Adagio TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Well, this sure is lemongrass and ginger! I can taste both the citrusy flavor of the lemongrass and the heat of the ginger, so it certainly delivers what it advertises, although the flavors are not particularly pungent.
I’m drinking this happily enough, but I’m not sure what its niche in my cupboard would be. If I were really looking for just lemon and ginger flavors, I think I’d find it more satisfying to slice a lemon, grate some fresh ginger, and make a tea with fresh ingredients.
I do wonder how this tea would be with a tiny bit of coconut milk added … but my curiosity is not strong enough for me to order more and try it.
I’ve had cream Earl Grey teas before. I’ve had teas with natural creamy notes, like good milk oolongs. But I’ve never had a tea that was just “cream” flavored before!
I’m of two minds about this tea. It smells lovely dry, and some sweet-ish vanilla-y notes come out in the scent while it’s steeping. That makes for a pleasant preparation, but when I actually tasted it, the cream flavor was not a match for the natural bitterness of the black tea itself. It’s not that I don’t like the flavor of black tea, but it was a little jarring that the bitterness was still so pronounced alongside the creamy, sweet scent.
On the other hand, after I added a splash of whole milk, the cup was very pleasant, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But then, I generally prefer teas that don’t need additions to be enjoyable. Hmm! Ponder, ponder, ponder. The jury’s still out on this tea.
I was at work so late today. It wasn’t that I was under a deadline or anything, only that I was so close to being done with a big project, and I had that sense that if I could just push through to the end today, I’d be able to start next week with a clean desk, and isn’t that a better feeling for a Monday morning than starting a new week with the tail end of the last one? Well, success! I got it done, but it was a pretty long day.
I think that’s why I picked this tea sample for tonight, hoping that the chamomile would help me wind down quickly. And I have to say, it’s working! But I’m not sure if that’s from the chamomile or just from the pleasure of really enjoying a new tea. This is a good one.
The dry tea smells like York Peppermint Patties, which is weird because I could swear there’s a chocolate note in there even though there’s nothing like chocolate in the blend. It’s an enticing scent, though, for someone like me with an incorrigible sweet tooth at night.
Once the tea is brewing, that sweet note starts to smell more like the vanilla in the blend, and the floral-herbal scent of the chamomile comes out. That floral flavor is the first one that I taste, followed by the peppermint. The finish is a creamy, cool vanilla. I don’t taste the rooibos distinctly here, but I don’t miss it.
I’m into it! This is in the running for a proper order. I’d put it in the same category of tea as David’s Tea’s Valerian Nights, not because the flavors are the same, but as a sweet, desserty chamomile blend. And I loved me some Valerian Nights back in my pre-hiatus days.
For about the last year and until I joined Steepster a couple weeks ago, I’ve been on a tea hiatus. I took my tea supply down to almost nothing — by which I mean, I had one black tea, one oolong, and a couple of herbals in my cupboard … and that’s all. My goal was always to come back to tea-drinking but to be more intentional about it and enjoy it more by starting with a clean slate.
Well, the slate is clean! Now comes the fun part! I call it “Operation Build My Cupboard”: order a couple samplers from a given supplier, sip my way through them, and pick the best few to reorder. The goal is to create a collection of teas that’s limited to the ones that I most enjoy. I’ve started with Adagio because their samplers are single-serving and affordable. Forty-three samples came in the mail today. I’ll let myself reorder a maximum of five, the best of the bunch. Wish me luck!
Okay, so here’s the first note: Berry Blast. (Terrible name! It sounds like a sports drink.) This tea smells impressive while steeping. It’s jammy and sweet, but with a slight tang in the background: it smells like when you’re making a blueberry pie and you’re cooking down the filling and you’ve just added the lemon juice. Mouth-watering!
The flavor is a little different and, unfortunately, not quite as satisfying. The tartness overpowers the berry flavors, which are more on the order of a diluted juice than a thick jam. Of the berry flavor that does come through, I taste more blackberry than blueberry, which surprises me given that there were so many blueberries in my one-teaspoon sample! I was hoping the flavors might balance out as the cup cooled, but they didn’t. The hibiscus just became more pronounced.
I enjoyed this cup, but I wasn’t in love with it. Probably not a contender for re-ordering. On to the next cup!
Sipdown! (18 | 333)
To me, this one doesn’t really taste like pumpkin spice. Mostly I get strong candy cinnamon paired with clove, and the combination reminds me of the way Hobby Lobby stores smell in the fall and winter LOL.
It’s certainly not bad, but I don’t see how there’s anything pumpkin spice about it. It’s more of a hot cinnamon spice sort of tea IMO.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Cinnamon, Clove, Smooth, Sweet
This sample has been hanging around for over two years, possibly longer.
