41 Tasting Notes

70

Smells of Jasmine of course, almost too much jasmine. I admit floral addition’s to tea is usually not my schtick but my wife loves this stuff, so I had to see what I was missing. Floral notes seem to back off as the tea cools letting more of the silver needle come out to play.

Taste is of I can only assume jasmine since that is a new taste for someone familiar with straight silver needle, however it does let more of the silver needle come through than I expected from the scent to start. Not as many layers or as much complexity in the flavor but that would be hard to preserve through the addition of the jasmine in my opinion. All in all I will be sticking with my normal silver needle, since I like it just fine without the added jasmine.

If you are more of a “nose” tea drinker this one probably needs to be marked way up, assuming you like the aroma of Jasmine. For me I miss the normal delicate duel for my taste buds attention that occurs from adagio’s normal silver needle.

I definitely need to order some samples of Straight Silver Needle from other sources. Rishi’s wasn’t as good as Adagio’s… Any suggestions?

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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72
drank Dongshan Dolce by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Smells plant-like, but not grass-like. It is strange to find a green tea that doesn’t at least have some amount of grass smell in it. With this one, I’m not getting any. It steeps up a light gold color. I may need more time on this, but with green’s I’m really shy about steeping them too long (bad results in the past).

Taste strangely reminds me of cornflakes without the milk or the crunch, but only if they were combined with some kind of green leafy vegetable which is a very strange taste for tea in my mind. I’m having a very hard time pinning this one down taste wise beyond that since I’m still in oddworld taste wise thinking about corn flakes. After swallowing my mouth feels slightly dry but I’m not getting any bitter (either good or bad bitter).

So far as green teas go for me this is one of the better ones so far, but I feel like I am missing out on a chance to drink a good cup of white or oolong tea this afternoon instead. I am still looking for a green that I can call my own.

The search will continue! I will try steeping this with more leaf and with more time next to see what happens (4 teaspoons in a little under 2 cups of water)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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85
drank Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Steeps to a pale gold in my double walled glass mug. Smells of vegetables, grass, maybe butter and a hint of something spicy. Tastes of vegetables, green leafy, ends with a hint of fennel or black licorice (could that be the spicy that I was smelling before?).

Has a very nice layered complexity of flavors that I enjoy. Similar in complexity to a good silver needle, but bolder. After swallowing the tea finishes with a crisp dryness that I like in my lighter teas and this one does not disappoint. There is a feeling in your mouth afterwards that you might have just eaten something buttery, but it is very mild and definitely isn’t of the “salted buttery” popcorn flavor that some might expect from that comment.

I like this tea, I will put it on my shopping list since this sample is going to run out soon. Light oolongs are rapidly becoming one of my favorite teas to drink.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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93
drank Red Dragon by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Good Morning! This may be my perfect morning cup… Or at least the best one I have found so far.

If you have read my other tasting notes, you know that Ceylon Sonata has been my typical wake up cup of tea. I typically have liked Earl Grey’s but many that I have tried have too much bergamot for my taste. This has enough to give the tea a great nose and the black tea comes through with the proper amount of “this is tea, stupid” to assault my tongue after the bergamot taste fades.

A half awake man driving to work, I stick my nose near my cup, breathe in and smile… the traffic fades away, the thoughts of the coming work day fade away, and I am in the moment, focusing on the coming tastes on my tongue.

This is a blend of Ceylon Sonata, Irish Breakfast and Earl Grey from Adagio. Considering that you can’t buy a sample of a “blend” it is daunting to actually order this without somehow trying it first (Even with the small bag, you do get quite a lot of tea). It seems to hold out for two steeps, but the second is definitely weaker than the first. I typically steep for 4 minutes the first and 4:30 for the second, since the second is weaker and I haven’t gotten any bad tastes yet from the second, I will increase my second steeping this morning to 5 or maybe even 5:30 to see what happens.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Ali Shan by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Another light oolong to continue my oolong odyssey! Smells pretty mild, slightly of grass but honestly does not hit me in the nose like some teas do. Very light aromas nothing pungent by any means. Some slight notes of pleasant vegetables maybe… Very smooth tasting with a crisp finish after swallowing and just a slight subtle hint of bitter at the back of my tongue. The kind of bitter that is good if you understand my meaning.

Color is pale yellow, I think I am going to steep the next one more and try a little more than the suggested amount of tea to see if it makes things bolder. Having also gotten a sample of Adagio’s Ti Kuan Yin and having drank that earlier today, I think I prefer that to this. However that doesn’t mean this is bad by any means at all.

Further tasting and testing will be needed to see where it will finally fall. Right now it goes on my “buy as a substitute if they are out of Ti Kuan Yin oolong tea list” laughs

Yes I do like this, but I probably should try more tea on this with my next fresh “steeping session” for this tea. Probably later this week…. I also need to log a Ti Kuan Yin session when I get a chance… Until then happy steeping folks!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec
Muiriddin

Second steeping was better, however I did use less water. I did start noticing much more subtle flavors, more tea or less water may make this bloom to its full potential.

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79
drank Pouchong by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

So most oolong’s have been good to me. This one is very good in fact I bought a bag of this after trying a sample from Adagio and it is almost gone already! Very light in comparison to many oolong’s almost like a silver needle, but has more body. It steeps to a light yellowish green, smells of clover mixed with grass. Taste starts like a white tea, but as you hold it in your mouth the oolong slowly comes out to play. As you steep this the leaves slowly unfurl, which is fun to watch. I like teas that make me want to drink them while waiting for them to steep! The leaves fully open after about two steepings.

