Adagio Teas for the Gourmet Tea Lover

Genmai Cha from Adagio Teas.

Genmai Cha from Adagio Teas.

 

Born in Moscow, Michael Cramer (he Anglicized his original surname of Kreymerman after immigrating to the United States) grew up with tea as a staple.

So it may not be surprising that the former investment banker decided to establish a tea company in New Jersey in 1999 with his brother and mother.

What is remarkable is that Adagio Teas was profitable in its first year.

But when you taste the teas, you can see why.

There is a real vitality and vibrancy to them, as I found out when I was sent samples to try recently.

They offer more than 100 types of tea: black teas such as Assam Melody, flavored teas such as Chocolate Chip (Ceylon tea with dark chocolate chips), Pu-erh such as Tahiti (with coconut), matcha, and premium teas such as Fujian Silver Needle. You can even create your own blend.

What I really appreciate is that you can not only order the teas either loose-leaf or in pyramid tea bags, but you can choose to purchase a sample ($2 on up), an amount large enough to make five cups or more. That way, you can taste before committing to a larger quantity.

What’s more, the Web site not only gives you the temperature and time for brewing each tea, but lists its caffeine level.

An intoxicating Lemongrass Ginger tea blend.

An intoxicating Lemongrass Ginger tea blend.

The Genmai Chai (4 ounces for $14) is Japanese green tea blended with toasted, popped rice. It’s always been one of my favorites because of its wonderful nutty taste. This one had all of that, plus a delicate grassiness. It makes for a soothing sip owing to less astringency.

The Lemongrass Ginger is so fragrant from the moment you open the bag. You can see the shards of dried lemongrass and pieces of ginger in the blend, along with blue cornflowers. It makes for a dreamy cup that’s characterized by the natural sweetness of the ginger and lemongrass. It will warm you inside and out.

Adagio Teas can be ordered loose leaf or in pyramid-type teabags. You also get options for the amount of tea to purchase.

Adagio Teas can be ordered loose leaf or in pyramid-type teabags. You also get options for the amount of tea to purchase.

Take a whiff of the Masala Chai ($8 for 15 tea bags), and you’ll feel like you’re on an exotic journey. The mix of black tea, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon is a heady blend of spices sure to wake you up. You can enjoy it as is. But for a real treat, make it the traditional way with a little milk and a pinch of sugar.

Adagio Teas makes you feel like you’re spoiling yourself with each and every sip.

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