201 Tasting Notes
I couldn’t remember if I had reviewed this, and when I saw I did, i reread my tasting note. It basically boils down to “I lost it, I found it, I drank it, it was too mild for my liking.”
Well, surprise surprise, that is almost exactly what happened a second time. I did lose it again, and I did re-discover it, and of course I tried it again. However, maybe it’s the refining of my palate in the past year but despite brewing this the exact same way as last time, and the tea being a year older, I like it much more. It’s still a very mild tea, but I appreciate it far greater than before. The same profile is present. Vegetal, fruity, a touch floral, lingering sweetness. However, it’s no longer “too weak” for me. Instead, I find myself enjoying the subtleties of it. The flavors blend pretty nicely and for a good-night cuppa before bed, it hits the spot.
So upping my rating on this. I really think a year ago, when I started my tea journey, I simply couldn’t appreciate a tea that didn’t smash you in the face with flavor. I still tend to go for those face smashers, but I have much more range these days.
Flavors: Fruity, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal
This was a free sample that came with my Adagio order.
Anyway, I am loving the maple flavor on this. It tastes like a good strong maple syrup. Mind you, I added a single Splenda to it, but I did so because I felt it might help bring out the maple flavor. It did. It’s a maple syrup flavor with a hint of creaminess. There’s also a touch of cinnamon, and that is what lingers on after the sip. I don’t mind the cinnamon, but it is a bit weird. I don’t usually associate cinnamon with maple.
It’s pretty good. Not great, but good. I’d say B -
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cream, Maple, Maple Syrup
It’s better than the Raspberry Chamomile by far. This one is actually drinkable. But it isn’t remotely good. Certainly not great. I don’t usually mind fake peach flavoring, and hibi is ok in small quantities. But perhaps it’s because those two things are combined here that it isn’t the best? I know it claims there are no artificial flavorings here, but I call bupkiss. This still has a strong artificial taste to it. If I squint hard enough, and swallow quickly, it’s almost enjoyable. Almost.
Overall, it’s much much better than the last one, but still not good. Pretty below average, actually. Can’t recommend.
Flavors: Artificial, Hibiscus, Peach
So I decided to try out a handful of various Pure Leaf iced tea blends. This was the first I tried.
And sweet mother of tea that’s WRETCHED!
No really, the overpowering, fake raspberry is so strong, I can’t imagine how anyone could drink this. I love me some good chamomile, but anything resembling it is drowned in cheap perfume. I took two sips and threw out the rest of the bottle.
Worst bottled tea I’ve ever had. Blech.
Flavors: Artificial, Perfume
My Adagio order was on my doorstep when I woke up today, so I immediately brewed up a mug of this. I am a bit iffy on the brewing instructions, as it said to use boiling water, and there is Silver Needle in this. But, for scientific purposes, we will do it their way first.
Brewed western, 212F/1.5tsp/12oz/4min
Taste is… oooch, let that cool why don’t you! Ok, this has a strong black tea taste with flavors of malt, tannin, and a hint of leather. However, I can also taste the silver needle, giving it a fruity flavor, with notes of melon. It kinda does taste like cereal! But you know what this reminds me of more? If sort of reminds me of that one W2T cake Hot Brandy. Considering that that tea was also a blend of black/white tea, I’m not surprised. Obviously, the W2T tea is much more complex and flavorful, but this stuff is really good as well. The flavor profiles somehow do mesh together well, and I wonder how much caffeine this stuff has. It’d probably be a great wake-up tea for cold mornings like today.
Overall, what do I think? Well, I love it. The different base elements blend together into a lovely cuppa that is both malty and floral. I’m glad I got the big tin of this, not just for presentation effect, but so that I can drink this without hesitation until I can get more. I think I would like to keep this one around. It’s really good.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksHXRKW0pW0
Flavors: Floral, Malt, Melon, Tannin
I love this. I love it a lot. And there’s none left on the site. Being a honeybush, this is a one and done steep, which means that I will only likely get a handful of cups out of this. I’m not sure how many pouches I have (Really got to get on that spreadsheet!) but I will be so sad when I run out of this.
It tastes like if you took a ripe strawberry, dipped it in nutella, then drizzled honey overtop. Mind you, that is with a single splenda added, but it’s also pretty good unsweetened. But add that little bit of sugar and wow does this pop.
I need ten more packets of this. At least ten more. Maybe twenty. I want to drink this all the time.
Flavors: Hazelnut, Honey, Strawberry
This is like drinking peach cobbler ala mode. It’s wonderful. Sadly it’s pretty close to a one steep tea. The second steep is very weak, even with upping the time.
The flavors play nicely against the green base, and you get notes of spice, apricot/peach, and cream. Very tasty.
I just wish it wasn’t one and done.
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Spices
Apparently I have a full box of this and not just a sample? I really need to make a spreadsheet!
Anyway, this is a green tea with lemon verbena that leans far more lemon than green. It isn’t a tart lemon, mind you. It’s a nice, pleasant lemongrass flavor. You can taste a little bit of the green; there’s a note of warm hay there that I like. I feel like a broken record here by saying it’s good for bagged, but that’s what I keep having to say. There are far nicer green teas out there with much more complex profiles. But if you are first waking up and need a quick pick-me-up, this works.
Flavors: Hay, Lemongrass
So, I’ve been drinking this for weeks now and never logged it. OOPS.
Anyway, as I said in the so-called Steep deluxe version review, this is a pretty decent bagged EG. And by that I mean, it’s good for being bagged. The more bagged EGs I try, the more I realize they will never stand up to loose leaf. But this one and the Teavana EG Cream are probably the best, with the Teavana being the only one that I can call comparable to loose leaf.
As for this, however, it’s a nice punch of Bergamot, without being bitey. I love that. With a splash of milk and a single Splenda, this is a nice wake-up brew for when you need something quick and easy. It should be noted that, even with the milk and Splenda, I can still (slightly) taste the tea base, so that’s nice. All in all, I enjoy this a bunch. It’s good for bagged, and above-average overall. I have about half a box left, and then I will likely get more. Yum.
Flavors: Bergamot, Tea
We have Gong Fu. I repeat, we have Gong Fu!
Yes, you read that right. I’m trying it again. I came into acquisition of some small cups designed, not necessarily for Gong Fu, but for a more relaxed and gentle tea session. They are I’d say about 4-6 oz cups, and now that I have them (well, one) I am trying Gong Fu again.
I’m not exactly being scientific about this, just sort of mimicking what I see on all those youtube videos.
Anyway, after a quick rinse, I steeped for about 5 seconds. BTW: The leaves in the gaiwan smell like sweet potatoes and hay. I don’t like sweet potatoes. We’ll see how this goes.
It was very strong at first. A bit too robust for me. I tasted malt and leather, but a good deal of harsh tannin as well. As the session progressed, the tea mellowed out, turning smooth with cocoa and yes, sweet potato notes. However, I didn’t hate it. Those sweet potato tones shifted to apricot on the final two steeps, leaving a lingering sweetness in my mouth once the session was over. Overall, once the tea softened a bit, I found myself enjoying it! It’s not bad fixed this way. In fact, it’s pretty darn good! According to steepster, my original rating was 82, but I somewhat remember not liking this tea, so that 82 might have been before I stopped rating everything high, regardless of if I liked it or not. There’s no tasting note that I can find, so I have no idea.
As for the experience, I was almost sad when the session was concluded. I got a good seven or eight steeps from this ranging from the initial 5 seconds to about 2 minutes. I will say that one problem with gong-fu for me is that my Breville doesn’t possess a keep warm feature, so I can’t keep the temperature consistent, and I certainly don’t want to re-heat the water. Once I get that new kettle (hopefully next month) and I redo my kitchen, I may invest in a proper full gong-fu tea set. Nothing fancy, just something a bit more extensive than a single gaiwan and a teacup. I do think I would like a small teapot at least to go with it, and actual gong-fu cups. The small teacup, while nice, was still way too big for what I was putting in it!
So, my final thoughts. Well, guess what. I think I’m going to break my habit. I now see that gong-fu can greatly improve the texture/flavor of good quality tea. So hopefully, in the near future, I can try this again. Maybe I can acquire a nice Wuyi to try it with.
Showtune of the Moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n7X-st2QPc
Flavors: Apricot, Leather, Malt, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin