827 Tasting Notes
Yay, I got my portion of the Bluebird group order! Thanks again to QueenOfTarts for organizing the whole thing. I ended up with ten different teas, which sounds like a lot, but the sizes range from 10 to 35 grams so it’s actually not a ton of tea. I’m feeling very pleased with my purchases for the price I paid! All of my lovely new teas are now safe and secure in various small tins that I had sitting empty.
I couldn’t decide which tea I was most excited for, but I ended up choosing this one (partially because of the cute snowflake sprinkles!). I must say, you can tell that all of these teas are blended in-house, mostly because of the range of ingredients included. For instance, this one has large pieces of dried orange peel and cloves, which are more expected, but then it also has a smattering of pine needles! Dry scent is a sweet combination of almond extract, orange, and clove.
Ooh the steeped tea smells fantastic – very sweet and cakey. And it tastes delicious, too! Definitely very cakey with strong almond flavor, a light kiss of orange, and a nice warming undertone of clove. I didn’t even realize there’s stevia in this tea, as you can’t taste it really. There’s a very slight sweet aftertaste if you sit there and think about it, similar to a very mild licorice root. I love it! Very happy to have picked up 35 grams.
Flavors: Almond, Cake, Clove, Orange, Sweet
This is a non-winter/holiday tea that I was curious about, and Roswell was kind enough to send me a sample out of her own stash. I don’t have much experience with maté, but anything roasted appeals to me and the other flavors involved sounded so yummy that I wanted to try it anyway.
The tea itself is definitely quite chunky. There are lots of big pieces, like sliced almonds, cacao shells, dried raspberries, etc. The maté kind of resembles a darker roasted kukicha in some places, while in others it’s more fragmented and reminds me of fish food. Dry smell is amazingly raspberry and roasty.
Wow, I have to say, I really really like this tea. The raspberry flavor is strong and yummy and sweet, like raspberry jam. I can definitely taste the chocolate, and it melds wonderfully with the roasted and nutty flavors. Overall, it’s just yum, and so comforting. I can’t comment on the energy effect yet, but we shall see if I’m bouncing off the walls in a little bit. Delicious!
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Jam, Raspberry, Roasted, Sweet
Just chuggin’ along on the David’s winter tea train! Thanks again to miss Roswell Strange for providing me with 10g samples of all of these teas. I have to say, the notes that I’ve seen regarding this tea have made me rather scared to try it, as they’ve pretty much all been negative. Oh well, onward!
Now, on the pouch, this claims to be a rooibos blend. However, as far as I can tell, there is zero rooibos in my sample. So either there’s so little included that it’s pointless, or whoever measured out this sample didn’t bother to stir it first, leaving me with all of the food ingredients which tend to rise to the top as the rooibos sinks. Oh well! Dry scent is like a very heavily spiced apple cider.
Wow, I’m actually very surprised by this tea. I don’t hate it at all. Thankfully, I can’t taste the chili, which was the ingredient that really worried me (I do not enjoy spicy foods). The hibiscus is present but in a complementary way instead of being overpowering. I really enjoy the star anise in this blend, as most blends with licorice only include the root and there’s no actual licorice-esque flavor. Speaking of licorice root, I can taste that sweetness at the end of the sip, but it’s actually balanced rather well by the tart.
Overall, I’m surprised to somewhat like this one. There’s a lot going on, but it ends up tasting like a simultaneously spiced, tart, and sweet mulled apple cider.
Flavors: Anise, Apple, Hibiscus, Licorice, Spices, Sweet, Tart
Yay, another of my new David’s samples! I love eggnog, so I was pretty excited when I saw this is one of the holiday teas. When I opened the bag, I was shocked by how many white chocolate chips are in this blend! The picture is indeed accurate in that respect. The dry smell is quintessential eggnog. I admit that I made sure to stir a spoon around in my brew basket when the tea was done steeping, just to try to get all of that white chocolate to dissolve into the tea a bit.
I’m actually pretty underwhelmed by this tea. It comes off as quite bland to me. Yes, there is a strong nutmeg presence here, which is appropriate for eggnog. Other than that, all I really get out of this tea is creaminess. I feel like it’s unfair for me to expect more from this tea, as eggnog is so much about the thick and luscious texture, which can’t be replicated here. Overall, it’s just ho-hum.
Flavors: Cream, Nutmeg
Yay, my David’s winter/holiday samples from Roswell Strange are here! I can’t thank her enough for being such a sweetheart and sending me all of these 10g samples from her local store. Love you, Roswell!
