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Tea Review: The Goblin Queen

Official Description on Adagio:

The Goblin Queen

The world fell down and you fell with it

Created by: Kayla Walker

Ingredients & Lore:
Blended with black tea, oolong tea, lavender flowers, natural vanilla flavor, orange peels, natural peach flavor, blue cornflowers, natural bergamot flavor, natural creme flavor, marigold flowers, apricots, apple pieces

Teas: peach, earl grey lavender, vanilla oolong

Steep at 212° for 3 minutes

This tea contains a high level of caffeine.
Sarah, Jareth and the Labyrinth belong to Jim Henson, Artwork by Rebecca Morse

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My Review

The scent of this tea bursts from the bag, the bite of earl grey, bergamot, and orange balanced out by creamy peach, lavender, apple, and apricot tones; a freshly invigorating and fruity aroma.

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I took this cup black, steeped at the recommended 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but for about four minutes. I cannot say if that one minute makes much of a difference; perhaps I should compare sometime? The resultant color of four minutes’ worth of steeping was a smoky brown, and the aroma remarkably reduced. A rich, creamy note I often associate with the addition of blue cornflowers rises to the fore.

The first sips are warm and somewhat heavy in the mouth, most likely thanks to the earl grey component, but do not linger on the tongue. The orange peels really come into play here, leaving a fresh, pleasant aftertaste.  Earl grey, which I will often add milk and honey to, pairs very well with the vanilla and cream elements of this blend.

Pro tip: teas with cream blends are almost always enhanced by the addition of milk. I did not try it for this review, but I may update later once I have – let me know if blend follow-ups are something people would be interested in!

A pot of this blend will be sure to comfort on any dreary afternoon. I gave this tea 5 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: Hannibal Lecter Blend

Today’s (unfortunately) late review features Cara McGee’s Hannibal Lecter blend.

The official description on Adagio reads: “blended with assam melody, pu erh dante, orange peels, rose hips, hibiscus flowers, natural orange flavor

teas: pu erh dante, assam melody, blood orange

accented with cinnamon and cloves

steep at 212° for 3 mins

this tea contains a high level of caffeine
*it does not contain people”

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Swiggity swag the nightmare stag

Upon first whiff of the freshly opened bag, the most prevalent aroma is blood orange, a heavy and vaguely citrusy scent. For a blend that features cloves as an ingredient, it surprisingly don’t overwhelm the other components.

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Look at this gorgeous blend

I steeped a heaping teaspoon of Hannibal (haha) for about 3 minutes, resulting in a deep ochre color in my cup.  The scent of blood orange almost goes away completely, leaving mellow remnants you can barely distinguish; kind of like old-school orange peel, cinnamon, and clove mixes that I simmer in a pot on low heat in the winter to serve as a sort of a natural holiday potpourri. (Truth be told, all the above-mentioned ingredients are generally the leftovers from when I make mulled wine or cider, so…)

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Dark….like Hannibal’s soul

 

At this point, the Assam melody and pu erh dante really take over. The only clue I have that there are cloves in this blend is the slightly spicy aftertaste. It is actually a bit difficult to pick apart all the different flavored of the tea, so subtly do they mix together. However, if you find Assam melody or pu erh dante too strong, this blend may not be for you.

Overall, the  Hannibal blend is darkly smooth, rich, and strangely satisfying.  I am absolutely bring another cup while I watch tonight’s episode of Hannibal.

I know I’ve been warned about the caffeine content, but so far, so good.  Then again, I am a person who drinks a lot of coffee. I may not be the best judge of what a “high level” of caffeine feels like.

I give this blend four out of five stars. You can purchase it here .

 

*PS  this entire review was written on my iPhone and mostly with voice recognition. Hopefully the formatting is OK. Wooo, technology!

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Thirsty Thursday Tea Review: Destiel Blend

Hello friends! I am so sorry for the lengthy, unexpected tea review hiatus. So, in honor of reviving this practice,  I offer the latest new review: the Destiel blend by Cara McGee. (This may be in direct relation to the fact that I just watched the season 10 finale of Supernatural.)

