254 Tasting Notes
The weather has caused a school-closure bookend… an unexpected four-day weekend, which is much better now that we have power! I did what grading I could, and have some online things I can do today, but I have been feeling a little stir-crazy. For some reason, this odd mix just sounded like the right way to go.
Teaware: 16oz travel mug
Measured dry: 2tsp
Steeping Time: 3min
Additives 4tsp raw sugar
Dry, this blend smells like those giant spherical suckers you can sometimes find in the checkout area of a craft store. That banana smell/flavor that’s so intensely sweet, creamy, and artificial that you wouldn’t even call it banana if the wrapper didn’t label it so.
That aroma follows through into the flavor as well, and each sip is like licking one of those suckers… with a bit of a coconut chaser. I’m having a difficult time picking out the tea at all, although there is some slight astringency to let me know it’s there.
Well, I felt like an odd tea this morning, and this definitely qualifies!
Oh, this is so much better! After the abysmal fail with the Adagio Pumpkin Spice this morning, I needed something to sooth my poor, abused tastebuds.
I added two teabags to my 16oz infuser mug, 4tsp of raw sugar (I have a horrible sweet tooth!), and steeped it for three minutes. Mmm.
While the fresh teabag didn’t smell much like pumpkin, the flavor really comes out here in the steeped tea. This is like drinking pumpkin spice bread, where the cook hit just the right spice balance: enough to leave a tingle on your tongue, but not so much as to let any one spice overwhelm.
Actually, I think I might use a bag to infuse butter for the pancakes I’m making. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Update: If you’re curious at all, here’s how the pancakes turned out!
Wow… this is pretty bad. When I opened the sample, my nose was assaulted with bitter, sharply sweet notes of what I think was supposed to be pumpkin. But it was like no squash I’d ever smelled.That note, which tastes and smells pretty artificial, is overwhelming the whole cup. I can’t pick out any of the spices I normally associate with pumpkin pie. The absolute best thing I can say about this tea is that it’s warm on a cold morning. That’s it.
I keep adding the Adagio teas to my list because their samples are so inexpensive, but I think I should just save my money for more expensive, higher-quality teas.
Not an experience I would care to repeat.
This poor, poor tea. It didn’t deserve what I did to it this weekend. I tried so many different ways to heat water during our 36-hour power outage, but getting water hot enough to properly steep it just wasn’t in the cards.
The closest we came to a proper cup was when I stuffed extra tea lights into my teapot warmer, but even then it would only be lukewarm once it did everything it could do to steep.
I did manage to get a little crafty, but alas, without tea:
For those of you keeping up with the news, we were one of the 250,000 homes in North Texas without power this weekend. It was off for nearly 36 hours, and things got pretty chilly. The thermostat was completely off the scale. We got stuck heading out for emergency supplies, and had to go to the local supermarket instead. Let’s just say that the little fireplace “logs” they sell can’t heat up anything… much less enough for a good cuppa!
I managed to get some tepid water going with a teapot warmer and a tetsubin, but by the time the oolong I grabbed would steep, the water was just a little warmer than I was!
As soon as the power came back on I wanted something quick, something bracing, and something delightfully hot. This was at the front of the cabinet, so it was elected.
The best cup I’ve had all weekend!
My 200th Tasting Note!
This is my last sipdown of the evening, and I am very, very sorry to see this go! I received a sample of the Laoshan Black with my last order, and mixed them 1:1 at something like 1-1/4tsp each in my 16oz mug.
Forget the sipdown. This is going on the shopping list. The chocolate maltiness of the Laoshan Black is just dancing with the Eight Treasures Yabao in the cup, and making something new and graceful.
Now, I adore their Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black blend, but this may actually give it a run for its money. I might actually, dare I say it, like it a little better because it has even more layers and a balance I just couldn’t anticipate when I dumped the blend in the cup.
I had more plans this evening, of other things I wanted to do, to organize, or to clean, but they’re sliding from my mind like clouds burnt off by the sun. Mmm…
Totally going on the shopping list.
Sipdown! This came as one of the free samples in our most recent order. We finally got around to trying this little oddity, and it definitely lives up to the new name. I was hoping for more coconut, but this really is all creamy mint. I’m not in love with it, but I do love the idea that while we found enjoyment in it, there’s one less little tea scrap in the cupboard. Yay!
This was one of the last teas from the swap with Aimee Popovacki that I had yet to try. Once Jake gets home and I steep the cup I’ve prepared for him, this will be a sipdown as well.
And I’m kind of sad about that, as this smells amazing! I am a bit of an almond nut, and adore using almond extract in things like almond poppyseed cookies and scones and the like. Since I split the sample in half, I didn’t strictly follow the steeping guidelines and just kind of winged it. As such, while the aroma is heavenly the flavor is a little lighter than I would like, and it doesn’t have much staying power after the first wave of almond… it just kinds of dissipates on the tongue.
Should I get this one in the future, I think I’ll use a little more of the dry blend. But for now, that’s one less thing in my cupboard!
Sipdown! I’m trying to bring order to my tea stash (how did this happen?!) and trying to work my way through some of the smaller quantities. The school storm closure gave me an unexpected three-day weekend… and I LOVE organizing things! I think it’s a sickness… but in a good way.
But I will miss this tea. I picked it up on a lark in one of their Try-Me sets, and didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. It’s chocolately and creamy, and makes me want to drag someone out camping.
Maybe once order has been restored and chaos brought to bear then I will be able to order some more… but not now!
I let my husband pick the tea this morning, and he felt this one was the most appropriate for breakfast time. Here’s what we did:
Teaware: 16oz travel mug
Measured dry: 2tsp
Steeping Time: 4min
Additives 4tsp raw sugar
This nearly exhausted our sample, but should I have the opportunity to make this one up again, I think I’ll use 1-1/2tsp per serving and possibly increase the steep time. It’s a little weak this morning.
I’m getting hints of the french toast flavors, with its vanilla and eggy notes, as well as a slight maple syrup quality, but nothing is standing out firmly… not even the base. It’s weak and rather lackluster.
When I use up the rest of the sample, hopefully the things I learned here (about what not to do) will come in handy and I can make up an enjoyable tea with this blend. Fingers crossed.