drank Vanilla Oolong by Adagio Teas
243 tasting notes

Found a tin of this tea this morning, and all I could think is “Where did this come from?” Duh, Adagio, but seriously, I do not remember ordering this at all. Anyway, since it looks mostly full, I supposed I never had it and should give it a shot. My theory is that when I brew my tea on the drive to work, I should always brew an oolong, green or white because they are more forgiving than say a black or a tisane. This of course also based on the ingredients in the blend. This tea is vanilla and oolong, so should be able to hold up to my hour long brew while commuting.

The smell of the leaves is overwhelmingly plain. No vanilla, no oolong, pretty much nothing. This concerned me a bit because as I said, I planned on way over-steeping this, so I added some rock sugar for safety and used below boiling water so that it did no scorch. Filled my travel mug with one heaping scoop of tea and 1/4 tsp of the rock sugar, added hot water and left for work. My first sip was around 7 minutes (so that I could get an accurate taste for this review). At this stage, the liquor is very pale, typical of oolong, there is a tiny hint of vanilla and oolong, but neither is a predominant or strong flavor, they both appear to be lost: hints of flavor hidden away in a background, calling faintly for your attention, but never quite getting it. I thought maybe I just needed some more time, so continued the infusion while driving, about 40 minutes. The liquor is now very dark, this is probably from the vanilla; the tea is still light in flavor and aroma.

The smell reminds me a little of oolong, but not really, something is lost in this, the vanilla kills the flavor I am used to and looking for. This is disappointing. There is vanilla flavor, but little to no oolong. Strangely, this is still a bit bitter with the sugar. I say strange because I very rarely find oolong to be bitter, it is also rare that I think vanilla is bitter, weird. Did I ruin it with my killer infusion? Maybe, but based on my first impressions, this was not what I was looking for anyway.

Oh well, I will finish the mug, because I prefer to start my day with oolong, it helps me get to that first coffee break, but it is looking more and more like that first break will be coming sooner rather than later. This is not undrinkable, just not what I was looking for this morning.

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I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone



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