Adagio Day 24 Christmas

The tea to get you into the holiday spirit! This blend of bright, tangy Ceylon black tea flavored with warm cinnamon, pungent cloves, and orange peels is a Christmas delight. Spicy and fresh aroma, outdoorsy and cozy, with a balanced tangy flavor and a slightly sweet finish. Perfect to sip while decking the halls, being jolly, or dreaming of a white Christmas.
Black Tea | High caffeine | Steep at 212° for 3 minutes.

high caffeine! To make sure adults are awake for Santa after it takes forever to get the kids down, we need high caffeine.

Ingredients & Lore: Blended With Black Tea, Cinnamon, Orange, Natural Spice Flavor, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, Natural Ginger Flavor & Natural Cinnamon Flavor

Ever since those Three Wise Men visited the manger to offer gifts of extraordinary spices to observe the birth of that very special child, in the heat of the desert or the cold of the snowy mountains have shared food and beverages made with similar spices as clove, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and the then-rare, and expensive, orange. Now grown in abundance, the orange was once the most sought-after holiday stocking stuffer in the U.S. and Europe. Oranges and costly spices can make even the poorest believer feel rich in spirit when consumed in a Christmas tea or tea punch.

HOLD THE PHONE. Why Adagio, WHY?!?!?! do you use flavourings? Why add cinnamon and ginger FLAVORINGS when you’ve already put actual cinnamon and ginger in this? You people make me question everything.

yeah, Frosty is a bit raggedy. He’s been in my family for decades. He used to play his theme song, but now he sounds old and tired.

Let’s open this.

Out of the bag it smells like orange and spice. Okay. Correct direction.

Steeped it smells like black tea. Not really getting the orange or spices.

Sipping… the cloves cover the tongue and I can’t really pick out the other flavours. I WANT to taste the ginger and cinnamon. But I can’t. Because cloves and science.

it’s not bad. I’m not ordering it, but I’m drinking the whole cup. So it gets 4 out of 5 orange pomanders.

Let’s look at the calendar and decide what we’re buying!

Earl Grey Bella Luna will be available this month on Tuesday the 29th. I already have some and love it, but I will buy more. I already have Elderberry Wine in the cabinet… but I ordered some to keep at my boyfriend’s house 🙂 I will be ordering Spiced Apple Chai and Yuletide Toddy. Those are the only other two on this calendar I felt deserved to have repeat cups.

I know I lose my mind over ingredients and I hate rooibos and honey bush. Honestly I love Adagio. Earl Grey Moonlight is my favourite tea EVER. Their fandom blends are so much fun. Not every person who makes them knows what they are doing. But if you want to blend your own – check out the Adagio site. I have an Earl Grey blend up there with lavender and roses. Their special offerings like Bella Luna Blue (only available at the Blue Moon) and Brigadoon (only available at Leap Year) are not to be missed. Reindeer Fuel is OMGSOGOODSOOOOMUCHCAFFEINEEEEEE.

You’ve likely learned a lot about me. I can only hope you enjoyed it. Or if you know me, have a little insight into the weird that is me.

Happy Christmas! Keep safe. Wear your masks. Wash your hands. I’ll hug you all later.

24 December F&M Christmas Green Tea

Created especially for Christmas, our gently warming blend of green tea, star anise, liquorice, coconut and a hint of vanilla is a festive treat that can be enjoyed by a crackling fire at any time of day.

Green Tea (46%), Cassia, Liquorice Root (13%), Aniseed, Star Anise (8%), Coconut Flakes (4.5%), Flavouring (3%), White Cornflowers, Pink Peppercorns

Cassia is a cinnamon. It is the bark of an East Asian evergreen tree. Why aren’t our trees tasty? I mean, we have maple syrup. And you can tap birch trees for birch syrup. Maybe I shouldn’t complain. 

In the bag and in the cup this smells like anise and licorice. It steeps to a gorgeous yellow. 

The taste is light and mellow. Pepper is in the back of the flavour. I’m not getting any cinnamon at all. 

Nice cup. Not festive. Not exciting. Sad to end this month on such a blah note. But I’m giving this cup 3 out of 5 kisses under the mistletoe. 

