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Recent Tasting Notes
The first tea I picked out from the Game of Thrones fandom blend sampler. I figured it’s October now, so legitimately time for chai! This one’s a blend of Green Chai, Ceylon Sonata, and Caramel. I did the usual dithering when thinking about brew time and temperature, since it’s a green/black blend and I never know quite what to do with those. I went for boiling water in the end (there looked to be more black tea than green…), but kept my brew time fairly conservative. I may try it the other way around next time I have a cup, since it came out much more subtle than I expected. The spicing in particular seemed very light; mostly clove with just a hint of cinnamon. The caramel felt like an unusual addition, but it seems to work. It adds a sweet smoothness to the background that would be lacking otherwise, and it didn’t feel particularly out of place despite my reservations. The green tea is fairly innocuous, mostly I can taste the Ceylon Sonata, which is lightly citrussy, but also strangely “flat”.
I felt this was an interesting blend, but I can’t actually decide whether I like it. I don’t dislike it, but it didn’t make much of an impression on me; certainly not in the way I thought it would. It was okay; possibly I need to tweak my preparation to really get the best from it. Based on today’s experience, I’m not sure I can see any of the Starks drinking this one…
This is the last of the teas from the Magic Potions sampler, and is a blend of Adagio’s Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla, and Caramel with (apparently) added apple pieces. I wasn’t expecting a lot, for some reason, but I was actually pretty impressed with this one. It has a nice, soft pumpkin spice flavour – although more spice than pumpkin, as is usually the way. The clove and cinnamon dominate, but in a pleasing way – they’re not jarring or out of place. The vanilla and caramel help, I think – they’re very smooth and creamy, and they help to give the overall profile a bit of a lift. They certainly add a sweetness that would otherwise be lacking. I can’t taste much in the way of apple, but that’s a pretty minor complaint.
I like this one. It makes for a really enjoyable autumnal cup, and is a nice twist on plain pumpkin spice. I have a feeling it would make a decent latte, but at the moment I’m happy with it just as it is!
Another from the Magic Potions sampler, and another confusing name. Draught of Peace, to me, would absolutely have to be a caffeine free blend – probably something with valerian, or chamomile at least. This one’s on a black base, which is never going to put me into a deep – or irreversible – sleep…or any kind of sleep at all, if we’re honest. I like the flavour idea – apricot, cream, vanilla – but surely there’s a more appropriate name to be found somewhere in the HP universe?
I’m drinking today’s cup hot, although I think this would potentially be excellent either iced or cold brewed – something to try when I finally get around to sipping down some of these challenge teas, rather than accumulating!
I tried Adagio’s Cream ages ago, and didn’t much like it – I found it too cloying and heavy for my tastes. In a blend with other flavours, though, it’s pretty magical. This one is rich, and super-desserty, and I wouldn’t necessarily want a huge cup. The combination of cream and vanilla is very sweet and decadent, with a definite dairy quality. It reminds me a little of melted ice cream, although obviously without the texture/temperature differential. The “apricot” is a little more muted than I expected, although what’s there tastes more to me like peach. Either way, it makes for a nice stone-fruity pairing with the other flavours, although I wish it were more prominent. My one complaint is that it doesn’t add much in the way of contrast – all of the flavours here are sweet, and together they’re almost OTT.
As with many of the flavoured black blends from Adagio, the base tea here becomes a little bitter/astringent, even with a relatively short steep time. It’s more noticable to me when it’s piping hot, but it seems to settle down a bit as it starts to cool. I’m wondering whether milk would help here, or whether it would drown the apricot/peach completely – something else to try, I guess!
I like this one, although the mismatched name irritates me. Surely someone creating fandom teas – which likely arises from a passion for the thing itself – would have more concern for something like that? Why bother, otherwise? Setting that aside, though, this is a decent flavoured tea and one I’ll doubtless return to for future experiments.
This is one of the Magic Potions blends that might actually live up to its name, although what I can’t work out is whether that was intended. This one’s a blend of three Adagio chai – Thai Chai, Rooibos Vanilla Chai, and Chocolate Chai. It seems an odd mix, but then Polyjuice is an odd potion – it’s supposed to be complicated…and potentially disgusting.
In practice, it’s not great…but it’s not quite as bad as I thought it might be. There’s too much of some things – cardamon and cinnamon chief among them – but I suppose that’s to be expected since they’re likely common to all three chai blends. I can taste chocolate, but it’s muted and fairly watery, a decent quantity of vanilla, and a touch of coconut. It’s kind of bounty-ish, but with a background of chai spice. I suppose that means I can taste something from each of the individual blends, but I can’t say that it’s a particularly successful combination. It’s not bad, as such, but each time I take a sip I’m struck by the fact that I’m drinking three different things and not one coherent whole. It doesn’t hang together very convincingly.
One consequence of this blending that’s more disappointing is that none of the ingredients are there in enough quantity to make any real impact, so although there are flavours I recognise, they’re all a bit weak and muddled. The exception here is the spices, which are too heavy handed – I expect that’s largely because they’re there in the most significant quantity, having come from three separate blends which have each contributed some of the same things, along with their something different – with the result that the ingredients in common have become dominant at the expense of the more unique flavours.
