Travel the world with Adagio Teas
I’m currently listening to Lisa See’s latest book, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. Besides learning a slew of things about China’s ethnic minorities (of which my knowledge was zilch prior to starting it), I’ve also become deeply engrossed in the tea world because as the title suggests, there’s some (read: a ton of) tea involved.
So when Adagio Teas contacted me asking me if I’d like to try some of their teas, I of course said yes. If you’ve been following along with my adventures, you’ll know that I love tea and that I am as anti-coffee as they come (although for some bizarre reason, I adore coffee ice cream). But I digress. Afternoon tea at Waikiki Beach’s famed Moana Surfrider Hotel remains one of my favorite travel experiences, and I still look back fondly on my girls’ afternoon tea with my mom and aunt at a local bed and breakfast.
Since this is a review post, I thought I would break it out into what I liked and didn’t like about it.
What I liked
The global selections
While I’ve come across some blog posts that label visiting tea plantations as a form of boring purgatory, I’ve always been an old person at heart so doing such an activity has been high on my bucket list for some time now. It doesn’t matter if it’s tea fields in South Africa (I adore rooibos) or my true dream, tea plantations in India high in the Himalayas, walking in the footsteps of the colonial era, I know I’d enjoy the experience.
So I loved that Adagio has so many global selections-India (chai), China (oolong), Japan, South Africa, and even a more obscure locale (for tea that is), Rwanda (Rukeri). And thanks to The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, I actually know quite a lot about the Pu-Erh tea. Naturally I got some to try myself, the Pu-Erh Tahiti. This was my first time trying Pu-Erh tea so I think it’s going to take a little getting used to but I’d like to keep drinking it as Pu-Erh tea contains slimming and medicinal qualities.
A couple of years ago I purchased a Downton Abbey tea sampler from the PBS website (yes, I’m one of those fan girls). I loved it so much that I bought two canisters’ worth of tea bags. Well, almost two years later, I’m still drinking Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea and Bates’ Brambleberry Tea. I liked the flavors a lot but you don’t want to drink the same ones constantly.
It made me so happy to see that Adagio offers four size options when purchasing most teas (Matcha is one of the exceptions)-a sample (this makes 10 cups), 3 ounces, 16 ounces, and 15 full leaf pyramid tea bags. Prices vary between teas since some leaves are obviously more expensive and of higher quality than others. But compared to a place like Tevana, I found them to be quite reasonable.
I ended up getting tea bags of the Earl Gray Lavender, the Rooibos Vanilla, and Almond. As for the samples, I went with the Masala Chai, the Pu-Erh Tahiti that I mentioned above, rooibos mango and the Darjeeling Sugma Summer (they threw in a sample of the Thai chai too). And even though they’re considered “samples,” you still get a healthy amount of tea without feeling like you’ll be drinking said tea for the next three years.
My favorite flavors
Even though I’m not a fan of Earl Gray tea, I really loved the Earl Gray Lavender. Drinking it brought back wonderful memories of my visit to a lavender farm on Maui. That, and even through the mesh-style tea bag, you could see the tiny bits of dried lavender.
I’ve really grown to love rooibos tea but my heart still remains with Darjeeling leaves. The Darjeeling Sugma Summer was definitely not as sweet as some teas (I do tend to prefer sweeter blends), and yet it was one of those teas where its distinct and half sweet/half spicy flavor lingered in a good way.
Everything came super fast, so fast I was surprised when I got an email saying my order would be arriving the next day (I placed my order on April 29 in the evening and had it by May 3).
What I didn’t like
Unlike some tea bags that seem to be made of Kevlar-style paper, the tea pyramids are made of a very fine, easily breakable disposable material. While I had no problems with the Earl Grey Lavender and Rooibos Vanilla tea pyramids, all of the Almond tea pyramids that I’ve come across have either torn after barely handling them or were already torn. So as not to waste the tea (or end up with tea leaves at the bottom of your purse), I would recommend always having a tea infuser or tea bag wrappers handy.
Some of the loose leaf bags don’t seem to fully close so if you have tea canisters, I would recommend transferring them or using a Ziplock bag.
All in all, I was truly pleased with my shopping experience with Adagio Teas and once I get through this terrific and varied first batch, I look forward to doing more shopping in the future.
Disclosure: I was given a gift certificate to use in exchange for a review but as always,
all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.