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30 Tasting Notes

97
drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
30 tasting notes

More detailed notes to come soon, but this tea was everything I hoped it would be (and in a gorgeous tin to boot!) This is a keeper. Taking it iced to work tomorrow, pretty excited to give it a shot.

The bag says to steep for 1-2 minutes, but I did 4 anyway – the white tea and green tea I got in the same order ALSO say 1-2, so I think Lupicia might just include the same directions on all their teas. (Party foul.) I’ll try another cup at 2 minutes soon.

-Cash

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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90

One of my favorite teas from one of my favorite shops. I try to keep this one on hand, and particularly enjoy drinking a cup right before bed to finish my night. (Yes, I know this is a mate – caffeine does nothing for me..!)

It’s great right from the first step: big chunks of dried fruit (licorice and pineapple), gorgeous blue cornflower petals, and a fresh-looking bright green mate base exude a pleasantly spicy cinnamon apple scent. I definitely recommend putting this in a tin; the ingredients are very different sizes and you want a balanced scoop.

The steep releases more cinnamon apple scent, this time emphasizing the fruit. I love watching this tea steep, as the liquor very slowly and very gradually becomes its ready-to-drink pale gold.

Generally, I like my teas to have a very bold flavor. Rainforest Mate is unique because the sip initially tastes very watery, a notable tart sweetness creeping around the edges of your tongue and throat as it sits and finishing up with slight anise notes. It’s confusingly weak and bold at the same time, the latter definitely aided by heat; I’ve never iced this tea but having tried it nearly cooled I don’t particularly want to.

Writing this overdue tasting note, I’m realizing that I have plenty of flavored mates (nearly all of which I love) but have never tried the stuff plain. Any brand recommendations?
-Cash

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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71

Mild blueberry flavor, strong white flavor; exactly as ordered. Much better hot than when the tea’s cooled down a bit.

-Cash

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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73

Received this tea as part of a large shipment from Adagio, as we were ordering a kettle from the company and we figured we might as well get a bunch of their teas as well. I was curious to look up Adagio and find that their headquarters in Garfield NJ is only five blocks from my boyhood home.

I steeped the tea for four minutes at 200 degrees, somewhat high for a white tea. The tea in the bag had a sour and almost pickled smell, but I was pleased by the fresh and crisp flavors in the finished result. Given the scent of the dry tea I expected a more complex and bold taste, but instead the cucumber white is mellow, unassuming and simple. Generally I prefer stronger teas, but I loved this one; I understand that what is subtle to one person is weak to one person, but there is little cause for complaint in this tea.

-Chris

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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61

This tea smells like feet.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a lot of chocolate and a little mint in there too. But the first thing I thought of shoving my nose into the little pouch of this I’ve got was a big pair of spent-the-day-walking-in-flip-flops gams. And it’s hard to get over a first impression like that. I’m not disgusted by feet like many people seem to be (in fact, I think they look kinda cool), but the smell of ’em is not what I expect when I open a foil bag of green tea.

Pouring some hot water over the leafy paws brings out the chocolate a lot more, but there’s still a distinct note of not-so-fresh feet. I’m not getting much mint from this scent, a notable feat given how dominating just a hint can be.

The liquor’s an unremarkable yellow color but a few minutes into the steep is beginning to let out some leafy green tea scent. Fortunately, that foot nonsense mostly vanishes when you get to tasting it, but it’s definitely still present – likely because it still smells that way. It’s all chocolate at first, a fake candy-coating sort of chocolate that isn’t as unpleasant as that description sounds. It leaves behind a mild freshness to remind you that there is, in fact, mint involved here, but there’s only the faintest flavor of green tea.

I’m liking this more as it cools down, and in fact raised my rating a bit as a result. This might be best iced – definitely gotta try it.

Still smells like feet, though.
-Cash

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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73

Yes! I ordered a good 18 samples of Adagio’s teas when we got our UtiliTEA kettle (which is fantastic – if only Steepster had equipment reviews!), having never tried that brand before and being enticed by the low price of admission, and thought just about every one I’ve tried so far was thoroughly boring, good but not great and that’s just unacceptable in a DavidsTea world. Every one of those were blacks and oolongs (the latter my favorite variety and therefore the lion’s share of the samples I ordered) until getting to the delicious vanilla green, and between that and this white cucumber I think my judgment of Adagio might be changing.

A vaguely unpleasant scent from the leaves set my expectations pretty low, but the vinegary notes vanished in hot water to make way for a very recognizable white tea scent. To be honest, if you had me smell the liquor without knowing what it was, I’d guess this was a plain Silver Needle – albeit an old one, but still pretty quality stuff. There’s a very pleasant vegetal edge that more than makes up for the discouraging nose from the leaves.

I normally steep white teas one or two minutes and no more. Adagio’s instructions on the types-of-tea leaflet you can expect to find in any shipment encourage you to steep theirs for as much as seven (!) minutes because the flavor needs that time to come out, which just sounds downright heretical to me. The cucumber white’s bag recommends a more modest 3-5 minutes, so I shook off the innate resistance to doing so and gave the infusion a solid four. Fortunately, that time didn’t end up making my cup bitter, and I’m intrigued to try a few different times with this tea.

In fact, the flavor is really, really good. I’m a big cucumber fan so I was expecting to at least like the tea despite how odd it sounds, but I found myself loving each sip more than the last. I’m not sure I would describe the flavor as cucumber in a blind taste test, but it definitely tastes crisp and vegetal on top of the fantastic mild earth tones that mark white tea. The liquor is more golden than most whites, likely due to the long steep.

