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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a wonderful tea. It has a good bit of depth for a white tea. Smooth with a honeyed lightly floral taste. Smells sweet while steeping. Good for multiple infusions with a tiny bit of astringency creeping in on later infusions. The cute little ‘cookies’ unfurl to nice big leaves. This is one of my favorites that I have tried from Adagio. Only 2 minutes on the first infusion, 3 for all others. (2 mins @ 180°F) 1 cookie per mug.
Whisked in a favourite tumbler with room temperature water, and then added ice.
The packaging for this tea, and Adagio’s black matcha, say you can shake it directly in a bottle of water and it’ll be ready to drink. I wanted to test that, as I know matcha can often be pretty clumpy if not properly whisked. I used to make my matcha in water bottles all the time because I had the proper tools, but I definitely experienced my fair share of clumping…
This actually worked pretty well though – I noticed one small clump that seemed glued to the side of my tumbler but otherwise this was smooth and well incorporated. It also smelled really nice – very fresh and floral with an intense cucumber aroma that I was not expecting! The taste matches the aroma really well; both very floral and also quite aromatically refreshing, creamy cucumber – like the smell of a bag of fresh mini cucumbers from the market! It’s got some of the “electric green” edge/sharpness that you see with not super great quality TGY but it’s not bad, and well checked by the rest of the flavour profile.
The mouthfeel is a little gritty, I assume because this probably wasn’t deveined/stemmed like traditional matcha or as finely ground, but it’s manageable and I do enjoy the taste overall!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0BuuVGvEOA
Running late this morning, so I grabbed my tea samples for the work day pretty frantically. I knew I wanted something with coconut and I basically just settled on the first coconut tea I could find…
I’m glad I picked this one; it’s very soft and floral with a creamy coconut flavour that carries well and after a heavy lunch today it feels like the perfect offset to that. Also the perfect border flavour for Spring and Summer seasons, which is nice since today is a bit of a “crisper” summer day rather than the hot and very humid ones that we’ve been having.
So when Adagio let me pick some samples for myself to review, I noticed that they were carrying two very similar sounding coconut oolong blends and I figured it could be very interesting trying them side by side to see how they were different. On the left is Coconut Pouchong and on the right is the new Coconut Grove Pouchong. These blends have the same ingredients list aside from cornflowers in the latter…
Honestly, they’re quite similar so any differences are really more nitpicks than anything else. Visually, there are some slight differences aside from just the cornflower; the Coconut Pouchong had much less coconut than the Coconut Grove, and the pieces of coconut in the former were more small, thin shreds versus the thicker “curls” of coconut you can see in the steeped leaf of Coconut Grove Pouching…
In terms of taste, I don’t think you would be able to spot a difference if you weren’t doing this side by side. However, I did feel like there was slightly more floral character in Coconut Pouchong vs a fruitier note in Coconut Grove Pouchong. That comes down to more of the oolong base itself in the former versus the increased amount of coconut in the latter.
So which would I pick for myself!? Well, both are good coconut oolong blends and from a taste perspective I would be happy with either one. From the perspective of long term storage, I would probably opt for “Coconut Pouchong” simply because I observed less coconut in the blend and I am always wary of coconut going rancid/not having great long term stability…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhSlFfbMFtg
Had this one late in the morning at work.
I do really like the matcha stick/preportioned matcha format and if more companies offered this format I think I’d probably own a lot more matcha that I already do. I am very skeptical, however, that I could just add this matcha/tea powder to a 500ml bottle of water and shake it up without it clumping at all…
I know I used to just shake matcha up in bottles of milk or whisk it with a fork when I first got into matcha and didn’t have proper matcha equipment, and it worked kinda well but it wasn’t without issues and I’ve had much more success with the right equipment. That test will have to happen another day though, because in the end I opted to whisk this with a proper bamboo whisk in a matcha bowl and drink it hot…
Visually, it looks VERY similar to Mandala tea’s black tea powder – both in the dry powder visual and in how it froths up too. And it does froth up very well! Lovely, thick golden layer of froth! The taste is actually eerily similar to Mandala’s black tea powder as well, right down to the plum, malt, and bready/starchy notes too, and now I’m wondering if perhaps these two companies are sourcing from the same place? I’ll have to compare their pricing, and see which is actually cheaper by gram – but in my mind, they’re both equally good tasting. It’s not gritty/doesn’t settle super quickly either, which is another plus.
That is not what I expected, but I am pleased by the result.
Another sipdown from my decaf cupboard
I’ve already reviewed this tea I believe, but since I left this cup too long and it cooled down I’m doing to write another one for drinking it cold. I get lots of standard chai spice (peppercorn, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon) and the honeybush is lovely. The honeybush is less sweet than usual, and I don’t get as much piumpkin spice flavour at the bottom of the bag. This is possibly because the bottom of my pouch had a lot of the heavier spices and less honeybush.
It is a solid chai, especially for a herbal tisane base. I will buy it again when I order from adagio, but it doesn’t stand out as much as the banana nut (my favourite adagio tea so far) or the vanilla rooibos chai.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Spices, Spicy, Wood
I also picked this one up with my last Adagio order, because I was feeling the pumpkin. Pumpkin everything. It sounds promising enough; cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cocoa nibs, and…“natural pumpkin spice flavour”. I’m hoping it’s not the same natural pumpkin spice flavouring that was in their Pumpkin Spice blend, because that tastes to me rather more like cola than anything else.
Unfortunately, it is. I get mostly cola, drinking this. The honeybush is nice – sweet, smooth, not too woody. There’s also lots of cinnamon, but the other spices are hard to discern individually. I think I can just about make out the cocoa nibs, but to be honest I can’t get past the fact that it tastes like cola. WHERE IS THE PUMPKIN?
I don’t mind cola flavoured teas; in actual fact, I really rather like them. Cold. In the summer. The problem here is that I wanted, and was expecting, pumpkin…and that’s not what I got. It’s nice, but it’s not pumpkin chai.
Sipdown no. 67 of 2017 (no. 348 total). Sample tin.
Made a big pot Western style to finish this off. Gonna take a huge mug of this and snuggle under the super soft fuzzy sherpa blankie I managed to score at the department White Elephant exchange.
I have a lot of oolong. I have way more oolong than I have patience and time, so I expect in the near term I’ll be saving the multi-steep experience for the really off the charts ones.
Pretty sure I tried this once before and accidentally logged it under Formosa Ali Shan. But maybe not. It’s possible I had two different Ali Shans from Adagio. I went through a period where I tried a bunch of their samplers, including two or three oolong ones.
In any case, I can’t find any evidence that this one ever existed on the internet — except that I’m holding the tiny tin in my hand.
The only samples I have left now are oolongs, with the exception of one black tea. I thought I’d give this one a try today in the gaiwan.
It’s a green looking and smelling, a sort of buttery, floral smell in the tin. The tea is rolled into irregularly shaped balls with stems visible. It looks a lot like the picture of the Formosa Ali Shan, here: https://steepster.com/teas/adagio-teas/11434-formosa-ali-shan
I rinsed and took it through a number of steeps starting at 15 seconds.
The first steep smelled lovely — milky/buttery, lilac — captured subtly in the flavor. The flavor wasn’t a deep one, but was refreshing. The tea was pale yellow.
Second steep, 20 seconds. Darker color (medium yellow) more floral, less butter in the aroma. Flavor was similar to first steep but slightly more robust.
Third steep, 25 seconds. Even darker (golden yellow). Still heavily floral in the aroma. By now the leaves had fully unfurled and doubled the volume of leaf in the gaiwan. I started to suspect that I had in fact written a note about this one before but put it in the wrong place because my experience of all three steeps so far was quite similar to what I wrote under the Formosa Ali Shan. The flavor didn’t change in any discernible way from steep to steep.
Fourth steep, 30 seconds. The color held steady at a golden yellow, as did the aroma. Before this steep, I noticed that the cup had a sugary, pastry-like smell to it, which was very appealing.
