Bird Pick Tea & HerbEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you to vallhallow for yet another herbal to try during my caffeine hiatus!
I’m not sure if this has picked up some flavors from another tea in my tea cabinet, but I get a very slight mint aroma in the dry leaf. It’s a bright yellow, cheerful flower. Tiny and joyful. I think I’m finding that straight herbs are not my favorite, or at least I haven’t learned yet how to appreciate them. I know these are lovely, but I’m still trying to pull out those flavors that others experience.
Ran out of steeping baskets for mugs this evening so, we did a teapot steep tonight.
Preparation: Teapot/ Western
Tasting Note: It has a spring water taste but also a slight fruity sweetness (tangerines or clementines) with a little savoriness. Tonight we had a big dinner so it felt nice to drink a large glass of this in evening, to have a little more soothing digestion.
Flavors: Savory, Spring Water, Sweet, Tangerine
I picked this up out of curiosity last year. I hope I haven’t completely stepped into “old lady” territory with this one. (I am starting to like medicinal tasting things more and more in my late twenties).
Tasting Note: So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this tea tastes sweet. The description mentions it is related to a lychee. I would say this reminds me of something medicinal, like tea made from prunes or dried apricots maybe? While I probably would’ve hated this tea as a child, it doesn’t bother me now. I was sort of attracted to this tea as it was said that like raisins these fruits have lots of iron in them.
Flavors: Apricot, Prune, Sweet
Sipdown! (27 | 231)
Since I enjoyed this one so much last time, my friend on Insta sent another sample of this in our recent swap. :3
So fresh and yummy! This is very different from any other peppermint tisane I’ve ever had – it has such a clean peppermint flavor, almost like a mint or candy cane, while others are usually more herbaceous. It’s like a milder peppermint Altoid, ha ha.
I’m planning to order some herbal tisanes from Harts of America to see how they are, but first I’m making myself finish a couple of the ones I already have…
Flavors: Honey, Menthol, Mint, Sweet
Sipdown! (28 | 158)
I would normally reserve herbal tisanes for the evening, but I wanted to take a photo of this one, and they always look so much better with natural light. Plus caffeine doesn’t really affect me much anyway, so really I should just drink everything all the time ha ha.
Anyway, this was a swap tea from my Instagram friend @thismorningstea, and it was scrumptious! I’ve had peppermint leaf before obviously, but it was nothing like this. This tastes clean and freshly minty, with some light herbal and honey notes to it. There’s none of that weird wet rag note that I often find in peppermint. It’s almost reminding me of a peppermint candy without the sweetness, it has that more piquant sort of icy mint flavor.
So good. I think one of my next orders might have to be for some plain peppermint and spearmint from the Pacific Northwest… This peppermint is actually from China, and I’d rather order something more local if possible!
Flavors: Herbaceous, Honey, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint, Sweet
I received a tea bag of this in my last Bird Pick order, which was, as always, Premium Silky Green.
I made this for breakfast so we can whittle down the stack of samples and I don’t regret it. I wasnt sure what was in the bag and CBA to look it up so I erred on the side of caution and treated it as if it were Assam. I used boiling water but kept the steep to four minutes.
It is not a stellar tea, but it was quite drinkable with my cheese toast. I did not add milk or sugar and it was well behaved toward my sensitive tummy. Happily, I now find it is mostly Keemun with some Ceylon. If I needed to buy an inexpensive tea, say to furnish an office for people who don’t really care what tea they drink, I would consdier this a good candidate. It is cheap, it goes down easily even plain, and you can drink ir mindlessly and not be ashamed. And it did satisfy my need for tea when I got to the point that I started adding mustard to my cheese toast. (I start with plain cheese toast and chocolate milk and when the chocolate milk is gone I switch to tea and add a smear of mustard to the toast.)
My love of good Keemun means I wouldn’t order this, as Keemun or Queen Catherine are my breakfast teas of choice, but it isn’t bad.
You don’t see a lot of reviews from me saying that I don’t care for a tea. Here you go.
This is a sample teabag that came with my order of Premium Silky Green, the only tea I have ever ordered from Bird Pick. (It is sold as a green tea but I am really really sure it is actually a milk oolong. Still really great tea.)
The jasmine scent was great. But the first sip drew an immediate reaction from both me and my daughter. Nope! We are spoiled by the greatness of Teavivre’s jasmine teas. To be fair, this tastes a lot like the Asian Market jasmine tea that it is really cheap. Can’t remember the name of it. It is a pretty standard restaurant pouchong with jasmine. I think it came in a yellow tin?
But this is a bit harsh for sitting up and watching the snow fall as we keep the fire stoked. I can tell that if I drink much of this, it is going to irritate my stomach, and that’s not a good thing. Moving on….
Using around 4g, 90ml at 185F
I absolutely adore the smell. Extremely milky and creamy and just lingers in your nose and throat after inhaling.
Started off with a quick wash and I let the tea relax. The smell gets much stronger and adopts a creamy, vegetable smell to it.
One very important thing to note about this tea is that it’s incredibly sensitive to steeping times. If you steep this tea for too long (or too hot), it tastes like spinach mixed with seaweed or something of the like. Honestly making it taste disgusting. But with shallow infusions, it will convert the aroma into the tea itself.
Steep times were as follows: 4s, 5s, 8s, 12s, 15s, + others (lost count, was in a long conversation)
If anyone is following how I’m making this tea, you’ll probably notice that the color looks to be very faint for the first steep. This is normal. You’ll notice that drinking the tea from the first steep results in a very strong floral taste, no bitterness, only a /very/ slight vegetable taste (just enough to be pleasant), and really creamy. The predominant flavours are osmanthus and ‘cream’ for the lack of a better word. The creaminess is generally sweet as well.
The following few steeps encompass a very smooth osmanthus and floral aroma, with a creamy vehicle as means of deliverance.
Things to note: This tea maintains the floral and creamy osmanthus throughout the entire tea session. If you start tasting it bitter or vegetal, you have steeped it for too long. If it started tasting like that from the get-go, heat could also be a factor.
Overall, a pretty decent milk oolong. I personally think the ‘premium silky green’ from bird pick is a better milk oolong, despite it being marketed as green tea (it’s not, it’s definitely milk oolong).
Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Floral, Milk, Osmanthus, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal
I’ve wanted to try Kuding for over a year now; ever since the Christmas before last Christmas where I was working at Calendar Club and one of the P/T staff was a Chinese exchange student who told me about how her family drank gallons of it every day for the “health benefits”. She said they drank more kuding than actual tea! That seemed so contrary to what I know about China as a tea consuming country that I just had to see what the big deal was.
I’ll admit; when I saw this in the box I didn’t immediately recognize it as kuding. Everything I’ve read about it online has made the tightly wound holly leaves/spikes sound so much bigger than these ones actually are. Plus, the name of the “tea” threw me as well: it’s marketed as a green tea!? That’s definitely not right. Also, silly anecdote: the writing on the baggy makes this look like it says “Jasmine Slime” and so I spent much of my cup pondering where the fuck the ‘slime’ part of the name came from. I thought maybe the liquor colour? It is a very chartreuse-y green, which I suppose is kind of a slime green? But nope; the package actually says SLIM and I just read it wrong.
I wish this wasn’t jasmine scented: I get that it’s probably to make this less bitter tasting as kuding is traditionally quite bitter but as someone who’s been waiting a year+ to try kuding I wish I could have tried the unadulterated version. As is, this tastes almost solely of jasmine/floral notes with only a bit of a vegetal/earthy undertone. Also, it actually doesn’t really taste bitter to me at all?
It’s strange; I seem to have had a much different experience than either two people who’ve currently reviewed this one Steepster. Huh. It’s weird ‘cause I’d kind of built this up in my head as something that’d likely be an awful experience and now that I’ve tried it and it wasn’t awful I feel actually quite let down?
EDIT: I used four “sticks” for my cup.
Surprisingly, I haven’t review this yet. Was pretty sure I had.
Anyway, there is a kinda roasted grain scent. I also get a bit or toast or nuts. The flavour reminds a bit of houjicha, except more mild. It has that similar nutty taste. Got the sample because it sounded interesting, and it turned out pretty good.
Flavors: Grain, Nuts, Nutty, Roasted, Toast
Wow, fresh indeed! Unfortunately it’s more along the lines of fresh vegetation than fresh flowers as I had hoped. Probably not a bad tea, but one of the most vegetal teas I’ve ever smelled or tasted. Which is not at all to my taste. There might have been the tiniest hint of floral hiding out in there, but I spit out the one sip I took and am not interested in trying another. I’ll be sending the rest off to Amanda SoggyEnderman with hopes she’ll find vegetal notes more preferable than I do. It’s a huge bag though, so if anyone wants me to take out a sample for them let me know!
Flavors: Cut Grass, Seaweed, Spinach, Vegetal
First tasting note for this one? Now I feel rotten it took me this long to write a review. Thanks for the samples a while back, Bird Pick! I had to sip this one today because I feel terrible I haven’t reviewed it yet. Sweet yet vegetal fragrance to the dark green tightly rolled bundles. All three steeps were delicious, with the main characteristic of this oolong being very sweet. The steeps get better and better though – with the second steep having hints of peach. I think I steeped it with the best parameters possible. The third definitely wasn’t bitter or oversteeped — just gets deeper with flavor, though this one isn’t distinct enough to make it my favorite oolong. It can’t really be put in any of the vegetal, floral, butter/milk, or fruity oolong types. This is a sweet and subtle oolong, maybe for those who don’t want a strong oolong. This is delicious but there are so many good oolongs out there!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // ?? min a.b. // ?? min steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
ooooh, this is soooo gooooood.
Another tea from Plunkybug (I’m having a Plunkybug tea day today! Thanks!).
I don’t think I’ve ever had a flavoured houjicha, and this is really, really good.
Perfect nighttime tea, actually. :)
Hints of caramel add to the warmth that houjicha brings to the mug…so comfy and yummy!