For almost a year I have been contemplating making the switch to loose leaf tea. The quality of the tea is just so much higher, it's really incredible. It is, however, somewhat daunting to start buying loose leaf, especially when you have nearly 20 different kinds of tea in bags on hand at any one time. In order for it to be economical, you have to commit to almost three times as much tea as when you buy tea bags. My almost non-existant stint at Teavana convinced me to finally take the leap. After looking up several different companies online, I finally settled on Adagio Teas. Many of the companies I'd found had rather outrageous shipping, while Adagio had very reasonable shipping prices. Their tea was also reasonably priced, yet it was evident that it was also really high quality tea. They also have superb blending options and a really awesome vibe. In the end, I think I found the perfect place to buy my tea.
As this was my first loose leaf tea purchase, I also splurged on some tins in which to store the tea. In a tin, they can last for about a year, whereas their shelf life is much, much shorter in the pouches. Another awesome thing was that they also let me pick out a sample. The teas I got were Earl Grey Bravo (as Earl Grey is Mike's favorite and a tea I greatly enjoy), Masala Chai (because I always like to have a chai on hand), and Ginger Peach (this is my new favorite flavor of tea and what finally gave me the push I needed). I kept getting Ginger Peach tea at Panera and went online to try and find it. Only a couple companies sell it in tea bags, but almost everyone had it as a loose leaf tea, so that ended up being the way to go. The sample I got was Coconut. I've tried them all so far except the Ginger Peach (ironic since that was the one I wanted most).
The Earl Grey Bravo is simply delightful. It's definitely one of the best Earl Grey's I've ever had and was well worth the price. The Masala Chai wasn't as spicy as I was hoping/expecting, but I did a little digging and it seems that I actually need to seep it for longer. It was definitely good (as good as tea bags) but it didn't knock my socks off. Hopefully a longer brew time will make it better. Like I said, I haven't tried the Ginger Peach yet, though I think I'm going to make a cup right now. The Coconut was delicious. I was a little trepidatious as the coconut smell is almost overwhelming when you smell the tea, but once brewed it is fantastic. The coconut blends in super nicely with the ceylon tea for a really great cup of tea. When the sample is all gone I'm definitely going to want to buy some of it.
Well, I'm off to brew a cuppa!