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Recent Tasting Notes
I have just finished dinner and was in search of something sweet and savory. This little guy was the winner! The word custard, when used along with tea, automatically intrigued me. I brewed this western. The aroma of silky rich creme emitted from my brew basket. I inhaled the scent of a rhubarb cream pie. I sipped this down rather quickly. Surprisingly, the taste of rhubarb dominated this brew. It had a finish of cream and vanilla. This brew had both of these flavors swirled around with a dusky earth taste. I actually really enjoyed this tea. The taste was not overwhelming. I think a flavored tea is beginning to grow on me.
Flavors: Cream, Rhubarb, Rum, Vanilla
Another one to try from a while ago, the combined Bluebird order! This blend looks like mostly those yogurt bits.. a little odd but I don’t mind them! A little odd in an apple strudel tea though. I tried to mix it a little bit before taking a teaspoon. The cup was barely pink, if that says how much rooibos actually made it to the teaspoon. I’m very glad I didn’t notice any hibiscus/rosehips. The flavor is delicious – it does taste a lot like a dessert. Equal parts creaminess, apple, cinnamon. Another amazing Bluebird blend!
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min
(I must also mention I had the Pumpkin Pie recently too, and I’m amazed at Bluebird’s consistent flavors over the years. Teas that I sampled years ago have the same flavors that I remember in new batches.)
Another sipdown! First cup of this yesterday was brewed hot and had milk added and it was tasty, the flavors developed as the tea cooled and there was a nice amount of raspberry but I didn’t get a lot else… Reading everyone else’s reviews I decided to cold steep the remaining leaves…. BINGO! Cold brewed in the fridge for 10 hours or so the tea developed some amazing flavors!! Suddenly I was blown away with the coconut, raspberry, cream and even the slight hint of cake. Hot I wasn’t sad to see this tea leave my cupboard, cold brew makes me rethink another sneaky order to Bluebird Tea Co. sometime in the very near future.
I also recently received a super-generous swap package from Nattie and haven’t gotten around to writing any of her teas up yet! Time to make amends and work through the ones I’ve tried :D
I really liked this one – it was lovely and lemony, with the green tea staying as a nice non-dominant background! I did get a hint of that astringent fizz that you get from a sherbet, and this tea was definitely sweet enough for me. Then again, as someone who hasn’t eaten a lemon sherbet/similar sweet for a good long time, I’m not exactly the best judge XD
Still, I happily drank this down and will look forward to my second (and probably final) cup – thanks Nattie :D
Flavors: Lemon, Sweet
Resteeped my leaves from the cold brew. BAD idea. Yeesh, seriously, what was I thinking? There is zero watermelon flavour in the resteep. Or any flavour at all come to mention it. Other than what can only be described as ‘lightly fishy’. Blech. Stick to the one steep for this one, methinks.
A few days back, I was craving a light tea and also something I could gulp as I was super thirsty. My solution was to grab a bottle of ‘tea’ I’d picked up from Marks&Spencer out of curiosity, labelled Watermelon and Coconut White Tea. It was delicious, and I finished it pretty quickly, and was still craving more. It occurred to me that I’d had a pouch of this one lying around for a few months unopened (I bought it just as the weather was turning colder, since it was a limited edition going out of stock, but always just seemed too summery for me to try). I tossed 6tsps of the leaf into my 750ml bottle, filled it with water and left it in the fridge for ~20 hours.
As soon as I poured the water in, the liquid turned a very pale pink, and was quite a dark pink by the time I took it out. Because of this, I was a bit worried that it would be too hibiscusy. I’m not a hibiscus hater like many people on here seem to be, but still, I wanted a sweet drink not a tart one. Happily, though, the hibiscus doesn’t come through in the flavour. Cold-brewed, this is amazing! I plan on re-steeping the leaves tomorrow, as I still haven’t tried it hot.
I might have brewed it a couple hours too long, ‘cause I’m detecting a very mild astringency from the base. Nothing I can’t deal with, though. It’s pretty much exactly what I wanted. The watermelon is sweet, but not too sweet, and I could taste coconut too, which I was pleasantly surprised with – I didn’t read the ingredients list. The tea lends some grassy notes, but stays very much in the background when cold brewed. Part way through the bottle I started to notice a floral note to the background, reminiscent of jasmine though not as strong. I have no idea whether it’s an ingredient or an element of the green or white base teas, but I think it goes quite well. The only downside to this tea is that my cold brewing used up almost all of my sample pouch, and I probably only have enough left for one or two hot cups, and definitely not enough to indulge in another cold brew! Yet another reason to resteep my leaves tomorrow. I hope this is brought out again in the summer (not that there’s much chance of me being post-hiatus by then).
Frank has a friend round (Sam, who we lived with last year) and they’re playing X Box in the living room. I just overheard him say the phrase ‘sexy-ass sticky grenade’. Should I be worried?
I was going to have this tea the other night, but I fell asleep after I made my cup.. so no apple strudel for me! Tonight I’m giving it another try and hopefully I’ll sip before I fall asleep!
The scent of this tea reminds me a little bit of stewed apples. I love this smell and it weirdly brings back memories for me. Sipping… the start of the sip starts out not tasting like much.. perhaps a little bit of a watery rooibos? I taste a bit of sweet, stewed apple next. The finish is where the cinnamon pops a bit more. I really love that the cinnamon isn’t spicy, but adds that lovely sweetness you’d get on top of an apple crumble or a baked apple. The combination of the two is spot on! I’m missing out on the pastry bit of the blend, but the apple-cinnamon combination is tasty enough to appease me.
I can see myself ordering more of this in the future since it’s different from any other apple or rooibos blend in my collection. Happy to have tried this one!
A sample from a swap, which has been languishing for a while – it´s winter, and I am craving tea and new teas but trying to watch caffeine intake which is annoying.
This was a perfectly nice earl grey, just the right level of bergamot for me. I can not particularly noticed the vanilla, but I was absentmindedly enjoying it.
Lovely scent and taste. Not too ginger-y but like a nice gingerbread cookie taste. I was glad the rooibos wasn’t too woodsy and allowed the gingerbread to really shine. This tea tasted good even after I poured the cup and left it in the kitchen for 2 hours. I drank it room temperature and it was fine. Sometimes rooibos teas can get too strong when they sit too long but this was good. I drank the next one hot and it was even more satisfying. The tea wasn’t very chai but that was really no problem for me.
Thanks NayLynn and Brandon for this tea.
I’ve been drinking this for a couple of days after making a large iced batch. The reason for the delay in reviewing is that I can’t make my mind up about it. On the one hand it tastes so pepperminty that it reminds me of toothpaste, especially since it’s cold. It leaves my mouth tasting as though I just brushed my teeth. On the other hand it’s a handy drink to have if you’ve eaten something smelly like onion or garlic. And after all the taste is actually pleasant and refreshing,
Let me break it down. First sip is citrus(y) with a light infusion of lemongrass and lime (nothing sour, actually rather creamy) but this only lasts for a second. After that the peppermint kicks in and spreads itself around my mouth to leave a creamy and refreshing (almost tingling) sensation. This lingers well into the after taste until before you know it, poof, it’s gone.
The only conclusion I can come to is that it’s nice but because of it’s unusual nature (in iced form anyway) I would have to be in the right mood to drink it. That means it’s not perfect, but the fact that I can drink it at all also means something.
For that reason I will give a fair and rather medium score. ie – Could be better, could be worse.
Flavors: Cream, Lemongrass, Peppermint
Today is going to be a tea day. With clothes washing to do and a cross stitch that will take an hour or so to finish my day is pretty much free and open. Makes a change.
So Retro Ted will be kick starting my tea day. The blend is made mostly of large pieces and looks heavily herbal and floral. It smells fruity, tropically so, I’m thinking pineapple and coconut. It’s an interesting smell, fruity yes but heavy on the lemongrass too.
The taste is mildly tart and sour to begin with, also strong lemongrass tones with some generic fruit tones amongst it. After taste is creamy and coconut-ty in a mild way. I’m finding the blend of fruit and lemongrass and hibiscus rather strange. It doesn’t blend perfectly but neither is it terrible. Also dry and rather herbal.
Not a fan of this one, may try the rest cold steeped. I wasn’t a fan of the lemongrass and hibiscus blended together, it was too miss-matched for my taste buds and the only redemption was the coconut after taste. I wouldn’t buy this one again but am happy I can at least drink it.
Flavors: Coconut, Hibiscus, Lemongrass
Another sample sent from Nattie!
I enjoyed a mug of this yesterday at work after lunch. It seems more of a natural tasting pumpkin tea, vs a lot of the chemically flavoured ones. I mean maybe this is too, but there are actual bit of pumpkin in there rather than candy bits, so that’s a plus to me!
Again the base was a little weak to me, though I left it steeping for like 10 minutes and nothing bad happened, haha. So it’s forgiving!
It was a pleasant cup, though to me it was definitely more of a pumpkin enhanced chai than a pumpkiny dessert tea.
I don’t think I’d buy it but was great to try!
I’m very excited to try this tea since the combination of cocoa shells and a milk oolong interests me. Peppermint isn’t as exciting for me, but I’ll deal with it. When I opened the bag, I was overwhelmed by all that peppermint! It’s incredibly strong. I don’t even really detect any oolong or cocoa shells in the scent.
Sipping… I was expecting this tea to be sharp, but it’s actually quite smooth. The cocoa flavor comes through stronger than I was expecting which is just lovely! I can’t say that it’s a strong chocolate flavor, but one that is specific to cocoa shells.. I’m not sure how else to describe it. The peppermint is definitely present – a little bit stinky and lingering, though. I can’t taste the oolong at all, sadly.
I do enjoy the combination of peppermint and cocoa shells, but I wish that the milk oolong would shine through. I’m not sure I would buy this one again, but I’m happy to finish up what I have.
This is the last tea from the Bluebird group order a couple of months ago. I guess I’ve just never felt in the mood for a lime cola tea, but today is the day! I’ve only had one guayusa tea before, and I didn’t really get a good sense of the base because it had lavender in it… So this should be interesting! The dry leaf is quite beautiful. It has a lovely “herbal” appearance – all pieces of leaves, flower buds, etc. And everything is a lovely muted shade of green/yellow. Dry scent is lime with a bit of cola underneath.
The steeped tea smells a little bit lime-ish, and there’s a certain effervescent aroma and sweetness that suggest cola. Hm! It definitely tastes herbal, and a bit earthy in a good way. I can taste the lime and cola, but they’re both quite mild and they meld together nicely. I’m really enjoying the gentle and sweet herbal flavor of the guayusa/linden, and the lime is a lovely touch. Pretty yummy!
Flavors: Earth, Lime, Smooth, Sweet
Having never actually eaten rhubarb, I often feel like I’m at a disadvantage when I review a rhubarb tea because I’m not exactly sure what a rhubarb should taste like because I don’t have that experience tasting actual rhubarb.
For this tisane, I taste the rooibos. The honeyed, nutty flavor seems to work well with the custardy notes and the notes of rhubarb.
In my full-length review, I mused a bit about the stevia in this blend: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/10/26/rhubarb-custard-rooibos-blend-from-bluebird-tea-co/
Overall, this is a tasty tisane. I enjoyed it.
Finished off the lot of this sample sent to by from Nattie – I decided to dump the rest of the package into the Adagio ingenuiTEA that my husband got me for Christmas.
This resulted in a much stronger, very flavorful cuppa. Really noticable chocolate and coffee notes, along with the requisite spices.
I added 10% cream, of course. I don’t know that I’m the biggest proponent of chai tea, but with dairy, it’s a nice once in a while treat.
I may have let it steep too long and it became slightly bitter, and gave me a bit of a dry mouth, but overall this is a chai I enjoyed. That’s actually saying a lot, trust me.
