Posted by: dan | August 11, 2009

drinking sangria (though it’s not quite tea)

Sangria Header
(title with apologies to The Divine Comedy (again) for the tortured lyrical pun)

Dan: A lovely sunny sunday afternoon led me to my tea cupboard in search of something to quench my thirst, preferably something light and sweet that would work well on a hot day. I found something – Adagio’s Fruit Sangria (or Fruit Medley as it’s known in the US). A herbal tea that requires no additional sweeteners? That’ll suit me to a ‘tea’ I thought (And yes, I think in puns too. I am indeed pathetic).

Looks like Pot Pourri - smells and tastes much nicer

Looks like Pot Pourri - smells and tastes much nicer

It didn’t take long for me to realise that this was probably a very good choice. Prising the lid off the tin yielded an amazing sensory experience. Firstly there’s the sight: there aren’t really any leaves here at all. It’s just chopped and dried fruit. Great chunks of strawberries and apples are mixed in with several other kinds of fruit including blackberries, elderberries and raspberries. It looks incredible.

Then there’s the smell. A large smack of sweetness hits your nostrils fairly quickly and you’re led into an olfactory wonderland. Each of the ingredients has its own scent flowing through the aroma but none of them overwhelm any of the others. It’s a well-balanced blend that sits just right for a tantalising preview of the flavour to come.

Half the ingredients float

Half the ingredients float

At this point I was hooked and I’d not taken any of the contents from the tin yet. Which actually posed a small problem: how much am I supposed to use? Should I use less than I would with a normal tea, because the pieces are larger and I won’t need as much to get the same strength; or should I use more in order to get a complete cross-section of all there is to offer? I did what I usually do: guessed. I figured that using a similar amount as usual and making a full pot of it instead of just a solitary cup would give me an adequate sample. Adding to the sensory delight, pinching out the tisane (no tea leaves, remember?) pieces feels pretty cool. Lumpy, crunchy and crispy – something that you don’t tend to get with most teas.

You may remember that I have a slight dislike of tisanes. Well there’s no need to worry about that here. It seems that the difference between a bagged tisane and the loose ingredients is comparative to the difference in teas. Where the Twinings tisanes had flavours of “acrid pond water” and looked like “slices of plant detritus”, this Fruit Medley is exactly what it says on the tin – a medley of fruits. The prime flavour is of strawberries (I’m not surprised looking at the size of the piece I brewed) followed by an undercurrent of apples, which is all rounded off by the other flavours to create a smooth drink that works perfectly with an afternoon in the sun.

It's even a nice shade of red when brewed!

It's even a nice shade of red when brewed!

I can imagine it would also work exceedingly well as an iced tea, or as ingredients in a Sangria as the name suggests. I don’t have any suitable alcohol around to test this theory though which is a shame. I may have to track some down. If I get around to making some iced tea then this is certainly the one that will be used first. In fact, I might try and do both at some point soon. If they’re a success I’ll come back and let you know how I got on. Hopefully they’ll both be as delicious as this tisane is.

Dan was drinking Adagio’s Fruit Sangria, available at ¬£4.99 for 110g.

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