89 Tasting Notes

96

Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is a masterful blend of high quality, whole leaf Assam and Ceylon teas from the well regarded Meleng Estate in India and Kenilworth Estate in Sri Lanka respectively. A four minute steep at 212F produced a wonderfully complex breakfast tea with enticingly rich notes of malt, honey, baked bread, sweet fruit and a tiny bit of spice.

Some Irish Breakfast teas are in your face, brash, uncouth street ruffians with bad language, bad breath and B.O. that slap you awake! This is not one of those teas! Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is an urbane and handsome gentleman’s gentleman who graciously draws open the drapes and courteously announces in his soft, sweet, Irish accent that it’s time to awaken.

This smooth tea is quite easy to drink without additions, but is great with milk and honey too! Although a breakfast tea, this Irish blend would certainly work deliciously well at afternoon tea to revive one….gently. Naturally, it stands up to any food – savory or sweet. It was just right with my homemade, organic macaroni and cheese bake.

Adagio’s Irish Breakfast is an exquisite Irish Breakfast with real panache that has become my favorite go to tea. It’s enough to make this Anglo-Saxon Anglophile shout Éirinn go Brách!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100
drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
89 tasting notes

Anastasia was my first tea from Kusmi and my ultimate favorite of their venerable Russian blends. In fact, Anastasia inspired me to explore Russian tea and Russian tea culture more extensively – And what a deliciously beautiful exploration it has been!

This tea makes me want to sing!

“Anastasia, Anastasia
Beautiful stranger
Step down from your star
I only know I love you so
Whoever you are!”

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Lemon, Lime, Orange Blossom, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
ashmanra

I have been meaning to try this one. I think they have stopped carrying it in Chapel Hill where my best tea selection lived, so thank goodness for internet ordering!

Teatotaler

Is it the Southern Season in Chapel Hill, ashmanra? I used to buy my Kusmi teas at the Southern Season here in Richmond. I all but cried when they closed. Their tea selection was outstanding!

I buy the Kusmi Russian Blend five pack with the cute little .88oz tins. It is a thrifty way to have my beloved Anastasia, Prince Vladimir, St. Petersburg, Bouquet of Flowers No. 108 and Troika blends at all times. I am considering ordering the 4.4oz tin of Anastasia though – Anastasia is the apotheosis of Russian tea blends!

ashmanra

Yes, that is where I saw it! But they have reduced their tea selection to about one fourth of what they used to carry. It breaks the heart!

Doug F

I recently discovered Kusmi tea in Europe and have enjoyed a couple of their selections.

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100

A creamy cup of comfort on a chilly autumn afternoon. A bit of mesquite honey and a jot of milk make for cozy vanilla bliss. And it won’t hinder my plans for a nap before dinner. Lovely.

Rosehips

Ooooh. That sounds 100% lovely.

Teatotaler

It truly was, Rosehips! :)

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100

Darjeeling Doppelgänger! Harney’s description of this tea is quite correct – “For those unfamiliar with teas from the Nilgiri region, this falls in between First and Second Flush
Darjeelings.”

This tea, although a Nilgiri, has the best of all possible Darjeeling worlds. There is a lovely sweet orange blossom floral aroma and taste evocative of a fine first flush Darjeeling. There is a strong, and I do mean strong, muscatel grape flavor of a great second flush Darjeeling. There are notes of fruit, nuts (almond) and grain similar to an autumn flush Darjeeling. The tea is quite brisk without a trace of bitterness. Rich with good body.

This is a splendid Indian tea. If you like Darjeeling like I do, then you will love this Nilgiri. And that’s a promise!

Flavors: Almond, Flowers, Fruity, Grain, Grapes, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

I haven’t been drinking flavored teas lately and decided to purchase this little treasure at Richmond’s number one tea shop (salon de thé), Carytown Teas, which is the primary supplier for several cafes and hotels in the city. Patricia’s Blend is the creation of the shop’s kind and talented owner, Patricia Guillouard Adams, a native of France.

