Scent in tin: Somewhat malty
Brewed in: Tea for one/metal infuser
Steeped: 4 min@212 degrees
Cup: Café mug
I was shopping with my sister at Target last weekend, finishing up some gift purchases. We wandered through the grocery section, even though I still haven’t quite gotten used to the fact that Target sells food now. My sister was extolling the virtues of Archer Farms cookies, and I suddenly thought I had read somewhere that Adagio teas were sold at Target now. So I headed for the tea section, and found no Adagio, but your basic selection of tea bag boxes and a very limited selection of Archer Farms loose tea in tins – one green, one earl grey, and this one – Golden Breakfast. It was around $6.49 for the 3.4oz tin, so I thought I’d try it.
I opened the tin expecting small black torn leaf bits. I was surprised to find a bunch of gold tipped Yunnan leaves, dried and long, as the “whole black tea leaves” on the outside of the tin suggested. It smelled fresh, and a bit malty as I’d expect from any Yunnan tea, and I measured some out to try, far more eager to taste it after seeing that it was, in fact, “real tea”.
The leaves brewed up nicely, unfurling and looking much like…well…like my other Yunnan teas do. I actually thought it looked like Adagio’s Yunnan jig, until I compared the leaves side by side. The Archer Farms has more stems in it and is slightly lighter in color.
The taste is malty/fruity…by fruity, I don’t mean berry-ish, but rather a hint of a “raisin” aftertaste. It’s quite thin, but dark when brewed up, and really just as good as most Yunnan’s I’ve had (excluding, of course, Yunnan Gold – which is a whole ‘nuther class of tea). It is slightly more astringent than I’d like, but overall, very drinkable, especially as a morning “wake-up” cup.
So I did some research, thinking that perhaps Adagio was sourcing Archer Farms. I couldn’t find anything one way or the other on that – if they are, it’s well-hidden. I did however find two product recalls (not tea) for Archer Farms products, and some controversy over the labeling on AF milk (whether “organic” was misleading or not). This tea is labeled organic as well, though I don’t generally put much stock in labeling, or organic products, for that matter.
In any case, I probably won’t be purchasing this tea again, simply because I rarely ever shop at Target, and I can get good tippy Yunnan from online suppliers for less without worrying about where Target is getting its tea (and other things). But it is surprisingly good for an off-the-shelf loose tea from a “supermarket”…