Adagio Custom Blends, Sarah Prothero

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63

Earlier in the week I sipped on Capricious Princess, which is another of the BTVS fandom blends from Adagio that I’ve been exclusively drinking during my French dubbed rewatch. This is the Cordelia Chase blend, a mix of green tea and chamomile w/ mint and chocolate. While I found the chamomile a little too strong for my tastes, I did really love the balance of cooling mint and sweet chocolate notes. Even the green tea, while present, didn’t ruin the flavour combination for me. It’s not a favourite, but drinkable – and I was very worried about whether I’d enjoy this blend or not so I’m glad it’s an alright one…

I think, like so many people, Cordy was never one of my favourite characters but I really appreciated her character growth over the course of the series (and on Angel), and she’s grown on me with each rewatch. I also really like the voice actress for the French dubs; her voice is less jarring to me than, as an example, Angel or Xander…

If I were to design my own tea blend for Cordelia, I think it would be quite different. I would want a lot of visual accents to the tea such as marigold, cornflower, safflower, etc – things that superficially make the tea look very pretty but that do little to nothing to contribute to the actual flavour. The base would be a greener oolong; something that would reveal more nuance and layers with subsequent resteeps. Finally, I think maybe just a touch of raspberry? Raspberries can be sweet, but also sharp and sour – but I’m not sold on that as the flavour I would choose…

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBnlcciAWC9/

Nattie

I love Cordy! It helps that Charisma Carpenter is one of the nicest people ever, too. She’s nothing like early-season Cordelia. Even though I love Cordy at all stages of her development, I think knowing in advance that she evolves as a character probably helps. I just hate the way her story ended. ):

Roswell Strange

(I was thinking about it – and it might be interesting, albeit a little fucked up, for a Cordy blend to have some jasmine in it…)

Nattie

Lmao oh boy. I think jasmine would be a good addition to a Cordy tea. Maybe a little fucked up, but so was the whole Jasmine Cordelia/Connor storyline, imo. I am so tempted to head on over to Adagio and come up with a whole BTVS and Angel themed tea blend collection now…

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Last tasting note of the night/from my queue…

I had this one last week, while doing my French BTVS rewatch, and I thought it was alright. I put off writing the tasting note because I wanted to continue the exploration of what my Buffy themed tea would entail, and I couldn’t actually come up with a concept for her that I liked. So, I’ll have to keep thinking and hopefully the next time I drink this tea I’ll have a better idea of what direction I might want to take it.

I don’t know that I necessarily “get” the direction for this blend either, even though from a flavour perspective I’m HELLA on board with a spiced pear type of flavour profile. The dry leaf smelled amazingly like pear too, which was exciting. I know I’ve actually had this pear white tea in several Adagio fandom blends and I think I usually like that note a lot, so when Adagio reached out recently and let me pick some samples to try I did deliberately choose the Pear White because of blends like this one that use it – I’d love to experience it without it being cut with other blends.

The steeped cup does have that yummy dewy sweet floral pear note that I enjoy, but it’s a little over taken by more dominating spice flavours. It’s a little weird, I instinctively want to compare it to DT’s Ginger Pear because that’s the spiced pear blend I have the most familiarity with but I didn’t find them similar at all in my memory. A direct comparison could be interesting, but I doubt I’ll try it because I’m trying to really keep these teas (the Buffy ones) special by ONLY having them when I watch episodes…

Something about the overall flavour reminded me of Christmas though!? It was super nostalgic in a way I couldn’t place. I’m sure it was one of the spices, maybe like a nutmeg/allspice if that’s one of the ingredients in the spiced blends in this mix? It was just that same warming and cozy holiday tea vibe, though! It was a touch thin, I’ll try to remember to steep it stronger next time and maybe that will help me really nail down why this gave me that Christmas-y feeling of Deja Vu.

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75

Another Buffy inspired fandom blend as I continue my rewatch of the series in French!! I rewatch this series at least once a year, but often rewatch my favourite seasons several times (3, 6, and 7). It’s not that I’m not enjoying this rewatch with the French voice over, but something about it feels less “bingeable” to me – maybe because I have to focus so intently on the episode in order to catch what’s going on and read the subtitles, so I can’t multitask as much!?

I was trying to think, as I drank this tea and watched the show, what my ideal “Xander Harris” fandom blend would be like – I had a clear idea of the direction that I would take the Angel blend, but I struggled with how I would approach this one. It’s going to seem like I don’t like any of the characters (that’s because I’m saving the blends for the characters I do like for last), but I actually am not a fan of Xander – I was the first time I ever watched the show, but the more I rewatch it the less I enjoy him. I find him pretty misogynistic, unsupportive of his friends for a lot of the series, and a ton of his early season focus was about him being a whiny baby about not being able to be with Buffy and then unappreciative about his relationship with Cordy…

In fact, here’s a whole article about why he sucks:

https://poplurker.com/2018/05/31/8-reasons-why-xander-harris-is-the-worst-part-of-buffy-the-vampire-slayer/

He does show some growth throughout the series, especially in the later seasons, but it’s a slow process – so maybe I would choose a young sheng pu’erh for a Xander themed tea as the base? Something that starts off really unpleasant, but that has the potential to develop into something nicer. Maybe toss in some green tea as well, because of how bitter it can be and to capitalize on the phrase “green with envy” as a way of expressing his general jealousy. Maybe some peppermint; both to continue the green theme, but also because of how “cool” Xander both wants to be/thinks he is. The one thing that I do think this blend gets right (in terms of capturing the character) is the blueberry – I think having something blue, because of how whiny/mopey he is, feels appropriate.

