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Recent Tasting Notes
Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar – Day 10
I’m surprised they put this one 10 days in to the calendar. If it were me, I would’ve placed it very early since really it’s more of a fall flavor.
It’s quite a nice matcha though, and true to its name, it does taste like pumpkin pie. I prepared mine as an iced latte (as always) so I’m sure that helps to emulate the creamy texture. Tasting the allspice and nutmeg up front, backed by clove and cinnamon. (Actually, clove isn’t in the ingredients, so I guess that’s just the allspice still!) Ginger adds an earthiness which goes well with the already earthy matcha.
Speaking of which, I don’t taste a ton of matcha here, maybe because it’s a bit diluted by the ground spices. Still, it makes for a nice, creamy pumpkin pie sort of latte with a dash of matcha flavor.
Flavors: Allspice, Cinnamon, Clove, Earthy, Ginger, Grassy, Nutmeg, Spices, Sweet
Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 9
This is an interesting one. It’s quite orange-y, which I don’t think is normal for carrot cake? To be fair, it’s been a while since I’ve had one ha ha.
Normal or not, the orange does go very well with the mild spices – mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. There is something a little cakey about it. Not sure whether I’m picking up on the frosting or not, but since I prepare these with oat milk, it’s a bit difficult to judge the level of creaminess.
Very enjoyable, like a spice cake + orange spice mashup. And now I’m thinking that carrot cake would probably be very tasty with orange, or perhaps with orange-infused frosting… :)
Flavors: Butter, Cake, Cinnamon, Clove, Fresh, Grassy, Nutmeg, Orange, Orange Zest, Spices, Sweet
AJRimmer Advent Day 8
I didn’t realize this was supposed to be a pumpkin spice tea until getting on Steepster to review it and I honestly didn’t taste any pumpkin in my cup this morning. What I did get was a well-balanced blend of warming spices: clove and cinnamon for sure and I loved the hint of nutmeg, as that’s a personal favorite. There’s some creamy vanilla flavor going on in the background as well that’s quite pleasant. I think I would have personally enjoyed this even more on a black tea base, but it’s still quite delicious!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Nutmeg, Vanilla
Adventageddon Day 7 – Tea 1/4(ish)
Honestly can’t remember if I’ve tried this matcha before, but I thought it was pretty enjoyable! I made it as a latte to drink while reading a new issue of a graphic novel that I like this morning and it was smooth, a little indulgent but ultimately not too sweet/rich. Like a matcha and hot chocolate hybrid sans the sugar.
Also went really well the the raspberry and chocolate jam of the day.
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/C0kaEKuO5Du/?img_index=1
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnxM7weSeWs
Advent Calendar 2022 Day 12
Last one, from last year, though I have started my 2023 calendar already. I get why this one has been just hanging out in my tea bin though. It’s not super flavorful. Green Tea and Jasmine are there but I don’t get much sense of the pear. I describe it as a grassy green tea with a hint of jasmine.
The Bird and Blend calendar was a fun one to do last year. I managed to drink each tea each day but didn’t necessarily log them in order (obviously). After a while, I just decided that I would log them with the second tea tasting. Now to get back in the swing with the 2023 calendar!
Flavors: Grassy, Green, Jasmine
AJRimmer Advent Day 6
My whole kitchen smelled amazing while this tea was brewing! It has the most mouthwatering buttery-sweet aroma, just like cookies baking in the oven. And the flavor is nearly is good as the scent: sweet and rich with notes of caramel and butter and baked goods all on a nice robust black tea base. I would be completely in love with this one if it weren’t for the stevia the popped out in the aftertaste…a disappointing finish to an otherwise lovely tea.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cookie, Sweet
B&B Advent Tea #3
All of these will be done out of order because I do non-caffeine days and caffeine days.
I’m not a big fan of turmeric, so this isn’t my ideal tea. I like the ginger and cocoa. I also taste coconut and cinnamon. It isn’t bad, but I find it tastes a bit like ground roots. Turmeric has a very dirty clay taste imo. The cocoa shells are a saving grace. It isn’t a bad blend by any means, I’m just not their target market. I would love to see a chocolate covered ginger tea with similar ingredients but without the turmeric.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clay, Cocoa, Coconut, Dark Bittersweet, Ginger, Mineral, Soil, Spices, Turmeric
AJRimmer Advent Day 3
I tend to shy away from cherry flavoring, as it can so easily go medicinal for me. Thankfully, this one didn’t have that artificial sweetness that brings back memories of childhood cough medicine! The cherry flavor was fairly natural with a bit of tartness from the hibiscus. It was a bit weird drinking it hot; I’m thinking it would have been more enjoyable iced or as a cold brew.
