A Berry Frui-tea July! I decided to try my Rice Pudding and Jam sampler from Bird & Blend Co. tonight.
The leaf smelled very sweet and fruity, and steeped up a very pretty light pink color with a very berry aroma. The flavor is quite nice, it’s actually a pretty light tea, but the mouthfeel is quite creamy. I get notes of berries and currants, with a slight sweet coconut flavor that lingers on the tongue in the finish. It actually does come off quite jammy, the hibi-hip is much lighter and sweeter in this particular fruity blend. I’ve never had rice pudding, but it’s a dessert I would most certainly not like (texture issues, I don’t like anything pudding-like!) so I don’t really have a flavor note I could compare this to in that regard; I’m imagining the closest this comes is just having a somewhat smooth and creamier mouthfeel from the oolong/white base. Maybe the coconut is supposed to emulate something there? I can’t imagine the coconut adding anything to the jam, though I do enjoy the berry/coconut flavor.
The package said to drink the tea without milk, so what did I decide to do? …Be a rebel and steep the remainder of the sampler in a quart of coconut milk. Yaaa, tea rebel! Something about the flavors/ingredients just made me wildly curious how that might turn out, and it was on an e-mail I got from Bird & Blend that actually recommended trying cold steeping in coconut milk to begin with. I was a little heavy on the leaf and gave it a pretty long cold steep (I think it was about a day?), but admit I wasn’t entirely sure if it would work out or not (I have this gut feeling a blend may need to be pretty hibi-hip heavy for this to work, and I wasn’t sure if this leaf had quite enough). Oddly enough, I was expecting the finished steep to be slightly pinkish since the tea was a light pink color, but the color dissolved off the cornflower petals, and I ended up with faintly blue coconut milk, which just made me think of that blue milk from Star Wars.
It actually didn’t turn out too bad. It is obviously very coconuty in flavor, but it is also very thick and creamy, which I think fits for a tea that was named after rice pudding in the first place. There are subtle notes of the fruity flavors, though they aren’t as strong as in the plain tea; it is sort of like having a coconut milk with a subtle jammy aftertaste (and a pretty blue color, hahaha). I do think in the end it did need stronger hibi-hip to work in the milk, but I like the flavor with the super thick and creamy texture. Maybe if I had a lot of tea leaf I could’ve made it work properly (I did add more leaf than I normally do for a quart of cold steeping, but obviously it would’ve needed even more for this experiment). An enjoyable enough drink, but not exactly what I was hoping for. Don’t regret the experiment, though!
Flavors: Berries, Black Currant, Coconut, Creamy, Fruity, Smooth, Sweet