adagio tasting set and golden monkey black tea
The tasting set from Adagio has been on my wish-list for a long time and I finally got my hands on one! Actually, I received one about a week ago and it was broken, and with friendly and prompt customer service, they replaced it right away. It landed at my door today along with samples of Golden Monkey Black Tea, Pai Mu Tan white tea and Ti Kuan Yin Goddess Oolong.
The tasting set is very cute, and I couldn’t wait to try it out. Although I will probably tend to use this set most often for Oolong tea, I am in a black tea mood and opt for the Golden Monkey. The dry leaf has a nice appearance, with very uniform black and golden leaves. It smells earthy and sweet.
I cover the bottom of the infusing cup with tea leaves, pour in the hot water, put the lid on and wait. With a swift tip of the lidded vessel I poured the tea into the tasting bowl. The tea liquor is bright amber and has aromas of honey, dried fruits and cocoa. I detect a bit of a muscatel fragrance, much like the scent of the skin of a grape.
The flavor reminds me a little of Darjeeling, but not so much as to be confused. This is most definitely a Chinese black tea. It is a robust tea with great body and a good finish. A slight floral characteristic is surprising and pleasant. The flavor profile of this tea is all over the place: chocolate-y, stone-fruit, honey, pepper, spice, and a hint of sweetness. There are layers and layers to discover in this great black tea.
I love the tasting set, it is attractive and functional. I steeped the Golden Monkey several times, and I have come to the conclusion that this is the best way to enjoy tea, with several small, short infusions. I can really note the subtleties of the subsequent infusions and I get to slow down and really appreciate the tea as an artisanal product. This is a much more holistic approach to enjoying tea, and I can definitely get used to that.