Now that we’ve had 21 teas from Fortnum and Mason I’ve made my Boxing Day shopping list.  I will be ordering…

Apricot, Honey & Lavender (Day 22)

Rhubarb Raspberry & Nettle Infusion (Day 7)

Rose Pouchong (Days 4 and 10)

Elderflower, Strawberry & Rose Infusion (Day 12)

Plum, Apple & Cinnamon Infusion (Day 8)

Chamomile and Bee Pollen (Day 3)

If you’ve followed along on this tea journey, I hope you enjoyed it. You likely learned a lot about me and my bff Hipster Wife. She’s one of about three people on this planet who get me. She’s the person I’m always most thankful for at Thanksgiving and we usually cry telling each other that. I’m totes ruining your ‘street cred’, HW. Pandemic Era has been depressing so far. Stay safe. Wear your mask. It’s not political, it’s public health and polite.

This tea sucks. So one hall decked with boring. 

I am ordering the Apricot, honey, and lavender. I’ve already ordered the Chamomile and bee pollen. 

This month has been the end of a very hard year. I have felt like my ass has been kicked 12 ways from Sunday. 

One of my most precious Christmas gifts this year is my Viking Wife. I am very lucky to have someone who gets to sit and share tea with. Thank you for your friendship my love. Merry Christmas!! 

Happy Christmas!

Adagio Day 23 Yuletide Toddy

I feel like this should have been the 21st’s offering.

Let your heart be light! This herbal blend is a lovely duet of classic holiday flavors (cranberry and orange) with the added sparkle of cinnamon spice. Bright and festive, tangy yet sweet.
Herbal Tea | No caffeine | Steep at 212° for 5-10 minutes

Ingredients & Lore: Blended With Rose Hips, Hibiscus, Apple Pieces, Orange, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cherries, Natural Cranberry Flavor, Natural Cinnamon Flavor, Natural Orange Flavor & Natural Ginger Flavor

It’s time to step-up your Hot Toddy recipe this Holiday season! Follow this recipe for a tea-infused Toddy that’s sure to keep you warm on chilly winter days. In a large glass mug, steep 1tsp of Yuletide Toddy in 4oz of hot water. Add a tablespoon of honey, a squeeze of lemon, and 1oz bourbon of your choice… Enjoy all winter long, preferably under a knit blanket by a crackling fire.

Hmmm… I don’t drink bourbon. Maybe I should order more of this and try it with my honey whisky.

Cernunnos is ready for this cup

This smells fruity and spicy. The orange, apple and cinnamon come through. It’s nice. It reminds me of wassail that I make for the kids.

The rose hips (a favorite ingredient of mine!) and orange and cranberry are a gorgeous combination and are set off by the perfectly measured spices. Adagio did us a solid here, kids. This is a GOOD cup.

There are reasons my bff Hipster Wife calls me Viking Wife. For those of you who wouldn’t know, this is Frigga and Odin (with his ravens) at the birth of their son Baldur. The Norns are in the background. Freya is behind the packet. This is all at the base of a model of Yggdrasil that I built.

Absolutely delicious. No funny aftertastes we get sometimes from the flavorings. This is natural and seasonal. Not sure I can say anything more except – go buy this. I’m going to.

23 December F&M Lemon Curd Tea

Fortnum’s has been making Lemon Curd for almost as long as we’ve been selling tea. Now we’ve combined the two in glorious fashion to create a naturally smooth and zingy Lemon Curd Tea perfect for sipping.

Green Tea (57%), White Hibiscus, Liquorice Root, Lemon Peel (4%), Lemon Curd Flavouring (3%), Natural Flavouring.

This only comes in silky tea bags. 

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten lemon curd. I may have. I have no idea. 

In the bag it smells like licorice. Steeping it smells like licorice. I’m not getting any lemon at all. 

The longer it steeps the weaker the licorice scent. It’s not really smelling like much of anything. Sort of weird. I can’t pick out any of the scents. It steeped to a very pale yellow. 

Doesn’t taste like much of anything. Maybe there is a vague idea of lemon. It’s not very exciting. 

1 out of 5 bored lemons

I looked up what is in their lemon curd. It’s … not jelly. It’s got eggs and butter in it. I’m not sure what to think of this. 

