Adagio Custom Blends, SoggyEndermanEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
You know, Ark: Survival Evolved is definitely the kinda game that is geared towards people with no lives, especially when you look at the taming mechanic. Currently I am taming a Carnotaurus, after more or less giving up on ever finding one I just took my raptor (named Diego from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, because he can turn into a raptor) out hunting and lo and behold, Carno time! So after shooting it full of tranq arrows and loading it with meat and narcotics I sit and wait and make sure nothing tries to eat it or me…for two and a half hours. True there are quicker tames, like using kibble, but I lacked the proper amount of Anklyo eggs, so I play the long game. This game makes me feel like I am accomplishing something with my life and this pleases me.
Today we are looking at one of Adagio Tea’s custom blends, designed by yours truly, because my love of Minecraft is endless and I wanted teas to match my obsession. This one is the Charged Creeper, basically you take a Creeper and strike it with lightning and what you get is a glowing blue super charged explosion. It is a blend of Gunpowder Green (for the explosion of course) Houjicha (because they are said to feel crunchy like autumn leaves) Green Chai (for the spicy extra explosion) and to evoke the blue glow some Blueberries and Cornflowers. The aroma of this blend is very sweet and toasty, the Houjicha mixed with chai spices gives a real warmth and toasted marshmallow quality, while the sweet notes of blueberries linger underneath. At the very end there is a touch of orange and very gentle smoke.
The aroma of the brewed leaves and berries is still pretty toasty and sweet, again reminding me of marshmallows with a touch of smoke and a slight vegetal undertone. Really strong Houjicha notes, the addition of blueberry vaguely reminds me of pie. The liquid once freed from the leafy embrace is pretty similar, strong notes of toasted marshmallow and blueberries.
Tasting this tea, it is pretty roasty toasty and a bit smoky! It starts with marshmallow sweetness and toasted grain and then moves on to smoke and gentle vegetal notes, it is a pretty mellow tea. Around the midpoint notes of gentle spice and oranges show up and at the finish is a nice juicy burst of blueberry. I think the most fun I had with this tea was the color, it is so purple and dark, not quite the color I envisioned for a Charged Creeper, and the green notes from the other teas really don’t show through much, but the mix of toast and blueberries is quite tasty.
My grandparents are awesome, they saw my plight with regards to my kettle giving up the ghost and ordered me a replacement as an early birthday gift, so sometime next week things can return to normal. I also had several friends in the tea world offering me their spare kettles, giving a whole new meaning to the #kettlekin hashtaggery that floats around on the interwebs. I keep saying it, the tea community is awesome and takes care of its own.
Today’s tea blog has a bit of a story to it, the other day I groggily checked my email when my ‘get up and take yo’ meds’ alarm went off and saw that my Minecraft Mobs Fandom Collection on Adagio Teas is going to be a featured Fandom on the 11th. I kinda stared at my phone in disbelief, see, I have wanted to be a featured Fandom since I first created the Creeper tea, the first tea I ever reviewed on the blog. I really find the whole create your own blend system rather entertaining, it by no means makes you a blender, but it does let you play around with dozens of teas to create either a really tasty brew or something truly disgusting. The only really artsy thing I put into these teas are the labels, and I suppose I need to try to guess which teas taste good together and capture the monster in question. No matter how you slice it though, goal achieved! So to celebrate tomorrow’s feature, I am reviewing one of the blends, call it a pre-Halloween themed review if you like since it is time for Wither Skeleton!
That inky black, especially tall Skeleton that prowls Nether Fortresses and are kinda terrifying, are they dead Endermen? What exactly are they? Implications are…creepy. What they are is a mystery, what the tea is is a blend of Mambo (which is a mix of their Wuyi Ensamble aka Da Hong Pao and Yunnan Jig which is a fuzzy red from Yunnan) Lapsang Souchong, Almond Oolong, Cocoa Nibs, and Cardamon. Toasty, roasty, smoky, and rich, just the way I like my Endermen…wait…anyway, the aroma is a massive punch of cardamon, that is definitely the first thing I get. Next up is a bonfire that starts gentle and then kinda goes poof, like someone tossed a fresh log into the fire. Under that is a bit of cocoa, malt, and a tiny bit of almonds.
Into the steeping apparatus the leaves go for their steeping, the aroma wafting from the steeping and then from the finished leaves is smoky and strong in the cardamon department. Alongside that is a lovely woody note and cocoa with a touch of malt. It is a very rich tea, not so much sweet but very rich. The liquid blends cardamon, malt, cocoa, wood, tobacco, smoke, and a touch of fruit, there is a lot going on which is not surprising since there is a lot in this tea.
Moment of truth, tasting time! The taste surprisingly after all that richness, starts out sweet, like honey and a touch of fruit. That very quickly changes to the smoky, rich, cocoa notes I was expecting, oh yeah and a ton of cardamon. The finish is woody with a lingering tobacco smoke, and of course, cardamon. When Adagio says accented with cardamon, either they do not understand the potency of the stuff, or their accents are giant scoops, granted I love cardamon and I am totally ok with it, but it does present a powerhouse of cardamon. On a whim I tried this gongfu style one day and it kinda worked, but this tea really shines western style.
Now that I am back in Kansas City, there is a very strong chance that my weekly nerd ramblings shall commence on Saturdays. Well, probably next Saturday since I have not geeked much yet. Before I left PA I played a two on two game of Summoner Wars in which my mother and me lost terribly…but she did like the game enough that she now wants it, so that is an epic win. Since I have been back I visited Tabletop and was informed that the D&D campaign is starting next week (eep, I do not even have a character yet!) and have watched Ben and Rita (his sister) play Dragon Age Inquisition. I keep going back and forth on if I am going to play it, probably not since there is something with the TV or the PS3 that makes the texts utterly unreadable, and that is just not fun. Plus the Dragon Age series oddly never did it for me, I really like the world setting but the games themselves bored me immensely.
Today’s tea is totally on the geek spectrum, so it counts, Adagio Tea’s Custom Blend: Minecraft Slime Tea! So a little backstory, this is one of my blends (the whole Minecraft Mob fandom is my series) and really, the only thing I design from scratch like a real blender is the label, true I have tried A LOT of Adagio’s teas so I have a pretty good idea of what the tea will taste like before I try it, but I go into these custom blends totally blind, which is always fun. The Slime tea is particularly apropos because my current re-purposed house (it is the stronghold) is a Slime spawner, I keep being swarmed by Slimes! So, this is a blend of Citron Green (a green tea blended with lemon and orange) Green Pekoe (a fuzzy green tea) Ginseng Green (a green tea blend with ginseng and ginger) and some orange peel for accent. The aroma is a quirky blend of lime jello, growing green things, and wet stone, name aside, this smells exactly like I imagine a Slime bouncing around in a cave would smell…wet and citrus with hints of green! The smell makes me giggle, it makes my nose tingle like sniffing a fizzy soda, it is a little weird but fun.
The brewed tea leaves is very citrusy and sunny, very bright and refreshing. There are also notes of green slightly vegetal tea, earthy ginseng, and a touch of warm ginger. The green liquid (sadly not vibrantly Slime green…ok that is not sad, also not the same texture) is still quite heavy on the citrus, but with a strong earthy root-like aroma and a touch of honey sweetness.
The taste, in one word, refreshing! Something about light green tea and citrus together just makes me feel refreshed, the same feeling as taking a cold shower on a hot day, just less unpleasant (not a fan of cold showers, but I heard they are refreshing.) There are also notes of earthy roots from the ginseng and ginger, but this also gives it a bit of a zingy, almost effervescent quality. The finish is slightly vegetal and green with a hint of sweetness. This is an odd tea, one I could see being a required taste, but conveniently it is one that I really liked (as did my mom who had a cup with me) and found its oddness quite tasty. It is not my favorite of the mobs’s teas, but it is certainly up there!
From Here’s Hoping Teabox 3. I have friends who are crazy addicted to Minecraft, but so far I’ve avoided the game. Sipping this to just say I have tried a minecraft fandom blend!
Very interesting combination of gunpowder, hojicha and kukicha. Its got lots of green tea complexity going on with grassy brightness, spring leafy, bit of smoke and hint of roast.
Already on my 3rd cup from the teabox, and I just picked it up a few hours ago!
’Here’s Hoping’ traveling teabox Round #2 // Tea #20
I have a passing familiarity with Minecraft. I haven’t played any videogames lately, though I wish I was – I miss them! Minecraft seems like it would take 100% of my time though, which is exactly why I must not play any videogames right now. haha. I had to try this tea though – this here is a green tea triple threat! I don’t think I’ve actually had these three types together before, or even two of them, so interesting! The hojicha makes itself known on the first sip, even though there isn’t a ton of it that I see in the blend itself. Then the gunpowder flavors – vegetal green. I didn’t really taste the kukicha, and I’m confident I would have been able to…maybe not. A nice blend!
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // (half cup) 30 min after boiling // ??
From the HHTTB2
Minecraft is a big, big thing at our house. Creepers and Skeletons and Endermen, oh my! So, when I saw this tea in the tea box I knew I had to try it. I have to say that the combination of Gunpowder, Hojicha, and Kukicha made a tea that looks very creeper-esque.
