Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Casablanca Twist from Adagio

Scent in tin: Pure peppermint-y goodness.
Brewed in: small glass teapot/glass infuser
Steeped: 3-4 min.@180 degrees
Cup: China teacup

Last night I found myself in need of something mellow and easy on the stomach, so I reached for my sample of Casablanca Twist. I had ordered it along with the Japanese green teas from Adagio, because it sounded intriguing and because I like good peppermint tea. I’m not sure why it’s listed as a “green tea” – the base tea is Darjeeling, and the peppermint is an herb, but that’s where you’ll find it on the site.

The scent is heavenly, if you love peppermint. You immediately get the cooling sensation in your throat when you just breathe it in, and the tea is nice to look at too – small bits of dried dark green tea swimming among a sea of brilliant green finely cut peppermint leaves. It brews up dark for a green/herbal tea, and smells divine while it’s steeping.

It’s darker in the cup than a green tea, and while the peppermint scent is very strong, if you focus you can separate out the typical muscatel perfume of the first flush Darjeeling tea they used for this blend. The taste is wonderful and changes over time. When the tea is still very warm, you’ll only taste the peppermint, but there is a smoothness that a straight tisane of peppermint doesn’t normally have. As the tea cools, the muscatel notes blend more readily with the herb, and you get this interesting mixture of smooth, sweet Darjeeling rivaled by strong mint. It’s quite enjoyable, and very calming at the same time.

I do wish there was a bit more balance of tea to herb…it’s more of a “tea-flavored tisane” than the other way around. Next time I make it, I think I’ll add some extra first flush Darjeeling to balance it out more. But it is a very nice blend as is too, so don’t hesitate to try a sample if you like peppermint.

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