I’m not going to make a recommendation on this one, as it’s my own blend and that would be cheating. I merely want to set out a bit more detail in the creation process than Adagio’s fields have room for. My whole Chrono Trigger fandom came about in early 2014 when I tried Amy Zen’s Firefly fandom and found nearly all blends to be overpowering and almost undifferentiable chocolate-chai variants. I wanted to try a set of my own, based on characters I knew and loved, and embracing the range of leaves and subtler accents available to create blends which were truly differentiated without heavy flavorants.
Frog and green earl grey are such an obvious pairing that I was completely unsurprised to find Adagio’s other Chrono fandom (hi, TheFontBandit!) was using it as well. Still, this one took a few iterations before I was satisfied. I wanted to divert the bergamot in a decidedly earthier/grassier/naturier/swampier direction because, well, Frog. Sencha was originally just a placeholder- a green that could stand up to other strong flavors, and which I happened to have the dregs of a tin of from my days of Harney allegiance. Poking around the local Adagio outlet, I experimented with kukicha (enough of a failure to stick in my mind, and the first true apology I owed the staff for being Guinea pigs) and maybe one other green, as well as my own stashes of e.g. jasmine green or dragon pearl. Nothing quite fit like sencha, however, particularly after I added Soba. Ah, yes. Soba. 2 ingredients does not make a very satisfying blend, so my various other green experiments were in part searching for other compatible elements. I only found soba at the bottom of a bag of boxes, dating back from shortly after my semester in Japan, as a gift from my parents who insist I introduced them to it. It had been opened perhaps once in an early attempt to mix my own genmaicha, and then left to sit. Sprinkled into the going Frog blend, it immediately tied everything together. Nutty, toasty, unusual… I made multiple attempts to capture the flavor with other Adagio-source ingredients, but nothing came remotely close. So. Frog remains my least complicated blend, but I don’t think I’d change it. Definitely a go-to for my various and sundry (but mostly programming…) all-day weekend side-projects.