This is one of those teas that just makes you smile when you peek in the pouch. It has these cheerful little candy cane sprinkles and their red color mixed with the green of the crushed peppermint is very festive indeed! Plus it smells very yummy, sweet vanilla and peppermint combined remind me of peppermint bark.
The tea itself tastes pretty good. I must say, it’s not as amazing as the smell because there’s only a touch of sweetness from the melted sprinkles. However, the flavors are still yummy together, and I can taste the vanilla (though I could use more!). Overall, it’s a perfectly nice little peppermint black tea with a touch of vanilla. Would definitely make a fantastic latte!
Flavors: Artificial, Peppermint, Vanilla
I feel like writing lazy tasting notes today! :D This sample came from the lovely Dexter.
This tea is a bit too earthy for me, as I tend to prefer the lighter Yunnan teas. It does have some nice flavors going on, though! I can taste a bit of dark, syrupy raisin and there are caramelized sugar undertones going on, though not a lot of sweetness. The main flavors are earth and wood, which are not my favorites. Perhaps a teeny touch of some sort of herb near the end?
Thanks, Dexter! I appreciate the chance to try these teas even if I don’t love all of them. :)
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Earth, Herbs, Malt, Raisins, Wood
My last sample from Blodeuyn! Sorry it took so long for me to try all of them… This one is a mixture of loose leaf puerh with a few other things. There are giant pieces of what looks like vanilla bean, and I guess they are since the description mentions vanilla. I can also see a few cloves and some type of dried berry (cherry possibly). The whole thing is garnished with feathery red flower petals. Dry scent is definitely earthy, but I can also smell sweet vanilla and rich dried fruit notes.
I was surprised that the steeped tea was not super dark due to the puerh. Again, it smells heavily earthy with some sweet and spicy notes mixed in. Hm… This mostly tastes like a light shou puerh to me. The flavoring is quite subtle, in fact I find it too subtle. I can taste the cinnamon as well as a touch of sweet grape. It’s not terrible, but I don’t love it either.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Grapes, Powdered sugar
A sample from miss Blodeuyn. She ordered a few of this company’s teas and was kind enough to let me try them since I was curious about them. This one and the puerh blend have been left sitting around for a bit because I’m not really a chai or a puerh drinker. I do enjoy chai, but I never seem to reach for it. This is a very strange tea in its dry form. It’s almost wet, and all of the leaves like to stick together in a giant clump until you break them apart to measure some, at which point they crumble a bit. I can see whole cardamom pods, fennel seed, and some crushed green leaves that resemble bay. Dry scent is strong on the fennel and anise aromas.
The steeped tea has a strong fennel aroma as well, and I confess, it reminds me of Italian sausage… This is definitely a more savory chai. I’m drinking it plain and I can taste the fennel and the cardamom quite strongly, and I can also taste some of the star anise. Cinnamon is mentioned in the description, but I don’t really get that flavor at all. Overall, it’s okay, although I’m not a huge fan of cardamom, so I’m a bit biased.
Flavors: Anise, Cardamon, Fennel Seed, Spicy
This is one of my purchases from the recent Fauchon sale on Vente-Privee. I had tried a sachet of Linden-Mint from Kusmi and enjoyed it, so when I saw this for sale I figured I’d give it a try as well! This is one of those plastic-y rectangular sachets, and the pieces inside are fairy small. Dry scent is lovely mild mint with a slight sweetness.
The steeped tea also has a nice, mellow peppermint aroma, and I can smell the linden as well (which reminds me a bit of a mild white tea). Yum, this blend strikes a lovely balance between mild peppermint freshness and somewhat sweet, honey-like linden blossom. The end of the sip is especially strong in linden flavor. I really like this one as an evening tea, and it would be nice for an upset tummy as well.
Flavors: Hay, Honey, Peppermint, Sweet
This sample is from NayLynn. I’m pretty bad about neglecting my swap samples for a while, sorry! I’m surprised I haven’t tried this one sooner, considering it combines two of my favorite flavors – vanilla and caramel. It has the typical black tea base – small leaves that are a super dark reddish brown color that’s almost black. Dry scent is extremely creamy and buttery, in fact I couldn’t smell vanilla at all really.
Mm, the steeped tea smells like vanilla custard swirled with a rich, buttery caramel sauce. The taste doesn’t quite live up to the aroma, but it is quite good. The vanilla manifests more as a creaminess than actual vanilla for me. I can taste the caramel moreso, and it’s extremely buttery but not very sweet. My cup has just a touch of bitterness, but it’s probably because I overleafed it a tad. Overall, it’s good, but I was hoping for more.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cream