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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Review: Adagio’s Cranberry Black Tea

The Subject: Cranberry Black Tea from Adagio Teas.


Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes

Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Cranberry
Aroma, dry: Fruity cranberry (mild) with black tea scent
Aroma in the cup, plain: Definitely cranberry with black tea undertones
Taste, plain: Mild cranberry, black tea, slight edge, lingers on palate
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Cranberry, black tea
Taste, enhanced: Mellowed cranberry blended with black tea

2nd Infusion: Strong, keeps cranberry flavor, slightly bitter
Good Chilled: Definitely

The Little Yellow Teapot is beaming, and not just from the glow of the candlelight! He has discovered a most wonderful tasting tea: Adagio’s Cranberry Black Tea. Hubby and I agree — this tea is truly scrumptious, both plain and with “enhancements” (milk and sweetener). This is a tea that won’t get pushed to the back of the pantry shelf. In fact, you may find that you just have to have some on hand at all times — and you may not want to share it!

The dry tea caresses your nose with a gentle scent of cranberry, followed by the rich aroma of a fine black tea. Hubby found the overall fragrance soothing and very aromatic. I liked that the tea notes were not overwhelmed by the fruity notes and the aftertaste had only the slightest bitterness.

The tea plain in the cup had an aroma that matched the dry, i.e., subtle cranberry with definite tea notes in balance with each other. Hubby thought the scent was understated, not overpowering. I appreciated that the cranberry didn’t get lost. As for taste, we both detected a slight edge (me a bit more so, bordering on bitterness) but found that the cranberry rounded that off nicely. Hubby found no need to enhance this tea. I wanted to try it both ways, however. When enhanced with milk and sweetener, I found this tea took on a rich, smooth taste, with the bitterness totally gone. The flavor was truly worthy of my finest bone china cup from Bavaria.

Even the 2nd infusion was great and as strong as the first, a true sign of quality loose leaf tea. A bit of the cranberry taste was lost, but still noticeable over the slightly more bitter black tea. Milk and sweetener rounded off the edges nicely.

One of the best things about Adagio’s Cranberry Black Tea is that it can be enjoyed year round, as opposed to being seasonal like their Pumpkin Spice Tea, or occasional like the Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea. This is due not only to the taste, which goes with a wide variety of foods, but that it can be served both hot or chilled, making it a great Summer-time tea. It’s also special enough to serve at your next tea party, especially if you’re having cheesecake.

As for great “go with” foods: ham, turkey, all the “trimmings,” pecan pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate (of course!). You might want to keep this tea in mind not only for your Christmas feast, but also Easter (especially if you’re serving the traditional baked ham) and a Summer picnic or two (the ants will thank you!).

The only reason this tea didn’t get 5 teapots is because we have lots more samples to try, and one of them might be better — but we have our doubts! This is one very tasty tea.

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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