Adagio Custom Blends, Aun-Juli RiddleEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I have been putting off drinking my Adagio teas that I ordered this past fall/winter since I have been been introduced to so many good blended tea companies and straight teas. I will say that may tastes have definitely changed over the past year. Despite that, I still have a soft spot for companies who have fan blend themes and Adagio has fan blends galore. Starting to notice that I am not as big of a fan of many Adagio base blends as I used to be but that is probably just because my tastes have changed.
Preparation: Western (no additives)
Tasting Note: I remember when I first bought a sample tin of this blend 5 or 6 years ago, I was pretty new to tea at that point but the thought that tea fans could customize their own blends and add adorable nerdy fanart blew my mind. This tea was in my top 5 favorites at the time and though I never bought a 3 oz bag of it, I thought about it a lot. Well, fast forward to 2021 and I did get the bag.
Actual tasting note: This is my second cup of this tea since opening the bag awhile back, so I doesn’t seem to be as fresh anymore. The tea has a good body but the flavorings mild and muddled at this point. I don’t get a lot of blueberry but there is a little creaminess. The oolong doesn’t have a lot of nuance but it does provide body to the tea and a richness. The tea tastes a little artificial and I am wishing they leaned more on the real ingredients and less on the artificial flavorings.
I have quite a bit left of this tea in the bag and am thinking at this point it isn’t worth finishing. I don’t think it is a very strong contender to be shared either as it isn’t unique or high quality. Bummer.
Fandom Blend Sipdown: 3/6
This one’s not bad! The nose is cinnamon but the Tiger Eye (caramel-esque) is pleasant generic sweetness; it’s not a convincing caramel cream flavour but it’s passable, especially if you think of it as an English Breakfast relative. The almond tea is once again a non-starter here and the chocolate is absolute artificial blah. I’m not sure if that’s due to age, Adiago’s flavouring, or a combination of both.
Taken with oat milk.
Flavors: Artificial, Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream, Malt
Fandom Blend Sipdown: 2/6
This one is still spicy spry and pungent for its age – the coconut isn’t even that soapy (I don’t remember it ever being not soapy)! I don’t mind the flavour idea either (a caramel almond cream masala chai… yess – although probably too sweet for a dragon). Unfortunately, the tea bases and chocolate are thin and everything else is sort of busy, confusing and weirdly cloying. Out of all the spices, cloves seem to handle age the best, followed by ginger. I don’t get almond from it at all and the cream and caramel flavouring taste artificial. It’s still drinkable but “meh” as far as chai blends go.
Taken with milk.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Caramel, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coconut, Cream, Ginger, Spices, Vanilla
Home – 9:30 PM
The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 23
The last one from Tales and Tea Leaves! This is a combination of almond oolong, vanilla black, and cream black (again) with orange peel and cinnamon.
I mean, it’s fine. It’s inoffensive. I can taste malt from the black tea, and then woody vanilla. I’m picking up some dried leaf-y notes from the oolong, and perhaps a little bit of marzipan. It’s all quite subtle though. There’s also a touch of bitterness and astringency from the black tea, even though I only steeped for 3 minutes.
Just meh on this one.
There were some from this sampler that I would consider keeping and finishing off, but I think I’ll leave them all together and pass the whole sampler on to someone else, so they can try the full set.
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Malt, Marzipan, Vanilla, Wood
Home – 8:30 PM
The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 24
Time to finish off these Tales and Tea Leaves sampler blends. It’s a bit odd to me that this one is called “The White Tea of Kings”, but is mostly black tea? Strange. Anyway, it’s a blend of Earl Grey cream, cream black tea, and straight white tea. I feel like these designers tend to overuse the cream black tea – it shows up in so many blends.
This one’s actually not bad. The Earl Grey is the strongest flavor, and it actually has a nice orange-y note to it as well. I can taste the cream as well. Somehow the cream and orange are combining to make me think of coconut, which interestingly enough goes nicely with the bergamot. I can’t taste the white tea (no surprise), but maybe it serves to lighten up the black tea a bit?
Anyway, this is better than some of the others. Not great, but drinkable!
Someone should make a coconut Earl Grey… I want to try one.
Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Coconut, Cream, Orange, Sweet
Home – 9:30 PM
The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 30
This is kind of just a generic, unexceptional chai on a weak black tea base.
There’s maybe a hint of vanilla, but certainly no apple.
Mostly it just tastes of generic black tea and clove. Sad face.
