Bluebird Tea Co.

Recent Tasting Notes

Wow, this is not my thing. I like the idea but the red rooibos kills it for me. it has that medicinal cough syrup taste all over the base. Also, while this is super gingery, it is too fruity to be a chai I like. Thanks for letting me try it, NayLynn!

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77
drank Snowball by Bluebird Tea Co.
1536 tasting notes

Another from the order… I wanted to buy a little to try. A few teaspoons of each tea is usually enough for me. :D I’m not exactly sure… but is this tea supposed to be those little round chocolate cakes that are surrounded in marshmallow and pink coconut? The ones that are like vending machine food or found in grocery stores? Well, that’s what sold me on this tea anyway! The ingredients sure seem the same! Black tea with three types of chocolatey things, two kinds of coconut, marshmallows and flowers that are the color to invoke that scrumptious pink coconut. Sounded perfect. Using a little more than a teaspoon though, the flavor is so light! Granted, it was about eight minutes after boiling. Mild hints of coconut and chocolate on the Bluebird mild black tea. Too bad, as it’s such a nice idea for a blend. Maybe I’ll try more leaves next time? I will say this though, that marshmallow definitely melted in the mug (sometimes tea marshmallows don’t!)
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 3-4 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6+min

Fjellrev

I’d try more leaves next time. Get those flavours out! :)

Tea Sipper

Yeah but I don’t want to know how much that cup will cost. :D

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49
drank Gingerbread Chai by Bluebird Tea Co.
476 tasting notes

So, the gingerbread + Chai seriously makes for a very gingery tea. I mainly just taste ginger. I accidently oversteeped this one the first time and it tasted like coca cola. xD Wow. You really gotta be careful with these teas-haha! :P
But yeah, too much ginger for me personally.
Thanks for the sample, NayLynn!

Flavors: Ginger

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79

This tea smells delicious. Not exactly like gingerbread cookies, but sweeter. It smells like ginger and vanilla and really sweet. (I dropped the bag and spilled some…) Before I forget, I want to thank Naylynn for this sample.

I ended up letting it steep too long. I guess 7 minutes isn’t too bad for a chai tea, though… It still smells just as sweet. I want to try it first without anything added, but I might add stevia after. I still haven’t figured out the best milk:tea ratio, so I don’t thing I’ll add it this time.

The tea is mild, but in a good way. Rooibos can have an odd aftertaste that I can’t quite describe, but this is very mellow. I prefer a ginger tea to punch me in the face. This is more like a gentle breeze. It tastes good sweetened. It’s pleasant and would be great for dessert cravings and for drinking tea late at night.

I only brewed this tea at 195ºF, but it doesn’t get bitter from oversteeping, I’ll need to consider buying this if I want some sweeter teas.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 tsp

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80

Backlog:

A tasty and refreshing blend. I enjoyed the balance of citrus fruit and floral tones. I was also happy that I didn’t taste much of the hibiscus. Hibiscus just doesn’t belong in an Oolong blend and that would be my one big criticism with this blend. No hibiscus, please. But fortunately, the hibiscus didn’t interfere with the enjoyment of the tea and I didn’t get a heavy texture or thick, syrupy or tart hibiscus note.

I enjoyed this and I liked that I got more Oolong flavors in the later infusions. It was a nice, fruity tea for the first cup, but later infusions I got to enjoy more of the Oolong characteristics.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/27/elderflower-champagne-oolong-blend-from-bluebird-tea-co/

Stephanie

I love elderflower, why would they add hibiscus to it :-O

LiberTEAS

Then again … they shouldn’t add hibiscus to anything. It’s just better without hibiscus. That should be the rule.

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81

A special tea for my birthday today!

I was a little nervous to be trying this tea only because it has spruce needles in it and it smells like Christmas potpourri… definitely something you wouldn’t want to drink. I love the little snowflake sprinkles, though. They add such a nice touch! Once the tea has steeped, it smells sweeter, softer and mostly like orange peel.

