Bluebird Tea Co.

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

I’m hoping I have more luck with this Bluebird choice, and I have a feeling I might be lucky. The dry leaf smells strongly of cherry and almond – almost to the point of being a bit sickly, if I’m honest. The dry leaf is the prettiest thing, though; red and blue cornflowers, chunks of cherry, burgundy and cream hibiscus, cubes of dried apple, almond slivers, the odd currant, and the green and cream white tea leaves. The scent actually reminds me a little of Christmas cake – but I’m thinking that might be the almonds more than anything. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a pale, pale pink and smells just perfectly of fresh cherry bakewell!

To taste, this is as good as I’d hoped. I was a touch concerned that it was going to be overpoweringly sweet based on the dry scent, but it turns out that’s not the case at all. This one really is like liquid cherry bakewell – there’s the sweet, slightly tart, jammy cherry in the initial sip, followed by quite a strong almond flavour, just like frangipane. There’s even a lingering sweetness at the end that reminds me of water icing. I’m so pleased with this one; it’s just as I hoped it would be.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
TeaNTees

This sounds lovely! I wish I was in the UK so that I could try more Bluebird Teas

Teatotaler

This really dose sound like an exquisite tea! I always wish that I was in the UK – Serious Anglophile here! :)

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10
drank Pear Drops by Bluebird Tea Co.
1288 tasting notes

I tried this one hot a couple of evenings ago, and I wasn’t all that impressed because it mostly tasted of rooibos with just the slightest hint of floral pear. I figured I’d use the rest of my sample for a cold-brew, in the hope that that might bring out the pear flavour a little more. I was totally wrong, and, if anything, I like the cold-brew less than I did the hot. And that’s saying something. The reason I dislike this one so much is primarily because of one thing – STEVIA. It’s so strong and artificially sweet, and it’s sticking in the back of my throat so that I can taste it even though I’ve stopped drinking. There’s also no pear. Just rooibos. Wood-shaving rooibos, and stevia. Urgh shudders. Down the sink this one goes!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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10
drank Pear Drops by Bluebird Tea Co.
1288 tasting notes

I’m usually pretty impressed with Bluebird teas but sadly this one wasn’t a hit with me. I love pear drops, but all I got from my cup of this one was a rather woody, drying rooibos. There’s the tiniest bit of floral pear-like flavour lurking in the background, but it’s barely there and I often wondered whether I wasn’t just imagining it.

I really wish the flavour here could have been stronger. It’s such a delicious idea, but sadly not even close to realisation. A rare Bluebird flop.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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30

My second Bluebird tea of the day, and probably the one I was most doubtful about. I’ve tried Tulsi a few times and it’s not really been my thing. Still, worth a try. For a tea that’s called “Mango Tulsi” there’s a suspicious lack of mango actually in evidence. The ingredients list specifies pineapple and papaya, both of which I can see cubes of in the dry leaf. There’s also fluffy green tulsi, and some (really pretty) sunflower petals. Bluebird teas are always so visually appealing! The scent of the dry leaf is primarily pineapple, just like a freshly opened bag of those sweetened, dried pineapple pieces. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a telling red-pink. Hello, hibiscus. The scent is amazing, though – orange ice pops! It’s so deliciously summery.

To taste, this isn’t (sadly!) quite as good as it smells. I get papaya, rather than mango, with a touch of sweetness that could be the pineapple, or could be the sugar I see has been added to the mix. There’s a fairly strong herbal flavour that I guess is the tulsi, and it’s not a great pairing with the tropical fruit vibe. The hibiscus is also too strong for my tastes, contributing a sour tartness that’s just not really very nice. I feel let down by this one. It sounds promising, and it certainly smells good. It just somehow fails to deliver in the flavour. Not a Bluebird day for me, sadly.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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88
drank Snowball by Bluebird Tea Co.
257 tasting notes

I’m not sure whether it’s harder to write good reviews or bad. Sometimes, when something’s good, it just feels like endless enthusing about how great it is threatens to get a bit boring, but when you have to be critical, you don’t want to risk slipping into the territory of just being mean.

Case in point: I’m reviewing two tv shows at the moment, and one (Yonderland) is pee-myself-laughing good and terrifically clever, while the other (Partners In Crime) is frustratingly meh enough that I’ve shouted at the characters a few times for being bloody stupid. That’s never a good sign. It’s always a struggle to balance being constructive about what hasn;t worked in a show and just ripping its guts out – and as somebody who writes other things besides reviews, you don’t want to be remembered by a potenital future collaborator as somebody who thought their episode of something was a bit pants.

But seriously? Yonderland. Are you watching it? I suspect it would be basically everybody’s favourite show if it weren’t tucked away on Sky – I wouldn’t be able to watch it if I weren’t sent the episodes by the show’s publicists! SO GOOD.

As for this tea? It falls decidedly on the Yonderland end of the scale; that is to say, it’s jolly lovely. I am really, really wary of any teas that list coconut as a main flavour, but it actually mostly gives a sort of creaminess to the final product that works really nicely with the chocolate-marshmallow flavour. It’s one that sort of demands being consumed with milk and sugar to bring forward its confectionary nature, and it’s not for those who prefer their teas to taste mainly of tea, but as somebody with a relentless sweet tooth, something sugary and silly and really well done like this is exactly what I want sometimes. It’s a keeper, for sure.

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79

Thank you Sheherazade for the sample!

Calling this blend ‘tea marmite’ is, I think, a pretty big stretch and probably not the best selling tactic if Bluebird Tea Co. wants to get North Americans buying their blends. I’ve had marmite and I certainly was not a fan, nor are most North Americans; that’s one food from across the ocean that I can’t see catching on here. However, this tea? It’s got the potential to, if done correctly.

Genmaicha is one of those teas that I consider a cupboard staple; it makes a very soothing, calming cup of toasted brown rice goodness and it also a great blend for sharing a pot with among friends – and for people truly new to tea who haven’t even come across Genmaicha it’s a good conversation piece as well; explaining the origin of adding brown rice to tea to stretch it out among the lower class in ‘old Japan’ in a fascinating thing to here and gives insight to some just how important tea is in some cultures. I, for one, remember that fact/‘origin story’ being one of the most interesting to me when I was first getting really into tea outside of the flavored stuff offered at local chains such as DAVIDsTEA.

Of course, “Genmaicha with a twist” is a fantastic thing too; one a think more companies should run with. Some of my particular flavourites are Nina Paris’ Japon, Verdant’s Minnesota Blend, and Ette Tea’s Mango Sticky Rice. Apple seemed like an obvious, but untapped route – until now.

The initial wave of flavours was a very roasty brown rice and almost barley flavor; this is by far the best part of Genmaicha to me. If the level of roasty/toasty notes isn’t strong enough I’m going to be disappointed and if it’s too concentrated or has a “burnt” taste, like burnt toast, then I’m probably not going to be able to make it through the cup. However, this strikes a really nice balance between the two and has a lovely robust roasty flavour without overwhelming some of the other things going on.

Underneath that first, and most important flavour, was a mild vegetal note – there was some grassiness but mostly it was very marine with a bit of a seaweed flavour. This part of genmaicha is less important to me personally; as long as I can taste the green tea and it isn’t bitter I’m usually a happy consumer and both of those criterion were definitely checked off in this case. Now we get into the most important part of this particular blend: the apple! I’ll admit I didn’t taste it at first; but once the liquor had cooled I started to notice this very bright, slightly tart apple note at the finish of the sip that was lingering into the aftertaste. It’s definitely a greener apple; think Granny Smith or Sundance apples. However, the tartness and slight sweetness provides a really nice contrast between the flavour and whilst fairly simple I think this would be really enjoyable as a flavoured Genmaicha year round, but particularly in the fall.

Definitely worth trying, if you get the chance!

Sami Kelsh

So intrigued by this one – I’ve loved toasty + apple flavours elsewhere, so it stands to reason I’d like this one too!

Plunkybug

Very intriguing! I love genmai cha too, and the blends. This is something i clearly need to try, as I also love apple teas.

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84

I actually decided to try this on an evening when I had quite a buggy belly – not sure if it was a bug or something disagreed with me at dinner, but I was feeling FIERCELY unwell. It was like an alien was trying to claw its way out of my tum tum. Awful.

Thus, functioning on the premise that, of course, ginger calms a tumultuous tum, I decided to brew up a cup of this for my evening drink.