It’s a pleasant green oolong but doesn’t evolve a lot from steep to steep, which is another quality that makes me think I tasted this once before and wrote a note under a different name. Then, I called the tea I was drinking a Johnny One Note — this is pretty much that.
I considered taking it through more steeps just to see when it reached exhaustion, but by the fourth it was getting a bit of a bitter note in the finish and didn’t have that swell of flavor in the sip. I will probably drink the rest of this Western style since it doesn’t seem to pay to go through multiple steeps.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Milk
The first thing to note about this fruit blend is… don’t get excited about the name. The name is deceptive. It leads to disappointment. In those first few sips you’ll be completely and utterly heart broken.
Yes, this blend contains coconut and, yes, it also contains pineapple, but it also contains a whole host of other ingredients that completely suppress the classic Pina Colada flavour you may have been hoping for. Once you’re over this fact, and trust me it took some getting over, it is possible to enjoy the fruity punch. Coconut, surprisingly, is not the overbearing flavour in this. In fact the hibiscus provides a fruity musk overtone that batters away the under notes of the remaining ingredients. It’s fair to say that the after taste is somewhat worthy of the name of this blend, but it’s very mild and takes so concentration to notice it.
To be honest, Pina Colada is a fairly good fruit tea that’s even better iced and could actually be a good base for a fruity cocktail. However, it’s not the best, with downfalls that include it’s inappropriately deceptive name and a tad too heavy on the hibiscus.
For more visit www.TastetheTea.co.uk
Flavors: Coconut, Fruity, Hibiscus, Musty
I brewed this strong, using extra tea and extra time, as I know honeybush teas tend to be on the light side. This tea smells spicy in the bag, cinnamon and ginger, and brews up with similar pie-like flavors. The honeybush is nuttier and a bit more caramel-like compared to the rooibos. If you can’t bring yourself to drink rooibos vanilla chai, this will probably be a nice decaf chai alternative. That said, it has additional pumpkin flavoring, which is sort of starchy and gently vegetal with lots of cinnamon and spice. The flavoring is the same as the pumpkin chai tea, so you should know that going in. If you like all things pumpkin spice, this will also be a winner.
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Caramel, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutty, Pumpkin, Spices
Tried this tea today after I had a tea emergency at work. My stash ran out and the only thing left in my work tea drawer was a sample tea bag of this. This tea is just…meh. It had that fake citrus kitchen cleaner aroma – not very inviting. The brewed tea had a strong, slightly tart citrus flavor which competes with the smokey green tea base. The citrus is overpowering at first but tames down a bit as the tea cools.
Once more I’m reminded of why I’m drawn to straight and mildly flavored teas. The aggressive flavoring combined with low grade tea kills it for me. If you want citrus you’re better off just brewing your favorite green tea and adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to it.
Flavors: Bitter, Lemon, Lime, Smoke
Happy Fourth of July! Today I went to a local art festival. Most fun, until the rain happened. When I got home, I decided to have some tea. But that was put off until the evening. The brew smells strongly like spices, I get mostly clove and ginger. There is a nice spice flavour, will have to try it with vanilla. Not the right season, but still good.
Instead of having a certain alien invasion movie or a historical drama, I decided to watch my favourite TV shows. The US Air Force is in it, so that counts.
Flavors: Cloves, Ginger, Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor
I had recently tried Adagio’s Caramel Apple tea and had been very pleased with it – I had never tried any type of apple-flavored black tea before, so I decided to try this blend as well. It has a lovely apple aroma, which is very slightly stronger than the cinnamon and caramel aroma (both before being brewed, as well as after, although before being brewed the apple aroma is a bit stronger). It was terrific, and very good with sweet cream or vanilla-flavored creamer; very creamy. I could see this being a really good autumn tea.
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Cinnamon
Full bodied and flavorful, even holds well after it has gone cold. The accents of rose petals and cream flavoring give the tea a smooth after taste, and the high level of caffeine is a welcome substitute to the morning coffee boost.
Flavors: Cream, Earl Grey, Rose