So this tea was at the top of my Adagio wishlist and happened to be the first tea on sample when I walked into their store in Chicago. This store was everything I wish Teavana could be, in fact the layout is much what I pictured when I first applied to work at Teavana.
The teas line the outside walls, the are pre-packaged with two different sizes for loose leaf as well as bagged and each tea has its own smelling jar that you can sniff at your leisure. What’s more is you can taste any of the teas you want. As such they didn’t really have sample sizes like online, except for in the masters collection, because you can already try before you buy. So I had to limit myself to two teas to take home rather than six, I will probably order more online though as I’m signed up for their rewards program.
The guy who was helping me, who also used to work at a Teavana, brewed four for me in competition tasting cups with spoons. I sampled a Darjeeling Oolong, Oriental Beauty and the two Wuyi’s to compare, though I kinda wish I had tried the Twilight Ti Kuan Yin too. All were lovely, though the Formosa didn’t have all the notes I was looking for.
I chose the higher grade Wuyi and this to take home because they both showed promise for gongfu brewing, but in very different ways. With this one the sample was brewed for three minutes and was quite strong and complex and I just wanted to deconstruct it. I was rewarded for this decision today.
The first infusion was sparkling and stone sweet, well the second was a bit salty, and the third started picking up honey and roasted notes and the last two have just started to give hints of fruit.
I did 5 infusions before lunch and plan on resuming in a bit. I will update with any further observations today. For now I doubt it will become a staple in my cupboard, I’d rather have a Big Red Robe, but I am enjoying it for what it is.
Edit: I didn’t realize this was a Shui Xian (because I’m silly and didn’t read) no wonder I kept thinking of this yesterday when trying to pinpoint flavors I had experienced before in Verdant’s Shui Xian Wuyi Oolong. While this is an enjoyable tea, Verdant’s blows my mind and surprise! is actually slightly less money ($1.25 less for the 2oz). That being said I think Adagio is a great company, I had a wonderful experience in their store and their custom blends pull on my geeky heartstrings though I am more of a straight tea fan.