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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a wonderful tea. It has a good bit of depth for a white tea. Smooth with a honeyed lightly floral taste. Smells sweet while steeping. Good for multiple infusions with a tiny bit of astringency creeping in on later infusions. The cute little ‘cookies’ unfurl to nice big leaves. This is one of my favorites that I have tried from Adagio. Only 2 minutes on the first infusion, 3 for all others. (2 mins @ 180°F) 1 cookie per mug.
This was sent to me as a free sample from Adagio in my last order and I only recently realized I haven’t tried it yet. The reviews on Steepster are somewhat mixed but leaning toward poor. I actually do like the flavor of this one. I can smell and taste Adagio’s chocolate chip which I love, and I get the vanilla the creator was going for. I don’t really taste the mango but maybe it’s a lightly flavored tea. That one doesn’t get high marks on Steepster either. Even without the mango, this is a nice chocolate-vanilla tea. I think the rooibos actually gives it a nice body as a foundation.
There is maybe a bit of fruitiness as I continue sipping. Maybe it’s the mango. Maybe I’m convincing myself it’s the mango because I know it’s supposed to be there. Either way, it works.
Flavors: Chocolate, Fruity, Vanilla
From the Samurai TTB.
So I forgot to write my note while I was drinking this. Just drink drink drinking away, no thought at all for my notebook or tealog. I can say for sure that I really enjoyed this one from SkySamurai. It had such a unique fruity quality that I can’t say I’ve tasted before. I couldn’t pinpoint the fruit, but I kept thinking how remarkable it was that this tasted so fruity. Anyway, maybe if I’d written my note while drinking I could have come up with more, but this is all I’ve got. I liked it!
I’ve moved on from my kombucha now, and am onto what is possibly my last tea of the night. I liked the dry aroma of this white tea a lot, though the tea leaf itself looked quite broken up. It had the same citrus note that I get from chenpi blends, which is sort of a mix of the natural orange oils (which have a little sweetness to them) and a bit of a pithy “zest” or rind kind of note. Not anything tangy, sour or acidic – or “juicy”, but still a deeply natural type of orange…
Steeped up, it really is reminding me A LOT of the flavour of those white tea stuffed mandarin/tangerines – exactly the same type of citrus notes. It’s nice because it’s so clean tasting and finishing, with a highly refreshing element to it from the white tea. I’m also getting notes of flowering cucumber as well, both flesh and skin. I imagine this would probably also be good hot, but cold it’s really hitting the spot tonight. So natural, and a good sweetness level.
‘Samurai’ Traveling Teabox – Tea #9
An intriguing one to see in the teabox! It’s not even available on adagio’s website anymore even though the pouch says it’s from 2019. It’s a Tie Guan Yin leaf that is processed like a black tea. The leaves look like a wiry dusty black tea. So you can’t tell this is Tie Guan Yin by looking at it. I’m not sure how this is different from how black tea is usually made. The leaf has to start somewhere and it’s all from the same plant. The flavor is a unique one – light in flavor, though nothing like an oolong. The flavor is like mixing a Ruby varietal with a Premium Taiwanese Assam. Very mineral and sweet, with hints of sugar candied almonds. I was worried the second steep would be ruined at boiling, but it isn’t at all ruined. It tastes exactly like the first steep but slightly deeper. The third steep also isn’t astringent and starts to taste like some sort of buttery pastry. I swear it tastes like I added a bit of fig strawberry jam to this cup. It’s even starchier but in a good way. I didn’t know why I was comparing it to PTA but that strawberry flavor I usually associate with PTA peeks through on the third steep. I’m glad I didn’t miss that third steep.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 6 min
Sample of this from… someone. The writing is distinctive but it has been too long for me to remember. Oh well. Anyhow, in addition to having a couple new teas tonight I figured I should try and work on some older samples, so here we are. This one’s a light, pleasant jasmine – probably used to be stronger, but still has a good amount of flavour. It may actually be better a bit muted – a little less in your face. A good choice for relaxing this evening!
I bought a sampler of this nine years ago from Adagio, and honestly forgot about it in the back of my cabinet. I discovered it earlier this month, and surprisingly it is still a decent cup. The jasmine flavor is still very strong, which is good because I’m sure the tea itself is well past its prime. I tried an improvised gongfu (teacup and saucer for a gaiwan) for the first time with this today with. Trying to practice the technique with this before trying it with better teas.
The recommended steeping time was not available with this tea. Steeped the tea for 3 minutes. Tea smelled like old lady perfume and a strong candle. Tastes like nothing. So many competing flavors, but somehow none of them showed up. Tried 10.2018.
Steeped 1 min with some dunking. Good flavor without bitterness. Could probably steep longer but was afraid of bitterness like with the blackberry tea. Tastes like warm raspberry water, pleasant. Tried 09.2018
Another advent calendar surprise I wouldn’t have chosen for myself, but glad I had the opportunity to check it out. Very nice, and probably especially so for jasmine fans. I caught major jasmine “fumes” in my mouth (if that makes sense), but the taste was much sweeter than expected—almost honeysuckle. Very nice change of pace to challenge my sensory descriptors.
I wish I’d given them a fake birthday so I could’ve gotten a better free sample, but oh well! I tried this twice before giving it away. It’s really too light for me. I’d say it’s definitely more white than oolong in there. It just tastes like white tea with tiny hints of fruit. I guess I’m looking for more obvious flavors in my tea! Also these tins are cute, but so useless. I use a teaspoon to scoop my tea, so I need higher walls, otherwise the tea goes all over the counter. Whenever I empty an Adagio tin, I just give it to my sister for crafting purposes.
Adagio tossed this in as a lagniappe on my last order and honestly, if I’d known this was what they wanted my birthday for I probably would’ve made one up (I’m not generally a fan of coconut in my tea).
It smells politely unassuming in the tin, but the buttery coconut notes in the aroma come to the forefront upon brewing. Thankfully each sip is heavily buttery and not so much on the coconut…so it actually makes for a super enjoyable cup. The first steep definitely reminds me of nothing more than a black tea version of butter coffee, in all the best ways.
My southern ass approves. :D
Home – 5:30 PM
The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 13
Last one from Adagio. This was a free sample tin that they added to one of my orders.
It’s a fairly one-note coconut tea. The coconut is strong and it’s a bit sun tan lotion-y. I can’t really taste the black tea much, and get just a little bit of hay flavor from the white tea. I don’t really taste vanilla at all. It’s smooth and not at all bitter.
Flavors: Artificial, Coconut, Hay, Smooth
As I’m trying new blends that contain teas I’ve never drank straight (oolong in this one, pu-erh in one I tried yesterday), it’s making me realize that having a knowledge of what those teas taste like on their own would better assist me in picking up on their notes in blended teas.
Regardless, I really enjoyed this blend. It’s actually my second time trying it, but yesterday was a bust. I put it in a teabag for on-the-go and didn’t have access to temperature-controlled water, so it just wasn’t that great. Today, brewed up at proper temp, it was great. Can I say that I felt it was the tea that embodied all I am as a Taurus? Not quite, but I suppose that’s a bit much to ask of a tea. It has great peach flavor that is a bit more full-bodied than other peach whites I’ve tried, presumably due to the oolong.
Flavors: Fruity, Peach, Vanilla
I received this as a sample tin with another purchase and initially wasn’t sure about it after Adagio failed to deliver an up to par peach white tea— so imagine my surprise when I liked this blend more than the blend I had ordered. This tea is both dainty and full-bodied. The smokey oolong paired with the gentle marigold petals and peach create a balance feels distinct and refined. I like the mixing of the oolong and white teas a well. The white tea and its natural sweetness makes the peach flavoring soft and honey-like rather than overpowering.
Flavors: Honey, Peach, Smoked
Sipdown no. 8 of 2018 (no. 364 total). Sample tin.
This is a backlog from two days ago while the site was down.
I sipped this one down over the course of several days, Western style. This was my last Adagio oolong sample. Now all that is left is one black tea sample, which I have been hoarding and must now make an effort to de-hoard.
Another mystery Adagio oolong from my sample set of years ago. There’s a green tea with the same name on Steepster, but I had to scour the internet to find Adagio’s description of the oolong (which I found on Amazon). It’s confusing, made worse by the fact that the pearls look just like the picture given for the green tea version.
I tried it in the gaiwan with short steeps after rinsing.
If you’ve read my notes in the past, you know I love jasmine in tea, and so I was fully expecting to love this one, too.
Steep 1, 15 sec. Pearls are still tightly wound. Aroma is a light jasmine, tea a pale yellow and clear. Aromatic tea, with a cooling sensation on the upper palate and a silky mouthfeel that becomes clean in the aftertaste.
Steep 2, 20 sec. Pearls are beginning to unfurl. Aroma about the same, tea a deeper yellow with a pink tinge. Aroma is a single floral note this time; in the first steep it was harder to pin down. I’m not noticing the silk in the mouthfeel this time, but the cooling remains. The flavor is jasmine, jasmine, jasmine. I’m trying to taste the tea.There’s a sugary, floral smell in the cup once the tea is gone.
Steep 3, 25 sec. Leaves have completely unfurled, filling the gaiwan. They’re a sort of olive green. The aroma is not as strong this time, though the floral note is still paramount. Same with the flavor. The cooling quality is barely there, and the silk is gone from the mouthfeel. There’s a sort of drying effect happening now.
Steep 4, 30 sec. Still floral, but not really evolving in aroma and flavor. More drying. A tiny bit of bitterness in the finish.
Steep 5, 35 sec. It’s done. It was probably done on steep 3.
If it wasn’t for the fact this is jasmine and I love jasmine, I’d consider this average at best. I enjoyed the jasmine, though. Since I didn’t feel the tea gained much through multiple steeps, I expect I’ll sip this down western style — perhaps as a take it to work tea to mix up the greens.
Sipdown no. 67 of 2017 (no. 348 total). Sample tin.
Made a big pot Western style to finish this off. Gonna take a huge mug of this and snuggle under the super soft fuzzy sherpa blankie I managed to score at the department White Elephant exchange.
I have a lot of oolong. I have way more oolong than I have patience and time, so I expect in the near term I’ll be saving the multi-steep experience for the really off the charts ones.