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Recent Tasting Notes
Remember when I said that I wasn’t a fan of honeybush? Yeah… I think I’ve changed my mind on this one. I really liked the banana muffin flavor this gave on a cold, icky, and foggy day. It’s definitely making finals a lot easier to manage as I stay grounded with coy teas and tisanes.
Flavors: banana, Brown Sugar, Cake, Cinnamon, Honey, Maple, Vanilla
Day 8 of Advent Calendar – Adagio
I am so behind on my Adagio Advent by a few days, but this one is actually for the 8th day. Have some behind to do.
This one isn’t bad at all. It’s sweet, nutty, strong, warming. I accidentally got some floating leaves in there thanks to lazily putting it together. I found a mini baby white chip which was strangely adorable.
One of my preferred so far from the calendar. Have some chai to catch up on from their previous days as well, will try to catch up on those later today.
I did pour out half the water from the large cup so mine may be stronger. The sample didn’t contain much tea in this particular bag really, and didn’t want it weakened because of the water ratio. Didn’t need any additives or sugar.
I got this for myself because I knew my advent calendar of teas was liable to have a fair number of herbals in it, and in the morning, herbal absolutely doesn’t cut it.
It’s a perfectly nice tea. It doesn’t jump up and grab me the way, say, a Golden Yunnan or other single-source really nice tea does, but it also doesn’t make me sad the way many other blends do. I’m happy to drink the rest of my sample of it over the next month or two, and I’ll buy more if my preferred breakfast Assams are out of stock. It will do very handily.
But it also isn’t Harding Spring. :-)
Adventaggedon Day Seven – 3/5
I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this tea. I made it iced halfway through the day. It was our office cookie exchange so I had actually planned to make it as an iced latte for a bit of a “london fog” vibe to go with all the shortbread but I liked it so much plain that I decided not to add any milk.
Y’all know I’m not a huge EG person and I’m picky about the ratio of bergamot in my teas but I thought this was so smooth and fresh tasting and the additional coconut note was everything I could have wanted out of what is essentially a coconut Earl Grey.
Bonus points to Adagio for date placement, too! This tea only comes out for sale on full moons, and today is a full moon – so the intentional timing is not unnoticed.
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cl4gObROvMk/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppoWCIuof1Y
Adventaggedon Day Six – 3/5
This is probably one of the teas in the advent that I was most excited to try, so I was pretty thrilled to see it pop up so early on. I actually almost ordered a bag of it back when I was placing my advent order in the first place, but I figured I’d wait and try it…
I was just saying to Marika a few days ago that I don’t usually love Adagio’s chocolate flavouring because it leans a little bit too “chocolate liqueur” in taste to me most times and I definitely smelled that coming off the dry leaf. However, I think this is one of those rare cases where the profile that they were aiming for benefits from that quality.
Firstly, let me just say that Black Forest Cake is a deceptively tricky profile to do well. On paper you would think that it’s just chocolate, cherry, and maybe cream – but in practive it’s so much more complicated than that. You need a specific kind of cherry note that’s like a cross between a maraschino, with a more candied quality, and a black cherry. Syrupy, dark and just a bit juicy. You can’t use only milk chocolate because that will just read as a chocolate covered cherry but it can’t be as bitter as straight dark chocolate either, and if you’re not careful with the cream it will over power and dilute the richness of the cake.
So, with all that considered… I think this is a damn good attempt. Probably one of the better Black Forest blends I’ve tried. If I had to pin point a criticism it’s definitely the cherry though. Kudos for not using hibiscus as a crutch and ending up with a weird tart mess because of it, but it’s still a little medicinal. I didn’t mind it (though it got more pronounced as it cooled), but my coworker who sits at the desk next to me couldn’t get past the medicinal quality in the smell/taste. Maybe a bit of sweetener would help.
I’d still drink this again though. In general, I think I’m more forgiving when it comes to medicinal cherry flavours than most people though.
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cl16y9KOY7N/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-zqAcS2Uc8
Backlogging – Adagio Advent Calendar Day 4
This advent calendar is not really for me so far. Bizarre non-christmas flavors and some of my most despised. Lots of Rooibios and such.
I don’t like Cherry teas, just like I didn’t like the prior day’s bananas teas. I will say that this one wasn’t a BAD Cherry – it is NOT Cough Syrup Cherry or overwhelming cherry. As a personal preference not something I enjoy much, but wasn’t awful and I could drink it. The oolong base was standard
Backlogging for Day 3 of Adagio Advent
Another I wont’ rate because I absolutely despise Banana in tea, so I won’t be able to be unbiased here from personal preference.
I will say, though, that the banana and nut come through strong and clear, non-artificial, and if this is your kind of flavor, you should likely enjoy this one.
No, I really didn’t love this blend. It smelled good and sounded like something I’d be into but steeped it was super bitter and had a cherry + rubbing alcohol scent. It tasted like hot, cheap, cherry alcohol and I didn’t taste the chocolate.
