|"A great gift box for introducing friends to the finer world of loose leaf tea. It provides a nice variety across the tea spectrum, and no fancy infusers are required. From there, once they get hooked after 30+ cups of "real" tea, then they can delve into all the better loose leaf gadgetry and wide variety of teas the world over."|
The Artisan Comfort Collection compiles six of the more esteemed teas from the gamut of tea varietals: green tea (Jasmine Pearls, Dragonwell), white tea (Silver Needle), black tea (Golden Yunnan), and oolong tea (Wuyi Oolong, Oolong Goddess) are all represented here.
The oolong selections here are not my absolute favorite types of oolong tea (I would personally have opted for a Big Red Robe or a Dan Cong), but they do justice to representing the "genre" for the average folk who may not have been introduced to them before. The Wuyi Oolong has a savory vegetal aroma that translates nicely in the cup alongside a nutty backnote. The Oolong Goddess includes a decent amount of nuggets housed inside that mesh teabag, which unfortunately prohibits the leaves from unfurling to their full potential. Still, the resultant flavor is full, semi-buttery and will certainly stand up to a second infusion (side note: if this product is targeted at a non-connoisseur, I'd recommend adding language to the foil wrapper that indicates a double infusion is appropriate!).
From the black tea collection, I was surprised and very pleased to see a Yunnan tea - and a Golden Yunnan at that! Adagio could easily have put in something more safe - a high quality Assam or Keemun, perhaps. But to step out and offer a golden Yunnan gains extra points in my book. The Golden Yunnan here is not unlike it should be -- a deliciously sweet and earthy umami character typically presented by this type of tea. On the white tea side, I would fully expect to see a peony or silver needle, and Adagio opted to include the latter. Personally, I find it tough to mess up a silver needle - I enjoy the tea, and don't recall ever having had a "bad" one, or one that strays much from the expected light and gentle flavor profile that companies each and every cup, and this one does not disappoint either. Plenty of furry tips indicate high quality buds utilized here.
The Jasmine Pearls teabag houses about 15 of the little nuggety balls, which - again - are somewhat hampered from fully unfurling by the space limitations of the pyramid housing, but again, the flavor comes through nicely. Also from the green tea spectrum, the Dragonwell offering contains a full serving of toasty, pan-fried leaf that smells lovely and tastes mellow with hints of grassy vegetal flavor.
In all, this is a great gift box for introducing friends to the finer world of loose leaf tea. It provides a nice variety across the tea spectrum, and no fancy infusers are required. From there, once they get hooked after 30+ cups of "real" tea, then they can delve into all the better loose leaf gadgetry and wide variety of teas the world over, like the rest of us who go ga-ga for it. Likewise, these are some delicious offerings from Adagio that would make nice take-alongs for vacation bag packing, overnight stays, road trips, etc.
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