Tea Review: Capricorn, by Adagio


Capricorn

From the Zodiac line by Adagio

Packaging

The imagery for Capricorn is weird. Goat-fish? Who comes up with this stuff? So the artwork for the Capricorn tea is surprisingly graceful, given what the artist has to go off of. We have an androgynous person with white hair (hood?) and goat horns, and they’re holding (?) a brown fish tail. They’re on an earthy brown-auburn background with flowers and leaves.

Leaves

The leaves are very aesthetically pleasing. It’s a lovely mix of greens, browns, and yellows (which is impressive, considering that the base teas are black and white) in the right proportions to give a very earthy, organic feel. In my review of Libra, I lamented that the rose petals were dry and yellow, but here I like the yellow color a lot better.

I find the smell of this absolutely fascinating. I was expecting something autumnal, based on the packaging. Instead, the dominant smell is coconut. But it’s not remotely tropical smelling. It’s coconut in an extremely earthy way. I’ve never really smelled coconut in this context before, it’s really quite lovely. I’m thinking that the vanilla is what really smooths this out.

I generally place smells into one of several different categories: Citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit), tropical (mango, melon, pineapple), savory (hazelnut, almond, vanilla, chocolate), fruity (strawberry, cherry, currant), and so on. Coconut always goes into the tropical category for me (thanks, Malibu rum), so it’s very odd to want to place coconut in the savory category for this tea. But it fits better in savory than tropical here.

Sample tin of Capricorn tea leaves from Adagio

Capricorn packaging and leaves

Tea

I steeped this at 180F for 3 minutes, and here’s what it looked like:

Fully steeped Capricorn tea, by Adagio

Capricorn tea

The smell isn’t nearly as BAM! Coconut as the unsteeped leaves are. Don’t get me wrong, the dominant smell is coconut. But it’s quite a bit more muted, letting some of the natural smell of the tea leaves come out. The vanilla seems to be missing now.

The tea itself isn’t as complex as its constituents. The dominant flavor is just the black tea. It seems to be tempered somewhat by the white tea, but it’s more in a less-black way than a half-black-half-white way. The aftertaste is a lot smoother than the initial black-tea flavor.

Several other reviews I’ve read of this tea suggest it’s a milk-and-sugar kind of tea, and I can definitely see that working. Unfortunately, I don’t regularly stock milk or cream, but the next time I buy some, I’ll definitely give this tea a try again.

Conclusion

An earthy, coconut-y tea made from black and white leaves, smoothed out by vanilla. It tries really hard to be complex and subtle, but requires some help (by way of cream and sugar). 4/5

Adagio’s Description

Black and white tea mixed with coconut is the practical choice for giving Capricorn a serious dose of focus and flavor. Capricorns work hard and need a smooth yet strong tea to get them through long nights at work. Vanilla and rose petals are a classic combination of flavors that Capricorns can depend on.

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