Bird Pick Tea & Herb

Recent Tasting Notes

82

I received this in a swap long ago but had forgotten about it! It had a nice smooth jasmine flavor without the tea base overpowering it. I prefer my jasmine a bit stronger so I won’t purchase it personally but would definitely give as a gift if trying to introduce someone to jasmine.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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95

For some reason, I can’t get it out of my head that this tastes like sweet strawberry-milk. It’s so great! Although I would advise against drinking this everyday as it gets old quick. However, for a nice treat every once in a while, this tea is perfect! I’m definitely keeping this one in my tea stash.

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95

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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Wow, did someone put out a campfire in my mouth?! Sat down with my tea at breakfast this morning and my husband said he smelled a fire. I casually told him it was my tea and he had to sniff it to believe me. Then I had to hear how it’s probably filled with carcinogens which is bad for you. I’ll just pretend he didn’t say that part. It’s so smokey! I like it!

Stephanie

I drank a Lapsang Souchong at work one time and got funny looks from people LOL

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Got a sample of this tea to try to figure out which bases I like my flavored black to be. I let this tea get cold before drinking it and that was a bad move! I’m hit with a bitter taste. Kinda subtle smokey. I may have brewed it to strong. Watering it down and heating it up makes it much better! It is now smoother, but a little bland and leaves my mouth feeling dry after each sip. Sweetening it really doesn’t do much to change it for me, good or bad. I give this one a meh for being pretty unremarkable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This is the second tea in my plain black taste test! This one is definitely more mellow than the Ceylon. No bitter twang and fairly smooth. A tiny bit of caramel on the sip and maybe a touch of smoke at the end. Sugar adds to the caramel flavor.

This is nice. I kinda like it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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In an effort to better understand the flavored teas I like and don’t like, I picked up a few small samples of popular basic blacks to try on a trip to Bird Pick. First up is the Ceylon.

I recognize this flavor. It is the flavor I remember tea tasting like at Chinese restaurants. It has never been one of my favorites, but drinkable in a pinch. It is very grassy. Like a watered down warmed up wheat grass shot. It is a little unpleasant on the tip of my tongue when I sip and a little bitter in the back when I swallow. When I sweeten it, it reminds me of the Lipton sweet tea that my in laws would make and drink down by the gallon each summer. Bittersweet memories with a bittersweet tea, how fitting! I’m also thinking this may be the same base as some of the desert David’s Teas that I have tried like Red Velvet Cake. I wish more companies who do flavored teas would list the type of blacks they are using so I could form a better opinion of what I like and dislike.

This tea is alright once I sweeten it, but I’m not a fan of it plain. It gets an eh.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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67

On my quest to finding a great tasting Milk Oolong that is unflavored and at a reasonable price, I ran to Bird Pick. I had currently tried Lupicia’s Milky Gold Oolong and completely fell in love! But after being sold out I had to find an alternative.

I walked into bird pick and asked to try a sample. I was very disappointed that they served me a sample of burned, bitter, and unsatisfying Oolong. I usually steep my Taiwanese Oolongs 1-1.5 min they brewed it for 4 min! I was applaud…later I asked to have it steeped for a minute and it tasted so creamy and buttery. It was a nice tea, made my day (: I bought myself some and ran home to use on my gaiwan.

I rated mid satisfaction because although the tea smells amazing I can taste the low quality in the leaf. I usually steep my oolongs up to 10 times but this one gave up the creaminess on the 3rd steep. Nice tea, just not my absolute favorite.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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76

Steepster tantrum backlog

Heather kindly passed down her last bag of this. Thanks a bunch! I love hojicha so I’m always up for trying more.

This is one of the toastiest teas I’ve ever smelled. So roasted that it’s like how coffee beans go a little bitter when they’re super roasted. Or even some roasted matés.

But that said, caramel is the perfect flavour to pair up with hojicha. It beats downing a sugar-laden caramel latte at a coffee shop.

The caramel comes a little more out of hiding as this cools.

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Another sample sip down! (Which is good because I couldn’t sleep last night and when that happens I lose all restraint and get online and order tea. Yes, I did.)

I served this first at tea party today and I liked this best, but I really love oolong tea now. The other tea was quite good – it was Darjeeling 6000 from Grace Rare Tea – but I am not the biggest fan of Darjeeling in the world, though I have tasted a few that really were quite nice.

This has a high fruity note that almost borders on sour, but not sour tea, rather a sweet and sour fruit. There is a hint of that elusive and hard to describe flavor that I get from Tie Guan Yins, the one Bonnie described as oil paint and I realized it reminded me of the smell of my acrylic paints when I was a kid taking art lessons. (I was terrible at it but my mother thought I should take lessons because I am a lefty, I am a mirror writer, and I clutch pencils with a death grip. Art didn’t help that.)

This isn’t astringent but is very fresh and even though I started with it hot and now have let it cool to room temperature it almost tastes as though I refrigerated it. It is very light and refreshing.

I like this! Next time I order my beloved Premium Silky Green, I may add this to the order.

