Bird & Blend Tea Co.

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85

Sipdown! (31 | 128)

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge (August) – “A tea that reminds you of a family member”

I chose this tea because the cute pumpkin sprinkles remind me of my sister, who loves fall and especially Halloween, her favorite holiday. :)

This is quite a yummy pumpkin spice tisane. I admit, I’m not a pumpkin spice lover, I find they are generally just overhyped chai with little or no actual pumpkin flavor. But this one does actually taste somewhat like pumpkin pie, with a nice sweet creaminess to match. There’s a bit of a caramel note to it as well, so maybe pumpkin cheesecake with caramel drizzle. I made that once for Thanksgiving, with a gingersnap crust, and it was scrumptious. Now I’m hungry…

I will say after having a couple of cups that were a bit too heavy on the clove, and made my tongue numb, I started removing most of the cloves before steeping. And that did help make it taste more balanced, but still with a bit of clove in there. I’m not sure whether I’ll reorder this, because I felt like I only got half a dozen servings out the of the whole 50g bag. We’ll see how I feel about it if/when the opportunity to order from B&B arises…

Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Ginger, Pumpkin, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Skysamurai

Baby spice do do do do do. Baby spice do do do do do. Daddy spice… okay ill stop. XD

Cameron B.

Explain yourself, ha ha ha!

ashmanra

It’s the dreaded dratted Baby Shark song, but with Baby Spice!

Cameron B.

Lol OMG, I didn’t know this existed. Thank you for sharing! XD

This name is pure Spice Girls to me. :P

Skysamurai

×D “If you wanna be my chai spice, you gotta stick with this blend. You can make it last forever, it will never endddd”
Okay that wasn’t my best but now spice girls is stuck in my head _

Cameron B.

I thought you should both know, the baby shark song was in my head all of last night. I was singing it to my dogs like “cutie pug do do do do do do…” XD

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I found the bright base kind of lacklustre and meh (Sri Lankan/Ceylon black tea) but I did enjoy how much this one reminded me of a “chocolate” covered Turkish Delight candy bar (but a twist of violet instead of dusty rose). I think Big Turk is a Canadian candy bar but this tea does a good impression.

Thought it was satisfying with or without milk.

Flavors: Candy, Cocoa, Floral, Malt, Powdered Sugar, Sweet, Violet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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76

I thought this was decent and comparable to the bold caramel teas from TeaGschwendner and August Uncommon Teas. My mom loved it on a whole other level though – the smooth, buttery caramel toffee flavour on top of a builder’s blend (with Assam) is a winning combo, especially for a decadent morning wake-up cup.

It also takes to milk well – but would have to experiment with it more to see how it handles plant-based milks. Another time though, because this is gone!

Flavors: Astringent, Brisk, Burnt Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Malt, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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Made a nice big pot of this yesterday afternoon to share with people around the office.

The aroma of the steeping tea is quite heavenly and definitely had the right balance of almost fudge-y but still cake like chocolate, cream, and cherry notes to very perfectly convey Black Forest Cake. Steeped I finding it just a tiinnnyyyy little bit off. The body and maltiness of the black tea is perfect, and the chocolate is really incredible tasting. However, I’m missing the cream component and the cherry isn’t quite right. Mostly it tastes tart and a bit acrid with too much hibiscus flavoured versus the sweet candied cherry that I should be getting for a black forest. There’s really no acidity/tartness in proper black forest cake despite the presence of cherries so I’m not really sure hibiscus has any business being in this blend, especially because it’s not impacting the steeped tea colour in any kind of standout way and it’s preventing the tea from being able to be brewed as a latte…

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70

For the July sipdown prompt, “a tea flavored like your favorite ice cream.” I think most types of ice cream I’d say is my “favorite ice cream” but lately I’ve really been enjoying a lemon cheesecake one that is at my local grocery. I no longer have any lemon cheesecake teas, so I went for lemon + frozen-dessert-in-title. Prepared cold brew.

This is just a lemon-flavored green tea, so a pretty standard sort of tea. “Sherbet” is not really a word I’d use to describe it, as there is no vanilla/creamy sort of flavors, nor would I even call it “sorbet” as I’d expect a brighter and punchier lemon if that were the case. The lemon is a bit on the mellower side. Sometimes I feel the lemon flavor comes off a little cleaner-like, but other times it is very refreshing, so maybe it’s just a matter of what ends up in the scoop or how long I left it in the fridge before straining. Over all, it is pleasing enough, but not really anything special. It doesn’t hold a candle to, say, Sun and Cloud Mist by 52Teas, which has such a vibrant and pillowy lemon flavor. This is a much lighter and artificial lemon flavor.

Easy to sipdown, but not a tea I’d order again.

Flavors: Artificial, Citrus, Grass, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Spring Water

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 5 g 1 OZ / 32 ML

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40

For the July sipdown prompt, “a lime tea.” Prepared cold brew.

