I was lucky to receive a fairly large sample of this tea. That meant I could try it a whole variety of ways. I landed on three different brew methods: a standard hot cup of tea, a cold brew, and a teapop. It was fun to drink them all side-by-side to see just how different each one was.
The hot cup worked as my control sample, since it is the method that follows Adagio’s suggested brewing parameters of steeping 1 tsp/cup for 5 minutes in boiling water. This is how I believe Adagio intends their tea to taste and thus it was the logical place to start off with my sampling. The tea brewed up a dark amber and had a full, rounded mouthfeel. With that comes some nice honey notes from the rooibos base and just a subtle hint of mango sweetness. Unfortunately the mango flavor dissipates as it cools so this is best drank when hotter, something I don’t usually find with other teas.
The cold brew I set up last night, leaving the tea to sit in the fridge overnight (approximately 12 hours). Since the tea is never actually heated, different flavors tend to come out when using this method. Normally I find that with rooibos and honeybush blends, cold brewing tames the base, leaving the flavor to stand out more than it would in the hot tea. This cold brew didn’t really work out that way. It is honestly quite bland. It’s predominantly water with some sweet/wood at the end of the sip. The aftertaste is just a generic sweetness that lingers after the drink is done. Definitely not as good as the hot cup and really not that good in general. So cold brewing this tea is not something I would recommend.
Finally, we have the teapop. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is when you brew your tea really strong, ice it, and then top it up with a carbonated beverage to make the tea more like a soda. I topped this tea up with Nestle Purelife’s Mango, Peach & Pineapple Sparkling Water. I figured that would help highlight the mango of the tea itself. The end result is a pretty juicy teapop. The mango is really drawn out more and tends to take center stage while also mixing nicely with the other flavors of the water. I should mention there is a little bit of an artificial sweetener component to this, though that is a result of the sparkling water and not something the tea is contributing. The whole thing is bright and refreshing and has a distinctly tropical vibe that is interestingly juxtaposed with the cold and rainy weather outside. However, I think that tropical element may be more from the sparkling water than the tea itself. Nonetheless, I do think the tea is contributing to it all and elevating it just a teensy bit.
All in all, this tea is simple but nice. It isn’t an in-your-face/”WOW!” sort of flavor but I don’t think it is trying to be. Plus, sometimes its nice to have something more subtle and relaxed. Of the methods I tried, the teapop was probably my preferred but the hot cup was pleasant as well. As I said before, cold brewing is a method I would stay away from because I think the flavors of this tea are just too faint to really stand out when prepped in that way. Still, if you are looking for a more plain tea to have every now and then when you just want something tame, this isn’t a bad one to have around.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
A lush, fruity and mellow cup of caffeine free goodness. The tropical aroma pairs perfectly with the naturally sweet organic rooibos. Delicate deep fruity notes from the rooibos, against the creamy texture and floral nose of the mango. Juicy and soft, dry finish. A lovely tropical escape any time of day, or season!