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Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 1

Ooh, I’m quite excited to revisit B&B’s matcha lineup. I actually did their matcha advent many years ago, but their matcha base has changed since then (it used to have powdered white tea in it which was bizarre) and obviously they have a lot of new flavors.

Prepared this as an iced oat latte with a bit of vanilla syrup. I did try it before sweetening as well, but I felt like it needed the sweetness to bring out the flavors – it was a bit bland without it. Generally I only use cold water for my iced matcha lattes, but I find B&B’s flavoring granules don’t dissolve easily so I started with just a bit of warm water to get those properly blended in with the matcha.

Anyway, this is tasty! Very mild but still bright mint flavor, with a bit of a white chocolaty creaminess to it. Since I prepared it with milk it’s difficult to judge the creamy factor, but it definitely has a noticeable buttery/rich quality. As for the matcha base… I’m not sure I love it? I’m finding it quite savory and heavy on the more seaweedy/marine side of things, especially in the finish. Maybe it’s the peppermint leaf bringing out those qualities? We’ll have to see how I feel about it after trying a few different flavors!

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Grassy, Marine, Mint, Peppermint, Savory, Seaweed, Smooth, Umami, White Chocolate

Preparation
Iced 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

~ 2024 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- January Sipdowns: 6
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 6

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

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 or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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