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Recent Tasting Notes
Last, but certainly not least, in my cold brew ranking from this collection is Peach Cobbler! My number one spot!
This was a total curve ball for me, because I expected that I’d probably like it hot but I was anticipating the cold brew to be a bit rougher. I was really surprised by how smooth and delicious it was as a cold brew though while still perfectly capturing the flavour notes that I both wanted and expected a “Peach Cobbler” tea to have!
This was the first of the blends where the peach felt altered from this fresh and juicy “sweet peach” kind of note – it was instead a little more baked/cooked down and subdued in flavour while still being a consistent presence in the sip. That approach to the flavour really helped sell me on why this was some type of baked peach pastry type dish and not just a creamy peach, because in addition to that peach flavour there was also a very rich creamy vanilla component as well. That creamy vanilla/baked peach element worked so incredibly with this buttery pastry flavour in the infusion and the malty and bready notes of the black tea base as well. It felt so well thought out and executed. I could not keep my paws off the brew, and I also still see it working well hot or with milk; I really value a tea with versatility.
Photos of all the brews: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCLpF0UgyNO/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuvf4gQ4j68
Second place cold brew in terms of collection ranking, but very close with the one that I chose for third place…
I expected to enjoy this one, though not as much – it also still had some surprises to it. It’s the only rooibos in the collection but I visibly didn’t see a lot of rooibos in the leaf that I had measured out for the collection so it was very surprising how intense that flavour was in the infused tea. Really forward and strong rooibos flavour, which is a bit mineral and a bit nutty like hazelnuts, which might be a turn off to some but I happen to really enjoy the grade of rooibos that Bird and Blend uses in their teas…
Aside from that strong flavour, it’s a good marriage between three complimentary flavours; peach, raspberry and cream/vanilla. Definitely all three come through, and yes it leans a little artificial (especially in terms of the cream flavouring) but I still enjoy it. It gives me Campino/yogurt candy vibes a little bit. There’s hibiscus in this so a latte is a no go, but it’s the type of flavour profile that really feels like it would work well as one.
Enjoyed this a lot!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIN_8Xg_XJg
Third place cold brew, but so close to tying with my second place choice. I liked this one a lot and since it was the first one that I had tried I was actually legit worried that I had started with the best and it would only go downhill from there…
This was one of the two peach blends I was most excited about on name alone, but what I saw the ingredients list I was a little confused because peach and cardamom is one of the weirdest approaches to a peach soda inspired tea that I can imagine. I would have expected either peach and a citrus of some kind for more of a “Sprite” feel or vanilla for a take on a “Peaches and Cream Soda”. I’m honestly not sure what the idea was here. Maybe it’s a UK thing lost on me? I don’t know.
Regardless of the naming miss, this tastes really good – and is a very fresh and unique take of peach that I really appreciate. It does feel a little more autumnal or “harvest-y” to me, probably because of the cardamom, over summer but both of the two flavours come through really clearly and are very balanced with one another. I wouldn’t call this more of a fruit blend than a spiced blend just like I couldn’t call it more of a spiced blend than a fruit blend. It’s also just right in terms of sweetness level, and very refreshing!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7sQzI8Bw04
My fourth place pick – this is another one that tasted perfectly fine but lacked some of the “spark” that I got from other teas in this collection. It was very pretty when infused, because of the butterfly pea flower in it, and that resulted in this gorgeous purple coloured liquor with a reddish undertone.
The taste was a little thin, and I think that this will probably be a stronger tea as a hot cuppa. What surprised me was that the peach was much stronger than the blueberry, and I guess for a peach collection that’s probably better? I have a serious soft spot for blueberry blends though…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj0rOtdoJ1g
(Good song in general – but the part that hooks me is the way he says “I’m so happy”. There’s something weird and magical about that delivery that makes my ears tingle…)
This was my fifth place cold brew from the battle, though I didn’t mind it. As I said on instagram, the orange and peach flavours both come through as sort of sweeter, candy like flavours along with something more tropical tasting – it’s a bit like a sherbet or maybe even a “Froot Loops” type of flavour. My main issue was just that the overall flavour was quite generic and forgettable.
I also observed that, after finishing my instagram post, there was a building and almost floral flavour note as I drank the brew that got to be a little overwhelmingly artificial and perfumey.
I’m sad I didn’t love this one more – Peach and Orange always reminds me of Fuzzy Navels, which is the first cocktail I learned to make for myself when I started drinking. It’s a little nostalgic, and while this was a fine tea it didn’t capitalize on that nostalgia the way it was set up to…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYLZq390IHg
So, this past week I went through all six of the peach tea blends from Bird & Blend as cold brew teas as part of their summer Battle of the Peaches campaign – I wanted to do this earlier, and I even ordered my teas as part of their subscriber pre release, but because of international shipping and Covid-19 delays I only ended up getting the teas right at the end of the campaign…
I posted an instagram story daily for each tea going through some thoughts on the cold brews – those stories are now saved as a highlight in case you missed them. Finally, after I’d gone through all of them I posted my final ranking for all the teas – so I’m going to write now starting from my least favourite to my favourite.