This is not a subtle tea. As far as green teas go this one has kick which I guess is appropriate since creepers explode when they get close to you. The scent is roasty and lightly smokey. I was actually expecting much more smoke from this tea, but it’s fairly light. The taste is like dry hay. In fact, as soon as I sipped this it reminded me of walking in my grandpa’s hay field. My grandpa lives in Mississippi, and the hay during August smells hot, dry, and toasty. If you grab a piece and bite it there is a sweetness to it. That is this tea. The roasty flavor from the Hojicha comes through at the beginning of the sip. The end has a soft sweetness that almost seems out of place, but at the same time it’s really nice. I’m not sure if my particular cup didn’t have a lot of the Gunpowder green in it, but there was not a lot of smokey flavor. I do think it would work well in this tea, and if I have another cup I’ll be sure to mix the tea up so I can get more smokiness in my cup.
A very nice tea. I wasn’t sure this would be something I’d like, but it was thoroughly enjoyable, and I love the memories it brought back as I drank it. Tea is awesome like that.
This tea is not full of skeletons, but does evoke the oh so stealthy archers, mixing White Peach (for their bleached bones), Almond Oolong (for their sounds that to me sound like almonds hitting a floor), and Vanilla Green (to celebrate the growing power of bonemeal). The aroma is very sweet, blending the fruity peach, creamy vanilla, and nutty almond. Under the initial flavors you can detect notes of papery white which I always associate with Bai Mu Dan. There is also a tiny floral note and a bit of vegetal green.
Once the skeleton gets a a good steeping, the aroma becomes more roasted oolong and rich almond. The peach and vanilla aroma fades leaving the almond to be prominent. The aroma is sweet and smooth with a touch of earthiness. Removing the skeleton from the water leaves tea that has a warm and sweet aroma. The almond is much more mellow with the vanilla become more of a presence. The peach is also there but it is more of an afterthought.
Time to drink the skelley tea (as Ben and I lovingly call it) there are no skeletons, bows, arrows, or other rare drops in this tea though, I should point out. Before I get into too much of an analysis of the flavor, I should point out that Ben loves this tea, Ben who dislikes most greens and oolongs and only mildly enjoys white teas. He is very picky with his tea drinking so him enjoying this tea was a huge feather in my diamond helmet. Bragging aside, the taste is initial sweet and warming, the first thing you notice is the almond and creamy vanilla. There is a slight undertone of peach that reminds me of cooked peaches in a cobbler, just without the spice. Under all those delicious flavors are notes of roasted oolong and a touch of papery white. As the tea cools it gets sweeter and a touch tart, more like a fresh peach, with a note of artichoke and sage. This tea is also pretty good iced, when it is iced it tastes mostly of peach with a tiny bit of vanilla sweetness. And now off to play Minecraft and brood that I am not at Minecon in a Creeper costume.
Presented by one of my favorite tea companies Adagio Tea and their great ‘design your own blend’ ability, the Creeper tea is my dedication to two beloved things, Minecraft and tea. It is a blend of Gunpowder Green for the explosive quality of the Creeper and the unfurling leaves (plus it drops Gunpowder!) Hojicha for the ‘dry leaf’ texture that Notch said a Creeper would have it touched, and lastly Kukicha for the glorious bright green of the Creep. The colors look great together and the dry leaves smell delightful.
It smells like a blend of smokey, roasted, floral leaves. Perhaps this is what the air smells like after a Creeper goes boom, though I imagine that there is more of a sulfur smell which I do not want in a tea! The most prominent aroma would have to be the Gunpowder, which smells like a spring field with a slightly smokey undertone. After the leaves have been steeped they still retain their beautiful green color and the aroma mellows out to an almost honey like orchid.
Have you ever tasted a tea that seemed to have layers of flavor, not a typical Green that tastes floral then vegetal, but that you can actually taste the different teas in a blend? Usually when drinking blends like English Breakfast it tastes almost like you are drinking a whole different tea rather than a blend. With the Creeper tea you taste all the different teas separately. First you get a delicate slightly floral slightly vegetal taste, like drinking spring time. Next you get the taste of the roasted Hojicha that always reminds me of laying on the ground in a summer sun-warmed pine forest. I know it is an odd way to describe roasted tea, especially since it does not taste like pine it is just what the taste evokes to me. Lastly is the raw honey-esque smokiness you get from the Gunpowder.
The straw colored tea tastes slightly sweetened, but not enough so to be called a dessert tea. No bitterness to speak of, just flowers, smokiness, and springtime all the way though. It also is good for many infusions, I am on my third and it seems to be ready for more.