92 Tasting Notes

89
drank Cream by Adagio Teas
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.

LENA

I’m still trying to figure out some of the Zarafina logic. I wish they would have included the temps and corresponding minutes with each of the settings. Some of my black teas get really bitter even on the “medium” setting.

S

Yeah. I’ve emailed them a couple times and they NEVER tell anyone the temp settings…geez, it’s like they have something to hide. Probably that they are not accurate or something. >:[

I read online somewhere that the black setting goes to 208 degrees (which is ideal for a black tea) and I think the strong black setting is 3 minutes. They did tell me that the herbal setting on strong is 5 minutes. I pretty much assume that the herbal, white, and green settings are all ~160-180, and the black is ~200-208, and I hope that the oolong is ~170-190, but I have no idea. Sigh.

Ricky

Ummm, I should give my Adagio flavored tea a try with an oolong steep temperature.

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34

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.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
wombatgirl

I would actually like to try this one (I’m a pisces and so want to try it even if it’s icky.) Want to set up a swap? PM me?

Bethany

Ugh man do I hate rooibos.. welcome to the club.

S

Ugh, I forgot to rinse my cup out and ruined a perfectly good cup of cranberry fruit tea…now it smells like orange rooibarf.

inguna

Ha, ha … ``Upon my word,‘’ said her ladyship, ``you give your opinion very decidedly …" ( Pride and Prejudice")
Full disclosure: I made this blend so I’m probably biased :) I have to admit that I, on the other hand, really loved the smell. That just goes to show how subjective taste and smell can be.
Anyway, great review, I enjoyed reading it even if you did not like the blend. What can you do ? Can’t please everybody, can you?

S

Aww…if it makes you feel any better, I LOVE the Gemini blend! I’m definitely reordering that one :D

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60
drank Valentines by Adagio Teas
92 tasting notes

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.

Cofftea

That’s a lot of samples!

S

I know! I bought the Zodiac sampler set, so I’m really excited to try those blends. I’m still trying to find my favorites and I get bored easily, so I figured a bunch of flavors in small amounts would be my best bet. ;)

Bethany

Hah, you THINK they’re small amounts.. until you have hundreds of them and they’re taking over your kitchen..

Valentine’s is definitely my favorite Adagio flavored black. I, too, loathe their Ceylon base, but Valentine’s manages to overcome that beautifully.

Cofftea

Shanti, it takes a lot to get me bored. but since I resteep it’s always good to get a tea that morphs over time.

Bethany, don’t I know it! I buy the small tins because I have a “I have to try everything!” attitude. I can’t imagine if I bought larger sizes of everything I have…

jennlea

I have yet to try this flavored tea and keep hearing how good it is. Odd that I have never picked up a sample of this considering I have their sampler tins all over my house.

Bethany

@jennlea If you’re interested in a swap, I have a 4oz size of it, so I can part with some.

jennlea

@Bethany oooo, will send you a message!

Ricky

I agree with Bethany, fifty tea is a lot! So fifty 1oz samplers is about 500 cups of tea! That’ll last you a year! I’m almost done with all my Adagio samplers! =D

What were your steep times for this? I’ve been hesitant about trying this again after my first go with it. I think I might try this again with a three minute steep, but I’ve honestly never been fond of Adagio’s flavored black teas.

S

You know, I’m kind of getting a cardboard-y taste from this now…I think all of the blacks I’ve tried from Adagio (decaf and non-decaf) have that same weird taste as well. Disappointment.

S

Ricky, I’m not sure what time I steeped this for, since I used my handy but mysterious Zarafina this time. BTW I bought $50 worth, not 50 samples. But yeah, I still have like 250 cups left! LOL!

TeaEqualsBliss

Yeah…they are good for 6-12 infusions depending on your strength preference and size of leaf. You’ll have fun with them!!!

Cofftea

You’ll get more cups from black and green than white and pu erh cuz they require less leaf.

Ricky

Woaps, I associated each tin as being a dollar. My mistake! 250 cups is still a lot =D Write some reviews on Adagio and you’ll be on your way to getting a $10 certificate and then you can get more tea =]

Cofftea

Ricky, no- most of the samples are $2, but some are $5.

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94
drank Comforting by Aveda
92 tasting notes

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.

jennlea

That does it. Will head to Aveda in the next few days and pick this up!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

That does sound good, Shanti.

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38
drank Orange Dulce by Mighty Leaf Tea
92 tasting notes

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.

jennlea

Make sure if you find any tasty herbals you log it! I’m always on the look out for those since caffeine after 5 keeps me up way later than I need to be. And even though I know that, I somehow never stop the tea drinking after dinner…

S

Jennlea, I just picked up a jar of tea from Aveda this afternoon that is phenomenal. If you like tea that is sweet, then you might like it!
http://www.aveda.com/templates/products/sp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY10699&PRODUCT_ID=PROD10253

jennlea

Thanks Shanti! I had no idea that Aveda sold teas! Will definitely have to try some. Thanks for letting me know :)

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69

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.

takgoti

Cardamom prices are shooting up! Just for your random fact of the day.

http://bit.ly/5owtkk

Robert Godden

That’s bad news about cardamon prices. I had an excellent pot of cardamon tea at my favourite Afghan restaurant last week.

S

But…but why? Uh oh, does this mean chai prices are going to increase as well? cry

Robert Godden

It probably does. I was reading a book on Sikkim yesterday, and it seems they grow cardamom right next to their excellent tea plantations. Perhaps we can buy the two together and save! Let’s club together and buy, say, 2 tonnes of each! Last time I bought Sikkim I bought 11kgs and that only lasted me about a year.

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76
drank Maharani by The Simple Leaf
92 tasting notes

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!

takgoti

Wow, that sounds pretty cool [no pun intended]. Looking forward to the tea-when-hot log. [I now have that SNL Celebrity Jeopardy skit playing in my head. Is the hot tea HOT HOT HOT? Or cold? HOT HOT HOT! Or cold?]

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100
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
92 tasting notes

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.

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89

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.

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100
drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
92 tasting notes

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.

teaplz

That’s it. I seriously need to pick up a sample of Dawn and many of the other Simple Leaf teas when I have the chance.

S

It’s really yummy. I’m still amazed that this isn’t chocolate caramel flavored tea.

takgoti

Excellent! So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks to Carolyn for infecting us all with the Dawn love!

S

I am so pleased with this tea…I wonder if it will ruin my expectations for other non-flavored blacks :)

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Busy college student; 20 years old; tea-novice. Grew up on homemade chai and black tea with milk and sugar.

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