19 Tasting Notes
The leaves themselves are interesting. I don’t find them particularly visually pleasing (which is odd, considering purple and green are my favorite colors). Felt a bit contrived. But, as you can see here, there’s a lot going on. We’ve got rooibos and white tea with a little black tea mixed in, plus lemongrass, chamomile, and purple cornflowers. There’s one little orange peel in the middle there, and the yellow splotch in the top left hand corner is a bit of grapefruit.
The smell is interesting, but not really in a good way (in my opinion). The smell is very abstract, perhaps a bit medicinal. I saw other reviews that said it was fruity (unbearably so, even), but I barely got a sense of fruit. Perhaps it was the mix of fruit plus chamomile plus lemongrass creating something more than just the sum of its parts.
It’s quite a bit darker than I expected it to be. There might be more white tea by volume, but I forgot that rooibos is a fairly dense tea, and it definitely took over here.
The smell was again fairly abstract. A little medicinal, a hair fruity. The taste was pretty much what you’d expect from a tea that smelled that way, though the chamomile stuck out here. It was naturally fairly sweet. I wouldn’t want to add cream or sugar too it. Overall, I was fairly underwhelmed. I should have loved it – I like white tea, I like rooibos, and orange peel almost always works well in tea. But this one just combined in a weird way for me.
A copy of this review plus pictures can be found on my blog: http://lizkuba.com/tea-review-pisces-by-adagio/
This tea and I started off on the wrong foot. The leaves in my sampler pouch look nothing like the official image. Mine is about 5% white fuzzy leaves, 10% green flat leaves, and 85% brown leaves. And a good chunk of it was stems. (I’m sure there’s legit names for each of these things, but I don’t know them.)
The smell is fairly delicate. It’s a light organic kind of smell, but it would be hard to pinpoint any one thing in particular. The flavor matches the smell, but it’s a bit heavier on the floral aspect. It’s a calm, gentle tea that would definitely be overwhelmed by any amount of cream or sugar.
It’s not a bad tea, and I’m not going to have a problem finishing the sampler pouch. But it definitely falls in the “I’d Rather Spend My Money Elsewhere” category.
This tea was a bit of a puzzle. The first time I made it, I didn’t have the ingredients list or the description in front of me, so I was going in a bit blind. I’m fairly new to tea, so it looked/smelled to me like a white/green mix with a mild fruity sweetness going on. I don’t think I would have come up with “peach” as the main flavor though. I mean, it’s not like it didn’t smell/taste like peaches. But it’s blended well with the other flavors to create a new feeling of its own.
I really liked this tea. I’m a fan of light teas in general, so this was completely up my alley. A light tea with a little peach and a hint of sweetness. Perfect.
Some pictures can be found on my blog: http://lizkuba.com/tea-review-taurus-by-adagio/
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet
The leaves are rather boring looking: it looks just like a plain black tea with some cornflowers thrown in. But the smell is divine. It’s wonderfully hazelnut with just a little something extra thrown in – vanilla and chocolate. It’s not complicated, but it’s not completely one-note, either.
The smell of the tea itself is pretty similar to the leaves, albeit a bit more dilute. The flavor completely fails to deliver, though. I don’t get anything other than plain black tea in the flavor. How disappointing. I guess if you’re a fan of Adagio’s base Ceylon you’d enjoy this, but don’t expect anything more than the plain Ceylon flavor to be present.
For a copy of this review plus some pictures, check out my blog: http://lizkuba.com/tea-review-aquarius-by-adagio/
This was a bit of a humbling experience for me.
I’m very admittedly new to the whole tea scene, and I do not have a refined palate. So the way I’ve been teaching myself about differentiating teas is by trying them all plain, no cream or sugar. Besides, I prefer my drinks to not have calories (and I rather hate the way artificial sweeteners taste).
I’ve been doing that pretty militantly, so I wasn’t thinking too hard when I tried this tea. Naturally, it was kind of horrible (to me, at least). It was like…bitter and spicy but not in a good way. Couldn’t even finish the cup.
