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Recent Tasting Notes
Another treat that I probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself, but I think will be fun to play with. It’s a custom blend using Adagio’s Irish Breakfast, Vanilla, and Chocolate Chip teas. The dry leaf smells pastry-accurate in the bag.
Took some to work, so that means it really didn’t get a fair first run because (a) I wasn’t thinking about it very hard and (b) the first cup was accompanied by a pretty potent cup of cherry yogurt. However, I think the Ceylon teas in the blend give it the little sharpness you taste in the Boston Cream cream—a nice touch.
From SkySamurai a while ago! Thank you! A single serving sample which is fun. The ingredients are intriguing – spices on a green base and the cup is fairly tasty. Spicy enough, but whatever flavor is here ends up tasting a bit like bubblegum (probably orange flavor). I liked this cup but I REALLY liked their Citrus Mint Green which is similar but better. The little guy Cactuar is from the Final Fantasy videogames which I have never played, though I wanted to, but I was a big Kingdom Hearts fan a while ago, and Kingdom Hearts sort of minimally combined with Final Fantasy. I do miss videogames! I really want to stock up on so many Adagio blends. Looks like my tea spending for the year is complete if I didn’t order from Bird&Blend during the sale, so I’d like to pat myself on the back for only spending $57.20 on tea this year. Pretty good!
Steep #1 // 40 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 min
2021 sipdowns: 154
Very good blend of Chocolate, Raspberry, and Chai, just like the name indicates. The raspberry is stronger when the tea is hot, then as it cools, the chai spices come to the front more. This is a great tea to sit outside and sip while you watch the sun rise. Goes great with a splash of cream in it.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Ginger, Raspberry
T is for… Tea of Kindess!
I’ve been waiting for a good excuse to steep this tea up – it’s inspired by Ken, from the second Digimon series. He’s probably one of my favourite characters from any Digimon series, and if you were to treat the digi crests the same way that people do Hogwarts Houses then I would probably most identify with his crest – the Crest of Kindness.
I’ll save talking about whether or not that I think this blend is a good representation of his character for another time though – right now I just want to focus on the flavour of the blend. There is a lot going on, and when I was reading through the ingredients of the different blends it’s made up from I fully expected it to be a chaotic clusterfuck of either muddled or competing flavours.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to really enjoy the taste of this tea! Despite all the many things happening, the one flavour that really jumps to the top of the pile and makes itself known is the blackberry. It’s bright, it’s sweet, and it’s distinctly blackberry. I recognize it from some of the other blends I have from Adagio that are blackberry flavoured, and I’m realizing now that it’s probably one of my favourite flavourins they use.
Aside from that, I actually also tasted the cocoa a lot more than I had expected to, creating what was overall a really nice light but jammy and sweet medley of blackberry and chocolate flavours. I’ll be interested to see if that flavour can be recreated consistently, but I just thought this was delightful!
A sample from SkySamurai! Thanks so much! The book I was reading kept mentioning Earl Grey today, so thought I’d try this. It’s quite a mixture of things on a decaf black base: bergamot, lavender, strawberry, orange, lemon balm… It’s quite a muddle, much like the Mad Hatter would prefer it! For some reason the lavender seems green and raw to me, though I doubt that is even possible. I don’t think this tastes anything like Adagio’s lavender earl blend. The bergamot seems slightly different. I can notice a bit of bergamot, orange, strawberry and lavender… but not sure if I like all of these flavors together. It’s a bit floral overall, maybe a bit soapy some of you are sometimes talking about. I definitely can’t tell this is a decaf black. It has enough flavor and isn’t drying but I’m starting to suspect that decaf black tea might be the most dehydrating of any teas. The second steep is also tasty. Might be a worthy iced tea.
Steep #1 // 23 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
2021 sipdowns: 24 (This + Teavivre’s Lychee black)
This tea was just ok, orangy, creamy, with a hint of cranberry and vanilla. I do like a strong cup of tea, and when I brew this strong, it has a slightly burnt taste. As a dessert tea, it was adequate, but not so yummy that I’ll be purchasing again.
