Bluebird Tea Co.
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Recent Tasting Notes
So I came into work today with this as my cold brew, thinking I’d made a mess of it. Turns out, it’s actually a surprise success. I was tired last night, so I filled up my iced tea jug on auto pilot with 2 litres of water, and dropped in three bags of this tea. It wasn’t until this morning that I realised I usually use three bags to one litre. It was such a pale pinky red, I was convinced it was going to be a watery disaster. I couldn’t have been more wrong! If anything, it tastes more like strawberry lemonade that when brewed stronger — the hibiscus is less tart and sour, and there’s a beautiful candy strawberry flavour that’s very prominent and distinctive. A light tang of lemon is just lurking in the background. I think I have a new favourite way to brew this tea! Yum!
I think this is the last tea I have to try that MissB sent me a while back. Once again, thanks so much! I promise not to order any more teas for the rest of the year … except for Bluebird towards the end of the year. This one looks like it’s mostly lemongrass though it’s supposed to be yerba mate. There is plenty of lemon flavor, I think from the verbena. I love the flavor from lemon verbena! I would have like some more yerba mate… I couldn’t really taste any at all. Not bad, but not my favorite from Bluebird.
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Cold brewing this tames the rooibos and brings out a sugary sweetness to the tea. However, there is still a strong floral quality to the blend that I could do without. Thank you Scheherazade for sending this my way but in the future, I think I will stick to DAVIDs Birthday Cake rooibos instead. 161.
Thank you Scheherazade for sharing this with me but of the “birthday cake” teas I have tried, this is my least favourite. This is not to say that it is bad but I find the rooibos to be on the strong side and the taste to be mostly floral. The different takes on this tea tend to be more like icing or cake where as this is not something I would immediately recognize as a birthday cake tea. The rest of this sample is getting cold brewed as that is how I prefer DAVIDs Birthday Cake tea so maybe that will change how I feel about this blend…
ETA: Wow. I just read my last review of this tea and it is like two totally different teas. So strange.
This was yesterday’s work cold brew. I didn’t get chance to log it because work is manically busy right now, but today we were sent home early after a colleague was taken ill, so I took the opportunity to catch up with my tasting notes!
This was one of the teas I picked up with my huge recent Bluebird order. I tried a sample previously and liked it, so it was one I was keen to revisit. I figured it would make a good cold brew, and I wasn’t wrong! I used three bags in just over a litre of cold water, and left it in the fridge overnight for around 10 hours.
I’m pleased to say I prefer this cold. The strawberry flavour comes out much more clearly, and although there’s hibiscus in this, I can hardly taste it at all. Completely at odds with how this one is hot, when the tartness of the hibiscus pretty much overpowers the strawberry completely. The lemon also comes through nicely at the end of the sip, adding a slightly sharp/sour tang. It really does remind me of strawberry lemonade — the only thing I think might improve it is sparkling or soda water, for the real lemonade effect! Either that, or a slice of real lemon. I’m glad I revisited this one — it could easily become a cold brew favourite!
This was my first attempt at a cold brewed green, which I brought to work last Friday. Steepster wasn’t working for me then, so I couldn’t log it, and it feels like I’ve never had chance until now ever since! I can still remember it, though, so all’s fair.
I bought the bagged version of this one for ease, and used three for a one litre cold brew. I made it right before I went to bed, so the bags had about 8 hours in the water, in the fridge overnight. Looking at the dry leaf, I don’t actually think there’s a huge amount of green tea in this blend; I can mostly see lemongrass. That’s why I wasn’t too nervous about trying it out as a cold brew for the very first time! I also noticed that the leaf in the bags is smaller, with less pieces of dried lime than the loose version. That’s something I’ll bear in mind in future, as I loved how oversized and pretty the loose blend was the first time I purchased a bag!
