the coconut.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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63

Thanks for this one a while ago, MissB! I will be having at least one Sherlock tea for the next three Sundays because of… SHERLOCK. I haven’t actually watched today’s episode yet. Maybe tomorrow. I haven’t actually written a tasting note for this tea yet either, because the grapefruit and Ceylon sounded as lame to me as Anderson. :D Turns out, I don’t love it. Surprise surprise. There is definitely grapefruit flavor here, but I am not a fan of grapefruit. At least it covers up the Ceylon. But I don’t think I mind Adagio’s Ceylon as much as other Ceylons. I only have a little of this tea left though, and I love it for the tin.

Flavors: Grapefruit

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63

Sipdown 58/375 – and that’s the last of them. My cupboard should be up-to-date now.

I love Mrs. Hudson, but this tea was never my favourite (nor was it my least favourite). It was nice and all, but the almond flavour just seemed a bit lost to me. Sure, it tasted slightly biscuit-y, but I always just kind of wanted more from it. Still, it’s going on my wishlist because I want to give it a proper review.

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68

Oi, watch it, spaceman!

Oh how I love Donna Noble. Even though I have a lot of love for a lot of the new companions, I think Donna might be my favourite. Don’t tell the others.

I feel like this tea represents more how people that don’t know Donna perceive her rather than how she actually is to those that know her well. Solid and familiar, but quiet and plain at first, with a hint of something spicy hidden beneath the surface that we don’t get to fully see shine, even though we know that the potential is there. Too much detail? Am I overthinking this association? Probably. Anyway, I like the idea that this is pretty much an Irish Breakfast you think you have sussed and then there’s a hint of ‘oh hang on, what was that?’ citrus zing and warm spicy cinnamon at the end of the sip, which becomes more pronounced the more you drink it. It’s a regular cup of tea turned up a notch, so it’s warm and comforting on another level, but imo as a lover of strong teas I think the cinnamon and orange flavours, particularly the orange, could stand to be a tad more pronounced. I like this tea, I really do. I just wish it shone more like the star that Donna is.

P.S. MERRY CHRISTMAS STEEPSTER!! It was a total accident, me drinking this today, but the flavours are perfect for Christmas!

P.P.S. Did anyone catch the Doctor Who Christmas special today?? I was at work while it was on but watched it afterwards. Doctor Who + superheroes = basically my personal heaven.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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84

Sipdown 52/375

There may be a couple more sipdowns like this that have escaped my attention. I don’t know why I never wrote a tasting note for this tea but it’s been gone for ages. Smoky teas aren’t usually to my taste, but I really enjoyed this blend. Something about the combination of spices softened the smokiness so that it wasn’t overwhelming, and my favourite way to drink this was with a teaspoon of honey, maple syrup or agave which I thought rounded it out very well. Of course, this being an Adagio black tea blend, I drank it with milk most of the time because astringency. In fact, I’m almost convinced I can remember writing up a tasting note to that effect years ago (what is Steepster doing to all my notes from back then??). Because I do like a smoky tea every now and again and because of the novelty factor – it really is a good fit for the character it represents – there’s a good chance I might restock this at some point.

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76

What the heck is guanabana?? I’m drinking through my Doctor Who fandom sampler (the original 10 tin one with guanabana Ten and sweet potato Rory) as I’m going through the show again, and it just occurred to me that I don’t even know what this one is supposed to taste like. A quick google tells me that “the flavour of the fruit has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavour notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavour reminiscent of coconut or banana” so that really narrows it down! I do get the sour citrus notes, and maybe some strawberry and banana, but no coconut or pineapple is really anywhere to be found. I’m sort of glad, because as it is I think it represents Ten pretty well. The malty Irish Breakfast is strong and dominates, which I often find with Adagio blends, but it isn’t unpleasant. Too astringent to drink without milk as per usual, but again that doesn’t really bother me since I drink black tea with milk 90% of the time anyway. The chocolate note stands out way more than the guanabana, and it’s not particularly authentic but I’ve also had way worse chocolate teas. It smells divinely chocolatey, and I think the scent might help suggest the flavour is present slightly more than it is. Malty-chocolatey-strawberry-banana oddness, but with milk and one sugar a nice non-committal cup to sip on while I’m winding down for the night. Nine will always be my doctor, both in the show and in tea form, but I do hold a special place in my heart for Ten.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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76

treat from VariaTEA wasn’t sure about this one but it somehow works. Vanilla, smokey cherry…an interesting blend for sure. I don’t need this in my cupboard but i love these fan blends :) thanks for sharing madam!

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75
I haven’t written a tasting note for a while, in part because there has been a number of deaths and illnesses involving family members, family friends or neighbors. Too much of that this year and I really hope the remainder of the year is a lot better for everyone! I’m going to try to appreciate the smaller things even more than usual.

This one is from MissB from a while ago! Thank you! Sherlock is one of those things that comforts at the worst of times. I stumbled on the show at one of those times years ago, the first airing of the first episode. This blend is as intriguing as The Woman is to Sherlock (or maybe as Sherlock is as intriguing to The Woman.) It’s a unique blend that fits The Woman perfectly. Though I wish I were writing this while trying the blend fresh, it seems the flavor is a bit faded. There are only a few black tea leaves in the blend of mostly honeybush, but the smokiness on the lapsang souchong is definitely noticeable. I like the idea of cherry and vanilla but I see more rosehips than either of those. The rosehips didn’t add much flavor, luckily. The brew is so LIGHT… as this is mostly a smoky honeybush. But again, I wish this had been reviewed fresh. I think it had more flavor the last time I tried it. But a smoky cherry vanilla honeybush blend sounds exactly like The Woman. Great idea, faded blend.

ashmanra

I hope things start looking up for the rest of 2016…and stay that way!

tea-sipper

Exactly my thoughts. Just a few positive things for the remainder of the year! Thanks, Ashmanra.

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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 <3

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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