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Monday, December 7, 2009

Review: Adagio’s Jasmine Bloom Flowering Tea

The Subject: Jasmine Bloom Flowering Tea from Adagio Teas.

The Little Yellow Teapot is handing over the baton to the Little Glass Teapot for this review. Read on to see why.


Water temperature: 180° F
Steeping time: 3 minutes (Adagio recommends 5 minutes)

Tea type: Green
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Jasmine
Aroma, dry: Jasmine and Green Tea
Aroma in the cup, plain: Jasmine and Green Tea
Taste, plain: Jasmine and Green Tea
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste, enhanced: N/A

2nd Infusion: N/A

Chilled: Retains Jasmine flavor

Since enjoying a flowering tea is very much a visual experience, in addition to the taste sensations, steeping in a glass teapot is the best favor you will do for yourself. Thus, the Little Yellow Teapot bowed to his buddy, the Little Glass Teapot, for this experience.

Having heard how expensive flowering tea was (some as much as $32 for one teaball), I was excited to see that Adagio had an affordable alternative ($10 for a box of 10 teaballs). They’re smaller, too, perfect for a soothing “cuppa” this very special tea (instead of a big potful). But what about quality?

Have no fear — this tea will not disappoint.

First, Adagio packages the teaballs well so that freshness and aroma are preserved. Second, that freshness and aroma, evident from the very moment you tear open the pack, speak of quality ingredients. As with all their products, Adagio puts the water temperature and recommended steeping time on their packages, great for those of us used to preparing black tea (put tea in pot, boil water, pour in pot over tea, let steep 5 minutes). Since this is a green tea, the water should not be boiled and steeping time is less. Adagio recommends 5 minutes, but I found this to be a bit too long. (The flower had fully unfolded after 3 minutes, and the Jasmine smell was at its peak.)

Before steeping, hubby and I gave the teaball a big sniff. He found the Jasmine aroma to be mild and very pleasant. I thought it a bit strong (my sensitive sniffer) but not overly so (the aroma of the green tea was still detectable). After steeping, hubby and I both found the Jasmine much lighter and milder than when dry, with a soothing and smooth taste and no edge or bitterness. I found that the taste left a definite tang on my tongue and stayed in my mouth, especially at the back, for several minutes after.

How did this flowering tea compare with one I had recently during Afternoon Tea at Heron’s at The Umstead Hotel and Spa (from Rari-Teas)? Very well.

Adagio’s qualities vs. Rari-Teas:
  1. The Adagio teaball was smaller
  2. The tea and floral quality was comparable
  3. The Jasmine was equally strong yet not overpowering
  4. The tea “liquor” is a bit darker in color, but still delicate
  5. The flower opened as expected for a real tea time show
  6. The overall flavor was milder and somewhat more satisfying
For you tea lovers who prefer your tea chilled, definitely give this one a try. Just steep the tea, strain into a container, and set in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, you can try it out to see if you need a bit of sweetener. If you can’t wait overnight, add an ice cube or two (they’ll dilute the tea as they melt, so you might want to let it steep a little longer).

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.

Click on the “Read More” link below to see more photos. Watch this blooming tea in action!

More photos:
Time: 1 sec.

Time: 15 secs.

Time: 30 secs.

Time: 1 min.

Time: 3 mins.

Time: 3 mins., 20 secs.

In Cup (straight, no enhancements)

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