1028 Tasting Notes
I just HAD to try this one today anyway, for Christmas! The Bluebird minty tea today made my headache disappear! thanks so much for both of them, KittyLovesTea! :D
The ingredients sounded so lovely, yet so weird…. and there is GLITTER. I’m not sure it is edible, but I’m going to ignore that! haha. But pine needles! Almonds and vanilla too! One and a half teaspoons of this was steeped right after boiling for three minutes. There was some glitter floating around in the mug! I don’t love Bluebird’s Ceylon base but the ingredients here together are so delicious. It does taste like cake a bit. It must be the almonds, vanilla and the sugary sweetness from the snowflake sprinkles (and apparently stevia, though it doesn’t taste like stevia). Unfortunately, there isn’t any flavor from the pine needles, which I was looking forward to even though it wouldn’t seem very cake like. The cinnamon is strong and spicy! Hints of orange. I really love this blend. i’d definitely order it, especially if the black tea base was different.
ETA: (I just realized this might sound like ‘Estimated time of arrival’ but I mean ‘Edited to add’!) I just steeped a second cup of this with standing-there-for-the-water-to-finish-boiling type of steeping. It steeped for four minutes and the taste is VERY cinnamon now! Not as much as Harney’s sunset though. So so good. I kind of wish Bluebird could change this so it wasn’t a seasonal tea and they could sell it all year long.
Backlog from Christmas Eve:
The perfect Christmas Eve tea! Frankincense! And Verdant! Verdant teas are for special times. (And Verdant’s picture just looks very Christmasy!) I’m sipping this while reading the last pages of Bronte’s ‘Shirley’. The list of ingredients here is very special – Verdant puts so much thought into their blends. First of all, it’s an Earl Grey oolong. I don’t think I’ve tried one of those before! This looks to be half oolong and the other half is the other ingredients. I used closer to two teaspoons though Verdant says five grams.. which I think is one teaspoon?
Steep #1 // 2 1/2 min //10-15 min after boiling
(Verdant suggests 194 degrees for two minutes.)
The fragrance before I even taste is very lemony! Tasting it… just lovely stuff. I can’t say I notice a frankincense or saffron flavor. But the bergamot and oolong is a perfect pair. I’m not sure why they aren’t together more. It’s just bright, fresh, lemony. Would I think this was a holiday tea? Not really. It’s very sunny – but that’s what you need in the winter anyway (Tell me about it – I swear the sun hasn’t been out for a minute in weeks.) This might be the tea I need in the depths of winter.
Steep #2 // a few minutes after boiling // 3 min
This one is much more like a typical oolong, but it’s still bright, orange, bergamot. The other flavors aren’t noticeable… even less so in the second cup. But it’s a very enjoyable bergamot oolong! Very well done. So fresh and sunny! I’d love to try more of Verdant’s bergamot teas.
KittyLovesTea sent me a lovely package of teas… mostly Bluebird samples to try because I want that to be the ONE company I order from one time in 2014. (Yeah right.) I’d like to know what I like from Bluebird first! thanks so much!!
I wanted to try Bluebird’s Christmas Cake for Christmas day but a headache means I should have a mint tea. Well, this was a mint tea from Bluebird so I went with it. A second oolong blend in a row! I don’t try many of those. This is supposed to be at 194 degrees so the water was cooled for a minutes. This one is a bit odd tasting at the first sip. It tastes a bit like catnip smells (which is probably since catnip is a mint anyway). And the oolong is very vegetal…I’m surprised it’s a milk oolong. The hints of chocolate aren’t very creamy. Not bad, but it’s odd! The second steep tasted more like I thought it should. Not my favorite from Bluebird, but I’d love to try their amazing blends either way.
Merry Christmas to all of you amazing wonderful Steepsterers!
I must mention that I’m hesitant to write comments on anyone else’s tasting notes anymore, since I don’t get e-mail alerts if anyone replies back. I’m not ignoring anyone… I just don’t see the reply.
Another Cinnamon roll/bun tea I am now trying. It was my free sample with my Della Terra order. When I saw “spices” I started thinking of Della Terra’s dreaded ‘Dirty Chai’. Though I think that teas fault was the inclusion of coffee beans that may not have the freshest when I tried it (and I don’t love coffee anyway). I’m not sure if it was because I waited for a few minutes after boiling, but this steeped up a very light brown after a few minutes. The smell of the dry leaves is VERY nice but the flavor just seems like chai to me.. maybe with more cinnamon. It’s also very like ‘Cinnamon Crackle’. The orange peel is sorta odd unless you think of the rolls with orange frosting. I’m not resteeping this one due to it being so weak the first time around, but this certainly isn’t as bad as ‘Dirty Chai’. Fusion’s Cinnamon Roll blend seems much more accurate to that flavor but that one is kind of magical and is only missing a bready black tea base.
