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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tea Tasting - Cara McGee's The Weather from @AdagioTeas!

Next up in my ongoing series of tea reviews is The Weather, from Cara McGee's That Town We Do Not Speak Of Or Acknowledge Line! And like That Town, it's a weird one, but one that ultimately won me over!

First: Note to self about these tins: Put them in individual baggies when they arrive, because the tins aren't airtight and also sometimes they crack open and tea gets everywhere.

Here's the official description, like it says on the tin:
[muffled rap music playing in the distance]
Which means:


Blended With Kukicha, Black Tea, Ginger Root, Cinnamon Bark, Dried Coconut, Lemon Grass, Cardamom, Natural Coconut Flavor, Rose Petals, Rose Flavor
And which explains the reason why it smells, when it's brewing, exactly like a delicious Thai curry--it's the combo of coconut and lemongrass and ginger. It has to be. It's making me crave Thai food like nobody's business, but it doesn't really taste like that, and the vague dissonance of the smell and the taste actually makes it more appropriate for the theme. It's BRILLIANT.

By itself, it smells savory, like maybe it would taste like soup, but when it's very warm it mostly tastes like a mellow sort of ginger tea--maybe the cardamom is helping that, but basically, ginger is the first thing you taste. There's a little of that gingery back-heat without overwhelming the cup, and it takes longer for the other flavors to develop, which means the cup changes flavor a little as it cools and as the tea stays in the pot.*

The coconut comes on once it's down to easily-drinking temperature, but also doesn't overwhelm; it really just smooths it out and mellows it nicely, without making it sweet. No hint of a sunscreen-ness or a sickly-sweet-mixed-drink-ness like coconut could have given it. I didn't ever taste rose or lemongrass as different things, and if there were spices other than ginger in there, I couldn't tell, BUT all together it makes for something more complex than just ginger and coconut alone. Something it's hard to put a name to, but is nonetheless real. Much like everything in Nightvale.

Another note: I think that vague oiliness is from the jimmies. They melt without changing the color or flavor that I can tell.

With milk and sugar, the ginger smooths down more and the coconut comes out more. The nameless complexity stays nameless but also seems more harmonious: this is a tea that likes having more stuff added to it. My brother and his lady got me a big jar of wildflower honey for my birthday, so I tried it with some of that, too, and it brings out the floral notes a little more, but still doesn't taste specifically like roses in any way.

I wanted to try it with coconut milk, but I didn't have any; I'll get some and update you later in a followup post. It seems like using coconut milk instead of 2%, or maybe brewing it straight in hot coconut milk like a very exotic London Fog might be really good.

I also want to try it in a savory prep. I feel like it would be excellent with a little salt, brewed with chicken broth and coconut milk, making it effectively a drinkable curry. Savory tea, you guys. It's revolutionary!

If you're looking for a tea that's not at all usual, something different and interesting, this is the tea for you!

Previously reviewed:
I was given a gift certificate for tea in exchange for these reviews, and cashed in my own points to get more of them because tea. I don't get paid, but if you buy any of the ones that I blended myself, I'll get points toward more free tea; if you buy this one, Cara gets points, which is excellent because tea-making is a big part of her life and I want her to be able to keep doing it!

*It may be obvious by now that I don't do that "brew for three minutes and remove the tea" thing--I like to see how the taste changes as the pot sits. Also I can't be bothered to be fussy outside of a proper teatime.

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