112 Tasting Notes

52
drank Valentines by Adagio Teas
112 tasting notes

With all these updates I’ve been forgetting to drink tea!!!! (I hope you’re all happy)

I looked at some of the other reviews of this one and I’m afraid I don’t get it. Or maybe I just have a long way to go with my tea preparation knowledge…

Absolutely love the aroma! That’s the saving grace of this tea. Open the tin and you get hit in the face with chocolate (not literally). Some people probably wouldn’t like that but I do. But after that amazing nose, I only get slight hints of those flavors in the liquid. There’s a slight maltiness, but I don’t get strawberries. Maybe a bit of sweetness for strawberries…but I think that’s stretching.

Oh, and since situational drinking descriptions seem to be the trend now…I’m sitting in my apartment working on Steepster listening to 3Oh!3 (also from Boulder). Fatty (cat) is sleeping on the couch and Dexter (dog) is sleeping in his bed – real lively bunch.

Anyways, I’m really doubting my tea drinking skillz…where my Steeps at?
said in a high voice choking back the tears

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
TeaEqualsBliss

Try steeping it a little less…over 5 minutes – depending on amount of loose leaf – might be the case. Was it bitter at all?

Jason

I should have mentioned how much tea I used in the review. I used about 2 1/2 heaping teaspoons for the pot, which is about 26 oz.

But my problem seems to be that I’m not getting all the flavor I expect to be getting out of the tea (especially flavored ones like this). That’s why I don’t imagine it’s an over steeping issue, I seem to be getting better at avoiding bitter tea. Maybe my problem is setting my expectations correctly…maybe I’m just more of a tea purist (unflavored tea) than I know…

Jack

Try doubling that. I usually use about one heaping tsp per 6 oz of water… it’s more than most companies recommend, but you can get an extra steep or two out of it anyway.

takgoti

I don’t know why, but the image of you crying on the couch squeaking out “WHERE MY STEEPS AT?!” while your dog and your cat stare at you and 3OH! 3 blares in the background is making me giggle madly.

Could be the delirium. [Oooh…delirium. http://momentumoffailure.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/del20tremens1.jpg ]

Could also be the fact that you’re wearing a Shredder costume.

On a nearly unrelated note, does the lead singer of 3OH! 3 make anyone else feel like they’re listening to a Hellogoodbye song when Don’t Trust Me starts? That’s the only song of theirs I’m familiar with.

Cofftea

Jason, try 2.25g for every 6oz steeped for exactly 5 min.

Cofftea

I think a LOT of us were too busy being on steepster to drink tea today… but not me of course… LOL ok, I’m a bad liar. :)

teaplz

takgoti, you crack me up. You’re my poster of the week, fo sho. I just had to say that. And I agree with the 33 observation. Except that Hellogoodbye is superior!

P.S. Delirium is super strong, y0.

takgoti

@teaplz Aw, shucks. Thanks, friend!

I like Hellogoodbye, too. Something about Two Weeks in Hawaii makes me feel like I’m in high school again. Strangely Weezer-esque for them.

P.S. Delirium Tremens is the only beer that I can claim to actively enjoy. Being that I have the tolerance for alcohol of a fourth-grader, it takes a little more than half of one for me to start breaking out the WHOOOOOs!

Jason

@jack: I’ll give that a try.

@cofftea: I’m having a hard time figuring out the conversions there. Maybe because I’m tired. Maybe because I don’t have a scale and its hard to convert grams (weight) into teaspons (volume). But assuming I can figure it out, I’ll also give that a try :)

@takgoti: That’s ridiculous. You’re being ridiculous.
For one, I would NEVER sit on the couch and cry. I sit in my chair while working and do all of my crying there. Secondly, apparently I’m wearing a Shredder costume just because of my avatar?!?! That’s crazy! It’s friday, my costume is in the wash. I can’t work in it 5 days straight, that’s just gross! Mon-Thurs is the only reasonable limit. Stop being ridiculous.

takgoti

I will stop being ridiculous when you reveal to us which one of your cohorts is Bebop and which one is Rocksteady. [I’d throw Krang in there but he’s gross and I always hated his voice.]

