Bluebird Tea Co.

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Recent Tasting Notes

64

The steep time is an absolute delight: all carnival and candy, reminding me of the fairgrounds in the early fall when I was a little girl. Carmel apples is definitely what’s coming through, like a bold candied cider.

As for the taste, it’s an okay little sip. The sweetness isn’t so much there as I expected from the tiny toffee pieces, and the flavor isn’t as present as the aromas would have you expecting. Still, I keep finding myself hovering over my mug just to take in the scent.

My first cup from the shared Bluebird order. Thanks again, Tea_Sipper! I’ll try this again with more than a heaping tsp and maybe a tad longer on the steep time to see if those flavors can’t really pull through.

Flavors: Candied Apple, Caramel, Kettle Corn

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

Thank you Scheherazade for the sample!

I was really happy to get a chance to swap with you again. Hoping you love the matcha.

This is my first pick from the goodies Scheherazade sent me; I asked for a random mix of stuff, and she certainly didn’t disappoint. Random is my new go to: I always end up with things I’d never have picked for myself and quite often I end up pleasantly surprised. That’s the case with this one, for sure: I’d have avoided it ’cause of the “spice” element and the fact pumpkin teas so rarely ever taste like actual pumpkin.

This is great though: first and foremost I very clearly taste the flavour of real pumpkin and that definitely makes this better than most “pumpkin” teas which typically drown out any actual pumpkin in the blend with pumpkin spices. And on that note, while I totally taste the cinnamon and ginger in the blend they’re subdued in comparison to the flavour of the pumpkin and the cinnamon really just reinforces the pie element of the tea because it makes me think of pie crust. I don’t find them intrusive or drowning at all which is a big relief. I don’t even mind the ginger.

As well, there’s a sweetness to the tea which is appropriate to the notion of pie filling. I’d never add sweetener to this myself as that’d be over the top, but what’s here seems almost natural while capturing that confectionery element. Of course, it isn’t natural: it’s definitely from the candy bats in the blend – but that’s fine. It’s not artificial tasting. It’s like brown sugar and vanilla? Without actually being brown sugar or vanilla though.

Final observation/comment: While I normally don’t lean towards Ceylon I think that it’s appropriate as a base here because it does have such a mild/soft flavour compared to a lot of black teas and that suits blends well, especially blends that focus on flavours as delicate as pumpkin. Squash in general doesn’t pack a lot of “oomph” as a flavour. Not the same way other fruits/veggies do.

Really, really impressed and surprised with this blend! Only small criticism is that I wish there was a stronger taste of the clove.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger, Pumpkin, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla

Scheherazade

Glad you liked it :) It’s my favourite pumpkin tea.

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Another tea from my Pick N Mix experience pack.

I had to do a double-take of the packaging when I sipped this hot and straight this morning. There’s banana in this? I didn’t taste much other than black tea with the slightest hint of vanilla. I added a bit of sweetener and a good splash of (almond) milk before taking a second sip.

Truthfully, given the name I was expecting a more in-your-face banana tea. That said, the tea did not disappoint. The banana flavor is subtle but delicious. I sort of wish there were more bananas in my bag because the flavor they’re giving me is more natural than artificial. I definitely don’t get the banana candy flavor (think Runts) that seems to be so prevalent in the banana teas I’ve tried. I’m so used to bananas being paired with chocolate in teas that I assumed chocolate was in this blend as well. I’m really glad it’s not. It would’ve overpowered the lovely, delicate banana flavor. It’s lovely as a breakfast tea and would probably make a killer latte. I need to start making a list of teas to latte (latte is a verb, right?) on weekends.

I might repurchase this when I’ve used up some of the other banana teas hanging out in my collection.

Flavors: banana, Creamy

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Weekend sipping…

This tea never disappoints. The raspberry note is so fresh and juicy. Juicy tea? Yeah, sure. Again, wishing for a bit more coconut but thoroughly enjoying every cuppa regardless.

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It’s like vanilla sponge topped with a thin layer of coconut butter/manna, smeared with homemade (slightly tart, slightly sweet) raspberry jam, and served with a dollop of whipped cream.

This tea is so good.

Evol Ving Ness

This sounds divine.

apieceofquiche

It really is a lovely little tea.

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I bought a 150g tin of this because I was hopeful that it’d be a suitable replacement for the long discontinued Fantasy Island. I must say that this is everything I was hoping for and more. In fact, I think I prefer this blend to DT’s Fantasy Island. That’s saying a lot because Fantasy Island is one of my all-time favorite teas from DT.