My cup’s been cooling down as I sip it writing this review, as hot beverages are wont to do, and the scent and taste both are getting stronger and closer to the tea’s name. I still love each sip more than the last, as I mentioned in the opening of this review. Color me impressed; I’m excited to get to Adagio’s other whites shortly.
-Cash

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ashley Bain

Oh but we do have equipment reviews – http://steepster.com/Ashley_Annie/posts/81851#comments
You just find it or create it and put it under “Teaware”.

Ashley Bain

“…as hot beverages are wont to do,” I’m still trying to figure out what you meant by this statement, but I’m puzzled. lol.
And I’m a big cucumber fan, too. It’d be nice to find a good cucumber tea. But usually cucumber scents and flavors aren’t exactly cucumber.

Cash & Chris

You’re probably reading it as “won’t to do” – http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wont . It’s just a little joke commenting on the uselessness of a phrase like “my cup is cooling down.”

Ashley Bain

OH. Welllll ahhh’ll be. Thanks for teaching me a new word, Mr. Cash ;)

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81

About time – after being bored by nearly every sample I ordered, I finally enjoy one of Adagio’s teas! This still isn’t the delicious vanilla milkshake beverage I’m seeking, but this blend has a lot to offer.

The leaves are full and bright, with an unfortunately artificial vanilla scent laying over the grassy green notes. This vanilla scent sticks out even more when steeping, but fortunately loses some of that ‘vanilla extract’ edge the leaves had. The liquor ends up a pale golden tone that more resembles an oolong than the green I was expecting, but oolong is obviously the One True Tea (or Many True Teas, I suppose) so that’s not a complaint.

The flavor is downright great. It’s unfortunately still weaker than I’d like (which seems to be the Adagio story), but I’ll just use more leaves next time. It’s got a crisp mouthfeel and tastes exactly as its name implies; both the sweet creamy vanilla and grassy tea are present, starting more with the former and leaving the latter behind as it goes down. The flavor doesn’t stick around long, and I ended up drinking my first cup of it in a very short time as a result. I was pleased to find the vanilla flavor managed to taste more like a dessert than the bean I’ve learned to expect from vanilla teas without tasting artificial, despite the unfortunate scent of the leaves.

This one’s a winner, and is the first Adagio tea I’m likely to re-order. I expect it to be fantastic iced when I try that tomorrow.
-Cash

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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52
drank Strawberry by Adagio Teas
30 tasting notes

Though I normally like my flavored blacks to be more flavor and less tea, the mild strawberry flavor coming in at the end of this is pretty satisfying. Nothing special, but I was expecting a dessert tea and got a lovely afternoon blend instead. This might be great iced and I want to try that; I also want to try steeping it for less time, as some other reviewers have done.
-Cash

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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50

I’m on a quest to find a vanilla tea that I really enjoy. Vanilla is one of my favorite flavors in any instance where I can choose a flavor, always, and I want this to apply to tea as well. From DavidsTea to Tazo to Celestial Seasonings to Southern Season, no tea source seems to get the flavor I want across. Unfortunately, this isn’t The One, but it’s better than most.

The leaves smell mostly woodsy with a bit of a vanilla undertone – bean, not flavoring. They’re not much to look at or smell, and are a bit smaller in general than I like my teas to be. I’m running through a sampler box, though, so this may have more to do with my dipping out of a small bag than a properly sized one. Brewing it in my new ingenuiTEA pot, I don’t have much comment to make on the scent when steeping.

The liquor’s a pretty, dark amber, not unlike the peach oolong from the same sampler set. I strongly suspect they’re made of the same tea base. The flavor profile puts the fairly creamy vanilla up front with a woodsy aftertaste from the oolong, both weaker than I’m looking for. The flavor’s more spot on than any other vanilla tea I’ve tried – especially compared to the most recent contender, DavidsTea’s awful vanilla oolong offering – but still not the in-your-face sweet treat I’m seeking.
-Cash

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Ashley Bain

have you tried Vanilla Comoro from Harney?

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40
drank Peach Oolong by Adagio Teas
30 tasting notes

My first experience with Adagio Teas.

The leaves were disappointingly fine-cut, but that may be the fact that I’m drinking from one of their 5-cup samples rather than a bigger bag. The ingredients list apricot amongst the usual and expected suspects, and that comes through strongly in the powerful scent of the leaves. It’s very reminiscent of Revolution Tea’s Dragon Eye Oolong, actually, which shouldn’t be surprising given they’re made of similar stock. These leaves smell a lot better and/or stronger than Revolution’s, but look to be of equivalent quality.

The liquor is a gorgeous dark amber, no surprises from a brownish oolong like this. The scent from the leaves is still coming through in full blast, but unfortunately that strength didn’t stick around for the taste; a slight hint of peach and woody tea are all that distinguish it from the hot water in which it’s steeped. It might be better with a bit more honey to flesh out the flavor a bit – I used my typical half-teaspoon.

I probably wouldn’t be so disappointed by the flavor if the leaves hadn’t set the bar so high with their scent. Not a bad tea by any means, but when I want a flavor of this sort I’m sticking to the aforementioned Dragon Eye Oolong.
-Cash

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

This is the joint account of Cash and Chris, two American University seniors and roommates with a love of tea and a shared collection that makes two separate accounts pretty pointless. Each tasting note is signed by which one of us wrote it.

In our photo, Chris is on the left in the plaid and Cash on the right in the poncho.

Cash is studying psychology and works at the Apple Store. He enjoys drumming, overanalyzing, and hoarding.

Chris is studying criminal justice and works for the EPA. He enjoys being terrible.

Send us a message if you’d like to do a tea trade, we’re always down to try new varieties!

Cash: I am on an epic quest to acquire some of 52teas’ Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha. It sounds like literally the perfect tea to me, and I will trade ANYTHING in my cupboard for it. Seriously. Send me a message if you’ve got some to spare.

Location

DC

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