I feel like I’m not making sense, but perhaps that in itself a fitting tribute to this blend. It’s an odd duck – not unpleasant by any means, but confused for sure.
This is the third of the teas I’ve tried from Adagio’s Magic Potions sampler, and the one that makes the least sense to me. It strikes me that Veritaserum, being colourless and flavourless, would not make for an interesting tea. Only in terms of its effects, perhaps, but I doubt it can replicate those.
I read a bit more about this one before I tried it, and it turns out that it’s based on the ice cream Hagrid buys for Harry in the first book – chocolate and raspberry with chopped hazelnuts. So why call it veritaserum? Colour me confused.
Setting the misnomer aside, this is actually a pretty decent blend. It’s a lot better than Ripe for Romance, which is the other raspberry/chocolate Adagio blend I’m most familiar with. That one was artificial and (on bad days) somehow contrived to taste of plastic; it reminded me most specifically of the scent of 80s Barbie dolls. This one is a much better prospect. The raspberry is actually fruity and quite juicy, and tastes like an actual raspberry – possibly the rosehip is helping with that. The chocolate is more of a background flavour, but there nonetheless. It tastes like dark chocolate, to me; the kind that balances on the edge of bitterness. The hazelnut is clear and prominent also, and adds a pleasant nuttiness that rounds out the flavour and seems to bring everything nicely together. It’s quite a harmony! What I’m reminded of most, drinking this, is a Raspberry Ruffle – a dark chocolate coated raspberry truffle that Woolworth’s used to sell when I was young. They’ve both fallen by the wayside now.
I don’t know whether this is a blend I’d repurchase, necessarily. It’s nice, but so are lots of other raspberry and/or chocolate teas. Also, let’s be totally honest – I bought this one for its name and its fandom connection, and the disconnect there kind of bothers me. Silly, but true.
Obviously, given its inspiration, I had to make this up as a latte. There are no other options! I used 2 tsp of leaf, gave it 4 minutes in 300ml boiling water, and then added 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence and 1/2 tsp of honey. I topped it up with 100ml milk. Based on other “butterbeer” teas, I think I was expecting a root beer kind of vibe, but this one’s a little different. The main flavours I can pick out are vanilla and caramel, which are obviously helped along a little by my additions. The milk enhances the creaminess also. It’s a fairly straightforward tea, but delicious. There’s a nice balance between base and flavourings, and both aspects (vanilla and caramel) are distinct rather than just a sweet mush. It was kind of buttery, although some of that might be suggestion. Either way, it lives up to its inspiration and I’m happy with it. I’d make it as a latte again. And again, and again…
I served this tonight at my book club where we were discussing Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It was actually one of the few Adagio black teas that I really enjoyed. Sweet, chocolate, malt with a slight fruity undertone. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. While I’m not normally one to go with the crowd, in this instance, I happen to agree.
Flavors: Berry, Chocolate
“What a light, sweet, darling delight of a tea! This white/peach/strawberry/apricot delight is the tea equivalent of that coral color all the cool kids are wearing these days. Almost pastel, but with that punch of color.
Every time I sip it, I’m a little surprised. I feel like I’m getting POW!ed in the face by a cartoon character."
If you’d like a digression about the 1960s Batman series (may Adam West rest in peace), click here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/01/17/dragons-palm-tree-from-adagio-teas-a-signature-blend/
I saw this tea on the table and decided to have it again. It’s weird because when I am drinking it I am pretty meh about it but at the same time it is easy to get through. Today I am having it cold brewed and for some reason it reminds me of a Christmas blend. Somehow I am getting a little bit of orange, spice (which I think is actually the gunpowder smoke) and a tiny dash of vanilla. Still doesn’t scream Dean and Castiel to me but its a simple enough tea to sip away at while studying for Litigation. Thanks again Cavo!
Thank you Cavocorax for the share. I believe I have had this before and I like it more than I thought I would but I don’t know if it effectively captures Dean and Castiel. It’s a little smokey so that covers the hunter vibe but there isn’t a ton more going on in the cup. Mostly is smooth and sweet but doesn’t really have a strong flavor of any of the three types of tea. I’m not really sure what to make of it.
This is a flavored black tea blend, which is appropriately named. I taste pumpkin and cinnamon initially, and then clove and sugarcane, and then oddly, banana. I can smell the banana in the liquor too. The tea leaves the same kind of creamy coating in your mouth that pumpkin pie does. It’s very rich in umami.
Weirdly enjoyable blend.
Flavors: banana, Cinnamon, Cloves, Pumpkin, Spices, Sugarcane
The guy who created these blends did a crappy job matching the name of the potion to the personalities of the tea. The Draught of Peace should be a bedtime blend, not a caffeinated blend; the Butterbeer one should have a rooibos base; Felix Felicis should be caffeinated (to make the drinker feel like (s)he is ready to take on the world); and there shouldn’t be one named Veritaserum because Veritaserum is supposed to be clear and flavorless. It’s almost like he just made a bunch of awesome blends and then assigned them potion and beverage names from the Wizarding World at random.