“Sweet and spicy, like its namesake”, as the shop’s description of the tea states, is right on point. The almond’s nutty sweetness, suggestive of vanilla, blends perfectly with the orange and spice. The flavors meld beautifully in the fruity organic Ceylon black tea base. As with most French blends that I have had, nothing is overdone. It is superb – My favorite flavored blend bar none.

So, Patricia, mon amie, I raise my mug and salute you – À votre santé! Merci!

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Fruity, Nutty, Orange, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

It’s a rainy weekend here in the Old Dominion. Rainy weekends call for cozy teas, and man oh man this is one cozy tea! I’m watching an old Jimmy Stewart movie on Turner Classics and sipping this. It’s very smooth with lots of natural sweetness. Lovely notes of caramel, honey and burnt sugar. Nice and malty. No rough edges whatsoever. I love that it’s organic too!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mrmopar

We are getting the same around Blacksburg today as well. Good tea drinking weather though. Agree as TCM rocks and so does AMC.

Teatotaler

I love AMC too. In fact, I’m watching Forrest Gump on AMC right now. You just can’t beat watching classic movies and drinking comfort teas on a rainy weekend. Here in Richmond, we’re in for heavy rain at times through Sunday night and more rain Monday. I’m loving it!

eastkyteaguy

It’s been cool and wet just west of the Virginia state line today. I wish I could have stayed home watching Jimmy Stewart films, but I’ve been out on a crisis call. Just out of curiosity, which movie was it?

Teatotaler

More accurately, it was a Hitchcock film. It was Jimmy Stewart in the Hitchcock classic Rear Window by way of TCM online. Love Hitchcock! Love Jimmy Stewart! A double treat for me today.

eastkyteaguy

Great film! That’s long been a favorite of mine.

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89

Nothing like a cozy camomile with which to settle in for the evening. Nice, with sweet vanilla and honey flavors. I added a bit of wildflower honey (I so love honey) that brought out a pleasant butterscotch flavor. Yummy!

Flavors: Butterscotch, Honey, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Love it when you can find a great, easy-to-find grocery store tea. Will have to chase this down locally.

Rosehips

Oh, I love this one! Its been too long since I had it.

Teatotaler

This is one of my top camomile teas. You just can’t go wrong with Twinings! :)

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100

“Autumn Flush: The Best Darjeeling Tea You’ll (Likely Never) Taste” smugly proclaimed an October ’16 Tea Tuesday NPR story. Boulderdash! Shame on you NPR. This plain old Virginia boy has just imbibed the autumnal nectar of the Darjeeling gods!
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/10/04/496451715/autumn-flush-the-best-darjeeling-tea-you-ll-likely-never-taste

The dry leaf had a sweet, sugarcane aroma with a suggestion of dried fruit. I used a rounded teaspoon (1.25 tsp) to 8oz of spring water. I use only spring water for fine Darjeeling. The suggested steeping time was 2-3 minutes. I steeped for 2 minutes and 45 seconds at the recommended temperature of 95C. The result was a very richly flavored Darjeeling. There was a red wine sweetness reminiscent of a fine dessert wine with notes of dates, black figs and wildflowers. Positively splendid! Hands down one of the greatest Darjeelings I’ve ever had. And NPR said it would most likely never happen. Ha! Piffle! Stuff and nonsense!

I love What-Cha Teas. They are simply the best! Very fast international shipping. Plus a much appreciated kind and thoughtful note from Alistair, who happened to mention that Red Thunder Darjeeling is one of his personal favorites. He also included a generous sample of a Nepali tea that I cannot wait to try. Thank you, Alistair!

Flavors: Dates, Fig, Flowers, Red Wine, Sugarcane, Sweet

Preparation
2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MrQuackers

The description of the tea was well worth reading on the tea’s main steepster page.

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80

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“Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.“
- George Orwell

Location

Richmond, Virginia, USA

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