1689 Tasting Notes
It was supposed to be mid 90’s today with a heat index of 113 F. That is too hot even in the A/C to drink hot tea. Woke up to thunder. This afternoon it is 80 feels like 85 F. To celebrate that I can actually breathe today (hot, humid, and oxygen are not good friends), I made a much needed cup of Green Earl Grey. I used extra leaf and over steeped on purpose. I love my GEG to stand up and fight for itself. Fixed per Adagio parameters it is a quiet pleasant cup of citrus. My way is far more brutal. Much love for my barbarian mug this day.
It was interesting to glance through the reviews of this one. They are all over the place. My personal take is the flavor of the strawberry is more subtle than the dry scent would suggest. Then again so is the Ceylon base. Several of the reviews commented (complained?) that the base is too harsh. Being a tea barbarian who expects an inexpensive flavored tea to grab you by the throat, I found this one to be very gentle. I did not get any bitterness or strong astringency. There was only a mild bite at the end of the sip. Personally I plan to go beyond the recommended 3 minute steep next time and see if I can’t Viking this tea up a little. As is this is a comforting cup that will take sweetening if you want but doesn’t require it and it is a frugal one at that at about $0.10/cup
Forgot to jump over here and post this one after adding it to the blog. This is a caffeine free herbal. If you are like me that generally means – scroll on to the next review. I will say up front this is different.
Totem Tea says what makes this different from other mulberry leaf teas is this is steam processed like Japanese sencha.
If one of you tea drinkers handed this to me and said, “Here try this green tea.” I would look at it and just except it was a sencha. Flat blades that look very similar. The dry sent is grassy with what reminds me of chaff left over when shucking field corn.
I brewed this per directions at 200 F for 45 seconds. The liquor is green with yellow highlights in the light and an eerie deep green in the shadows. The steeped leaf turns really dark green and crinkly like ruffled parsley.
Here is a quote straight from my blog, “The taste is unique. There is zero bitterness or astringency. It is smooth with almost no bite. The grassy connection to sencha is very present. There is also an ocean seaweed note, and what to me is best described as a hazelnut element. I think the seaweed/hazelnut combination is what Totem is noting as buttery umami.”
Possibly one of the most complex and interesting single ingredient herbals I have tried.
My very first Adagio tea – ever courtesy of Adagio. Of course it had to be Earl Grey green. I always think Earl Grey black when EG is mentioned, but in truth I probably prefer green just a wee bit more. It is clean and crisp and seems a tiny bit more exotic or something to me.
Back in my early tea bag days I drank Bigelow EG black in quantities that made my stomach burn in pain. I then discovered Twinings EG green but it was discontinued. Then came my Ahmad obsession. During this time I discovered loose leaf. I also discovered loose versions of EG green are few and far between.
All that background clutter was free. On to this tea. It smells pretty fantastical of bergamot. The leaf has blue cornflower just because it is pretty. The tea leaf is long, straight, and flat. I under leafed unintentionally. Used 180 F water and a 3 minute steep.
Despite not using enough leaf this is still pretty good. The bergamot is stronger than many of you like it but not over the top by my standard. It is sweet and almost creamy.
The second cup at 4 minutes and 190 F, is the same bright yellow cup. The taste is more a mingling of the green tea and bergamot. Sweet and ends with a strong citrus. If it wasn’t so hot outside this would be awesome for porch sitting if sweetened and iced.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with my first Adagio tea. Immediately steeping a second cup pretty well tells the story.
Received this tumbler for review. The look of it made me smile – the monocle and mustache logo amuse me. What I originally thought was a NO engraved in the lid actually stands for New Orleans where the owner Devin calls home.
This is a double-walled borosilicate glass tumbler. The 2 part infuser is stainless steel. The outside of the lid is bamboo. The inside of the lid is plastic.
The infuser can be used as a leaf basket. It rests on a lip inside the tumbler. After steeping it is easily removable. Or you can use top infuser top only for fruit infusions or grandpa style brewing.
The tumbler at 15 oz is tall and narrow. It fits in a standard auto cup holder. I found it easy to drink from and it held the heat well, in fact I left the lid off trying to cool the tea off as I don’t like it really hot.
Totem Tea sent this my way. As soon as I saw the label I went Ooooo out loud. This is a Sun Moon Lake black tea. If you have had one you know. If not this is a soothing black tea closer to Fujian than Assam in taste but not really. Dry it smells of dry field grass, malt, and fruit. Steeped at one minute it is honey and plums. I also taste caramel and a touch of cocoa. This is followed by a coolness that isn’t a blast to the senses, it is more like a welcome breeze. The winter mint is a felt not tasted, and lingers in the aftertaste. Definitely a nice cup.
Been a while since I’ve posted. I have been battling internet operating at dial up speed and some times less. The provider (satellite internet) hasn’t helped. The problem is a glitch on their end – no really it is. Today I upgraded the firmware on the router and switched anti-virus software. Getting the remnants of the old av off my computers was a lot o fun, not. So by the time I got to tea today I was a frazzled mess.
I opened the sample and at first I caught baked and roasted notes. Second whiff was more of grain accompanied by a sweet fruitiness. Once steeped a wonderful flowery aroma and a warm spiciness appears.
The sip is sweet buttery broth with strong notes of corn. At first I caught a tingly spiciness that I thought was going to turn into briskness but it doesn’t. This just stays incredibly smooth.
This is a subtle green oolong with wonderful taste. just what I needed to destress today.
From yesterday. Found a sample I forgot I had. Made a cold latte with sweetener. To me it isn’t any pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. Not really a chai either. More like pumpkin spices. It is a comforting flavor even cold. I’m glad I was too lazy to get my normal matcha out of the freezer and refill my tin.