41 Tasting Notes

84
drank Mambo by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Long time, no reviews from me. I tend to experiment more in the winter and drink less tea in the summer. I just haven’t seemed to develop a taste for iced tea to carry on this addiction during warmer times. I still do appreciate a cup or two in the morning however.

So on to the Mambo sample from Adagio. The smell of this tea before brewing it has a strange almost mint-like spiciness… I wonder how this will come through when brewed? The label claims this is a mixture of Yunnan Jig and Wuyi Ensemble. Both teas from Adagio I have drank before, I don’t remember this smell coming from either, but it has been a while since I drank the Wuyi.

This is my second steeping and I added some additional tea before brewing which is a technique I have found works well with several Yunnan teas (Yunnan Noir makes an awesome second cup this way). The first cup was brewed for 3 minutes with about 9 ounces of water and a teaspoon and a half of tea. The second cup was brewed for 3 minutes with the same amount of water and 3/4 of a teaspoon of additional tea.

The aroma of this tea is quite nice part buttery, part grassy, small part sassy (very slight smoke?) and spice-like. I think this last bit (smokey spice) is what my nose was smelling before brewing.

Taste is a well constructed fairly mild black tea with some slight grassy notes. All in all a good drink that I shall put in the buy some more when you get a chance pile that will let me experiment more with tea amounts and steeping times.
Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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83

This tea looks like a black tea before you steep it. Steeps almost like a green tea (Light golden in color) and confuses me whenever I try to place it in any category.

Smells strangely of broccoli, subtle floral notes and with maybe a whisper of mint added to it. Not the normal mint that knocks your nose off kilter, just a slight tingling sensation that whispers of mint on a cold winters day… Kind of a crisp it is cold out slightly minty smell if that makes sense.

Taste wise this one is drastically different than the Yunnan Noir that I was previously drinking this morning. Complex and subtly layered there is a lot here for my tongue to try and get a handle on. Ends on a buttery and slightly bitter note, the bitter part kind of like the ending taste you get from a good IPA (a very hoppy beer for those of you who don’t know). The floral notes from its nose may be what is causing the IPA/hoppy associations to fire in my brain… who knows… it is my brain after all (laughs)!

As I said before this is in the black section of Adagio’s teas and black it may be from the oxidization, however this is unlike any black tea I’ve had before. It is definitely not your typical black lets get this day started type of tea. This is more of a I just had a good meal and want something to sip while having a good conversation with family/friends type of tea. One that other tea drinkers would have fun discussing with you in my opinion.

I’m having trouble trying to come up with a numeric rating on this one. Not what I was looking for this morning, thus it may be lower on my numeric scale now than it deserves. A good tea, although I think I brewed this one at the wrong time today.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Yunnan Noir by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

So I tried to log this yesterday and failed. Work got in the way…

The smell of the tea leaves before steeping is wonderful. Slight tobacco notes (but in a good way), notes of fruit, fig more than likely. Once steeped the tobacco smell is changed and is milder, and I am still getting a bit of fruit, although less than before steeping. It steeps to a delectable reddish brown that makes me look forward to that first sip…

Taste wise you have a very good traditional black tea. This one is bolder than ceylon sonata, but doesn’t pull out the baseball bat and hit me upside the head like an irish breakfast does.

I did buy a pound of this after trying the sample so I did like it a lot.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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88

Pre steeping it smells wonderful. Slight notes of Dark Chocolate giving a sweetness that is quite nice.

It is fun to watch the pearls break apart while steeping. My hardware is larger than one cup so I’ve typically used 4 pearls per steeping with slightly less than one and 3/4 cups water. It steeps a delightful brown/red color combination. Once steeped it still smells slightly of dark chocolate and does have a slight earthiness that is quite appealing.

Taste is a very good red tea. A smooth cup that finishes clean, I really like this tea. I burnt myself out on the red dragon blend, I hope that doesn’t happen with this one. This is lately my morning cup and I’ve just ordered a second shipment.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Waikato Zealong by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Smells of wet leaves, fresh hay and mixed with a hint of tobacco? Normally tobacco would be bad, but this one works for me, although with allergy season in full swing, I’m not sure I really trust my nose today. The leaves do not unfurl as much as the ali-shan or the jade oolong also from Adagio. Even by the second steeping. It steeps to a pleasant clear golden color.

