Sunday 24 September 2017

A nice cuppa char with Adagio Teas * Review & Giveaway *

Today I'm teaming up with the fabulous small, family-owned company Adagio Teas - who produce the finest teas and teaware in the UK.

Not only do Adagio sell a stunning collection of different styles, flavours and blends of tea - they also use their website to share their knowledge of all things tea to educate their customer.

Since working with them I've gained so much tea-related knowledge!

For example, did you know there are 5 basic styles of tea - but each style comes from the same plant (the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant), and its difference comes from the way it's processed or manufactured.

The five main styles are:

  • White Tea
  • Green Tea
  • Oolong Tea
  • Black Tea
  • Pu Erh Tea
I also learnt that tea processing happens in five basic steps; some teas don't utilise all of these steps, while other teas repeat them several times. Basic processing is Plucking, Withering (allowing the leaves to wilt and soften), Rolling (to shape the leaves and wring out the juices), Oxidizing (see below) and Firing (ie: Drying).

Amazing how much there is to know about the humble cup of tea, eh?

I've always been a huge tea drinker (apart from in pregnancy when I couldn't stand it!)...I'd say that I used to drink about 2-5 cups per day, most days - until last September when I took part in #SugarFreeSeptember which saw me remove all the processed sugar and sweeteners from my diet for a whole month.
Previous to this I had enjoyed two sweeteners in my tea and coffee, but during the sugar free challenge I removed all the sweetener from my hot drinks, and in turn found that I actually enjoyed unsweetened coffee much more than unsweetened tea. After the challenge I tried drinking sweetened hot drinks again but they tasted really disgusting to me! The sugar free month had clearly changed my palette (shame I still liked the taste of cakes & biscuits!) and so from that point on I cut out sugar and sweetener indefinitely from my hot drinks. 

Since then I've definitely drunk more coffee than tea (which is odd for me) but more recently I've started getting in to trying different styles and flavours of tea, instead of just my usual English breakfast teabags! Broadening my horizons and finding out what I love when it comes to the wonderful world of tea. 

The lovely people at Adagio Teas have helped me on the journey to discovering my favourite styles, flavours and blends of tea with their amazing ranges...they sent me over everything I'd need to explore a range of teas, including loads of styles and flavours of tea, as well as some stunning glassware to brew and drink from. 

I was so excited to get brewing and tasting!

selection of teas from Adagio Teas

The selection of teas they kindly sent over included:

Which to try first?? 

I couldn't resist the lure of Candy Apple black tea, just as autumn is upon us and I'm starting to feel all cozy and ready for the colder weather and the falling leaves, this seemed like the perfect blend for me...and (in the style of Janice from F.R.I.E.N.D.S) OH MY GOD - it is AMAZING!!

Eggs on Rye with Candy Apple Tea in Jumbo Glass teacup & saucer
Enjoying a cup of Candy Apple tea with my lunch! 

Containing a mixture of black tea, apple pieces, natural caramel apple flavour, and cinnamon bark this is a rich and heady tea experience. It is sweet without being sickly, and evokes memories of sticky toffee apple faces from halloweens of my past. Both Liam and I absolutely love this blend, in fact - I'm mentioning it first because it is definitely at the top of our list from our tastings so far. 

Next on the hit list for me was the Pina Colada herbal tea. A Pina Colada just happens to be my favourite cocktail of all time, so I was really excited at the sound of it. This blend is a herbal tea containing a mixture of rose hips, hibiscus, apple pieces, dried coconut, natural pineapple flavour, pineapple pieces and natural coconut flavour. Sounded scrummy, tasted scrummier! This came a close second for me to the Candy Apple. 

What has amazed me about these teas is that they actually taste of what they say they are going to - I've tried countless 'flavoured' teas in the past and found them all to taste of murky wishy-washy dishwater! These teas all deliver strong tastes and the most intoxicating aromas. 