Jason

It’s the dog. His name is “Dexter Bebop”. I always wanted to get a dog and name them either Bebop or Rocksteady, but when it actually came time, Rocksteady was just so impractical and would probably just end up becoming Rocky or Rock. Casey Jones was mentioned at one point, along with basically every other turtle character. We did seriously consider Bebop though. But in the end he just looked more like a Dexter so we made Bebop his middle name.

The cat’s name is Hermes, but he’s so fat we just call him Fatty (I didn’t name him, he’s my gf’s cat).

Angrboda

Hey, a post with a setting is a post with character! :D Even better if you can throw some little background anecdotes in there as well.

As for the conversions, Jason, grams happen to be a standard measuring unit around these parts, so I pulled out me scales and a teaspoon and Adagio’s apricot tea which I guesstimated must have roughly the same leaf size. One teaspoon with as much top on it as I could without spilling was 3 g. One teaspoon with a tiny little bit of top was 2 g. I would say that I have pretty standard sized teaspoons but my scales only deal with one decimal, so it’s not terribly accurate, though. I could take it to work and measure there with five or six decimals, but considering the kinds of things that are normally measured there, I wouldn’t be prepared to drink it afterwards. :)

takgoti

Um, that’s kind of awesome.

TMNT was the only thing my brother and I could agree to play when we were little before we discovered Captain Planet and the big momma, X-Men. He was not down with the My Little Pony and I wasn’t a big fan of G.I. Joe. My only issue was that they always wanted me to be April and I wanted to be a turtle. So then they made me be Donatello because “He’s purple and you’re a girl.” Those were bitter, bitter years.

A friend and I also once went through two entire rolls of quarters to beat the TMNT arcade game at Fuddruckers.

Go big or go home.

Jason

@angrboda: Thanks for the little exploration in conversions, that’s awesome. So it looks like if I go with Cofftea’s recommendation, that would be a single teaspoon (slightly more than “a tiny little bit of top”) for every 6 oz of water. That’s really helpful, I appreciate you doing that! Will try.

TMNT FTW!

Angrboda

No problem, Jason. Turns out it came in handy again when someone over at LJ asked how many cups they could get out of 100 g :)

I read somewhere once that it’s generally a good idea to do that in order to dose tea correctly, but I’ve never got around to it before. Most of my teas are brewed by guess and learning by doing.

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56

Definitely…interesting.

Unfortunately I’m drinking the bagged version, not loose leaf. And I’m thinking that is playing a big factor in the experience. I get a distinct, artificial aroma and flavor from this one. I’m thinking it’s coming from the plastic the tea bag was individually wrapped in, but I can’t be sure.

I’m not really getting any of the jasmine, just a hint of sweetness followed by the classic green vegetal flavor. I’m getting a ting of bitterness, but I think that’s just my feeling towards greens and the fact that my water might have been a little on the hot side. Even with the whole “artificial” aspect of the tea, it’s still somewhat pleasing. I think in some weird way it reminds me of my grandparents or something (try to take that in the least weird way possible). It just kinda makes me think of their house, which, is not necessarily a flavor I want everyday but a nice reminder every now and then.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec
Charisma

I have the loose leaf, and I think it tastes very good! There are jasmine petals in there. Its a pretty flavor and fairly strong as well. I’d recommend the loose leaf :)

Jillian

I agree, some teas are just better that way.

Cofftea

ALL teas are better in loose leaf.

Jason

Now that I’ve let it sit for a while (it’s cold) it seems to have cut some of that plasticy-artificial flavor. But it could just be that I’m not accustomed to jasmine teas since i haven’t had many in the past…

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77
drank Kai Hua Crescendo by Adagio Teas
112 tasting notes

Very nice, especially because I don’t usually go for the greens. Good vegetal flavor, not too grassy/earthy or bitter. Light and airy with a touch of sweetness. The brew is surprisingly light in color, just a hint of green (unless you let it sit in the pot too long :) ). I think you green and non-green lovers might like this one.

Jane Quigley

I just got a sample of this – I’m going to try it tomorrow.

Jason

I saw in your tealog that you’ve had some teas from Subtle Tea. Is that the one on Madison and 30th in NYC? Do you go there often?

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75
drank Honeybush Hazelnut by Adagio Teas
112 tasting notes

This is quite the interesting experience. There’s an awesomely powerful nose on the loose leaf itself, dominating any other possible notes, and on the brewed tea as well. Both reek (in a good way) of the sweet and nutty hazelnut flavor.

The loose leaf is pretty small, lots of little pieces with great brownish and red colors. It yields a light golden liquor that is quite nice. I’ve never actually had honeybush before, just it’s cousin rooibos, but this had none of the bitterness or crushing earthiness of the rooibos. I’m not sure if it’s because of the honeybush or if the hazelnut is masking those tastes.

When it comes down to it, the flavor of the tea is so-so. I’d place it generously on the bland, flavorless side. However, that doesn’t fully dampen my feelings as I still enjoy the punch offered by the aroma. Since I’m not a fan of coffee but have always enjoyed the idea, the smell kinda reminds me of the fancy coffee treats they serve at Starbucks. So I feel all mature like I’m drinking a coffee drink. Is that a legit reason to enjoy a tea?

Auggy

This is the only honeybush tea I’ve enjoyed and that coffee smell/feel is exactly why I like it!

Jason

I’m glad I’m not alone with the whole coffee smell thing. For some reason it makes me feel like less of an adult because I don’t like coffee, so it’s nice to fake it every once in a while :)

takgoti

As someone who lived on coffee for a solid five or so years, and thus shakes and eye twitches and horrible headaches from the caffeine withdrawal when you go without it, you’re not missing out on much. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but even when I was drinking it black I never liked it to the extent that I like tea. [And just as a side note, Starbucks specializes in crazy crap in their coffee because they often burn the beans. Not that I’m saying it doesn’t make it taste good, because I’ll still drink an espresso truffle or a pumpkin spice latte from time to time, but their coffee is piss.] Coffee does have an air of maturity about it, but tea makes me feel fancy and zen.

End diatribe.

So uh…tea drinkers rule and coffee drinkers drool! [Don’t tell my friends I said that.] But a coffee-scented tea might be something I need to take a look at.

Jason

Zen I can do, I’d like to think of myself as rather zen-like. But maybe I’ll take “sophisticated” instead “fancy”.

Auggy

I’m one of those former twitchy coffee-withdrawal people. I was so addicted, when I finally got off of it, I avoided it for 6 years – not just coffee but all caffeine. I’d maybe have a can of coke a year and that’s it. But then I discovered tea… enough caffeine to get me buzzed, but not enough to make me hurt if I miss a day. Perfect! Haha!

Jillian

My only sources of caffeine have always been tea and chocolate, there’s nothing better in my opinion. :D

Jason

I’ve always wondered just how much the caffeine actually affects people. I don’t drink coffee, but I’ve never noticed a difference in my energy caused by caffeine from soda or tea or anything else really. I always find it interesting that so many people who have caffeine/coffee related problems have switched to tea (that’s why Jack, one of the other Steepster guys, switched to tea too).

takgoti

The thing about caffeine for me, is that there are only two things that make my energy levels spike: coffee and energy drinks. [When I was working retail and it was a matter of survival, we’d down energy drinks like it was part of our job. It makes me shake a little involuntarily just thinking about it.] Otherwise, the difference it has in my energy levels isn’t really NOTICEABLE.

With either one of those, I’d get hyper as well. With tea, it’s just like that feeling of wanting to go to sleep, but you can’t because you’re awake. I don’t feel ENERGIZED and I don’t feel like I want to go do something RIGHT NOW, I just feel…awake.

So, tea caffeine = not ready to go to bed. Coffee caffeine = LET’S DRIVE TO PARIS AND GET BERETS AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING AND HEY! WHAT’S THAT? HEY! WHY IS MY ARM MOVING? I mean, it’s not like that all the time, but it’s easier to get there than it should be. Especially if you’re not used to it. [“Regular” coffee, by the way, has a MUCH higher caffeine content than the more complicated drinks most places offer now.] And you can probably imagine what the crash is like. [Pretty devastating.]

Anyhow, it’s not healthy. And to reiterate, the caffeine headaches are malicious little buggers. They don’t take too long to show up and they’re not very forgiving. I mean, technically, you’re going through withdrawal. The headaches are number one reason why I decided it was time to kick coffee to the curb.

Auggy

I’m pretty much with takgoti. If I have a cup of coffee (even just 8oz), my hands start to shake now. I usually have to have 12 – 16oz of a stout tea to get a hint of that reaction. Though I have done it to myself once or twice on sencha when I’m not really pausing between steeps and used a heavy hand with the leaf.

Coffee makes me chatty, bouncy and shaky. Tea usually makes me awake and aware. Soda, when I have it, tends to get me somewhere in between. Hyper, but not shaky.

I have never had an energy drink. They scare me.

@takgoti: I’m so with you. Caffeine withdrawal headaches: Worse. Headaches. Ever.

Jason

Based on the length of your tasting notes and comments, should I assume you’re always jacked-up on some form of a caffeine packed beverage? You guys are crazy…and I love it!

takgoti

Oh, Jason, Jason, Jason. You have not seen me hyper, so I guess I can’t blame you for not knowing what my tea log would look like if I wrote in it whilst on a true caffeine high [incomprehensible]. The stuff I write on here is simply a result of my lack of a self-edit button [or, ironically, the time to actually sit and edit].

But I am glad that you are enjoying our insanity. It’s quite cathartic on my end.

Auggy

Any insanity is takgoti’s fault. She’s a bad influence on me.

:D

Jillian

Yes, it’s aaaallll Takgoti’s fault! ;p

takgoti

Yeah, it’s true. I’m pretty awesome.

Rena Sherwood

This discussion is heavily caffinated. I think I’m actually waking up now.

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50

I like the aroma a lot. The almond mixes interestingly well with the sweet vanilla smell…but at the end I can’t help but feel disappointed. There’s a little flavor from each of the elements in there; a little black tea, a little vanilla, a little almond – but nothing powerful enough to make a compelling mouthful. It just comes off as a little on the bland side. Maybe more tea, 2 bags instead of one? Maybe a longer steep time? I’m not sure, I’ll have to keep working with this one.

Sinister

Why is it that the teas with the greatest scents always seem to disappoint? The last couple of teas I’ve tried have had great aroma but the tea itself was bland and unimpressive…

Rena Sherwood

Did you try steeeping longer or tried two bags or asmaller mug? Just curious if it made a difference.

Katie Alberry

I feel the same about this tea. It smells amazing, but the flavors just don’t stand up to the aroma. I tried steeping mine longer, and also using more loose leaf tea, but in the end I was never really satisfied.

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75
drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
112 tasting notes

I really like the “bird’s nest” shape and it makes me feel extra special to unwrap each individual nest, like each one is it’s own little package made just for me. The liquor is a nice deep brown and the nose on it is nice too. Similar in taste to a black tea but with a deeper earthy sense, an almost root-like taste (in a good way). This seems like a good tea for classic tea drinkers, no bells and whistles…just straight tea flavor.

Jason

Just finished off the rest of the pot after having let it sit for a while. It’s just luke warm but even stronger more solid flavors now. The aroma is more present and hits you sooner. It’s nice that with time it seems to only have gotten better.

takgoti

As my appreciation for pu-erh has only continued to grow as I branch out and try more, this one is going on the list. I have yet to try an actual pu-erh cake, and this sounds like a good place to start. Especially since I REALLY like the idea of opening little packages whenever I want a batch. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that count.

Jason

I haven’t tried a pu-erh cake either, but it seems pretty cool. Even though (I think) the majority of the time you just break it up anyways.

Katie Alberry

Pu-erh cakes are also great. You just break some pieces off for each pot and enjoy the aromas and tastes that are hidden within. I really enjoy opening these little nests, though.

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75
drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
112 tasting notes

A good black tea. Nothing too amazing but good nonetheless. Lots of earthy tones and a nice soothing nose. Who doesn’t like popping a couple of these finely rolled balls into your pot and watching them unfurl into all their steeping glory? Has enough strength to hold up to the morning grogginess without a harsh bite. Cocoa notes are too subtle for my untrained palate to pick up on. Grab a cup, i’m sure you’ll like it.

Mike

I “liked” this post…even though I don’t “like” hearing about your palate…

takgoti

Interesting. You’ve spurred me into trying this one riiiiight…now.

Also, I’m sorry, but hee hee hee, you said “balls.” [I know. I’m five.]

Jason

@takgoti, i’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts. At it’s only available as loose leaf, not tea bags, right?