Official Description from Adagio:

ingredients & lore
blended with assam melody, black tea, natural spice flavor, cinnamon bark, orange peels, natural caramel flavor, ginger root, cloves, cardamom, cocoa nibs, natural chocolate flavor, natural vanilla flavor
teas: oriental spice, assam melody,tiger eye
accented with cinnamon and cocoa nibs
steep at 212° for 3 mins
this tea contains a high level of caffeine

Of course this tea has a high level of caffeine – are you aware of this ship?

Exactly.

So. This is a hearty yet smooth tea. The oriental spice and cinnamon provide the initial spicy punch when you first open the bag, and indeed, the scents stay strong even while steeping.

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The assam melody brings a bit of earthiness to the aroma, and the cocoa nibs a bit of richly dark sweetness. I steeped a heaping teaspoon of tea for 4 minutes in 212-degree water (as I usually do with black teas). After sitting in my cup for a few minutes, the scents decrease dramatically. the rounded black tea of the assam melody rising to the forefront, the spice light and chocolatey. The first taste (without burning the tongue) is a bit heavy but without the heft of a smokier tea like lapsang souchong, and almost oily in its lingering feel in the back of the throat, with a slightly spiced aftertaste. That cinnamon kick is a welcome, somewhat refreshing leftover.

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I’ll need to try a few more cups of this tea, and probably with a little milk, to see if I can’t make the tea just that little bit richer in mouthfeel. Thanks to the spice and cinnamon, this is a tea that you should consume sooner rather than later, although if you store it in an airtight container and away from heat and direct sunlight, it should last quite a while.

In all, I give this blend 3 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: Steve Rogers Blend

steve rogers blend

created by: Cara McGee

As American as Apple Pie, perfectly sweet, but built for strength.

Inspired by the Marvel Comics character Steve Rogers/Captain America. I have no affiliation with Marvel or Disney or any of those related companies. This blend is made for my own enjoyment.

My Review

The spiced apple chai is probably the most prevalent scent when you open the bag, and even after you brew the tea. I let mine steep for 5-6 minutes (I had originally planned on four but got distracted by emails.) Good thing I like my teas strong. I was a little concerned that all I would taste at first would be the spiced apple chai, but though the spice is strong, it’s not overpowering. The light aftertaste of spice in the mouth is not unpleasant.

I’ll brew another cup today, most likely, and see if I can articulate any better how I feel about this blend. I had a lot of tea yesterday but didn’t have time to note all my impressions, so….yeah. I can’t quite remember everything I thought about this blend at first.

Right now I give it a tentative 3 out 5 stars.

You can buy it here.

Review Update:

It’s been a year since my initial review.

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Tea Review: Mycroft Blend

Mycroft Blend

CREATED BY: CARA MCGEE

No brother, I have not been eating more cake. I’ve been drinking it.

Inspired by BBC’s Sherlock, which I am in no way affiliated with. This is created purely for my own enjoyment.

My Review

The predominant scent at first sniff is the chocolate, but if you stir the mix a bit the scents of chocolate and chai blend marvelously together, reminding me a little of subtly spiced chocolate (have you ever had chili chocolate? It is a fantastic thing.)

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I steeped my first cup for 5 minutes and drank it black. The subsequent two cups were also taken black, but steeped at about 4 minutes. Once steeped, the chai really comes to the fore, the vanilla and rooibos lending the spiciness a sweeter air, the chocolate notes growing a tad denser. The taste is smooth and for all that chocolatey aroma, the rooibos vanilla chai is the lingering flavor, and the cream adds a nice fullness and, well, creaminess, to the cup. Given all the orange peel in the picture above, one would think it would really impact the flavor, but as it is, it’s only the gentlest zest and citrusy freshness in the cup.

The fourth cup I added milk and about 3/4 teaspoon sugar. I’m usually quite unscientific about how much sugar I add, but given the sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla in this blend, I didn’t think I’d need too much sugar mycroft3for it. Blends containing chai really are so much better to me with a little milk added, I can’t explain why (though traditional chai preparation features milk, so….)  That hint of spice just goes so well together, and this blend is just so creamy and deliciously warm with the additions.

I gave this blend 4 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.

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