A-Tisket A-Tasket Green Tea by Adagio

tiskettasketTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Adagio

Tea Description:

A sunny, citrusy green tea, with a hint of delicious vanilla. Contains green tea, lemongrass, sunflower petals, citrus peels, and lemon and vanilla flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Over time, this has become one of my favourite Adagio teas, and it takes a lot for me to say that. This is a green tea blend, part of the Sunlit Blooms collection, containing lemongrass, citrus peel, and lemon and vanilla flavourings. The dry leaf is primarily green tea, and the leaves are medium to dark green, fairly long and folded. No specific variety is given, but I’d say Dragonwell as an educated guess.

There’s also a generous scattering of sunflower petals, which I assume are there to carry the lemon and vanilla flavourings. Lemongrass and citrus peel are less in evidence, although it’s possible to find the occasional piece if you stir the leaf up and look hard. This hardly sounds encouraging, but as this one actually turns out to be a great tea I’m going to refrain from further comment.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a bright golden yellow, and smells mildly citrusy. To taste, it’s a different story entirely. Lemon cream, in the best bakery sense of the words! Although the green tea is a large proportion of the mixture, it’s completely unobtrusive in the finished cup, and super-smooth to boot. This means that the flavours really shine through, with lemon the first flavour to emerge, followed by a wash of vanilla and cream in the mid-sip. It’s truly wonderful, and sipping on this is putting me in mind of a huge lemon sponge coated in light, fluffy vanilla buttercream.

The lemon here is candy-like and a little tart, which works with the sweet, desserty vibe of the blend overall. Personally, I could probably take a tad more sharpness with all the creamy sweetness, but it’s so great I can’t say I’m all that concerned. This is lemon cream in tea form! A dessert replacement if ever there was one!

Adagio can be hit and miss in my experience, but this one is a definite hit. It’s just so perfectly put together, with really well balanced flavours. This is a must-try blend for anyone who appreciates a good dessert tea. I don’t think there are many that can match this one for pure lemon creaminess. Spectacular!

Sherlock Holmes Black Tea by Adagio

sherlockholmesTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Adagio

Tea Description:

All at once exotic and mysterious and perhaps a little bit insane, with a lingering hint of smoke.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends, inspired by the character of (who else?) Sherlock Holmes. It’s a blend of Adagio’s Lapsang Souchong, Assam Melody, and Oriental Spice, all of which are black teas. The dry leaf smells reasonably strongly of smoke, with a hint of spice underlying. Exotic and enticing! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium golden brown, so no additions this time.

I will freely admit to being more than a little scared of smoky teas, and particularly Lapsang Souchong. One early experience with a very strong Lapsang really, really put me off, and I’ve been very wary ever since. I’ve tried a few lightly smoked teas since and not been repelled, so I’m hoping that I can perhaps gradually build up an appreciation of smoky teas, given time. My forays into this territory are still fairly rare, though, and this will be the first in a while!

The first sip was taken with a little trepidation! I’m pleased to report, however, that this is palatably smoky. The initial flavour is, of course, the Lapsang Souchong. It’s quite a gentle smoke, though, reminiscent of a just-beginning barbecue rather than a raging bonfire. I think this is owed at least in part to the assam, however, which adds a sweet malt undertone that seems to temper the smokiness a little, rounding off what might otherwise have been quite harsh edges. There’s a spiciness in the midsip that’s very welcome, adding a third string to this particular bow. I can taste cinnamon, clove, and maybe a touch of ginger, although none are particularly strong or overpowering. Mostly, I’m struck by how well balanced this blend is between its three elements – smoke, sweet, and spice. Each flavour can be tasted individually, but they also work well as a cohesive whole to make this an interesting and enjoyable tea. It’s certainly frames each of its constituent parts in a new way! What surprised me most is how smooth this tea is. I’m really pleased that it didn’t turn out acrid or bitter, especially since I’ve not added any milk.

 With regard to the fandom aspect of this tea, this blend seems like a fairly fitting tribute to Sherlock. It’s a dark and a little mysterious with its background of almost hidden spice (shrouded in smoke, perhaps?) It tastes like I imagine Sherlock’s coat might smell. This would make a good introduction to smoky teas for someone uncertain (or just plain scared, like me!), or for a fan of flavoured blacks looking to try something a little different. This one’s a winner in my book.

Sweet Nothings White Tea by Adagio

SweetNothingsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Adagio

Tea Description:

Sweet apricots, peach, lavender and white tea entangle themselves for a delicate fruit and floral tryst. Quietly pleasing, like softly whispered confessions of admiration that keep you wanting more.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a white tea from Adagio’s Love Petals collection. It’s a fruit-floral blend, containing sunflower petals and lavender buds on the floral side, and apricot and peach on the fruit side. The base tea is a white peony, composed mostly of brown-black stalks and leaves, but with a few downy silver buds in evidence. It’s not the best looking white peony I’ve ever seen, but appearances can be deceptive.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-yellow, and the scent is mildly fruity. To taste, the fruit is the primary flavour, and the floral ingredients are mostly absent. I was hoping this would be the case, as (with a few rare exceptions) fruit/floral combinations usually strike me as rather odd. The main flavour I can detect is peach, and it’s a reasonably natural tasting approximation – mildly sweet, with that pulpiness that ripe peaches have. The apricot is present a little, but it’s definitely second fiddle here. As peach and apricot are reasonably similar flavours, however, it hardly seems to matter.

Although I can see lavender buds in the dry mix, they actually make no impact on the overall flavour, or at least not that I can discern. I imagine the sunflower petals are being used to carry the fruit flavours, so perhaps that explains their role in this blend. The white base is also strangely absent from the flavour of this blend. I usually find it possible to detect white teas in flavoured blends, particularly white peony as it can be quite thick tasting, with a floral/dusty flavour all its own. Not so here, which is another point in this blend’s flavour. The peach and apricot are allowed to shine, and shine they do!

This makes for a pleasant blend on a warm spring day, and I can imagine it would also work well iced. Adagio did well with this one.

Happily Headless (Custom Blend) from Adagio Tea

happyheadlessTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black/Green

Where to Buy:  Adagio

Tea Description:

You’ll lose your head over your loyalty to this kingly brew!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

WARNING: POTENTIAL GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS

(But really this is season one so if you’re not aware of this you might be living under a rock…)

I have to say, I’m quite happy I watched enough GoT to understand the character reference here! I’ve really only seen the first two seasons and part of the third. I think the ingredients picked out by this blender are pretty well thought out too; though I do think there might just be a bit more “Fire” than “Ice” – although to be fair there certainly are a lot of very visable candy cane pieces in the dry leaf. Aun-Juli Riddle is a pretty good blender; in particular her Doctor Who blends tend to be pretty good and well thought out.

This is essentially a Chai, though an unconventional one, so I wasn’t the most excited about this blend because I’m not a Chai fan myself, but it came out pretty tasty! The clove is easily the strongest flavour here, and since that’s the one ‘conventional’ Chai spice that I personally feel you can never have too much of that works very well in my favor.

The rest of the flavour is pretty nice too; there’s an even dispersal of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon with just the faintest little touch of smoke from the Lapsang. It’s not enough smoke for people who are fearful of Lapsang to be worried about, though. The candy cane isn’t as strong as I expected given how much I could see in the leaf and the fact that this is inspired by Ned Stark which obviously ties into the whole “Winter Is Coming”/Ice thing. It is present, but subtly so and it’s more acting as a sweetener than really contributing any strong mint flavour. The finish is a little bit peppery, with maybe a touch too much cardamom.

Overall I think this is better than most Adagio fan blends though; they tend to get pretty muddled because blenders pick out ingredients that are either too similar so there’s no contrast or playing off one another or they pick ingredients that fit the ‘character’ but clash with one another/don’t compliment each flavour. This kind of avoids that for the most part, while still being fairly thoughtful.

I definitely wanted more “ice” – but maybe it’s poetic irony that the “fire” was the most dominant thing…

Casablanca Twist by Adagio Teas

casablancatwistTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Tea Description:

An interesting twist on classic Moroccan Mint tea, which traditionally combines Gunpowder green tea from China with fresh mint. We kept the latter, and replaced the smoky notes of Gunpowder with the muscatel highlights of a Darjeeling from India. The result is very a refreshing cup, with bold, cool minty notes, smooth and relaxing texture and flavor. Very intriguing cup.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea is a mint lovers dream! It screams mint from the moment you open the package until you take your last sip. I love mint teas.  I especially love green tea with mint, but this tea takes the award for being the tea with the most mint flavor that I have ever had.

I picked this one up at the Chicago store when I was there for work a couple months ago.  I had never had it but with it being a Darjeeling with mint, I knew I would love it.  So I went with the 2 oz package.  Glad I did.

I prepped this one up per the instructions on the bag, throwing a few more tsps in since I knew I wanted to try this one iced.  (I’ve been in a huge iced tea sort of mood lately).  So refreshing! I just shared a bacon breakfast with my boyfriend so this was the perfect tea to try right after that heavy meal.

The Darjeeling takes a step aside while the mint (which is peppermint) dominates this tea.  I like it, just wish you could taste more of the base tea.  But saying that, I think this would be a great base tea to mix with some herbal teas to bring out a brighter flavor or to spruce up a tea that you might not have liked the first go around.  I have a few of those sitting around.  This would also be a good one to have with some honey for a tea to drink while you aren’t feeling your best.

I can’t say that I would drink this tea by itself again, but I’m eyeing a package of Blood Orange herbal from Adagio that is right next to my computer and my brain is starting to create some other blends I could throw a tsp of this into to make a few new concoctions of my own.