Flavors: Cherry, Sour, Tart
Bird & Blend advent, day 2
A red rooibos claiming to taste of whiskey, two things I don’t enjoy. My hopes were not high for this cup, despite the promise of a smoke flavor that I often love.
The smoke and ginger tried to save it for me, and I probably drank a lot more of it than I would have as a result. The ginger in particular was sharp and spicy. I wouldn’t associate any of it with whiskey, which was probably for the best from my end. Ultimately, the red rooibos was too overwhelming, and I mostly felt sad for the waste of lapsang souchong as I tossed the rest of the cup.
Flavors: Ginger, Spicy, Wet Wood
B & B Caffeine Free Advent Calendar Day 1:
This was my my evening cup last night. It was pleasant. I am not a fan of hibiscus and it was very present here. It did not completely overwhelm the flavor, so I was able to drink it. There are two teabags in each window, and I think I’ll be able to drink the other bag, or maybe save it for when my friends Brandi (who likes fruity teas with hibby) comes over. So my take o nthis tea is that I am glad to have tried it, but it will most definitely not be a re-order.
Bird & Blend advent, day 1
I finished yesterday with two cups of this brewed separately. The first bag had a noticeably higher number of peppercorns, and this showed in the taste. While the first was a powerful mint with a subtle peppery note underneath and a touch of sweetness, the second was really only a slightly sweet mint.
Adventageddon Day 2 – Tea 2/4
I was a little surprised to see this as day two of the matcha advent today. Not because I didn’t expect it to be included in the advent at some point, but more because I feel like B&B has now put two more wintery matchas back to back and I would have expected them to be a little more staggered.
I’ve tried this matcha before and I find it pretty enjoyable. Though I know it’s delicious as a latte either hot or iced I ended up making my cup of it plain, just to appreciate the balance of umami matcha and the ginger a little bit more. The ginger in this is really interesting to me because it’s got that sweeter and more ‘brown and molasses-y’ type of dense sweetness to it, but all enough of a heat that I could feel the tingle in my sinuses as I drank it. Sorry if that’s TMI. Aside from that, it’s just got a really nice biscuit-y sort of flavour as well (thinking the Lotus biscuits specifically) and a subtle creaminess.
Very enjoyable, even if ginger isn’t always my thing.
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/C0Xf_rYOG6Y/?img_index=1
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hezLskRnyY
Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 2
A late start today! I spent all morning making a reel for Instagram, don’t ask me why I decided that was necessary LOL.
Made this as an iced oat latte, and it’s scrumptious. Very ginger snap in flavor, but the milk lightens it up and takes some of the bite out of it. It almost reminds me of a cinnamon graham cracker, but with ginger as well. I do get a tiny hint of the chili, but it tastes more like black pepper to me. I still don’t love the matcha base? It’s serviceable though, and at least it’s not bitter.
Perfect pick-me-up to power me through the rest of the day!
Flavors: Black Pepper, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Cookie, Ginger, Gingerbread, Grassy, Savory, Seaweed, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Umami
Homemade Advent Calendar from Arby: Day 2
I really enjoy violet as a flavor but I rarely remember to dig out the one or two violet teas in my stash, so I was pleased when this one emerged as my random selection today. And I was equally as pleased once I steeped it up! It was straight-up violet at first, but as it cooled, a bit of creaminess emerged to round it out. I only got a hint or two of chocolate, but I think I’m OK with that. All in all, I enjoyed this one!
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Violet
Adventageddon Day 1 – Tea 2/4
I’ve tried/own the overwhelming majority of matchas in this advent but right around the time that Bird & Blend released they also released about four other matchas that I really wanted to try but was skeptical I would like. It was actually cheaper for me to buy this advent (which includes all of them) than to get a tin of each new flavour, so that’s the primaryyyy reason I’m doing this advent.
Today I decided to make it as an eggnog latte, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It may actually have been my favourite tea from the day. I normally find that because Bird & Blend often uses powdered ingredients in their flavoured matchas instead of just flavouring that they can have noticeable texture issues – grittiness or, with powdered mint in particular, a bit of a dryness. The eggnog fixed that up right quick and instead I got to just focus on the gentle mint flavour and the sweeter buttery notes that were almost butterscotch like.
