Strawberry Black Tea/Adagio Teas

Strawberry teas are favorites with my crowd and we love how well they pair with chocolate and decadent desserts. Some of the ones we have tried have been very finicky and others forgiving. I think this one might fall in the somewhat finicky category, but I didn’t realize it at first.

This is a Ceylon base, and I usually find Ceylon tea to be still palatable at four minutes steep time, but this one says to only give it three. I do prefer low grown Ceylon to high, as the high elevation tea tends to have strong lemon notes and higher astringency.

When I first tried this tea, it was with cookies. It went very well with them and the strawberry flavor was a good strength. I was pretty shocked to see reviews ALL OVER THE PLACE. Too tart, too dry, too astringent. Not enough strawberry, not enough tea flavor. Then others said it was their perfect strawberry tea, there was plenty of tea flavor, their favorite strawberry tea, so much strawberry aroma.

So what’s up? Lots. Different people may have made it differently. People who called it too astringent may have been drinking it plain while folks saying it was perfect were adding milk and/or sugar. Some batches may have been freshly purchased and other reviews may have come from people who were sent a sample by a friend and the tea was no longer fresh. And opinions differ because people differ.

My take on it was this – it was great with food with no milk or sugar added. The strength of the base and the strawberry flavor helped it to “stand up” to the food and not disappear. When I tried it by itself, I did find it to be very drying and to have a bit of tartness. A tiny splash of milk and a sprinkle of sugar fixed that. If you don’t want to add anything, try dropping the temp just below boiling and keep your steep a little shorter. Or just do like me and eat a cookie.

While I enjoyed it with sweets very much, I would prefer to have it on a Keemun base if I were planning to drink it by itself.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description

Strawberry black tea combines the succulent taste of sweet strawberries with bright Ceylon black tea. Fresh sweet-floral and berry flavor, smooth and sugary texture. It’s a treat you’ll want to keep for yourself!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sabriel Fandom Blend from Adagio Teas

Full disclosure, this is one of the blends I made on Adagio Teas.  Their create-a-blend tools are just too much fun, and their fandom tea community is active and engaging.  I wanted to review my Sabriel blend because I had been stewing over the idea for a long time, and it was so satisfying to have it finally come together.

Sabriel is one of the main characters from the Old Kingdom book series by Garth Nix.  I won’t go into too much detail about the books, except to say that the series essentially follows the lives of “good” necromancers who help fight dead creatures or put the dead to rest.  The stories are beautiful, imaginative, and just a little spooky.

For my Sabriel tea blend I wanted something impactful but nuanced; her work managing the magic of the dead takes steadiness and subtlety.  The body of the tea is made up of two types of green tea. The gunpowder tea is robust without being astringent, and adds a whiff of smokiness that compliments the crackling, toasted notes of the hojicha tea.

The rest of the ingredients are all fragrant and sensory-inspiring.  Peppermint brings a cooling creepiness, like fog in a graveyard, or a settling peacefulness like still water.  Rose and lavender can have the morbid interpretation of flowers at a funeral, but can also being nostalgic, like remembering a favorite bouquet or garden memory.  Cardamom adds some spirit and peppery spice, and feels a bit unexpected without its usual partners of cinnamon and ginger. The scent of cardamom always makes me think of opening the kitchen spice cabinet, and all the cooking possibilities within.

I have not come across a blend quite like this in my tea drinking experience, so I was more than happy to have the opportunity to make it myself.  It was also great fun to honor one of my favorite characters and book series in tea form.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bonfire from Adagio Teas

Adagio Teas might be known for the fandom-inspired blends submitted by their users, but the tea company also offers their own seasonal blends.  One of my favorite flavors they have created is a fall blend called Bonfire.

This blend is mainly comprised of honeybush herbal tea, which brings the perfect caramel, woodsy notes to start as a baseline.  If you are wary of red rooibos teas, don’t worry about this blend, the honeybush is much more gentle and less medicinal than the rooibos. The honeybush is paired with just a smidge of smoky black lapsang souchong.  There is little enough lapsang souchong to keep the caffeine level low, and to not overwhelm you with its bacon-like scent. Truly, the smokiness is relaxed and minimal, if you are on the fence, give it a try. Personally, I’ve grown to like smoky teas, so I add an extra scoop of lapsang souchong to the Bonfire loose leaf to really pump up the robustness.