Taste is hard for me to pin down again probably due to my spring time joy of allergy season. What I’m getting is a bit fresh bread like mixed with some slightly sweet vegetable like flavor.

I like this, but not as much as the Jade, or Formosa Ali Shan from Adagio. I should put this in my try again after allergy season ends pile since I may be missing something subtle with my system as messed up as allergies can make it this time of year.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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77
drank White Tea Wu-long by Shang Tea
41 tasting notes

This tea taught me how dramatic a small change in steeping time can be.

I have been drinking this off and on for a month now and had almost written it off as a tea that I just was not going to like. Then I accidently made it with water that I cooled longer and steeped it for less time and found myself drinking this a lot more.

3 mounded teaspoons of tea to a little under 2 cups of water.

It steeps a nice golden color and definitely is more complex and subtle with the less time and cooler water for steeping. The smell I’m getting is fresh hay with an almost cinnamon spice added. Cinnamon is not quite right, but it definitely is something close.

Taste when I steeped it longer was very vegetal this tea can be a wonderful combination of white subtly crossed with wu-long if steeped for less time.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Golden Spring by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Interesting appearance of the tea before steeping. Strangely fuzzy! I don’t know what they do to the leaves to make them become fuzzy, but they are. The multi-color of the tea (black and brown is interesting as well). Pre-steeping the tea smells of fruit with a hint of good smelling pipe tobacco.

After steeping for three minutes the tea is a nice brown/red color. I get a light pleasantly malty smell from this once steeped. Tasting this tea, it is a mild red tea with hints of bread, which is probably the malty smell coming through on my taste buds. The taste ends with something I’m having trouble identifying. Maybe this is the flavor that the label claims is carob? It is kind of the slight bitter you get from very dark chocolate, but I am not saying that I really get a chocolate taste from this, maybe one of the components from the complex taste that is good dark chocolate? I’ll have to keep drinking this to see if I can identify it further.

I am definitely learning an appreciation for the more subtle red teas and this one is a good example of this type of red tea. Not quite as good as the Yunnan gold I bought at the same time (review TBD) but good none the less and a great tea for transitioning into the lighter teas I drink in the afternoon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Dragonwell by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

The rest of the sample is now officially something I am not interested in. Smells slightly of tobacco (not the can be good smelling pipe kind, the cigarettes in a bar kind) and stale cereal. taste is also stale cereal with an aftertaste of ash…

I don’t know what I’ve done but I’ve tried this three times varying the temperature and amount of tea leaves and just can’t seem to find a way that I like this enough to even consider using the rest of the sample. Based on the reviews below I am wondering if this tea greatly varies based upon the growing conditions from the farm it was harvested from… no idea, but this sample from adagio goes in the I don’t want to buy again pile. Dragonwell may be a good tea, it is either I can’t prepare it properly, the sample was bad, or this tea and me have irreconcilable differences!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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72
drank Dongshan Dolce by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

I’m liking this more than last time, I made it with cooler water than previously. I think Adagio’s suggestion of 180 is to high for this tea.

Steeps a very light golden color. Has a nice taste, I like this better than the Gyokuro.

Additionally I am not getting the taste of corn flakes that I got last time (see my previous note). If you are looking for a subtle green without the taste of grass this one may be it. Make sure to try varying the temperature with your sample the taste is better but still subtle and not bold. This reminds me more of a white tea than a green tea to be honest and since I like a lot of different whites…

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Gyokuro by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

First time I made this, I must have had the water too hot. It was not good. Based on what I’ve read this one will get bad quick with water that is too warm. I didn’t rate that first try since something was obviously wrong.

Leaves are very different from what I’m used to in other loose leaf teas. It looks a lot like grass clippings to be honest. Smell is of rice mixed with vegetables. Color when steeped is a pale gold and green mixture. It steeps cloudy and has a lot of tiny particles floating in it. Taste is more of the cereal grains than rice with an ending astringency that is not bad, but doesn’t tip the scales to great for my taste buds.

My search for a green tea that I consider excellent, will continue.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

A man, not a myth or legend. Inspired equally by Muir and Merlin (hence the exotic spelling of the welsh latter). I’ve been drinking tea for many years now, but got pushed into loose leaf by observing my co-workers and realizing that there might be something more here than just boiling water and a tea bag. I’m glad they gave me a push… It has been fun so far!

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