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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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

Currently Sipping Down: What-cha teas, Rishi teas

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

New Teas Tried for 2020: 145
Sipdown Count for 2020: 177

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. I may participate in specific group orders depending on the company. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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