Flavors: Cranberry, Creamy, Orange, Vanilla
Finishing up a mug of this one currently…
I don’t usually drink my Buffy fandom teas unless I’ve watching Buffy, as I try to keep them as a special treat for that – but I am currently listening to the “Once More With Feeling” soundtrack so that seemed close enough!
I’m have to go through, at another point in time, what my perfect “Anya Tea” would actually taste like – she’s one of my favourite late series characters, but I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about her tea blend. That’s maybe a weird sentence to say, but considering I’ve spent lots of time thinking about some of the other characters it does feel worth pointing out.
I’m not actually sure what this is supposed to taste like!? I saw a lot of different fruit pieces and black tea when I measured out my cup but the dry leaf didn’t really have a distinct aroma other than “kind of fruity” and the taste isn’t really any better – I don’t think I’d be able to describe it to someone as anything other than mildly fruity with tartness in the finish. Is it lemon? Hibiscus? Both? Something else!? I can’t quite put my finger on it.
I mean, I don’t dislike it – but a blend for someone as in your face and quirky as Anya should be a lot more distinct IMO. I’m gonna have to try it again, and also read the ingredients list/blender’s description. Maybe then I’ll be able to better place it…
Geek Steep S1E19 – Frankenstein (Novel)
I mentioned just now in my tasting note for BLT’s “Body & Soul” that I explored two different paths with my tea pairing for this novel – this was the first one, and arguably the most obvious choice as well: A Halloween themed tea.
By pure luck, I actually ended up getting my copy of the novel and an order of Halloween themed teas from Adagio on the same day so it was just fortuitous timing. However, since Frankstenstein’s monster is such a PROMINENT part of Halloween culture (despite there being no in novel tie in to Halloween at all) it just seemed like the most fun route with pairing would be to chose a Halloween tea. DT’s Monster Mash was something I considered (and ultimately what Marika chose!) but I kind of wanted something a little “heavier” and “darker” tasting.
I picked this one because it’s primarily Hojicha – something we know I have a soft spot fo. However, it also has roasted mate, black tea, and a very “red hot” cinnamon flavour that comes through super clearly and distinctly in the cup – creating this very roasted/toasty and comforting profile that not only feels like Halloween in a cup but also like an Autumnal hug, but with backbone. It’s also the first Pumpkin Seed blend I’ve ever seen and I just think that’s such a cool concept and I love it way more than all the generic Pumpkin Spice profiles that pop up around October. Yes, this is spiced, but it’s more about the roasted quality of the mix of base teas.
Ironically, if you disregard the fandom blend I included in our “Top Teas of 2020” holiday special, this is the FIRST fan blend from Adagio to be featured on the podcast – and it’s not even a fandom blend in the sense that it’s inspired by a TV show/movie/comic/etc. I just think it’s funny that Adagio is the company probably most well known for their fandom teas and not only did we wait until the penultimate episode of the first season to feature one but we also didn’t really feature one that highlights what they typically represent…
Ultimately I did really like this pairing though, and it feels like the best way to approach Frankenstein using a flavoured tea to me. However, I preferred my other pairing and if I was going to reread the novel I would be more likely to choose something similar to Body & Soul than I would be to repeat this one.
My Geek Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKtj4nagIN7/
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additional notes: I forgot to write a note for this when I finished it on the perfect hot day a few days ago (I was waiting for a perfect hot day to finish this since last year!) If you want a perfect MOJITO tea in the cupboard, this is the one to go with! I love the perfect balance of citrus and mint on the refreshing green base. I really want to have this one around. Maybe in a future adagio order. There are a handful of teas I’d really like to get from adagio. On a roll with sipdowns lately but they have mostly been favorite teas!
