What’s in the box?
IT’S TEA! Specifically, it’s tea from Adagio Teas… and what makes it even more special is the fact that it’s a blend based on a TV character. As I’m sure most of you can see, the large (and artistically designed) label says Lestrade. Now, a little background… I love the British TV series Sherlock and so when I saw that Adagio had special blends of tea based on the characters in the show, I just had to try at least one. I didn’t pick based on which character I liked the most, rather I picked based on what each blend contained.
I’m admittedly not a fan of… earl grey or fruity teas… (I’m also not a fan of coffee… and I’ve only recently begun to enjoy chamomile, and only then with a lot of lemon and honey) and so I chose the Lestrade blend, which is composed of gunpowder, pu erh dante, and hazelnut. The description for this blend is, as taken directly from the website… “smoky traces of gunpowder, aged leather, mellowed with a trace of hazelnut. A distinguished, if tired, blend”.
Gunpowder is not what you may think it is, rather it is “a classic green tea from Zhejiang province, China”. Now I love green tea and this kind of green tea, gunpowder, is actually a type of tea that my parents like to drink and so I grew up with it. The pu erh dante is a kind of black tea from the Yunnan province in China… and as with gunpowder, I’ve actually had this in quite a few teas paired with other tea leaves, so it was something familiar to me as well. The hazelnut was the only “new” component, as I don’t usually try hazelnut teas or get hazelnut shots in drinks… I wasn’t sure how it would complement the other two teas. But I was pleasantly surprised by the final product.
What was really cute was that they also sent you a really nice thank you note with your name on it (I photoshopped mine out, hehehe). And the arrival of the package was extremely timely as it was the weekend right before finals, which meant I would have something warm and earthy and wonderfully blended to drink and indulge in as I studied.
“A great cup of tea. And, if we’re very lucky, it might even be a good one.”
The reason why I bought tea (despite not regularly drinking it… or any other drink with caffeine) is because I had actually contemplated buying this once, but then decided not to. I had clicked “add to cart” and entered all of my information… but then I asked myself if I really wanted to spend so much just on tea. And the answer was no, so I just closed the tab and went about my business. Cue several days later, I receive an email from Adagio, gifting me with a $5 certificate to spend on whatever I wanted on their website. And well… how could I say no to that? So after re-deliberating as to which blend I wanted, I was checking out and waiting for my package to be delivered!
A look inside… when you open the packet, you can immediately smell the hazelnut… as well as the stronger, smokier scents of the gunpowder. The pu erh was a little lost at first, but that changed after I made my first cup of tea.
Read my tea leaves! :p
I never drink the first cup I make, I simply “rinse” the tea leaves, dump the water, and then make a new cup. It’s a habit I learned from my parents. But I couldn’t help inhaling the scent of the tea before I did so. I was again immediately hit with the scent of hazelnut before I could smell the gunpowder and pu erh – and so at first, I was afraid that everything would be overwhelmed by the hazelnut.
But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hazelnut actually tied all the flavors together neatly as a subtle undertone. And so after having one cup of hot tea without any sugar (I usually take my tea without cream or sugar)… I added a little sugar (about 1.5 teaspoons) to a new cup of tea and tried it. I found that after drinking two cups of tea like this… it started to taste like pearl milk tea without the milk. So of course, that was exceptionally good.
The only downside to this tea, for me personally… is the fact that it’s so strong. I only have to drink one cup… and I’m unable to fall asleep until very, very late (think 4AM or later). But then again, that’s just me… because I’m a total caffeine lightweight. If I drink one sip of coffee, I’m literally up all night. Which is why I try to avoid drinks with caffeine in them unless I’m pulling an all-nighter.
In any case, my experience with Adagio Teas has been a happy one. Great customer service and super fast shipping. They’re located in New Jersey, but I got my order in three days despite being on the other side of the country. Not only that, they send you a tracking number so you can see where your package is once they ship it out. And after it’s arrived, Adagio sends you a confirmation email letting you know that your package has arrived. Then of course, there’s their tea… which is amazing. After I work my way through this blend, I plan to order another to try.
For those who are fans of other popular media, they also have blends for Doctor Who, The Hunger Games, the Zodiac, etc. Really, they just have an abundance of choices… and if you want to make your own blend, you can always order each kind of tea by itself and blend the leaves in your own teapot at home. :) They also sell their teas at markets like Whole Foods.