I had a 20g sample of this, but it appeared to me most of the “weight” was taken up by a lot of dried lime slices in the packet. After picking all those out to see what I had to work with, I decided I should just dump the whole sample into a liter mason jar for cold brew.

Perhaps it was overleafed a bit, or there was just way too much dried lime in my sampling, but this tea is sour. I mean, I’m the person on Steepster that loves sour/tart tea and can’t get enough of it and even I think this is abrasive (that said, I can still drink this without sweetener… not that I would recommend that). It doesn’t really taste like lime to me, rather I get really pithy orange peel. I really can’t taste anything other than orange peel and a generic sour “citrus” taste that lingers unpleasantly on my tongue. And there is absolutely nothing “cola” about this!

The name made me picture decadent Lime Coke… and I got sour orange water. Not a fan and glad this was just a sample and after (begrudgingly) getting through two water bottles of this, it will be gone. Good riddance.

Flavors: Citrus, Orange, Orange Zest, Sour, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 20 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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46

Sipdown 53

I’ve had this for quite awhile and have been putting off drinking it, as I was suspecting I wouldn’t care for it (I also don’t drink teas at night very often). I was right, this isn’t for me.

The combination of hibiscus and lavender just does not work. The 2 flavors seem to be fighting rather than working harmoniously, and it makes for a really odd sour/herbal combination. I could detect a bit of lemon verbena, but no rose or chamomile over the hibiscus.

Flavors: Herbal, Sour

Kelmishka

The idea of hibiscus + lavender gives me metaphorical hives! Yeesh!

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80

I have been drinking this tea a lot with fairytale of NY, well not with with xD, but i cycle between them and from all the teas i have i drink these two a lot, and honestly this one is truly lovely and sweet i love it so much, i always have a tea bag with me wherever I go, i am addicted to that shit damn it xD, even tho its not my favourite tea but i do enjoy it a lot, also i know it’s summer and its kinda inconvenient to drink hot tea right now and to be honest it’s kinda a hell of a thing to do but i am still drinking it and enjoying every sip.

I mean i don’t really drink every day and every evening cause if do it would have been over by the first week i got it knowing how much tea i consume on a daily basis, ok i don’t make too much sense and i am talking too much but hear me out GIVE IT A DAMN TRY its worth it

Ps: thank you for these amazing tea, i love you so much !

Flavors: Creamy, Marshmallow, Soft, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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70

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Apple, Rooibos, Strawberry, Tart, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 250 OZ / 7393 ML

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Was excited to try this one because I remember reviews that said it was a lot better than some of Bird & Blend’s other violet teas, and as someone who was let down by their interpretation of violet in the past I was cautiously optimistic! I have to say that I do think it’s a drastic improvement! I found that the violet was a lot more clearly violet and it reminded me heavily of the Parma Violet candies that have such a distinct sweet floral flavour. No awful hibiscus or other florals to mask that note, either!

I do wish there wasn’t chocolate in the blend because it’s distracting to me and feels unnecessary. However, I like the sort of boozier tasting chocolate liqueur kind of flavoring that’s used otherwise – it’s in some other B&B teas and I find it much more pleasant than the alternative of using chocolate drops/pieces.

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Sipped on this one last night and it was… interesting?

The idea of mascarpone and tart cherry together kind of weirds me out a little bit because of the acidity and creaminess juxtaposition, but drinking the tea I totally could see where they were coming from and it wasn’t as peculiar as I had expected. Definitely that thick sort of buttery creaminess from the milk oolong along with some fairly floral undertones and a little green sharpness to the oolong. The cherry is thin in mouthfeel and flavour, but definitely discernible in the top notes and does have a tartness to it. I didn’t mind it with the milk oolong, I just wished the body hadn’t been so thin and the finish of the sip nearly as astringent as it was.

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drank Baby Egg by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
1794 tasting notes

2022 Spring Tea Swap – Day 26 (Bonus Tea!)
From Emilie!

Emilie sent a couple of extra blends in our spring tea swap, this being one of them. Bird & Blend no longer has this one their website – I’m guessing it’s an Easter blend – but they did have a recipe for a cream egg latte so that’s what I used.

https://www.birdandblendtea.us/blogs/recipes/cream-egg-tea-latte

This was very chocolaty, more of a milk chocolate flavor. I enjoyed it, especially as a latte. I wouldn’t say it’s incredibly unique though, so I don’t think it’s one I’ll look for next spring. I did enjoy it though!

