As much as I adore coffee (and truly, I don't know many teachers who don't have it running through their veins), I also have a deeply entrenched love for tea. But not just any tea - I have never really liked any form of "black" leaves, except in sweetened, lemon iced tea, and I am excessively picky about white, rooibos and mate styles. No, I'm definitely one who gravitates to herbal tisanes and green teas, and if my pantry is any evidence I like variety! My mom and sister are also bona fide tea grannies, T preferring the various blacks while Mom is pretty much "go with the flow" in her selection. When the kind folks at Adagio Teas asked if I would be interested in trying out some of their line and giving them my thoughts, I jumped at the chance!
I dove into their massive selection (they also offer users to make their own custom tea blends - amazing!) and selected a bunch that sounded too good to be true. Over a few weeks, I broke into most of the samples. Note: I "oversteep" all my tea - usually about 10 mins or more for herbals and green tea.
I love mangoes and this is a great balance of tart and sweet. The mango flavour is more on the aftertaste of a sip, lemon being more forthright, but it's a wonderful herbal tisane regardless.
Genmaicha has always been my favourite green tea, and I love how finely porous the bags from Adagio were. The bags made a cup of tea so convenient to make, and they are perfectly filled for optimal filtering.
Bad photo but delicious tea! Dewy Cherry is like drinking a warm, liquid snowcone, but not sticky sweet. Again this I ordered in their teabags, which are super convenient and steep the tea leaves perfectly.
Not nearly as flavourful as it smells, but a good mixer for other teas (I'm blending it with a sencha-matcha tea). Can't wait to try it iced!
Then there was the Rooibos Vanilla. Not being a fan of rooibos in general, I avoided tasting this "neat". However, I was pleasantly surprised with how well this tea accented other flavours - namely a ginger-spice blend I had previously, and an orange herbal tea my mom had. The latter combination is fabulous - think creamsicle!
What I really liked about this rooibos was that it made for a spectacular cooking ingredient. I don't often do tea-infused things, but after the Chai - Scotti was such a success I figured I would give it a whirl. We love our cornbread, and usually ours is on the sweet side. Knowing the tea has a penchant for being somewhat saccharine, and the vanilla flavour would only enhance that nuance, I looked for a recipe without a ton of sugar. I stumbled on the Splendid Table's recipe and figured I would give it a go, steeping the tea in buttermilk and using maple sugar instead of plain white.
Right out of the oven, the smell is divine - and deceptive! The aromas of the tea and the hint of maple really give the impression that this is a dessert-style quickbread, but once it cools down enough to taste, the flavours are delightfully subtle. It served as a mid-day snack for Mom with some cheese, and amply accompanied a bowl of chili the next night.
Makes 1 9" pan, 16 squares
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp Adagio Tea’s Rooibos Vanilla tea
1 large egg
2 tbsp canola oil
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp maple sugar (or regular)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached white flour
½ tsp baking soda
- Place buttermilk and tea in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and steep 1 hour. Strain, discarding tea leaves.
- Heat the oven to 350°F and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment
- Whisk egg, oil, salt and sugar into the room-temperature buttermilk, set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour and baking soda.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture.
- Mix thoroughly with a whisk until smooth, but do not beat.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until tests done.
Total Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 12.2 mg
Sodium: 96.0 mg
Total Carbs: 13.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 2.5 g