Holiday Tea-son! So today my advent calendar is another Bird & Blend that I have reviewed before, which you can peruse here if you so wish: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/379065 . I’m not a huge fan of jasmine teas because they tend to get too “perfumy” for me and irritate my head, and while I did enjoy this one more than the majority of jasmine teas I’ve tried in the past thanks to the blend of spearmint, it was still a little too strong on the jasmine notes to really be my kind of tea, so I figured I’d throw this one in the pile of advent teas I’m going to send to my friend because they just aren’t for me (of course there was banana in my 52Teas one, and if anyone knows anything about me, banana is my most hated food ever, so that one was right out…)

But when I saw B&B’s e-mail today, there was a recipe for making rice with this tea, and I have used various teas to make Minute Rice in the past, so I figured, why not? Their recipe was of course much larger and more complicated than what I typically do, but I’m a one-person household, I don’t need much tea or rice to feed a single person. When I do Minute Rice, I do the smallest portion, which is 1 cup water/1 cup rice, so I brought a cup of water to a boil on the stove, dropped in the sachet, let it steep for a few minutes, removed it, then dropped in the rice, lowered the heat and covered the pan, and let the rice soak up the tea.

And… I actually really like this! It actually makes the jasmine note subtle rather than really aromatic and overwhelming on my senses. I can taste that slight jasmine floral flavor on my rice, but there is nothing “perfumy” about my meal like I would get from a tea. This may just be what I have to do with the free jasmine tea samplers that end up in my orders from various tea vendors from now on. The only bad thing is the spearmint in this blend didn’t come through in the rice at all, which was a little disappointing.

Increasing my rating since this has actually given me a use for what will no doubt be other Nearly Nirvana free samplers that will show up in future B&B orders in the future, and this Minute Rice is delicious!

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Tea rice – somehow haven’t thought of that yet.

Mastress Alita

I use tea as my ramen broth too, heh! What can I say, I still like to eat like a college student/bachelor.

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Tea rice – somehow haven’t thought of that yet.

Mastress Alita

I use tea as my ramen broth too, heh! What can I say, I still like to eat like a college student/bachelor.

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little apartment!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Currently Sipping Down: Strands’s Niagara Frost Ice Wine, Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe’s Beatrix Potter Rabbit Tea, Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating.

New Teas Tried for 2019: 20
Sipdown Count for 2019: 28


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)


Idaho, United States

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