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90

This is truly an enjoyable summer tea! It smells sweet when dry, with that crisp sencha scent.

Once brewed, it doesn’t taste as sweet, but maintains the delicious aroma, which is great because it’s simply outstanding. I’m not overly fond of sweet tasting teas, so it works for that. My one issue with this tea, however, is the name. Honeydew. I detest honeydew. If I hadn’t tried this one without knowing the name first, I may never have given it a chance. It does not taste like honeydew to me, but rather watermelon. Honeydew has a thicker sweetness to it, and this is more the bright, clean taste of watermelon… in a tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Dinosara

QuiltGuppy! I was so surprised to see your name on my dashboard! Good to see you around!

QuiltGuppy

Thanks! Yes, it has been a while. Such is life, right? It’s fun to be back, reading reviews. :)

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55

Very light. Floral and tasty aftertaste.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Mucho thanks to whomever sent my the sample bag of this tea!! it was really interesting.
A dark, roasty oolong with a smokey shadow hanging over it, and a refreshing finish.
I haven’t decided how I feel about smoke in my oolongs yet though. Would have to try more to figure it out :)

Kittenna

Smokey oolong??? Cool!

Indigobloom

it was kinda neat! but also kinda felt like the smokiness might have been unintentional, as it didn’t quite “fit”. Maybe an error in processing?

Kittenna

Perhaps! I don’t recall ever hearing about a smoky oolong before.

Indigobloom

wow I just randomly happened upon a smokey green tea! maybe it’s a new trend, smokey everything?
http://www.tealet.com/tea/profile/organic-sweet-roast-green

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I got a package from Liberteas today! And it is full of tea goodness! I really shouldn’t be making more tea right now, but you know what happens when you get new tea….taste ALL the things!

I love Premium Silky Green by Bird Pick, so I was especially eager to try this one. I made it in my little handmade gaiwan that I bought at Tin Roof Teas. It isn’t an “easy gaiwan” officially but I think it is the same thing. It is sooooo much easier to use than my first gaiwan that burned my hands all the time. It is just decorating a shelf now!

Wowzer, these leaves swelled immensely! The first steep was golden and while it had a hint of the baked flavor it was really more fruity than anything. It is definitely smooth and not astringent. Second steep – still golden, maybe a tad lighter but I decreased the time since the leaves are fully expanded now. Really fruity and mild!

Thank you, Liberteas! I will keep steeping but I have to cook supper now!

Tune: Traffic/The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, cuz I thought we were going to drink Lapsang but made oolong at the last minute! Traffic is black tea music to me!

LiberTEAS

I am glad that you are enjoying the tea! I am the same way with my gaiwan. I use my “easy gaiwan” all the time – like daily, but, my first gaiwan that burned my fingers all the time, it sits and looks pretty on the shelf.

Daniel Scott

Oooh, I really wanted to buy a “real” gaiwan at some point, and not the “easy” one I have. Guess it must take real practice.

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I am not having a good day. Somehow despite all of it, I was only 3 minutes late to class but I’m weird and being any bit late bothers me. Now I’m considering going out later and getting a growler of a lychee ale beer. Seriously. Lychee. Beer. I should maybe not apply my tastes in tea to my tastes in beer but…you know what… I’m drinking this one to decide if I should go get it or not (it’s $14.99 for 64oz which is actually a steal given this beer’s cost in a bottle). Here’s a description of it, beyond the yeast, it sounds like it would be tea! http://www.totalwine.com/eng/product/new-belgium-lips-of-faith-tart-lychee/118855226 This also reminds me, a couple weeks ago I was at a local brewery and the smell of hops is SO much like Darjeeling. We’re waiting to get in and the smell was so strong. My boyfriend says “mmmm hops” and I’m just like “….Darjeeling….need Darjeeling.”

I’m surprised I even remembered I have this tea. I haven’t had it in forever, given I have never logged it on Steepster, and I know for a fact I have definitely not made any since moving. But it’s been hidden away in a jar in a drawer so it still smells wonderful.

From the smell alone, I can say I definitely like lychee. I’ve never had them on their own, just as flavors…this, frozen yogurt, maybe a few other things. A bit floral, a bit tart, a bit sweet.

I wish I wasn’t out of cream because I definitely like the flavor of lychee with a creamy background to it. The base tea is just rather boring compared to the flavor. It’s just there and I kind of wish it brought more. The lychee flavoring is good though. Like I said, haven’t had a real one (going to change that next time I go to one of the big Asian supermarkets now I think) but there’s nothing artificial about the flavor. Given last night’s teas, I can definitely tell, haha.

Now that I’m drinking it and my memory has been jogged a bit, I remember drinking this a lot as an iced tea. It’s not bad but I think the flavor is a lot better hot. I may give it another shot though with maybe like a tablespoon of leaf to 8 oz of water, because I’d really like to use this one up now.

After I get that growler.

