I have no milk at work right now, so I’m drinking this black. I gave 1 tsp of leaf 2.5 minutes in boiling water — I didn’t want to overdo things, because Adagio blacks can be a little finicky at times. This one is okay. It’s a little thin tasting, so I might be able to increase the brew time a little bit. Usually I give it between three and four minutes, and then add a healthy splash of milk (which obscures a multitude of sins, apparently). My main problem here is that I’ve tried Mighty Leaf’s Orange Dulce which is the pinnacle of an orange jasmine tea in my estimation — rich, creamy, a nice flavour, and an edge of heady jasmine. This one is also orange jasmine, but it’s nowhere near as nice in comparison. I get orange, but it’s more orange rind than orange juice, and a little “dry” and bitter tasting. The jasmine is faint, which works for me because it’s not my favourite thing, but then stuck right in the middle is chamomile. It adds a honey-like sweetness, which helps to offset the orange, but it’s just not right somehow. Overall, I’m left with the feeling that the flavours here just don’t come together very well. They’re all there separately, and it’s like drinking an oddly divided cup. There’s too much going on, and not a lot of cohesion.
This is one of the few black teas I have at work right now, so I will drink it. On the whole, though, I prefer it with milk. It brings things together a little more, adds a pleasant creaminess, and hides some of the odder notes. Not having many teas at work is a conscious decision on my part — I’m trying to get myself to finish up some old blends, some larger quantities, and some teas that have languished because they’re just not favourites. It’s working, so far, but I may have to go out and buy some milk if I’m going to get through it!