drank Retro Ted by Bluebird Tea Co.
1780 tasting notes

I have to confess, I’m not liking the smell of this much at all. Where food is concerned, pineapple and coconut are two of my favourite things. Together, however, and particularly in tea, the scent is a bit…funky. Much like Adagio’s Pina Colada, this one has hibiscus and rosehip in it. I’m not sure why it’s such a prevalent combination. To my mind, red fruity things and tropical fruity things are much better kept separate. Anyway, it’s wrong to knock something before you’ve tried it, so on to the tasting!

Brewed, this smells…better. The pineapple and coconut seem to have settled down a little bit, which is giving me hope. Maybe they’ll even play nicely! I probably shouldn’t have hoped, because after tasting, I’m still in two minds. There’s a kind of oily film on the surface of this one, and I’m not really sure what it tastes of. Mainly coconut, I think, although the whole thing seems strangely muted. Even the hibiscus isn’t up to its usual tricks. Part of me is glad, because after the initial scent of this one met my nose, I was more than a bit worried about the taste to come. I do wish the taste was a bit more decided, though. At the moment, it’s like the pineapple and coconut, and the hibiscus and rosehip are two sides of an army at stalemate. Neither is winning, and the result is that this tea doesn’t taste particularly of one thing or the other. As it cools, a sweetness develops and I can taste the coconut more easily, but this isn’t quite what I was expecting. I guess that’s maybe what you get when you come to something which quite decided assumptions, but this one has me more or less confounded at the moment. I’m just not sure what to make of it!

I’ve just sent some of this out in a swap, but I should have enough for another cup or two before it’s gone. For now, I’m going to give this 50, because it seems like a halfway tea (or a tea of two halves?) if ever there was one.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, 29, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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