This one is thanks to SkySamurai! One of the extras used as bubblewrap packaging. :D Turns out, I LOVE THIS. Whoa. It looked like there would be too much in the sample for my mug, but it was perfect. It tastes like a mojito. Spearmint and citrus. All kinds of citrus. A great balance on a green base. It’s very refreshing. I’m glad I have a second sample. I’m saving it for summer. I wouldn’t mind stocking up on this as a mojito type of flavor. The only other one I can think of is Bird and Blend’s.
Steep #1 // 40 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 35 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Geek Steep S2E16 – Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone
We had a lovely midseason break, but we’re back! And very excited to immediately dive back into more and more fandom discussions – this week (well, last week – I’m a week behind posting) week with our friend and coworker Celia as we dive into this suuuppppeeeerrrr viewer requested fandom!
I have no shortage of Harry Potter inspired teas so choosing which ones to focus on for this episode was incredibly challenging because, well, it’s not realistic at all to pair TWELVE teas with one movie. This is the one I chose for our recording though because I felt confident it would be very different from any other tea that anyone would have selected.
Truthfully, I don’t like this tea very much. As I described in our episode this week, the really tart and sharp citrus and hibiscus notes feel in so competition with the more malty English Breakfast style black tea. However, the weird unnatural pairing of these flavours just kind of feels right? It’s not a tasty tea but it’s killing the story that it’s conveying.
Like… for a horcrux tea to taste cohesive and natural would go against the nature of what’s it’s inspired by. Drinking something unnatural like this is putting me in the exact right mood for the inspo…
This was my second tea of the morning.
I didn’t love my first mug of Polo with The Prince, which is lemon/strawberry, so I decided to “switch things up”, I still didn’t know what I was in the mood for, but I decided it wasn’t citrus. Unfortunately, I didn’t look up the ingredients of this tea beforehand – I just saw the tin on my desk with all the other Adagio fan blends and I hadn’t tried it yet. I thought to myself… “Horcux, that must be kind of dark tasting, right?”.
Well, you know what flavour Horcrux is? Fucking lemon.
I mean, it’s not just lemon – it’s actually probably more hibiscus than anything else, but a kind of tart and drying hibiscus combined with shrill lemon and a bit of pucker inducing orange as well. Very fruity/citrus, which was the one thing I had established I wasn’t in the mood for. I actually don’t think the flavour was bad – probably would be great chilled or with a bit of honey or agave. It’s just not what I wanted.
Took a while to finish the mug.
This was the Community tea sample for 1/1/21. I didn’t write notes as I sipped. I was out camping and away from my computer and the phone is such a trying way to post tea notes. I really liked this tea. I didn’t get any puerh flavor, but what I got was dead on for gingerbread. It was really smooth and easy to drink. This is one I could see ordering.
I got this tea sample as an add on in my advent swap with SkySamurai, thanks!
There’s a lot going on in this tea, and not surprisingly it’s a blend of three different teas. The vanilla and chocolate flavors are subtle and not artificial tasting. There is enough spice to keep things interesting. I did two steeps and the dark chocolate was more pronounced in the first, but not bitter. The vanilla is coming through more in the second steep, along with the chai spices. A nice enjoyable warming cup that I might not need in my cupboard but I’d be tempted to add to an order.
Flavors: Cardamom, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Mint, Vanilla
Didn’t realize until just now but I must have been craving strawberries this week because I had this one on the weekend and it was the sweet strawberry aroma coming off the dry leaf that attracted me to the sample. Thankfully, despite my not timing the steep, it didn’t come off as bitter – I need to be better watching for that with Adagio’s black teas. The taste was a bit artificial/fake tasting, but still a pretty nice strawberries and cream black tea. Hot the spot in terms of cravings.
Another fandom tea I picked up a while ago…
I’ve never thought about what a Ditto blend might taste like – mostly because, given Ditto’s functional use in game, it’s not the best imagery that comes to mind if I dwell on it too long. That said, this tea is good! It’s a black tea mixed with some fruits like strawberry but also fun multi coloured sprinkles. I don’t typically love sprinkles in tea but for some reason it doesn’t bug me here.
