1363 Tasting Notes
This one sounded lovely. I’m not sure where the bonfire of the name comes from, since I don’t taste any sort of smokey flavor. I’d call this caramel apple rather than toffee. It has a sweet apple flavor with caramel. The black tea base from Bluebird is interesting, since it isn’t a tough, strong flavored tea that masks the flavors, but it does taste different than most black teas. I don’t want to call it tangy or astringent, but it isn’t smooth or like a tea that resembles a black cup of coffee, if that makes sense. The second steep had more of that caramel apple flavor rather than the black tea… I’m not sure how that was possible! thanks for the sample, bluebirdteaco.com!
No ratings yet? This has a cut-tear-curl black tea base, so it isn’t one of those chais with only spices in the blend. I steeped for 7-8 minutes just after boiling the water, but there isn’t as much flavor as I expected. Not as much flavor as Zen’s rooibos chai OR their Energizing Chai which I absolutely love since magically there is also pu-erh and yerba mate in that blend (also, chocolate!) but it is SO SPICY. I have no idea how it is that spicy if the spices have to share the spotlight with other ingredients. But even though this was steeped for 8 minutes, the black tea base doesn’t get astringent at all. I would much rather buy the Energizing Chai blend. Anyway, this isn’t terrible but I didn’t really make it the REAL way. It’s one of those chais that will get lost among the similar chais I have. I haven’t found the perfect chai yet, but I would say Zen’s Energizing Chai is close to it… but that one may be cheating/isn’t a genuine chai since it has pu-erh and yerba mate in it. Yes, I spent this review talking about the Energizing Chai more.
Another sample I bought from Zen! This had a blend of ingredients that sounded nice and healthy and also… NO hibiscus! Many halves of cranberries fell into my infuser. I steeped this for eight minutes, as recommended, and I was worried that the blackberry leaves would taste funky if steeped for that long, but it tastes fine. I’m not sure if it was the stinging nettle, but my mouth did have something of a sting to it. There is a tiny bit of a cranberry flavor. Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients like to combine to make their own flavor. It does taste a bit medicinal, so there are teas that are more interesting and fun. But I like this one.
I don’t know why I went for this one. I’m usually not a ginger fan. But this one is nice! I could drink it. It has a nice flavor to it with a deep dark red steep color. It’s tangy, spicy ginger and a lovely rooibos, so it’s simple. It will be a nice blend if you are a fan of both ingredients. But like I said, ginger is one of the three tea ingredients I don’t like, but this cup isn’t a problem. (Do I ever NOT like a tea? hmm..)
I’ve been on a new-tea-spree lately, so tons of tasting notes. Sorry about your dashboards, everyone! Hopefully they will slow down soon, but I can’t make any promises!
Additional notes: Azzrian sent me a sampling of this one a while back. thanks so much! I tried and loved a sample direct from Butiki a while back as well, so it was nice to revisit. I saw Azzrian’s tasting notes and was inspired to have a cup. I love this one. It’s creamy and nutty on a nice green tea base. I would love it if there was MORE pistachio flavor. BUT if you oversteep the green tea leaves to get more of the pistachio flavor, the tea will get bitter. But leaving the leaves in longer would give more of a pistachio flavor! Conundrum!
I had this one this morning. This is certainly what I consider the keemun flavor, and a very delicious one, too. I’ve had a couple keemun teas and this is what I expect a nice keemun to taste like. I must admit that the only keemuns I’ve tried have been from Butiki and Teavivre and this one is just as good! The first steep is a tiny bit smoky, dusky, plum-like. The second steep has more of a chocolate flavor and less smoke. I like either steep just fine! I’d keep this one stocked if I needed a keemun permanently in my stash. I think it might be one of the teas that Zen is discontinuing. oh no!
I really needed a comforting tea since this weather is really getting me down. It’s either snowing or raining.. now the ground will take forever to dry up. Then it will be raining again. Last year, the nice weather was so EARLY and it seems endless. ah.
Basically my entire Zen samples order was because I wanted a marzipan tea. And this sounded perfect. And it IS. The fragrance is super delish and the taste is exactly the same. It is almondy with a bit of cherry. Exactly like marzipan. Somehow rooibos is already very sweet and a bit like cherry and almonds. So it makes for a nice base! This hits the marzipan nail on the head, and perfect for my marzipan cravings. This is definitely second steepable since it is delicious in an entirely different way — the flavor morphs into something even sweeter. It kind of reminded me of marshmallows a bit but that might be the suggestion of the mallow blossoms… Sadly, I think this is one of the teas that Zen is getting rid of. I knew I should have ordered more than a sample. You have until April 20th to order some on sale!
I had to sample this one. Thanks, bluebirdteaco.com! Earl Grey and lavender! I’m trying to adjust to Bluebird’s black tea base. It doesn’t have a strong flavor, but their blends have such nice ingredients that it would be terrible to have a stronger black base to mask those flavors. After a three minute steep with just boiled water, I didn’t taste much earl grey, but there was a ton of lavender flavor even though I didn’t see much in the blend (they floated!). The lavender is delicious and it may have just blended really well with the earl grey. The second steep at four minutes had more earl grey and less lavender, which was a fun switch. I really like this one! It is simple and elegant!
thank you so much Dinosara! I had a tropical flavored tea once that tasted really weird and fake. Thankfully, this one is much much better. It actually tastes like tropical fruit on a nice yet mild black tea base. I didn’t see very many mango pieces in the mix though. It’s very juicy, if that’s possible. I like it!
I’m always on the search for nice and tasty new black teas, but this one isn’t very unique. The flavor isn’t very delicious or noticeable. This one would suit if you just wanted a black tea to go about your day, not really something to sit and savor. The dry leaves are very black. After a four minute steep, there is a medium body but it is a bit astringent with a tiny bit of a smokey flavor… not really much else to comment on. This isn’t a terrible blend, but there are so many more interesting black teas out there I would rather drink. But maybe a different steep would result in a much better cup…