The initial opening was awesome. Loved the smell that came off. I love, love, love bergamot and have been searching for a super floral Earl Grey. This fits that bill. I really loved the overall look of the tea on first glance. The bell flowers were a pretty, effective touch, and the scent of the orange peel was nice alongside the citrus tone of the bergamot. Altogether it was a very nice scent, overwhelming but in a pleasant way that was exactly what I actually wanted from a strong Earl Grey.
Some argue that a flavoured black tea is meant to mask an inferior tea. Adagio is definitely not doing that here. Like its other offerings, their quality is as good as if they were to offer the tea itself all on its own. The Ceylon leaves were dark, well formed and not very dusty, even after transit, so I would have been confident to brew just the tea itself were it not to have been blended and presented as an Earl Grey.
I tried a very hot, shorter brew time and ended up rebrewing with a cooler, longer brew time. I found the second time milder, less astringent/bitter and better flavoured. The first was too harsh and I felt needed to much sweetener to bring down the aftertaste. I used a teaspoon, slightly heaping, to 8 oz of 190 degree f water.
I tend to oversugar some Earl Greys because they do tend to come from inferior tea presentations. However, with Adagio’s good leaves I used a very small amount of sweetener and a little milk. Even then I feel I could have used less milk. As it was, I did taste the tea first and found it very pleasant with nothing added. It was heady and had a strong scent. Again, exactly what I wanted in the stronger Earl Grey I’d been seeking out. It’s a great morning tea.