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Recent Tasting Notes
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #18
The first steep on this one, the black tea didn’t taste like the usual black tea Adagio uses, like possibly it was weaker. But the second steep was more itself somehow. Only cocoa nibs and tiny chocolate chips here, so I didn’t expect a huge amount of chocolate flavor, but there was some. And the black tea really helps with the chocolate flavor too. Cocoa shells, Adagio…. cocoa shells!!
In this lavender tea lavender is definitely present all the time, when I first opened the bag, steeped it and tasted it. Lavender and bergamot go together soooo well. I love it! I will probably reach for it often. My only complaint is that the tea itself is black, I’d rather have green, white or herbal tea blend but this is the best lavender tea that I’ve tasted. This makes me wanna make my own lavender blend from the green bergamot tea I have at home, might do.
Flavors: Bergamot, Lavender
This review will probably end up being a little unique among my most recent reviews. For one thing, I have not reviewed anything from Adagio Teas in a long time. For another, this is the first negative review I have posted in a considerable amount of time. I generally do not like to post negative reviews and tend to steer clear of things I dislike, but at the time I purchased this tea (not all that long ago), I had no clue I would react to it the way I did. I mean, I love Yunnan black teas, so how would I have known I would not care for this one?
I prepared this tea gongfu style. For this session, I went with a fairly thin-walled 5 ounce easy gaiwan with a relatively slow pour. After a quick rinse, I steeped just over 7 grams of dragon pearls in 5 ounces of 212 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 11 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I caught aromas of cedar, toast, and malt from the dry dragon pearls. After the rinse, I began to pick up roasted nuts, vanilla, pine, and chocolate on the nose. The bouquet after the first proper infusion was virtually identical. In the mouth, I found subdued notes of cream, malt, chocolate, toast, and cedar. Subsequent infusions brought the cream out on the nose and flavors of pine, roasted nuts, and vanilla out in the mouth. At times, I also picked up caramel, orange, raisin, plum, smoke, leather, and minerals. The tea washed out quickly. It had very little staying power. By the end of the session, I was mostly just picking up a wash of pine, minerals, malt, cream, and toast, occasionally with a touch of very vague lingering fruitiness.
While I used to like Adagio Teas quite a bit and will likely always hold a place in my heart for several of their offerings (Adagio Teas introduced me to the wonderful world of loose leaf tea as a teenager), I have been far from thrilled with the last couple of teas I have tried from them. This tea, in particular, was a disappointment for me. While using a bit more leaf and a different vessel may have boosted this tea’s longevity somewhat, its strangely slick, thin body and its almost soapy texture would have still been off-putting for me. Furthermore, I am willing to bet that its aromas and flavors would still be sorely lacking in depth. I know I’m being very hard on this tea, but it struck me as being somewhat off at the start of the session and it only got worse from there. I would even venture to say that something about it struck me as almost artificial. There was an almost chemical, detergent-like edge to its smokiness and cedary, piney qualities that really struck me as odd. All in all, I was just not a fan of this tea in the least.
Flavors: Caramel, Cedar, Chocolate, Cream, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Pine, Plums, Raisins, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Toast, Vanilla
Nice summer darjeeling. Very refreshing and satisfying. Certainly not as good to me as the darjeelings that I have enjoyed from Castleton Estates but a solid darjeeling none the less.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Muscatel, Musty, Nutty
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #4
I’m glad the teabox contained this one… it’s an Adagio I have wanted to try! It’s a good thing I only used a teaspoon of leaves. I love Adagio’s blends but the tea sometimes ends up a little too brisk. Not much cream flavor, as the black tea overpowers but I like whatever cream flavor I’m tasting. I usually like Adagio’s teas… or love them! It’s amazing I haven’t ordered from them yet.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// 6 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 minute steep
The tea leaves smell amazing both dry and wet: like a frosted cake in a cup. I was disappointed by the taste, though: I find the vanilla overpowers the bergamot/citrus to the point that this cup tastes more like dessert than like an afternoon tea. The black tea base comes through nice and strong, however, just as in Adagio’s Earl Grey Bravo.
Would recommend for a dessert treat with milk and sugar, perhaps. But it disappoints as a standalone drink.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cake, Citrus, Lemon, Orange, Vanilla
A nice everyday tea. The Ceylon base is tangy and not too bitter. A pleasant dry and sweet finish, though I would prefer a little more bergamot. The orange taste stays in the mouth for a long time afterward. Will be a regular buy..!
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Orange
This one was a freebie sample that came with my last Adagio order. The package said it was for cold brewing, so of course that’s exactly what I did!
It was ok, but honestly a little bit boring? Like, it’s a pretty full bodied and brisk black tea flavour complimented by a relatively natural mango note. It’s malty, and floral from the base and the mango tastes like, well, mango. It’s pretty sweet but not excessively. Definitely drinkable on its own, but a hint of sugar could probably turn this one into a decent “Sweet Tea”. As it stands, though, I’m finding it a little one dimensional. Average is a perfectly suitable word for it…
The sweet caramel and vanilla flavor is delicious and the sprinkles and sparkles add a fun touch. Unfortunately, the base tea ruins the experience for me. It is strong, bitter, and astringent and completely takes over the flavoring by the end of the sip. I do wish Adagio would use a better quality black base for their flavored teas, because they have so many fun flavors available!
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Caramel, Vanilla
This reminds me a lot of Assam, however, it’s not as flavorful or deep as Assam. There are some of the same flavor notes such as raisin and malt, but it seems more of a delicate tea and I like mine a bit more robust since I like to drink mine with cream and honey. – I know, not a purist, but I find that the cream and honey bring out the flavors that I adore. Anyway, this tea is great blended with Keemun, Assam, or Nilgiri.
Flavors: Malt, Raisins
This one isn’t as robust as my all time favorite tea, Assam, but I like the buzzy mouthfeel and the hint of smoke. This is especially well paired with Assam. I use more leaf and let it steep for about 5 minutes. I usually take my tea western style- I think that the cream and honey I add brings out some of the flavors better. In Keemun, I notice more smoke and malt flavor and maybe a little hint of cocoa.
Flavors: Cacao, Leather, Malt, Smoke
The scent of the dry ingredients strikes me as caramel-tinged potpourri, which is, alas, more complex and interesting than the taste of the tisane, at least for me. A generous teaspoon and a five-minute infusion in eight ounces of water produced a deep red liquid that smells and tastes primarily of tangy hibiscus, with a little caramel at the end (although there’s no caramel listed in the ingredients) and the occasional hint of strawberry. The fruit flavors are mostly drowned out by the hibiscus, although there is a lingering distant sweetness after the cup is finished.
Flavors: Caramel, Fruity, Tangy
It’s a pale imitation of Thai tea, but hey, Adagio. I’d say you get what you pay for, but I’ve gotten better teas for less.
Steeped at 3 minutes in 200-degree water it has a mild vanilla-coconut flavor with a little bit of apple. No cardamom at all, even though the seeds are there. I was honestly thinking of cracking some of my own pods open and tossing them in there to see how it would taste if there was any cardamom flavor. I don’t know why the honeybush is even there.
It’s alright if a mild vanilla-coconut tea is what you’re looking for, but if you were expecting something special, I’d look elsewhere.
This was smokier than I had imagined but I really like smokey teas so it was a good surprise. It is very bright and smooth which tones down a bit of the Assam’s natural bitterness. It is a lot less intense than an Irish breakfast or even and English breakfast tea.
Also tried this is a homemade tea latte and the milk and vanilla brought out more of a caramel type flavor like you’d get with a coffee that wasn’t over roasted/brewed.This made the tea even smoother.
I am going to be buying more bags in 2020 because it is a nice alternative to Earl Grey for my go to weekend cuppa.