Welllllll it was recently brought to my attention that the honest-to-goodness way to make Chai is to use milk and sugar (or similar). So I swallowed my pride and tried it again, being liberal with the milk (okay, I only have non-dairy powdered creamer at my disposal right now) and sugar. And I have to say, it’s pretty tasty. It’s Chai, but it’s not super intense Chai (thanks to it being mixed with black tea).
I don’t know how I feel about some teas absolutely requiring milk and sugar; that’s not why I drink tea. And it’s hard for me to separate the nuances of tea from the milk and sugar. But next time I have a sweet tooth, this will be what I reach for.
[Quick summary: black tea with masala spices, and it tastes about how you imagine it would taste.]
Pictures are available on my blog (as well as my original review before I tried it the proper way): http://lizkuba.com/tea-review-aries-by-adagio/
The imagery for Capricorn is weird. Goat-fish? Oookay. So the artwork for the Capricorn tea is surprisingly graceful, given what the artist has to go off of. We have an androgynous person with white hair (hood?) and goat horns, and they’re holding (?) a brown fish tail. They’re on an earthy brown-auburn background with flowers and leaves.
The leaves are very aesthetically pleasing. It’s a lovely mix of greens, browns, and yellows (which is impressive, considering that the base teas are black and white) in the right proportions to give a very earthy, organic feel. In my review of Libra, I lamented that the rose petals were dry and yellow, but here I like the yellow color a lot better.
I find the smell of this absolutely fascinating. I was expecting something autumnal, based on the packaging. Instead, the dominant smell is coconut. But it’s not remotely tropical smelling. It’s coconut in an extremely earthy way. I’ve never really smelled coconut in this context before, it’s really quite lovely. I’m thinking that the vanilla is what really smooths this out.
The smell isn’t nearly as BAM! Coconut as the unsteeped leaves are. Don’t get me wrong, the dominant smell is coconut. But it’s quite a bit more muted, letting some of the natural smell of the tea leaves come out. The vanilla seems to be missing now.
The tea itself isn’t as complex as its constituents. The dominant flavor is just the black tea. It seems to be tempered somewhat by the white tea, but it’s more in a less-black way than a half-black-half-white way. The aftertaste is a lot smoother than the initial black-tea flavor.
Several other reviews I’ve read of this tea suggest it’s a milk-and-sugar kind of tea, and I can definitely see that working. Unfortunately, I don’t regularly stock milk or cream, but the next time I buy some, I’ll definitely give this tea a try again.
A copy of this review is available on my blog, along with a couple of pictures: http://lizkuba.com/tea-review-capricorn-by-adagio/
I’m not a huge green tea fan, but Genmai Cha is one that I really enjoy. This particular one has a lot of flavor and smell to it. The grassy-ness competes with the toasty-ness for dominant flavor. While the tea is still hot, the grassy flavor/smell wins out, but as it cools, the toasty flavor/smell starts to dominate. I can easily drink this without any sugar or milk or anything, there’s plenty of good flavor already. There’s no bitterness.
Flavors: Grass, Toasty
I’ll be honest, I was really disappointed when I opened the tin. I was expecting a luscious mixture of black tea, rose petals, and chocolate. Instead, I got a tin of black tea, a bunch of desiccated rose petals, and a single chocolate chip. It smells really good though, about 90% chocolate and 10% strawberry.
I steeped the tea for 5 min at 190F (yes, I know I should have used hotter water), and here’s the result: It’s a nice brown color, about what one would expect with a good black tea. The chocolate/strawberry smell is even more powerful here, and it really does smell amazing. You get a bit of the feel of the cream going on, too.
The flavor was okay. It was a little bitter, but just the regular bite of black tea. The chocolate is there, but not super present. There’s not really any hint of the rose petals that were in the tin.
If you’re the kind of person who chooses their tea by smell, I highly recommend this tea. Likewise, if you’re a big fan of flavored black teas, this will be great for you, too. But I was a bit disappointed by Adagio on this one. I think my tea was quite old, as the rose petals were pretty pathetic and the flavor was okay. I’m guessing a fresh blend of this would be a bit peppier.
I’ve got some pictures of the tea on my blog: http://lizkuba.com/tea-review-libra-by-adagio/
Flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry