The first day of the Bird and Blend Advent Calendar for 2020 was a wonderful start indeed with this one – my only regret is that I put what was likely too much water for how much tea there was in the pouch and how long I steeped it. (I steeped according to the steep time suggested on the package, but without a water volume recommendation I hoped “more would be more”. It turned out far more likely that less would have been more – or a longer steep time! Lesson learned! I’ve been steeping the other teas in this release for about 7 minutes for 16 oz of water with much improved results!) Because of my fumble here, I found this a little “thin” (especially as I added a splash of milk) and not as potent as I believe it would have normally been – but I can see the potential in a more informed steep, and I believe my rating would have gone up to 90-95 if I had taken the proper care.
I’ve always been a little on the fence about Lebkuchen as a dessert – I like it, but I don’t love it. I’d more likely reach for a ginger molasses cookie when given the choice between them, but I enjoy them if they are available – it’s likely I wouldn’t head to the shops for them, however. But this tea really reminded me of them – enough that I wasn’t actually sure what Lebkuchen was – and guessed correctly what it was once I’d tasted the tea! (I’d had them, but never mentally hung on to what they were called.) I want to say I’d have loved it more if it’d been a touch more robust, but again, that likely came down to my steeping choices. I’d absolutely love to try this tea again, and wouldn’t scoff at adding it to my collection whatsoever. The flavour was so spot-on that I could picture the texture of Lebkuchen perfectly, and those sweet “caramelly” notes fit in perfectly.
I haven’t had Bird and Blend tea before, and I should add that I felt that there was more to experience in this tea – the tip of my tongue and the back of it had very different experiences, which was a delight of riches to encounter. I love a flavoured tea – I’m not much of one for classic, traditional, straight teas, so I thought I’d experienced a wealth of of what was on offer with regards to the flavoured variety. But this one really made me take a step back and think, “Maybe I have been misunderstanding what’s possible with flavoured teas.” The depth of flavours really was much more broad than my favourites at, say, Davids Tea have been. Nothing against them – I still love them, but I felt like Bird and Blend really might have some exciting treats in store for me that I hadn’t even thought to imagine. As of recording this tasting note, I’m now on Day 5 of their Advent calendar and I have to say I haven’t been disappointed once.