92 Tasting Notes
I almost had a panic attack while making this. I brewed it up for the first time using my Zarafina, and it came out tasting hardly as delicious as it did when I was making it at home with a tea ball and microwaved, who-knows-what-temp-this-is water. I was getting that icky, cardboard-fruity taste of the ceylon that I was disappointed with yesterday in the Valentines blend, instead of creamy, tea-y deliciousness. The solution? I switched to the oolong setting, and the tea came out delicious and creamy like I remembered. So, I guess I dislike Adagio blacks brewed at almost-boiling to boiling water…how strange.
deep breath So this is my first rooibos tea, ever. No, really. I’ve been a little put off by the descriptions of red tea, ranging from sour wood to pencil shavings to sweet bark, and would not have mustered up the courage to order any on my own. Fortunately, I ordered the zodiac sample set from Adagio, which includes quite a few teas mixed with rooibos. For today, I picked out the Pisces blend, which is a blend of plain rooibos, orange black tea, and “just a touch of chamomile”. Three teas I’d normally never order on their own.
I opened the tin and noticed that is smelled minty. Or like rotten oranges. Or like a mix of vapor rub and blackened rotten oranges. Not pleasant. Also an appetite killer. But I managed to work up the courage and poured the little wood bits into the steeping basket, and let it steep for 5 minutes. Now that I have the actual tea in front of me, it smells less like mint and more like orange. But yucky orange…not citrusy, and slightly spoiled. Taste is thankfully lighter and tastes like mostly like wood and faintly like orange. It’s not horrible, though. While is smells a little sour, it doesn’t taste very sour.
Should I add sweetener to this? Can I add sweetener to this? I pour in a little Splenda. Hey, this actually doesn’t taste that bad. Well, it kind of tastes like Splenda-water with an aftertaste of wood and orange. But it’s not bad. It’s actually kind of good.
But the smell. Oh, the smell. Miss Princess Purrfect aka Wendy the cat jumped up to smell this, the first time she’s ever done that for a brewed tea. And her face, when she smelled this…it wasn’t just offended, or taken back by the steam, like she normally gets when she sniffs hot food. No, her nose actually scrunched up and she looked disgusted. That is the first time I’ve ever seen her make that face. Actual disgust, not “whoa wtf is that” or “ugh how dare you offer me that”. Disgust.
Wendy darling, I empathize. I’ve almost finished the glass, but that smell…I don’t know if I can handle it. Perhaps I’ll get used to it if I steep it another time? For now, though, this goes into my “swap” pile.
Just received my package with a little over $50 dollars in samples from Adagio, so I have lots of new teas to try out in the next few weeks. Yay!
This was the first one I picked out of the bunch to smell, and now the first one I’m actually steeping. The smell is exactly like chocolate covered strawberries, no mistaking it. Not strawberries plus chocolate, fighting with each other, but specifically chocolate covered strawberries. The first few sips of this, I was unimpressed…typical Adagio ceylon base with that dull bitterness it always seems to have. I wasn’t sure how strong the chocolate-strawberry flavor was going to be, after reading *Ricky*’s review (and others), but I could actually taste them quite strongly. Anyway, at first it seemed average, like nothing special. I added a little milk and Splenda, and it was still average. But all of a sudden, I had finished my cup and I wanted more. I actually was craving more! I get bored with tea flavors easily, so that rarely happens. Perhaps the bitterness left on my tongue from the first few sips faded away. Whatever it was, this is good, and a little on the boring side, but I’m glad I tried it.
Editing to add, second steep isn’t worth the effort.
