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Recent Tasting Notes
Home – 5:30 PM
The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 13
Last one from Adagio. This was a free sample tin that they added to one of my orders.
It’s a fairly one-note coconut tea. The coconut is strong and it’s a bit sun tan lotion-y. I can’t really taste the black tea much, and get just a little bit of hay flavor from the white tea. I don’t really taste vanilla at all. It’s smooth and not at all bitter.
Flavors: Artificial, Coconut, Hay, Smooth
Autumn Harvest! This is another Adagio sampler I had tucked away. It was a freebie with some promotion at some point or another, but I was never really excited about it because it contained lapsang souchong, one of the few teas I don’t like. The first time I ever tried lapsang souchong (the typical, smoked variety), my friend and I found it like trying to enjoy a nice cup of black tea while sitting by a campfire, but the wind keeps blowing the campfire smoke right in your face, completely ruining the experience. And since smoke is one of my migraine triggers, the strong aroma alone was enough to give me a migraine that day. So I swore off the stuff ever since that tasting.
This tea is blended with honeybush, apple, rose hips, orange peel, and spices, so I was sure the lapsang would be toned down a bit. I was willing to give it a try… if for no other reason to test if maybe I could handle it in blends. I still had my trepidations because it was a known migraine trigger, but jasmine used lightly doesn’t bother me, while heavily-scented “perfumey” jasmine does. So it was worth a try.
I found the leaf quite attractive looking, I’ll admit, and it didn’t smell too bad either; it had a strong peppery cinnamon spicy orange scent, with some sweet and smoky tones. Steeped up, the smokiness was more apparent, and making me a little more wary, but I could also smell a good deal of warm cinnamon. The tea itself was not as bad as I was expecting… but I wouldn’t say that blending the lapsang souchong was a taste-changing revolation for me, either. The tea tastes like a slightly sweeter cinnamon spice black with some rich orange notes and a smoky finish. It reminded me a lot of Hobee’s house tea, which is a Cinnamon Orange black tea, only with more subtle spice notes and a lingering charcoal-smoked flavor left on the tongue.
It was okay. Since I’ve had other orange spice teas without the smoky notes, and I’m not particular a fan of smoky flavors, this just really didn’t do much for me. But it also wasn’t enough lapsang to give me a headache, so it does seem I need a pretty strong smoky hit to trigger the headache effect. I can see the appeal of this as an autumnal blend, with the mix of orange, spice, and smoky flavor notes, and am sure this would probably hit the spot for many. It just isn’t particularly the right fit for me.
I have one other blend with lapsang in my collection, so maybe I’ll finish that one off today and do a comparison.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Orange, Smoke, Spicy, Sweet
Home – 8:00 PM
The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 15
This is a sample that I added to my Adagio matcha order to reach the free shipping threshold. I figured cranberry is an unusual flavor, so why not?
This base tea is extremely earthy and mineral, which I don’t remember being the case with other Adagio black blends I’ve tried. Interesting. Even with a 3-minute steep, there’s a tinge of bitterness and astringency. The base tea here completely overpowers the flavoring. I can taste a little bit of dried cranberry, but it’s difficult to find with the strong base.
Not impressed with this one. The base tea tastes a bit too much like rocks…
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Cranberry, Dried Fruit, Earth, Mineral, Tannic
Green rooibos teas are probably my favorite. The problem with the ones from Adagio is that they’re all pretty similar, but one (key west) is so much better than the others that I basically don’t bother with them. So I like this, but I prefer bonita above it as well. Smooth green rooibos flavor with citrus flavors. Good, but order the others above this one.
Autumn Harvest! Since nuts are also part of the autumn harvest, I figured I’d break up some of the fruitiness of the month with some nutty teas. While I have no intention of doing business with Adagio in the future due to the CEO’s anti-LGBTQ+ business practices, I do still have a lot of Adagio samplers still in my home I haven’t sampled yet, and there is no reason not to do so; I mean, they were already purchased eons ago, long before I was made aware of said business practices.
