On the one hand, I always have misgivings about flavored Oolongs, because any added flavor covers up some of the natural complex flavors in Oolong. On the other hand, we have a saying around our house, “Almonds go with everything.” They’re the perfect food; they can be added to entrees, side dishes, and desserts equally well. Yes, we’re a little nuts about almonds.
So given my love of almonds and my enjoyment of Oolong tea, I had to give this a try. And, as expected, it does mute some of the complexity of the Oolong, simplifying it a bit – but it does it with a great almond flavor! So it works out. There’s no floral note nor do I get any peachiness out of the Oolong, but I get multiple nutty notes that the almond flavoring accents, as well as the expected smoothness and strong but not at all aggressive or bitter taste of Oolong.
Adagio describes this tea as:
Combining savory almond slices with the bright, fruity taste of Formosa oolong tea, our Almond tea is a great stand-alone drink as well as the perfect dessert complement. In fact, it is so versatile that, if you don’t like our Almond tea, you’re probably the one that’s nuts.
I don’t normally add sugar to my Oolong tea, but if you want to add a bit to bring out the flavor more, it won’t hurt.
There are many almond-flavored black teas out there; choosing an almond-flavored Oolong instead gives you a somewhat milder and smoother tea taste, a bit less caffeine, and some aroma that is sweeter than black tea. And Oolongs are always good for a second steeping; the flavor changes somewhat. If you steep this tea only one minute longer the second time, you get more Oolong flavor; if you steep it much longer, you get more nut flavor. Win-win!
One thing to remember: in any tea that has pieces of other things – such as almond slices – in it, remember to stir the dry tea leaves and take your spoonful of leaves from the middle; otherwise, all the pieces tend to settle out, either all to the top or all to the bottom, depending on size, and so if you don’t stir the leaves, you may get some infusers with no almond pieces at all, and others mostly almond pieces! Luckily, Adagio’s nice round tins with the flip-up lid are very easy to stir and to rummage around in.