I mean, they’re all delicious. Especially this one, which is a black tea with raspberry, dark chocolate, and hazelnut flavoring. I gotta say, this is one very nice tea. I love how the cocoa is bitter, not sweet. The raspberry is naturally sweet enough to balance it in a very organic way. The hazelnut is a nice touch, too— it’s almost like drinking deconstructed Nutella. Stripped of all refined sugar and calorie- free. Perfect for First-Half-of-January Resolutions. ;)
It was apparently inspired by the large ice cream that Hagrid buys for Harry in Diagon Alley in The Sorcerer’s Stone. Which has absolutely zilch to do with Veritaserum, because that potion doesn’t even get mentioned until The Goblet of Fire. Maybe he should have named the blends after the books instead?
Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut, Raspberry
This one was yummy! It tasted like a creamy black tea. Lots of vanilla and some kind of nondescript tart fruit taste. Not like a masterpiece or anything, but definitely drinkable and accessible.
Found it kind of odd that this was a black tea; I would think that the Draught of Peace would be a chamomile base… Just my opinion.
I got a Fandom sampler pack of all the Harry Potter potion teas for Christmas. (What can I say? My family knows me well.) This is the first one I tried.
I steeped it with skim milk in my Kati mug. I will confess that I underleafed and overmilked, so further study is needed.
For what it’s worth, I taste a lot of cream, vanilla, and caramel. The aroma before sipping is butterscotch. I taste the familiar astringent Adagio black tea base, but the flavorings are well balanced and play nicely with it.
Not a whole lot of surprises in this first cup. Can’t wait to try the others in the pack!!
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Vanilla
In my 3rd week of my semester at UCF, and so far I really am enjoying it. All of my teachers this year are great, and i’m learning a lot from my classes. I’m taking Front-End code, Back-end code, User Experience design(UX) and an Information Entrepreneur class. Now to just prioritize it all….
Yesterday I got the news in my email that my TF2 fandom blend is going to be featured all day tomorrow on the site. I can’t believe a collection I made a few years ago for fun is going to get this kind of recognition. I’M SO EXCITED.
This came out quite nicely. I basically wanted this tea to taste like gunpowder, or at least what a explosive work table would smell like; but in a good way. Also to be a great boost of explosive energie from the mate’.
I combined the first two steepings into a mug after doing a quick rise and found it to be a really rich, smokey, and bold cup. Although it didn’t have a thick mouth feel like I thought it might due to the Pu’er. It had a surprisingly light and clean mouth-feel. The smokey flavor was the most dominant. There was lots of intense pine spice and even a little bit of menthol flavor as I kept drinking. By the time I got to the 3rd steep onward the smokey flavor had subsided and the smooth, leather pu’er was shining through, with the other teas playing in the background. This tea deffeintly delivered on the energizing boost with the mate I put in it. Going to keep some of this around for winter when I need a kick int eh pants for those hour long drives to 8:30 classes at UCF.
Overall I’m really glad how this one came out. Nice bold and smokey cup with lots of depth and an intense energy boost.
Flavors: Earth, Menthol, Pine, Roasted, Smoke, Spices, Tobacco, Wood
Another one that I got from my discounted sampler while up at school. Out of the pack I got, this one was one of my favorites, having a truly alien flavor. One of my friends even called it out of this world, though Kasumi is one of the more grounded characters in the game-well, with the exception of her exquisite tastes. This tea was designed around her very well, though how can you accurately characterize someone based off of tea notes? Tis an art that I am partially curious of.
To describe this tea properly, I am going to talk about her character a little bit. Kasumi is a master, intergalactic thief and cat burglar, stealing pieces only of the “priceless” kind. She herself does have a Japanese heritage, and like a hooded ninja, she is incredibly skilled in stealth, hacking, and deception. Though adept, she is by no means hardened; more playful, and possibly insightful, really.
For whatever reason, this black and rooibos blend actually suits her well, and better than a green tea. Yes, she’s Japanese, but that cultural angle comes more in with dominant jasmine smell and taste. After the jasmine, the taste transforms into something creamier, and maltier, with a candy like sweetness provided by the cream black tea and the Earl Grey moonlight. The rooibos provides the remaining potent sweetness from it’s own mildly citrus like nature, and the amber color of this tea. Like her, there is a sweetness and decadence to the profile, but a lingering subtlety in how the flavors come together.
Now, this is not a tea for most. It is VERY sweet. It’s more for an amateur who would like the highly flavored nature of this tea. And definitely for a Mass Effect fan that likes this character. The extreme dependence on the extracts for flavor is the only other off putting angle of this tea, relying less on the natural, pure taste and aroma of the tea itself. That can be said for most Adagio tea, though: too much dependence on flavoring extracts. As you can probably infer from reading this, this is blasphemy for a tea purist; yet a new, foreign dessert to a newbie.
Flavors: Cream, Earl Grey, Jasmine, Rooibos, Sugar