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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85

OHHHHHHH WHERE DO I START ! ok ok so i just opend this tea and omg the smell was just teasing me, it was soooo good and fruity just amazing, tbh i was kinda afraid cause sometimes when you unseal a new tea the smell then and after it’s infued is disappointing, but this one just got better, also i don’t know about you guys but the tea reminded me of LION cerals xD LOL just saying, ok ok so in breef this tea is perfect, not my all time best but perfect.

one more thing, i think this one would be amazing as a iced tea, gonna try it soon and see, i believe its going to good

Flavors: Acidic, Orange, Pleasantly Sour, Soft

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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drank Black Forest by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
1794 tasting notes

2022 Spring Tea Swap – Day 17
From Emilie!

This has a very deep chocolate aroma and I do notice the fruity red cherry flavor as well. Once steeped, it tastes more of chocolate than fruit though. I do wish more of the cherry came through, but this was an enjoyable cup nonetheless.

Flavors: Cacao, Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Red Fruits

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

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drank Mint Pistachio by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
1794 tasting notes

2022 Spring Tea Swap – Day 14
From Emilie!

Mint black teas are a favorite of mine. The addition here of cardamom to the mint and pistachio is so unique and, honestly, pretty exciting. My first bottle of ground cardamom was a gift and so the spice has always been a bit of a treat to use and experience. I do wish there was more cardamom here, and more pistachio, as I am mostly tasting the peppermint. I have enough here for one more cup, so I’ll try again perhaps with less water to see if I can deepen the flavor. On the whole, this is an intriguing blend. I love the combination of flavors.

Flavors: Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Geek Steep S2E25 – The Music of John Williams

So this was my selection for Marika’s final song selection which was the theme from Catch Me If You Can!

I had actually never heard this particular piece of music prior to the episode, but this is just another example of why I love doing this podcast so much because from the first few strings of notes I was immediately on board and in love with this song.

There’s such a distinctly different sort of feeling to this piece than any other of Williams’ compositions that we chose to cover. It’s very, very jazzy with this playful kind of “cat and mouse” feeling to the notes which of course makes a whole heap of sense given the context of the movie. However, I didn’t know anything about this movie before our recording so I really only had my untainted impression of the music to go on with my pairing.

With that in mind, what this made me think of was being at some kind of very trendy but still kind of jazzy and almost retro feeling cafe. The kind of cafe where people would go to drink really well made cups of coffee while listening to live music or really good slam poetry. People are probably sitting in the corners reading books of poetry or great literature, and there are maybe just as many couches and lounge chairs as there are little tables spread out throughout the space.

Like, it’s a distinct feeling.

This blend is a bit of a hodge podge of different tea types as it includes black tea, shou pu’erh, and hojicha as well! They all kind of just work perfectly together though, and create a very smooth full bodied cup with a gentle roasty quality and subtle earthiness. This foundation of tea bases is combined with what I believe is a gentle addition of coffee flavouring, and though I don’t usually mesh well with coffee flavoured teas I find the flavouring subtle and complimentary enough to be pretty enjoyable!

I really couldn’t think of a tea that fit better in the fictional coffee shop/cafe that this composition had painted in my head, so it was just the most obvious pairing for me.

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cd_GUG0LimV/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nv2S_S9MlU&ab_channel=BadBrain

Leafhopper

My inner word nerd is telling my inner tea hoarder that I must have this tea! However, I’m not sure the profile would be up my alley. Someone needs to make a line of teas named after punctuation marks. :D

gmathis

Ooh, I like that! Exclamation Point for your high-caffeine breakfast tea. Semicolon for elevenses or afternooners. Ellipses for herbal evening…

(Part of my Mother’s Day treat collection was a t-shirt that said, “Tea, Books, and Oxford Commas.” It’s still hanging on my closet doorknob so I can smile at it.

gmathis

oops. End parenthesis.)

Roswell Strange

All I can think of now is what an Ampersand tea would taste like

Leafhopper

That t-shirt sums up my interests nicely! :)

One of my favourite punctuation marks is the em dash. Maybe it could be a jasmine black since it’s a little pretentious but can pack a punch. The en dash could be a umami-rich sencha or gyokuro to maintain your focus while working with all those number ranges.

Leafhopper

Roswell, maybe an ampersand tea would have a very predictable two-ingredient profile like chocolate and orange, or it could be two really unlikely ingredients paired together. However, I know what a dollar sign tea tastes like and it’s Dayuling (or maybe Jin Jun Mei). :)

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This was the last tea that I drank on that day this week where I just could not taste or smell anything and it was again really shocking because there are so many strong flavours in this tea that I should have been able to better taste. However, it wasn’t a total write off of a tea cup because I could still feel the eucalyptus and it still worked somewhat in terms of decongestion even if I was missing out on the flavour of the tea.

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Cold Brew!

I had a bit of a panic-y kind of moment a few days ago where basically every single tea I drank in the tea and any food I consumed tasted like practically nothing. In the case of this tea, I got the absolute lightest hint of tartness on the sides of my tongue. Almost imperceptible. I thought that maybe I had lost my taste/smell since that’s a pretty common Covid-19 symptom. Since I hadn’t been affected by that with my first few days of heavy symptoms I assumed I would be fine in that regard – it was a massive relief because the idea of losing my taste/smell when so much of my job relies on it was…

Well, horrifying.