Thanks again Nattie!
I got a lovely parcel in the mail from Nattie a couple days ago – a swap from England! An English swap! I’m technically 1/4 British, a fact I’m very proud of. I have family over there to meet one day.
For NOW – i shall drink the tea!
I brought any samples that were teas which could be prepared with boiling water to work, because those are easiest to make with the crappy kettle we have in our little kitchen. And believe me I am happy we have a kettle at all!
I was pretty pumped to try this one, based on the smell.
It didn’t disappoint me, it was a tasty alternative to an after lunch dessert.
I found a nice blend between the coffee/mocha, and chocolate and chai spices. The base wasn’t SUPER strong but definitely made for a hearty enough cup and i did add milk as well.
Maybe I could just let it steep a bit longer next time… Nattie was generous enough to give me enough for 2-3 cups!
I’m sure I’ve written more than one note for this one, but never mind. This one was the second tea that accompanied me to work this morning, and it’s always a solid choice. I really like the combination of sweet maltiness and roasted white potato that I get from this one, even though it sounds odd. There aren’t many “breakfast” style blends that really stand out to me, but this is a shining example. Good thing I have a huge tin!
I’m convinced I’ve written a note for this one before. Utterly convinced. Still…
I have a huge tin of these at home, because they’re such a go-to kind of blend. Easy to drink, easy to brew, no fuss, crowd pleasers. I gave one bag 4 minutes in boiling water, and added milk.
The resulting brew is a pretty solid example of an english breakfast tea. It combines an assam, a ceylon, and an unspecified Chinese black, and (perhaps as you’d expect) it’s sweet and malty, with a hint of citrus brightness. The citrus, to me, is lemon, and it emerges primarily at the end of the sip. For the most part, this has a characteristic sweet potato flavour, with an almost starchy element reminiscent of crispy, roasted white potato which emerges in the mid-sip. It’s hugely malty, with that wonderfully deep, molasses-like flavour that a really good malty black can take on. No sugar required here!
I love this one for indecisive moments, or when I just want a good, solid cup of plain black tea. It’s such a straightforward, no nonsense blend with plenty of flavour – there’s nothing not to love here! Well done, Bluebird!
Here’s a tasting note to celebrate!! I just noticed sorting is working again after months! Awesome! I hope a lot of things are back to normal, because I’ve been noticing for a while now, if I post two tasting notes around the same time, both will show up in my tealog and the page for that tea, but it will not show up in the dashboard. Well, as long as they aren’t disappearing completely, I’m fine with it…
Another from the order – I definitely wanted to try this one! I was a little worried this wouldn’t be lime cola at ALL, but the leaves certainly have both a lime and cola fragrance and the FLAVOR is definitely there as well — both steeps! There are some big leaves here… not sure if that is the guayusa or the linden. I also made sure to include a big lime piece – rind and all. But there is a nice sweet lime and cola flavor… almost candy like. Certainly delicious. I could hardly taste the usually earthy guayusa itself, to those who are a little afraid of the guayusa flavor. But that could be due to the not-at-boiling steep. Maybe the flavor of the lime and cola dominate the cup. The flavor of this one exceeded my expectations with its perfect balance of lime and cola. I wouldn’t have minded taking a bigger risk with more than ten grams from the split order.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp (+ really big lime piece) // 20 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // 15 min a.b. // 3-4 min
There is a definite rhubarb and custard flavor to this tea however unfortunately the stevia is ruining it for me… note to self, you don’t like stevia so stop buying teas that contain stevia!! The addition of milk brings out the custard and creamy notes. The remainder of this tea is going into the swap pile for the Herbal TTB.
Wow. This tea is pretty fantastic. It tastes like a holiday spice cake that isn’t overwhelming with the spice. You can definitely taste all the different ingredients and they mingle so very well together. I’m drinking this iced now since I didn’t hear my Brevile beep for me to get my next cuppa. Can’t wait to try this one hot. I’m not a huge fan of spiced teas but this one . I could drink any day.