Sipping… I first taste a very sweet almond flavor that reminds me of.. surprise… cake! The finish is where the orange peel comes out. It’s not an orange flavor, but really the bitter orange peel. I don’t taste much of the spruce needles, but perhaps they are lending something to the cup that I am not aware of.

I’m very glad to have tried this tea and it will be a nice companion this December. It’s certainly a very festive blend! I don’t know if I love it enough to repurchase, but I’ll enjoy it this year.

Nightshifter

Happy Birthday to you!

Roswell Strange

Happy Birthday! How old? :P

Veronica

Happy Birthday!!!

Anlina

Happy birthday!

QueenOfTarts

Thank you so much, everyone! :) You’re so nice!

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49

Gradually trying teas from the order. This sounded like an interesting blend but I’ve never had chicory… it’s compared to coffee. This is a tea full of heavy pieces so 10 grams only seems to be about three teaspoons. The blend is mostly big tan pieces.. I think that is the chicory? I don’t see much of anything else but there are the tiniest green specks that don’t seem to be listed in the ingredients… it doesn’t look like any yerba mate I’ve ever seen, roasted or green. Otherwise the blend should have coconut, raspberries and cocoa nibs. The fragrance of the tea seems like creamed corn but whoa this one just seems bitter. Bitter. Bitter. I don’t like it too much. There seems to be an intriguing smoothness underneath all that bitter somehow (that creamed corn scent) but there doesn’t seem to be much else (maybe that is coconut but there is no cocoa or raspberry even hinted at). Chicory doesn’t seem to be for me but maybe I didn’t get a blended enough sample from Bluebird.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few min after boiling // 3-4 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min

Fjellrev

Yeah, the huge chunks are likely the chicory. Not a fan of it either. Too weird for my palate.

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85

Mmm banana tea that actually tastes like banana!! No artificialness and tastes subtly like a banana milkshake if you add milk. Yum!!

Flavors: Banana

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62

My tea of the night while I watch Russell Brand on The Trews, highly entertaining! Granted I’m a over a month late with sampling this one I am still happy for the de stash.

The tea (once steeped) smells sweet yet dark with malt, mild toffee and a toasted sense that reminds me of popcorn or cereal (like rice crispies or cornflakes).

Sampled without milk or sugar.
Flavour is strong with a dominant smoky tang that is paired with a malt bitter black base. It does have a slight sweet taste though not as strong as the smell and I could certainly not define it as toffee. So really the flavour is yay on bonfire and nay on toffee.

Sampled with milk.
The bitterness has been toned down a little though it is still highly smoky and strong. Still not getting the toffee notes, and honestly the smoke is not balanced greatly by the thick base.

Sampled with milk and sugar.
Even the sugar has failed to restore balance for this blend.

Ok I don’t think this one is for me. I like smoky teas from time to time but this is just too harsh and is not blended well.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 5 g 20 OZ / 600 ML

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80

This is a pretty tasty traditional cup of english breakfast right here. I had to drink it the way my mum and dad always taught me to drink tea when I was itty bitty, at breakfast time with milk and sugar and accompanied with crumpets and strawberry jam… ohmigod… talk about a blast from the past!!! Definitely a solid example of a good english breakfast!

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80

There are only a couple more Bluebird teas from my order that I haven’t tried yet! I really should be better about trying teas more or less in order, just so they don’t get forgotten about and lose flavor. This was the only rooibos from my order, which is a shame since I’m liking it so much lately. My sample doesn’t have as many flower petals as the picture, it’s mostly red rooibos with a few petals and pieces of dried rhubarb. Dry scent is quite lovely – a nice mix of tart fruitiness and luscious vanilla custard.

