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Recent Tasting Notes
Um…not sure about this one. I don’t want to give it a thumbs down yet…but I will say this…
Not much for scent – maybe that of a pale gunpowder prior to steeping. The leaves of this blend are hardcore! OMG! The leaves expand much more than ANY tea I have ever seen! WOW! So…beware…you certainly don’t need much. Having said that…I could have very well oversteeped this with too much from the start…another reason I don’t want to give it a thumbs down yet.
After steeping it smells kind of like dirty socks. I know…NOT cool, eh!? Well, it does calm down a bit as it sits in the cup.
It’s light brown in color.
The taste is a choir of bitter, woodsy/bark, and pepper. At first taste a real turn off. The aftertaste is NOT pleasant either. I am really hoping my next attempt at this is more successful. Next time I will have to remember…less…is more…
It’s an average chai, nothing special. I prefer the chais from Upton Teas.
One problem I’ve had with all of Adagio’s flavored teas has been that I get a splitting headache after drinking them. I didn’t want to blame the tea, but so far this has happened every single time I’ve tried an Adagio flavored tea and not at all with their non-flavored teas. (It also hasn’t happened with the Golden Moon or Upton Teas flavored blends.) I tried a number of them on my Chicago trip but didn’t log them because I didn’t want to be unfair to the tea. However it seems that I am probably sensitive to the base they use for their flavors. So, I will not be trying any other flavored teas from Adagio.
The Final Sipdown: Day 20
Decupboarding Total: 39
Missed my second decupboarding yesterday. Honestly, it’s to the point that it’s kind of hard to kill stuff off with one cup. But I’m making headway on some slowly! This one I had actually intended to be a headway-making cup but, god bless the glory of fluffy white teas, it ended up being a decupboard. Yay!
Honestly, not all that fond of jasmine teas in general. This one was the first one I loved and it retained top spot until I met a Samovar one (I think it was?) from takgoti. Anyway, I still really like this one. But being a jasmine tea, it doesn’t get enough love sitting in my pantry. But now it is out of my pantry, so yay! Forward motion is again being made!
It’s official: Lena rocks! Why? Because she sent me this tea.
BEST. JASMINE. EVER.
Seriously. This is what I should have had last night when I was let down by the clunky, graceless jasmine oolong I brewed. This is light and delicate but yet has a substantial enough flavor that it doesn’t seem like flavored water.
Ugh, I don’t have a good enough command of language to express how lovely this jasmine is. Gorgeous. I love breathing in over the cup – the jasmine scent hits my tongue and is so sweet and yummy that I’m tasting the tea before any gets in my mouth.
Looks like I’m going to have to place an Adagio order soon!
This tea used to smell and taste very strongly of Fruit Loops, as others have mentioned. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve had it for almost a year now, but this cup definitely doesn’t have that.
While I found that flavor a bit too strong previously, the cup seems to have hardly any flavor at all now. This one seems hard to get right, no matter the conditions.
Steeped 4 minutes at 180°F. Prepared in Adagio IngenuiTEA teapot.
Hey, remember me?
Yeah, I’ve been gone a while…
Busy with stuff:
Moving back home, being a new uncle, trying to write enough so I don’t look like a COMPLETE drain while I take a semester off college, taking care of an aged dog, reconnecting with people, seeing an old friend for the first time, co-owning a hookah…
Oh, and my laptop is broken. Need to send it in. Been like that for a while… (on my father’s computer)
So, now I’ve pissed away a lot of money (much of it to a good cause), and I’m connecting with the kid pretty well. “The Kid” being my nephew, not a child of my own. And I’m thinking about some literary career options – wish me luck.
(a little more life blabbing, though)
When I got home, and finally sat down for tea in my tea room, the first thing I said to myself was,
“It’s too cluttered.”
My sister is moving back home with the kid, and tomorrow (or, rather, today) she’s moving her furniture back home, into the garage. When that’s all taken care of, I’m going to see how much space is left for me to move any extra tables from my tearoom out… blah! The clutteredness (amongst other things, obviously) is keeping me from spending too much time with tea…
So today (getting to the tea tasting, I promise)
I was in Puripan, and they’ve had all their tea sets on sale since the holidays. Finally decided to buy one. So, with the 40% discount, and a $40 gift card, an $80 set ended up costing $12 from my pocket. Woo!
So, the tea:
Very pleasant. Marvelous. I used my new set for the first time, and made sure to clean it thoroughly with hot water when I washed the leaves, because the chick at the store gave me the set that was on display. Brewing went very well – I got three solid infusions, and luckily my tea brewing skills haven’t atrophied from disuse. I could have pushed more, I’m sure, but I found myself very content at that time, and seeing as the set, tray and woonsan I was using were all Korean made, and three is a lucky number in Korea (or so I’ve been told by the store’s Korean manager), I decided to let things work out that way.
Good tea, good tea. Glad I bought it, in the long run – Great when I want a nice, elegant tea moment, and I’m not trying to impress anyone, and I don’t need an amazing, expensive tea.
So, if you’ve bothered to read this far, I’ll treat you to a description on the tea set as well!