To taste, this is pretty much as I expected. I can taste a lot of citrus — both from the dried lime pieces, and the lemongrass. There’s also a hint of mint, but it’s not at all overpowering. Just a gentle coolness in the background. Paired with the citrussy flavours, it’s very refreshing. I can taste the green tea base a little — it adds a very, very slight bitterness to the flavour, which actually fits quite well with the sour/sharp lime. Both are delicate flavours, so neither are problematic in that respect. As well as a light lemony citrussiness, the lemongrass also contributes a hay-like sweetness which helps to hold the flavours together.
What I’d like to do with this one is add some rum (although maybe not at work!), or failing that some sparkling water. I think a little alcohol or fizziness would just help to bring it alive a little more. I do like this blend for the summer, though, and I’m glad I picked up a box of these with my recent Bluebird order. It’s a great flavour combination, and very refreshing on a hot day!
The cloves, cardamon, ginger, pepper and coconut are all apparent in the scent of this tea, with the first three being the most dominant. At first sip, the spicing seems pretty mild. The base tea is smooth, with sharp fruit and malt, and seems to overpower the spice. The spice is there in that I can feel the cooling sensation on my tongue, but outside of a with of cardamon I can’t really taste them. This could be because of several reasons, the first being that this is an old sample sachet, the second is that the spicing is purposefully mild, or it could simply be that the base tea does not work well in this concept. If it is designed this way it fits with the Indian stereotype of British descended tourists in which we are all seen to not be able to take the heat. Thanks for the sample Bluebird Tea, but this one just doesn’t work for me.
I placed a wonderfully sizeable Bluebird order at the weekend, so I’m happily finishing off the rest of the teas from my previous orders at the moment. This one I almost expected to dislike, but it’s actually rather yummy. When it’s right, it has a wonderful baked apple flavour with a hint of cinnamon and clove spicing. The dry leaf is really pretty, too, with it’s little specks of red among the leaves.
I have got this wrong, on occasion, and it can be woefully bitter. Today, though, it’s smooth and astringency free. The green tea base really helps the apple flavour to pop, and works with the rest of the flavours genuinely cohesively to form a really satisfying cup. This may be a repurchase come autumn.
Despite being a rather old sample, this tea smells of a bit more cherry than my Zen tea option ( having said that, I am not a floral tea hater). Although the base tea seemed slightly broken, it does not taste bitter after being brewed at @ 85 for 1 minute. The base tastes like a fairly robust, fruity green, with a faint spinach note. This works well, to support a rather strong candy/chapStick like flavoured cherry, mixed with a more spicy than bitter rose tone. The robust green, prevents this tea from seeming delicate, in fact there is something rather hardy about it. All the same it is a pleasant cup, that has held up well despite poor storage.
So, I finally worked out how to get turkish delight from this one! You ICE it. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before, but there you go. I cold-brewed the last of my bag (about 3 tbsp), in one litre of cold water, and left it in the fridge for around 12 hours. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but it’s an okay tea so something pleasant and refreshing to sip on at work was all I was really after. Instead, I get amazingness. The kind of amazingness i was looking for all along!
The initial sip tastes just like biting into a piece of turkish delight; sweet, with rose and lemon flavours by turns. For once, the lemon isn’t first! Rose is the prominent flavour, and as that fades the lovely mellow citrus of the lemongrass takes over. It even tastes somehow gooey, and there’s a pleasing overall sweetness that really is reminiscent of icing sugar. Hot, this is useless. Cold, it’s liquid turkish delight. My only regret now is that I didn’t try cold brewing this one earlier. Somehow, it just didn’t occur to me. I have 1 tsp left for a final hot cup before we say goodbye, but I think this might be on the repurchase list after all. There’s a surprise. I’ve increased the rating, because now I feel I know what this tea is about.
I haven’t had this one in a while, so I pulled it out for last night’s pre-bedtime cup. It’s an interesting one — the main flavour is lemongrass, but there’s also a strong element of hot chocolate. It’s creamy tasting, with strong hints of cocoa, a touch or rose…and lemon. I’m not really getting turkish delight, and I do find the lemon a slightly odd combination with cocoa and rose, but it’s a unique experience all the same. A bit like Narnia, I suppose!
