17 November 2005

Tea Porn

A post of Julie's turned me on to Adagio tea. I noticed her post the day I had planned to order something from Upton Tea, a company recommended by a friend of Politica's. But Julie was so rhapsodic about Adagio, and Adagio's website was so inviting, that I decided to do a taste test and order from both. Yesterday, boxes of tea came from both companies, and I'm in tea heaven!

From Adagio, I ordered their black tea sampler, English breakfast, Irish Breakfast, and yunnan jig, which Julie said she liked and whose name amused me. I used the $5 off certificate from Julie, and because my order was more than 19.99, I got a free copy of A Guide to Tea which is total tea porn. Beautiful photos of tea services, tea leaves, and tea storage containers. It makes me want to move into the Pottery Barn catalog and serve high tea all day. Except if I lived there, I wouldn't be online navigating the Adagio website, which is one of the most user-friendly catalog sites I've ever seen. It is so easy to search and so easy to navigate. More companies should be so accommodating of online clients' needs. Adagio makes it easy to find information (both their own descriptions and other users' ratings) without getting users lost in layers of links. And then when you get offline you can have some yummy tea. What's not to like? As Politica said, Adagio teas have seduced me. I'm dreaming of Ingenui-tea pots and other teaware.

Upton Tea is a little less elegant (and a little less expensive) than Adagio. Their labels have less hip fonts and the round containers aren't quite as cute as the little silver ones from Adagio. But I'm enjoying their British Blend sampler. I also ordered some Irish breakfast, which came in a bag, not a tin. The Upton website is not so easily navigable, but their paper newsletter (included with the order) has some interesting tea commerce history in it. I'll let you know how the taste tests stack up over time.

At the moment, Curious Girl is calling...so I'm off to collect her and warm up some tea for an afternoon snack!

6 comments:

JM said...

Isn't it great??!? The Ingenuitea pots are _awesome_.

JennyN said...

Ok, I have to admit, I haven't tried Adagio teas yet, but I have to tell you about a French company called Mariage Freres, which has INCREDIBLE teas. If you go to their shop in Paris, they have canisters of teas floor-to-ceiling, and little guys in bow ties behind the counters who will carefully swiiiiirl the tea in the canister and present it to you to smell. It's like being in a fancy wine store! And the teas are really out of this world. It's a little harder to get them in the U.S., but you can find them at Williams Sonoma and Dean & DeLuca. If you can get Buddha Bleu, it's amazing. Also, Nil Rouge and Eros. Yum, yum, yum. :)

Another fabulous tea company is Mighty Leaf -- also highly recommended.

(Sorry, I just started reading your blog and I don't believe I've posted before, but you hit on a favorite topic. :} )

JM said...

I just got my shipment of tea today as well, and it came with a hand-written note of thanks for saying such nice things about them. Gah. I _love_ them. I hope you like all your tea.

susan said...

Welcome, Jenny, and I'm so happy to be writing to fellow tea enthusiasts! And all these other tea companies Jenny mentions...I want to try them all (except I want to order more from Adagio! Their website has had this mezmerizing effect on me.)

The Mighty Leaf site has some pretty good tea porn on its opening pages (although it loads more slowly than adagio). And Mariage Freres looks cool, too. When I googled them I turned up an Adiagio TeaMuse article about them.

Very nice that they're keeping up with the blogosphere commentary about them, Julie. Perhaps we can find a way to have a blogging tea party? I'll have to think about that one.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I'm a convert, too. I'm glad Julie is being recognized for her ability to spread the Adagio gospel!

On an unrelated note, I own every. single. book that came up on this pageload of Library Thing. What are the chances? (OK, so 3 of them are Maisy books -- but Tracks by Robyn Davidson?)

susan said...

Phantom, I went through your library (and Jody's) and added to my library the ones that we had in common (after each of you had posts about singletons and Library Thing). I've been slowly adding to my library things that we own but haven't read at bedtime yet, just to get the library to have more of my adult books in it. I kind of like the way Jody separated her libraries between kids and adult books. In another few weeks my computer will move into the bedroom, very close to a big bookcase (big home renovation project going on here) and that may make it easier for me to input more adult books.

But I thought it was super cool that you had Tracks. I should get the rest of my Australia books in the catalog. On my 2002-03 sabbatical I spent some time in Australia and loved it. I'd move there in a heartbeat.