Another thing I love about them is that not only can you see from the packaging clearly what type of tea it is (black tea, green tea, herbal tea, ice tea) but you can also see a clear list of ingredients and instructions/advice on how best to brew your cup. For example, the candy apple loose tea uses 1 teaspoon per cup, should be left to brew for 3 minutes and your water temperature should be 100ºC. 

If you're into seasonal teas then I urge you to try their Pumpkin Spice black tea which contains black tea, natural pumpkin spice flavour, cinnamon bark, ginger root, cloves, marigold flowers and cardamom. It's deep, bitter and spicy - really warming and leaves a tingle on your tongue. 

For all of the loose teas we've been trying we've used the stunning glassware kindly sent to us by Adagio - this included their jumbo teacup and saucer, which is my absolute fave - a bloggers dream in terms of aesthetics, it is really so beautiful. They also sent the petit teapot (which brews two cups) - both the jumbo cup and petit teapot come with in-built tea strainers so you can use both the loose leaf teas, or teabags. FAB! 

Jumbo glass cup and saucer
The stunning Jumbo Teacup & Saucer

What has amazed me about all of the Adagio glassware is how amazingly light it is and that it is  made of tempered glass, which is very sturdy and able to withstand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. All of the Adagio glassware is also microwave and dishwasher safe! Yay!

For something a little different Liam and I have been trying Adagio's iced tea pouches - they're basically a giant tea bag which you add to 1.2 litres of cold water and pop in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Adagio kindly sent us their glass pitcher and four long iced tea glasses to use for the three iced tea flavours they sent us: mango (black tea), white peach (white tea) and rooibos vanilla (herbal tea). 

An Adagio Teas Iced Tea Pouch
An Adagio Teas Iced Tea Pouch, isn't it a thing of beauty?

Iced Tea Pitcher in the fridge
My glass pitcher of iced tea, in the fridge ready to steep overnight. 

Although slightly the wrong season for iced teas (I'm used to drinking the uber sweet Lipton bottled varieties on holiday in foreign countries) we are still getting the odd warm day here in the UK, and it's nice to have something cold and refreshing in the fridge. I've been really surprised at how much Liam has enjoyed them - opting for a cold fruity iced tea on his return to work rather than a coffee. We've tried all three flavours, our favourite being the Mango, closely followed by the White Peach, and then the Vanilla (which is very sweet). We've pretty much had a pitcher of iced tea in our fridge constantly since the Adagio goodies arrived - and I'm excited for next summer when we can enjoy more pitchers of iced tea in the garden! 

Adagio iced tea in the garden

Glass of Iced Tea

The final tea I've managed to try so far from the selection is the English Breakfast Teabags - how could I try this huge range of tea, without sampling their version of my all time favourite? I managed to grab ten minutes for myself last week, and brewed a jumbo cup of tea, set a tray with milk and sugar in the gorgeous Adagio cream & sugar bowls and crept upstairs to enjoy a cuppa on my comfy bed in peace, with just my cat Pickle for company! Blissful. I love that the English Breakfast teabags each come individually wrapped - which means not only do they stay super fresh, but also that they're portable. I love keeping a few wrapped teabags in my handbag so that I'm never caught short without access to one of my favourite drinks. These wrapped bags are especially good if you travel - I've lost count of the amount of places I've visited on holiday that have dreadful tea! 

five minutes peace, a cuppa in bed

I've been totally blown away by Adagio Teas - not only the quality and beauty of their glassware, but the amazing flavour profiles and aromas from their teas. I genuinely had no idea I could enjoy tea without milk so much - it really is a revelation to me. 

And the Candy Apple black tea is one that I'll always have to have stocked in my cupboard forever more!



If you're interested in giving some of Adagio's teas and tea blends a try then enter my brilliant giveaway below where you could win your very own super cute petit teapot and two sampler sets of your choice from the Adagio Teas website! 

Win with Mrs Bishop and Adagio Teas