What takes this blend to the next level are all the other herbs and additions.  Apple pieces add some juicy sweetness and their trademark fall flavor. Aniseed and cacao nibs add some dessert tones to make this brew feel like a treat.  Orange peels and cloves bring their wintry spice combination, and red peppercorns add a pop of color and just a hint of cracked pepper flavor.

This tea is delicious on its own, but also goes well with lemon and honey, or could be a tasty starting point for a hot toddy.  The blend is not available all year round, so I always make sure to stock up and make it last.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Honeybush and Black
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas

Description:

Crisp autumn nights call for warmth and comfort and little can better provide them than an autumn bonfire. Behold our bonfire blend: Honeybush hazelnut and cocoa nibs relax and ground you, while a spice blend of aniseed, cinnamon, clove and orange peel offer cozy comfort and zest. Apples and rose hips add soft sweetness while lapsang and red peppercorn offer hints of smoke and the flickering spark of heat. A perfect tea for fireside enjoyment or downtime dreaming.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Birthday from Adagio Teas. . . .

Do you enjoy creamy molasses/caramel flavors against a deep black base? If you do, well, I’ve got just the thing for you (INCLUDING SPRINKLES): Adagio’s Birthday Tea.

If I were to liken it to something — and you guys know I BASICALLY ALWAYS DO — I’d say this is a caramel fudge treat you buy yourself on your way out of an amusement park. You’re sunburned. Your stomach is jumpy from soda and roller coasters. You are holding a prize you’ve won that’s made of oddly slick polyester and crumbly stuffing. Your clothing is still damp from that splash ride. Your hair is fluffing out from your head in a dizzy halo. This treat melts in your mouth and your hand as you try to remember where you parked the car. You wipe your hand off on your shorts and stride off in what you think is the right direction, friends in tow.

It wasn’t the right direction. Where on earth did you put that car, already?

You’ll find it eventually. In the meantime, you’re enjoying the sweetness in your mouth and the streaky, saturated sunset.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas 
Description

A treat for any day of the year! A tasty blend of vanilla, cream, and a touch of caramel. The inclusion of rainbow sugar sprinkles adds a festive note and makes this tea perfect for celebrating your special day.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jump Start You Day with This Blend from Adagio Teas

Jump start your car with a blast of electricity.  Jump start your brain and your day with this high caffeine cuppa!  For tea lovers everywhere, it’s no secret that mate tea is a powerful pick-me-up, and often cited as a great alternative to coffee.  Well Jump Start blend from Adagio teas has toasted mate and so much more.

There’s not just mate, there’s traditional black tea in the blend as well, a staple of every breakfast blend around.  But let’s take this caffeine level a step further:  kola nuts.  Kola nuts are caffeine-containing tree nuts, previously used as an ingredient in sodas, hence where we get the term “cola.”  So there’s caffeine from the mate, from the black tea, and even from the kola nut inclusion.  This tea should come with a warning, like roller coasters: don’t brew this tea if you have a heart condition.  You’ll be rocketing out of your socks in no time!

So how do all of these ingredients taste?  The toasted mate brings roasty, earthy, dry hay notes, which serve as a compliment to the more traditional boldness of the black tea.  With additions like smooth, sweet cocoa nibs, and warm, spicy cinnamon bark, it’s hard not to imagine the kola nuts adding their own kind of cola sweetness.  I brewed this blend black, how I take most of my tea, but it is bold enough to hold up its flavor, even if softened with a bit of milk.

This will be an amazing tea for those of you who just can’t seem to get enough caffeine.  Skip your espresso-laced red-eye cold brew coffee, and just brew a cup of Jump Start instead!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Herbal
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description: Mate, Kola, and Black tea make up this well-caffeinated blend to make your mornings deliciously efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!