Teas

Gourmet O&B TEAS vs. Supermarket Tea

The varieties on offer in your supermarket are the bottom of the barrel: low-quality bags containing tea dust - the tiny leaf particles that break off when tea leaves are processed. They'll add color to your cup, but not much flavor. A far cry from the abundance of flavor and intoxicating aroma found in a cup of full-leaf gourmet tea. Chances are, you are no longer drinking instant coffee. Once you try our teas, you will not wish to drink anything sold in the supermarket either.

All teas come from the same plant. The differences stem from how they are processed.

How the leaves are processed will determine their final classification as black, green, and oolong teas. The main difference between the many tea varieties is how much oxygen the leaves are allowed to absorb during processing. Much oxygen produces dark-colored black teas. Little oxygen results in green tea. Unprocessed leaves are called white tea.

 

Black tea

undergoes a full fermentation process composed of four basic steps - withering, rolling, fermenting, and firing (or drying). First, the plucked leaves are spread out to wither. The withered leaves are then rolled, in order to release the chemicals within the leaf that are essential to its final color and flavor. The rolled leaves are spread out once more to absorb oxygen (oxidize), causing the leaves to turn from green to coppery red. Finally, the oxidized leaves are fired in order to arrest fermentation, turning the leaf black and giving it the recognizable tea scent. We invite you to view photos and descriptions of individual.

Green tea

is often referred to as 'unfermented' tea. The freshly picked leaves are allowed to dry, then are heat-treated to stop any fermentation (also referred to as oxidation). In China, traditional hand-making methods are still employed in many places, particularly in the manufacture of the finest green teas you'll find offered here. We invite you to view photos and descriptions of individual.

Oolong tea

is generally referred to as 'semi-fermented' tea and is principally manufactured in China and Taiwan (often called Formosa, its old Dutch name). For the manufacture of oolongs, the leaves are wilted in direct sunlight, then shaken in bamboo baskets to lightly bruise the edges. Next, the leaves are spread out to dry until the surface of the leaf turns slightly yellow. Oolongs are always whole leaf teas, never broken by rolling. The least fermented of oolong teas, almost green in appearance, is called Pouchong. We invite you to view photos and descriptions of individual.

White tea

is produced on a very limited scale in China and India. It is the least processed of its many varieties. The new tea buds are plucked before they open and simply allowed to dry. The curled-up buds have a silvery appearance and produce a pale and very delicate cup of tea. We invite you to view photos and descriptions of individual.

Two Factors: Time and Temperature

Suggested ratio is one teaspoon of leaves per cup of water. However, the light and voluminous teas will taste best with twice that. To steep, please use boiling water (100°C) when preparing black, dark oolong and herbal teas. And it's important to use cooler (80°C) water when steeping green, light oolong and white teas. And remember to not over-steep, or your tea will taste bitter. Rule of thumb is 5 min. for most black, 7 min. for dark oolong and white, and only 3 min. for light oolong and green teas.

Earl grey bravo

A classic blend of premium black tea from Sri Lanka, flavored with bergamot (a citrus fruit). The perfect afternoon tea: zesty and exhilarating fresh citrus aroma, slightly dry to the nose, with a rounded and balanced orange rind flavor to match the tang of the Ceylon. Pleasantly dry finish with lingering citrus sweetness.

Ceylon Sonata

Classic black tea from Sri Lanka. In colonial times, this island nation was known as Ceylon. This name is still used to describe all teas grown here. Ceylon tea is bright and lively, medium body and delightfully tangy. Our 'Ceylon Sonata' is from the renowned Kenilworth Estate, located in Sri Lanka's Kandy region. Fresh, citrusy aroma, sweet juicy notes like mandarin peel or grapefruit, refreshing texture and balanced astringency. The perfect afternoon tea.

Darjeeling Sungma Summer

Black tea from the famous Darjeeling region of India. Darjeeling tea is treasured for its rich golden liquor and distinctive muscatel (a type of grape) flavour. This tea scores high on both counts. Bright and aromatic, floral muscat grape aroma, with warm spice notes and also sugary squash. Plush, tangy mouthfeel with a sweet finish and balanced astringency. This excellent summer harvest tea comes from the highly regarded Sungma Estate.

Yunnan Gold

Black tea from the Yunnan province of China, the birthplace of tea itself. Yunnan black tea is easily identified by its abundance of soft golden tips, and savoury cocoa and black pepper flavours. It is a very forgiving tea; will not taste bitter when over-steeped. Our 'Yunnan Gold' is milk chocolate creamy and sweet, with pleasant pepper notes. The flavour becomes earthier and more layered as it cools. Soft, rounded cup, silky and perfect. Allowed to take only one tea to a desert island, 'Yunnan Gold' would be our clear choice.

Yunnan Jig

Black tea from the Yunnan province of China, the birthplace of tea itself. Yunnan black tea is easily identified by its abundance of soft golden tips, and savoury cocoa and black pepper flavours. It is a very forgiving tea; will not taste bitter when over-steeped. Our Yunnan Jig has a sweet, almost creamy aroma. Rich and savoury flavour, with a slight cocoa powder finish. Earthy and spicy and soft, smooth mouthfeel and finish. Classic Yunnan

Masala Chai

In Indian culture, 'Masala' means 'a blend of spices', and 'chai' simply means 'tea.' So, Masala Chai is literally 'spiced tea.' Our take on this treasured Indian drink combines premium Ceylon black tea with warming cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Warm and inviting fragrance, zesty flavour (without being too hot or spicy) and invigorating, aromatic finish. We suggest two heaping teaspoons per 250ml / 8oz cup, boiling water for 7-10 minutes. Sugar, cream or soy if desired.

Ingredients: Ceylon Sonata tea, cardamom pods, cloves, ginger root, black tea, natural cinnamon flavour, cinnamon bark

Thai Chai

Creamy sweet coconut and playfully floral lemongrass highlight this succulent black tea chai blend. Let the aroma draw you in and you'll swear, you hear it beckoning to come closer, just take a sip. We suggest two heaping teaspoons per cup, boiling water for 5 minutes, sugar, cream or coconut milk if desired.

Apricot

Imagine being whisked away to a perfumy, fresh apricot orchard... That's the sensation you'll get with your first sip of our delectable Apricot Black tea. Combining the sweet flavour of ripe summer apricots with the tangy bright taste of Ceylon black tea, you can experience it year-round. Soft, mellow mouthfeel, succulent flavour and balanced astringency.

Ingredients: black tea, apple pieces, natural apricot flavour, sunflower petals, apricots

Mango

An ancient Hindu legend recounts the story of the mango tree growing from the ashes of the sun princess, who had been incinerated by an evil sorceress. When the mango ripened and fell to the ground, the beautiful princess emerged again. Our bestselling Mango Black tea combines the natural citrusy quality of premium Ceylon black tea with the flavour of perfectly ripened mangoes. Juicy texture, creamy-dry finish with great floral aromatics and candy sweetness. Sun princess sold separately.

Ingredients: black tea, natural mango flavour, apple pieces, mango pieces, sunflower petals

Peach

In the famous poem 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock', T.S. Eliot wrote, 'Do I dare to eat a peach?' The literary-minded folks at Adagio have taken it upon themselves to provide Mr. Eliot with an answer: why not just steep a cup of our bright Ceylon black tea flavoured with sweet peaches? Delightful peach-nectar fragrance, lingering floral aromas as you sip, pleasant astringency and 'peach fuzz' dryness. Simply peachy...

Ingredients: black tea, natural peach flavour, sunflower petals, apple pieces, apricots

Vanilla

According to the International Ice Cream Association, Vanilla is by far the most popular flavour, getting a full 23% of all ice cream consumption. Inspired by this love, Adagio has created Vanilla Black tea, combining the rich, warm dark sugar aroma of vanilla with bright Ceylon black tea from Sri Lanka. Soothing, sweet and very 'beany' vanilla fragrance (like warm sugar cookies made with fresh vanilla beans). Very well-blended and pleasant astringency in the finish.

Ingredients: black tea, natural vanilla flavour

Apricot Green

Green tea from China with the delicate flavour of apricots. Warm, dense fruit-floral aroma, succulent texture. Makes a light and refreshing drink that's popular both hot and iced. An Adagio customer favourite.

Ingredients: green tea, apple pieces, natural apricot flavour, sunflower petals, apricotsGreen tea from China with the delicate flavours of lemon and lime. The clean vegetal notes of the green tea blend seamlessly with the citrus crispness. Delightfully sweet, lifted by the freshness of the lemon-lime. Not too dry or too citrusy. An Adagio customer favourite, perfect hot or iced.

Ingredients: green tea, orange peels, sunflower petals, natural lemon flavour, natural orange flavour

Citron Green

Green tea from China with the delicate flavours of lemon and lime. The clean vegetal notes of the green tea blend seamlessly with the citrus crispness. Delightfully sweet, lifted by the freshness of the lemon-lime. Not too dry or too citrusy. An Adagio customer favourite, perfect hot or iced.

Ingredients: green tea, orange peels, sunflower petals, natural lemon flavour, natural orange flavour

Casablanca Twist

An interesting twist on classic Moroccan Mint tea, which traditionally combines Gunpowder green tea from China with fresh mint. We kept the latter, and replaced the smoky notes of Gunpowder with the muscatel highlights of a First Flush Darjeeling from India. The result is very a refreshing cup, with bold, cool minty notes, smooth and relaxing texture and flavour. Very intriguing cup.

Dragonwell

One of China's most famous green teas, Dragonwell (Lung Ching or Longjing in local parlance) comes from Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. This tea has a very distinctive shape: smooth and perfectly flattened along the inside vein of the leaf, the result of highly skilled shaping in a hot wok. This process, known as pan-firing or pan-frying, was perfected in China by tea masters over many centuries. It gives the tea an inviting, toasty aroma. Our Dragonwell also has a sweet, rounded flavour, perhaps reminiscent of freshly roasted white corn. Full, nutty and buttery texture and pleasantly dry finish. A truly satisfying cup of tea. A classic green tea from Zhejiang province, China.

Gunpowder

Gunpowder, as the name implies, is made up of leaves hand-rolled into tiny pellets. These resemble gunpowder, and give this tea its distinct name. Full-bodied cup with a hint of smokiness and smooth mouthfeel. Blend with spearmint to create the famous 'Moroccan Mint' tea.

Gyokuro

Steamed green tea from Japan, Gyokuro is among the finest of Japanese teas. While the young leaves of the spring season develop, the tea bushes are shaded from sun for several weeks. This makes the tea grow more slowly, taking time to develop depth and flavour. The sun-deprived leaves are higher in chlorophyll, which creates the vivid green colour in the leaves. They're also higher in amino acids, most notably L-theanine, which account for the perfectly smooth, rich and soft flavour of Gyokuro. Deeply sweet, aroma of freshly buttered greens - no grassiness or harshness. Think of tender new grass just sprouting in the spring. Soft on the palate with a balanced, delicate finish. Soothing and centring cup of tea.

Jade Snail

The tightly rolled fuzzy buds of this Chinese green tea resemble spiral shells or the scroll of a violin. While steeping, they unfurl to deliver intricate notes of roasted nuts, soft smokiness and a hop-like crispness. As it fades, a dry white grape character lingers. Our Jade Snail is intriguingly delicate and bold.

Jasmine Yin Hao

A deeply perfumy tea from the Fujian province of China. Very layered and lingering floral aroma. Soft, full bodied and sweet flavour with a slight dryness in the finish. Yin Hao (which means 'Silver Tip') grade, is among the highest for jasmines. This tea has been infused with jasmine many times over to create a truly unforgettable experience.

Jasmine Phoenix Pearls

Perfumy hand-rolled tea from Fuding, in Fujian province, China. Any fan of jasmine tea should try this specially crafted wonder. When added to hot water, the pearls majestically unfurl, releasing their delicate scent and flavour. Sweet and almost sugary. Very soft, airy mouthfeel. The delicate quality of the flavour is due in part to the leaves used to produce this tea: two tender, tiny new leaves and one plump unopened leaf bud. Younger leaves will yield softer flavour

Sencha Overture

Steamed green tea from the Shizuoka prefecture of Japan, harvested in the early summer (the second flush). Rich, brothy texture, with a clean, very refreshing green aroma. Rounded finish that coats the palate and sweet flavour reminiscent of tender steamed veggies and fresh seaweed.

Jasmine Silver Needle

Young and elegant tea leaf buds with a whisper of jasmine aura. All the appeal and softly sweet nuances of a classic Silver Needle tea, enhanced with the aroma of night-blooming jasmine flowers. Airy flavour, delicate mouthfeel and pleasantly dry finish. The quiet nature of this tea ensures it will make a gentle companion for your special moments.

Silver Needle

White tea from China. Silver Needle is among the most revered of Chinese teas, produced in the Fuding and Zhenhe districts of its Fujian province. Gathered only for a few days in early spring, a dedication to perfection is evident in the pale, ivory coloured liquor. The lingering fragrance is delicately honeysuckle floral, with a warmed sugar sweetness. Refreshing texture that is soft and airy on the palate. This is a special grade ('Bai Hao') version of this exquisite tea.

White Blueberry

This tea blends together the taste of juicy blueberries with premium white tea from Fujian province, China. Very fragrant, like freshly harvested 'highbush' blueberries (the aromatic variety). Soft, rounded mouthfeel with a clean, refreshing finish. A customer favourite, this tea is delectable both hot and cold.

Ingredients: white tea, blueberries, natural blueberry flavour

White Peach

This Southern gem of a fruit is combined with delicate, naturally sweet white tea from the Fujian province of China. Flowery peach-nectar aroma, juicy and very ripe flavour, slightly dry finish (just like peach fuzz!). Enjoy it hot or iced and don't blame us if you become hooked!

White Peony

White tea from the Fujian province of China. White Peony, also known as Pai Mu Tan, is a sweet, mild tea made from unopened tea buds, as well as the two newest leaves to sprout. The freshly harvested leaf is allowed to wither dry in the sun. The natural oxidation which takes place during this withering gives White Peony beautiful, plush flavours (not unlike an oolong, flavour-wise). The nose is warm, floral and rich like fruit blossoms. The liquor is golden and bright. Clean, succulent floral-fruit flavour and rounded mouthfeel. If you are beginning your exploration of white tea, or even just tea in general, our White Peony tea will serve a wonderful introduction.

Berry Blues

Just like the blues, this cup's got soul. A smooth and slightly tart blend of blueberries, apple pieces and hibiscus flowers. Sweet like a fresh blueberry pie, but without any added sugar or sweeteners. Good for kids or the kid at heart.

Blood Orange

The blood orange is a culinary favourite, with its deep vibrant colour and sweet, tangy flavour. A perfect ingredient for a refreshing herbal blend! This naturally sweet, caffeine-free tea pairs blood orange peels with hibiscus flowers and rose hips. Rich, hearty and tangy, with a good balance of orange peel dryness and fruit juiciness.

Ingredients: orange peels, hibiscus flowers, rose hips, natural orange flavour

Ali Shan

A green oolong tea from Taiwan. While relatively new, Ali Shan is one of Taiwan's most famous tea growing areas, producing beautiful high mountain oolongs from its misty peaks. Warm sugar and deeply layered floral aromas, with a melting, creamy mouthfeel. Mellow and light bodied, this oolong is also excellent for multiple infusions on a quiet afternoon.

Formosa Oolong

A darker oolong tea from Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa (which means 'Beautiful', given by the Portuguese explorers of the island). Deep raisiny and ripe fruit aroma, autumn 'leafy' note. Lingering flavour and smooth, refreshingly fruity astringency. A lovely introduction to Taiwanese tea.