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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review: Adagio’s Sweet Potato Black Tea

The Subject: Sweet Potato Black Tea from Adagio Teas.


Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes

Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Sweet Potato, Cinnamon, Nutmeg
Aroma, dry: Mostly black tea, hint of sweet potato
Aroma in the cup, plain: Black tea, sweet potato
Taste, plain: Some edge, slight bitterness, faint sweet potato
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Sweet potato stronger, black tea
Taste, enhanced: Sweet potato stronger, black tea

2nd Infusion: Strong as first

Chilled: Not recommended

Having loved Adagio’s Cranberry Black Tea and Pumpkin Pie Black Tea, we were prepared to be bowled over once again. Sorry to say that we weren’t. Of course, we weren’t disappointed either. This tea is still tasty, just not as enthralling as the other two teas.

The first issue is that this tea, unlike the others, isn’t palatable plain. Nor do we envision drinking it chilled. A truly fine tea will be one or the other. This tea must be enhanced with milk and sweetener to take away the edge of the black tea and bring out the sweet potato flavor (almost taking on a chai quality). It scores well in the multiple infusion category, however, with the second infusion being as strong as the first — great for anyone trying to get the most out of their tea dollars.

The scent dry is mostly the black tea. Hubby thought he detected a hint of nutmeg and compared the aroma to a slice of toast with jam. Neither of us could detect a sweet potato fragrance. I thought there was a bit of cinnamon scent.

We tried the tea plain, as we do with all samples. This tea has a definite edge, a bitterness that clings to the tongue long after we swallowed. Enhancing the tea with milk and sweetener took that edge away and added another dimension: a stronger taste of sweet potato. Hubby thought the aftertaste had a milkshake quality, lingering on the palate. After the second cupful, I agreed. We don’t see this as a year-round tea, more appropriate for the Winter holidays.

Pairing of teas with foods, just like pairing wines, is a growing area of tea-dom. I can add my little tidbit to that volume of knowledge online: this tea does NOT go with the meatloaf, gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, and sliced tomato we had for lunch. I had to set my cup aside, eat lunch, rinse my palate with a little water and a few drops of lemon, and then finish the tea. Experiment with a few foods on your own or earmark this tea for your quiet tea moment — just you and the mug.

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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