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loose leaf tea

Advent Calendar/Adagio Teas (Spoilers)

Each year during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I always look forward to the tea advent calendars our beloved tea companies offer.  I have enjoyed several from a variety of different tea companies, but one of my favorites each year is the advent calendar offered by Adagio Teas.

This tea calendar is filled with a lovely assortment of teas to enjoy for the avid tea drinker to the occasional tea drinker to the tea drinker who just started their tea journey. The variety of flavored teas is always lovely and this year was no exception.  This year I even picked up a few advent calendars for my kiddos to enjoy and I can’t wait to see them sipping their teas while enjoying time off during the holidays.

Starting on December 1st- there was a lovely single loose leaf serving waiting for me to enjoy.   The listing of teas is on the site if you want to take a peek but I won’t spoil too many of  them here.

The first tea for December 1st was Honeybush Pumpkin Chai– one of my favorite decaf blends from Adagio Teas! This blend is so versatile- by itself the tea presents as a lovely way to enjoy the spices of fall without the caffiene.  The pumpkin flavoring is a bit hit or miss but brewed up as a latte, you have yourself a delightful autumnal treat with notes of cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla notes.

What I personally love to do with this tea is blend the tea with Adagio’s Vanilla Flavored Black tea or Adagio’s Cranberry Tea.  Both create such unique layers of flavor and (IMO) umpfs the flavor profile and really highlights the lovely fall notes… especially when the Honeybush Pumpkin Chai is blended with the Cranberry Black Tea.  The tart notes combine lovely with the chai spices and provides this unique underlaying tone of freshness. 

Passionfruit Tango was the second tea of the calendar and this tea was fabulous! I remember trying this tea once and not being a fan but this little serving of the blend changed my mind on the tea completely.

This blend is a unique blend of passionfruit flavoring, cinnamon, rose petals and more.  Right there the blend seems a bit odd but truly the cinnamon and rose create a spiced floral scene for the passionfruit flavoring to connect with.  I really enjoyed the fruity spiced floral notes- more than I thought I would.  I was actually a bit sad when my sample was done giving after a few steepings.  This will be one I’ve already earmarked for a future (fingers crossed) birthday purchase down the road.

All in all, a great start and even tho I am a few days late, I believe there is still time to order this awesome collection of teas.  I love how each tea is packaged in single servings so you can try out a variety of teas that Adagio Teas offers without committing to a larger size.

If you are looking for a delightful gift for the tea enthusiast in your family or just a lovely way to celebrate the holidays, highly recommend the Adagio Teas Advent Calendar.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Variety

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description

The time to ring in the Christmas season is upon us. The 2022 Tea Advent Calendar is here and has brought with it all that is merry and bright to get you into the holiday spirit. This year’s calendar features a festive design of evergreen pine trimmed with gold and holds 24 doors with a delicious tea behind each. Available in both loose and teabag options.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

East Frisian/Harney and Sons

I purchased this tea to use as an enrichment lesson for some young ladies to whom I am teaching elementary German. Tea and cookies make for a fun lesson! And who knew that if East Frisia was a country instead of a region, they would have the highest per capita consumption of black tea in the world?

I wanted to be as authentic as possible and did a test run today. Their “Teetied” is different from any other.

First, a large piece of rock sugar (Kluntje) is put into a porcelain or china cup. Then the rich tea is poured over it and the rock sugar should crackle. After the tea is poured, a small ladle of cream is added to the tea gently, pouring along the side of the cup so that the cream makes a cloud (Wolkje) in the tea. You must never stir!

It is considered polite to drink at least three cups of tea, although more than that is fine. When you finished, you place a spoon (the one you definitely did NOT use to stir your tea!) in your cup or you can turn your cup over on the saucer.

The tea is usually a strong Assam blended with a bit of Darjeeling and some Ceylon. This one is very dark, earthy, and bready. It is a tad brisk but less so than I expected.

The cloud in the tea fascinated me and really made this Teetied a mindfulness session as I watched the cloud roll and change shape after each sip. The cream coats your lips and takes the edge off the strong tea, then the tea dominates, and at the last you get a small sip or two that is incredibly sweet. The rock sugar should be large enough to last through all three cups of tea and each cup that you drink should be finished completely so that the subsequent cup doesn’t look muddy when you add the cream.