So there you have it – sheng, green tea, mint and blueberry.

As for this tea and how it tastes!?

Well, I don’t think it captures Xander Harris but I do think it’s pretty pleasant. The cup I steeped felt a little thin/weak, so in the future I would up the amount of leaf used by a little bit but there was a really nice balance between sweet berry and tart berry overall. I think the blueberry is the strongest flavour element present, and while I could detect that there were other contributing fruit flavours at play, I would not have been able to pin point peach or apricot as those contributors.

I imagine it would probably be nice iced, actually!

tea-sipper

I’m looking forward to your other notes on Buffy teas and teas you’d reimagine! I watched Buffy ages ago and might find Xander more annoying now… but I refuse to read the Xander article you linked. I remember Riley was annoying.

Roswell Strange

Riley and Dawn were both awful – thankfully no teas to explore for either of them!

Shanie O Maniac

Captain Cardboard was somehow both obnoxious and boring at the same time. Dawn was extremely whiny on a show full of seemingly empowered women. I actually liked Harmony better than either of them and Harmony was written to be annoying. I never hated Xander as much as I found him to be just “blah”. Some of the things he did though were inexcusable. Any witch worth her salt will tell you that Love Spells are a massive NO-NO. And for someone who was supposedly the “Heart” of the gang, he always seemed to be putting other people down.

I used to be hooked on Buffy back in the day. Now, I’m not sure I could stand to rewatch some of the episodes.

Roswell Strange

I actually love Harmony – she started off very skin deep/shallow but got some great late series development and became some amazing comic relief. As much as there is a solid handful of characters I’m not fond of and a few moments that have aged a little poorly, this is still probably my all time favourite TV show. You just have to be able to accept the negatives without ignoring the root of why those things/characters are poorly received now vs when the show first aired. It’s like Friends and Ross – he was loved then, but has aged like milk/probably wouldn’t fly as a character now. Doesn’t mean Friends isn’t a good show/wasn’t deserving of the love it got.

tea-sipper

That’s funny Shanie, I almost said cardboard Riley. haha.
I never watched Friends but am intrigued why Ross has aged badly?

Shanie O Maniac

While never having seen a full episode of Friends besides the pilot, I fully understand the sentiment. In Pro Wrestling, there was a time period from 97-01 called “The Attitude Era” that is almost universally regarded as the best thing ever. However, looking back on some of the stuff now, with the cultural shift that has occurred in the last 10 years or so, and YEAH, it’s a good thing it was happening then and not now. I highly suspect I would have a different user name if I saw my beloved Shane-O doing some of that ish today.

tea-sipper

Just briefly scanned the Ross pages… and again, didn’t watch a single episode of Friends… but isn’t that the types of things ALL the characters on Friends did, so they’d have something to base a show around?

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69

I think I mentioned it in another tasting note a week or so back, but I bought a bunch of Buffy The Vampire Slayer teas from Adagio as a treat for myself to enjoy/drive some motivation when watching BTVS in French – something I’m doing to help familiarize myself and bring my comprehension up with the language…

I own every season, but my first/second season are on downloaded discs and don’t have multiple languages so I started my rewatch with the third season since my disc copies of that one have French dubs with English subs. I’m fine with that – the first two seasons are the worst ones anyway. I’m only a few episodes in because I’ve been doing an episode a night when I get home from work – but it’s actually still really enjoyable, even in French. I hate the voice actor for Angel though – his voice is FAR too deep and it sounds like the voice actor is trying much too hard to be sexy…

As for the Angel tea!? Well, it’s fine. I don’t actually like Angel very much as a character in the first place, but I suppose the flavours that the blendor has selected feel appropriate. It’s like a chocolate covered strawberry profile, with a black and oolong mixed base. Seems to take inspiration for more of Angel’s romanticism and fact he’s Buffy’s main love interest. If I was blending an Angel tea, I think I’d play more off the balance of light and dark or “good and bad” that his character has; that’s more interesting to me. Something like a blend of white and black tea bases with white and dark chocolate chips and rose petal accents. Feels true to the character, would probably taste ok, and has decent symbolism.

The taste is mediocre – the strawberry is there but VERY light and the chocolate note leans a little artificial and waxy. Not bad tasting on the whole, but mediocre – as many of these fan blends often are. That’s fine; it’s more about the fun you have while drinking the tea! And this is a nice sipping tea while curled up – so average is just fine for the context.

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