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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review: Adagio’s Pumpkin Spice Black Tea

The Subject: Pumpkin Spice Black Tea from Adagio Teas.


Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes

Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Pumpkin Spice
Aroma, dry: Predominately pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon
Aroma in the cup, plain: Predominately pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon
Taste, plain: Predominately pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Mellowed pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon
Taste, enhanced: Mellowed pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon

2nd Infusion: Not recommended — weak, loses pumpkin spice flavor

The Little Yellow Teapot is feeling all cozy and warm after trying Adagio’s Pumpkin Spice Black Tea. Hubby and I are, too. What could be more appropriate for a tasty Autumn “cuppa” tea?

The aroma of this tea dry is like a slice of pumpkin pie, warm and cinnamony, with a dollop of whipped cream; it’s so enticing that I would be tempted to use it in a potpourri to fill the house with a flavorful scent perfect for the Holiday Season. Hubby said it has a “dark, rich smell” that makes him think of a slice of toast warm from the toaster and has no strong aftertaste like coffee has.

When steeped for the recommended 5 minutes, the tea has a flavor that is free of bitterness and needs no enhancement (milk and/or sweetener). It also maintains the flavors and aromas present when it is dry. Hubby says it tastes smooth and is a perfect complement to Autumn foods typically served at Thanksgiving and Christmas, especially ham. I detected a bit of bitterness around the edges of my tongue after the 2nd cupful. I also tried it with milk and sweetener (the stuff in the blue packets), which mellowed the flavor and took away the bitterness. A truly satisfying “cuppa”!

A word of caution: Don’t let this tea over steep. If you are using a teaball or infuser basket, remove it from the teapot after 5 minutes exactly. If you are steeping the tea au naturel (that is, with the leaves loose in the teapot) as I do, strain the tea into another teapot or other container. Otherwise, the tea will take on an overly strong, bitter taste, with the pumpkin spice flavoring becoming too prominent, as I found out the hard way. Also, a 2nd infusion is not recommended, since it is weak and most of the pumpkin spice flavor fades away.

We had to go with a rating of 4 teapots instead of 5 due to the seasonal nature of this tea (not sure we would drink it during Spring or Summer), the bitterness and overly strong taste the tea takes on after only a minute or two of over steeping, the disappointing 2nd infusion, and the fact that it doesn’t go well with chocolate (just kidding! everything goes with chocolate).

Disclaimer: The teas reviewed here were provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are strictly objective.

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