Bonfire Toffee from Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Bonfire Toffee tea from Bird and Blend should be part of everyone’s fall and winter brewing. A full bodied black tea is sweetened with the brown sugar and butter notes of caramel and toffee. The blend stops from being too sweet by the addition of crisp apple and smoky lapsang souchong.

If you aren’t into smoky teas, give this one a try. The smoke is mostly in the scent of the brew, and gets lost beneath black tea and toffee tones in the taste.

This tea feels like taking a walk in the fall. The robust black tea is wrapped around you like a wool scarf, and you can smell the pleasant char of your neighbor’s wood stove on the air. Take a bite out of a fresh apple and follow it up with something sweet, like holiday caramel candy.

I had been curious about trying Bonfire Toffee for its blend of sweet and savory, and the tea does not disappoint. Brew up a cup for your next leaf-peeper trip, or your next winter bonfire.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend
Description:

Traveling tea merchants used to carry tea from east to west,all the way across Russia… well, their horses did anyway! It’s said the campfire smoke would infuse into the loose tea leaves at night creating smoked teas. Add some caramel, apple and toasted cinnamon and you get a spectacular Bonfire Night treat!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hot Cross Bun from Bluebird Tea Co. . . .

I was too chicken to order a full supply of this springtime blend, but I did get a free sample so I got to get a taste risk-free.  Hot Cross Bun is one of the Easter flavors released by Bluebird Tea Company. This is a black tea and rooibos tea blend, though rooibos makes up the majority, so you won’t be overloaded with caffeine.

The scent of this blend was vibrant and noticeable right out of the bag.  Some of the black tea was clearly a smoky lapsang souchong, but the smoked flavor was closely followed by a powerful, sweet vanilla scent.  Quite the flavor duo.

Brewed, this tea continued to open up and show off its delicious ingredients.  The smokiness cooled off, and became more like the suggestion of a fire in the fireplace.  The creamy vanilla was heightened to the decadence of buttercream icing. Both flavors were nicely balanced by sweet and tart orange zest to bring it all together.

This is a great tea for those days that you want a sweet dessert blend, but don’t want to feel too much like a pastry chef.  The whiff of rugged lapsang souchong brings a unique boldness to this brew and makes you appreciate favorite flavors like cream and citrus in a new light.  Don’t be a chicken like me and the next time you can-order a full bag of this springtime tea before it’s gone!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Rooibos
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.
Description:

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea and Toast from Bird and Blend Tea. . . .

Bluebird Tea went through a name change and now they are Bird and Blend Tea.  Regardless of the name, they are still making delicious tea flavors.

Recently I tried a new summer blend called Tea and Toast.  This is a black tea with raspberry jam notes. I’ve been enjoying this tea as my summertime breakfast brew, hot or iced depending in the morning temperature.

The black tea is robust and balanced, very much the backbone of this blend. The raspberry is very fragrant in the dry leaf but mellows out slightly in the brew. The blend also includes raspberry pieces and the ever-polarizing hibiscus petals. The hibiscus is used sparingly, and adds just enough juiciness to help the raspberry pop with sweet and tart red berry flavor.

This is a delightful way to spice up you daily breakfast brew. The raspberries taste like summer, but don’t overpower the familiar traditional black tea base. Tea and Toast blend feels as delectable as trying a new flavor of jam on your breakfast toast or in your favorite PB&J. Get a sweet, fresh take in your morning brew this summer before this blend retires at the end of the season.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend Tea
Description: Traditional English breakfast tea with sweet raspberry jam!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Easter Egg Nests from Bluebird Tea Co.

I had to try Easter Egg Nests blend from Bluebird Tea Company as soon as I heard about it:  marshmallows, puffed rice, cacao shells? It’s the dessert tea of my dreams! This blend is based on an Easter dessert of rice krispie treats with chocolate, shaped like bird’s nests with a few mini chocolate eggs or marshmallow peeps for good measure.

Springtime and puffed rice or marshmallow teas are all the rage.  There are lots of sweet and festive peeps-inspired teas available this time of year.  This blend from Bluebird Tea Co. is a slight rarity, in that it is a puffed rice tea with a half black tea half green tea base instead of the full green tea base more traditionally found in genmai cha.

This tea tastes like equal parts marshmallowy rice krispie treat and sweet and creamy milk chocolate. The natural nuttiness of the cacao shells is a perfect match for the toasty puffed rice, and I’m glad for the bolder black tea to provide a solid base for all these delightful dessert flavors. I love this tea just as it is, without sugar or milk; it has a tasty balance of starchy rice with smooth vanilla that isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, like salted caramels.

However, I’ve seen some amazing pictures of this tea as a latte, complete with whipped cream and Easter candy and that might just have to be my next dessert concoction!  Happy Spring!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black tea and Green tea
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.
Description:

The best Easter treats to make as kids: crispy, gooey, chocolatey, goodness! Whether you decorate with chocolate eggs or fluffy chicks we’re all fond of a home-made Easter Egg Crispy Nest (or two!). That’s why our limited edition Easter tea blend is packed with crispy toasted rice, chocolate pieces and (vegan) marshmallows!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Creme from Bluebird Tea Co. . . .

Back in January I treated myself to a huge Bluebird Tea Co order and like so many other companies my package arrived with a couple of extra samples to try. One of those samples happened to be this tea, a teabag of Earl Grey Creme (EGC). This is not one I would have picked for myself in light of my tumultuous relationship with bergamot but it arrived and I am happy to give it a try.

Alas it seems this has fallen victim to the astringency that often accompanies bergamot. Between the black base tea and the crisp citrus, this tea is a touch too brisk for my personal tastes. Often with ECGs, this astringency is drowned out by the vanilla or “creme” component but that is not the case here. With that said, there is a vanilla creaminess lingering beneath the bitter that is trying to break through.

In an effort to drown out the sharpness of the bergamot, I added a splash of half and half cream, which I do not like to do. However, even that isn’t toning down the briskness so ultimately I would say this tea just isn’t for me.

I should note that I brewed this not using my usual variable temperature kettle or mugs which might seem like it doesn’t matter but I have found that such things can impact the flavor of a tea. Moreover, I am in a different country on vacation and something as simple as a different composition of the water could be at play. So in fairness to this particular tea, which happens to be a winner of the 2013 Great Taste Award, my dislike could be because of my preference against bergamot or because of the different elements at play rather than a fault with the tea itself.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Bluebird Tea Co.
Description

Don’t we wish prime ministers today were as good as the ones in the good old days? Take PM Earl Grey, he was the cream of the crop. Not only did he help abolish slavery and reform the House of Commons, he also invented the legendary Earl Grey tea! So we’ve created this creamy tribute just for you old chap!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!