This is what I had thought a good green tea would taste like, I’m still looking for a green that I can keep in my tea stash all the time and drink daily. Until I find that green I have this, until it runs out!

I’ve been able to steep this multiple times and continue to like the results. As it cools the flavor stays very stable. Some teas the taste changes as the temperature does, this one seems to hold its flavor with varying temperature (at least until my mug is empty). I may have to buy the big bag of this from Adagio…

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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71

Smells strongly of strawberry and peach, which seems to mostly overwhelm the green rooibos and completely eliminate any smell of citrus (as it cooled the citrus smell did emerge). This green rooibos tea seems to be more about the different fruit flavors and less about the green rooibos. I don’t mind strawberry and peach, they are two of my favorite fruits and the combination does smell quite nice with the slight malty hint of green rooibos just peaking through yet I find myself wishing for more of the rooibos to “come out and play”.

Taste is dueling strawberry and peach flavors with a hint of green rooibos and something that may occasionally be what is left of the citrus coming through. I came here hoping for a green rooibos with some fruit hints and came away with a mostly fruit tea that has hints of green rooibos. I may try adding some additional green rooibos to see if that achieves more of what I was hoping for with this tea but all in all this will only be purchased in larger quantities if my wife likes it.

As it cools the citrus smell is being further revealed. I can see why many like this tea. It does have layers and a complexity in flavor, however I find myself wanting to blend it with something to truly go where I would want to take this tea.

Not my first choice in rooibos but definitely better and much more drinkable than the red rooibos vanilla.

As it cools I seem to be getting a slight strawberry kool-aid aftertase from this which means I definitely would want to keep this hot to try and prevent this taste from coming through. Hence in my opinion (to avoid the kool-aid flavor) brew it in small cups and drink it quickly before it gets too cold.

NOTE: bumped to a higher rating see comments I’ve added below as to why

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Muiriddin

I tried this again blending with 1 tsp of Green Rooibos and 1 tsp of Green Rooibos Bonita. That approach actually muted the other flavors too much.

Muiriddin

I keep drinking this even though I rated it low. I have not gotten the kool-aid taste at all of late, I am going to have to bump my rating on this tea…

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80
drank Rooibos by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Smells of wood, something wet but fresh cut, not oak, Alder maybe. It has been too long since my forestry lab class for me to identify trees from the smell after they have been cut. In addition you have some brown sugar aroma mixed in and a whisper of nutmeg? Something in the smell also reminds me of butter, but that isn’t quite right. In addition with a deep inhale the smell has a slight stinging sensation deep in my nose… Odd… I haven’t noticed that before.

This was prepared with 14 ounces of water and two teaspoons of rooibos, finishing my sample from Adagio. I steeped this one longer than I had previously. Since I was loading the dishwasher and happened to actually let it go the extra minute before my timer went off. Past experience has been that rooibos itself is very forgiving to extra steeping time and this seems to hold true.

First taste when it hits your tongue is also very woody, but in a pleasant way. Aftertaste is much the same with a touch of olive oil? Something that makes my brain think of butter or olive oil, but my taste buds are still shouting wood! Red rooibos mixes very well with flavors and straight “red bush” tea is something I wanted to try so I would know what was the rooibos and what was the extra added flavors. All in all I prefer the Adagio Orange Rooibos for taste, but the smell of straight rooibos tea is quite good and a delight to my nose. As it cools the flavor of wood becomes a little milder and I might be getting a dash of pepper from the back of my tongue, a very mild black pepper like nibble back there…

In case you haven’t noticed I do like my rooibos, now that I’m out I’ll have to find some more from somewhere. Luckily my new tea shipment should come tomorrow assuming the weather north of me hasn’t delayed it yet again…

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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drank Yunnan Jig by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

After what happened earlier today I’m not sure I should continue with tasting notes, since I’m questioning everything… Therefore I’m putting this one in with no rating.

I am on my second steep for this and am liking it…

It’s nose has a hint of something fig and maybe licorice? It almost smells like a good fig newton bar to me. It tastes slightly malty and bold with a pleasant lingering after taste… It has a hint of sweet over what I normally taste within my Ceylon Sonata. All in all this tea has convinced me to add some Yunnan to my future purchase/experimentation list.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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85
drank Ceylon Sonata by Adagio Teas
41 tasting notes

Okay my morning tea did something to me this morning that I just don’t comprehend. I brewed my first cup as normal two mounded teaspoons around 12 ounces of water steeped for 3 minutes. Got my day started. The first cup tasted good as usual.

Then I brewed the second cup which goes with me on my commute (same tea leaves, second steep, same duration which usually creates a slightly weaker cup, that brings out some different tastes in the tea). On the highway something odd happened. I got my nose down in my cup and inhaled as usual and expected the nice aroma of Ceylon Black Tea that I expect (give me the sonata, that music that gets me started each morning!) and suddenly the nose screamed wet dog and poof… I didn’t finish my second cup and ended up making some earl grey to clear the whole thing from my brain when I got to work.

I am not bumping down my rating of Ceylon Sonata for this yet, if it continues I really have no explanation as to what happened. I brewed it with the same teaware, into the same cup and the same way I do every morning and the first steep tasted good.

I will try this again, but it may be a couple of days as I wait for the memory to clear.

Have any of you had something like this happen? Where a daily drinking tea suddenly has something happen which changes your perspective? Was this just a bad second steep? I’ll have to take a good look at everything back home when I get back this evening to see if there is some explanation.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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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