This is one of the most intriguing tea ideas I’ve seen in a while. I’m a fan of the mojito anyway, so I naturally couldn’t resist trying the tea version. The dry mix has a significant predominance of dried lime pieces, which I think is pretty fantastic. They’re not small things, these are actual slices of lime in halves or quarters, and at first I wondered what the hell these big lumps of brown stuff were in my tea! They’re not the most attractive looking things, but I have high hopes for what they might add to the flavour. The rest of the leaves are more conventional – pieces of lemongrass, chopped peppermint and lime leaves, green tea, and stevia. The scent at this point, as you might expect, is primarily of lime and mint, with a faintly detectable undertone of citrusy, hay-like sweetness from the lemongrass.
I waited patiently for the water to cool this time, honestly I did. It was worth the wait! The lime pieces don’t rehydrate as much as I was hoping, but maybe they’ll soften a bit more with subsequent steeps. Brewed, the scent is sweet and minty with a faint hint of lime, which is pretty accurate as far as I’m concerned. The taste is light and delicate, and seems to take a few seconds to develop fully. The green tea base is one of the most pleasant I’ve encountered so far – it’s very subtle, very smooth, with no hint of bitterness or astringency. I might even go for a slightly longer steep next time, which is seriously unlike me. There probably isn’t actually all that much green tea in this blend, when compared with the quantities of other ingredients, which might explain this to a certain extent. It’d be a fantastic candidate for a cold brew, I think! Anyway, the mint is what I can taste first here, followed by a slight grassy-citrus flavour from the lemongrass and green tea, and then finally the lime. It tastes exactly as if a twist of fresh lime was added to this after it was brewed – it just seems to dance there in the background, highlighting and complementing the other flavours. I’m really impressed with this so far, but I’m going to try a longer steep for my next cup and see how that works out.
Second cup: This time I used slightly more leaves, slightly hotter water, and another minute on the brew time, all of which seemed to help this tea to really shine. The mint is much the same as ever, but the lime is more defined and adds a tangy edge to this otherwise rather sweet tea. Fortunately, I’ve not found the stevia overpowering, which worried me a bit at first. The only thing that seemed to suffer a little bit from my adjustments was the lemongrass, which I can’t detect at all now. I guess the delicate edge has gone, but there’s still absolutely no bitterness from the green tea.
I’m actually torn as to how I prefer this tea now. The first cup was beautifully delicate, but, while all the flavours were there, I was looking for more punch. I’ve got that from my second cup, but at the expense of the lemongrass and the subtle play of flavours. There might be a line I could walk with this tea, which would let me have the best of both worlds, but I imagine it would be difficult to find. I’m more than happy with the versatility of this tea at the moment, though, so I’m not too concerned. Both cups were fine with me! Of the teas I’ve tried from Bluebird so far, this one has been the biggest hit with me. I’ve never had a tea quite like it before, and the flavours work fabulously together. It’s not a bad attempt at recreating a cocktail, either! Truly amazing –well done, Bluebird!