By Christine Rillo
It all started when we introduced the Signature Blends option on the website. I never really thought of blending my own teas before, preferring the flavors and body of a plain, premium tea. However, since everyone at Adagio was encouraged to come up with a blend when the feature first launched, I went ahead and came up with several concoctions that seem to play well in my head.
For each one I stuck to a theme of sorts; the first of my creations was inspired by the pangs of hunger that struck at me right before I was ready to leave the office. I foolishly was looking at Thai food menus online, in attempts to think of something to make for dinner, but at the same time I was ready to chew off a part of my laptop to keep me satisfied until dinner. The ingredients of coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger seem to pop out at me- inspiration had struck, and I created a blend entitled 'Thai' Tea. Unfortunately, I believe most of the early sales were made by customers who believed that my blend would be similar to the sugary-sweet goodness of an iced Thai Tea one would get at a Thai restaurant- a creamy and true indulgence. However, there are more ingredients needed to make that, but nonetheless I think my blend holds up to its name; as ginger, lemongrass, and coconut are all important ingredients of Thai cuisine.
My second blend came after a conversation with my grandfather, who resides on the other side of the world; the Philippines. My last visit was nearly two years ago and if I were a richer woman I would be there, enduring the 18 hour flight at least every other month to spend time with my 'Lolo'. If only! After each long-distance phone call with my Lolo, I find myself feeling a bit more nostalgic for my grandfather, who helped raised me. Last time I was over there, we took the customary visit to his plantation which resides on a small island off the mainland of Luzon (the large, most Northernmost island of the archipelago). There he grows a bounty of food: rice, coconuts, bananas, mangos; raises pigs, and employs a small dingy to catch fish off the coast. Though my family and me are reminded of more humbler, simpler living (with the exception of the modern bathroom in the main house, oh and the karaoke 'bar' several acres down) whenever we go visit we find it is a wonderful place seared into my memory as such. In homage, I blended some mango, coconut, and smoky mambo tea to create the blend aptly entitled, 'Lolo's Tea'. On my own, after receiving the blend I added some hibiscus flowers and rose petals a visual effect and flavor and proceeded to tell my Lolo all about the tea.
Scanning the myriad of signature blends that have since been created on the Adagio Teas website, I see that everyone has a unique story to tell. When personalized with pictures of loved ones and a delightful story or inside joke inserted into the title, each signature blend takes on a life of its own. There are pictures of couples, family members, friends; original artwork or photography, and descriptions that harken back to a specific, joyful, or funny event. If you're a returning customer you can easily make your own blend. Do not get intimidated by the idea; rather try starting out with some samples of tea you might have and try mixing up something first. Or, if you're a first time customer, purchase a couple of samples to experiment with. If you decide to purchase your blend (or someone else's) try sprucing it up a little bit by adding some original ingredients such as herbs and spices or pairing it with a signature food dish or meal.
There are so many combinations to be made from the various teas we offer, I'm sure you will be able to blend something to call your own. I encourage you to visit our signature tea blends page and play around.