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Posts Tagged ‘Adagio Teas’

There is nothing better than enjoying a cup of hot tea on a cold winter day. Okay… so there is nothing better than enjoying a hot cup of tea on any day, especially when it is cold. Tea is even better when you get a chance to share it with someone.  Today, that someone was Ann Weimer Baumgardner, author of Pretend You’re Normal (but only when absolutely necessary).

Ann and I drank a pot of Huang Jin Bolero (the subject of this tea review), while munching on a plate of tasty Lemon Straws. Between drinking, eating, and laughing Ann shared many insights with meabout her life and début novel.  Pretend You’re Normal was one of seven Finalists in the humor category of the 2007 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.  You can purchase a copy at  Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobel.

Now onto the tea review…

Composition: Oolong tea from Anxi, China. Anxi is a county in the municipal region of Quanzhou, Fujian Province. It lies adjacent to and directly north of Xiamen.  Huang Jin Gui means “Golden Flower.”.

Dry Visual: Rich light and dark green loosely rolled or “balled” leaves. Reddish brown stems present.

Dry Aroma: Sweet, nutty and fresh like spring rain.

Flavor: Huang Jin Bolero has a variety of flavors.  A greener oolong, this tea begins with a roasted nutty flavor and finishes  with a slight honey taste.  A lover of oolongs, Huang Jin Bolero was milder than expected, but enjoyable nonetheless.  After three cups, the flavor was consistent from one cup to the next.  There is a subtle vegetal aftertaste, sometimes characteristic with greener oolongs.  Additionally, I found the brew leaves a dry feel in the mouth.  However, Huang Ji Bolero requires no sweetener, nor would I recommend it.

Liquor: A rich yellow hue. The cup is clear.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 5 minutes in 212 degree water. I steeped 5 minutes for the first infusion and 6 minutes for the second infusion.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Huang Jin Bolero, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

**Tea was provided by Adagio as a sample.

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When it’s cold and dreary outside, nothing is better in my humble opinion than the aroma of flowers.  During the winter months, the trees are barren of their leaves, the sky is often gray, and the lush grass of summer is long gone.  It is during these times that I miss the burst of color found in spring blooms and the fragrance of summer gardens.  This is when I reach for and savor the opportunity to sip a cup of scented tea.  Today’s choice – Jasmine Silver Needle – a sample I received from Adagio Teas.

Composition: White tea from China. Silver Needle is produced in the Fuding and Zhenhe districts of its Fujian province.

Dry Visual: Very green rolled leaves (resembling fat pine needles) with silver fur – hence the name.  Thanks Adagio Teas for the photo.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and amazingly floral – just like Jasmine.

Flavor: Jasmine Silver Needle is delightful. Traditional of white tea, Silver Needle itself is quite delicate and mild. However, after scented with jasmine becomes somewhat full-bodied.  It is naturally sweet and quite floral as one would expect.  To be frank, the jasmine dominates the flavor.  It is consistent from start to finish, yet never unpleasant.  Instead the floral taste and aroma provide an amazing sensory experience. I found myself alternately inhaling the steam and sipping the tea until gone.  Be advised if you are looking for the extremely delicate, clean taste of silver needle this is not where you will find it. Jasmine Silver Needle is in a category of its own.

I found the brew to have a hint of astringency (no bitterness, but a subtle dry feel in the mouth).  Nevertheless, no sweetener was needed nor would I recommend it.  I simply cannot imagine the impact sweetener would have on the floral characteristics of the tea.

Liquor: A rich yellow hue.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 7 minutes in 180 degree water. I steeped 7 minutes for the first infusion and 7 minutes 30 seconds for the second infusion.  I intend to play around a bit more with the steeping times as I am interested in discovering how Jasmine Silver Needle tastes with shorter infusion times.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Jasmine Silver Needle, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

**Tea was provided by Adagio as a sample.

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During the holidays we always want to share . A cup of tea, a memory, a meal – exactly what is shared isn’t always as important as the act of giving. So today, I wanted to share contest information from a fellow friend and tea blogger, Tea-Guy.