Happily, the steeped tea smells similar but with less potency and the addition of rooibos. Ugh, I’ve been so spoiled by drinking so many green teas today, having to wait for this tea to cool feels like an eternity… Hm… This is pretty good, but I’m honestly a little disappointed. There’s not really any of that bright tartness from the aroma, the rhubarb is far more subdued and mild, though it’s still there. The custard flavor is mild as well, though it comes out more near the end. I can’t really taste any sweetness from the stevia, but it does add a bit of an artificial taste. I really wish tea companies would stop trying to pre-sweeten their teas! If we want sweetener, we’re perfectly capable of adding it ourselves…

Flavors: Artificial, Creamy, Custard, Jam, Rhubarb, Rooibos, Sweet

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

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74

Another from the Bluebird sale! Thanks again everyone for making my Bluebird Steepster split order dream happen. :D I HAD to try this one today after reading Cameron B’s description of the dessert this one is inspired from yesterday. The blend itself looks gorgeous but mostly flowers – a lot of red and blue cornflowers. The scent is mostly almond marzipan. There is also hibiscus in the blend that I thought might ruin this… but it doesn’t. The resulting brew is interesting – it’s a lavender periwinkle light pink color! Must just be one piece of hibiscus in there or something. The fragrance is also marzipan… promising so far! The flavor is a little light but it’s nice.. not really cherry, but there seems to be currants and cranberries in the blend rather than cherry. Really the cup has just a hint of indistinguishable fruity flavor. But there is a starchy bakey texture happening somehow. Not a ton of white tea here to impact the flavor (maybe I’m getting a fresh sweet lemony flavor from the white tea or that is where the starch is coming from) but the marzipan is nice. If I used two teaspoons (which I really would prefer not to since this one is a bit on the pricy side) the cup might have had more flavor but I wish that Bluebird would have just used hints of the cornflowers… it seems like too many pretty flowers taking flavor away of a possibly very tasty tea.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 30 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 3 min

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71

My morning tea, chosen to go with my replacement adagio teapot which I didn’t think I would miss but ended up being devastated by it’s destruction.

The raw blend smells thickly of honey but it’s so sweet and thick it also reminds me of manure. Not the nicest smell I’ve had in my kitchen…

Once steeped the blend is a lot less like manure and more like pure honey, though also the rooibos is thickly behind it. In fact the rooibos may be the manure type smell.

Flavour is fairly mild with some sweetness though it doesn’t taste as much like honey as it smells. It does however, taste of rooibos rather strongly. The rooibos dies down to leave the honey flavour on the tongue in the after taste, though over time it becomes dry.

Overall I don’t think this tea is balanced particularly well, the rooibos dominates the honey in flavour and the honey that does remain becomes dry and unpleasant. This from a woman that adores honey and dislikes rooibos. At least I can drink it which says something.

Flavors: Drying, Honey, Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML
Nattie

I totally get the manure from this one. I haven’t even tried mine yet because the smell worries me so much.

Fjellrev

Yikes, glad the manure didn’t show up in the flavour!

KittyLovesTea

I decided to try it cold steeped which should be ready in a few hours, hopefully the manure will be erased from it!

Nattie

Any news?

KittyLovesTea

It was still manure like though it did tone it down a little.

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76
drank Love Potion by Bluebird Tea Co.
1536 tasting notes

Another from the Bluebird order – I just wanted a 10gram sample of this one since I was unsure on the ingredients list. Lime with chocolate? But there is plenty here to balance out the flavors – strawberry, jasmine, papaya, vanilla, roses and cute heart sugar sprinkles. I’m definitely not picking out all of these flavors, but that’s possibly a blessing. Chocolate is at the forefront, both in the fragrance and in the flavor – I love cocoa shells! Otherwise there are hints of strawberry on this light black tea base.. maybe an odd flavor that could be papaya when it cools. It’s probably just not a “for-me” flavor combination — I’m glad I’m mainly tasting chocolate with strawberry but there are better Bluebird blends.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4-5 min

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70

I must say, I’m really happy I got in on the Bluebird Tea Co. group order a while back, just because their teas are really unique and interesting (plus the shipping is $15 or something). So hooray for Steepster! Anyway, I confess, this is actually the second time I’ve made this tea. The first time, there was way too much raspberry leaf going on for me – I’m not sure if I just got a lot of it in my 1.5 teaspoons or what, but it was strong. I don’t consider raspberry leaf to be a particularly pleasant flavor, it’s one of those things that people drink for its health benefits, not for its taste. It’s kind of musty and weird. So for this cup, I picked the raspberry leaf out of the tea after measuring it out. Don’t laugh!