So, Almond Oolong. I don’t find oolong blends very often, and do enjoy getting to try them when one that strikes my interest stumbles upon me. This is supposed to be a roasty Taiwanese formosa oolong with added almond marzipan notes, giving it a dessert tea appeal. The dry leaf smells very nice, reminding me of amaretto, like a syrupy sweet liquor with nutty and cherry notes. And I used to love adding amaretto flavored syrup to my mocha coffees back in the day.
Steeped up, the tea was a nice almond brown color and the amaretto aroma was even richer. But the taste of the tea… was just off. Man, this was just bad! There was a marzipan flavor to the tea, but it was horribly overbearing and artificial… actually almost syrupy. It’s practically drowning out the formosa oolong underneath… but I think I know why. All I’m really experiencing beneath the coating of flavor is this odd, slightly earthy, mineral flavor… and it isn’t pleasant at all. It just tastes dirty and metallic. Surely that isn’t how formosa should taste? Is that poor quality leaf, or that metallic note I suspect I get sometimes from certain flavoring agents? UGH UGH UGH. Just nastiness all around! That syrupy sweetness with that mineral dirty roasty base just don’t go together in any way. A big cup of nope.
Flavors: Artificial, Dirt, Marzipan, Medicinal, Metallic, Mineral, Nutty, Sweet
Got this one from meowster. It’s an attractive tea with the flowers and tiny chocolate chips. The chocolate chips definitely contribute the most to the flavor of this tea. The tea tastes mostly like semi-sweet chocolate. I’d like to try it with milk. I bet it would be like a slightly less rich hot chocolate.
There is a very, very unpleasant smell to both the dry mix and the brewed tea. I won’t sugarcoat it; it stinks like urine. Urine mixed with chai spices, if you can imagine such a thing. This is pretty much the only reason I’m rating it as low as I am.
The taste is actually pretty good if you ignore the horrid smell and don’t oversteep. It’s chocolatey and spicy, smoother than the standard chocolate chai Adagio offers. I find it’s best if you use a teaspoon and a half, and stick to near-boiling water. Three minute steep, since at the recommended five the ginger overpowers everything else.
But that pee smell, ugh. It doesn’t exactly entice me to restock after finishing my sample.
Home – 9:30 AM
Ugh, Monday. Always creeping up on me when I’m minding my own business, binging Netflix on the couch with my knitting and drinking copious amounts of tea… ;)
Anyway, matcha milk of the morning! Prepared with 1 teaspoon of matcha to 8 ounces of soy milk and slightly sweetened.
The flavoring on these Adagio matcha blends is far subtler than I expected. In fact, for the chocolate version I couldn’t taste it at all. For this blend, I can taste it slightly, but I don’t understand why they were so restrained with it. Anyway, otherwise the matcha is grassy with a touch of marine. Like the other Adagio flavors, it’s more bitter than it needs to be. There’s just a hint of cinnamon apple flavor.
I guess I should try these prepared traditionally, to see if I can taste the flavoring more that way. I’m not sure I’ll be able to drink them that way, though, because if there’s still some bitterness when prepared with milk, I’m sure it will be much more prominent with water.
I’ll have to give that a try though, for science.
Flavors: Apple, Bitter, Cinnamon, Creamy, Grass, Marine
The last of the Wicked Collection shared by Cameron B. Thank you! The whole collection has been decent. Not great but better than I expected from Adagio.
This is an alright apple tea that wasn’t as sweet as the red sugar crystals would lead you to believe. I would say this is more baked apple than candied apple but its good.
Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is a masterful blend of high quality, whole leaf Assam and Ceylon teas from the well regarded Meleng Estate in India and Kenilworth Estate in Sri Lanka respectively. A four minute steep at 212F produced a wonderfully complex breakfast tea with enticingly rich notes of malt, honey, baked bread, sweet fruit and a tiny bit of spice.
Some Irish Breakfast teas are in your face, brash, uncouth street ruffians with bad language, bad breath and B.O. that slap you awake! This is not one of those teas! Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is an urbane and handsome gentleman’s gentleman who graciously draws open the drapes and courteously announces in his soft, sweet, Irish accent that it’s time to awaken.
This smooth tea is quite easy to drink without additions, but is great with milk and honey too! Although a breakfast tea, this Irish blend would certainly work deliciously well at afternoon tea to revive one….gently. Naturally, it stands up to any food – savory or sweet. It was just right with my homemade, organic macaroni and cheese bake.
Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is an exquisite Irish Breakfast with real panache that has become my favorite go to tea. It’s enough to make this Anglo-Saxon Anglophile shout Éirinn go Brách!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet
Home – 10:00 AM
Happy weekend! ❤
Prepared this as a cold matcha milk – 1 teaspoon of matcha to 8 ounces of soy milk with a touch of sweetener.
I’m not tasting chocolate at all, which makes me sad. The dry powder actually did smell somewhat chocolate-y. The matcha is grassy and sweet, and actually more bitter than the Adagio blueberry matcha I tried yesterday. I do taste a somewhat roasty flavor that somewhat reminds me of genmaicha.
So a bit disappointing. It’s not bad, by any means (although it is a bit too bitter), but it doesn’t taste like chocolate.
P.S. – Who are these people who review on Adagio? I feel like every single one of their teas has a score of 90 or higher…
Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Grass, Sweet, Toasted Rice
Latte Sipdown (345)
Thank you Cameron B for sharing this tea. I am loving all the fun additions this wicked collection has. The confetti sprinkles are delightful but that’s about all this tea has going for it.
When I saw Chocolate Chai, I immediately thought latte. When this tea was steeping, I immediately thought dirt…because that is sort of what this smelled like.
As a latte, it is not horrendous and dirt-like as I thought but it is certainly weird. Similar to Cameron B, I am getting a lot of ginger but not in a good way. I like the flavor of crystalized ginger or that ginger burn but this is earthy ginger and it is almost like someone used ginger root but forgot to peel it and there was still dirt on the peel. So, I guess it is earthy and gingery and it is wasn’t a latte, I think I may not have been able to get through the mug. I think the milk tones everything down a bit.
It was definitely fun to try though so thanks again, Cameron B!
Home – 8:30 PM
I made this as a matcha milk to celebrate receiving my new chawan that I ordered from Etsy. The chawan is perfect – perfect size, perfect color, just perfect.
Since I found this weak last time I made it, I increased the amount of matcha from 1 tsp to 1.5 tsp for 8 ounces of soy milk.
Wow, this is definitely too much, hah! It’s extremely strong and intensely grassy and the bitter notes really come out. Still not super blueberry-y either.
I think I’ll lower my rating for this one, it’s more bitter than it should be and there’s not enough blueberry flavor in my opinion.
I’ll be sure to take a photo of my chawan to share sometime during the Bird & Blend advent calendar!
Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Grass, Spinach, Vegetal
Home – 10:00 AM
I ordered samples of a few flavored matchas from Adagio to try. I’m don’t generally have the highest opinion of Adagio’s teas, but I figured matcha is a completely different animal so I should give them a fair chance. Prepared as a cold matcha milk with 1 teaspoon of matcha for 8 ounces of soy milk.
I will say, this does mix very easily, which is a plus. I always sift my matcha, but some kinds always leave tiny lumps at the bottom of the glass, no matter what I do. This is not one of those types.
I will say, this does taste rather weak to me. The matcha flavor that’s there is nice – it’s sweet, creamy, not bitter at all, and with no hint of seaweed flavor. The blueberry flavoring seems quite light, and it’s not too artificial. Overall, it just tastes less.
So next time, I’ll have to remember to use extra matcha for this one.
Flavors: Blueberry, Creamy, Grass, Smooth, Sweet
So the first time I tried this tea, it tasted absolutely amazing. Exactly like its namesake. Every cup after that, however, ended up with a strange underlying…peppery? flavor. So delicious on top, strangeness lurking below. I’ll probably order more sometime next year and play around with it to try to coax it to its original perfection. That first cup was seriously in my top ten ever cups of tea.
The tea leaves have a beautiful, light green color. They are flat and have a crispness to them before steeping. The aroma is sweet, almost like that of matcha. After brewing, the leaves are full and soft. I brewed mine using a gaiwan, then sipped my tea out of a small tea cup. The hue is a pale greenish-yellow. The taste is vegetal and bitter, yet with a hint of sweetness. It has a smooth mouthfeel. The finish is dry, letting the taste pleasantly linger, like good company.