Laura

the idea of watching said balls of glory & the anticipation of cocoa sounds like a good choice for tonight. maybe you could manage making me a cup just this one night? …while i make you dinner like i do EVERY night?…

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78
drank Raspberry Patch by Adagio Teas
112 tasting notes

Light and sweet. First you get the sweetness of the apple and a hint of the raspberry. Then as the pink liquor travels back on your tongue you get more of the sour/bitter flavors of the cranberry and the hibiscus. This seems like a tea I would really like, except I can’t quite seem to get the preparation down. My first cup was too light, not enough flavor, so maybe I needed to add more tea and steep for longer. The second cup (that I had left steeping) had a much more powerful flavor but a little on the bitter side. It would probably help if I had a proper kettle so I knew what temp my water is.

Jillian

You could try getting one of those dinky little cooking thermometers that you can find in the grocery stores.

Jason

I feel like one of those variable temperature kettles would be good because right now I use a super old and crappy one. What do you use/recommend?

takgoti

I know you’re not asking me, but I’m gonna be a buttinski anyway. I use the Utilitea from Adagio, and it’s pretty fantastic, though I sometimes find myself wishing for something more more precise.
http://is.gd/3OQDv

I’ve heard good things about Cuisinart’s.
http://is.gd/3OQL4

But if I were in the market I’d probably get this one.
http://is.gd/3OR1V

And continue to lust after this one.
http://is.gd/3ORbZ

Jason

@takgoti: yea that last one looks amazing, I’ve even tweeted about it before. The utilitea is more in my price range but I would like something that has fairly precise temp control. Hmm, so many decisions…

Jack

The Utilitea is good enough temp-wise, and you can’t beat the price!

Carolyn

I picked up one recently at Upton Tea Imports and I adore it. It has four temperature settings and it heats a full kettle of water to 212 degrees in three minutes flat (I timed it). Plus it is on sale, so I got it for $42.88. Here’s the link:

https://secure.uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?from=catalog.asp&itemID=AK16&begin=0&parent=Accessories%3ETeaware%3EElectric+Kettles&category=Upton+Tea+Imports&sortMethod=0&categoryID=0

Carolyn

Just wanted to say that I lust after the Bugatti as well. If only I could afford to spend that kind of money on a tea kettle.

Cofftea

Don’t bother w/ the UtiliTEA, it’s SO much more inferior than the Breville. Sure it’s cheap, but that’s because it doesn’t have all the features to make the perfect cup of tea. Why waste any amount of money on something that doesn’t work the way it should?

Cofftea

What’s so special about the Bugatti? the Breville is perfect for 1/2 the price.

Cofftea

try 2.25g of tea per 6oz of water @ the recommended temp.

Cofftea

I was wrong. Never mind w/ the Breville either. This has WAY more settings and is a heck of a lot cheaper. I’m getting this ASAP.

http://www.amazon.com/Component-Design-TT1-Digital-Thermometer/dp/B0021AEA8U/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1254430975&sr=1-4

Jason

Wow, so many great choices. I have some research to do.

Cofftea

What the heck is it w/ Adagio’s fruit teas? Why do they insist that fruit teas need to be flavored w/ other fruit?. If I order raspberry, I want raspberry. If I order sour apple, I want sour apple.

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75

Back at Caribou for free internets! All of their teas are decent, nothing special. For a green tea (not my favorite), this was actually rather enjoyable. Little to no bitterness – probably from all the sweetener they add.

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75
drank Cinnamint by Caribou Coffee
112 tasting notes

I’m still stuck at Caribou because I don’t get internet at my place until Thursday, so I grabbed another cup. This one is decent for a mint tea, which I usually don’t drink – I just don’t think there is that much delicacy to them. It’s fine for what it is, very minty. There’s maybe a hint of cinnamon, but it’s all but hidden by the mint.

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Profile

Bio

I’m one of the people behind Steepster!

I really like oolongs but I’m open to pretty much anything (although I’m still hesitant of pu-erh). Either way, any tea that expands my tastes, teaches me something, or promotes a love of tea is a winner in my book. If you have any questions, shoot an email to [email protected] or PM me.

Location

Brooklyn, NY

Website

http://www.steepster.com

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