Steeped, it smells like raspberry jam. Hm… There’s not a lot of flavor here, which is a shame. But at least there’s not a ton of raspberry leaf going on! I can taste a bit of tart raspberry, more similar to the fresh fruit than jam. Otherwise, there’s not much going on except a light-bodied black tea base. I think this one may just not be for me, as others seem to love it…

If anyone has any suggestions on how to steep this better or make it taste more like the sponge cake that others seem to find, let me know!

Flavors: Raspberry, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tea Sipper

Yeah, not a fan of raspberry leaves.

Cameron B.

Yeah, it’s one of those herbal ingredients that really tastes like it’s good for you. :P

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97

Backlog:

For real? I’m the first one to review this tea here? Can’t be real.

Anyway, I was thrilled to be able to try this tea because I love me some Earl Grey, and this is an awesome Earl Grey. AWESOME! I love the blend of teas used – it provides a solid backdrop of flavor that’s rich, robust and full of gusto. And even better, the bergamot doesn’t wimp out in the presence of the black tea power. This is the kind of Earl Grey that I’m more than happy to start the day with – any time!

I love this tea. Since my favorite Earl Grey is no longer being sold (at least not by the company that used to sell it) this may now be my favorite Earl Grey. It would be difficult to say. I’ve had a lot of amazing Earl Grey teas. But this one definitely has earned a spot in the upper echelon.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/05/new-house-blend-black-tea-from-bluebird-tea-co/

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Another one from Bluebird! This was one that I didn’t necessarily pick out, but ended up splitting with someone else who wanted it (I got 10g). I have been liking mint teas more and more lately though, so I’m glad I ended up with a sample. This is another blend that has barely any tea in it. There are only a few pellets of oolong mixed with a lot of crushed peppermint and cacao shell. Dry scent is pepperminty with sweet and creamy notes, and I can smell a touch of cocoa. Recommended steep was 3 minutes, but I went for 4 since there’s so little oolong anyway.

Hmm… At the beginning of the sip, the first thing I taste is roasty cacao. It quickly gives way to strong peppermint, and it has an unfortunate mineral/sour/musty note to it that makes me sad. Not sure if that would be improved by a shorter steep or not, but I’ll definitely try the recommended steep next time. I don’t taste the oolong at all, which is what I expect given the scarcity of the pellets. It does, however, take on the thick texture of a green oolong, and there’s a touch of creaminess. I would be very happy with this tea if it weren’t for the weird wet rag peppermint taste. :( Withholding rating until I try it again.

Flavors: Cocoa, Creamy, Metallic, Musty, Peppermint, Thick

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

Time to get back to trying my teas from the Bluebird Tea Co. group order! This tea is based on the English dessert, which is some combination of pastry, jam, and almond filling. Yum! This blend doesn’t have much actual tea in it. I can see some silver needles, but there are a ton of fuchsia flower petals along with apple, rose hip, hibiscus, almond, and a couple dried cherry pieces. Dry scent is sweet/tart cherry candy and marzipan.

I must say, the color of the steeped tea is quite lovely. It’s a beautiful transparent combination of orange, red, and pink and it reminds me of a glowing gemstone. Hmm… I’m honestly somewhat disappointed with this one. It just generally tastes weak. I can taste the hibiscus/rose hips along with tart dried cherry and just a little bit of marzipan near the end and in the aftertaste. Definitely no white tea at all. Overall, it’s kind of just a weak, tart tea. The cherry flavor redeems it a bit, but not much.

Flavors: Cherry, Hibiscus, Marzipan, Rosehips, Tart

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

This sounds like such a wonderful combination. Are you going to try to cold brew it?