Flavors: Bitter, Cinnamon, Clove, Vanilla
Home – 3:30 PM
It’s been a while since I’ve tried a blend from my Tales and Tea Leaves sampler, mostly because it’s new to my cupboard and I’ve been trying to drink mostly older teas.
This one is rather disappointing to me. I was hoping for more blueberry, but I’m not really getting any at all. Mostly this just tastes like a rather bland vanilla-cream tea with some hay notes.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cream, Hay, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
Home – 4:30 PM
Daily tea from the Tales and Tea Leaves sampler!
This one is much better than the Wizard’s Grey I tried yesterday (in my opinion). It’s a blend of green chai, cream black tea, and apple black tea. I would say the chai is the strongest flavor, though I wouldn’t necessarily know it was green-tea-based. Clove is the most prominent, followed by ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and a touch of orange peel. I can taste a bit of the caramel apple in the middle (although I would like more of it). The cream is present throughout but really shines at the end.
Mostly it’s a tasty cream chai tea. More apple would be nice, but it’s still pretty good without it. Definitely can’t tell that there’s green tea in it.
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cream, Ginger, Milk, Orange
Home – 4:30 PM
Well I finished tasting all of the teas from the Wicked Teas sampler, time to start on Tales and Tea Leaves! I just watched one of The Hobbit movies last night, so this is perfect timing.
In theory, this tea sounds like a tasty combination! Earl Grey cream, chocolate, and blackberry. Unfortunately I’m not generally the biggest fan of Adagio’s teas and only get these samplers for the “cute & fun” aspect so I’m not expecting greatness. ;)
Meh, it’s okay. The flavor is very muddled – I can definitely pick out bergamot and chocolate, but it’s definitely a cheap and waxy chocolate. Perhaps there’s some bitter cocoa as well.
I feel like I never like any tea that combines bergamot with berry – they all taste chalky to me and remind me of Tums chewables. Needless to say, not a great association. I do like Kusmi’s St. Petersburg, but I suppose that’s red fruits which isn’t necessarily the same as berry.
Anyway, it gets a meh from me.
Flavors: Bergamot, Berry, Bitter, Chocolate, Cocoa
Finally there, with the last of the Game of Tea fandom sampler blends! This one’s a blend of Masala Chai, Tiger Eye, and Gunpowder – which strikes me as a pretty odd combination.
To taste, the gunpowder is more prominent than I’d have liked it to be – it’s a little dank tasting in the way it sometimes can be. Like stagnant water in a well. It’s not quite bitter, but I feel like it’s getting there…and I’m pretty sure it’s not my brewing parameters since I was careful, knowing gunpowder not to be a favourite of mine generally.
The chai isn’t a fantastic combo with this particular type of green tea, I don’t think. I can almost see it working, but I entirely for the wrong reasons – I appreciated it most because it was a distraction from the gunpowder, and not because I thought the combination was a pleasing one. It’s spicy, so yay for dragons this time, but not overpoweringly so. It would take a lot to overpower this base tea, though!
There’s a generous amount of cinnamon, which I can appreciate, but I can’t taste the Tiger Eye at all. In hindsight, that’s probably a good thing – I’m not sure caramel would have helped here, and possibly it would have been a step too far.
This one was okay, but I don’t think it was the greatest combination and I didn’t like it much personally. Having said that, it was probably the spiciest of all the blends from the sampler, and that’s what I’ve been looking for all along. Perhaps I’m just hard to please?!
Another from the Game of Tea fandom sampler, this time a blend of Spiced Apple Chai, Cinnamon, and Coconut. I like Adagio’s Spiced Apple Chai, so I was always going to like this one. It’s an excellent pairing with the cinnamon, which helps to heighten the sweetness without becoming overpowering. It does mean that a lot of the other spices get lost, but it still has a nicely earthy background flavour so it’s not too far gone. The downside is that I can’t taste much apple, and there’s no coconut to speak of at all. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a cinnamon chai – but that’s okay. I can get behind that.
Drinking this one puts me in minds of deserts, for some reason. I think it’s the combination of cinnamon and the earthiness. I suppose that’s fitting when considering the beginning of Dany’s journey with her dragons, but otherwise there’s not a lot that’s dragonish about this one. It’s an enjoyable blend, though, so there’s that.
Almost there with the Game of Tea fandom sampler – I’m pretty sure there’s just one more left to try after this one. This one’s a blend of Masala Chai, Almond, Tiger Eye, and Coconut. Initially, I thought it tasted a little bitter – there’s quite a lot of spice, which makes it taste pretty dry. It’s not especially fiery, but there is a pleasant background warmth. I can enjoy that in a chai. The almond is also quite prominent, although I think it might be contributing to the bitterness. This isn’t a marzipan-esque almond flavour, but more like one of those odd rare almonds that makes your lips go numb.
