Tea Tasting: An Adagio Experience

Firstly, I **LOVE** tea. Hot, cold, iced, room temperature - - all of it.

With my mom being a southerner, I literally had sweet tea in a baby bottle, practically from day one. Without question, tea is a part of me and my DNA.

As an adult, I've learned to love unsweetened tea, but it's really a matter of preference. Sometimes, just a touch of honey during those allergy or cold season months is all it takes to make me feel better.

Again, because I love tea so much, it can be green, black, herbal, chai - you name it! I will try it!

And that's exactly the opportunity that came my way via Adagio Teas. I was asked to give them a try.

To tea, I can't say no.

I tried. I tried many. And I will try many more, I promise!

For the record, the teas I sampled from Adagio included:

For what it's worth, the best part of the Adagio website is that they offer samples of all of their teas at a very reasonable price point, not to mention, there is a coupon you can get when you hop on the website, too. Right now, it's $5 - which would cover the cost of at least 1 sample, and partial of another!

However, what I like MOST about their offerings, is the idea of a "starter set". The iced tea had my attention from the get-go, being that it's summer and all right now! Classic Ceylon is your typical black tea - yet the two times that I made it, ZERO bitterness. Which is a HUGE plus whenever making a black tea of any kind. If it is brewed too long, usually, there's that "you let the tea steep too long" taste.

None of the teas that I made - hot or iced, ever had an "over-steeped" taste.

At one point, I made a Ooooh Darjelling hot tea and lost track of time... It should have steeped no more than 5 minutes. That cup steeped for at LEAST 15 minutes... and you know what? It was perfect. It didn't have the bitterness that I expected after being so careless.

Granted, Darjeeling, usually is very forgiving... it was simply delicious, in spite of my forgetting about my tea in the kitchen while I did other things.

But that name! Ooooh Darjeeling? Love it. And love the tea.

Tea should be served in Fine Bone English China
My other favorite was the Pu-Erh Spice, which I am sure I misprounounce. I don't really care how to say it correctly, because it's all about the taste. If you like a spiced tea, like a chai, this takes it another level UP. I think it's perfect in the morning with toast or a bagel with jam. It's like having a cup of autumn in your hand. It's more intense than the Masala Chai, too. When you open the pouch and smell the spices, it transports you to cozy sweaters and gorgeous fall foilage. The picture to the left (if you're reading from your computer), it's the darker tea on the right. Note that there is a splash of milk in the tea, too, and it still had a very rich, dark color -not to mention a hearty flavor. The tea on the left is Masala Chai. By comparison, the Pu-Erh was a lot more robust in flavor. The chai was classic in the sense that it had all the right notes and aromas that one expects in a proper chai. In retrospect, I wouldn't sample the two together, since they are both spice-based. It seemed to be an unfair comparison.

I'll just have to re-sample all over again - you know, to be fair. One must be FAIR in judging/sampling tea. 😋

If you can't tell already, I actually enjoyed my experience sampling all of the teas. While I'm not a fan of decaffinated teas in general, I can still give ALL the teas that I tried from Adagio a BIG seal of approval.

The ONLY drawback was not being able to go into a physical store. I do enjoy browsing and sampling teas in person. I'm hoping that they will branch out (as there are stores in Chicago area) and find themselves in NYC sometime soon. (Hint! Hint!) BUT! Good news is that, according to their website, there is no NYS tax on your Adagio purchases!

There is also a LoyalTEA program and an abundance of resources on their site. Most definetly, check the health benefits of tea and before long, your shopping cart might look a bit like mine did!

Reviews of the teas and the descriptions are also helpful, but really trying it out for yourself is the best way to go.

Of course, I welcome any comments or questions here or send me a tweet
I look forward to hearing from you!

The Myth of the Mermaid in NYC

How is it possible that a publication, such as Cosmopolitan, allows a video to be created and go viral without the least bit of fact checking?

In this era of so-called "fake news" - this was TRULY the epitome of just that...

I am referring specifically to a video that was created regarding a mermaid mega drink, created and supposedly AVAILABLE at a local NYC bar on Pier 15 at South Street Seaport.

Because of said video -that was PROMOTED and went viral thanks to Cosmopolitan, my friend's birthday was PLANNED around going to the Watermark Bar, hoping for an amazing adult beverage that we could share and laugh and post photos about on her special day...

But no. Here's the bullsh!t that I speak of: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food-cocktails/a10029579/mermaid-cocktail-watermark-new-york-city/

Much like the myth of the mermaid, there is no specialty mermaid drink at this bar. To be even more disappointed, the ability to have a frozen beverage was also unavailable because apparently, the frozen drink machine had broken the night before due to extreme usage.

And for what it's worth, they don't even use real glasses or anything other than disposable cups and plates at Watermark.

The visit was almost an epic fail all because of BAD reporting. The saving grace may have been the Watermelon Spiced Margarita. It's like a spicy, liquid version of a watermelon Jolly Rancher candy. Yeah. That was delicious.

Plus, the service at Watermark was thankfully good.... but guess what? Having a table to drink and dine al fresco with disposable, lightweight drinking cups on a windy day, ENSURES SOMEONE WILL WEAR THEIR BEVERAGE at one point.

Thanks for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, Danielle OMG FAKER THAN FAKE Tullo at Cosmopolitan. You are NOT an expert... at anything and can officially BITE the big mermaid tail.

Getting Dirty on the LES

I have a new place that has become my favorite go-to right now. It's so good, I need to make another reservation for brunch this weekend. Thank you for the reminder!

So if you HAVEN'T heard of Dirty French: now you have.
The menu includes items that seem like they might be something you've heard of before - but believe me, they have their own special signature.

This restaurant has actually encouraged this review -which, if you've read any of my posts in the past, you know it's been awhile since I've updated.

The menu is interesting, the decor is quirky and the service has been spot on.

Now, I have heard from others, that it was hit or miss with service... I, personally, have not experienced anything negative. If anything, service was particularly exceptional - and I want to openly admit, I did not receive an invite as a food blogger to dine here and write a favorable review. I merely enjoyed a date night with my husband and we couldn't stop raving about it... and we ended up going to brunch just a few days later (and now we'll go again!). So this is a 100% unbiased review....

I'll post a few photos and encourage anyone who reads this to just try it out.

It's a place for locals. Tourists. Really anyone that enjoys food... but extra bonus points for the appreciation of food. Dirty French is where this place really hits hard.

Go with friends. Do a date night. Take yo' self out for a night on the town... but TRY it. Make that reservation and enjoy the decadence and the scene.

Oh - and if wine and cocktails are your thing? This is an excellent venue for that.

While dining, I've seen celebrity chefs and well-known Hollywood actors make their way to this location, too. I'm not exactly a star searcher but, I love to see how others react when they see a very familiar face in the room.
NYCFG with the hubs on Date Night
I should also mention this is a great date location. Dirty French is a place to meet with your friends... your gal pals, your bros, whatever is your scene, it's here. It has a great vibe overall.

Beignets and Gelato for Dessert, Yes Please!
And on the weekends, it's a perfectly suited spot to take the family for brunch. They have pancakes, duck hash and inverted egg sandwiches on the menu, among others.The outdoor area that they have is gorgeous - at least take a peek at the space if you stop in. Because you should do JUST that: stop in... order some delicious food and see what makes NYC such a delicious culinary destination.

Check out Dirty French on the Lower East Side

180 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002


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