96 Tasting Notes

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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88
drank Earl Grey by Lahloo Tea
96 tasting notes

This is quite posh-tasting, if that makes sense. I tend to gravitate towards big, bold flavors when it comes to tea (tempered with sugar & milk as needed), but every once in a while it’s nice to have something a bit more delicate. Bergamot is usually pretty in-your-face, at least in most of the Earl Greys I’ve tried, so I was surprised how subtle this one was. It’s an EG more for relaxing after a busy day out than for perking yourself up. Soothing and very drinkable without any milk or sweetener, and lovely with a bit of orange poppyseed cake.

ETA: 5+ minute resteep is pretty good, too.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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89
drank Snore & Peace by Clipper
96 tasting notes

Ooh, this is very nice. Probably my favorite out of all the Clipper herbals I’ve tried. It was rather weak at 2 minutes (and even after 4 and a half), so I left the teabag in the cup the whole time. It seemed a bit dull at first, but it grew on me as the liquor became more pleasantly viscous and the flavors came out and melded together harmoniously. Not the most exciting tea, but then again it’s good not to have too much excitement before bed.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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67

Had a little too much to eat at Easter dinner (postponed until today because we helped my sister-in-law move into her new house), so I wanted something to help settle my tummy. This seemed like the most suitable tea in my possession.

I’m not super keen on this. I like mint and fennel most of the time, and you can definitely taste both, but I can’t help thinking that the flavor suffered because it’s a bagged supermarket tea rather than a loose blend you’d get from a tea shop. My stomach does feel better than it did before, so that’s got to count for something.

Preparation
Boiling

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58

The bagged version of this is what I’ve taken to drinking at my in-laws’ house. It’s rather old (best before date was 18 months ago), but it’s still better than Twinings Everyday!

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32

This is what my in-laws stock at their house. I’ve been drinking this stuff every time I come to visit for over five years, and I still haven’t figured out how to make it taste good. It doesn’t taste bad, per se; it mostly tastes like nothing. I guess it’s okay if you just want a comforting warm beverage and there’s nothing else available but it’s not like there’s a lack of options – we’re in England, damn it! No supermarket bagged black tea I’ve tried is as insipid as this one.

At least I managed to find a box of English breakfast that must have gotten lost in the cupboard :)

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67

This was on clearance at a local health food store, so I went for it (to my partner’s chagrin, seeing me come home with yet another box of tea).

Upon opening the packet it smells exactly like a vanilla pod, no doubt owing to the ground vanilla beans it contains. I took a sip after it had been steeping for 3 minutes, but found it a bit weak and left the bag in for the full 5. It was okay plain, better with sugar, and about the same level of tastiness with a splash of soymilk toward the end of the cup. The vanilla flavor was quite herbal – almost medicinal, but not in a way that made me dislike it. Should make a nice addition to my stash of bedtime brews.

Preparation
Boiling 5 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

Not really feeling the flavored teas lately, for whatever reason.

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. So far I’ve only given ratings of 90 or higher if I actually get excited while drinking the tea.

Location

Bristol, UK

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