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #21
Another sad sipdown, as this became one of my favoured bedtime blends for a while. I can often taste more rooibos than anything in this kind of blend, but the honey here was very prominent, and very accurate in terms of taste. A possible repurchase, when I’ve got to grips with my stash a little more.
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #20
Sadness. I love elderflower, and yet it’s fairly hard to come by in tea, at least in the UK. That’s how it seems to me, anyway. The only thing I wish this had more of is “champagne”. I think that was probably a reference to the oolong more than any specific flavouring, but the name conjured up wonderful things. It’s light-tasting, fruity, it’s the colour of champagne…it’s so close, but I did find myself wishing there was a little more depth. Maybe iced with some sparkling water? Next time I buy a bag, that’ll be something to try.
Last cup of the night, and although it’s caffeine free, I think this one may be a bit too fruity to use as my bedtime drink in the future. I also can’t imagine cold brewing this (although I’ll probably have to try now. I’ve mentioned that) so it’ll probably wait around in my drawer for a few months until the colder weather kicks in again.
I bought this as part of Bluebird’s pick-n-mix sample selection, as there were four teas I really wanted to try and I had an extra space to fill. So overall, I wasn’t getting my hopes up too high for this one, although it was still pretty high on my list of Bluebird’s teas to try. My flatmate Sam moved out today (it’s the end of the school year and he’s moving to Amsterdam on a placement soon) and his girlfriend Amy, another flatmate, wasn’t feeling too great so I obviously took the opportunity to use tea as a means of settling her stomach. After rifling through my drawers, she picked several teas out to try including this one, which I brewed for after our supper of freshly baked cookies. If she hadn’t picked it out, there’s a chance this could have sat in my drawer untouched for a couple of months.
The dry mix smells beautiful, and looks it too. Bluebird are great because their teas not only taste great, but look great too and the huge chunks of ingredients make them just gorgeous to look at. I say it every time I have a Bluebird tea, but I really do marvel at how pretty they are. I brewed it in my ingenuiTEA and it was pretty cool to see all the bits floating around and expanding.
In the time it’s taken me to type the note up so far, my tea has gone cold but I don’t think the flavours have changed much. It is, however, as I had suspected, better warm. The bright red colour when brewed made me wary that the tea may be overpoweringly hibiscus-y, but it’s actually a pretty mellow tartness just chilling with the other flavours rather than overpowering them. There’s something weird about this blend which I just can’t place, but I’m pretty sure I like it. In fact, I’m sure I like it, I’m just not sure I can place the flavour or could explain why. Pineapple and coconut are always a winner together in my opinion, although I was interested to see what I thought of this tea since coconut is generally a favourite flavour of mine in tea, whereas I’m yet to find a pineapple tea which I can drink happily – or I was until this, anyway. The flavours are immediately present and reminiscent of a piña colada, but the lemongrass is also prominent and adds an interesting extra dimension. This element kind of reminds me of fragrant Thai rice, and I suppose the reason it works so well could be that the coconut goes with both pineapple and lemongrass flavours effortlessly. I imagine it might be quite an odd combination without the coconut. The hibiscus keeps it tart (I added a sugar, although I shouldn’t really) and the rose petals add a wonderfully floral aftertaste. I am constantly amazed by the skill some tea blenders show, and Bluebird are no exception. This blend is truly inspired, and one of the more intriguing blends I have had the pleasure of trying.
EDIT: As it cools, I have just noticed, there is a kind of honey sweetness on the finish of the sip. Paired with the lemongrass, which remains throughout the sip, this oddly enough reminds me of those lemon flavoured throat sweets with the honey inside that you suck when you have a cold. Not in a bad way, though, it’s not particularly medicinal. It’s more like what those throat sweets would taste like if they were actual sweets, instead.
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #16
Sparkly, hot chocolate awesomeness. I’ve really come to appreciate this one as my last black tea of the evening. With a splash of milk, this one develops a creamy milk chocolate flavour, with a faint touch of turkish delight. I know Enchanted Narnia is Bluebird’s proper turkish delight tea, but this one is so much better in my opinion.