Obviously, Peach Julip came in sixth place for me – and once I knew the ingredients for the blend that was kind of what I’d expected would happen because there’s just so much green tea in this blend. It was one of the two new teas though that, based on name alone, I was most excited about initially.
Even if I was a green tea fan, though, I don’t think that this would have fit what I’d envisioned a “Peach Julip” tea tasting like – it was just a ton of sage and green tea and actually very little peach coming through at all. Plus, a Julep is usually made using whiskey and mint and there’s NOTHING in this blend that conveys those flavours at all. So this was really a miss for me in accuracy and execution.
It was also the only one of the six teas that I truly disliked. You can’t love them all, and if there was only one that I disliked overall then that seems like a win anyway…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AeYJuxqu3A
(Ironic song choice, all things considered)
The other free sample from my most recent Bird & Blend order – can’t recall if I’ve had this one before. I definitely over steeped it a little bit, but I thought the flavour was pretty nice. Tannic and full bodied/strong, with more of baked bread/grains and autumnal leaf kind of vibe. Lacked some sweetness, but milk and sugar would definitely fix that right up.
This tea wasn’t that great hot, but cold, it has a really unique, authentic sour cherry flavor. I taste no hint of mascarpone. Really the only flavor is the sour cherry. I also don’t really notice the tea itself even though there’s quite a lot in the blend. So I appreciate this tea for its originality of flavor, and I quite enjoy the taste. Not a favorite though.
I didn’t get around to drinking this yesterday on my actual birthday, so I finished it off tonight instead as a latte while we did the virtual pub quiz over Zoom. Usually this isn’t something I get excited about because it’s vanilla, and my dislike of vanilla is well-documented. As a latte though, it really shone! I mean it’s still just vanilla and not very exciting, but it was sweet and creamy and indulgent, which is all you can really ask for of vanilla. I had a break from actual birthday cake today since I had so much of it yesterday, and this was a good substitute so that now I’m ready to overindulge again tomorrow! My cake has fresh cream, so I’m going to have to finish it all in one go. Wish me luck! (There’s not actually that much left).
Today morning tea was bit diffent than prepared last time.
I just put sime random amount of tea into tea bag and apparently it was more tea than peaches in. It was quite astringent, no vanilla notes but peaches were nicely present though.
It was nice combination of base tea, which was quite strong but I don’t mind as it is morning; and peaches. Ripe, fuzzy peaches.
Flavors: Astringent, Peach, Tea
Another tea from June 2020 subscription.
Yesterday… a day without a tea. I wasn’t even in the mood for some!
But today my tastew buds were craving for some tea again, and this sounded pretty much what I wanted. Bold black tea with fruit notes.
Well, it is quite sweet based on dry aroma. If peachy, honestly I am not sure. Quite fine tea itself.
Two teaspoons per 300 ml, basic 3 minutes steeping time.
Well, pretty nice! Base tea is present well with nice peach-vanilla notes. Somehow sticky taste, but it worked well together!
TIL Peach Cobbler is a dessert, more over looks super tasty! I wonder how much similar is it to this tea!
Flavors: Peach, Vanilla
I thought I had reviewed this before, but a Ctrl+F of my steepster.txt file proves that my memory is atrocious as ever. And since I’m working on sipping it down, I’d better rectify that before it is gone. I received this from tea-sipper in a cupboard sale in early 2018, so thanks, tea-sipper! I’ve prepared it as a cold brew, letting the leaf soak in a glass mason jar overnight before straining and then drinking ice cold.
The tea is a purpley/crimson hue, and has strong aromas of berries (a bit of a blueberry/muscatel scent), citrus (heavily lime), and pine/sage. And the flavor reflects the aroma. I’m getting hit with a strong lime flavor, and this nice, fresh pine note from the juniper and find this sort of cooling effect left on my tongue from the citrus and pine. The fruity notes are more muted against the strong citrus/pine, but there is a berry sweet/tart note beneath that, and it can be tasted at the back of my tongue, especially as the citrus and pine starts to wear off. The berry flavor tastes more like red berries in the brew, while the aroma smelled more like blueberries/grapes on the nose.
It’s a nice iced tea, and I always like the inclusion of juniper in a blend. I’m not sure how I’d feel about this tea as a warm brew, and am kind of content to just drink it as a refreshing iced blend during these warm months.
Flavors: Berries, Citrus, Fruity, Lime, Pine, Sweet, Tart
June 2020 subscription
Interesting tea. Their small pouch for 20 grams, which is usually full to half, sometimes little bit more than half is now completely full.
So in my DIY tea bag is in: two rose buds, two big pieces of strawberry and raspberry, some raspberry leaf, lots of rose petals. Fuller than usual.
After 5 minutes of steeping it is bright and pink. Naturally it is very strong in rose aroma and beneath of it there are fruit notes, probably mosty strawberries. When sipped, it is actually rather fruity. There are raspberries and strawberries and in the background there are roses. Purpose of raspberry leaf is probably giving some “depth” of flavour.
I have to try this one iced, after all night steep. That would suit this tea better I think. But it is tasty nevertheless.
Flavors: Raspberry, Rose, Strawberry
Today’s smoothie was strawberry, mango, peach and banana. I don’t pick the fruits, my sister does and then I’m left enough smoothie in the blender for me to doctor up with whatever matcha I want. Since today was the first time they used peach, I decided to highlight that flavor with this matcha.
Tbh I just used 1/2 tsp and I wasn’t actually expecting it to come out that strongly through all the fruit. So, I was super surprised when my first sip of smoothie was not just a whole lot of peach but copious cream notes as well. Like this matcha must be extremely strongly flavoured because it took over. The grassiness of the matcha came through one but mostly it’s the flavouring. It’s nice and I now look forward to trying this plain.
Although I am nonewhere near to Nirvana I decided to brew this one. For those who want to know results from my mathematics exam from Friday — I failed. I failed and I want to see my results because I just don’t believe it! I know I did not solved all the problems, but that amount of points is just… weird.
I don’t want to hear “I am sorry Martin, you did your best…” and similar. I did not. I was, ehm, lazy! This is not something I could learn in few days, moreover some days were really days I did nothing! I am always excusing myself this or that disturbed me, or I don’t have mood for that or … excuses, excuses, excuses!
Tea itself is pretty nice. Blend is made from nice-looking teas, jasmine is nice and present. Spearmint is adding little bit of cooling notes, which is nice in today hot day (in 10 am it reaches up to 25 °C, but it is sultry weather and I had problems to take groceries back home which was 400 metres away. During next week I have three another exams, in Tuesday — road transport technology and managment, Wednesday — International transport, Thursday — Theory of Graphs.
Tea itself… back to tasting note
is actually pretty nice. Jasmine and spearmint don’t work perfectly, but tea itself is nice and light, quite refreshing. Maybe it reminds me bit some cookies, but it is as well nicely grassy, though in aroma it is rather hay.
Nice thirst-quenching drink :)
Flavors: Dry Grass, Hay, Jasmine, Spearmint
Bird and Blend has a terrible habit of sticking hibiscus into things that should not have hibiscus. For instance, I saw Affogatea and thought that made sense for an iced latte until I looked at the ingredients. Hibiscus, rose hips, Apple – all present and then mixed with things like coffee beans and black tea. That just seemed like curdling waiting to happen so instead I used this.
Normally I line the cup with chocolate syrup but this time I used caramel syrup since it seemed better suited to the flavor. Now I don’t know if it’s the syrup or the tea but this is hitting the spot. Just a whole lot of caramel/butterscotch creaminess. Personally I think it’s a combo of both because when I first started drinking this and the two were more separated, the sips I got from the bottom of the cup where the syrup was was too sweet and the sips from higher up that was more of the latte was more mediocre black tea. So I doubt this is good plain but made this way, it’s good.
I enjoy licorice root in tea, but I didn’t like the way this tea achieved the licorice flavor. It was very sour/bitter. But you know what, I probably just overbrewed it, so I won’t rate it. It’s too bad because I was looking forward to trying this one, and I used up my whole sample. Thanks to tea-sipper for the swap!
The flavor here reminds me of B&B’s birthday cake tea, one of my absolute favorites. However, this blend is somehow weaker and faker. The blueberries are fun, but not strong enough. It just ends up tasting kind of old and strange, which is a shame because this is one I was positive I would love. It’s not bad, but I also had high expectations for it. It’s still a decent rooibos and a bit cakey, but much too muted. I’ve had it both with and without milk.
Pretty similar steeped regular Western style to how it is as a latte. Coconut and cardamom, a slight hint of pepper and ginger heat, and not much else. The base tea isn’t the most robust, but not totally weak either and it somehow still manages to be astringent. DAVIDsTEA’s Coco Chai Rooibos is way better imo. That one executes the flavour profile I imagine this tea was aiming for so well.
I was craving a Coco Chai Roobios latte from DAVIDsTEA but I didn’t have enough of that one left so I went with this instead. It doesn’t hit the spot in the same way as that does, but it’s still pretty tasty. This one is cardamom heavy with a coconut background. Not much of the other chai spices coming through, which I would have preferred. I’ll probably stick to drinking this regular western style in the future.