Just a quick lil note to tell you, the wonderfully attractive reader of my site and/or newsfeeds, that I am an addict. A tea addict. A few months back I stumbled upon “Adagio Teas”:http://adagio.com and well, that just fuelled the fire. I was used to cheapo bag teas, and frankly I didn’t know what I was even doing… I thought that I didn’t actually like tea, just the tea I could get at Starbucks. I’d make a cup of tea and it’d either taste like a cup of hot water or a cup of hot, bitter water. I’d buy the boxed Tazo-brand tea “lattes” and they were good, but it was pretty expensive, and I felt kind of stupid–why could they get it right, and I would be so horridly off?
Well, yes, enter stage left Adagio. I was really impressed by the site. Very easy to figure out and discover teas. Hell, I’d almost placed an order within the first 2 minutes, but decided to really delve into the site. Very rewarding. User reviews showed me that some of the more bizarrely named teas are probably the best ones out there. I could get 10 cup samplers for very reasonable prices.
Plus, my fears about loose leaf tea were vanquished when I read about the very cool (and very inexpensive) IngenuiTEA, a single serving loose leaf teapot, so to speak. You fill it with water, chuck it in the microwave (or do what I do… heat the water separately), then add your loose tea to the hot water. 5 minutes later (or 3 for green and herbal teas, generally), you have wonderfully brewed tea. But oh, crap… you have great tea that is floating with tea leaves… what a pain… right? Wrong. Set the pot (it’s really more of a big plastic cup) on top of your favourite mug, and the tea strains out the bottom, leaving you with a tasty beverage in the mug, and your leftover tea leaves in the pot. Very clever. And what’s more, I could get it in a “Starter Pack”:https://www.adagio.com/misc/no_risk.html (how appropriate… though I think “Tea Idiot Pack” would probably have been more apt in my case) that featured four sample tins of tea and a nice little book on the origins and details of modern tea. And said pack cost the same as just buying the IngenuiTEA alone. Win-win!
Ordering was quick and painless, my shipping was free, and when I was done, I discovered that my shipping updates were available as an RSS feed… how cool is that? I hate sifting through my email constantly, but I check the ol’ feedreader every few hours… what a perfect usage of RSS! Well, perfect except for one detail: the tea got here too fast. I’d just barely started to check the feed and bam… tea was at my doorstep. Granted, I live within a two state radius of the company, but still… I can order something from Amazon, with the order being fulfilled in Henderson, NV, and it still can take a week. Simply fantastic. The teas were and still are fantastic, and they even had notes on proper seeping times and temps on the packing slip. PERFECT!
Adagio have also wisely incorporated some smart details that keep you coming back, including a tea map to find local tea rooms (apparently one of the best in Utah is very near my home–I had no idea), and TeaChat, a forum for tea discussion. What really got me was the willingness of Adagio to let you give out unlimited $5 gift certificates to your friends. And when your friends redeem said certificates, you accrue points toward a free tea item. Very smart way to introduce new people to the site, I must say. And you know what? You can have a free $5 toward Adagio tea as a reader of the site. I love you too.
It’s funny… now I feel like some tea snob. I was having a nice cup of some orange tea at my brother’s house, and I insisted upon exactly timing my seep, and talking about how over seeping makes the tea bitter. How far removed from only a few months back! I can’t tell you how into this site I am, and how glad I am that I stumbled upon it. I’m drinking more tea, which is fantastic for my health… I feel better, I’m drinking less soda–a horrible vice of mine–and my stomach, which I’ve always had issues with, is feeling better than at any time I can recall. I think I’m even losing some weight!
Okay, one last little bit before I call it a night (I’m not surprised that I’m up at 2am, listening to the local NPR affiliate play overnight jazz, but I really should be sleeping), and that is my personal favourites so far. Well, the first sample tin to disappear from my “Flavours” sample pack was, of all things, Chocolate. Now that may seem weird to some of you tea drinkers out there, but if you are a chocoholic, or perhaps, like me, someone who grew up on hot cocoa instead of hot tea (okay, I lie… my mother always drank varied teas, but I never liked it as a child), this is a fantastic way to get into tea. I do have to say I always add some soy creamer (french vanilla Silk is dreamy), and that gives it something of a hot cocoa experience. I might say to those of you who are not lactose intolerant, you may want to avoid adding milk or dairy if you can… the “casein”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_benefits_of_tea#Effect_of_milk_on_tea in dairy can nullify some of the health benefits of the tea. Soy milk, however, is lovely. I suggest it to anyone. Other tasty tea flavours have been Blueberry and Passionfruit. I can’t wait to place my next order so I can try out the Green Citron.