The fall chill is setting in, but I’m still stubbornly yearning for spring teas. Masters by Adagio Teas shared their new harvests with me months ago, but I’m just now getting to share my thoughts here on the blog. I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s selection, so I was excited to see how they compared with the 2020 batch. Adagio Teas has long been a favorite in my tea circles, but their Masters line takes it to another level. This collection of directly sourced teas puts the focus on the farmers who make them.
The dry leaves were just as nice as the Shincha Sencha but not quite as dark and slightly smaller. My first infusion brewed up fairly clear with a more yellow-green color. The taste was full-bodied with strong vegetal notes and a subtle nuttiness. There was more astringency than the gyokuro, but it also seemed to have more savory umami as well. My second infusion was much strong and less sweet but still just as enjoyable.
Shincha Sencha sample provided for review.
The dry leaves were a beautiful dark green. They were larger than the Shincha Sencha with a noticeable sheen. I was happy to see that they were just as attractive one they unfurled. It brewed up a clear, pale green color. The taste was sweet, grassy, and slightly nutty with a brothy texture. Umami was there but subtly. There was an intriguing floral aroma from the liquor, but it only barely came through in the taste. My second infusion was clouder, with tons of trichomes floating on top. The umami was also much more prominent.
Shincha Gyokuro sample provided for review.
Bai Hao Yin Zhen
The dry leaf was jade green in color and SUPER fuzzy. Just look at all of those trichomes! It brewed up incredibly pale in color. I was only able to see it once it was poured into my whitest porcelain cup. The taste was soft, with a lot of natural sweetness. It was floral but in a meadowy and earthy kind of way. Notes of cucumber and honeydew melon faded into a slightly dry finish. I was surprised by how well it did in a glass gaiwan. The flavor stayed fairly consistent across 5+ infusions.
Bai Hao Yin Zhen sample provided for review.
Shi Feng Long Jing
The dry leaf was yellowish-green with the distinctive flat sword shape of Dragonwell. They had a nice shine to them, and I spotted lots of whole bud sets. It brewed up a pale green color with a strong nutty and floral aroma. The taste was soft and smooth, with hardly any astringency. It was grassy but in a really subtle way. I was surprised by how floral this tea was. It almost came across as perfumy. There was also a hint of toasted sesame that transitioned to something more like chestnut in the aftertaste.
Shi Feng Long Jing sample provided for review.
Rohini First Flush
Darjeelings have been very hard to come by this year, so this is the tea that I was most excited to try. The dry leaves were fairly green with scattered silver tips. It brewed up a bright gold color, like sunshine in a teacup. The taste was very light and floral with notes of jasmine and a grounding minerality. There was a fruitiness that reminded me of crisp grapes, but it wasn’t quite what I would call muscatel. It was not very astringent, but I had an almost fuzzy, dry feeling in my throat after each sip. My second infusion was just as light but fruitier with a bit more astringency.
Rohini First Flush sample provided for review.
I’m so glad that I had a chance to try these teas. It’s great to see a larger company emphasizing pure teas that are directly sourced. I think we’ll see more of that as consumer demands for transparency shape how tea is marketed in the future.
Have you tried any offerings from Masters by Adagio Teas? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!