Someone who likes lemon curd needs to invite me over for tea post pandemic and let me try it. 

I actually make a wonderful lemon curd. Which I use as a base layer in my pavlova. Hipster Husband would actually stab someone for lemon curd. 

Sorry, love, but Hipster Husband is from the south. Except for his Greek chicken, I’m a bit sus on his palette. I love my own midwestern cowboy but I’m also sus about his tastes. I’m totes coming over to eat your lemon curd when this stupid plague is under control.

I think homemade is epically better then anything that is made commercially. Not to throw shade at F&M. 

I think maybe this tea bag was rubbed with a lemon. I am not getting the sweet tartness that I would think of a curd. 

COME VISIT ME WIFE and I will ply you with mini me and lemon curd. 

Your mini me and I shall dance and sing as you ply us with lemon curd.

Eh. 1 curd out of 5. 

oh good. it’s not just me.

Adagio Day 22 Candy Cane

Premium black tea from Sri Lanka flavored with minty candy canes. This wonderfully smooth treat that will fill you with a warm Christmas spirit and leave you jolly. There’s no need to wait for a visit from Old Saint Nick to enjoy this yuletide favorite. He’ll know if you’ve been naughty or nice, so you’d better pick some up for a friend, too!

Black Tea | High caffeine | Steep at 212° for 3 minutes.

Ingredients & Lore: Blended With Black Tea, Candy Cane Pieces, Natural Candy Cane Flavor & Peppermint Leaves

The Christmas candy cane allegedly began in 1670 when a Cologne, Germany choirmaster, looking to quiet his young singers during mass, bent white sugar candies into shepherds’ canes for the children to savor. It wasn’t until 1920 that the candies became a holiday favorite when U.S. candy maker, Bob McCormack, added peppermint flavor and red-and-white stripes. He first made them as a holiday treat for his friends and family hand-bending each candy. Luckily, his brother-in-law, Gregory Keller, designed a machine to enable mass production, launching Bob’s Candies and the candy cane became an international holiday tree decoration and sweet treat.

I’m pretty sure we got this two years ago. And we didn’t like it then. 

It smells like peppermint leaves and candy canes. Also like vanilla. That must be hidden in the ‘natural candy cane flavor’.

Where do they harvest this natural flavor? The peppermint forests outside Santa’s castle? 

Not great. It’s minty but not in a good way. 

I’ve legit been using the same two peppermint nougats all month. I’m not a huge candy eater

Let me introduce you to a superior peppermint black tea.

In Adagio’s fandom blends this brilliant Sherlock fan and tea blender created this gem. They chose the Cream and Vanilla black teas and Peppermint. It’s accented with candy cane pieces. It’s GORGEOUS. 

You don’t have to be a BBC Sherlock fan. You don’t have to ship Mycroft Holmes with Greg Lestrade (you’d be wrong if you don’t). But you will love this tea more than Adagio’s offering for today.

Candy Cane tea gets 2 out of 5 half licked candy canes. 

The GovernMINT Takes a Holiday gets 5 out of 5 angsty Mystrade fan fics that end with sweet kisses.

same two candies here as above.

22 December F&M Apricot, Honey & Lavender

Made with Fortnum’s own wildflower-rich Salisbury Plain honey, this light, floral and mellow infusion combines sweet notes of fruity apricot and honey with calming lavender to create an Apricot, Honey & Lavender Infusions Tea like no other.

Rosehip, Apple, Liquorice Root (12%), Sweet Blackberry Leaves, Lemon Balm, Lemon Peel, Apricot (5%), Lavender Flowers (3%), Honey Granules (3%), Apricot Flavouring (3%).CONTAINS: Liquorice – people suffering from hypertension should avoid excessive consumption.

In the bag the scent of apricot is strong. It smells sweet. 

While steeping the apricot is still strong and the lavender comes through. 

Sipping… the licorice is in the taste. Apricot follows. The lavender is everywhere in the sip, but not overpowering. 

This is a really nice cup. 

I’ve never blended lavender with licorice or fruit before. This is an inspired blend! I’m loving every sip. It’s going on my Boxing Day shopping list. 