I didn’t think I’d be crazy about the raspberry leaf in this blend but, thankfully, it doesn’t bother me. The black tea base is really nice and smooth. It reminds me of the 52 Teas black tea base(s). If anything I wish there was a bit more coconut flavor, but the berry/raspberry flavor is just so delightful. I don’t know that I distinguish any cake notes, but that’s fine by me. It’s quite decadent and jammy regardless. I added a few drops of stevia to sweeten it a bit. It also takes (almond) milk well.

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This is another yummy blend that I did not like hot (as expected) but really enjoy over ice. It’s fruity, very fruity – mango, pineapple, passion fruit, orange and papaya. It’s like a lovely tropical cocktail without the alcohol. I love hibiscus, but I don’t find that it’s so overwhelming that it overpowers the fruitiness. It does have a very tart aftertaste, but I don’t mind. I will be repurchasing this one to sip on this summer. All that’s missing is the rum!

Flavors: Tropical

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This tea. This tea caught me off guard. I expected to like it (chocolate teas seem to be my thing lately), but I didn’t think I’d like it THIS much. Truthfully, I had no idea what easter egg nests were until I googled the phrase. Apparently easter egg nests in the US typically contain coconut. Easter egg nests in the UK seem to contain cereal, usually popped rice. This tea tastes like a chocolate covered Rice Krispie treat. It’s really quite delicious – great chocolate flavor, slightly sweet, and a lovely toasted rice note. I sampled it hot and straight, but I imagine it would be even tastier with milk and sweetener. I’ll be stocking up on this as well.

Flavors: Chocolate, Marshmallow, Sweet, Toasted Rice

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I cold-steeped this for two days (forgot it was in the fridge!) to see if I’d like it just as much cold-steeped as I do iced. I think I like it more. Score! Cold-steeping is my new favorite way to steep herbal teas because I can use half the tea and still get all the awesome flavor. Nevermind the fact that they’re still tasty even if they’ve been in the fridge for over 24 hours. Yum! This is delicious. I wanted to try it a few different ways to be sure that I wanted to spend the money to stock up on it (another LE tea! grrrr!). It looks like I’ll have to bite the bullet after all.

Flavors: Fruity

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This was one of the first teas I tried in my order, as I realized that the spring collection would soon be gone. As suspected. I was not a fan of this blend hot, but it’s lovely over ice. The dry leaf smells like a candy shop – sort of like Starburst and gummi bears combined. I’m not a Brit and I’ve never had a chance to try these fruit salad chews, but to me the tea tastes like raspberry and pineapple gummi bears (Haribo) in one bite. That’s the only way I can describe it. I will be stocking up on this one. I think it’ll be very refreshing in the summer.

Flavors: Candy, Fruity, Pineapple, Raspberry

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Cold-steeped this for 24 hours. The flavor is better but still quite light. I would’ve liked more hibiscus or something to give it a little more OOMPH. Cold-steeping seemed to tone down the lemongrass quite a bit, so at least it was more pleasant and palatable this go around.

Note to self: If you want a piña colada just have the real thing. Piña colada tea is not your jam.

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I’m glad I had an opportunity to sample this without committing to a large quantity. It sounds like something I’d enjoy, but I’m quickly learning that lemongrass (along with pineapple) in tea is really hit or miss for me. I think it’s safe to say that any tea that combines pineapple and coconut is not for me. I enjoy piña coladas but, to my taste buds, those flavors just don’t translate well in tea. Pity.

Flavors: Coconut, Lemongrass, Pineapple

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Weekend sipping…

Mocha Chai + a sprinkle of Bluebird’s Great British Cuppa + cocoa powder and vanilla powder (Wild Foods Co), steeped in almond milk.

I’m not usually a fan of chai teas but I wanted something warm and caffeinated to help me wake up early Saturday morning. Holy smokes! This really hit the spot. I had the first cup warm and I enjoyed the remainder over ice in my mason jar mug. Warm it tasted a bit like a Mexican hot chocolate – the spicy (not hot) chocolate flavor accented with vanilla. Iced it tasted like melted chocolate ice cream with very subtle spiciness. Spicy teas aren’t my thing, but this is one of the better chai blends I’ve tried.

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This tea is a total surprise for me. Honestly, I added it to my sampler pack because of the word mocha in the name of the tea. Truth be told, I didn’t even read the ingredient list beforehand – how unlike me! I sampled it this weekend, along with a few other teas that I thought I might want to reorder just based on the sniff test. It was delicious! Very complex coffee flavor, nice body from the black tea base and the melted chocolate, and lovely spice notes (words I never thought I’d say). I will be repurchasing this. I think it’d make an outstanding latte.

Flavors: Chocolate, Coffee, Mocha, Spices

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I’m not a huge fan of Earl Grey blends, but the strawberry and papaya notes in this tea sounded intriguing. The tea reminded me of The Earl’s Garden by DAVIDsTEA. The strawberry note was dominant in this cuppa. The papaya was detectable but only just. I don’t taste lime at all. It’s very fragrant and very floral, and, thankfully the floral quality subsides once steeped. The black tea base isn’t harsh or bold. Altogether it’s a pleasant tea, but it’s not one that I’ll be repurchasing.

Flavors: Strawberry

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There isn’t a ton of white tea flavor coming through, but I’m okay with that. This blend is primarily cherries and marzipan to my taste buds. I’m not sure what’s contributing to the baked goods note/flavor, but it adds a bit of depth that’s, quite frankly, a surprise considering the short steep time. It’s really quite a nice little blend, and it’s making me wish I had some cherry bakewell tarts to accompany my cuppa.

Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Marzipan

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I had this blend over ice this morning and definitely prefer it iced over hot. It tastes like flat Coca-Cola with lime, only not sickeningly sweet. I’m still toying with the idea of making this as a teapop. If I happen upon a sparkling water that I actually enjoy drinking I’ll give it a go. Until then I’ll be enjoying this over ice or chilled.

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Weekend backlog —

What a surprisingly wonderful blend. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting much. I added it to my sampler pack because I enjoy guayusa and maté blends. If lime cola were tea this is what it’d taste like. You can definitely taste the guayusa but the lime and cola flavors compliment it so nicely. I’m having a hot cuppa this morning but I imagine it’d be very tasty over ice and/or as a teapop.

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85
drank ChariTEA by Bluebird Tea Co.
1529 tasting notes

First day back at work (boo!) and I really, really needed a strong, no-nonsense tea to get me going. Having said that, I’ve been here for 40 minutes now and I’m still not properly awake. Nearly two weeks of lie-ins have made the early start and the whole work thing in general really rather difficult to re-adapt to. Clearly I need to win the lottery, but until then I have this tea.

It’s a CTC, first off. Those wonderful pellets of pure strength that I often overlook when I’m feeling more normal. It brewed up super quickly to a deep red-brown, so I added a decent splash of milk and crawled back to my desk. Here I discovered that it’s strong (very strong) yet flavourful – a good combination if ever there was one. It’s malty in a very thick-tasting, almost chewable way, with some deeper molasses-like notes lurking in the background. It’s very sweet, smooth, and not as tannic as I feared. There’s a hint of caramel and baked bread towards the end of the sip (particularly as it cools), but this one is mostly all about the malt.

It’s not a tea I’d want all the time. It’s not subtle, and there are characteristics I enjoy in black tea that just aren’t present here. For a day like today, though, it’s perfect. Maybe when I wake up, I can see what else I’ve got in my drawer. Until then, this’ll do nicely.

1 tsp, 2 minutes, boiling water. Milk, lots of.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

This seemed like an odd choice to start the morning with, even to me and I’m drinking it. It was there, though, and it’s a lovely warm spring day, so I decided to throw caution to the wind. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. When I returned, the liquor was a deep pinky-red (hello, hibi!), but the scent was sweet and tropical.

The first sip shows that you shouldn’t judge by appearances, because this one actually tastes exactly as it should. I get pineapple immediately, sweet and true to life, followed quickly by coconut. There’s a slightly odd floral in the midsip, but it’s not too heavy or thick tasting so I’m choosing to ignore it. The mint comes our pretty well in the aftertaste, the sweetness of the spearmint most prominently, but with the deeper, cooler resonance of the peppermint lurking in the background.

I’m more impressed with this one than I expected to be. Pineapple mint seemed like an odd flavour combination to me, but it really does work. The mint isn’t strong, so the sweeter fruit flavours are allowed their time to shine, but it does add a refreshing cleanness that’s actually very welcome after the sweet tropical fruit flavours.

What I really want now is to try this one cold brewed in the summer. A definite repurchase in the warmer months ahead.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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85

I’m starting Easter early with this tea. There are only three days of work this week, so that’s more than enough reason to celebrate. Also, I just realised that I still have my sample of this tea from 2015, so I’m catching up with that before I start the 2016 version I got with my recent Bluebird order. So, anyway. The tea.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup. It looks predominantly rooibos based to me, although there are a decent amount of ceylon leaves also present – maybe 70:30. The scent of the dry leaf is massively fruity, mostly orange. It reminds me a lot of undiluted cordial. I left this one for around 3 minutes before I added a splash of milk.

