Lisa Shearin, National Bestselling Author

Time to taste some teas!

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Recently, I got an email from Ashley at Adagio Teas. She had seen on my website and Twitter that I’m a tea drinker. Oh boy, am I. I do like a cup of coffee first thing when I wake up, but after that it’s all tea, all day.

Ashley asked if I’d be willing to try their teas and review them here on my blog. They would send me a gift card and I could choose what I wanted. Woo! I ordered teas that I knew I would like, and teas I’d never tried before. Adagio has sample-size loose leaf and tea bags for most of their extensive tea selection, so you can try a lot of tea for little cost. I dove in.

I’m reviewing four teas today, and I have plenty more to go (I ordered samples of 15 different teas). And since I collect vintage teapots and teacups, I matched the tea with what I thought would be appropriate (and fun) teaware. And, since I also grow orchids, and all my orchids are in bloom right now, I used them as backdrops. All that being said, I’ll issue a disclaimer: I am a writer, not a photographer. ‘Nuf said. I’ve included links to each tea on Adagio’s website so you can check them out for yourself.

On to the teas. . .

Tea: Fujian Baroque by Adagio Teas

Teapot: Aladdin by Hall, mid-century (1940-50s)

Teacup: Jager & Company (J&C) Bavaria, 1915, Art Nouveau

My thoughts: Fujian Baroque is a black tea, which is what I drink in the mornings until early afternoon. The black teas I typically drink are the kick-me-awake variety. My faves in are the Assam tea family (love that malty flavor). I’d never tried Fujian Baroque, and really liked it. It’s a nice, lighter black tea, more of an afternoon pick-me-up rather than a morning wake-me-up. It will be good for those afternoons when I need a tea that can get me through that mid-afternoon slump. The Fujian Baroque has notes of spice and cocoa, and I detected a hint of red wine. (If you’re a big fan of the red wine/chocolate combo, this could very well become your go-to tea.) Another big point in its favor is that it steeps very well with no hint of bitterness. That’s important for me as a writer. A lot of black teas are smooth right after the initial steeping time, but if you go beyond that. . .well, you’re in for a rude awakening. Serious bitterness. Not the Fujian Baroque. After steeping for 15 minutes, it was still as smooth and even more flavorful without a hint of bitterness. In fact, this tea is so smooth, it needs no sweetening at all. Fujian Baroque is a keeper.

 

 

 

 

 

Tea: Jasmine Phoenix Pearls by Adagio Teas

Teapot: Pearl China Company, mid-century 

Teacup: Aynsley, England

My thoughts: I love jasmine tea. I’ll simply say that upfront. And pearl teas are fun. I love the whole unfurling thing. Jasmine has always been one of my go-to afternoon teas. I opened the pouch of Adagio’s Jasmine Phoenix Pearls, inhaled, and my nose went to its happy place. Aroma is a big part of the tea experience for me. Coffee is for waking up. Tea is for contemplation. The Jasmine Phoenix Pearls is a stop-and-smell-the-flowers kind of tea. It’s delicate—in taste, aroma, and appearance. Though be careful of the steeping time unless you like your tea bitter. Leave this too long in the pot, and that delicate flower turns into a tiger.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Tea: Green Popcorn (Genmai Cha) by Adagio Teas

Teapot: No maker’s mark, English, mid-century, brown clay

Teacup: Unknown maker, marked “Occupied Japan,” made late 1940s, post-WWII

My thoughts: I fell in love with Genmai Cha (also called Popcorn Tea) years ago at a favorite Thai restaurant. The aroma was incredible (there’s toasted, popped rice blended in with the green tea making for a slightly nutty scent and taste). Whenever my husband and I would go there, I’d order a pot for myself and ask them to keep it coming. Genmai Cha is my hands-down favorite green tea (jasmine is second). Adagio’s Green Popcorn takes me back to that little Thai restaurant. I could drink this stuff by the gallon. The color is delicate, but the nutty taste is smooth and satisfying. (I swear there’s tea in that floral cup in the photo. The green color is a perfect match for the cup’s pale green leaves.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea: English Breakfast by Adagio Teas

Teapot: “Windshield” style by Hall, 1940s (looks like Mrs. Potts in Beauty & the Beast, doesn’t it?)

Teacup: Royal Albert, 1994, (reminds me of a Dr. Seuss character with the curls and “antennae”)

My thoughts: Along with Earl Grey, English Breakfast is a staple in any tea lover’s collection. In addition to teas I’ve never tried before, I included some of the classics in my sampler order. Adagio’s English Breakfast is a robust, get you awake and moving kind of tea. I needed one sugar to smooth it down (as is usual for me with most black teas). As to milk, I’ve never been a splash-of-milk person. I take cream in my coffee, not in my tea. The Adagio English Breakfast is one of the better that I’ve had. It has a nice smoky aroma and is definitely full-bodied and rich. This tea would be excellent for keeping me on point with a deadline or late-night edits.



3 Responses to “Time to taste some teas!”

  1. Marie Andreas says:

    OMG! Okay, I love love love your teapots and cups- lovely! I am also a teaaloic, but most I stick to Harney & Sons (I buy my Formosa Oolong in pound bags–is that bad? ;)). I might have to check some of these out though!

  2. donna brooks says:

    Lisa, these are amazing!!
    I used to have a small collection of tea cups. I’m finding inspiration here though, to take it up again. Really some fabulous looking pieces!

  3. Denisetwin says:

    OOOOO Tea Review love love love!!! The photographs are beautiful too, love your pots and teacups! I love hot tea, I drink it year round, morning to night.

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