I’m not going to make a recommendation on this one, as it’s my own blend and that would be cheating. I merely want to set out a bit more detail in the creation process than Adagio’s fields have room for. My whole Chrono Trigger fandom came about in early 2014 when I tried Amy Zen’s Firefly fandom and found nearly all blends to be overpowering and almost undifferentiable chocolate-chai variants. I wanted to try a set of my own, based on characters I knew and loved, and embracing the range of leaves and subtler accents available to create blends which were truly differentiated without heavy flavorants.

I am reasonably proud of Magus. I wouldn’t have initially picked him as the herbal of the group, but I can’t argue with the flavor. The Adagio bulk formulation, even as prepared in store, is actually not quite as good as my per-cup experiments with a gentle tsp of Adagio Peppermint, 1 bag of Triple Leaf ginger, 1/2tsp lemon cloud and just a dash of chili. That may mean there’s some processing agent or binder in the Triple Leaf, or that I got the ratios slightly off, but I have discovered that using more tea per cup helps offset this. Magus was based initially on my discovery of exactly how strong Adagio’s peppermint is. If you haven’t tried it side-by-side with their spearmint, you should some time. It’s this quality of mint that has brought me around to liking mint tea, and I’d independently enjoyed straight ginger, so I combined the two experimentally one evening and loved it. But of course, I couldn’t be that direct and still call it a blend, so I poked around for other flavors. Hot and spicy were covered, so I played with tart/mellow, and used lemon cloud as much as anything else because it’s what I had on hand. The result was definitely a good flavor, but I couldn’t honestly say it was Magus-worthy. I debated for awhile whether to just go with it anyway, but decided to make one more go of finding an accent that would really put the blend over the top. Something perhaps not even associated with tea. I remembered back to a happy accident years ago with chili-spiked camp coffee inadvertently made without the coffee, and decided as insane as that was, it was worth a shot here. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the heat the chili added that made the blend, it was the other mustier earthier notes it brought to the party- an arcane ambiance that couldn’t quite be placed. Although I have burnt myself out a bit on Magus now, it is the emptiest bag of my initial blend set, and the most likely to be re-ordered in the near future.

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