Several things are happening as I work on this sipdown challenge in earnest. My tea storage areas look neater, teas in pouches are being repackaged into tins as tins get emptied, and my box of samples and small amounts is not a rip roaring mess anymore. I decided today was a good day to finally relieve that box of one more sample, even though it isn’t in cupboard and therefore doesn’t count as a sipdown.
Because it was individually wrapped I got out a mug thinking I was doing a sachet, but remembered right before tearing it open (had to get scissors actually) that a lot of these were loose leaf, and this one was, too. Pulled out a steeper and made it for my lunch cuppa.
Considering the age, this has held up extremely well. I am not a bergamot lover with the exception of a few really well-loved blends, but this was pretty decent. I could still taste plenty of bergamot but it didn’t smack me in the face, and the green base still had presence. A few bits of broken leaf made it past the steeper so the last sip got tossed but overall it wasn’t terribly bitter and had enough flavor to pair well with food. If I were just sipping for pleasure with nothing to eat, I think I would prefer something like Anastasia White to satisfy any bergamot with light tea craving.
Another single serve sample.
I don’t get this one. Why add all these other spices and fruit when you’re going to add candy cinnamon flavoring? Unsurprisingly, it mostly just tastes like fake cinnamon. Oh, and for some reason there’s also almond flavoring? So it ends up tasting like fake cinnamon and marzipan?
Honestly unsure what they were going for here. There’s a lot of mention of tropical fruit, but I don’t taste any of it. Can’t really even tell it’s a green maté base with how strong the flavoring is. I think this is a knockoff of a Teavana tea, but I’ve never had that tea so doesn’t give much context for me ha ha.
Flavors: Amaretto, Artificial, Candy, Cinnamon, Marzipan, Sweet
Whenever I open a tea (sample, in this case) for the first time and see a mix of blonde and brunette leaves, whether they be twisted, straight, or curled (also in this case) it immediately makes me smile because those are the leaves that most often yield my favorite tea profile in the whole world—wheat bread and chocolate.
Yunnans are often noted to have a little pepper in the mix, too—if there was in Adagio’s take on Yunnan, I didn’t notice it. Didn’t mar my morning cuppa at all. Based on the age of the reviews I’m seeing, this has been one of Adagio’s consistently quality offerings for years.
Free single-serve sample from my order.
Honestly, not a ton to say about this one. It mostly tastes like chocolate flavoring, of which I am not a fan. I do get just a little bit of the strawberry, but it’s predominantly a chocolate black tea. Cream? Not really.
This was a bad example, but I would like to try the rest of Adagio’s zodiac teas and I wish they offered some kind of sampler… Maybe I’ll get lucky and get more cards for these teas.
Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Chocolate, Strawberry, Sweet
Sipdown! (52 | 304)
Oddly, they recommend steeping this at 150° F? Normally I just treat toasted maté like a black tea, and I did the same here.
Not a favorite. Has a strong cinnamon candy flavor, but without the sweetness of a Hot Cinnamon Spice sort of tea. The “spice flavor” ends up reminding me of the smell of potpourri, or a Hobby Lobby in the fall. Can’t really even tell that it’s a maté under the pile of added flavoring.
Flavors: Artificial, Cinnamon, Clove, Perfume, Spices
Sipdown! (51 | 303)
This seems like a knockoff of DT’s North African Mint? Not that it matters, I don’t think I’ve actually had that tea anyway.
It’s good, though to me there’s a bit too much mint. I can taste the mint and the cinnamon, and not really much in the way of hojicha. Oh, and ginger. I’m not sure I love spearmint and cinnamon together, it ends up being quite sweet? The earthy ginger does help to tone it down a bit.
Overall, not loving it as much as I thought I might, mostly due to the lack of toasty hojicha flavor.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Earthy, Ginger, Mint, Smooth, Spearmint, Sweet
This was a free single serving sample I redeemed with my Adagio order.
Honestly, tastes very similar to their other nutty rooibos, Nutcracker or something? I don’t taste chocolate at all, and the caramel is subtle. Mostly it tastes like a sweet nut-flavored tea. I would guess hazelnut or chestnut, nothing about it says pecan to me.
Not a favorite for me, too sweet and rich and I find it a bit cloying. Then again, I don’t seem to love very desserty teas these days…
Flavors: Artificial, Butter, Chestnut, Hazelnut, Nuts, Rooibos, Sweet, Woody
Last cold steeped blend from Adagio.
This is very lime Jell-O. Which can be okay in some things, but it’s a bit odd combined with hibiscus IMO. I think a sweet candy lime sort of flavor can be nice with a creamy element (and I think 52teas made a lime Jello-O salad tea like this), but for a tart hibiscus tisane I would rather have a more acidic lime juicy flavoring.
Anyway, not a fan. I feel like the candy lime comes off as even more artificial and cleaner-y and weird when combined when the hibiscus tartness.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Chemical, Hibiscus, Lime, Tart
Sipdown! (46 | 298)
The cinnamon ruins this one for me. It’s called “maple creme” and yet the cinnamon is the strongest flavor here. It turns it into more of a cinnamon roll dessert tea than a maple one. And I don’t dislike cinnamon, but I love maple and I wanted to taste more of it. Plus the oolong base is very… twiggy-tasting.
Flavors: Artificial, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cinnamon, Dry Grass, Hay, Maple, Mineral, Pastries, Sweet, Woody
Sipdown! (42 | 294)
This was pretty good. Base tea isn’t great of course, very dry grassy. But the subtle cranberry notes paired with the buttery pecan (which tasted more like walnut to me) did remind me of muffins or perhaps scones. But I did find the walnut to be the strongest flavor here, and I would’ve liked more of the cranberry and apple.
So fun to try, but not one I would order.
Flavors: Butter, Cranberry, Dry Grass, Hay, Nuts, Pastries, Smooth, Sweet, Walnut
This one smells and tastes like pineapple gummy bears to me. Which, in my somewhat limited experience, is not what dragonfruit tastes like. To be fair though, I found dragonfruit to have a somewhat subtle flavor, so maybe it’s a bit difficult to reproduce in tea.
So in short, this isn’t bad, but it tastes very artificial to me, just like pineapple gummy bears. And I think it could use a bit more tartness to add some dimension. There’s also a hint of bitterness that I’m not loving.
Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Candy, Fruity, Herbaceous, Pineapple, Sweet, Thin, Tropical, Watery
I quite like this one! Strong blueberry flavor that’s somewhere between candy and jam, along with plenty of hibiscus tartness. The end of the sip actually tastes a bit like apricot jam to me for some reason? Not sure why that is, but I’m not complaining.
Not sure whether I’ll repurchase, as I’ve honestly been getting a bit sick of cold steeped fruity tea with all the sampling lately. But I would consider this one for next year.
Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Artificial, Blue Raspberry, Blueberry, Candy, Fruity, Hibiscus, Jam, Sweet, Tart
The flavors here were autumnal and not too strong. I taste mild spices with some fruitiness. With milk and sugar, this is a really pleasantly desserty tea. It’s a little toasty tasting – really just a delightful combination of everything. Definitely my favorite green tea I’ve tried from Adagio! I’d consider ordering it again.
I’m finding this one a bit bland. It has a pleasant enough peachy flavor to it, but tastes quite thin and watery prepared this way. Maybe it would be better steeped hot, or flash chilled. As-is, it’s not terrible, but mostly tastes like a bit of apple and a bit of peach mixed with a lot of water. I don’t really notice much chamomile or lemon verbena.
Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Peach, Sweet, Thin, Watery
This one is a bit odd to me. It’s almost like a mulled cider sort of flavor profile because of the cinnamon, but then it’s paired with tropical fruit? I wouldn’t call it distinctly passion fruit, but it does have a tropical slant to it. The cinnamon here is reminding me of potpourri, which, needless to say, isn’t the best association to have lol. Quite similar to Pomegranate Grove, with a different fruit.
It’s okay? I think this one might have been better hot, as I find this mulled spice sort of tisane a bit odd cold.
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Cinnamon, Fruity, Hibiscus, Spices, Sweet, Tart, Tropical
This tastes pretty much as I would expect from the name – like a sour green apple candy. I’m thinking Sour Punch straws… Nice green apple flavor with a whole bunch of added tartness from the hibiscus.
I don’t think this is something I would want to drink often, but it was a fun one to try, and it definitely delivers on the name IMO.
Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Candy, Green Apple, Hibiscus, Sour, Tart
This is nice, but a bit weak. The pineapple flavor is nice, it reminds me of canned pineapple specifically. Mildly sweet with a touch of tartness as well, even though there’s no hibiscus here. I taste a touch of the lemongrass but not much else.
Pleasant tisane. Maybe the flavor would be stronger if I had steeped it hot and then chilled it. Not one I would reorder, but I did enjoy the pitcher and it was quite refreshing in this heat.
Flavors: Fruity, Lemongrass, Pineapple, Sweet, Tart
This tastes remarkably similar to their Wild Strawberry. In fact, it doesn’t really taste like mango at all. More generically fruity and tart, with a bit of that strawberry Jell-O thing going on. There is a hint of something slightly perfumey or chemical? Especially at the very end of the sip.
Not great, but drinkable. Certainly not mango.
Flavors: Artificial, Chemical, Fruity, Hibiscus, Perfume, Red Fruits, Strawberry, Tart