Very simple set: three cups, a pot, and a decanter. The pot and decanter are both solid cylinders, the latter having no handle – it’s basically just a tall bowl with a lip for pouring. The handle on the pot is a long, smooth round thing, that comes out from a 90 degree angle from the spout, as you find on many Korean and some Japanese infusers. It’s a thick clay material, brown – almost ugly. I prefer the term rough.
I had the choice between this set, and an identical one in a smooth, turqouis ceramic one, with all those tiny cracks that are supposed to absorb the tint of the tea over time. The one I bought it much more dull, and not so smooth… ya know? I bought it because, well, I don’t have anything in my collection like it – everything else is so fine.
Drinking with it… almost felt a bit gritty. Something I’ll get used to with time, I’m sure.
Overall, a good purchase, a good tea time, and hopefully I’ll be writing on here more frequently.
I don’t think I’ll have too much to say.
Drank this for breakfast. Yes, I got out of bed at 4:30 in the afternoon. Shush.
I made a sort of… I dunno, fort? alcove? tea room? I used the space under my desk, which is by the corner of the room, and I created a forth wall with the back of a chair, and a jacket. I wanted to be cut off from reality for a bit, and enjoy tea in peace. I used to do that kind of thing when I was kid, build forts… maybe I drink tea as an excuse to do the same thing as a young adult?
When I looked through my tea cupboard, this seemed like the only tea that wouldn’t bother my stomach – I have an oddly weak stomach when I wake up, and that lasts for an hour or two. The tea was good to me today, and I appreciate it.
It did me the favor of a pleasant tea time, so I did it the favor of a less scrutinizing tasting. When you’re not looking for an amazingly high quality leaf, this tea is pretty nice. I like it. None of a darker oolong’s harshness, and none of a superb tea’s temperament. Glad I bought the two ounces. I don’t get in the moods for these two often, but when I do… this will be a nice thing to have around.
As an oolong, it’s great. For the Oolongs I’ve had from Adagio, I’d probably put this at the top of the list. Definitely had the mountain peak taste, and rates above your average Dong Ding, or other Taiwanese leaf. Good, bright color, and had that light, buttery taste that’s characteristic of the higher teas.
But again, I’ve had better teas from the same category.
While this tea was able… to lift me, it didn’t transcend me as much as other Ali Shans have. By that, I mean… I did EXPERIENCE the tea, as you can only really do with the finer ones, but it didn’t take me away from the real world. I will give it credit for moving me, though.
Less abstractly, now…
Good leaf color, not too many stems, and a nice smell. I will note, though, that the leaves’ fragrance seemed to weaken as I brewed, where it usually gets stronger for me. Also, post brew, as I played with the leaves, I wasn’t impressed. While it seemed to be more or less all whole leaf, the leaves weren’t in the best quality, and they’re not quite as aesthetically pleasing as the leaves I’ve had from finer Taiwanese teas. I know there’s something…off in them, but I’m not tea-educated enough to be able to pick it out precisely, or put it into adequate words.
So, I’ll leave it at this. If you like oolongs, this is a nice tea. I’m sure I’ll brew it again, and use it as a “fancy tea” for guests. For my personal tastes, I’ve been a bit blessed in my tea experiences, and this doesn’t quite meet my expectations, and thus doesn’t completely satisfy. In the end though – a good tea, worth buying, especially if you haven’t tried finer oolongs before.
Lungjing, I’ve a feeling we’re not in China anymore…
Well, this tea lacks character. Not the tea itself, as a whole, but Adagio’s product. The flavor is just a bit… safe. The leaves are also very often broken. Adagio says its “First Grade” – and, well, it sure is pretty elementary.
Well, this is another tea that my own experience prevents me from really enjoying.
So, I brewed the leaves the only way I find natural now – in a cup. (actually, it should be a glass, but my “glasses” are plastic.) For all you people brewing this in a pot, and timing it… forget it. Leaves, cup, water. That’s all you need. Start sipping after a minute or so, and you’ll enjoy it more.
This is a habit I picked up in China, because that’s how they do it there. My father and I visited the beautiful country around the time of a lungjing harvest in April, and almost everyone was serving it – cafes, restaurants, you name it. They also often serve plain, in-the-shell sunflower seeds with the tea – why, I don’t know. But it was a great combination.
So, not only was I able to experience this tea fresh from the country, my father and I, while in Hangzhou, visited the Dragonwell village. My mother has Paris, I have Lungjing village, I tell you. That was my first time seeing, in person, acres of tea bush. Gorgeous. And every home there processed and served their own tea – the taste varied from house to house.
I never liked Dragonwell until I visited China.
So, on that note…
I can’t really enjoy this tea. It’s not fresh, and I’m not in a Chinese person’s house, trying to buy a tin through a language barrier, or sipping it next to the West Lake. Adagio, you can sell me the mediocre tea, but you can’t sell me the things that should go with it.
Tonight I blended half Honeybush hazelnut, half Honeybush chocolate. It smells kind of like some fancy coffee drink (minus the coffee) and tastes amazing. Honeybush is awesome because it has a sweet, mellow flavor- similar to rooibos, but not as powerful. It is amazing iced- i think iced honeybush is probably one of my favorite things, ever. I like to cold brew it because it’s easier that way. But tonight I’m drinking it hot, and loving it.