Ah, Aveda tea. If you’ve ever had an appointment at an Aveda salon, you probably have tried this tea. Or, if you’ve tried their Peppymint drops, this tastes like a tea version of those. Now, I don’t like plain peppermint tea, and I don’t like the hibiscus that most companies add to their herbal blends, so this is a great alternative for me. It’s made up of only four ingredients, all of which are organic: licorice root, peppermint leaf, sweet fennel, and basil. Yes, there’s peppermint in there, but I like it. I just don’t like the way peppermint tea tastes by itself, but I like the “cooling” effect it adds to this tea. Licorice root is the primary component (the tea looks like it’s made up of thick chunks of bark). The tea tastes more sweet than like licorice to me—I know it’s the licorice that’s providing the sweetness, but it doesn’t taste like licorice. Ack, this isn’t making much sense…hopefully you get what I mean though. I’m sensitive to sweet and cloying tastes, but I’m fine with this one because it’s the aftertaste that is cooling and sweet, not the tea itself. . The other thing I like about this tea is that it’s hard to oversteep this tea. It never ends up tasting like a cup of liquid herbs (there’s basil and fennel in there, but I can’t taste them). No single note stands out. It just tastes good, and sweet, and refreshing. I’m giving this a high rating because it has never let me down.
Tried it iced this time instead. I think I overstepped it, so it came out bitter. Not really feeling this, which is strange because I like sweet earl greys which are citrusy and flowery and perfumy as well…
Taking a 1-2 day break from tea, because my caffeine levels have been through the roof and I’ve been sleeping at odd hours. Not sure if I have any tasty herbal teas…tasty being the key word.
I added a few cardamom pods to the mix, and it came out meh. “Meh.” I think this is more the fault of the additional cardamom than the actual tea itself.
I’m not very familiar with greens yet, but this is really interesting. Dry leaf smells unexpectedly spicy. Unfortunately I forgot that I was brewing this, so the tea was cool by the time I was able to drink it. The spiciness of the tea itself comes through very slightly, right at the tip of my tongue. Taste is flowery but unique, thanks to that spicy note. Also maybe a slight buttery taste, similar to unsalted butter. I’ll have to try this again and remember to drink it while it’s hot!
I’ve been craving this all day, even after yesterday’s numerous steepings. Why is this so good? Something else I noticed today: I think I can taste apricot in this, along with some sort of apricot-fuzziness-prickly feeling on my tongue when I drink this tea. I actually like it. It reminds me of when I was a kid, sucking down apricot after apricot from the tree in the backyard, and that prickly furry feeling you get when the skin of the apricot hits your tongue. I’m not sure how else to describe it. Anyway, infusions 1 and 2 are apricots and chocolates, and 3 and 4 and 5 are chocolate covered caramels. Not bad. Upping the rating because damn, this is an awesome tea.
Just found a tin of this, which had somehow migrated to the bookshelf! I’ll have to write a thorough review of this some other time, as it is one of my absolute favorites. This morning, mixing it with some English Breakfast (Twinings), milk, and sweetener. Simultaneously floral and cozy.
Bought a sample of this on takgoti’s recommendation. First of all, wow. The dry leaves are incredibly long and dark. These are the biggest black tea leaves I have ever seen (although admittedly, I have not seen very much). The leaves smell so strongly of chocolate, caramel, and coconut that I can hardly believe these are not flavored. In fact, they smell very similar to the coconutty-Chocolate Cream Truffles tea by Portsmouth that I had a few days ago.
So, I’m scooping in a teaspoon into my Zarafina. The leaves are long and twisty, so it’s hard to tell if I really have a full teaspoon of tea in there. Oh well. Setting the Zarafina to Black and Strong for the first run.
The smell of the liquor is more like honey than chocolate, to me, but maybe I just didn’t rinse my cup out enough. I just downed this cup in less than a minute because it was so good. I’m not quite at the level yet where I can pick out all the different flavors in a tea. I tastes honey and roasted yams (?). Or maybe honey roasted yams. Hard to say. It was good though. Really, really good.
Second cup: While pouring this into a cup, I could strongly smell chocolate. And now that I’m sipping, I can definitely taste it as well. Oh, heaven. Here we go. Definitely getting coconut and chocolate, similar to the tea I mentioned earlier, and maybe a little caramel. Now that I’m looking at the liquor, it seems quite a bit darker than the first cup. Adding a tiny bit of sweetener.
Sorry, got sidetracked. Found my kitty unapologetically eating my dinner. >:o
Ah, caramel, there you are! On cup three, added a little more sweetener. Okay, this honestly tastes like a chocolate-caramel candy bar. I am so glad I tried this. I was an awesome introduction to non-flavored black teas.
Editing to add that I let the 4th resteep cool down, and it was even more chocolate-caramelly, and a bit sweeter as well.