Details are below:

“Take a moment for tea and you could win great prizes from www.Tea-Guy.com, Libre Tea, Adagio Teas, Harney & Sons, Infusions of Tea, Kokomo Tea and Tavalon. Today, www.Tea-Guy.com is launching its first Tea Moments Contest and invites you to tell us about your own tea moments. Two lucky readers have a chance to win a Libre tea glass and an assortment of teas to go with it just in time for the holidays.

The www.Tea-Guy.com Tea Moments Contest begins today and ends Friday, December 11, 2009.  Winners will be announcedMonday, December 14, 2009 in two categories, video and written essay.

To enter in the video category, record a short video describing your tea moment and upload it to YouTube.com, linking it as a response to our contest announcement video located at www.youtube.com/user/teaguyllc.  Make sure to include “www.tea-guy.com” in your video description on YouTube.  Then send us an e-mail at contest@tea-guy.com with your real name, YouTube user name and e-mail address.  To enter in the written essay category, describe your tea moment in an essay and e-mail to contest@tea-guy.com along with your name and e-mail address.  Rules and regulations apply, see www.tea-guy.com for full details.”

Good Luck!

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worldteaexpoI am so excited to continue writing about The World Tea Expo!  On Sunday, I eagerly returned to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for day two of the World Tea Expo. How could I share my Saturday adventures, without sharing Sunday’s? Before I begin, I must give kudos to my husband for walking the exhibit floor for over three hours with me. The World Tea Expo fueled my passion for tea – unfortunately, I fear he experienced subtle agony!

Thus the day began with another Skill Building Workshop – Blending Level 1, taught by Steve Schwartz, CEO/Founder of Art of Tea. The first half of the class began with awesome instruction about tea types, natural vs. artificial flavors, and organic vs. kosher certifications. The workshop culminated with actual hands-on blending. Yes, I returned home with an abundance of tea blended by me with my classmates. If my family and friends are reading this post – Merry Christmas in advance – I’ll be giving you tea.

After the Blending Level 1 workshop – I had an opportunity to interview two more exhibitors. Mary Greengo, the proprietor of Queen Mary Tea and Michael Harney from the renowned Harney and Sons Fine Teas. Both interviews will be forthcoming. The day ended, for me at least, with a final walk around of the exhibit floor. Of course, I chatted with many great vendors and sampled more tea and tea related products, which was awesome.

So a quick re-cap of another amazing day:

  • Skill Building Workshop: Tea Blending 1;
  • Interview with Mary GreenGo – from Queen Mary Teas;
  • Interview with Michael Harney – from Harney and Sons Fine Teas;
  • Wonderful conversations with Adagio Teas, Art of Tea, Botanical Bakery Tea Cookies, FORLIFE, Harvest House Publishers, PeLi Teas, Rooibos Ltd., TeaGschwendner USA, and many more.

I truly look forward to sharing Monday’s adventures! Additionally, I will follow this post with the list of winners from the World Tea Championship.

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img_1014Periodically, I like to add sweetener to my tea – typically only to black tea or even better southern style sweet tea. There was a time when I only used old faithful white sugar. Some would say that I graduated to honey. While honey is tasty I found the taste distorted the flavor of my tea. In an effort to discover the perfect sweetener that enhanced the flavor of the tea instead of detracting from it, I began using Sugar-In-The-Raw. I cannot say there was a compelling reason for trying Sugar-In-The-Raw other than ,”Starbucks uses it”. Then recently, I discovered Sugar Crystals by Adagio Teas.

What are Sugar Crystals? According to Adagio Teas website, these crystals are sugar in its purest form. “Adding a few sugar crystals will sweeten tea without distorting its flavor profile, pleasing both your sweet tooth and taste buds.” After reading, I knew I had to place an order. When I opened the container, I laughed. Adagio’s Sugar Crystals look like the rock candy I used to eat as a child. Large chunks of amber colored sugar crystals in varying sizes. Eaten alone the crystals are hard and crunchy with a natural sweetness.

I decided to brew a cup of tea and give these Sugar Crystals a try. With a steaming cup of tea in hand, I added several crystals. One note, the crystals do not dissolve immediately, but require a few moments of continuous stirring to fully melt down. I found my tea wonderfully sweetened. There was no aftertaste as with artificial sweeteners like Equal or  Sweet and Low. In addition, no distortion, like honey – I was pleasantly pleased.

In consideration of the fact that Sugar Crystals are sugar in its purest form, I was surprised by the amount needed to sweeten my tea. My assumption was that the crystals would be very potent, however they were not. In contrast, Sugar Crystals by Adagio teas are quite mild. Perhaps this is how sugar was always meant to be.

Just a few details…

Adagio Tea’s Sugar Crystals can be purchased in two different sizes – a sample size for $3.00 and 16 ounces for $9.00.(I purchased the sample size,img_1013 which has lasted longer than I ever anticipated.)  In addition, the Sugar Crystals come in both amber and white. Visit Adagio Teas for more information about this spectacular accessory to your tea collection.

If you currently use Sugar Crystals, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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It seems like I am on a white tea kick. So please feign your surprise that I am drinking and reviewing yet another white tea – this time White Peony. This tea was included in my white tea sampler from Adagio Teas.

Composition: White tea from the Fujian province of China.

Dry Visual: White Peony, known locally as Pai Mu Tan, is tea made from tea buds collected and withered prior to opening. This tea is fun to look at – the whole, unfurled leaves remind of Christmas. The leaves are various shades of large leaves and appear to have a fresh dusting of frost.

Dry Aroma: An earthy mix – part woodsy yet partially earthy.

Flavor: Very mild and delicate flavor – White Peony is naturally sweet. There is no need to add sweetener, but if you decide to only a dab is necessary. My recommendation would be Sugar in the Raw over Honey. White Peony is delicious; however, I did not see a significant difference between this tea, Silver Needle and Decadence.  They are almost interchangeable.

Liquor: A rich but light golden color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 7 minutes.  I brewed for the recommended 7 minutes.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes

Tomorrow, I’ll have to surprise you and drink a different tea for review and posting. Perhaps a good oolong or puerh. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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The Green Tea Sampler I purchased from Adagio Teas contained six different varieties of green tea. This was truly a step out of the box for me, the person who claimed to not like green tea. Yet over the past few months, I have actually enjoyed several new green teas. However, the difference between the aforementioned green tea experiences and my recent Green Tea Sampler experiences is the lack of flavoring. Meaning the sampler mostly contained green teas without added flavors. This leads me to the green tea I sampled this morning – Pi Lo Chun…

Composition: Green tea from the Fuji-an province of China.

Dry Visual: Pi Lo Chun is very unique looking. The leaves are various shades of green shaped in tiny spirals. According to the Adagio Teas website, “Pi Lo Chun (sometimes written biluochun) translates as ‘green snail spring’ a reference to this tea’s distinctive spiral-shaped leaves.”

Dry Aroma: Very vegetal – one whiff and there are no doubts about whether Pi Lo Chun is a green tea.

Flavor: A true green tea lover would enjoy Pi Lo Chun. Of the green teas I have recently sampled it is not my favorite. The tea is certainly robust with a fairly strong vegetal flavor. I tasted both without as well as with sweetener. Today’s preferred sweetener was honey – the flavorful nature of honey was needed to round out the bitterness of Pi Lo Chun.

Liquor: A rich golden color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 3 minutes.  After brewing for 3 minutes, I must admit that I was quite impressed by the strength of the tea. Do not over-brew Pi Lo Chun!

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes

I learned an interesting fact about Pi Lo Chun after reading the Adagio Teas website. “It is produced in the short span of time between the Spring Equinox (end of March) and Clear Brightness (early April).” Regardless whether a tea is my favorite or not, I am always fascinated by the times of year the tea is harvested, the parts of the tea plant used to create each tea, even the geographic location from whence the tea originates. Each of these nuances creates such a distinctive difference in the flavor, aroma, and many other features of the tea.

Until my next review… Happy Tea Drinking!

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