Someone from Adagio reached out to me a few months ago, asking if I would like to review some of their teas. Well, how could I say no to that? Of course! I’m all about tea and writing–so much that I’ll soon be selling tea alongside my career as an author. It’s something I planned to do last year, but if you have kept up with my blog, you know I had a lot of family emergencies in the spring of last year, turning my world upside down and causing major delays with the release of Unexpected Beginning.

Since receiving Adagio’s teas, I attended the World Tea Expo, where I immersed myself in the world of tea for four days. It was bliss! Pure bliss! And I tell you this, so you’ll understand that when I first received Adagio’s teas, I had not tried some of the flavors. They were new to me, because I was either scared of those flavors after reading reviews or I had already had bad experiences with them. (I’ve tasted some bad teas!)

Now let’s get to the review. Look at all the goodies I received:

I was given a $30 credit to buy from a short list of teas they specifically wanted reviewed, and I honestly cringed at the teas on the list. As stated above, I was either scared of trying the flavors or already had bad experiences with them. However, after reading some of the reviews on their site, I chose a variety of sample-sized packages so that I could try many flavors. I even purchased some jade oolong and dragon well. Why? Because $30 is just not enough when it comes to my tea addiction! Also, my last order was from a Japanese supplier, and I was low on teas from other origins.

I’ll start with the genmai cha. It’s one I had always wanted to try but avoided when spending my own money. The reviews always scared me. I mean, who wants to taste burned popcorn? Does that even sound appealing? So I steeped it exactly as directed on the packaging, and sure enough, it smelled like burned popcorn. I took a sip expecting the worst but was greatly surprised by the unique flavor. Yes, there is a resemblance to burned popcorn, but it’s truly not a bad thing. In fact, I found myself craving more of the tea two hours later, and I steeped the leaves again. Now I know why it’s a regular, daily drink for many. Days later, I chose it over my other teas. Genmai cha’s flavor lingers on your tongue, and hours later, you’ll want it again. It’s now something I plan to keep stocked.

While at the expo, I sampled more genmai cha, and I found them comparable with Adagio’s. However, I brought a sample home from one supplier, and I found it much weaker than Adagio’s. As with all teas, not all genmai cha are the same. Make sure you get it fresh. Don’t buy weak genmai cha!

Because I only chose a sample of it, I ran out quickly and moved on to the yerba mate, which is an herbal drink. Seeing the many pictures of loose pieces floating around a gourd with a special straw always scared me away from buying it. I can’t stand coffee or anything thick and bitter, and that’s the flavor I associated with it.

Well, not anymore! It’s mild–no astringent bitterness–and it’s pleasant. After tasting others at the expo, I know that Adagio’s tastes fresh, and I can recommend it.

Now we move on to the rooibos samples. I enjoyed apple cinnamon rooibos years ago when I started drinking hot tea. It’s another herbal, and suppliers mix it in a variety of ways for summer or winter drinks. I often ended my winter evenings with a rooibos. My children even loved them. Then I made the mistake of buying three cute, little tins in a variety of rooibos flavors from a gift shop one day. (I think now would be a good time to warn you to never, I mean NEVER EVER, buy your teas from any place other than tea shops. I don’t care how cute the tins are! Unless that gift shop has a relationship with a reputable tea company, don’t buy the tea!)

After that experience, I stopped buying rooibos. It wasn’t just those three tins that turned me away from the herbal drink, it was other brand names as well. A lot of them tasted like pure chemical additives. They just weren’t natural at all! And that’s why I dreaded tasting Adagio’s rooibos. They have many blends to choose from, and after reading some reviews, I chose:  rooibos cinnamon apple, green rooibos blueberry, green rooibos bonita, green rooibos key west, and green rooibos. They even threw in a sample of rooibos vanilla chai. Can you spot the three rooibos blends with the genmai cha and jade oolong?

I had never tried green rooibos, so I selected quite a few of those. The samples arrived in a cute, little box (great for a gift), and I decided to try the cinnamon apple, since I had already tasted that flavor more than once.

Well, what a surprise! It tasted nothing like the last rooibos I tried. No chemical taste whatsoever. I’ve tasted each of the samples, and it’s the same with all of them. Smooth and natural, just the way I like them! My children even love the flavors, and because rooibos is caffeine free, they can drink them.

I have a box of rooibos blends I’m trying from another supplier at the moment, and they match up to Adagio’s, which leads me to believe they’re high quality and trying to keep it natural. However, many companies aren’t doing that. Beware of a rooibos blend that tastes like chemicals. It’s just wrong!

As for my purchases, the dragonwell and jade oolong both tasted as I expected. I kept it safe and ordered mild teas 🙂

So what do I think about Adagio? I think they’re keeping things natural, and I can recommend their blends, herbals, and pures. They put steeping instruction on all their packaging, which is greatly appreciated by many. Although they don’t specifically say organic and fairtrade (which is very important to me), they have something called Roots. They know where their teas come from, and they even give you cute little postcards to mail to the farmers thanking them for their tea. They’re doing good things 🙂

Although new to their teas, I purchased their infuser from Amazon a while back, and it’s held up great to daily use. I can honestly recommend Adagio for their teas, along with their teaware.