The taste is basically strawberries and cream, with a hint of malty and tannic black tea. I like the strawberry a lot; after doing more investigation of Adagio’s teas over this last year I think the strawberry flavouring that they use might have been an overlooked hidden gem. The “cream” fluctuates for me between a more fresh cream or vanilla flavour and a cake-y sort of vanilla, and so this goes back and forth between strawberries & cream and a strawberry shortcake sort of vibe – the sprinkles pushing the cake feelings ever further.
I need to double check the ingredients for hibiscus, but I feel like this would be a tasty latte if I don’t have to worry about curdling!
I had a very busy day yesterday so I didn’t end up having time to watch the Simulcast for the Fruits Basket series finale, but you best bet that when I woke up today the first thing I did was steep up a mug of this delicious orange creamsicle Kyo tea and watch that finale. I cannot fucking believe this series is over – it was so, so good and I just cried so, so much as I watched. Such perfection!!
I guess next adventure is to read the manga!?
Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a big fan of the Fruits Basket anime. I watched the original when I was in highschool, and have been closely following and obsessing over the reboot – some day I will get into the manga, but right now I’m holding back from diving into that rabbit hole…
Kyo is my favourite character in the series – and the most recent episodes of the second season have been some really good Kyo episodes. I love soft, tender and gentle Kyo. The Kyo underneath all the anger and resentment, and the defensive shield he puts up to hide that. I’ve wanted to sample through this Fruits Basket inspired set of teas for a long time now, and while I didn’t go all out and order the whole sampler I did toss in this Kyo blend with my last order.
The teas picked for the blend seem perfect for the character – Tiger Eye, Blood Orange, and Cream. Kyo is possesed with the cat zodiac spirit, which ties in the Tiger Eye. Blood Orange fits because, aside from his orange colour scheme/character design, this seems appropriate for his fighting spirit as well as the bracelet he wears fashioned of blood and bone. Cream for the soft person underneath it all, who had his childhood stolen from him.
The bonus for all of that!? The blend tastes really good! I often forget that the black tea base Adagio uses for most of their main assortment is a bit more fickle/sensitive to oversteeping and as a result I usually get astringency in bitterness in my cups because I tend to not be the most attentive to steep times when I’m working. However, even with a long steep time I’m finding this blend reaalllyyy smooth and enjoyable. I’m not tasting as much of the Tiger Eye as I thought I would – but I’m not mad at that because the result is essentially a rich, deep Creamsicle type of flavour that it so scrumptious! Feels like tasty, sublime relief on a hot summer day.
Plus, it just feels righ for Kyo as a character.
It’s always so fun when a fandom blend not only makes sense for the character in the teas that were composed, but is also just really tasty to boot!
Like a softly spiced strawberry pastry of some kind. Love how cozy the cinnamon notes in this are and, how despite the mixed based, it’s just so smooth and consistent. I could very easily finish this one off myself, but it’s fun to share fandom teas so I’m adding the last couple cups of it into the SVTTB for others to enjoy!
Geek S3E3 – Twilight
So, there isn’t really a world where I see myself spending money on a Twilight fandom blend from Adagio – if I’m buying a fandom tea it’s going to be for a fandom I’m actively exploring or already deeply invested in. However, this tea (which is from a creator’s Halloween inspired collection) is probably the closest thing I owned to a ‘Twlight fandom’ blend so that’s what I went with for me pairing while rewatching the movie…
There’s I think four different teas in this blend, but the ones that actually come through in the taste are the cinnamon black tea and Hazelberry Pu’erh. It’s full bodied and pretty smooth and thick, with lots of earthy malty base notes. The slight nuttiness, delicate strawberry and warming cinnamon are all really cozy and have a comforting quality that makes me think of cinnamon pastries.
It’s also just a bit muddy and that kind of awkward kismet of flavours felt sort of appropriate for the clumsy highschool romance portrayed here, which just oozes cringe about as much as it does “meet cute”. Ultimately, there are elements of Twilight I love that are equally balanced with elements I loathe and somehow this tea just seems to find that crux in the middle and nestle right on in there, which is why it made such a good pairing.