Bluebird Tea Co.

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Recent Tasting Notes

Brewed on the stove top. Added 2% milk to the second boiling round. No sugar.

As the leaf simmered, the house was filled with a deliciously fruit-filled rooibos aroma. Considering that almost half of the ingredients are fruits – apple, hibiscus, rosehip, pineapple – it’s not surprising. My mother thought I was burning a scented candle, ha ha.

The spice mix consists of ginger, cinnamon, and chili. That last one. Holy frickin’ cow! It’s incredibly strong. This is one of the most peppery spiced teas I’ve ever had, alongside Old 52Tea’s Spiced Chai. Even my throat felt spicy.

On the plus side, good on this blend for nice aroma and spice strength. However, the chili overpowers everything else. Coconut? Shrug. Not in even in the aroma. Too many fruits. Additionally, there are “natural flavors.” Is there a point? The are enough powerful ingredients as it is.

Give or take. You may want to try it or not.

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60

Herbal TTB

I’ve heard great things about Bluebird Tea, so I was curious to sample this chai from the herbal TTB. I didn’t read the description ahead of time, so this tea caught me completely off-guard! It’s not at all the sort of thing I think of when I hear the word “chai”…you don’t really taste cinnamon, cardamon, or cloves in the blend. Instead, it has a juicy pineapple flavor with a touch of creamy coconut…followed by an unexpected wave of spicy chili in the aftertaste! Personally, I’m not a fan of drinks (or foods!) that leave my tongue tingling, so I probably won’t drink this again. But I’m glad I had the experience of trying it once!

Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple, Spicy

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

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86

OH NO.

In a moment of weakness, I just ordered 3 new teas from Taiwan Tea Crafts. I’m supposed to be not buying any more tea, since I sort of accidentally ordered twice as much Bluebird as I’d planned to, due to a confused shopping basket. But never mind that. It’s jolly good stuff, I’m packing up some gingerbread chai to a friend as a little birthday gift (shh, don’t tell her) and I may well be foisting some fancy French teas on you guys, if anyone fancies helping me make a little room in my cupboard.

But that’s that, and this is what I’m drinking this dreary afternoon. I’d had my eye on this one for a while, as I like sweet lemony things and have far too little of it in my tea rotation. This one looks like there’s a lot of verbena and lemongrass and other lovely herbs going on, with a sprinkle of sweet little dark buds of green tea poking out here and there. This tells me it might be a good choice for evening drinking, without leaving me in that awkward state of wiredness where, in spite of being fatigued all day, I SUDDENLY WANT TO DO ALL THE THINGS and devote myself to doing a terrible sketch of Captain Phasma holding a stack of performance reviews.

(Seriously – I actually get paid to be an illustrator, and I just feel constantly in awe of how much faster and better literally everyone else is at drawing than me. It’s weird.)

But I digress. As for the flavour of the brew itself, it’s a pleasantly herby not-too-tart Meyer lemon sort of lemonyness, which I think I like taking brewed strong and with a spoonful of sugar to ramp up the sherbet part of the name. I think this one might have to become a fixture in my cupboard, for those times when only sweet lemon will do.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Steepsterites! I hope your day is full of warm spice, comfort sweets, and citrus zing like this particular tea, regardless of whether you celebrate or not!

tea-sipper

Sipping Bluebird’s Mocha Chai right now. :D

__Morgana__

Same to you, CK!

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49

Cue sad music I was really hoping this tea would make a nice latte, something for staying up late nights at the hospital. Keep me warm while finishing up charting patients. Unfortunately the taste of this tea is much like the paper I’m charting on. Bummer. Sounded so good.

Flavors: Wood

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90
drank Snowball by Bluebird Tea Co.
1443 tasting notes

It’s only mid-morning and I’m already totally harassed. I HAVE TEA THOUGH.

To cheer myself up, I went for the most temptingly delicious sounding Bluebird Christmas tea – Snowball! Anything with three kinds of chocolate, two kinds of coconut, marshmallows and pink flowers has to be a good thing, right? And it’s tea as well. This totally reminds me of those Tunnock’s marshmallow snowballs, as I expect it’s supposed to. The intial sip is mostly chocolate (quite dark, rich chocolate I might add), followed by the sweetness of coconut, and then the creamy over-the-topness of sticky marshmallow. It’s liquid deliciousness. It’s another pretty blend, too, with the pink cornflowers and white coconut – tastes like a snowball, looks like a snowball. Is this perfection in a cup?

