I Failed Adagio’s communiTEA

While re-organizing my tea cabinet last week, I discovered a bag of communiTEA teas from Adagio Teas. It was dated the week of March 8th through March 14th, and each single-serving packet within was still sealed shut. I remembered I kept putting it aside with the intent to film YouTube videos or take Instagram glamour shots because if a tea is not showcased across social media, was it even consumed? The goal of the CommuniTEA is to bring people together over the same cup of tea on the same day, and I did not show up. I just never made the time for it.

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Ancient Tree Green Puerh from Masters Teas

The one thing I know about Puerh tea is I don’t know much about Puerh tea. So, I made it one of my resolutions to learn about it, taste it, explore it, and see if I could acquire a taste for it. My first experience with puerh was a flavored one, and it didn’t go very well (I’m looking at you, S’mores Chai). In my defense, I didn’t intend to drink a flavored puerh; I’m not entirely sure I realized S’mores Chai had a puerh base when I purchased it. But, I digress.

My second experience with puerh, the one I’m sharing with you now, was entirely different. First, it was unflavored. Second, it was a sheng puerh instead of, and I’m assuming based on color and what I’ve read about the taste, a shou puerh.

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S’mores Chai from DAVIDsTEA

I admit I’ve never gone camping. I’m afraid of the dark. Of being gobbled up by hungry bears. And most of all…the bathroom situation or lack thereof. So, the opportunity to indulge in this ooey-gooey, chocolate treat has been rare and reserved for the odd occasion that I’m socializing with someone with a fire pit in the back yard. Thankfully, there is no shortage of treats inspired by this campfire dessert though. Usually, I consume them in the form of granola bars, but I recently tried it in the form of tea, too!

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Moscow Mule from DavidsTea

Last summer I was pregnant. Like, super pregnant. Which meant I didn’t get to kick my feet up on the back porch while reading and sipping a beer— a most enjoyable and relaxing summer pastime. Nor did I get to indulge in a cold and refreshing Moscow Mule, my favorite cocktail by far. I did get DavidsTeas’s Ultimate Cocktail Kit though. It was a collection of teas inspired by cocktails, and it came with Sparkling Sangria, Peach Mai Tai, Spicy Piña Margarita, Apéro Spritz, and Lemon Smash (note: it appears the kit doesn’t include Spicy Piña Margarita anymore).

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Earl Grey Supreme from Harney & Sons

I associate Earl Grey tea with the Autumn and Winter months. With mornings when I wake up before the sun, where there is a cold nip in the air, and the clouds hang heavy in the sky. We have had plenty of Earl Grey mornings lately even though it’s only the beginning of September and still technically summer. Is it just me, or does it seem like Autumn is rolling in early this year? You won’t find any complaints about that here; I live for Autumn! Plus, it just means I get to break out my Earl Grey a little earlier. The first Earl Grey of the season was Earl Grey Supreme from Harney & Sons.

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Back to Hogwarts with THE BOY WHO…tea from Adagio Teas

It’s September 1st, which means the Hogwarts Express departed without fail from Platform Nine and Three Quarters today. I can’t help but reflect on how this magical story has been in my life for TWENTY years, now. I never could have suspected the impact this series would have on me the day I pulled this book* randomly from one of the shelves at Walden Books. I held it in my hands, staring at the artwork almost debating whether to spend my allowance money on it or not. A mother passed by me, and seeing the book in my hands, told me the book I held was an incredible story. That was enough to convince me to bring it home with me, so thank you Random Mother who convinced me to buy Harry Potter back in 1999.

*This book actually being Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. My experience with book series back then was the Boxcar Children, Fear Street novels, and the Time Warp Trio. I had no idea there were series that were meant to be read in order!

Today couldn’t be a more perfect Back-to-Hogwarts day here in Michigan either; 67 degrees, overcast, and occasionally drizzly. The perfect day to cozy up and enjoy the Harry Potter marathon on television while sipping THE BOY WHO…tea from Adagio Teas. THE BOY WHO… tea is one of the fandom teas blended by Cara McGee. It is a blend of Black Tea, Ginger, Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor, Natural Caramel Flavor, Marigold Flowers & Natural Cinnamon Flavor.

I can easily see black tea leaves, ginger pieces, cinnamon pieces, and cloves. I don’t see cardamom as I expected despite it being high on the ingredient list. The dry tea smells warm and inviting and most prominently of clove and cardamom.

I brewed this tea a little differently this time. Typically, I would steep the tea leaves in hot water and then add milk and sugar, but this time I steeped the tea leaves directly in milk. I put two teaspoons of tea into one cup of milk in a saucepan, brought it to a boil, and then steeped for about 3-4 minutes. I added sugar to taste.

I find that this tea isn’t as spicy as one would expect considering the ingredient list, and I’ve steeped it both in water and in milk. That being said, I still find this blend enjoyable and appropriate for Autumn. The black tea and the pumpkin flavor were the most prominent flavors, followed by cardamom and ginger. I much prefer steeping this tea in milk (as opposed to steeping in water and then adding milk). It adds a creaminess and mouthfeel that cannot be achieved if this tea were to be steeped in water. It has me reconsidering how I steep any of my spiced chais.

Already tried THE BOY WHO…tea? Check out these other tasTEA recommendations:

If you love Harry Potter, what is your favorite book from the series? For me, it’s hard to choose. It’s a toss-up between books 1, 3, and 5! It’s possible I love those three equally, albeit for different reasons.

Jasmine Pearls from Adagio Teas

I have searched for a tea tasting journal for the past few years, but I never found exactly what I was looking for; so, I have been writing in whatever journal I had sitting around. Notes are scattered throughout four different journals, which are now tucked under odd places, like the couch, in Oliver’s toy basket, under the bed– anywhere Oliver manages to fling them, really. Finally, I decided on a new home–a trusty, 98 cent Composition notebook, that I now keep well out of Oliver’s reach!

Now, I have a permanent home for notes like this:

Last weekend, I sipped Jasmine Pearls from Adagio Teas. I don’t know what made me grab for this particular tea. It’s not one I typically drink, and it was only in my collection because it came in my Christmas advent calendar. I have avoided it because Oliver’s pediatrician mentioned jasmine teas (and mint teas) could have negative impacts on a nursing mother’s milk supply, but now that Oliver is eating solids foods as well now, I have become less restrictive.

Aside from that, jasmine just isn’t a flavor I appreciate. I like some floral flavors, like rose, but I think jasmine can make tea taste like perfume or quite bitter. Still, I sipped on.

The tea was dark green leaves, scented with jasmine, and they were wound tightly into little balls reminiscent of a pearl. They came in a tea bag, though the Jasmine Phoenix Dragon Pearls seem comparable if you want a loose leaf variety. I decided to cut open the tea bag, so I could brew the pearls loose, and what a smart decision that was because these pearls unfurled into full, big tea leaves that could be steeped multiple times.

The initial steep had the most prominent jasmine flavor followed by a slight sweetness from the green tea. The following steeps lost the sweetness from green tea, but the jasmine seemed to mellow. Overall, I thought this tea had a nice, balanced flavor– never perfume-like and never bitter. I steeped this three times, but I think I could have steeped this a fourth and possibly even a fifth, which surprised me considering this started in a teabag!

Where do you record your tea tasting notes? Do you keep a pen and paper journal, or do you record everything digitally?

Looking for teas with floral notes? Check out these tasTEA recommendations: