79
drank English Breakfast by Adagio Teas
186 tasting notes

And so the journey begins…

I just finished my first cup of loose leaf tea, and what a tactile experience it is! I brewed this up in my brand-new IngenuiTEA, using a teaspoon of Adagio’s blend, and steeping it for the recommended five minutes. I couldn’t help but sniff the little tin over and over again as I waited impatiently for the cup to finish brewing.

The tea steeped to a much more amber color than I was expecting, but I’ve read in several places that this is typical of Adagio’s blend. But the smell! It was so tea-like, so indescribable in a tea way, that my nose is too newb-ish to make out everything. It’s so awesome to watch those leaves unfurl and grow. It looks like an actual plant, and not dust from the factory floor!

The taste is amazing. Beyond the taste of the English Breakfast blend, and this tea in particular, I’m going to talk about the taste of the loose leaf itself. It tastes clean, and pure. It’s not bitter at all (the five minute steep time sort of freaked me out, because if you steep most bagged teas for that long, you have a fairly foul brew). It’s rich and smooth and nuanced. It’s almost like seeing in 3D for the first time. There’s no flatness of taste, or stale flavor. It’s just pure, unadulterated joy.

To talk about this English Breakfast – it’s a bit lighter than I think of when I think of English Breakfast, but it has a lot of the smokey elements that I can sometimes detect. It has an almost buttery quality underneath the main tea taste, with a pretty sweet aftertaste. It isn’t astringent at all, and rolls on my tongue in pure delicious awesomeness.

I am definitely craving another cup. How yummy! It’s like I wasn’t wearing glasses anymore, and now I can see! The only complaints I have right now is that I probably want this one a little stronger. I probably have to add a teeny bit more tea to my teaspoon.

Here comes a ridiculous question, regarding the teaspoon. How does everyone put their tea on the teaspoon? I tried digging my measuring spoon into the tin, but then freaked when I realized that I was probably breaking my precious leaves! So I washed my hands and dried them a million times before carefully picking up the leaves and placing them on the teaspoon. I wasn’t sure how to really “make” the teaspoon, though. The leaves are fairly wiry and long. It didn’t seem like a full “teaspoon,” even though the leaves were peeking out beyond the level point of the spoon.

I know I’m getting all technical. Perhaps I just have to add more tea to the teaspoon, or buy one of those teaspoons made especially for measuring out tea.

Either way, this was an awesome, awesome experience. I can’t wait to continue my journey with loose leaf! YAY!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I’m SO glad you enjoyed your 1st loose experience. Reading about it even made ME giddy!:) That is the very reason I weigh my leaves by the gram. Especially w/ a voluminous white tea, it never works… and think of how much empty space is left in the teaspoon!:( I’m anxious to see what you think of resteeped leaves.

Angrboda

YAY! I agree with Cofftea, it makes me giddy too. Now I want to hug you. hug :D

It’s because they stuff so much tea into those little tins, but it’s only really a problem the first couple of times taking something from the tin. I have a narrow wooden tea scoop that I just gently sort of twist into the tin. It works for me. Sometimes I spill a little but it’s minimal. I don’t have the patience to weigh the leaves, and my kitchen scales only have one decimal so it’s nowhere near accurate enough for it anyway.

Cofftea

@Angrboda. I bought a pretty cheap ($15 including shipping) scale that measures to .01g. I LOVE IT! It’s small enough to take on vacation w/ me. But put it in your carry on and put it a bin before going thru security if you fly. It can easily get smashed and I’m not sure the metal detector wouldn’t screw it up. It beats getting aggrivated trying to measure the leaf. That only works well for small leaf herbals like mints, small rolled teas like gunpowder, and finely chopped teas (and who wants those?).

Angrboda

Eh, I don’t care that much about accurracy with my tea. I know how much to put in my different pots, and if it’s a larger leaf tea, I can guesstimate at the adjustment closely enough that I get consistent brews. It comes with practice.

Auggy

Yay! I’m so excited for you – how fun to read your first experience with loose leaf!

