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8
drank Dragonwell by Adagio Teas
260 tasting notes

Right. I think I’ve been entirely spoiled by the phenomenal nature of Dream About Tea’s Dragonwell Spring, but this tastes like sewage now. I mean, not that pungent, but…sewage light? Essence of sewage?

I’m taking liberties a bit here, but it really is not pleasant. I subsequently had to give the rating a hearty knock down. For whatever reason, maybe because I just wanted to rid the sample from my collection, I spent a good portion of a studying day steeping this at different times and temperatures, to no avail. I became so consumed, actually, that physics had to sit on the back burner whilst I traveled a range of temperatures from 130 to 190. At each new temperature I took fresh batch of leaves and let them sit. Took the leaves out around 3:00 minutes, tried to drink it, then resteeped them once just to be sure. All I got nothing more than a variety of different intensities of the taste of dirty water. Almost soapy. It reminds me of when I was at camp and we jumped in the lake and I accidentally swallowed some water. It’s just less…silty. Actually, it really reminds me of the taste of lukewarm pool water.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the anal methodology here, it’s because I feel like I’m getting to the point where I’m going on autopilot with Adagio in terms of the quality of their tea on my internal scale and I wanted to be sure I was giving them a fair shake. I went to the point of sipping out the cup while the leaves were in the infuser to make sure that I wasn’t missing out on some some magical steep time on the way to 3 minutes. Unfortunately, all the happened was that the salty, soapy taste got stronger.

What’s frustrating is that the smell of the wet leaves, and even the tea itself steaming in the cup, was making me think I could have hit it right at some points, but it was misses all over the place. A good cup of this was the dartboard and I had put several hundred holes in the wall.

I think that this is a suitable place to add that I made a rather horrifying [and yet…comforting?] discovery while I was away from Steepster. Part of my 52 teas order included a Taylor thermometer [about that time, eh chaps?] and upon the first few uses, I discovered that Adagio’s UtiliTEA is wildly inaccurate. I mean, to the tune of 20 degrees variance on the same dial setting. Could be that mine’s defective, but needless to say I won’t be recommending it to anyone anymore. Things that I noticed were that the cooler temperatures occurred when the water level was higher [made sense] but that the temperature inaccuracies occurred more often at the higher temperature settings [didn’t really make sense]. A number of times, when it was set to boil, it would give me water at 180 degrees, and that’s just ridiculous.

This is comforting to me only because it means that my oscillating opinion of black teas is likely directly correlated with the faulty kettle. For reasons I cannot determine, when put into the green range it only seems to vary around 10-15 degrees, and more often than not medians around an acceptable temperature. I don’t get it either, but what I can say is that I only really use the utiliTEA anymore when I need a lower water temperature and I know I can heat it above the desired temperature and cool it if necessary. To be safe, I tested the thermometer on water off the stove and any error in reading it may be experiencing appears to be negligible. It’s definitely the kettle.

So, I guess that’s a partial danger of discovering a new relative high on the spectrum of your awareness of anything. Things that sufficed can be demoted to the status of “only if desperate” and things that were mediocre at best can plummet to the depths of the red yucky face. I am not going to list a steep time or a water temperature because there were so many. And I’m going to leave this at one entry because I don’t want to spam you guys with the nuances of dishwater that I got from the varying trials. Dirty dishwater will suffice enough, I think. After using up almost the entirety of my sample, I had to toss the rest. I couldn’t willingly subject someone else to it, nor justify the cost of shipping to send it anywhere else other than the trash can.

There is really only one other tea that I can claim to vehemently dislike this much, and I hope that this one is the last. In any case, I can say without hesitation that I do not like this tea.

Auggy

I feel ya. Adagio’s Dragonwell was the second one I’d ever had (and the first one was even worse, if you can believe it) and I was scared off of Dragonwell for a good year and a half. A&D’s DFT Dragonwell is the only other one I’ve tried since then and thankfully it didn’t make me want to pour it out. I even liked it.

sophistre

I have sniffed mine and not tried it. Now I’m probably going to have to try it, and I’ll probably hate it. Whee!

I was skeptical when I bought my Zojirushi. I don’t want to use plastics anywhere in contact with my hot water, ever…though I think the only plastic the water really comes into contact with in it is the nozzle it dispenses from. I thought the ‘new plastics getting warm’ smell would not go away…but…it has. And it is pretty awesome. I recommend it.

Fred

I feel that dragonwell is definitely not a very good first or second foray into green tea. If you are a beginner and want to try a good green tea that wont scare you off I would suggest genmaicha. I know you’re over there saying but genmaicha is not strictly tea. Well yes it isn’t, but if you want to not be scared away by green tea it is a pleasant first way to go. I don’t drink too many Chinese green teas, but to me dragonwell was just kind of blah.

Auggy

<3 my Zojirushi. So hard.

takgoti

@auggy I enjoyed A&D’s Dragonwell, too. Though not as much as that Dragonwell Spring! May need to try both of them in succession tomorrow just to play around with temperatures.

@sophistre Don’t let my opinion on the Dragonwell sway you too terribly; there are people who enjoy this one! This was just too horrible to me not to write about. I’ve definitely been rooting around for a new degree setting heater, so thanks for your testimony on the Zojirushi! I shall add a tally mark in my little book.

@Fred Sorry, no newbie here. I’m no expert but I’d definitely not consider myself to be a beginner. I’ve had what I consider to be a sizeable enough number of greens to have some footing in the region of both Chinese and Japanese greens, and the beginning of my review stated that I’ve recently-ish been introduced to a Dragonwell that was through the roof good. This one has, partially as a result of that, partially because I didn’t like it terribly to begin with, fallen into the bowels of the under 10 rating.

Ricky

Look what you’ve done, I’m looking at a zojirushi now and it looks like a pretty Asian rice cooker. Okay, I meant design wise. You know what! I’m going to stick with my $40 water kettle that burns 1500 watts of power and continue my gestimates :D

Auggy

Zojirushi does make rice cookers so I bet there’s a reason for the similarity!
But it is so awesome. Even more awesome than my (Tiger) rice cooker. And I love my rice cooker.

teaplz

Those Zojirushis sure as expensive! Definitely not in my price range right now… I don’t even really know what I’m looking at. I’m way behind on these tea gadgety things.

Yay, the infamous Dragonhell review has arrived! DRAGONHELL. That’s right. ‘Cause that’s what this is, apparently. I trust your opinion on this, tak-tak. You’ve definitely tried tons of greens, so there’s no need to drink a sub-par Dragonhell. Especially when there’re way better ones out there that you’ve tried (i.e. Dream About Tea’s version). Nobody can accuse you of not giving it your all, though! Srsly, you tried with this mess. I applaud you for the effort!

Fred

@Takgoti Sorry I didn’t think you were a newbie. I guess I may have implied that. I was just speaking of newbies in general to green tea. I apologize.

Jillian

I really enjoyed the Dragonwell I got from a local shop. I used up the whole sample but I can maybe send you a bit when I buy more (and I definitely will!)

Suzi

@teaplz Zojirushis are a pretty penny but totally worth it. I love mine, which I got through Amazon.com – keep an eye out, they pop up in the Gold Box deals every once in a while.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever had the Dragonwell from Adagio. But I don’t think so – seems that if I had, I’d remember, based on the comments here!

Grinnyguy

Is it possible you were just having a bad day? I had a month of drinking nothing but one type of first flush darjeeling and although I loved it at the start, I was sick of it at the end. I also sometimes feel like one tea more than another, and the weather, or the food you have it with, or what you’re doing when you have it. I say wait until a nice sunny day and see if you prefer it then. Just an idea (but don’t shoot me down too hard, I’m very busy being earnestly grumpy today)

takgoti

@Fred No worries.

@Jillian Oooh, nice! I could be down with that! I think that I could be ready for another tea swap in mid to late January?

@Grinnyguy I’d almost like to think so, but no. I’ve had this a few times now [meaning on completely different occasions – I don’t log tea every time I drink it] and there was nothing remarkably different about the taste between this one and the ones then. If I’m sitting down to taste a tea I do it when I’m not eating and I’m usually not doing much else besides sitting there and drinking the tea for the exact reasons that you stated – external factors can really influence how I’m feeling about something if I let them. The real thing that so deflated my opinion of it was the introduction of a new, far, far, far superior dragonwell to my palate. I do appreciate your playing devil’s advocate, but unfortunately I don’t think I can pen this one down to simply having a bad tea day. [Consequently, I hope you enjoyed your grumpy day for what it was worth and have now shook them out for a while. We all need those days periodically.]

Grinnyguy

Fair enough, as long as you’ve given it a chance. I feel much better after getting the grump out of my system thanks. Have a wonderful christmas

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Comments

Auggy

I feel ya. Adagio’s Dragonwell was the second one I’d ever had (and the first one was even worse, if you can believe it) and I was scared off of Dragonwell for a good year and a half. A&D’s DFT Dragonwell is the only other one I’ve tried since then and thankfully it didn’t make me want to pour it out. I even liked it.

sophistre

I have sniffed mine and not tried it. Now I’m probably going to have to try it, and I’ll probably hate it. Whee!

I was skeptical when I bought my Zojirushi. I don’t want to use plastics anywhere in contact with my hot water, ever…though I think the only plastic the water really comes into contact with in it is the nozzle it dispenses from. I thought the ‘new plastics getting warm’ smell would not go away…but…it has. And it is pretty awesome. I recommend it.

