Saturday, January 21, 2017

Adagio Teas - Summer Rose (Black Tea)

Characteristics

  • Nose: Soft notes of fresh roses in the morning (8/10)
  • Brew: Dark Brown 
  • First Note: Strong black tea forward (8/10)
  • Body: Medium dry black tea (7/10)
  • Finish: Faint aromas of rose linger in the mouth while the dry black fades away leaving a dry tongue (7/10)

Brew

Volume tea: 5 heaping teaspoons
Water: 1200ml
Temp: 212*
Time: 3 Minutes

Verdict

If you like rose and you like black teas, this is a good option. I tend to find myself very partial to teas with an aroma of flowers, either rose or jasmine. Possibly will purchase again, although I tend to find rose works better with green teas. 

Adagio Teas - White Peach (White Tea)

Characteristics

  • Nose: A very light tea with a very light aroma of peach (6/10)
  • Brew: Medium Golden 
  • First Note: It has a very wet watery forward note, with light aromas of peach (7/10)
  • Body: Like all white teas it is very mild and smooth, the peach is subtle but still mildly overpowers the tea, given how light the tea itself is (7/10)
  • Finish: Very smooth and quick finish (8/10)

Brew

Volume tea: 8 heaping teaspoons
Water: 1000ml
Temp: 180*
Time: 3 Minutes

Verdict

This tea is light and smooth with a soft peach aroma. It is fresh and wet, that said I like my teas typically stronger than the average white tea. This tea is tasty but as I said before the whites typically represent a taste I would only want to consume with a meal, however being flavored I think it would work best as a dessert tea. Probably will not re-order. Side note: It is also the first of the teas I have consume which the leaves looked more like scraps than whole leaf - it also contained what appeared to be twigs or stems, indicating a lower quality of tea than I have seen before from this supplier. 

Adagio Teas - White Blueberry (White Tea)

Characteristics

Nose: Mild notes of faint blueberry (6/10)
Brew: Medium Brown
First Note: Tip of tongue acid note but relatively smooth  (8/10)
Body: Mild like other whites with acid from the blueberries (7/10)
Finish: Waxy finish (6/10)
Brew

Volume tea: 10 heaping teaspoons
Water: 1200ml
Temp: 185*
Time: 3 Minutes




Verdict

Of all the Blueberry teas I have tried this is possibly the best, that said I think blueberry doesn't belong in teas based on all the ones I have tried - shame.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Adagio - Green Rooibos Bonita

Characteristics

  • Nose: Soft tea with warm fruit notes. (8/10)
  • Brew: Medium Golden Brown 
  • First Note: Sweet soft tea (8/10)
  • Body: A light bodied tea, full mouth of tea and sweet fruit notes (9/10)
  • Finish: Smooth Moist Finish (9/10)

Brew

Volume tea: 5 teaspoons
Water: 1200ml
Temp: 212*
Time: 5 Minutes




Verdict

Great tea, light sweet notes everywhere, a smooth medium body tea. My only complaint is the tea is very messy to make, the leaves are not whole leaf, combined with the variety of fruit and herbs present it has a lot of small particles. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Adagio Teas - Earl Grey Bella Luna

Characteristics

  • Nose: Smooth and warm bergamot with equally balanced black tea aromas. (9/10)
  • Brew: Dark Golden Brown 
  • First Note: Smooth creaminess from the coconut and corn flowers (9/10)
  • Body: An amazingly well balanced cup with the perfect black tea profile combined with a not overpowering bergamot, while the smoothness of the coconut provides a savory creaminess (9/10)
  • Finish: All the aromas and tastes finish clean, smooth and balanced (9/10)

Brew

Volume tea: 5 teaspoons
Water: 1200ml
Temp: 212*
Time: 3 Minutes




Verdict

The only bad thing I can say about this tea is the lack of availability to readily purchase it. This tea is everything a modern earl grey should be. Elite earl grey drinkers may snub their noses at the slight cream from the coconut and corn flowers, but for my taste buds, it is perfect. Some early grey's bother my stomach, this one does not. I love this tea so much, it has become my goto tea for making Bulletproof Tea (14oz hot tea + 1.5tsp unrefined coconut oil + 20 seconds in a blender). I will be purchasing large quantities of this any time it is in stock. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Adagio Teas - Mocha Nut Mate (Yerba Mate)

Characteristics

  • Nose: Very hazelnut forward with a faint hint of cocoa  (8/10)
  • Brew: Light Brown
  • First Note: Sweet notes of cocoa and faint hazelnut (8/10)
  • Body: Rich full mouth experience without the salad taste often found in Yerba Mates (8/10)
  • Finish: Clean and creamy finish, no bitter or dry residual tastes (9/10)

Brew

Volume tea: 4 teaspoons
Water: 1000ml
Temp: 150*
Time: 4 Minutes


Verdict

This is a very interesting and complex herbal blend. I ordered it as part of a large sample order from Adagio teas, but after lots of proper tea sampling I was sort of dreading making this. Today is going to be one of the wettest days we have seen in California, as such a good day for multiple pots of tea - so if I disliked it I had plenty of time to make another pot. Well it certainly surprised and delighted on this cold rainy day. Usually I find Yerba Mates to be very 'earthy' to the point of tasting like an artisan salad; this mix was a nice balance that distracted from the usual flavor notes of the mate and filled the mouth with a full smooth balance of flavor. This might end up replacing strait Yerba Mate in my collection as it still contains all the goodness of Yerba Mate without any of the negatives. I am unsure how many calories (or sugars) are contained in this blend with the cocoa, so that warrants investigation before re-ordering (re: keto diet). 

Adagio Teas - Apricot (Black Tea)

Characteristics

  • Nose: A perfect balance of light fruit and soft tea (9/10)
  • Brew: Medium Brown
  • First Note: Light but full, fresh and very moist compliments of a well balanced tea delight the senses (9/10)
  • Body: Smooth black tea fills the mouth while hints of fruit sweetness touches the tongue deep (8/10)
  • Finish: After the swallow just a light dry touch from the usual black tea lingers, the aromas of the apricot are mild and do not over power on the swallow (8/10)

Brew

Volume tea: 5 teaspoons
Water: 1200ml
Temp: 212*
Time: 3 Minutes



Verdict

I purchased this tea because it was part of the black and fruit mixtures sold from Adagio, as such I expected this to just be another data point for fruited teas. This tea exceeded expectations, it is everything I wish their blueberry tea was. So much that this finds it's way onto the permanent re-order list as a nice morning or afternoon cup.

Update: Just purchased a pound of this tea since I like it so much. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Adagio Teas - Blueberry (black tea)

Characteristics

  • Nose: Oddly scented blueberry  (6/10)
  • Brew: Dark Brown 
  • First Note: Sweet blueberry aromas and a light black tea (7/10)
  • Body: Tea flavor is muted by what tastes like an artificial blueberry flavor (5/10)
  • Finish: The over exaggerated blueberry aroma follows you after the sip and is distracting to the end (5/10)

Brew

Volume tea: 5 heaping teaspoons
Water: 1200ml
Temp: 212*
Time: 3 Minutes




Verdict

I love blueberry and I love black teas, but the almost artificial flavor of the blueberry is way to forward. Even though the ingredient list says blueberries and natural blueberry flavors it has a very artificial blueberry flavor. Maybe if the blueberry was more muted it would be enjoyable, the black tea that is in this one is very nice but that is the limit of this tea. I am very concerned as I have a few other blueberry teas from this vendor. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 - Wrap Up

2016 Year End Review

For many 2016 was a horrible year (or so the morbid posts on social media would leave me to believe). But luckily for me 2016 will go down  as one of my best years. What is that saying from the movie Rounders -
In "Confessions of a Winning Poker Player," Jack King said, "Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career."

That quote is ironic to me because without the assistance of phone's photo gallery, I couldn't remember a single bad event. Thanks iPhone for ruining it :p

So let's talk about the highlights first:

  • Finally got my M1 motorcycle license, after a decade of riding with no license or just a permit I finally made it official. 
  • I got my competition racing license for SCCA. 
  • I randomly jumped town and met up with an old best friend from college in NYC for 4 days. 
  • I set a world record for fastest Electric vehicle cannonball run from LA to NYC w/ Alex Roy.
  • I set a world record for highest % autonomous driving on a cannonball run as well (same drive >97% autonomous driving). 
  • I went to Singapore to see the Formula 1 night race. 
  • I went to The LBC for the Formula E grand prix. 
  • I stopped in Korea for a beer. 
  • I took a boat to Indonesia for a beer and some great shirts. 
  • I saw an amazing Bastille concert in the heart of a tropical city
  • I stood on the equator and unlike the spring groundhog I could not find my shadow. 
  • I bought a taxicab to build a 24Hours of Lemons racecar - other local taxies were not amused
  • I was the keynote speaker at an industry conference
  • I did brunch on a cruise ship, but only brunch, ain't nobody got time for anything else
  • I hung out with some of SJPD's finest and played cops for a night 
  • I drove one of the fastest and most unique cars in the world 
  • ...and then I tried to introduce the car to it's twin - my friend was not amused 
  • I played chess against a mainframe computer from the 1970s - and lost
  • Had a last minute 4 day weekend to celebrate one of my favorite couples welcoming a new family member into this world. We celebrated in Seattle and Portland.
  • I ate some seasoned rocks, they were delicious? 
  • I converted a 9 year old child's toy into a malicious hacking device that could open garage doors. 
  • Helped a friend at the MakerFaire & proceeded to spend an hour watching a robot dance.  
  • I taught an Autonomous car how to drive on the race track 
  • I built, flew and crashed some racing drones... 
  • I drank some fancy cocktails made with sugar snap peas 
  • I made a horrible machine named "Lil Shaky" in an attempt to scramble eggs in their shells. 
  • Lil shaky did not end well when we connected a 28,000 rpm router to it... 
  • I visited some good friends from college and presented his children with the world's most annoying musical toys. His kids love me - he and his wife hate me. This is the benefit of having a 3,500 mile airgap - musical toys, not my problem. I may have also fed his dog some eggs before I left...
  • Visited a childhood family friend and was reminded of my past by flipping through the guest book they kept in the bathroom.
  •   
  • Finally managed to get my hands on a new Panerai 524 after years of searching 
  • Visited NYC again to get some Joe's Shanghai dumplings 
  • I attended yet another BlackHat, BSidesLV and DefCon. While on my way to "Hacker Summer camp" I had an interesting chat with the TSA over the contents of my luggage.
  • I became a certified ethical car hacker...
  • My best friends Eric and Dominique visited California and brought along 1200 cards against humanity playing cards. 
  • Eric and Dominique also became married this year, unfortunately the timing did not work out for attendance of their wedding in New Zealand.
  • We may have slept in the back of a Tesla... or was it photoshopped?
  • I got to drive the Team Polizei car round Manhattan - This car and my new friend Alex Roy were figure heads in my early car days. He and his Team Polizei livery is what got my into exotic cars and street rallies. Meeting Alex was a pleasure, but being part of one of his teams was a dream come true - and now a friendship for life. 
  • Earned my own Team Polizei team member jacket 
  • I ate a lot of steak this year... (like a whole lot... if you follow my instagram you know this is just scratching the surface).
  •   
  • But don't worry, I ate some fruit to 
  • I did a gastro tour of Singapore in honor of Anthony Bourdain 
  • We drank some beers on a boat on a building 
  • I checked in at a Facebook office in another country 
  • We went to Thailand and lived like kings for a few days
  •   
  • Sat ringside at a real Thaiboxing match, best $5 ever spent 
  • I went to Japan and saw a Robotic theater show... 
  • I visited pieces of the Berlin wall 
  • I rode a Japanese bullet train 
  • I traveled to Kobe Japan to eat the highest grade Kobe in the world. 
  • I learned how to play Pokemon Go in Japan while hunting the rare Japanese only pokemon (don't judge me).  (everyone in this photo below were playing)
  • I had a successful lemon law buyback of one of my new cars which was problematic
  • I got gigabit fiber internet installed to my house
  • I learned how to make a mechanical watch movement 
  • I raced autonomous RC cars 
  • I introduced one of my best friends to the joys of track days 
  • Toured an electronics manufacturing plant
  • Toured an automotive factory
  • I discovered Youtube channel AvE
  • Drove in a $5m automotive simulator 
  • I met my new business partner and we started a company together
  • I made a long list of random thoughts and mixed in a bunch of photos and random periods. 
  • In digging through boxes of handed down Christmas tree ornaments I found my first pair of childhood shoes - I think they might still fit 
  • And to finish up this awesome year, my parents came to California to spend the Holidays 

My god, what an awesome year! To all my new friends made this year and my old friends who have continued on this journey with me - I thank you for making 2016 fantastic. 

The bad list:

  • Unlocked Achievement - Visit an ER in a third world country.
  • A friend had to shut down his business.
  • A friend was in a car accident while racing, but she is OK.
  • I had two of my closest friends who were a couple break up - it was messy but I think we are all finally moved on.
  • I had a horrible eye infection that took the better part of a month to get resolved. In hindsight (haha get it) it made me cherish my vision and health even more. 
  • I spent way to much time sitting in traffic this year. 
  • I was in my first car accident this year. I was rear ended in Michigan while on work by a kid who was not paying attention. The rental car was totaled. 
  • I hurt my foot pretty badly in Asia chasing pokemon - we shall never speak of this again. 
  • One of my friends was being stalked and we found a GPS tracking device on his car. 
  • We had an election that divided our country. 
  • I learned blogger has a really annoying WYSIWYG editor 

I don't know about you, but 2016 rocked. A very valuable lesson I learned in 2016 was saying "no" more frequently. If you say yes to often you fill your life with to many things you aren't excited about, but if you say no, you are left with more time to engage with your passions. I owe this advice to Derek Sivers.