Bird & Blend Tea Advent Calendar – Day 6

Personally, I would have called it “Mrs. Claus’s Raspberry Prosecco”, but I think that’s one of those grey areas in grammar where either usage is correct…

This one is a first-flush Darjeeling base, so I lowered both my steep temperature and time just a bit. I’m sure it probably would be fine at my usual temperature, as the leaf didn’t look overly Darjeeling-esque. Often with more sensitive Darjeeling teas, I’ve found the leaves look lighter, with more green/purple hues to them. But better safe than sorry!

Happily, it’s not bitter in the least. The base seems rather unremarkable to me, there’s some mustiness and perhaps some hay notes, but otherwise it almost tastes Lipton-y. Maybe a suggestion of baked bread? Or I’m just grasping at straws now, ha ha… It is slightly astringent at the end of the sip.

I do like the added flavors quite a bit. There’s a nice authentic raspberry flavor that’s boosted by a touch of hibiscus. I’m not sure that I get orange or ginseng though.

I think the lightness and slight drying quality of the Darjeeling plus with bright flavor of the raspberry does evoke the taste of sparkling wine a bit.

I have some of this coming to be in a stash sale soon, so I’ll have to experiment with the steeping parameters a bit to see if I can get a bit more flavor out of the base tea.

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Earth, Hay, Musty, Raspberry, Tart

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 28 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers working in the Semiconductor manufacturing field. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I joined Steepster back in 2014, and was a very active member for a couple of years. I then took a break and have just started to drink tea again (in 2018). I am happy to be back! I have emptied my (virtual) cupboard and will fill it up slowly as I drink more teas!

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and love to use small teapots and Japanese-style cups so I don’t have to wait for a giant mug to cool! My favorite teas tend to be black or green, and often flavored.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:

Chinese black teas
Chinese green teas
Japanese green teas
Earl Grey
Red fruits
Berries (esp. blueberry)

Strong ginger
Strong bergamot
Strong hibiscus

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.


Austin, Texas



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