60 Tasting Notes
Every year, my friends and I do a Secret Tea Swap – you can either send tea from your stash, or you can order something to be delivered. This year, a friend sent me Adagio’s Chestnut tea along with a bunch of others. (Golden Yunnan, which I already knew I adored, and several others.) Having had mixed luck with some of Adagio’s teas, I tried it carefully.
And I was absolutely delighted. I’ve reordered it twice at this point. There is a lovely nuttiness to this tea, not bitter like walnut or sweet like almond, but truly hazel-chestnut like. I love it with a splash of milk, and I brew it quite strong – 4 minutes at 180F. (Not hotter, it gets unhappy at a full boil.)
This is now one of my staple “OK, I need a tea that’s going to last me all morning,” teas, and I can rebrew the leaves twice, though usually I’ll only do it once. Definitely a keeper.
Flavors: Chestnut, Hazelnut
I got a tasting packet of teas from Friday Afternoon because I was in the mood to try a bunch of new stuff, and said, “Send me random teas.” So they did.
It’s an Earl Grey I don’t instantly loathe! This is saying something positive for me, but not necessarily for anyone else? It is, however, still discerneably an Earl Grey – I can taste the bergamot pretty clearly, and as usual, my reaction to bergamot is “nope nope nope nope.” So, not for me, but nothing wrong with it if you like Earl Grey. Otherwise, the chocolate is definitely there, and I can’t taste the orange or vanilla at all.
I can smell the peach and strawberry, but the hazelnut that is hypothetically in there eludes me. It didn’t do anything in particular for me? Nothing wrong with it, it was simply “there.” For someone who’s big on peach tea, definitely worth a try.
(I got a sample pack for the fun of it, this was one of the ones in it. Hence trying it and going, “Yup, tea, that’s fine.”)
I am definitely enjoying this tea – a friend gave it to me as a “welcome to the office!” gift. Lightly malted, I’m having trouble smelling individual notes right now because I’m in the midst of an annoying allergy attack (curse you ragweed) but there’s a very smooth taste in there that reminds me more of Assam than Ceylon. My friend recommended it with a tiny bit of milk, because it’s sweet enough on its own to not need sweetener, and she’s right. I might even try this one straight, which I do not usually do because I find there’s too much tannin in pure black tea. The aftertaste is also quite pleasant, and doesn’t leave my mouth feeling “sticky.”
The tea itself has large, intact leaves that are twisted into long skinny tendrils that unroll beautifully in my loose leaf pot. (This has the added joyous benefit of making them very easy to get OUT of the pot after I’m done brewing.) Second brew is only slightly less flavorful than the first, another added bonus. :-)
I brewed both the first and second steeps 4 minutes with the water going into the pot at a rolling boil. Definitely will try to keep this one on hand.
The package lists the URL to find it here: https://www.yuchi.org.tw/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=373
Flavors: Malt, Sweet
This tea would be absolutely perfect for me…if it didn’t have that honeybush note in it. Blah. I have become increasingly sensitive to the flavors of honeybush and rooibus over the years, and I don’t like them. This is extremely annoying because they otherwise ruin what would be lovely cups of tea for me.
I can definitely taste the cocoa and coconut in here, and the vanilla is there in the nose. I think for my next attempt on this one, I may mix it 70%-30% with some Upton Tea puerh, to see if I can knock the honeybush down a bit and punch up the proper tea flavor.
I would totally recommend this tea – if you like honeybush. If it’s not your jam, then be warned that there are Honeybush Kobolds lurking in this tea.
ETA: Nope, the Puerh overwhelms the cocoa and coconut more than I want. Hm. I wonder if Assam would work. (I’m not looking to put herbal supplements in my tea at this time, I drink enough tea that I would worry about overdosing.)
Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut, Vanilla
Oo, this one is definitely different from my usual tea type. I’m going to have to have it more than once.
The first thing that hits me is the pine smoke smell – which is one that I’m very fond of, but not at all used to having in my tea. The anise and chocolate almost disappear underneath it while the tea is still very hot, but once it’s cooled a bit, they sneak out in the aftertaste quite nicely.
This tea definitely needs a few minutes to settle after it’s brewed; the flavors blend more, and the smoke settles down to an astringent sort of flavor that is quite strong but not overpowering.
I’m certainly not sorry I got it, though I’m not sure if it’s a regular keeper for me. (I have a couple of friends who are very fond of smoked teas and I want to see what they think of it.) I can see why it got the name it did – this tea is the sort one would be drinking next to a fireplace on a cold rainy night when the power’s gone out. It’s the right sort of flavor for that. (Not for a sunny morning in April when the cherry blossoms are going gangbusters outside my window so much. But that’s all right – I have a functional imagination.)
If you don’t like smoke, this is definitely not a good tea for you. Otherwise, I quite like it for what it is.