Adagio Teas’ Samurai Mate

Samurai Mate by Adagio Teas
Herbal Infusion (Yerba Mate & Rooibos) / Flavoured
$8.00USD for 3 oz

First Impressions

I got this sample packet of Samurai Mate as part of a promotion that Adagio Teas was putting on when Teavana Teas was closing. The packaging and label is nice and simple – very on point with their branding, and the label tells me everything that I need to know about the tea – steeping instructions and ingredients. Bonus points for being resealable, Adagio Teas! Something I greatly appreciate. Resealable packaging helps keep the tea fresh and ready to go for the next time I want to make a cup. If you’ve ever heard of Adagio Teas, it might have been their fandom teas (of which they have many…).

Samurai Mate has a strong almond aroma, which the cardamom, ginger, and orange in the background. There’s fruit in the blend as well, and lemongrass, that I can see, but I can’t pick out those aromas. Samurai Mate consists of: yerba mate, green rooibos, cinnamon bark, ginger root, cardamom, orange peels, lemon grass, aniseed, almond flavour, spicy cinnamon flavour, mango pieces, papaya flavour and pineapple pieces.

Preparation

Adagio Teas recommends steeping Samurai Mate in 212°F (100°C) water for 5-10 minutes. My initial steep was for 7 minutes.

First Taste

Samurai Mate steeps to a beautiful golden orange colour. There’s a rich ginger and cinnamon aroma from the steeped tea, which I do taste as well. Along with the ginger and cinnamon, I taste the cardamom with a light sweetness – which may be from the fruit. I can’t taste the almond, which is unfortunate since it was so present with the dry leaf. The tail end of each sip has just a hint of bright citrus notes, which makes for a tasty cup.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Samurai Mate, steeping for a total of 10 minutes. I found the colour and the flavour to be quite dilute compared to the initial steep. I didn’t really enjoy the resteep of the same leaves.

My Overall Impression

I liked Adagio Teas’ Samurai Mate. I really enjoyed the warming flavours of the ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon in the blend. The sweetness from the fruits was a nice touch, but I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to taste the almond in the steeped tea. That said, I’m really grateful that I couldn’t taste the rooibos in the base as I’m normally not a very big fan of rooibos. The citrus just added a touch of brightness to this blend, which made it quite delicious! I just wish that it had resteeped better since it was so enjoyable for the initial steep.

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Teatourist’s Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure

Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure (April 2018) by Teatourist
£15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

Teatourist has provided me with the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was really excited with the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure because the first item I really laid eyes on was the complimentary brew buddy, which was the Vegan Creme Egg Fudge by Fab Fudge. I pretty much ate that quick and it was delicious! It had a lovely chocolate texture and reminded me a lot of a Cadbury Creme Egg. There’s not a lot of photos that I took of that one, unfortunately. The only thing that would have it better if there had been more of it.

This collection had six teas: Mountain Mint by Nazani Tea (herbal infusion), Blooming Marvelous by eteaket (green tea), Pedernales Green Yaupon by CatSpring Yaupon (herbal infusion), Shakti Masala Chai by Sonya’s Chai (black tea), Belgian Chocolate Rooibos by Cheshire Tea (rooibos), and Breakfast In Bed by teatourist (black tea). From what I learned from teatourist, this is their first signature tea blend, so I was really looking to trying it when I saw it!

Mountain Mint is an herbal tisane that I would describe as being very fluffy. It just has a very fluffy, airy dry leaf. This mint tisane is 100% wild mountain mint and harvested 1800m above sea level. It has an obviously minty aroma to it. Blooming Marvelous has a very strong strawberry aroma to it, which is quite nice. It’s made up of green Chinese sencha, rosebuds, strawberries, mallow, sunflower petals, and natural flavouring (lemon, vanilla, and red fruit). Now, I’m not sure what ‘red fruit’ is, but I’m assuming it helps to amplify the strawberry flavouring of the tea. Pedernales Green Yaupon has flakey dry green leaves. There’s something about the aroma of this yaupon that reminds me of kale. Pedernales Green Yaupon is 100% organic yaupon.

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

Shakti Original Masala Chai has some strong spice aromas from the dry leaf, I can smell primarily the cardamom, clove, and black pepper. This chai consists of Assam black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, anise seed, black pepper, clove, and fennel. Belgian Chocolate Rooibos has a sweet chocolate aroma, along with the medicinal aroma from the rooibos base. It consists of rooibos, cacao bean pieces, calendula petals, and natural flavours. Breakfast In Bed has a strong black tea aroma, and I can smell and sweet the vanilla bean pieces. The aroma makes me think of cake, but I believe that to be due to the vanilla bean. Teatourist’s signature blend consists of black tea, vanilla pieces, and flavouring.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

Preparation

Nazani Tea recommends steeping Mountain Mint in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes.

eteaket recommends steeping Blooming Marvelous in 80°C (176°F) water for 2 to 3 minutes. I did an initial steep of 2 minutes in 79°C (175°F) water.