Bonnie

You should get it cuz it’s from HERE in Fort Collins!!! I’ll have to go over to the Brewery and see what it costs there. Come drink beer!

momo

Haha, if they’re set up like the ones here, ten bucks gets you a glass to keep and 6 tickets to try different beers. One day I want to come there! It’s SO good it would be worth a trip there, oh my gosh. It really reminds me of tea.

momo

Specifically kombucha because it’s pretty sour!

Bonnie

Every year the brewers make a special beer. They go to the spice shops (we have 2 in town) and pick spices and then they make a special brew together and release it for a short time. We have 8 primary breweries in old town like New Belgium (Fat Tire) and ODell, Funkwerks, Fort Collins Brewery, Equinox, Coopersmiths, Pateros and so on.

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This was my first ever genmaicha, and I appreciate Bird Pick sending this sample in with my order. That said, I must admit that the aroma of the steeped tea was not appealing to me. It smelled like someone had spilled food on a burner and then cooked something without wiping the burner off first. The taste was essentially the same to me. To all the genmaicha lovers out there, I apologize. Perhaps I shall acquire a taste for it, if anyone can ever make me try it again. Meanwhile, I will switch back to Sunday morning tea that we enjoy! This is probably great genmaicha, and it just isn’t my bag!

Bonnie

I hope you only steeped it about 45 seconds.I just had it for the first time and tried it straight but my granddaughters like it sweet. Reminds them of sweet rice crackers from the Asian market that are really good!

Ian

I agree with Bonnie. I find most Genmaichas to be waaay better when steeped for a shorter time as most are Japanese greens that are a little more delicate and finnicky

ashmanra

Oops. There were no directions on the pouch so I steeped it like any green – three minutes. There was just the one bag and I steeped it twice so I doubt I could get a good idea of what it was supposed to taste like.

Invader Zim

3 minutes is waaay too long for a Japanese green tea. I find that 30-45 seconds is pretty good and I never try to go more than a minute, at least for the first steeping. If you have enough left give it another try with a much shorter steeping.

Bonnie

It’s good we can help each other along isn’t it! I know I can count on you guys to tell me what to do when I try a new tea type and fumble around with the timing. I hate buying a tea with no instructions. Especially blends…you have no idea how much of what is in them so how long do you steep and how much do you use? With straight tea it’s easier to look up at least.

Invader Zim

I love that we help each other! I don’t usually mind getting a tea without instructions because I hardly listen to them anyway! I do dislike getting blended tea without ingredients though. With blends I typically try to find it on here and see how others make it, if I can’t do that I err on the side of caution and treat them with a lower temp like 175 and less than 3 minutes steep time.

ashmanra

I almost checked on here, then said, “Nah! It will be fine!”LOL! So I will give genmaicha another try at a later date. I had already thrown the teabag away.

Bonnie

By the way…my daughter homeschools too…has 8 kids right now….7months to 18 years. 3 bio, 3 adopted, 2 foster…one little guy is bipolar and keeping mommy up at night…she needs more than tea right now! NAPS! Appreciate your homeschooling efforts! Have a good week!

ScottTeaMan

Sounds like you have a great family Bonnie. :))

ashmanra

Thanks, Bonnie! Your daughter sounds amazing! After May I will only have one child left in my little school! :) I may need to start pestering my oldest daughter to hurry up and get married and get me some grands!

Jim Marks

As the guy who has let his parents down by refusing to “produce grand kids” I’m staying out of that part of the conversation, but I would like to weigh in on the tea steeping conversation.

There are very few teas in this world that are so particular they need their own, specific instructions. The broad guidelines for white, yellow, Chinese green, Japanese green, Indian black tea, Darjeeling, oolong, Chinese black, shu pu-erh, sheng pu-erh… the broad guidlines are pretty universal and will almost always get you a “good enough” cup with any leaf. Fine tuning of those guidelines for a given leaf has more to do with getting the best possible out of that leaf than being some kind of requirement to get a cup that’s drinkable.

3 minutes is a long time for any tea, even if you’re doing Western style steeping. And that being said, I would only recommend Western steeping for a few types of tea: black, shu pu-erh, oolong (but only the dark ones, not the green or floral ones) and Darjeeling.

Really, everything else wants to be steeped the traditional Chinese or Japanese way, which means lots of leaf to water ratio and short, multiple steeps.

The good news is, you get a lot more cups of tea for your money doing it the traditional way than the Western way — which is counter intuitive at first because you use so much more leaf and produce smaller pots. But I’m currently on my 8th steeping of this morning’s cup and you’ll never get anything like that doing Western style.

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4tsp for 3 cups water. Long rolled leaves with a strong lavender scent.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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okay okay okay
i’ve been drinking lots of swap samples but i’m much too busy to make proper notes about each at the moment (hopefully i’ll get to it this weekend), BUT i just needed to take a moment because i MUST say that this tea smells awe-sum! and i think i got lucky and brewed it perfect! lots of sweet vanilla and green in the nose, just a nice polite green tea with a tiniest hint of vanilla mellowing it out in the mouth.
thank you Shelley_Lorraine this cup definitely brightened my day a little.
onto the second steep!

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