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92 Tasting Notes

82

Backlog. Thanks to PureAromaTea for the sample!

The dry blend is emerald-green sencha mixed with chamomile heads and dried strawberry pieces, and very strongly scented of strawberry. The fragrance persists during steeping, but the flavor is surprisingly subtle, despite having a recommended steep time twice as long as the Japanese cherry tea. There was also much more astringency from this blend, very likely a result of the longer brew time, though it was only present in the first steep. I couldn’t taste anything that resembled champagne, but that’s not a problem for me. I got about 6 steepings out of this blend before it started to lose its flavor.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Not rating this yet, since I probably screwed up the steeping. I’m still a novice when it comes to white tea, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be quite like this (deep honey color, somewhat bitter/astringent but not enough to make it unpleasant). Note to self: 2 tbsp leaf for your 2-cup pot is probably too much. Maybe try a shorter steep or hotter water.

On second thought, maybe I’m not too far off… I drank the liquor that spent a little longer in the pot first, and now that I’ve gotten to the first-poured cup it’s a lot more enjoyable. It does have some astringency, but the sweeter flavors are much more present. One irritating thing about Whittard is that they don’t always give brewing instructions on the packaging or website, and the search results for brewing white peony varied quite a bit, so trial and error it is. Oh well, that’s why we have Steepster!

Based on the second cup I drank, I’d probably rate it somewhere around 78.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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84

When I first heard about this tea I knew I had to try it, since the list of flavors pushes all the right buttons for me.

For the most part it lives up to its promise. The dry leaves have the unmistakable fragrance of bergamot with the coconut & licorice singing backup, and the coconut comes forward while steeping. Tasted all together, they meld harmoniously in such a way that I can’t easily tease out the individual flavors, and leave a nice long-lasting aftertaste.

This cup was a bit overly astringent and bitter (I steeped it for the recommended maximum of 3 minutes; will try 2m 30s next time), but this was easily remedied with a small squeeze of agave. It takes milk reasonably well (go easy, though!) but I prefer it without.

Overall, it’s a very unique, interesting tea that I’m sure I will buy again.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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67

Tried this again tonight. Bumping down my rating because I definitely got a cardboard-y taste this time. I still don’t dislike it, but I’m sure there are nicer vanilla teas out there – not getting this one again.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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86

It’s finally starting to feel like spring, so a sakura tea seemed appropriate.

Dry leaves have a very heady, sweet cherry-floral fragrance, and appear to have flower petals (rose?) mixed in. Liquor is greenish-gold and cloudy with a similar aroma to the dry blend. The vibrant cherry flavor is well balanced between fruity and floral, and doesn’t overpower the smooth sencha base. I got three infusions out of one teaspoon. Very pleased with my first PureAroma experience!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Nxtdoor

I didn’t care for this tea at all!

adagio breeze

What didn’t you like about it? This is the first cherry/sakura green tea I’ve tried, so I don’t have anything else to compare it to.

Nxtdoor

I couldn’t get a lot of flavour out of it. I expected juicy cherry and I mostly got barely flavoured water. I tried as much as I could with the small sample I had. I added sugar, I steeped longer, nothing. I didn’t have enough to cold steep so I don’t know if tht would have worked

adagio breeze

Hmm, interesting. I tend to go a bit heavy on the leaf and light on the water, so I wonder if any of that made a difference.

Nxtdoor

Yah, someone did suggest overleafing but by that point I didn’t have a lot left. It is something to keep in mind in the future for sure.

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72

For my first cup of the day, I prefer strong, malty black tea blends with milk & sugar. Breakfast blends generally stand up well to milk, so they’re usually a good standby for me. This, unfortunately, is not one of them.

The dry leaves are very pretty, with several golden tips scattered throughout the chocolate-brown leaves and twigs. The liquor is a deep coppery brown, and when brewed for 3 minutes is actually quite good drunk on its own, like a slightly more astringent Russian Caravan. It’s just not what I would consider a breakfast tea.

I steeped the rest of my pot for an extra minute for my milky cup. It wasn’t bad, but it was dull enough that I was drinking it begrudgingly about halfway through.

Because this tea is so different with and without milk, I feel compelled to give separate ratings.
With milk: 50
Without milk: 82

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Thanks to Mike from Bluebird Tea Co for this sample!

This smells really good out of the packet – very rich and dessert-like.
While steeping, I could clearly detect the tart, fruity flavor of the rhubarb as well as some creaminess.

I wasn’t sure how long to steep, as there weren’t any instructions on the website, so I figured 5 minutes was a reasonable amount of time.
The taste seemed somewhat artificial-chemical, which could have been due to the stevia, which I’m not completely sold on. I really expected and wanted to like this blend, but that aspect of the flavor hampered my enjoyment of it.
I added some soya cream and a small squeeze of agave to see if it would take the edge off. It sort of worked, but dulled the flavors somewhat.

Now that I’m finished, I don’t really know what to think. There was a very pleasant, long-lasting aftertaste to this tea that made me reconsider my verdict. Maybe I’ll try it again someday and experiment some more.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Mike Turner

Hey, thanks for the review. There are brewing instructions here http://www.bluebirdteaco.com/brew/ although they are a little hidden away and sounds like you don’t need them anyway!

Hope you enjoy on the next try, maybe one you have to learn to love…

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78

Thank you KittyLovesTea for this!

Dry, the leaves have an appealing roasty, chocolaty aroma. Steeping, it smells almost as if there’s a cake in the oven!

I tasted it at 3 minutes and there was a definite cacao flavor with a sweet aftertaste, but I left it in for another 2 minutes to see if it would enhance it at all. It seems only the black tea flavors were strengthened, and now unfortunately the chocolate is a bit lost. 3 minutes seems to be the sweet spot for this one.

Added 1/2 teaspoon sugar: astringency is toned down, but the chocolate isn’t much more prominent.

Added soymilk: even less astringency, but chocolate flavor is still quite subtle.

Overall, I think it has promise – it’s like a deluxe version of the black breakfast teas I have every morning. I’m a big fan of roasty/baked flavors, which this tea has in spades. Luckily for me I have several more servings of this to play around with :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Had this from a hotel room I’d stayed in a year and a half ago, so I figured it was about time I drank it. It was my first cup of the day, which is usually not conducive to a clear-headed tasting & review (even the “gently pull tab to release string” gave me problems). Brewed up it had a tangy astringency that was still present after 1 teaspoon of sugar was added. I drank it with my morning toast and didn’t add milk until I was almost at the bottom of the cup.

In sum: I drank this and thought it was decent but wasn’t paying enough attention to really say anything about it.

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86

I don’t have much experience with Darjeelings, but I think I like this one! Floral & grassy with pleasant astringency and hints of muskiness. Don’t have much more to add because I drank it a bit too quickly.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I grew up in New Jersey drinking Celestial Seasonings, and now I live in England, where I developed a taste for a good builder’s brew. Sometime in 2012 I bought my first loose teas, and my collection has since spiraled out of control. Still quite a novice, due to not drinking enough tea to keep pace with the amount I keep buying.

Some things I’m pretty sure I do like:
- most florals (jasmine, orange blossom, osmanthus, etc)
- buttery, vegetal greens
- malty blacks (usually with milk & sugar)
- oolongs that aren’t too heavily roasted

All tasting notes use unfiltered hard tap water, unless otherwise specified.

No real method to my numerical ratings yet, but we’ll see what develops.

Location

Bristol, UK

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