It has the bonus of being caffeine-free, which I’m sure was the right decision, all things considered. I’m always a teensy bit weary of rooibos teas as I have to be in a very specific mood to fancy anything that tastes mostly like rooibos. As this is a spiced tea, though, I expected it would likely sit quietly in the background and let the gingerbread shine. And I was right, hooray! It’s got all the warmth and comfort of a lovely gingerbread, and the rooibos is present but quietly so. This is most certainly the nicest gingerbread-flavoured hot drink I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. Well done, Bluebirds!

Shae

I hope you’re feeling better! That sounds rough . . .

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85

This one was from the group Bluebird order a while back! I’ve been sipping it a couple times, but this is my first tasting note for it. I love all the incarnations of chocolate mint teas. This one SHOULD have adorable chocolate heart sprinkles, but I couldn’t see any in the blend. The flavor is solid though — equal parts rooibos, mint, chocolate (from SHELLS — very happy Bluebird uses the shells for their chocolate component!) Creamy, sweet, fresh, bright, perfect as a dessert cup! I’m not sure why there are so many bad tasting notes for this one. It is as promised in my experience: chocolate and mint. Points for using cacao shells but I remember the mint in other teas being much crisper.

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65

Tried this cold brewed, and I was much more impressed than I was with my hot cup. I used 2 tbsp of leaf in two litres of cold water, and left it in the fridge for around 10 hours overnight. The resulting brew was very pale, and I wasn’t expecting much in the way of flavour, but fortunately I was totally wrong about that!

I still wouldn’t say watermelon was the main flavour, but it was definitely more of a player than it was when I tried this hot. It reminded me quite a lot of those Haribo watermelon sweets, rather than actual watermelon, but at least some of the promised flavour was there. It turned out quite sweet even with no additions, too, so the candy-like element was quite strong. I would still say that peach was the more dominant flavour, but that’s pleasant and summery enough, and it tastes good, so I’m more than happy with how this one worked out. I’ve increased my rating a little to reflect that the cold brew worked out better than the hot.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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65

The second of the Bluebird samples I brought to work with me this morning. This one is a green/white blend, and smells beautiful as soon as I open the pouch – sweet and peachy, a touch vegetal in the way of cut grass. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees. The resulting liquor is a very pale yellow.

To taste, I’m mainly picking up pineapple, followed by coconut. The watermelon isn’t as prevalent as the name would indicate, but there’s a watery sweetness that somehow suggestive of watermelon kicking around in the background. There’s a hint of hibiscus tartness, although it doesn’t overwhelm the other flavours – it’s one of those rare occasions when the balance is about right. The green and white base is pretty much drowned out by the tropical fruit flavouring, which is fair enough given that it’s a flavoured tea. The pineapple and coconut are sweet and taste fairly true to life, and there’s a pleasant creamy edge that’s actually putting me more in mind of a pina colada than anything else. It’s a tasty cup, if perhaps misnamed.

This is another one I’m going to finish off cold-brewed. I’m hoping I’ll be able to coax a little more watermelon out before I write this one off.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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30

Today’s cold brew. I used my usual method for preparing this one – 2 tbsp of leaf in two litres of water, into the fridge for around 10 hours overnight. The resulting brew is a very pale peach colour, and I have to say that my expectations were fairly low.

Again, I was wrong to doubt. There’s no doubt that this tea is better cold brewed than it is hot – the cola flavour is still very, very mild, but it’s there. It’s a flavour that seems far better suited to cold brewing IMO, so I’m happier with that. Interestingly, the lime seems to have diminished significantly, which is sad. It’s lost the little punch it did have (and that wasn’t much start with).

Although I’m not overwhelmed by the flavour of this one, it is a pleasantly light, refreshing blend. It’s nice to have a cola flavour without all the sugar and carbonation. My only real complaint about this one is that there’s still something gritty about it that’s catching the back of my throat, and I filtered it through muslin as well. Strange.

I’m pleased that this one is better cold brewed, but it’s not one I’d repuchase. I’ve had cola teas I’ve preferred, and the grittiness is hard to get past. I’m not a huge fan.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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30

I’m working a lot of extra hours this week as it’s Clearing, and so it seemed like the perfect time to pull out a Guayusa blend. Cola tea still strikes me as a rather odd thing, but I’ve had reasonable experiences with the ones I’ve tried, so I was fairly optimistic going into this. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-yellow.

Unfortunately, I REALLY don’t like this one. There’s this kind of scrim on the surface that I thought was just oil at first, but it’s actually very slightly crunchy, and it catches the back of my throat. The flavour is also dubious – there’s the merest hint of flat cola, but it’s nowhere near as strong as I would have liked it to be. The main flavour is actually lime, which is okay, but even that’s not especially prominent. It’s clear enough to be identifiable, but I was hoping for a lot more punch. The guayusa is there in the background, slightly dank tasting but not unpleasant. The whole thing just strikes me as a bit “blah”. There’s not much flavour, and what there is isn’t great. I feel a bit let down, although maybe my expectations were too high.

I’m going to use the rest of my sample as a cold brew, and perhaps that will work better. Cola should be cold, after all! At the moment, though, I can’t recommend this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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94

FUN FACT: My mother, bless her radiant heart, makes the very best Christmas cake in the whole world.

(Yeah, I know, everybody thinks their mum makes the best Christmas cake, but by Gosh, I mean it.)

It’s warm with spice, dotted heavily with dried fruits and citrus peel, and topped not with heavy icing, but thin slices of almond. A festival of textures and flavours sitting together in perfect harmony.

Just like this tea, in that respect. I was expecting something really quite full-on with cloves and evergreen (there’s spruce needles among the leaves, how cool is that!) but it’s really quite balanced: an undercurrent of dried fruit is elevated with warm clove and softly buzzing cinnamon, enveloped in soft, cakelike notes of caramel and almond. What a jolly comforting brew for a drizzly evening. I’m so glad to have the chance to try it. Thanks, Bluebirds!

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68

Sipdown (128)!

Thank you to Scheherazade for sending me a sample of this tea!

Personally speaking, this is one of those blends that I probably wouldn’t have chosen myself just because I’m not drawn to green blends normally and I think the pairing of citrus/lemon and green tea is a little played out, but the dry leaf smelled really strongly of sweet lemon juice or lemon candy, and I do like the simplicity of the tea so I was actually kind of excited regardless.

Because it is something I’ve kind of tried before, though, I wanted to do something a little different than usual – so I made this into a tea soda; while I wont take the time to explain my process of doing that (unless anyone would like me to) I will point out that the process uses sweetener though – and with a tea like this that’s already pre-sweetened due to the stevia in it a preparation method like this negates that aspect of the blend a little bit because when I tasted this tea I knew it would be sweet and expected that; theoretically with a more traditional tasting/preparation method I could have tasted the stevia and been more critical about it’s presence – I don’t typically like when my tea is sweetened for me; I want to have the choice to do that and pre-sweetened blends eliminate that choice.

I think the simplicity of the blend ultimately works against this tea though; the flavour was very monotone and I think the only reason that didn’t read as ‘flat’ was because of the carbonation which makes it hard to view anything as tasting ‘flat’. The green base was eclipsed and instead this had a really strong, distinct taste of lemon verbena or lemon myrtle; not exactly a ‘realistic’ lemon flavour and while strong and steady only really enjoyable if you’re big into those flavours to begin with. And you better be, because it’s all you’re going to taste.

Decent blend overall; the name’s pretty accurate so kudos for that. I just wish it had a little more to offer; I shouldn’t feel like I have to resort to creative methods like tea soda just to make this feel a little less mundane.

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100

My favourite energising tea with slight sweet hints and a good bit of zing, my current first tea of the morning as it wakes me up.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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95

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp

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84

Thanks so much for the teas, MissB! This one was a surprise but it’s a Bluebird tea I haven’t tried yet! It seems to be chai but with coconut added. I used two teaspoons: 1) Bluebird’s black teas are usually light to me 2) I want to drink it before the coconut goes bad 3) there is a lot here! Two teaspoons didn’t ruin this at all – it was the perfect briskness that I like a chai to be – a pretty dark cup! This black tea might be different from the other blends. A decent chai with plenty of spice flavor and hints of coconut but it lacks the specialness of a Bluebird tea! The other blends are so unique! But I’m glad MissB sent it my way. :D
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // just boiled // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep

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I feel like I’ve been super absent from everything the last three weeks due to work, traveling, being unwell and just life in general but fingers crossed I’m back into the swing of things… more or less… I had such high hopes for this tea, I mean seriously, Black Forest Cake Tea!! And although the dry leaf smelled super amazing and was fully of the most chocolatey-cherry-berry scent the liquid was a disappointing and lacking in flavor… and I’d even gone a little above and beyond by trading my usual skim-milk with heavy cream!!! I’m not giving up yet however, I’ll give this another go (probably with a little more leaf) and see how it goes… I’m starting to realize I’m a chronic over-leafer and prefer way more leaf than recommended in order to get the flavor I want and I really shouldn’t hold that against a tea when I’m brewing as per the recommended parameters!! Watch this space… I have faith in Bluebird!!

Fjellrev

Great to see you back!

beelicious

Thanks :)

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Drinking with my brother part 1

I’m guessing that my brother chose this tea because of the name, but I was excited because I have been wanting to drink it. The smell is very odd and it matches its taste. I’m unsure how to describe this tea… the best I can do is saying that it taste like a cola that sat outside for about 45 minutes. While it will still be okay, it isn’t the best. That is how this tea is, good but lacks something.

gmathis

Thanks for the reminder…I have some cola tea that is great iced when the weather starts to boil! Now, where’d I stow it..?

TeaNTees

I love guayusa, have you ever tried any others by Bluebird Tea Co?

Liquid Proust

Butiki made the best guayusa and my memory of them intimidates me to even try…
I have the Candy Floss and Cocoa #5

TeaNTees

Yes, Butiki certainly did create some amazing guayusa blends. …Alas :(

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I could probably write a poem about this tea because of its look, taste, and name.
Very pleased to see purple liquid come out in my pot as I steeped this :)
PURPLE!!!
I don’t drink many white teas, but this was flavored very well and balanced. However the blend comes out in proportion is awesome.
This tea may be on my list to try cold steeped as well

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drank Candy Floss by Bluebird Tea Co.
399 tasting notes

I am always attracted to cotton candy teas, and I have tried several and am usually disappointed. One thing that I dislike is that so many of the available cotton candy teas are made on a rooibos base, and this girl likes her caffeine. I was happy to see that this tea is done on a white base.
Full review and photos: https://tealover.net/2015/06/bluebird-tea-co-candy-floss/

TeaNTees

Gorgeous photographs! I’ll have to try and obtain some of this and some ice cream float as well! YUM :)

Marzipan

You are so sweet – thank you! They were done with a cell phone and piece of white posterboard.

TeaNTees

Really? Wow, must be a good cell phone! ;)

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drank Birthday Cake by Bluebird Tea Co.
467 tasting notes

So this was a sample that was included in the last shared ordered I had with Marzipan & Liquid Proust. I should have included it in one of their boxes. This sounds delicious and I wanted to like it so bad. . .but my arch enemy struck again! So alas, this tea just wasn’t for me. Made me sad. I wanted a sprinkled birthday cake filled cup of love. Instead I got a funky weird woodsy taste cuppa that I could barely take a drink out of.

Anybody interested??

Comment on my blog and I’ll draw a random winner. This is basically a full ounce with a tsp missing. . .I’ll include other goodies too!

http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/05/28/tea-of-the-day-birthday-cake-from-bluebird-tea-co/

TeaNTees

What’s your fave “cake” tea? I am a cake fanatic and am still searching for just the right one!

TeaNTees

So far “Granny’s Cake” by RiverTea is the best cake tea I’ve had but unfortunately RiverTea has gone the way of the dinosaur it seems. :(

Nichole

Off the top of my head-I did like Bluebird’s Vicki Sponge Cake cold brewed. That was raspberry jammy with vanilla cake on the side but that is it. I too am still searching for that perfect cake tea.

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I need more of this tea-STAT. I went thru this one really fast. This tastes just like raspberry jam when brewed hot and when I threw the leaves in a pitcher to cold brew, this tasted just like a cake with raspberry filling. So good. Highly recommend this one.

http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/05/20/vickys-sponge-cake-bluebird-tea/

Flavors: Cake, Raspberry

Marzipan

Karsten had this one today and said, “Meh” (direct quote), so I’ll put the rest of mine into your next box.

Nichole

Well Thanks!! I was going to order more :)

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