I think this lesson will be a success, and I can hardly wait to try it again with some cookies or pastries!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Harney & Sons 

Description

Fortify yourself with East Frisian, our popular full-bodied black tea blend of Darjeeling, Ceylon and Assam. It’s named for East Frisia, Germany’s cold, wet, and dreary North Sea coast – the ideal spot to drink hot tea, and the East Frisians do! They consume more black tea than anyone else in the world. They do drink it with cream and crystalized sugar.

(Credit- Harney & Sons)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bai MuDan/Teavivre – Ashmanra

Someone told me once that white tea just tasted like a cup of hot water to them. I probably would have agreed early on in my tea journey. When your tastebuds are accustomed to strong root beer and sweet, fizzy, highly flavored soda it takes a while to train your palate to find subtle flavors, at least it did for me. Perhaps the real foodies “get it” right from the start.

I haven’t had unflavored white tea in a while and decided that today would be a good day to take a cup of Bai MuDan outside and enjoy its simplicity while sitting in the sunshine, a rare treat in late winter. Though very windy, it is warm and the sun is welcome after many days of rain.

The packet called for two grams of leaf for twelve ounces of water, which I thought seemed to far too little at first. I used my new Upton Digital Tea Scale since large leaf white tea can be tricky to judge. Teavivre recommends five to eight minutes, and I steeped for about five because I was ready for my break!

First, this is a beautiful golden cup of tea. The color is rich and deep and it actually LOOKS full bodied in the cup. The flavor did not let me down. No one could mistake this for a “cup of hot water!” The flavor lingers for quite a while, too.

I see a lot of white tea described accurately as tasting like sunshine on hay, mainly Shou Mei, but this Bai MuDan tastes like golden stalks with a hint of spring in the air, with the scent of distant flowers laid over, and maybe even a little soft, sweet vegetable like snow pea or sugar snap peas.

I think this is going to be my go-to quiet time cup for a while.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Description

Teavivre’s White Peony Bai MuDan tea is farmed and produced on Mt. Taimu, using material from Dabaihao tea trees. While this is a slightly oxidized white tea, it is produced with the same minimal processing as Silver Needle white tea, with the main difference between the two being that silver needle uses only buds, while bai mudan includes opened leaves as well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Agave Chai/Spice & Tea Merchants – TeaEqualsBliss

Agave Chai from Spice & Tea Merchants was MADE with vegans and diabetics in mind! I have to say I was thrilled because I’m vegan and my father is diabetic and we are both tea fans!

This black tea base hails from Australia and contributes to this unique black chai. It’s blended with healthy natural ingredients – without any additives or preservatives. It’s a chai created with vegans and diabetics in mind because it has low GI, is fully consumable by vegans, and is a healthy substitute for diabetics.

One thing I did notice and knew right away I had to mention is upon opening the package of loose leaf there was a stickiness to the leaves and other ingredients but I knew this was because of the agave in the mix. Just a heads-up in case it takes you by surprise!

Ingredients include: Ceylon back tea, organic light agave syrup, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, peppercorns, cloves, fresh ginger, and salt.

I’m pretty sure the reasoning for the bit of salt is to do a nice yin and yang with the sweetness of the agave. It wasn’t noticeable…that is how little they used of the salt. The spices were nicely done. I wouldn’t change anything with the ratios of the ingredients they used.

This tea was TOTALLY worth it at $6.99 per ounce and was as fresh-as-fresh-could-be! Sweet, Semi-spicy, delicious!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Spice & Tea Merchants

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

2017 Wild Arbor Bai Mu Dan/Verdant – Skysamurai

The best part about a portable gaiwan is that you can bring it places that would be too awkward for other tea accessories.

Nothing quite like a good session on the beach. Though our MN sand is kinda rough. 1st steeping. Couple of minutes.

Light yellow liquid. Mellow with no astringency.

Beautiful fuzzy leaves and gorgeous pale green leaves. Velvety and oddly floral in aroma. Or maybe more akin to a very dark chocolate?

Flavor is earthy. Slightly rough on the tongue with the third steeping.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: White Tea

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!