Tea Time 9: The Last of the Adagio Teas

Why did I buy so many adagio samples? This week we have the Berry Sampler Pack. I’m having a hell of a weekend, so it might sound a bit off.

SampleStrawberry

Description:A black tea with strawberry in it

Preparation: 212F for 4ish  minutes

Review: Chaos took a taste, and his face and gesture were strong enough to stop Kae mid-rant to ask if he was okay. Not a promising start. Kae took a sip: “Wow, that’s got some bitter to it, going to give you a warning there.” Yami took a sip. Didn’t taste much bitter. Just water and a hint of strawberries. Added sugar. Chaos resumed choking in the background after another sip, then stole the sugar bowl from Yami. Yami’s hate rays convinced him to bring the sugar bowl back after a few moments. Yami stirred her cup, now with sugar. Took a sip. Was hit full-on by a dusky bitterness barely concealed under the taste of sugar. Kae adds, “If you take a very very small sip, you get bitter. A larger sip, you get water and strawberries. I suppose that’s what they call nuance?” Chaos: “I’m not getting much strawberries. Screw Adagio.” Kae: “Why did the sugar make it more bitter?” Yami took another sip and broke out in coughing before scrabbling for a bottle of water. Milk was added. Chaos insists “most of my taste buds died on the first sip”; Yami did not approve of the soymilk addition. Kae likes the taste of soymilk, and declared it not the worst of the Adagio teas.

So, in essence, a very nuanced, dark, dusky tea with a hint of strawberries.

Would Buy?  Were you expecting a yes?

———-

Sample: Raspberry Black Tea

Description:  A blend of crisp of Ceylon black tea from Sri Lanka with sweetly tart red raspberry flavor. Very candy-like aroma, delicately tangy and jammy raspberry flavor. Rounded texture, balanced astringency and sweet, slightly dry finish. This fun, juicy cup is tangy without getting too ‘cheeky.’

Preparation: 212F for about four minutes

Review: Like many other Adagio teas, it has a nice, rich, fruity scent. Yami’s first sip: Water with a hint of bitter aftertaste that vaguely reminded her of fruit leather somehow, maybe it’s the scent. With sugar, though, it’s actually nice and sweet, not very bitter except at the very finish. A second sip, and she wasn’t so sure anymore. The aftertaste seems to just build with time. Kae noted that “You can actually taste the raspberry in this one!”

Would Buy? Nah

———-

Sample: Blueberry

Description: A delightful blend of bright Ceylon black tea, fresh blueberry flavor and playfully accented with dried blueberries. An aromatic cup, definitely more like the ‘highbush’ variety of blueberry (highly fragrant and delicately tart). Fresh flavor, slightly sweet and rounded texture – not too juicy. Great hot or iced and easy to blend with other teas, too. Try it with Vanilla Black or Cream for added creamy texture.

Preparation: 212F for three minutes

Review: Note: This section typed by Kaelas as Yamiko spit her first sip on her robe and is now scolding me. Chaos agreed and leapt  up to dump the  pot out immediately. I’m the sole survivor of this trial and tried to push on and try it with sugar and then milk. Neither helped. Soymilk deadens the initial black-tea bitterness so that the pure astringency of the berry can come through at full strength. All in all, this one was just as bad as Noir. Not as bitter but with an added bonus of astringent berry taste. Not actual berry taste really, just the faux-bitter sensation.

Would Buy? What do you think?

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3 Responses to Tea Time 9: The Last of the Adagio Teas

  1. bitwise says:

    When I have tea that tends to be bitter, I use cooler water or steep it for a shorter period of time. Especially if I’m not using sugar or milk, I find that just a minute or so does it. I know what they say about rolling boils and all, but too hot of water burns the leaves and results in a very bitter pot.

  2. Torrilin says:

    It looks like a lot of the samplers were ones that lean heavily on artificial flavors, and I don’t find any tea maker does those well. They do seem to sell quite well, which I guess is why the tea makers do them. Any time you see the words “natural flavor” used rather than an ingredient, it’s probably a good idea to just cross the tea off your list.

    Adagio’s blood orange herbal tea is pretty good, but they recommend basically turning it into stewed tea and then I don’t like how it tastes. Very few teas are going to need even a 5 minute brewing time, and 10 is about how a British person who likes stewed tea would do it. I usually buy plain herbal teas and mix them with a favorite black tea… and even there, I find Adagio’s brewing times to be on the long side.

    With a lot of teas, if you brew in a glass container, you can watch the flavors steep out. It’s a lot of fun. I find that makes it a lot easier to judge brewing times for me, because I can see what is happening. I’ve pretty much never had the tea maker’s recommendation turn out just right for my taste.

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