Fred

I feel that dragonwell is definitely not a very good first or second foray into green tea. If you are a beginner and want to try a good green tea that wont scare you off I would suggest genmaicha. I know you’re over there saying but genmaicha is not strictly tea. Well yes it isn’t, but if you want to not be scared away by green tea it is a pleasant first way to go. I don’t drink too many Chinese green teas, but to me dragonwell was just kind of blah.

Auggy

<3 my Zojirushi. So hard.

takgoti

@auggy I enjoyed A&D’s Dragonwell, too. Though not as much as that Dragonwell Spring! May need to try both of them in succession tomorrow just to play around with temperatures.

@sophistre Don’t let my opinion on the Dragonwell sway you too terribly; there are people who enjoy this one! This was just too horrible to me not to write about. I’ve definitely been rooting around for a new degree setting heater, so thanks for your testimony on the Zojirushi! I shall add a tally mark in my little book.

@Fred Sorry, no newbie here. I’m no expert but I’d definitely not consider myself to be a beginner. I’ve had what I consider to be a sizeable enough number of greens to have some footing in the region of both Chinese and Japanese greens, and the beginning of my review stated that I’ve recently-ish been introduced to a Dragonwell that was through the roof good. This one has, partially as a result of that, partially because I didn’t like it terribly to begin with, fallen into the bowels of the under 10 rating.

Ricky

Look what you’ve done, I’m looking at a zojirushi now and it looks like a pretty Asian rice cooker. Okay, I meant design wise. You know what! I’m going to stick with my $40 water kettle that burns 1500 watts of power and continue my gestimates :D

Auggy

Zojirushi does make rice cookers so I bet there’s a reason for the similarity!
But it is so awesome. Even more awesome than my (Tiger) rice cooker. And I love my rice cooker.

teaplz

Those Zojirushis sure as expensive! Definitely not in my price range right now… I don’t even really know what I’m looking at. I’m way behind on these tea gadgety things.

Yay, the infamous Dragonhell review has arrived! DRAGONHELL. That’s right. ‘Cause that’s what this is, apparently. I trust your opinion on this, tak-tak. You’ve definitely tried tons of greens, so there’s no need to drink a sub-par Dragonhell. Especially when there’re way better ones out there that you’ve tried (i.e. Dream About Tea’s version). Nobody can accuse you of not giving it your all, though! Srsly, you tried with this mess. I applaud you for the effort!

Fred

@Takgoti Sorry I didn’t think you were a newbie. I guess I may have implied that. I was just speaking of newbies in general to green tea. I apologize.

Jillian

I really enjoyed the Dragonwell I got from a local shop. I used up the whole sample but I can maybe send you a bit when I buy more (and I definitely will!)

Suzi

@teaplz Zojirushis are a pretty penny but totally worth it. I love mine, which I got through Amazon.com – keep an eye out, they pop up in the Gold Box deals every once in a while.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever had the Dragonwell from Adagio. But I don’t think so – seems that if I had, I’d remember, based on the comments here!

Grinnyguy

Is it possible you were just having a bad day? I had a month of drinking nothing but one type of first flush darjeeling and although I loved it at the start, I was sick of it at the end. I also sometimes feel like one tea more than another, and the weather, or the food you have it with, or what you’re doing when you have it. I say wait until a nice sunny day and see if you prefer it then. Just an idea (but don’t shoot me down too hard, I’m very busy being earnestly grumpy today)

takgoti

@Fred No worries.

@Jillian Oooh, nice! I could be down with that! I think that I could be ready for another tea swap in mid to late January?

@Grinnyguy I’d almost like to think so, but no. I’ve had this a few times now [meaning on completely different occasions – I don’t log tea every time I drink it] and there was nothing remarkably different about the taste between this one and the ones then. If I’m sitting down to taste a tea I do it when I’m not eating and I’m usually not doing much else besides sitting there and drinking the tea for the exact reasons that you stated – external factors can really influence how I’m feeling about something if I let them. The real thing that so deflated my opinion of it was the introduction of a new, far, far, far superior dragonwell to my palate. I do appreciate your playing devil’s advocate, but unfortunately I don’t think I can pen this one down to simply having a bad tea day. [Consequently, I hope you enjoyed your grumpy day for what it was worth and have now shook them out for a while. We all need those days periodically.]

Grinnyguy

Fair enough, as long as you’ve given it a chance. I feel much better after getting the grump out of my system thanks. Have a wonderful christmas

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Former coffeeist, turned teaite. Lover of writing, reading, photography, and music. Traveler of life. Known to be ridiculous on occasion.

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