I can’t taste any coconut at all, although that’s not much of a surprise given all the other flavours it’s competing with. There’s not really much caramel from the Tiger Eye, either. I found this pretty average, on the whole. It mostly tastes like a regular chai, but with a little extra nuttiness and a whole lot of bitterness. There are definitely better chai blends out there, although I do appreciate this one for the fandom connection. I just wish it was more…well, dragonish!
Another from the “Game of Tea” fandom sampler. This time, it’s a blend of Green Chai, Vanilla Green, and Gunpowder.
In taste terms, it’s fairly mild – a lot milder than I was expecting, given the name. The green base is lightly grassy but not overpoweringly so. The vanilla adds a soft creamy sweetness, which is nice but a little out of place here. I don’t think soft, sweet and creamy aren’t adjectives that come to mind when I think of dragons. The chai is more muted than I expected, too. There’s a bit of background spiciness/heat, but nowhere near enough considering it’s a dragon blend. I can only assume Rhaegal’s fire has gone out.
Seriously, though, this one’s pleasant enough and easy to drink, but it’s nothing outstanding. I wouldn’t say it captures the spirit of the name particularly well, which is always a disappointment when it comes to fandom blends. Half the attraction is the connection, after all.
My second pick from the Game of Tea (Thrones!) sampler set. This one’s a blend of Tiger Eye, Cinnamon, and Almond.
My initial thought is that I like it very much – there’s a lot of caramel and chocolate at the forefront of the sip (I guess that’s the Tiger Eye…), against a pleasingly spicy background of cinnamon and the merest hint of almond. I drank two cups over the course of the day, one with milk and one without. The cup with milk was a little more muted, and causes the almond to disappear (it wasn’t strong to begin with…), but still has a nice chocolate/cinnamon vibe. I feel like you lose some of the caramel smoothness with milk, too, so going forward I’ll probably drink it without.
My first cup – without milk – was really smooth and very easy to drink. Part of me feels it should be “redder”, or somehow brassier, if it’s to really represent the Lannister’s – maybe a touch of hibi wouldn’t have been amiss here? I was imagining something a bit more like Butiki’s Ruby Pie, but obviously this is quite different! This probably isn’t the most unique tea out there, but the cinnamon adds a little twist and it’s nicely indulgent and desserty. I’ll happily drink up the rest of my sample.
Tea for wizards who like earl grey, so I HAD to try it. The scent very nice and mostly bergamot. There is also a little chocolate, and berry. Blackberry, chocolate, and earl grey make for a very nice flavour. Pairs well with certain fantasy books.
Flavors: Bergamot, Berry, Blackberry, Chocolate, Cocoa, Cream
This is my first experience with Adagio. I quite enjoyed this one. I drank it black and found it chocolatey and creamy on a mild enough black base. Pleasant. I could see this one growing on me.
Thank you, VariaTEA.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cream
Hello Tiger Eye! The chocolate and caramel is strong with this one. I don’t love Adagio’s black teas and this is no exception as the flavoring is artificial and processed but it has more flavor than I anticipated. I don’t get any pineapple though and there definitely was a chunk of it in my filter. Oh well.
Latte Sipdown (317)
This tastes like chocolate. Chocolate and cream. I haven’t loved it the few times I have had this before but it makes a pretty good latte. For those that have this tea on hand, I would definitely recommend this brewing method. This was a good way to say goodbye and I will bump my rating because of it but I don’t think I need more of this.
Mine has kind of an odd, sourish note to the scent when I open the package, but the brewed tea smells nice, rather like chocolate and cake (yet somehow not chocolate cake!). The flavor is pretty meh to me – a bit astringent (Adagio black for the win there), not much spice flavor in my bag, and I’m usually pretty sensitive to “spice.” It has an earthiness that I think is from the chocolate. There is a hint of chocolate aftertaste but not much. Same goes for the cake taste. Just overall, a basic black tea taste with a hint of chocolate and a hint of cake. I’ll probably finish the bag, but won’t buy more.
Flavors: Astringent, Cake, Chocolate
This tastes like steeped cloves to me! I don’t get any of the flavors anyone else is tasting, although as it cools it has a bit more complexity. However, I don’t get anything apple out of it at all. I may try again with shorter brewing and cooler water, but I don’t think this one is going to be for me!