Flavors: Alcohol, Astringent, Cherry, Overripe Cherries
Adventaggedon Day Four – 4/5
This was an alright tea, but obviously not a favourite of mine. I’m kind of getting just a little bit impatient waiting for something to pop up from this advent that’s a bit more overtly festive in nature – but I totally get that this _is_a more wintery profile even if it’s not a Christmas-y one.
The dry leaf smelled so much like cola to me, and that I think tainted a bit of my impression from the get go. Steeped up I thought this was smooth enough with a pleasant body and foundation of gentle earthiness from the pu’erh base. Of the spices, ginger was the most prominent to me but it also still tasted like cola to me and that was just strange. My brother used to mix instant chocolate milk syrup and cola together when we were kids, and I always thought it was pretty gross – but he loved it. I hadn’t thought about that in a very, very long time so (if nothing else) I’m grateful for the hit of nostalgia and this tea returning a fond memory of my brother to me.
It got better as it cooled and more of the chocolate notes started to come through. Not a rich and creamy milk chocolate, but more of a raw cacao/cocoa powder kind of vibe. Sometimes I like chocolate and ginger and sometimes I don’t, but I thought this was a nice balance/ratio. Still, just a hint of cola. Couldn’t get past that.
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/ClwxRN7O-LO/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=satAqbkC80Y
Got this as part of a sampler in my annual tea swap. This is the wrong season for me to be drinking this tea. It’s a nice light green with a strong smell of raspberry.
I will be coming back to this and the other greens when the weather warms up and I can do them iced. It was a pretty average “green tea” taste with some raspberry overtones, but it didn’t do anything specail for me. I want to see what it tastes like when I can make it stronger and over ice.
As a winter hot tea, it’s not doing anything particular for me.
Adventaggedon Day Three – 2/5
This was my favourite Adagio blend yet, and honestly close to being my favourite of the day too. I thought there was something just truly lovely about the balance of cranberry and walnut notes – not too tart or sweet on the part of the cranberry but still bright and flavourful, and not drying/astringent on the end of the walnuts. I even got a little bit of a maple note in the finish that complimented so pleasantly.
It was maybe just a tiny bit too juicy of a fruit note to totally sell me on the muffin element, but I completely see the direction they were going and it’s exactly the right kind of nutty vibe for this style of muffin. The base was totally fine, too!
Just a lovely surprise of a cuppa.
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CluMZkouA7b/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM92tDVVJFo
Adventaggedon Day Two – 3/5
I thought that this might have been a new tea from Adagio because I didn’t remember it from any of my past orders, but given the quantity and posting date of all these Steepster reviews it doesn’t look like that’s the case.
The dry leaf aroma was intense. Lots and lots of passionfruit and red fruit flavouring packed into this little sample, with a whiff of cinnamon. Steeped up, it was a beautiful bright red colour and the aroma a little nicer – a bit like a tropical grenadine. I didn’t notice the cinnamon as much, either.
It wasn’t really my favourite tea. The passionfruit was just a little bit funky paired with the cinnamon. Even though the cinnamon was pretty light in intensity, it was more of that red-hot sweet type and I just found that strange with the tropical notes. It’s weird though, because this was much more red fruit in taste to me than I would have ever guessed based on both the name and ingredients list. A touch of hibiscus, but mostly a pomegranate kind of vibe. That worked _much better with the cinnamon and also kind of worked a tinnnyyyy bit as a bridge flavour between the tropical flavours and cinnamon.
I don’t think I’d revisit this one, though.
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Clrnn5vOcag/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_3jBwLHMkU
Adventaggedon Day One – Tea 3/5
It’s honestly kind of weird that this is the first year I’ve done the Adagio advent calendar. Other than DT, I feel like they’re the tea company that has been releasing one the longest. Only other company that comes to mind that could maybe give that a run for its money is Bird & Blend – but I’m not awake enough right now to try and fact check myself on that right now. Anyway, I’m finally doing it now!
I actually ended up with two advents today that featured pumpkin teas, which I thought was weird. Though, if you’re going to include a pumpkin blend I suppose I prefer you do it early and get it out of the way before that festive mood really sets in. This was intriguing to me too because I love Adagio’s honeybush base, but generally don’t particularly love pumpkin spices. The first thing that I noticed about this blend, though, was that it was pretty clove forward. Clove is one of those spices that most people seem to think they dislike but, when mixed with other spices, actually enjoy more than they expect to. In North America, anyway. I feel like I’m one of the outliers in the fact that I actually enjoy that taste of clove on its own a lot. So, a Pumpkin Chai that’s heavy on the clove? Perfection!
The honeybush was also really nice and, though the next most prominent spice was ginger (not a favourite), it ended up being a pretty nice cup of tea overall. I think I’d actually probably much rather have this over the more traditional black tea based Pumpkin Chai.
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/ClpC3C9OZ7i/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4E8DPn6oww