Yes, I am a Harry Potter fan. I have read all of the books at least twice and have started reading them again, this time to my eight-year-old daughter (we are currently about 2/3rds of the way through the third book). I cried when Sirius Black, Dumbledore, Dobby and even Hedgewig dies within the series (sorry if that is a spoiler for any of you). I even cried when Snape died. I have watched all the movies (countless times!) and am eagerly awaiting the release of the next two. Yes, one might even say I’m slightly obsessed when it comes to Harry Potter. My family calls me a “Harry Potter Nerd.”
So, when I found “Butterbeer” tea (a blend created by Robert Pirlot) while browsing Adagio’s website, I was very intrigued. As butterbeer is not an actual beverage, but part of a fictional series, I have never actually tasted a butterbeer. However, in an interview, she has said she imagines butterbeer to:
taste a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch.
Also, after reading a little bit on Wikipedia, I learned that there was an actual butterbeer that was consumed back in Tudor times (1485 – 1603) and was “made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg and butter.”
To be honest, this tea doesn’t really taste like either of these two descriptions. Instead, it is a very creamy taste with a delightful caramel-y note. I guess for some people caramel and butterscotch are often “interchangable” flavors, although I personally think butterscotch to be a bit sweeter and even a bit more raw tasting in comparison to caramel. If given the choice between the two, I’d choose caramel, so, I do think that this tea is better served with a more caramel-ish flavor than a butterscotch-y one.
The black tea base used in this blend is a pleasant tasting black Ceylon tea. I wouldn’t describe it as an overly robust tea, it is smooth and mellow. So long as it’s not brewed too long, it doesn’t possess a bitter taste. I do detect just a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste, although it is not off-putting to my palate. In fact, I find it nice – it gives a bit of interest to the overall cup and makes it not too “sickly” sweet. It has a little bit of astringency. Personally, I think that this blend would benefit with some Assam in it, as a malty flavor would compliment the “butterbeer” concept quite well.
The vanilla and cream flavors used in this blend give this tea a very creamy flavor. It is a sweet tea, although I did find that a little additional sweetener is nice in this tea, as it enhances the flavors. In my second cup of this tea, I added a couple chunks of candied ginger to it (after all, Hermione likes her butterbeer with ginger!) and found the effect of this to be subtle yet incredibly delicious. I highly recommend it!
Adagio Teas describes this blend as
Taste that Sweet taste of Butterbeer. Butterbeer is the fictional drink in the Harry Potter Series, yes that series.
I have tried this tea both hot and chilled, and I must say that I prefer it hot as it seems better suited for the characteristics of this tea, although it is very good iced too. I do prefer it with a little ginger, and after reading the “recipe” of the Tudor period’s butterbeer, I thought I’d try adding a bit of freshly ground nutmeg to the leaves before brewing, and this is also a very nice addition. It is also very good with just a little sweetener and milk. A very tasty and versatile blend!
I also must take a moment to comment on Adagio’s customer service – it’s grand! The delivery of my order was very prompt, and everything was packaged beautifully and with care to prevent dents to their lovely tins! Also, if you follow Adagio Teas on Twitter, they’ll send you a $5.00 gift certificate on your next purchase!