1013 Tasting Notes
Breakfasts will not be the same.
It doesn’t do anything too different from other decent Assam teas, but that’s ok because Assam teas rock in general. Here’s some good raisin and malt flavours, with a robust profile that’s perfect for sleepy mornings, milk & cookies, and appeasing my father who doesn’t see much appeal beyond Red Rose (but he’s out and no one is restocking because.. so much tea).
Final Rating: 78 It was good and easy to drink while it lasted and I’d pick up another good Assam like this in the future. It’s not a top priority, however.
Flavors: Hay, Malt, Raisins
Like an off-brand version of a Strawberry Patch Doll, the aroma of this tea is sooo close to original but goes for the generic “berry” aroma and flavour.
Two types of coconut ingredients and maple give this a “trademark” Dessert by Deb profile, which I find satisfying and generally convincing as in-built “creamers” and sweeteners”. The hibiscus, elderberry, and currants create the generic “mystery red berry” flavour here. The vegetal green base sometimes works ok and sometimes distracts, depending on the cup and my head space.I know vanilla is expensive right now but I kind of wonder how this blend would’ve turned out if that were used in lieu of some or all of the coconut. Turns out I have a coconut cap when it’s used as a flavouring tool.
I didn’t really care for it iced or with milk (don’t use real milk. It’s bad).
Rating: 68 A fun concept, but at times the coconut/hibby gives it an almost metallic quality. Elderberries and other ingredients can also come across as a little “soapy.”
Flavors: Berry, Cake, Coconut, Cream, Hibiscus, Maple Syrup, Vegetal
1,000 Tea Note!!!!! Yay! Of, course it’s during Interesting Times. lol (Edit: “‘And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.’” – Terry Pratchett in “Maskerade”)
Spring 2020 Harvest
This is currently one of my favourite teas of all time. I don’t know a lot about this type of tea or Japanese teas in general, and have only had a couple Kabuse Senchas in the past (I’ve loved them all). If anyone has recommendations of their favourites give me a shout!I have yet to get anyone I know to hop on my Kabuse Sencha hype train; most people I’ve shared this with don’t find the appeal in the marine seaweed, sweet grass, and moss notes. There is a buttery umami quality as well, that when coupled with the former grassy marine aspects, taste of and also compliment most Japanese cuisine and seasonings (primarily miso and furikake).
There is a hint of citrus on third steep, after the marine has become diluted and the citric and sweet qualities of the green peaks through (comes across as mostly yuzu or kumquat, or citrus leaves). Its profile also often overlaps with matcha, which is how this tea variety hooked me in the first place. I had a cup with Chinese food the other day and it sure cut the grease.
I love how clean and savoury this tea is. While the beach isn’t really advisable right now, these verdant leaves provide similar sensory input and make me feel relaxed and at peace. It may be sappy, but it’s true and a reliable effect!
Rating: 95 Love, love, love. Essential repurchase with same or similar tea.
Steep Count: 3, at aprox. 30s each
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Grass, Marine, Seaweed, Umami
This one reminds me of the now defunct Della Terra’s Lemon Chiffon, especially the aroma of the steeped cup and the finish. There’s a hint of floral cream (lavender) and some citrus zest, sweetened with apple. There’s also something that pops a bit (like a mostly but not quite flat fizzy soda). The (floral) tobacco-sweet rooibos base is pretty prevalent too. All in all, it’s a pleasant way to wrap things up for the evening.
Rating: 85 I’d pick up more of this in a 25-50g capacity when I’m running low on other favoured B&B teas. I also like this better than most rooibos blends.
Flavors: Apple, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Honey, Lavender, Lemon, Orange
This tea bag sample was provided by Bird & Blend. Thank you!
It may not be particularly fancy or high quality, but sometimes a traditional British black tea blend is just the thing. Its malty profile takes so lovingly to milk, and even sugar if that’s your fancy.
This one is quite nice in that is has the raisin notes from Assam, sweet potato from Yunnan, and bright citrus from Ceylon. Grain notes in the form of malt, malt residue syrup, and baked bread have filled out nicely in my milk cup. Not sure how this one would fly without milk though!
I’d 10/10 serve this to my father and older sister. This is their style of tea to a “T”. Sadly, for them, I usually don’t stock up on Breakfast Blends.
Rating: 76 – English tea grannies would be pleased.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Lemon, Malt, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes
This tea bag sample was provided by Bird & Blend. Thank you!
First of all, that green-blue colour is fantastic.
Secondly, my throat is sore so a peppermint heavy blend with spirulina makes me exceptionally happy right now. I also like how Bird & Blend tells us the blend is 44% Chinese oolong and 30% peppermint (not that you can really taste oolong but living in a country where our food labels aren’t super transparent, I respect this so much. Don’t change Bird & Blend).
The profile is peppermint, cream, peppercorn (which enhances the mint mostly), and slightly vegetal skewing floral note– possibly from either the pea flowers and/or oolong.
Rating: 78 – mint is life right now. You never appreciate mint more than when your throat feels like sandpaper. This also gets a couple points for being fun and novel.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Herbaceous, Peppercorn, Peppermint, Spices, Vegetal
With milk, this silky smooth incense tea may end up as one of my favourites over time. There’s sandalwood alongside all of that anise, vanilla, jasmine and spice too. Such a happy tea (except for maybe the tea name, which is a bit outdated in my neck of the woods).
Steep Count: 2
Edit Apparently, there is lemongrass in this, and anise + vanilla aren’t listed as actual ingredients (flavouring may fall under “natural flavours”). Regardless, I like this one a lot. I swear I’ve had it before under a different name too; there’s a bit of nostalgia to this blend.
Flavors: Anise, Cardamon, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Spices, Vanilla
I like this one hot, but cold brewed it tastes like many other teas from Dessert by Deb. Most of the blends I picked have some combination of maple syrup, coconut, citrus, and/or brown sugar. This tea has a couple of those (coconut/citrus profile)! This isn’t too much of a problem for me because I love maple syrup, citrus, and coconut but I do have to space out drinking these, as they get kind of samesy.
When it’s hot, the jasmine, lemongrass and ginger peak through and play off the sweet and creamy coconut nicely. The sencha is a mellow grass, and the profile is cooling despite being a hot cuppa. When it’s cold it’s mostly coconut, and that’s too bad. I’d probably rate the cold brew as a 60, but the hot one is to my tastes so far! I’ll give it a rating once I finish off the pouch.
Also, the tea pouch recommends steeping this one at 200F and I can’t “nope” that enough.
Steep Count: 2 hot cups, and 1 cold brew jar
Flavors: Coconut, Ginger, Grass, Jasmine, Lemongrass