To taste, it’s actually more flavour accurate than I was expecting given the scent. It does remind me of hot cross buns, particularly when you first open a packet of fresh ones. I can taste orange (lots!), a pithy kind of taste that could be citrus zest, apple, cranberry, and currants. There’s also a hint of cinnamon lurking around in the mid-sip, but it’s not particularly prominent.

The vanilla is more of a scent than a flavour for me, but it does translate as a mild creamy flavour that’s very reminiscent of the white cross and maybe melted butter at a push. I’d like that to have been a bit stronger, but it’s there and I’m happy for that. I’m aware that this blend contains some Lapsang Souchong, but again it’s not a big part of the overall flavour. I get flashes of it every now and then, and they make me think of toast – or toasted hot cross buns, maybe. Love.

What I’d have liked here is more of a “bread” flavour, to go with the fruit and spice, creaminess and smokiness. That would really have set this one apart for me. As it is, it’s just a bit too fruity (orangey) to really capture the true flavour of hot cross buns. It’s close, though – so close.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Christina / BooksandTea

Sounds lovely! Bluebird is a company I’d love to try, but I’m scared of the prospect of UK shipping to Canada.

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Sipdown (143)!

I’m too lazy to turn my jot notes into sentences right now. So here, have the billion+ jot notes I took while drinking this one…

- Cold Brew
- Free sample w. my order
- Dry, smells very close to Hot Cross Buns (which I call Easter Buns)
- Brewed up, it’s quite delicious!
- However while I find it comes close to tasting like Easter Buns…
- It’s a bit too fruity to really nail the taste
- Strong notes of orange/orange peel, apple, cranberry, and currants
- As well as a cinnamon note
- Interestingly, this has Lapsang in it but I def. can’t taste that
- What’s missing for me is a touch of ‘custardy’/creamy flavour
- From that pastry filling that makes the “cross”
- As well as a bready note, to really tie the flavour together/balance it out
- But super tasty regardless!

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100

Last night’s after dinner cup! I pulled out a stack of Bluebird teas when I went through my tea box on Sunday, so it’s no surprise that I’m starting to work through them. As ever, I only wish I’d done it sooner because this one. Is. Amazing. It smells great as soon as you open the pouch, but I’m always slightly wary of building up hopes at that point because scent and flavour are two entirely different things. I’ve learned this the hard way when it comes to tea and expectations. It’s not the case here, though, because this tea actually tastes like black forest gateau in a cup! I used 1.5 tsp of leaf, gave it a good 4 minutes in boiling water, and then added a splash of milk.

The initial flavour is cherry – concentrated black cherry, and a little syrupy. Second comes the chocolate – dark chocolate, rich and creamy. It has a lightness that really reminds me of sponge cake, although I have no idea how that’s achieved. Last of all is a hint of vanilla, which puts me very much in mind of the whipped cream topping a black forest gateau would have. Altogether, it’s pretty well a spot-on recreation in liquid form. I wasn’t expecting to be quite so impressed, but I’m more than glad that I am. This will definitely be a repurchase once I have my cupboard a little more in order. I’ve just placed an order with Bluebird for their new Spring collection anyway, so it’ll be a while yet I suspect.

One thing that did stand out to me is the sheer amount of different berries that went into this one – elderberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and cranberries, but no cherry. I just found it interesting that the effect they create is so different from what they actually are, and that it took so many different berries to achieve it. There’s also apple and hibiscus, so go figure I guess. In some ways, Bluebird strike me almost as a smaller, UK version of David’s Tea. “All the ingredients”, huh? Given that it tastes this good, though, I’m not really complaining!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Sil

Wow this sounds delicious!

tea-sipper

Thanks for your note on this one! I’ve wanted to try this since it was released!

Scheherazade

It’s well worth a try. Totally delicious!

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56

Fruit Salad provides an explosion of flavours that navigate their way through the taste buds, to provide a combination of sweet and sour. The most poignant of these are hibiscus, lemongrass and raspberry with a slight crisp apple and pineapple finish. Whilst this is a tasty hot brew, I felt this tea really lives to be cold. Adding Ice to fruit blends usually makes for an excellent pairing and Fruit Salad is no exception. When cooled this becomes sooo fruity almost like a fruit punch. I can easily imagine this blend being sipped in the high heat of summer for refreshing hydration. For a naughty twist add a sneaky shot of alcohol and a sprig of mint and your good to go with a fruity cocktail! Bliss!

More at; http://tastethetea.co.uk/2016/03/01/bluebirdspringcollection/

Flavors: Fruit Punch, Hibiscus, Lemongrass, Raspberry, Sour, Sweet

LooseLeafClub

Bluebird Tea Co. has some of the best blends!

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