Another one from Dexter3657! thanks so much again! I REALLY wanted to try this one, so I was very happy to see it in the box! Is it wrong that I had this one with an actual piece of nutty chocolatey cheesecake? Though I think it had walnuts and this tea has big pieces of pecans.. I made sure to get a piece of pecan in my infuser! I don’t think this is distinctly “turtle cheesecake” but there are subtle hints of all of these elements, and they sure are tasty. I wish 52Teas assam base was used here, but it may have overpowered the flavors. There was more of a silky texture from the cheesecake, tiny hint of chocolate & pecans and a sweetness from a caramel flavor. This was steeped at boiling for 2-3 minutes but I have to experiment with the best steeping method.. luckily I have a few teaspoons to work with! :D I think my favorite 52 cheesecake has been the Earl Grey Cheesecake… This is very tasty anyway!!
Thank you Janelle for a sample of this with your sale! I’m always up for trying a Della Terra blend. It doesn’t look like this one is on the site anymore. An autumn breakfast sounds lovely… however I’m drinking this at 11:00 PM. Rooibos in the morning? No way. I hardly want to drink it at night but no caffeine is my reasoning. The scent of this one is unappetizing but luckily the flavor is much better. There isn’t a whole lotta bacon, if any (not sure about the whole bacon tea thing anyway!) But the sweetness addictive…but I’ve had teas that tasted more like maple. Quite nice actually. There is something “breakfast” flavored here! I swear my blend didn’t have chocolate at all though (not many breakfasts have chocolate anyway). I wish Della Terra had used these maple pieces in more blends. I always forget that if I must drink rooibos, Della Terra is always acceptable. I’ll miss this odd little blend! It looks like I was only one of a few people to try this one before it disappeared (according to Steepster notes.)
Additional notes: Having this one again – two teaspoons, 18 minutes after boiling, two minutes. For a two year old opened sample (just in a ziplock), this is still mighty scrumptious. It’s actually darker than the Bailin Gongfu even with the same temp, time, amount of leaves. I’m noticing dark chocolate that I never would have noticed before, to go along with the slight smokiness. SO good. The second steep was steeped after 16 minutes for 3-4 minutes. (Basically these are notes for me for future cups.) Also very delicious. It’s very different from anything else I have, really.
This was not the 2013 harvest…it was from 2011 or 2012, maybe even 2010. Does anyone know if the 2013 harvest is the same/similar?
Holiday tea #3
Dexter3657 sent some of this one over! thanks so much again! This is a N0S4A2 blend. I love that 52 Teas has created some book inspired blends. Two of my favorite things: tea & books! And I intend to read N0S4A2 at some point… it sounds awesome, but there are just so so many books I have to get to at the moment. At least this one is holiday themed! This blend sounded perfect for this book too. Gingerbread & smoke! I love smoky teas… not so much ginger. But this is actually a great combination. Not overpowering smoke and it’s actually very sweet tasting, so this would actually be a perfect start to those who haven’t tried smoky teas yet! There is just enough ginger to make it different. I like it! Back to the books!
Is it bad I know what I’ll be drinking for Christmas Eve (Verdant’s Earl of Anxi – it has frankincense!), Christmas Day (Butiki’s Hattalli Golden Lion Assam – my favorite) and New Year’s Eve (that new Butiki champagne tea I’ve heard about.. I don’t have it yet, so hopefully it gets here by then!)
Holiday tea #2
Oh wow… I’m pleasantly surprised at this one! I thought it was an old sample (the only tasting notes are from three years ago). And since it’s a green tea, I expected it to be terribly old. No way! Maybe because the sample was unopened? The flavor is still a buttery sencha with plenty of pear flavor. Though at times, the pear flavor does seem like it’s flavored like the stem of a pear. Anyway, I had to look up what partridgeberry is. Wiki is telling me that that partridgeberries look like cranberries but don’t have much flavor other than a hint of wintergreen. I was seeing things that looked like dried cranberries in the blend, but I can’t say I noticed a difference in flavor. Very surprised this isn’t a waste of a steep! I’ll happily drink the rest of this sample as long as it tastes this good. It gives me hope for some of my other older green teas!
Holiday tea #1 An unintentional back log of three holiday teas starts now!
Momo sent this a while back for a sale – thank you! I’ve had some before this cup, I’m just making a tasting note for it now. I love this one! It’s a sturdy black tea base with enough mint to be nice (though it doesn’t look like there is much mint in the mix.) I love the tiny candy cane sprinkles! I’m not sure if the candy canes are actually mint. I thought that was the reason for a slight creamy flavor, but looking in the infuser it doesn’t seem like they melt very much. The creamy flavor is my favorite part of this tea! I seem to like this black base more than some others from David’s. It also says “spices” on the bag but there only seems to be mint… I wish I knew what kind of spices were supposed to be here, since it doesn’t taste it.