A tea lover's ode to Adagio's Wide Range of Artisan Tea Blends

I sip Adagio's White Peach tea while writing this post. I would suggest you get a cuppa too. This long, rambling  post is all about teas. 
It's no secret that I am a tea addict. I keep drinking and talking about this drink. Almost to obsessive levels. I inherited this fixation with tea from my father who used to be a tea man. Initially like every other Indian I used to drink tea with milk and sugar. My family prefers a blend of Assam (for the body) and Darjeeling (for the flavour and aroma). But for a light, refreshing tea, full of flavour and aroma, it has to be pure Darjeeling which is drank without any milk and with or without a hint of sweetness. My father used to work in the tea industry and is rather fussy particular about his blends. The company he worked for owned several tea gardens in Assam and Darjeeling. All his working life we used to get loose tea leaves in big foil wrapped packages sent directly from the gardens. 

Since his retirement he buys his tea from a particular shop in Kolkata which stores teas in large wooden chests and brings out  little quantities in spoons for the customers to sniff at and have a detailed tea chat. Now what does a tea chat involve? Among other things an authentic tea chat must include the merits of the leaves, the year of it's harvest, the garden it grew in, for how long it has to be steeped, which other varieties of tea it will blend with, how much it fetched in the auctions, and a whole lot of other related stuff. I hope you realise I am just kidding. It's just that when I used to accompany my father to these tea shops, and he would start speaking to the shopkeeper, I would say in my mind "oh there starts the tea chat". After this pretty focused discussion tea leaves would be carefully blended, meticulously weighed and  wrapped up in brown paper packages. He buys tea in small quantities because you really shouldn't keep tea for long. 
I grew up soaking in all this tea gyan. My father is a good story teller and he often used to describe the rolling gardens, the girls who pluck the tea, the process of plucking tea, the excitement of the auction houses where companies come to buy tea in bulk, how tea bags are made and so many other stories.

My student days in Canada got me into green tea. I needed scathing hot tea to help me through those endless whole night study sessions and used to be too distracted lazy to make normal tea. A friend suggested green tea. And I took to it like a duck takes to water. Yes I am one of those people who love green tea. I drink green tea on it's own, without any sweetner. I am forever cradling a cup in my hand, and drink cup after cup through each day. It's my number one secret for survival. I drink it to wake up in the morning, while I am working, when I feel stressed, after a meal, while reading, watching television, to relax, before I go to the gym. You get the gist. 
If you asked me to explain it's taste, I really can't. But I know when I take a sip from my cup, the flavour I get. And the kick. True addict speaking. Sometimes just to challenge myself I try and not drink green tea for a day or two. I can tell you by the third day I am cranky and craving the tea badly. I still drink my beloved Indian blend occasionally, I make it strong and sweet. It's perfect for dunking biscuits. Or on a rainy day. Or when I am feeling homesick. On special occasions we make masala chai, rich and full of spices. Some of my other favourites are camomile tea (perfect for those nights when you can't fall asleep), jasmine tea (they taste superb even without the accompanying Chinese meal), white tea {high on antioxidants   and fruit and herbal teas. 
Basically I enjoy all kinds of good quality teas. So when Adagio Teas wrote to me about their artisan teas and whether I would like to try them out, I went to check their website. One look at their vast selection of teas and I was sold. I received the package a few weeks back, I took my time to drink through each of the blends they had sent me. After I had my fill, I was finally ready to write this post.

Adagio sent me 6 kinds of teas to taste--masala chai, mango, white peach, citron green, blood orange and matcha. I have tried all of them, except for the matcha, which strangely enough for me, I have not taken to. The first thing that I noticed while opening the packets was the smell of the teas. Each blend is super fragrant and the smell lingers on even after you have made the tea and halfway  through drinking it. 
The masala chai has whole spices in it and is rich and full of body. It makes great tea, strong and intense, just the way I like masala chai. This is the tea I drink on rainy days with hot, crispy pakoras and indulge in a  bout of nostalgia. 
This was the first time I tried Mango tea. I was rather curious about it and it didn't disappoint me. The tea has a subtle smell and taste of mango. While I loved it hot, I think it's a perfect tea to make some iced tea with. 
White peach tea smells of peaches and summer. The smell is light and soothing, more in tune with British summers than Indian summers, albeit in a good way. Like the taste, the tea is also light and full of flavour. It's a perfect tea to relax with. 
The first thing you notice about the Citron green tea is it's slight lemon-y smell, which continues in the taste as well. If you want to start drinking green tea but find it overwhelming or underwhelming as the case maybe, this is a good one to start with. It has a mild taste with just a hint of lemon, and you will finish your cup trying to pin down that effusive flavour. And bingo you have drank your first cup of green tea. 
Forget subtle, this Blood Orange tea smells of oranges in a bright, bold way and has a lovely red colour when steeped for a couple of minutes. This otherwise mild and soothing tea has a slight sour note in it, but then we must not forget it's orange tea after all. It's a refreshing brew, perfect to serve your guests after dinner.
If you asked me which one is my favourite out of the lot, I would be hard pressed to say and really not fair on the teas. 

Thanks Adagio Tea for sending me these teas to sample and the Ingenue Tea Maker.
The views expressed in this post are entirely my own, written after trying each of these teas for several times. 

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