Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas by Adagio Teas

On to our next contestant in the Pageant of Winter Teas! Up next we have a curious compilation of the scents and flavors of the season: Christmas by Adagio Teas.

Seller's Description: "The tea to get you into the holiday spirit! This blend of bright, tangy Ceylon black tea flavored with warm cinnamon, pungent cloves, and orange peels is a Christmas delight. Spicy and fresh aroma, outdoorsy and cozy, with a balanced tangy flavor and slightly sweet finish. Perfect to sip while decking the halls, being jolly, or dreaming of a white Christmas."
Ingredients: black tea, cinnamon bark, orange peels, natural spice flavor, cardamom pods, cloves, ginger root, natural ginger flavor and natural cinnamon flavor
WebsiteChristmas by Adagio Teas
Sample source: Purchased

Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug
Measured dry: 2 teaspoons
Water Temperature: 212º F
Steeping Time: 3 minutes
Additives: 4 teaspoons of raw sugar

When I initially smelled the dry blend, I had no idea what I was in for. The aroma did carry hints of the different spices, but the fragrance was closer to a clove-pierced orange for apple cider than the intensity of the steeped blend.

From the first sip, I couldn't believe this is labeled "Christmas." It's in-your-face ginger takes center stage, and only lets the subtle flavors of mulling spices step out from around the curtain at the end.

Now, I picked up a copy of The Tudor Kitchens Cookery Book: Hampton Court Palace when I studied in London, and this reminds me a lot of their Hippocras recipe for mulled wine. I became pretty familiar with it after Jake and I made small bottles to give the family at Christmas, considering we have 18 adults in our immediate family (due to blending). The ginger in this tea is a little stronger, but the cardamon, cloves, and cinnamon are at about the same level of strength.

It's almost like this blend is trying to be a gentle chai, but not quite hitting the mark. I tried adding a little milk to help it along, but it didn't help at all. While I can see myself tossing this in the pot the next time I mull a wine, it's not quite to my taste for a tea.

Prominent Notes: GINGER!
Aftertaste: Cardamon and a hint of cloves
Overall: I'll mull with it, but I don't think I'll steep it again.

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