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and left it approximately 3.5 minutes. I added a splash of milk just because, really. I figure it only helped with the creaminess. I think next time I might give this one a slightly shorter brew time, because it’s really quite sweet and borderline overpowering by the end of the cup. It’s an amazing dessert tea, though.

Really enjoying this one :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85
drank Candy Cane by Bluebird Tea Co.
1443 tasting notes

No notes for this one? It’s Christmas jumper day at work today, so I figured I might as well make it Christmas tea day also just to add an extra festive touch. I feel so far from Christmassy at the moment, I need all the help I can get.

I’m a fan of candy cane tea any time of the year, really, but I’ve been saving this sample pouch for a suitable occasion. Turns out that’s today! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I was thinking maybe milk, but in the end I went with no additions.

To taste, it’s actually pretty good. Spearmint is always a winner with me – it’s sweeter and more gentle than peppermint, and it does a good job of recreating a “candy” mint flavour. The vanilla adds a creamy touch, which is totally delicious in this context. I really am thinking candy cane as I sip this one. I’m not 100% sold on the ceylon base – it’s a little citrussy for my tastes, and then with the added lime leaves and pomegranate flowers it’s just a little confusing and muddled in the aftertaste. The initial hit of spearmint and vanilla is excellent, though. I’m not usually a fan of stevia in teas, but I will say that it works quite well here to create the candy cane effect. It’s not too cloying and artificial, either, so clearly it’s been added with a light hand.

The last thing to say, as with pretty much all Bluebird blends, is that it looks fabulous. Pink cornflowers, red pomegranate flowers, green mint, black tea. It does recall a candy cane, and it’s lovely to look at. The biggest joy is in the drinking, though. It’s pretty much liquid candy cane, and it’ll surely make this work day more bearable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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72

Spicy, with a very peppery bite. It was dry and not my favourite. Decent, but nothing I’d seek out again. Glad to have tried it though.

Flavors: Drying, Pepper, Spices

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87

Sometimes you feel yourself sinking into the earth and no amount of effort can free you.
That is just how it is in life. Nothing can be done to change it. Alas. Sorry for my absence.

I had this within the last 2 months. Apologies if my memory of it is not the sharpest. I know that I really enjoyed it. I know it had a beautiful creamy flavour. It really brought Christmas to my mind and I was sorrowed to only have one cup worth of this delight. Someday I will be able to order this and more from Bluebird, but it will not be anytime soon. If you have access to it though I definitely recommend it for you.

Flavors: Creamy

Preparation
1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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86
drank Dozy Girl by Bluebird Tea Co.
304 tasting notes

Ahhh, this is nice.

It’s been tired times for little Kelshy and I am so over having blood tests taken, but I hope they’ve got enough of my blood to actually figure out how to make me feel less like perma-garbage. And way heavier than I’ve ever been. And always sleepy.

And yet I still managed to be awake until midnight last night, even though I specifically made myself a nice cuppa this to help me drift off into dreamland and maybe, just maybe wake up refreshed instead of exhausted? Oh well. Tasty, though. I love lavender, but it needs to be balanced with the right other flavours otherwise it’s a bit like drinking soap. And it needs to be sweet, otherwise, again, soap. So brewed this up with two little spoons of sugar and tucked in while finishing my evening attempt at finishing that awful race off the end of the heli-carrier in Lego Marvel Superheroes on the Xbox. The chamomile balances out the lavender beautifully, with just a touch of the other bits giving it lift and balance. It’s like being wrapped up in a warm blanket of lovely flowers that I’m magically not allergic to. Lovely.

But I also made a little gaggle of five-spice gingerbread Daleks and TARDISes to take to the office last night, and they went down an absolute treat. Huzzah! Five-spice makes the best gingerbread.

And here’s something I wrote where I talked to some nice gentleman about a Christmas special they made for a show called Doctor Who:

http://www.cultbox.co.uk/interviews/exclusives/peter-capaldi-and-steven-moffat-tell-us-about-2015s-doctor-who-christmas-ep

__Morgana__

I hope you start feeling less like perma-garbage soon. (Great description, though.)

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86

I had to drink something reliably scrummy to get the memory of last night’s pumpkin spice out of my taste buds.