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #5
I’m glad I finally managed to work out how to get rhubarb and custard out of this one — it just needs a good long brew and a spalsh of milk. What comes with that is an almost excessive sweetness, which I’m not so fond of. I guess it’s very reminiscent of a boiled sweet, but it’s just not quite the tea for me. Good candy flavouring, though!
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #3
Sunday morning’s tea, and a wonderful cup it was. Very creamy, light notes of bergamot, and a robust black base. A perfect wake-up tea! I did get a little bitterness as this one cooled, but I’m guessing that’s because of the higher proportion of broken leaves at the bottom of the bag. I’ve never had that problem with this one before, so I’m leaving the rating as is. This is one I’m sure will make a return to my cupboard when I’ve made more of a dent in it. It’s absolutely delicious!
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #2
Second sipdown! I’ve had a difficult relationship with this tea — sometimes it’s amazing, and sometimes all I get from it is rooibos. It’s never a patch on 52 Teas Raspberry Cream, which I’m sure I’m judging it against, so I’m probably being unfair anyway. This cup was an average one — I got a tiny hint of raspberry when I added some milk, but it was mostly overpowered by the heavy, woody taste of rooibis. I love the name, but this isn’t one I’d look to repurchase. Good to have tried, though.
This is another Bluebird tea I have at work with me, and that I’ve been drinking a lot of over the last couple of days. It needs a good, long brew in order for the honey flavour to properly develop. A shorter brew time gives a more herbal, chamomile flavour, with a strong background of rooibos. Five minutes or more, though, and this becomes almost like drinking runny honey! I like teas that have a couple of “personalities” that can suit different moods. I went for the runny honey option today. It’s sweet, rich, and decadent, and also very soothing. It makes a great bedtime tea. Tomorrow is my last day at work before I’m on leave for a week, so I’m pretty tired already. No more of this for me just yet, I don’t think, or I might fall asleep for real! 6 day weeks are a real killer.
This sample has come to work with me, because I seem to drink far less green teas at home in the evening than I do if I have them with me during the day. This one is just as good as the first time I tried it — very smooth, unobtrusive green tea base, wonderful spicing, and a strong baked apple flavour. One of my favourite Bluebirds!
I’ve been drinking a lot of this in the evenings lately, partly in an attempt to move it nearer to sip down, and also because it’s a genuinely lovely treat. It’s like hot chocolate with a splash of strawberry flavoured cream. The little heart candies and the sprinkling of glitter make it a pretty cup, too, which never hurts. Perfect with milk on a chilly summer evening!
I want to like this, probably because it looks so pretty, but I just can’t. The liquorice root is far, far too sweet and overpowers all of the other flavours. I can also taste it at the back of my throat for hours afterwards — it’s like artificial sweetner, ick.
I’ve had a couple of cups of this one today in my large teapigs eco mug. I used a little more leaf than I usually would, to compensate for using a bigger cup. I left it to brew longer, too, to see if I could coax out any rhubarb and custard flavour. Or at least, more than I have previously. I managed, pretty much. Both my cups tastes like rhubarb and custard boiled sweets. What surprised me was the sweetness. I know my tastebuds are still a bit off, but both my cups today were seriously overpoweringly sweet. Even milk didn’t really help to tone it down. The flavour was nice, though, once I got passed the initial teeth-achingly intense sweetness. Not bad, but probably not a restock. There are many Bluebird teas that I just like better!
GOOD GOSH it gets stupidly humid around these parts! I had the most ridiculous headache this afternoon before it finally broke and started raining for a while. Such a blessed relief when it did.
Wednesday I’m having a chat with the university about doing some admin work soon, so fingers crossed. I’m fine with the baking (though MAN, if I can escape the politics of that place sooner rather than later, good) but it’s hot as balls in the bakery and it’s doing bad things for my eczema! Ho hum.
This is another tea it turns out I much prefer when it’s cold. It’s got a nice balance between earthiness from the beet and sweetness from the fruit. I dig it.