Back when I lived in Regina that was a yearly festival in the summer called Mosaic that was basically a celebration of different cultures – across the city you could go to a pavilion themed around a country and these were usually music or other performances, traditional foods for sale, classes and workshops for different activities, etc. I remember going to the Scottish pavilion one year and buying a tin of Caramints (hard candy with a caramel and mint flavour). This tea definitely reminds me of that in a positive way!
Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/C0U5HFmO091/?img_index=1
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwyzyOf6PBg
Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 1
Ooh, I’m quite excited to revisit B&B’s matcha lineup. I actually did their matcha advent many years ago, but their matcha base has changed since then (it used to have powdered white tea in it which was bizarre) and obviously they have a lot of new flavors.
Prepared this as an iced oat latte with a bit of vanilla syrup. I did try it before sweetening as well, but I felt like it needed the sweetness to bring out the flavors – it was a bit bland without it. Generally I only use cold water for my iced matcha lattes, but I find B&B’s flavoring granules don’t dissolve easily so I started with just a bit of warm water to get those properly blended in with the matcha.
Anyway, this is tasty! Very mild but still bright mint flavor, with a bit of a white chocolaty creaminess to it. Since I prepared it with milk it’s difficult to judge the creamy factor, but it definitely has a noticeable buttery/rich quality. As for the matcha base… I’m not sure I love it? I’m finding it quite savory and heavy on the more seaweedy/marine side of things, especially in the finish. Maybe it’s the peppermint leaf bringing out those qualities? We’ll have to see how I feel about it after trying a few different flavors!
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Grassy, Marine, Mint, Peppermint, Savory, Seaweed, Smooth, Umami, White Chocolate
Advent Calendar 2022 Day 23
I have 2 left to note about from last year. I might just make it before I open the 2023 calendar. Steeped for about 4 minutes in 195 F water. I don’t get much of a scent off of this one but I’m not able to smell much these days due to a lingering/new cold. The sour cherry flavor comes through very well though. I was expecting more creaminess but I’m enjoying the cherry well enough on its own.
Strange VariaTEA TTB #37
This was another tea that had just a spoonful left, so I snagged it to take to work. The description of “juicy peach twisted with a hint of sage” was enticing…but my experience was the exact opposite! It’s more of a sage green tea with a hint of peach. Pleasant enough, but not quite what I was hoping for.
Flavors: Peach, Sage
Sipdown! (34 | 395)
Picked up a sample of this one with my matcha advent order, because I hadn’t tried it yet and it was sold out the last time I ordered. Super cute with the heart sprinkles!
It actually reminds me of a Dessert by Deb tea, ha ha. The flavor is very buttery and almost caramel-y, and that combined with the toasted rice and the rooibos base is making me think of one of Deb’s many similar caramel or caramel-adjacent teas. Like Salted Caramel Pancakes or that caramel custard rooibos one.
Anyway, it’s decent, but doesn’t necessarily taste like wedding cake to me. I get more of a buttery caramel tea than a cake one. But fun to try!
Flavors: Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Rooibos, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Woody
I think I messed up brewing this because all of the other reviews tasted some cookie and desserty notes. Steeped 3g leaf in 500mL hot water, not quite boiling. Steeped 5ish minutes and then 10 minutes in lukewarm water for a second cup. I really only tasted cocoa nibs, tannic lack tea, a bit of sweet licorice root (minerals, a bit metallic) and not much else. Going to try again and add milk before I review it properly.
Free sample that came with my advent calendars. 1 mesh teabag in hottish water. I forgot about it for a while but the tea was still fairly weak so I steeped for longer. My water was not very hit since I do not have a kettle available.
This reminds me of a gingerbread cookie. I get lots of ginger, cinnamon, and a bit of nutmeg and clove. I don’t get much cookie flavour, unfortunately, but there is a hint of sweetness, nuttiness, and vanilla. I don’t taste the caramel strongly. I would have liked a lot more cookie and caramel notes.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Nutty, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla
My Matcha Advent from B&B arrived today and this was one of two free sachet samples they included. I don’t recognize this one at all, so I’m assuming it’s one of the new holiday flavours this year. I sort of love and hate the name – it’s right on the cusp of too much pun for my own tastes. The tea is okay, though! Basically a mulled/spiced orange flavour similar to Constant Comment of DT’s The Spice Is Right/Orange Spice. More emphasis on the orange, though. It’s got a decent juicy/tart element before the warming spices kick in.