Bird Pick Tea & Herb

Recent Tasting Notes

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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75

Thanks to Dustin for this sample

*The dry leaf smells equally grassy and of vanilla
*The brewed cup has a stronger vanilla aroma, but still picking up on the green tea base.
The vanilla is much more subtle and natural than in other vanilla flavored teas I’ve tried. It doesn’t smell so strong of alcohol/vanilla extract like some others.
The flavor is more on the green tea side, while the vanilla plays subtly in the back ground. I like it quite a bit, but don’t know if I like it enough to purchase more. I tend to prefer unflavored greens in my permanent stock.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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78

Sip down! Sample from Heather at the Victoria tea meet.

I really like this one, and if it was available, I’d consider picking some up – either bags like what I received, or loose.

The toasty tea with the caramel is really lovely. And as a bonus, it’s lower in caffeine, so I won’t make myself vibrate with caffeine today. :)

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

mmmmm

TastyBrew

I keep almost buying this from their online shop, but never go through with it. One of these days…

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99

Hubby used to drink only black tea, and even then it was loaded with sugar and milk. And sugar.
He got adventurous and started drinking puerh, greens, and oolongs – PLAIN! The past two weekends he has asked me after breakfast if I am making tea. When I ask what he wants, he says, “I don’t know. Nothing weird. Maybe something green.”

Today’s nothing weird something green was Premium Silky Green from Bird Pick, which we are pretty sure is a green oolong. It is so buttery and good.

On a side note, and only the forty and over crowd will probably know the answer: there was a comedian/magician who was on TV in maybe the 70’s. He sort of hummed this little song as he did a trick where he hit his hands together and he was holding up several fingers on one hand and they would magically “transfer” to the other hand. I think it was on Johnny Carson. I have googled and youTubed exhaustively and can’t find the guy. Does anyone remember who it was? I did find someone doing the same thing, but it was a much newer video.

gmathis

I wonder if he was the same guy my mom called “The Banana Man;” this predates my conscious memory, but I remember her talking about a funny humming tweedle-dee guy who did Ed Sullivan.

ashmanra

No, not so far back as that! This would have been maybe in the mid 70’s. I don’t remember the banana man, but I looked it up on google and that isn’t him. And it wasn’t quite humming…it was a silly Da Da Da DAH duh DA DA DAH DAH, Da Da Da Da Da Da Da DAH DAH

ashmanra

This is the song and the act, but not the same guy! The guy I am thinking of was…well, he looked a little like a pot head! LOL!

K S

Can’t pull it out of my head. I remember him from the Mike Douglas show but can put a name with the face.

Marcel Duchamp

I need to try this one, it sounds really great.

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78

Received this one from Heather at the tea meetup over the weekend.

Since I have some time to kill before leaving to do more math today, I thought I’d try this one in a mug rather than relegate it to the travel mug.

The smell of the tea in the bag is intensely caramel. A lot more buttery and salty than the Red Leaf matcha caramel. Steeped, I think I used too hot of water. I smell and taste some caramel, and creaminess definitely comes through as I swallow. But the houjicha tastes more green than I was expecting, and that greenness isn’t really doing it for me with the caramel-creaminess.

As it cools, more of the toasty houjicha flavour is coming through, as is the caramel. However, there is still that greenness lingering in the back. I should try more houjicha teas. :)

I will sit here and slowly sip the rest of this mug, and I’m glad I have another tea bag to test out. Next time I’ll pay more attention to the water temperature.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec
Amariel

It’s an interesting combination. I found the hojicha base to be a little nutty, which seemed to bridge the idea of green tea and caramel together in a way that I don’t think most green teas could do.

Amariel

I found one reason I like hojicha is the lower caffeine content…it allows me to drink it later in the evening with no affects on my ability to sleep. I suppose the extremely caffeine sensitive my find it stimulating too, but supposedly the roasting affects the caffeine and it ends up have as much (or less) caffeine than decaffeinated teas.

OMGsrsly

As it cooled and the toasty flavours came out, I liked it more. I ended up losing track of time and chugging the rest of my mug before I ran out the door. It was surprisingly tasty. :)

CrowKettle

I also liked more as it cooled- another perfect quality for a “reading” tea because you don’t have to worry about it getting gross.

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75

I received this from Heather at the swap meet today. It smells like baked rice crispy squares with chocolate caramel drizzling. The flavour leans more heavily towards the strong roasted profile of the houjicha, with the sweet syrupy quality of the caramel appearing near the finish. It gives an overall impressing of oozing syrup from dry crisps.

This is the kind of tea I want near the end of a late night dinner and I think it was a good way to end the evening. Casual, firm, and sweet. Time to curl up and read some Terry Pratchett.

Second day Edit: the roasted sweet flavour gives off a coffee-like impression.

TheTeaFairy

Mmm… Good tea? Curling up? Reading a fantastic book ? SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN! Thank you Crowkettle :-)

ashmanra

Which Pratchett? I just started Good Omens!

CrowKettle

Isn’t that the best combination of things after not being home all day, TeaFairy?

Equal Rights! I’ve read a random order of his books but haven’t gotten around to Good Omens yet.

Cavocorax

Good Omens is the only one I’ve read. :p (just don’t know what to read next)

CrowKettle

Wait…! I read Good Omens a couple years ago when I “discovered” Neil Gaiman. I don’t know where my mind is today.

CrowKettle

As for other Terry Pratchett books, they’re all connected with the discworld tie in but there are “character” series, like Vimes (Guards! Guards!), Moist (Going Postal), Rincewind (The Colour of Magic), Death (Mort), and various stand-alone books (Small Gods, Equal Rights, Pyramids, etc.). You can kind of jump around in a quasi-character order and things will make sense usually. Lots of Character and concept crossovers though.