As this cup disappears a lemon aftertaste sits on top of the licorice. It’s really nice. 

local honey from a farm in Sterling, MA

Time for Viking Wife to get random! 

I love apricots. When I was little I called dried apricots ‘ears’ and would devour them until I got ill. My mother always had a small stocking for me at Christmas addressed to “Baby Renee” (my middle name) for Santa to put baby food in. I don’t know the full story, but I do know I LOVED Gerber’s baby apricots. This stocking was out, and full of 3 little jars of baby food fruits, every Christmas until I had my daughter. I have possession of the stocking. But the tag that said “For Baby Renee” is long gone. 

5 out of 5 dried apricots

When I saw that VW liked this, I was expecting myself to be like.. Well get tied on to hate this. 

But, no! It is another Christmas miracle. WE both like it. 

*tosses confetti* It’s a Saturnalia Miracle!

I always think of apricots as a summer treat. When I was little we had several fruit bearing trees. *The Joy of living in Southern California.* 

Me and my cousin would make mud pies and use the apricot stones as decorations. We could just pick them off the tree and eat them. We were self-sufficient snacking children lol. 

If the rose is a bad trigger, then this tea is a good reminder of my childhood. 

Totally not Christmas, but I think I will be ordering some to enjoy in the summer. I did like the other notes as well, but the cup actually made me feel a little wistful. 

5 out of 5 happy memories. 

Adagio Day 21 Rooibos Noel

Rooibos Noel

(Red Bush Christmas for everyone!)

Not listed on their website. So this is a special calendar exclusive torment. 

From the bag – Ingredients: rooibos tea, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, apple pieces, orange, natural spicy cinnamon flavor, rose petals, natural almond flavor, natural orange flavor.

I made shortbread to ease the pain of all the FREAKING ROOIBOS AND HONEYBUSH. FML

*Weeps rooibos tainted tears*

Why are they ruining Yule? I’m taking this personally. 

*squints at the ingredients list*  it’s this just an americanized chai?

I shan’t rant and delay this cup. I shall get through this so I can enjoy my holiday. 

My owl mug from Hipster Wife is suspicious

It smells nice. The spices cover the stale rooibos scent. As it is steeping that ‘natural spicy cinnamon flavor’ is strong. 

The cinnamon is prominent but not overpowering. Not good. Not the worst thing I’ve had from Adagio this month. 

I reluctantly give this cup 3 out of 5 Noels.

21 December F&M Vanilla Nougat Tea

A naturally sweet and nutty black tea good enough to eat. Indulge in this irresistible golden liquor infused with roasted almonds, caramel drizzle and sweet apple. Every cup of this 100% natural tea blend will recreate the honey-sweet taste of Fortnum’s famous Vanilla Nougat confectionery.

Black Tea (74%), Liquorice Root, Apple, Almond Flavouring (3%), Honey Flavouring (3%), Meringue Flavouring, Vanilla Flavouring (2%)

“Black tea”. I have to stop rolling my eyes at these people. I’m going to give myself migraine. Fetch the paracetamol. I’m going to need it. 

Honey FLAVOURING? Why not honey?  Should I order some of Fortnum’s famous confectionary to compare? Let’s sip and find out if it will be worth it…

It smells like vanilla and black tea. As advertised is good. As it steeps it has a nice honey gold colour. 

I want to love this cup, but I do not. There is too much vanilla. I can’t taste the tea or anything else. I don’t want to finish this cup. 

2 out of 5 nougats. 

Hipster Wife loves vanilla and coconut. HW, what do you think?

I love vanilla. I love vanilla body spray. I love vanilla cookies. I love vanilla lotion. 

I do not like this tea. 

I feel like I licked vanilla lotion off a vanilla sugar cookie. 

I do not get any of the honey flavoring and why not use real honey? The Bee Pollen tea is in fact my favorite so far from this calendar. I would love more of that. 

Agreed!! It’s on my Boxing Day shopping list.

I also decided I am not a fan of nougat. So thanks for that F&M. 

This gets no love from me. 