Cameron B.

I don’t generally make cold brews or iced teas… :(

Fjellrev

Aww that’s too bad. Just not your thing?

Cameron B.

I might just try it with this one anyway, since it’s a bit tart for me when it’s hot.

Fjellrev

Yeah, I’m not a fan of hibiscus hot. It’s so thick and tart, ech.

Cameron B.

I’m just not a fan in general, unless it’s really faint or sweetened. Boo hiss hibiscus!

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88
drank Mocha Chai by Bluebird Tea Co.
1536 tasting notes

Thank you so much QueenofTarts for doing such a perfect job splitting up the Bluebird order! And thank you to everyone in the order for doing such a good job deciding. The order couldn’t have worked better for me… I get to try almost everything I wanted to try!

First tasting note for this blend — it’s a shame as I know it has been available for a while. This blend sounded like such a nice combination: coffee, chocolate, chai. I noticed plenty of coffee beans but now that I’m not tasting much chocolate, I realize I didn’t notice any chocolate ingredients. I wish they had used cocoa shells! There is definitely something ‘mocha’ about it… not that I’m accustomed to drinking those sorts of things but it tastes like an additional coffee flavoring was added… I don’t think it could just be the coffee beans. The black tea that Bluebird uses isn’t as strong as I’d like it, but I like the blend anyway. Tasty, sweet, coffee with hints of spice… a nice combination indeed. Did it meet my expectations? On the coffee/mocha level, definitely… but it didn’t seem to match up in flavor when it came to the chocolate, spices, or black tea.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // couple minutes after boiling // 4-5 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min

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80

This was one of the smaller samples I got in the Bluebird Tea Co. group order. It’s not something I would have chosen on my own, though I do like strawberry and chocolate. The rose, on the other hand, is not one of my favorites, so hopefully it’s not overly strong in this blend. There are cute heart-shaped sprinkles mixed in with the tea, dried strawberry, rose petals, and pieces of crushed cacao shell. Dry scent is sweet and creamy chocolate with strawberry.

I actually quite like this, even though I can taste the rose involved. It blends quite nicely with the strawberry, and together they are almost like one cohesive flavor. The chocolate is definitely present, though it’s darker and more bitter than I expected. It’s a nice counterpoint to the sweeter, fruitier strawberry/rose. This one would definitely be delicious with milk and sugar added.

Flavors: Bitter, Dark Chocolate, Rose, Strawberry

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

Yay, another one from the Bluebird Tea Co. group order! Honestly I don’t even remember what flavors this tea is supposed to contain, heh. Just poking around in the dry leaf, I see some dried apples and a few of those lame caramel cubes, along with possibly cinnamon bark and some decorative red flower petals. It smells deliciously caramel appley!

Yum, I quite like this one! There’s just a little bit of smoky character (I assume from some lapsang) and it goes very nicely with the burnt sugar, toffee, and sweet apple flavors. I’m also getting some mellow wood and malt notes from the base tea. Perhaps there’s a little hint of cinnamon here as well. Overall, yums! I’m really liking Bluebird so far.

Edit: Forgot to mention that this was the inaugural run for my new Christmas mug from Target! http://instagram.com/p/vwF4hrGgPI/

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Malt, Red Apple, Smoke, Toffee, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tea Sipper

Glad you like this one and Bluebird so far!

boychik

I don’t think the link is working ;(.

Cameron B.

Yeah, apparently it didn’t like being italicized. :P

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80

Another tea from the Bluebird order! This one was definitely a total wildcard on my part, as I have such little experience with maté and absolutely none with chicory. But for some reason I kept going back to it, so I figured I might as well get some and try it out. I know chicory is often used as a sort of substitute for coffee, so I figured it would mostly likely be roasted and possibly somewhat bitter. I will say, my 25 grams of this tea has one tiny piece of freeze-dried raspberry in it. So, either the packet of this tea didn’t have ample raspberries or someone else got all of them when it was divided up. I’m hoping this doesn’t have a ton of impact on the flavor… Another thing, the ingredients lists only roasted maté, but mine appears to be a mix of both green and roasted (unless the crumbled green leaf is something else). Dry, it smells very much like sniffing a giant roasted nut of some kind, possibly cashew.