This one is so good, though. I was so wary about the prospect of banana tea, and yet it’s SO GOOD! There’s no suggestion of that nasty banana artificial flavouring (barf) and it tastes instead like creamy banana chips baked into banana bread, that melds so nicely with the base. I love it with milk, to bring out the creaminess of the banana. I love it so much. How is this such a comforting taste, I don’t know, but it is. Oh man. Good.

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86

Great news! I fell down the stairs getting off the bus today! My shoulder and back definitely feel like they’re going to be massively messed up tomorrow! I am so grateful I still have a stash of the Canadian back pain pills you can’t seem to get from pharmacies anywhere else!

THANK YOU CANADA FOR RECOGNISING YOU TOTALLY DON’T NEED A PRESCRIPTION TO NEED THE HECK OUTTA ROBAXACET PLATINUM plus I am so tired right now (falling down the stairs getting off the bus probably didn’t help) that I crawled under my desk for a few minutes to see if it would be a good place to nap.

In other news, the pile of Things I Need To Write seems to continue to grow exponentially, and in my current state of being, I have no confidence whatsoever and may have to chop a longish opinion piece down to like 300 words and some quotes from people whose opinions are more important than mine. Ugh. The life of an almost-not-paid-at-all journalista on her quest to, I dunno, get invited to the same parties as Peter Capaldi? Getting paid would be nice, too.

Oh yeah, tea. I was SO nervous about trying a banana thing, because when banana is done badly, it’s massively unpleasant. The last thing anyone wants is to take a sip of something that, it turns out, is a dead ringer for that banana medicine they give you for ear infections and stuff when you’re a kid. Or any kind of readymade banana milkshake. That’s that kind of fake flavour that I think I actually only acknowledge as banana because that’s what I’m told it’s supposed to taste like, rather than bearing any meaningful resemblance to my very favourite source of potassium. NO.

Not so with Monkey Chops. It’s subtle, which is definitely for the best, and really didn’t make a massively banana impression on me until a few sips in. The mouthfeel is creamy with a dash of sugar and skimmed milk, and the soft baked banana flavour is more reminiscent of banana bread than anything else, with lovely bread/cake notes and enough tea-ness that you don’t forget you’re drinking tea. And I do love banana bread. So this is good. I’m very glad I tried this one.

keychange

Oh no! I can relate to wanting to crawl under the desk to knap, but am so so sorry you fell off the friggin bus! my goodness.

Fjellrev

Oh geez! Well, glad my country can help you out but damn those stairs.

You can totally pull off all that work. Yes, you can, yo.

And you make me even more stoked about this tea.

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86

It’s so weird in Oxford right now. Like, it’s grey and dreary and drizzly and blustery, but the temperature’s gone above 10, so I’m bundled up for the wet and wind, and end up sweltering by the time I get where I’m going. So weird. But at least I’m wearing my Star Trek: TNG cardigan (in science blue, but of course) and thus I feel fabulous.

These weird blustery days are calling for warming teas, so I went for one with bonfire in the name. It’s toasty and buttery and warm but not quite cooked apple, and it’s got a really pleasant character.

Fjellrev

I freaking love that you have one of those cardigans.

Sami Kelsh

I got one of the last ones in stock, I think! Honestly took ages trying to decide which colour uniform to wear. Which Starfleet colour are you?

Fjellrev

Although the blue is tempting symbolism-wise, I’d have to go with red! Someday, I’ll get a dress, something like this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/1c62/

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86

This is one I’ve been wanting to try for ages, and I’m really glad I got it as autumn is in full, blustery November force. Perfect.

I’m not getting masses of bonfire, but I’m fine with this as smoke has a tendency to make itself the only thing I can taste if it’s been applied with too heavy a hand. This, however, is positively buttery. Like, I’m getting a really lovely, buttery mouthfeel from this as well as toffee flavour. That buttery toffee seems to come in first, enveloping a lovely taste of sweet apple.