So yes – I drank this cold brew and it was panic inducing. Thankfully, I think I had just reached such an extreme level of congestion that that was what was causing my poor sense of taste because literally the next day, though definitely still stuffed up, I was able to taste just fine. It was a massive relief.

I does mean, however, that I definitely need to make this again on a day when I can actually taste it.

mrmopar

I know that’s a relief over the other way it could have gone.

Kelmishka

Oof, what a relief!

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70

Phew, it’s been such a busy week that I finished off my bag of this making cold brew pitchers and now, as I’m sipping the last water bottle left, am finally getting around to writing about it.

There isn’t much to say, though. The description, which heavily implied meringue/cream flavors, oversold it, I think. The flavor doesn’t taste any different to me than any number of “strawberry forward” hibiscus fruit teas I’ve tried. I like strawberry-flavored hibiscus fruit teas, and especially enjoy their refreshing nature as a cold brew, but there really isn’t anything about this one that makes it stand out over any of the others. Perhaps I should’ve tried it hot just once, to see if the cream notes B&B boasted about where that prominent… shrugs

It has been a faithful companion for some sweat-inducing physical labor at work, and I was thankful for that. But I wouldn’t repurchase it when I can easily find substitutes that would taste the same and likely be cheaper.

Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Strawberry, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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2022 Spring Tea Swap – Day 5
From Emilie!

I’ve never had a Chocolate Digestives biscuit but I feel like I read once that they are a less-sweet version of a chocolate cookie. Is that right? The Publix near me has a very small section of British items/ingredients. I’ll have to check next time I get groceries to see if they have some of these there to try. Anyway, this tea is definitely chocolatey, but there is also this flavor that I can’t quite place. I’m guessing it’s the biscuit flavor? It’s almost like toast. Not bread and not cookie, but definitely something similar. The aroma is very rich, but there’s something about the tea after steeping that I don’t love. I can’t put my finger on it. It’s certainly not a bad cup of tea, but it’s not something I’d keep coming back to.

Flavors: Chocolate, Toast

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mastress Alita

My favorite digestive biscuits are McVities, which come in plain, chocolate frosted, or dark chocolate frosted varieties (the dark chocolate is my fav)

Martin Bednář

I remember this one! I had “only” the McVities that Mastress Alita mentions and it is indeed much less-sweet version of chocolate cookie, moreover usually only halfdipped in chocolate. I wish that ordering from UK won’t be such a hassle here…

Shae

Ooh, dark chocolate is my preference over milk so I would probably prefer those too. Just did a quick search on Instacart to see what I might be able to get my hands on. It looks like Publix has the dark chocolate variety, plus a few other brands that are tempting me. The Pim’s Raspberry biscuits (Lu brand, I think?) look delicious.

I’m sorry you aren’t able to order easily, Martin! I order a lot through igourmet.com, if that’s an option for you, but I just checked and McVities didn’t come up in a search.

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One of a bunch of new (to me) Bird & Blend samples I added into my last order to try…

The idea of a rooibos blend positioned as a “breakfast tea” really intrigues me since Breakfast Blends are generally straight black or very mildly flavoured black teas. I can’t quite wrap my head around it because there’s nothing caffeinated in the blend and I feel like caffeine is sort of equally important to the full bodied, brisk and well suited to milk profile that makes breakfast teas so appealing to start your day with…

As for the taste of the blend, it’s fine but a little underwhelming. It really just tasted like a slightly sweeter and more honey forward plain honeybush/rooibos. A little nutty and little woody. Simple. Classic tasting. I neither dislike it or love it, and I can see how an argument could be made that it has the full body and milk appropriate profile of a breakfast tea. I just couldn’t ever see myself opting for this in the morning over a black tea. The caffeine thing is really tripping me up.

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78

Sipdown!
As others have said, this a pretty nice strawberry chocolate tea. Sadly, not much hazelnut and no pancakes at all.

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I’m still not 100% sure if I enjoy this blend or not. I mean, I really like the jammy but still a little bright and tart black currant notes. In fact, the reason I picked this one out to drink was because I was craving this specific black currant flavour so much – and while the cooling peppermint is a little strangely juxtaposed against the black currant it’s not unpleasant and the fact it’s a bit weird actually appeals to me because it keeps me super engaged while drinking the cup.

I think the thing that throws me off is something that feels sourceless, and it’s this kind of aggressively “flat tasting” undertone/finish that detracts from the freaky weird dance of mint and currant. It’s a shame.

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CgP-NpROgXL/ (The sixth pic)

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2n7EKUXbps

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