I admit it, I actually made this twice. The first time I steeped it for 5 minutes and it was super bitter. I figured I should give it another chance before writing any kind of note (although the directions did say 4+ minutes). This time I stuck to 4 minutes, and thankfully it’s not quite as bitter (although it still has bitterness to it). I’m assuming the bitter quality is just a part of the chicory and I’m not still brewing it incorrectly…

Overall, the taste is also similar to roasted nuts, and definitely a creamy and fleshy nut like a cashew or macadamia. There is a fair amount of bitter (possibly from both the cacao and the chicory) but it doesn’t overpower too badly. I must say, I don’t really taste chocolate at all here. I do, however, taste a strong roasted flavor from both the maté and the chicory, and it’s very nice and slightly reminiscent of coffee. I definitely don’t taste any raspberry at all, or anything close to a fruit taste.

This is definitely an odd one, and I may experiment with even shorter steep times to bring the bitter quality down even further. It would definitely take milk well, though I don’t generally add milk to my teas.

Edit: I forgot to mention that there’s a certain umami quality to this tea that makes it seem very broth-like. It almost reminds me of miso soup! (in a good way :D)

Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Coffee, Creamy, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Umami

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

careful, mate is very energizing. its better as breakfast option. maybe you are not sensitive ;)

Cameron B.

I guess not… I had another maté earlier today as well and didn’t really notice any difference.

donkeytiara

…it sounds strange…. which is always intriguing…

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88

Yay, I got my portion of the Bluebird group order! Thanks again to QueenOfTarts for organizing the whole thing. I ended up with ten different teas, which sounds like a lot, but the sizes range from 10 to 35 grams so it’s actually not a ton of tea. I’m feeling very pleased with my purchases for the price I paid! All of my lovely new teas are now safe and secure in various small tins that I had sitting empty.

I couldn’t decide which tea I was most excited for, but I ended up choosing this one (partially because of the cute snowflake sprinkles!). I must say, you can tell that all of these teas are blended in-house, mostly because of the range of ingredients included. For instance, this one has large pieces of dried orange peel and cloves, which are more expected, but then it also has a smattering of pine needles! Dry scent is a sweet combination of almond extract, orange, and clove.

Ooh the steeped tea smells fantastic – very sweet and cakey. And it tastes delicious, too! Definitely very cakey with strong almond flavor, a light kiss of orange, and a nice warming undertone of clove. I didn’t even realize there’s stevia in this tea, as you can’t taste it really. There’s a very slight sweet aftertaste if you sit there and think about it, similar to a very mild licorice root. I love it! Very happy to have picked up 35 grams.

Flavors: Almond, Cake, Clove, Orange, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Teas with sprinkles just make me so happy

Cameron B.

I know, right? It’s so cheerful. I felt the same way when I opened my pouch of Santa’s Secret, it just put a smile on my face instantly. :D

Tea Sipper

So glad you like this one too! I can’t wait to get my Bluebird order… should be here on Wednesday! :D

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90

The scent of this blend is so delicious — mint, vanilla, chocolate. It really does smell like mint chocolate ice cream! After water has been added, it smells much more earthy, woody and minty… sharper, almost… but I can still smell the chocolate.

Sipping… the first thing I taste is mint paired with some rooibos. It almost seems like it is going to be too sharp, but it slowly changes into something smooth and creamy. The chocolate flavor itself is subtle, but the creaminess is lovely! This tea has such a nice balance of rooibos and mint. The mint isn’t too overwhelming for someone who isn’t crazy about it. This is really yummy! I would definitely repurchase this in the future.

Tea Sipper

Glad you like it! … And that we split it!

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