Adagio Day 20 Decaf Hazelnut Cinnamon Creme

Decaf seekers looking for depth of flavor, look no further! Our Decaf Ceylon tea blends with the warm, soothing flavors of hazelnut and cinnamon, paired with silky crème, to evoke happy memories. Rich and comforting, decadent without being heavy. Ideal for both hot and iced tea lattes, perfectly paired with a cozy fireside in any season.

Our natural creme flavor is vegan-friendly and doesn’t contain any dairy ingredients.

Black Tea | No caffeine | Steep at 212° for 3 minutes.

Ingredients & Lore: Blended With Decaf Ceylon Tea, Cinnamon, Cocoa Nibs, Orange, Natural Hazelnut Flavor, Marigold Flowers, Natural Cinnamon Flavor & Natural Creme Flavor

Hazelnuts are often associated with decadent and rich treats such as chocolates, nougats, cafe lattes, and Nutella. There are 100 different varieties known that grow throughout the world. The hazelnut is also referred to as Filberts, named after the saint whose day of celebration also fell on the first day of the nut’s harvest. In ancient times, hazelnuts were thought to conjure up mystical powers to steer seekers towards water sources and buried treasure.

Pooh is like ‘decaf… zzzz….”

Ferrero Rocher – delicious!  Nutella – no thank you. Not my jam. Or my nut spread. 

I’m not a decaf drinker. So let’s see what this tastes like.

Smells like hazelnuts. Good. Important that.  Ceylon? My favourite black tea leaf! 

This is a sad cup. Drinking it black to start. The hazelnut is prominent. The cinnamon is subtle. I get the creme flavouring. The orange isn’t strong at all. After half a cup the orange sort of sits in the mouth as an aftertaste. 

I am adding half and half to this. It has drowned out all but the hazelnut flavor. 

I’m not a fan of hazelnut in coffee or tea. This isn’t terrible. But it’s not blowing me away. This is not a gold foil wrapped Ferrero Rocher delight. 

3.5 out of 5 filberts.

20 December F&M Darjeeling FTGFOP

In tea as in wine, challenging growing conditions often yield the most highly prized specimens. This champagne of teas, harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas, is one of the highest-grown teas, delivering a subtle Muscatel taste.

Tasting Notes:The champagne of teas, our Darjeeling Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe Tea – an incredibly high tea grade – is harvested from Himalayan bushes more than a century old. Smooth and drinkable, it is a perfect partner to sweet desserts like cheesecake or trifle.

I honestly don’t have the vocabulary for the way Darjeeling smells. Once you know it, you can’t forget it. Before I discovered Earl Grey I was in love with Darjeeling. 

The taste is smooth. It has a honey like flavour (the one that was missing from the Royal Blend). The mouthfeel is slightly dry with a smooth finish. 

I don’t think it tastes like Muscatel. But let’s find out what the internet says…

Muscatel is an elusive taste found in some Darjeeling teas, most likely second flush teas. It is very hard to describe the taste in words, but it is easy to recognize the taste once you are familiar with it. James Norwood Pratt goes as far as saying that in tea, muscatel “denotes a unique muscat-like fruitiness in aroma and flavour.” Rajiv Lochan, owner of several tea gardens in India and CEO of Lochan Tea Ltd remarked that muscatel is “very difficult to describe but it is something extraordinary and rare.”

Check out the link for how people describe the taste. I’d say the aftertaste is more like “I ate some grapes hours ago and haven’t brushed my teeth yet so the flavour sort of lingers”.

This cup gets 5 out of 5 fancy grapes. Hipster Wife?

When I think back on my life and how long I have been a tea drinker, I am surprised actually that I don’t have a more evolved palette for tea. I have had a few really good Darjeeling teas in the past. Nothing stands out though. 

I really liked this cup. It was mellow to me and I was mellow when I drank it. I didn’t catch any of the elusive muscatel flavoring. 

Totally unrelated to it, when I was growing up (In California) Muscatel is often named for streets or a call community in Fresno. So when I hear it, it cracks me up because we bought my Girl Scout uniform from a place off Muscatel. 

That makes it sound a bit shady. “We got it from this place offa Muscatel.”

Anyway, it’s a good cup of tea. But it doesn’t scream Christmas to me, and to be honest its just boring. Maybe that’s a good thing though. 

5 out 5 Muscatels.