CatSpring Yaupon recommends steeping Pedernales Green Yaupon in 95°C (203°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes in 93°C (200°F) water.

Sonya’s Chai recommends steeping Shakti Original Masala Chai in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for the initial steep.

Cheshire Tea recommends steeping Belgian Chocolate Rooibos in 100°C (212°F) water for 3 to 7 minutes. I did an initial steep of 5 minutes.

teatourist recommends steeping Breakfast In Bed in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes.

First Taste

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

Mountain Mint steeps to a nice orange colour. It has a minty aroma, and has a great minty flavour to it. The description on the packaging described it as being both warm and refreshing, which I do agree with. I think it’d to have iced this summer.

Blooming Marvelous steeps to a light yellow colour. I can taste the sencha base, it has a pleasant vegetal flavour to it. I found that it had a nice light fruity sweetness, and pleasant floral notes to it. The strawberry/berry flavours shine through when I sip at this one.

Pedernales Green Yaupon steeps to a brownish-yellow. I found that it has a bit of a spinach and earthy aroma to it. There’s a very light sweetness to it, and some earthy notes in this infusion that reminds me a lot of dark green leafy vegetables and mushrooms.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

Shakti Original Masala Chai steeps to a deep red. I found that it had a nice spice aroma and flavour to it. I like my chai a tiny bit sweeter than this one is, so I did add a little bit of honey. I can definitely taste the ginger and cinnamon in it. This chai blend also goes well with a splash of milk.

Belgian Chocolate Rooibos steeps to a deep red. I found the chocolate aroma wasn’t very strong compared to the smell of the rooibos base. The chocolate flavour was very mild compared to the medicinal flavour of the rooibos.

Breakfast In Bed also steeps to a deep red. There’s a slight sweetness to this black tea, with a nice vanilla flavour. The black tea base has a touch of astringency to it, which isn’t overwhelming the vanilla – it reminds me a bit of a breakfast tea (either English or Irish). The vanilla adds a bit of creaminess to the tea. I think it’d do well with some cream and sugar.

A Second Cup?

For the first trio, I attempted resteeps for all three. Mountain Mint did well on the first resteep at 7 minutes and had an enjoyable flavour. In a second resteep attempt, Mountain Mint did poorly, it’s a tisane that is good for just the one more steep. Blooming Marvelous didn’t do well on the resteep, I found that the flavour profile wasn’t similar to the initial steep. The sencha was the main star for the resteep, so if you’re like sencha, you’ll probably enjoy the resteep of the same leaves. Pedenerales Green Yaupon tasted fairly similar to the initial steep with those earthy flavours.

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

In the second half of the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure, I resteeped all of them once. I found that Shakti Original Masala Chai wasn’t quite as spicy as the initial steep. It’s still tasty, but the flavour wasn’t as intense as the first steep. Belgian Chocolate Rooibos didn’t do that well with the second steep, I found it to be all rooibos with no chocolate flavour to it. Breakfast In Bed resteeped well. The vanilla flavour wasn’t as strong as the initial steep, but it was noticeable. The black tea still had a mild astringency to it, but wasn’t off-putting.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teatourist’s Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure. I really did enjoy the Vegan Creme Egg Fudge, it was a very tasty morsel! The stand outs in this collection for me were Blooming Marvelous, Shakti Original Masala Chai, and Breakfast In Bed. I really enjoyed the black teas in this collection, and getting introduced to all these flavour combinations is one of my favourite parts of receiving a monthly subscription box. The fun part of the boxes is getting teas that I probably wouldn’t buy on my own, but then I would have missed out of getting to try them. I really would recommend trying it out if you have the spare funds because it’s a really fun treat.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Teatourist’s Crushes & Blushes Collection

Crushes & Blushes Collection (February 2018) by Teatourist
£11-15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

Teatourist has provided me with the Crushes & Blushes Collection for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was super excited to receive the Crushes & Blushes Collection from Teatourist. Part of this box also included the announcement that they’re launching the Build-A-Box option on their website. It’s super neat for those who want to choose their own teas instead of getting one of the curated collections. You get to pick any six teas from Teatourist’s extensive catalogue of teas, and then they’ll package it all together and send it to you. No word yet on how much this will cost. I personally love getting the curated boxes, because a lot of the teas I get are ones that I probably wouldn’t pick for myself, but love getting the opportunity to try. So if you’re into surprises, the subscription box might be a great choice for you – but if you want to choose your own due to allergies or just personal preference, that’s an option! You could even gift a Build-A-Box to someone and put all that though and effort into a personalized tea box.

Now onto the Crushes & Blushes Collection! This box has a selection of six tea tasters: two herbal infusions, one white tea, one black tea, one rooibos, and one green tea. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on all six of them: Whole Rose Buds from The Tea Makers of London (herbal infusion), North Jetty Beach by Beach House Teas (herbal infusion), Sparkling White by Hoogly Tea (white tea), Honey Red Jade Tea by Golden Tea Leaf (black tea), Raspberry & Rhubarb by The Tea Experience (rooibos), and Cheeky Charlie by The Kettle Shed (green tea). Read More …