Over the past month I have been slowly and steadily making my way through the amazing selection of loose leaf teas from Adagio Teas, where tea blending is almost and art and every blend is carefully created to produce the perfect cup every time. I was sent quite the selection, and it felt like Christmas had come early! If you’ve been watching my instagram stories over the past month you’ll have seen me drooling over a few teas on there as I make my way through them!
Each box contains specially selected, sealed ‘sample size’ packets of loose tea, each one making between 10 and 15 cups. Each packet is cleverly colour coded so you can differentiate between black, green and fruit teas etc. at a glance, and has instructions printed on for water temperature and brew time. I still haven’t managed to try every single individual tea I was sent but have made my way through a lot of them now so wanted to pick out a few of my favourites from the sample boxes I was sent!
Chai: Chocolate Chai is perfection! Spiced Apple Chai is also incredibly drinkable, with pieces of real apple in the blend.
Berry Teas: I’ve tried all but blackberry so far, and these are perfect hot or cold, I prefer to make these with the tea filters so I can keep the bag in for extra flavour.
Rooibos: I first drank Rooibos when I was in South Africa and brought a lot home with me but it’s all long gone and this box reminds me of my trip, I drink mine with a dash of milk.
Sweet Teas: The boxes I was most excited to try were the ‘Sweet Tooth’ and ‘Christmas’ boxes, containing such delights as Candy Cane, Candy Apple, Gingerbread (all as good as they sound and will be perfect with a slice of cake or the remnants of the gingerbread house we attempt to make every year! Also Caramel & Cream and indulgent, rich tasting ceylon blends and really unique.
Earl Grey: If you’re partial to an Earl Grey then you really need to try the Rooibos Earl Grey blend, it’s a caffeine free version of one of my favoruites with a sweeter taste. I first drank Rooibos when I was in South Africa and brought a lot home with me but it’s long gone, I drink mine with a dash of milk – which I am sure most Earl Grey drinkers would wince at but there we go!
Oolong, Orchard & Jasmine: I must admit these are taking me longer to get through sampling as they’re not the teas I would normally choose but it’s been great trying them out and getting used to a different taste. The Raspberry Green tea is refreshing, and the Jasmine Pheonix Pearls are just calming to watch brew, as the tiny hand rolled balls slowly unfurl in the water!
Teas of India & Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka was the first place I ever tried loose leaf tea, and we had been up in the hills watching it being picked and seen the process the tea leaves went through so it was a really special experience, and as I drink these teas i’m wondering if it came from the same plantations we visited! The Irish Breakfast tea from this packet has been my first, almost medicinal cup of tea for the past week and it’s just the kickstart I need after not enough sleep and two full on kids who bounce at of bed at stupid-O’clock!
They also sent me the ‘Tree House’ selection of kid friendly (decaf!) teas which is such a great idea! The tins are all bright, colourful and decorated with things the kids are drawn to, like dinosaurs and stars and contain tea bags, rather than loose leaf tea so it’s a lot friendlier for little hands. Both my kids see me drink tea all day long and when they were little they’d ask for a sip but not be that impressed with the taste. We’ve tried Monster Brew (containing honeybush, raspberry, rooibos, cocoa nibs and more) which went down well once it had cooled down! Rocket Fuel also went down well which is a fruitier zingy tea with orange peel, blueberries, apple and blue cornflowers and the kids love this cold, I tend to brew it and pop a jug in the fridge and serve it cold with some ice cubes!
Finally the ‘London Collection’ would make the perfect gift – hand selected, and with themed names (Double Decker & Covent Garden Chai for example) and presented in gorgeous tins, easy to slip in a bag for work or to refill with other blends when finished! Oxford Steep has a marzipan aroma and gives quite a kick! Other collections in the Fandom sets include Game of Thrones, Magic Potions and Doctor Who! Perfect if you’re doing your christmas shopping and know someone who’s into these!
I love drinking loose leaf tea but I know some people find it a bit of a faff. Of course the most ‘traditional’ way is with a proper tea pot and a tea strainer, but for someone like me who tends to only drink one cup of each type at a time this can be a bit wasteful, although this is perfect for when friends are round! Adagio have a few different ways to brew a perfect cup, which I’ve detailed below but they do sell tea in bags too, or you could use a…
Paper Tea Filters
These are so simple to use: pop a spoon of your chosen tea in the pocket and add hot water, making sure the long part of the bag stays over the lip of your mug. As soon as you add water the teabag works just like a regular one with no bits ending up floating in your mug! They’re made of taste-neutral wood and hemp fibres, not plastic and you get 100 in a box. Perfect for if a few of you are having a cuppa of different flavoured teas, or if your other tea-making equipment is being cleaned, and even better for taking away to hotels and other peoples houses when you go away, little air tight container of your favourite blend, a few of these and you’re good to go!
Toshima Tea Pot
This cast iron tea pot comes with a diffuser, and I was sent two matching tea cups too. There is a history of the factory that manufactures these as Adagio have selected it specifically for the uniqueness of these tea pots, a traditionally japanese style now produced in China:
If an imperfection is found at any point – even after painting and buffing – the pot is melted down and begun anew. It’s never too late to turn back and try again, and the amount of sorting and inspection that takes place is astounding. Mr. Lu’s father still works in the factory, even though he’s supposed to be enjoying retirement, and gives lessons to the workers. His son has learned well: a kind, generous and utterly hilarious soul – everything tea itself should be.
It might sound crazy but a pot of tea, especially green or white teas just taste so amazing when poured from this pot, and the tea stays hot for ages as the iron retains the heat so well!
The IngenuiTEA ‘pot’ is SO much fun to use– I defy anyone not to have a smile on their face when they use it! You pop your tea in the top and add your hot water. Pop the lid closed and let it brew for the specified time. Then you pip it on top of any mug and the tea (but not the leaves!) Drains down into your mug. GENIUS! I’ve used this for black teas a few times and found it stains a little around the bottom but a quick scrub after every few brews with some bicarb and a run through the dishwasher (yes, dishwasher friendly!) and it’s as good as new!
Diffuser in a glass mug
This is a more elegant way to brew tea, the thin (but sturdy) glass mug & lid, which has a metal diffuser that pops in and out so you can either keep it in for a stronger cup or remove when your brewing time is up.
There are of course lots more clever ways to brew and drink tea in the Teaware section of the website. I’ve been so impressed by the flavours (and the scents!) of these teas, and love that you can choose the pack size of your favourite teas, and read about the blend. The website is easy to use and I love the extra information about the farmers who supply the tea – Adagio seems like a company that really cares, all along the chain from production to delivery and that’s really important to me these days!
Very kindly Adagio have offered one of their clever IngenuiTEA diffusers and 15 sample packs of tea – that’s around 150 cups! To enter just use the form below, good luck!
T&Cs: One winner will be picked from all correct entries at random. The prize is Ingenuitea diffuser and 15 tea samples, and the prize will be dispatched to a UK address only. The winner will be notified by email and has 2 weeks to respond, or another winner will be drawn. Ends 1st December at 11.59pm.
So if you find yourself invited to my house then be prepared to be overwhelmed by the choice of tea on offer!