In other news, it’s far too windy out there, and I’ve literally just remembered an essay I need to write for a forthcoming book that I’d COMPLETELY forgotten about, on the eve of the release of another book I wrote an essay for being released. Yippee!

http://watchingbooks.weebly.com/you-and-who-else.html

(Oh my Gosh I have such a full writing schedule for the next few months I might throw up)

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95

Sipdown! I’ve had three small colds over the last two months, all of which I’ve zapped with this tea before they really got hold. I was a little skeptical about the effect a tea could have on a thing like a cold, but I really do believe that drinking this has made a difference. It’s good for soothing a sore throat, and I’m convinced it’s helped me to shake off the ills more easily. It tastes pretty good, too! Super brilliant stuff, and a definite repurchase!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
rosebudmelissa

I know Echinacea makes a noticeable difference in how I feel when I’m sick

Fjellrev

That’s great to hear! Could use some right now haha. And the name is hilariously awesome.

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95

I thought I was going to get away without a pre-Christmas cold this year, but obviously that was a complacent thing to think. I was fine all day yesterday, until, inexplicably, at 4.45pm my throat got really sore. It’s only got sorer since, and nothing seems to be helping – not lemsip, not throat sweets, not hot drinks. Usually one of those provides at least a bit of relief, but apparently not this time. It’s really painful when I swallow.

The last thing I have to try is this tea, which now seems like a timely purchase. It’s a slightly odd combination of ingredients, although I can see why, together, they might help with a cold. I’m not sure that I’ve actually got a cold, though. I feel fine at the moment, except for the fact that my throat hurts. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. It smells “interesting” – a little like peppermint and liquorice, with a strong herbal/medicinal undertone. To taste, it’s not so bad. I can taste mint, mostly, and that has a nicely cooling effect that I’m really enjoying. There’s also a touch of eucalyptus, and that’s really pleasant too. I feel like I can breathe more easily, so I can see this being a good “stuffy nose” tea. The lemongrass adds a smooth sweetness that’s a little citrussy, but it’s really just background. The chili and echinacia I can’t taste, but that might be me – at the moment it’s hard to say. The only thing I’m not too keen on is the artificial tasting sweetness that’s coming from somewhere. It reminds me of liquorice, or stevia, although they’re not in the ingredients. I can only think it’s the aniseed, although usually that doesn’t bother me too much.

For a “medicinal” type tea, this is actually really palatable. I like the immediate cooling effect, but I haven’t had enough yet to establish whether there’s any longer term gain in terms of easing symptoms. I suspect I’ll be drinking this one most of the day, though, so I’m sure I’ll know for sure soon.

Just in time for the weekend, too. Happy Friday?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Indigobloom

When all else fails with a sore throat, try zinc! feel better soon :)

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75

another sample from my dear friend kittylovestea

a decent tea :D

when i smell the tea dry, it smells like cinnamon, berries and spices.

when i smell the leaves wet, the smell is intensified.

when i smell the brewed tea, again it has cinnimon, berries and spices.

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes like all the above plus all the ingredients.

the color of the brewed tea is a blood red. maybe a nice touch for Halloween not Easter.

i rate this a 75 because it is a decent tea, but i am not much for blends.

many thanks!

Flavors: Berries, Cinnamon, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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50
drank Mocha Chai by Bluebird Tea Co.
3 tasting notes

Well, I’m not really into those Asians’ spices to added into teas, But this one is quite well mixed. Without having added cardamom, it may be better off for me.

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Had this one at work with no idea that there was oolong in it until I poured it out. I never would have thought there would be a green oolong mixture with a peppermint leaf added into it. I probably should have waited for it to be cold to enjoy this more, but it was still good since I was inside drinking it while I worked :)
Interesting mixture that satisfied the mint desire a tea drinker may have, but I don’t think I had a note of cream in this tea… I’m curious what a creamy mint would be like with a tea, maybe a butter-mint?

Roswell Strange

Ever had DAVIDsTEA’s Cocomint Cream? That’s kind of like a creamy mint tea – but it’s herbal (and had a lot of apple).

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You can smell the different spices that went into this chai clearly, but once steeped, they are not overpowering the base black tea. This resulted in a nice flavor blend and I really enjoyed drinking it.

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90

One of my colleagues is drinking Irish Cream flavoured coffee, which smells DIVINE, but I must not let myself be tempted over to the dark side. I’m countering with Cherry Bakewell tea, which is equally amazing, and which looks a lot nicer to boot. Who doesn’t want whole cherries with their tea? It’s so PINK!

I totally get frangipane, cherry jam, and water icing from this one. It’s an amazing concoction, and I fortunately I have plenty more left. Yay for tea!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
Fjellrev

What a yummy-sounding counter attack! I hope the coffee drinker was jealous.

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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.
1443 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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