Amariel

The nice thing about this tea is that it is, in fact, perfect for this, because hojicha tea has less caffeine because it is roasted…so it likely won’t keep you up late if you drink it in the evening.

CrowKettle

Agreed! While this isn’t my favourite tea I think I’d want a small amount of this around when I’m in need of an easy evening. :)

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91

This is a sassy tea that teases you with its tartness then mellows into something sweet. I can’t wait to try this as an iced tea – or even a mixer base.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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Eh. This tea smelled nice dry, but I’m not getting much flavor at all. A little bit of green, a little bit of vanilla and absolutely no wow. Adding sugar just made it sweeter and did nothing to bring out any flavor. Pity.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Dry, this tea definitely smells like rich honeydew. It is a smell that carries over when brewed, but it exchanges some of the richness for juiciness. The honeydew flavor is strong when the tea is hot, but mellows out letting the sencha come through as it cools with the honeydew hanging on for the aftertaste as if I just had a bite of melon. I love sugar in my tea and adding it did perk up the flavors a little, but somehow didn’t do much to make the tea better.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this tea overall. It is well done and the flavors are good, but it’s not knocking me off my feet. Maybe in time…

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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When I got a whiff of this tea dry in the store, I was greeted by a deep smell of caramel with something salty, almost like dried seaweed. When brewed, it took a few sips and a little sugar to taste much. It has a deep caramel flavor that is strangely subtle. It reminds me of the tea I’m used to getting in Japanese restaurants but with a touch of caramel. Not sure how to describe the base of the tea other than that comparison. The caramel hangs on and lingers after each sip. If I could get used to drinking tea with more subtle flavors, I’m sure I’d love this, but as it stands I’m still a fan of bold bossy flavors. I’ll give it some time to grow on me.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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81

Backlog…I picked up a bag of this on a vacation to LA recently. I just got the bagged versus loose as it came in a nice sealed pouch that would pack better for my return home.

This is a nice and easy tea to drink. Not bitter, not overly sweet (though things are rarely too sweet for me…though I am trying to cut down on my sugar intake), and the hojicha is supposed to be lower in caffeine, so I thought this might be a nice afternoon or early evening tea.

The bags unfortunately, are a bit dusty, and I wonder what the tea inside is actually like. I will have to open one to see.

I’d say that this is a nice and inoffensive tea that for someone who wants to drink something lower in caffeine and wants to use little to no sugar, this is a warm and roasted sweet caramel tea that brews up nice and dark.

Is it my favourite tea? No. Will I get more when I am back in the states? Quite possibly. My friend who lives there that I was visiting may come up later this year so I might get him to bring me another bag of this, and maybe some others too. There is a Caramel Ruby tea that is this tea, blended with rooibos that caught my attention too. Again, that would be lower in caffeine. I am trying to watch how much caffeine I am having daily as well as my sugar for fertility reasons, but general health as well.

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100

This is my favorite afternoon tea. It is robust enough to get me through the 4p slump, but still soothing enough to help relax me in the midst of a stressful day. I also love just smelling the tea; the heady lavender scent is simply divine.

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

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76

The tea flavor is very clean and has the right balance of jasmine fragrance. The flavor lasts after 2-3 steepings. The quality of the leaves are evident, as they unfurl intact.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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87

Milky fragrance. Very delicious. The leaves look really beautiful after steeping.

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90

SIDOWN. I had 3 cups today. Until the taste didn’t taste any longer. Boo Hiss…this one, I shall miss…sigh…

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81

I got this as part of Bird Pick’s Oolong Tea Sampler Set, which came with three other small tins of oolong. I like this tea. I am currently using it to stay up tonight because I couldn’t go to sleep and decided that better use of my time would be to do work (a.k.a. procrastination via writing about tea on the internet).

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90

Backlogging a cup and a 2nd infusion – both were great! See previous notes.

CheshireEyes

I have a Bird Pick Tea near me I have been meaning to check it out. Definitely grab some of this when I go :-)

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67

Very well balanced for a tea latte. None of the flavors are overpowered by the condensed milk (or vice versa); great for a chilly evening!

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84

This had been sitting in my cupboard for a long while, half-forgotten. I decided I needed to try something new today instead of hopping back and forth between Earl Grey, Bailin Gongfu, and Pumpkin Ginger.

I’ve never had a rose oolong before, so this is certainly an intriguing first for me. It smells more of the actual tea leaves than rose as it steeps and cools. Instructions on the back say that it needs five minutes to steep, but I feel like that may be bad advice. Also, it says that this tea is known to enhance beauty… does that mean this tea is supposed to make me pretty? Hmm.

Upon the first sip, I’m glad I only went with two minutes. The rose flavor is subtle, more in the aftertaste and on the exhale. It has a hint of that peppery taste that rose teas tend to have, but it isn’t harsh. This tea seems to showcase the oolong more than the rose, which is something I respect. It has nothing to hide. It’s a quality tea, especially for something bagged.

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

I’m pretty sure rose flavour goes very well with Oolong.

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90

I purchased this from Wing Hop Fung, the parent company of Bird Pick. I’m pretty sure from reading the SKU numbers on both sites & their descriptions that this is the same tea.

This is a lovely Jasmine, and as the previous reviewer stated quite a few years back, neither "…too sweet or too heavy or too perfumy.” So there’s something to be said for their consistency! It’s a lovely balance and just what I look for in a Jasmine.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 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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