My method of getting leaves out is similar to Angrboda’s twist… I tent to tilt the tin to the side, insert the spoon at the top with the open side down and then rotate the tin so tea spills into the spoon. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

I do weigh my tea but as long as you keep in mind the size of the leaves changes how much volume you need (1 tsp for black, up to 1 tbsp for fluffy whites) you should be okay. Measuring by weight gets a more consistent cup but can be a little too perfectionist for more laid back personalities (says the recovering perfectionist).

teaplz

Thanks guys for the tips with getting the leaves out of the tin! The sample tins are so tiny that it’s a bit difficult to attack it.

And YAY! I am super-excited as well. This is so awesome. I’m actually really happy that I have had a bunch of bagged tea before I started loose leaf, because the flavor comparisons are really awesome.

I was thinking of getting a scale, but I don’t think I’m that far deep in yet! There’s a Teavana not that far away from me; I might go in there to get some tea and a spoon soon!

1 tbsp for some whites? Wow. The only thing that’s really annoying about Adagio is that they don’t have amounts for their various teas.

Cofftea

@teaplz, check the discriptions on their website. I make it easy for me and do 2.25g across the board. So much easier than putzing around getting as much leaf into a teaspoon as you can w/o breaking them.

takgoti

EeeeEeEEEEEeeee!

I must echo everyone else’s excitement for you. I got one of those little Teavana tea spoons when I was first starting out and it’s been helpful to me ever since. The only exception has been, again like everyone else mentioned, with the fluffier teas. [I don’t have a scale yet, but as someone whose perfectionist tendencies haven’t been fully suppressed, I can’t imagine that the purchase of one is far off.]

In any case, it’s fantastic that your first go was this enjoyable. It’s incredibly exciting and refreshing to see tea drinkers try loose-leaf for the first time. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

Cofftea

@takgoti and everyone else interested. Make sure you get one w/ the calibration scale included. It’s easier and cheaper that way.

How does the "tea"spoon differ from a teaspoon. I figure I have a measuring teaspoon and the teaspoon you eat w/ and that’s enough. "Tea"spoons just seem like a way for companies to get you to spend more money to me.

Angrboda

Can’t speak for others, but mine differs by not being a teaspoon at all but rather one of these http://www.teaspring.com/Dragon-Head-Tea-Scoop.asp

I could imagine though that if you have several teaspoons of varying sizes and shapes, using the same one each time would help getting a consistent amount of tea every time. You always know exactly how many spoonfuls are just right, regardless of whether you buy a fancy one that you like or use a regular teaspoon.

Maybe a fancy one isn’t really necessary, but I like my little wooden scoop because I like having nice tea things.

takgoti

@cofftea Eh, it doesn’t really differ. It was just a quick and dirty way to get a teaspoon separate from the set of measuring spoons I’ve got and they gave me a discount for getting it with the gravity strainer thing so I figured why not? I don’t usually brew my tea in the kitchen and this way I could keep it at my desk without having to take if off the ring/remember to put it back, etc. Works for me.

@Angrboda HAH, those are fantastically intricate! I can’t say that I’m not a little fuzzy on how tea scoops work, exactly. I like my spoon because I can fool myself into thinking I’m being precise, but should I get a scale I imagine I’d get a scoop, too. Seems like a gentler way to get at the tea.

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Cofftea

I’m SO glad you enjoyed your 1st loose experience. Reading about it even made ME giddy!:) That is the very reason I weigh my leaves by the gram. Especially w/ a voluminous white tea, it never works… and think of how much empty space is left in the teaspoon!:( I’m anxious to see what you think of resteeped leaves.

Angrboda

YAY! I agree with Cofftea, it makes me giddy too. Now I want to hug you. hug :D

It’s because they stuff so much tea into those little tins, but it’s only really a problem the first couple of times taking something from the tin. I have a narrow wooden tea scoop that I just gently sort of twist into the tin. It works for me. Sometimes I spill a little but it’s minimal. I don’t have the patience to weigh the leaves, and my kitchen scales only have one decimal so it’s nowhere near accurate enough for it anyway.

Cofftea

@Angrboda. I bought a pretty cheap ($15 including shipping) scale that measures to .01g. I LOVE IT! It’s small enough to take on vacation w/ me. But put it in your carry on and put it a bin before going thru security if you fly. It can easily get smashed and I’m not sure the metal detector wouldn’t screw it up. It beats getting aggrivated trying to measure the leaf. That only works well for small leaf herbals like mints, small rolled teas like gunpowder, and finely chopped teas (and who wants those?).

Angrboda

Eh, I don’t care that much about accurracy with my tea. I know how much to put in my different pots, and if it’s a larger leaf tea, I can guesstimate at the adjustment closely enough that I get consistent brews. It comes with practice.

Auggy

Yay! I’m so excited for you – how fun to read your first experience with loose leaf!

My method of getting leaves out is similar to Angrboda’s twist… I tent to tilt the tin to the side, insert the spoon at the top with the open side down and then rotate the tin so tea spills into the spoon. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

I do weigh my tea but as long as you keep in mind the size of the leaves changes how much volume you need (1 tsp for black, up to 1 tbsp for fluffy whites) you should be okay. Measuring by weight gets a more consistent cup but can be a little too perfectionist for more laid back personalities (says the recovering perfectionist).

teaplz

Thanks guys for the tips with getting the leaves out of the tin! The sample tins are so tiny that it’s a bit difficult to attack it.

And YAY! I am super-excited as well. This is so awesome. I’m actually really happy that I have had a bunch of bagged tea before I started loose leaf, because the flavor comparisons are really awesome.

I was thinking of getting a scale, but I don’t think I’m that far deep in yet! There’s a Teavana not that far away from me; I might go in there to get some tea and a spoon soon!

1 tbsp for some whites? Wow. The only thing that’s really annoying about Adagio is that they don’t have amounts for their various teas.

Cofftea

@teaplz, check the discriptions on their website. I make it easy for me and do 2.25g across the board. So much easier than putzing around getting as much leaf into a teaspoon as you can w/o breaking them.

takgoti

EeeeEeEEEEEeeee!

I must echo everyone else’s excitement for you. I got one of those little Teavana tea spoons when I was first starting out and it’s been helpful to me ever since. The only exception has been, again like everyone else mentioned, with the fluffier teas. [I don’t have a scale yet, but as someone whose perfectionist tendencies haven’t been fully suppressed, I can’t imagine that the purchase of one is far off.]

In any case, it’s fantastic that your first go was this enjoyable. It’s incredibly exciting and refreshing to see tea drinkers try loose-leaf for the first time. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

Cofftea

@takgoti and everyone else interested. Make sure you get one w/ the calibration scale included. It’s easier and cheaper that way.

How does the "tea"spoon differ from a teaspoon. I figure I have a measuring teaspoon and the teaspoon you eat w/ and that’s enough. "Tea"spoons just seem like a way for companies to get you to spend more money to me.

Angrboda

Can’t speak for others, but mine differs by not being a teaspoon at all but rather one of these http://www.teaspring.com/Dragon-Head-Tea-Scoop.asp

I could imagine though that if you have several teaspoons of varying sizes and shapes, using the same one each time would help getting a consistent amount of tea every time. You always know exactly how many spoonfuls are just right, regardless of whether you buy a fancy one that you like or use a regular teaspoon.

Maybe a fancy one isn’t really necessary, but I like my little wooden scoop because I like having nice tea things.

takgoti

@cofftea Eh, it doesn’t really differ. It was just a quick and dirty way to get a teaspoon separate from the set of measuring spoons I’ve got and they gave me a discount for getting it with the gravity strainer thing so I figured why not? I don’t usually brew my tea in the kitchen and this way I could keep it at my desk without having to take if off the ring/remember to put it back, etc. Works for me.

@Angrboda HAH, those are fantastically intricate! I can’t say that I’m not a little fuzzy on how tea scoops work, exactly. I like my spoon because I can fool myself into thinking I’m being precise, but should I get a scale I imagine I’d get a scoop, too. Seems like a gentler way to get at the tea.

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22-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy girlfriend of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php

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New York City

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