Hot Mama Jama/Bird and Blend Tea Co -variaTEA

Photo Credit: Bird and Blend Tea Co

The weather is quickly cooling down and though I am glad to see the humid days behind me, I am going to miss not having to walk a half hour in the freezing wind to get to/from campus. In light of this conflict over the weather, I went with a hot/spicy tea that also has a tropical vibe, Hot Mama Jama by Bird and Blend Tea Co.

This tea is a Chinese green tea blended with lemongrass, lime leaves and pieces (large pieces at that), chili seeds, hibiscus, rosehip, apple pieces, orange peel, passion fruit pieces, mango pieces, and flavoring. I steeped it for 3 mins in 175F water and I am drinking it plain.

The chili has a strong scent as I lift the mug to take a sip and though the flavor is definitely present in the cup, I wouldn’t say this tea is particularly spicy. Instead I get the flavor of chili upfront and a tiny bit of warmth in the back of my throat throughout the sip. That chili flavor melts into a (mostly tropical) fruity flavor that comes out exceptionally sweet in contrast. Sweet but not cloying. The lemongrass can be more prominent than I like at times but mostly there is just a bright citrus note thanks to the lime and orange. I also definitely get a lot of mango with some bursts of passion fruit here and there. The foundation flavor here keeping everything grounded and underlying the entire sip is the familiar hibiscus/rosehip flavor that is found in so many fruity teas/tisanes. Thankfully it is not strong here as it typically is.

This makes me think of a mango sprinkled with chili powder as the two flavors are both present and compliment each other just as well in tea form as they do when enjoying that treat. With that said, this isn’t necessarily the highest quality tea or the best tea but it is unique and tasty. It is the type of tea that I can enjoy every now and then because it is something different than my usual go-tos.


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Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Bird and Blend Tea Co

Description

Turn up the chilli tea heat and join the tropical carnival with a cup of Hot Mama Jama chilli green tea. But be warned… this blazing remix of refreshing reggae limes and calypso chilli beats will have your taste buds dancing all night long.

Hot Mama Jama is well-loved by our fans in the Brighton Gospel Choir for its amazing abilities to soothe a sore throat. It is the ultimate sore throat tea and when you mix it up with lemon and honey, see sore throat tea recipe it is the best natural remedy for a sore throat that you can find!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Violet Cream/Bird and Blend -Ashmanra-

A friend sent some samples for me to try from far across the sea! This is my first time drinking Bird and Blend as far as I recall, and this is the B&B tea I was most excited to try! I generally enjoy floral teas very much and violet seems so exotic as violet flavored things are rare where I live.

I am “one of those people” who likes violet candy. The first one I tried was very strong and I didn’t like it. It felt like I ate a bath bomb. But then I somehow missed that flavor. I tried another brand and I don’t know if it was milder or sweeter or if I just developed a taste for it, but I could eat a whole pack in one sitting if I didn’t use restraint. (I don’t, by the way, always use restraint.)

I was so madly excited to try this that I took out my most foofoo china and sat at the dining table with pink camellias in front of me in a silverplate gravy boat and fetched a fancy cookie. I am going for the whole experience here.

Mmmmm, the aroma is divine! This is a soft, sweet violet and somehow like sniffing a very fine, delicate talcum, in the best sort of way. The scent is very dreamy and creamy. It doesn’t assault my senses like cheap bubble bath.

I did not get a strong chocolate aroma, but I have never had chocolate covered violets, so maybe this is spot on. In fact, I wondered where the chocolate was. It seemed to actually smell of cream, not just have a creamy mouthfeel.

The chocolate part of this blend is (hallelujah!) cocoa nibs instead of chocolate flavoring. I dug through my infuser basket and found a nib and ate it. Ah, yes, this is what I thought was the cream. Sometimes cream is really just vanilla added to a blend, but this was legitimately creamy tasting and smelling and now I see it somehow came from the cocoa nibs!

All in all, a wonderful elevenses today and this is a blend I would definitely purchase.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Bird and Blend

Description

A chocolate box classic with a B&B twist. Sit back and relax with a nostalgic violet tea that will take you back to being at Grandma’s house

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fruit Salad/Bird and Blend Tea Co

Fruit Salad by Bird and Blend Tea Co. is inspired by “Fruit Salad chews – the glorious childhood penny sweet!” according to the Bird and Blend Tea Co website. I actually realized that just now because when I purchased it, I thought it was inspired by an actual fruit salad. Having never even heard of a Fruit Salad Chew before, I did a bit a research and it would seem that they are chewy candies with raspberry and pineapple flavoring.

Obviously I have never tried Fruit Salad Chews before but brewed hot, this tea has a bit of an artificial waxy quality that Starburst minis tend to have. That is where the similarities between this tea and a chewy fruit candy ends. This is not all that sugary or sweet. In fact, it almost would be better if Bird and Blend was trying to recreate an actual fruit salad because this is a generically fruity and tart tea, more akin to a melange of fruit than fruit chews. Definitely nothing distinctively raspberry or pineapple here, at least in the hot tea.

I also cold brewed this tea to see how that would compare to the hot brew. It was left in the fridge for approximately 24 hours. Cold brewed, this tea is a little sweeter than the hot tea as some of the hibiscus is tamed by this brewing method. I also get more apple flavors among a melange of fruitiness. Again, not much in the way of raspberry or pineapple though and not as sweet as one would expect from a tea inspired by candies.

This to me is like many fruit teas out there. They all have a similar flavor profile with apples and hibiscus. A little sweet and a little tart. With that said, this is less tart than other fruit teas I have had but also has a fair amount of lemongrass flavor. It is nice enough but nothing particularly special. Easy to drink but easy to forget.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Fruit Tisane

Where to Buy:  Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Description

No not the healthy ‘dessert’, the glorious childhood penny sweet! Still a much-loved classic, still wrapped in the iconic orange and pink striped wrapper and still paired with those dastardly Black Jacks (who ever liked those!?) Fruit Salad chews really were the best!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bonfire Toffee/Bird and Blend Tea Co.

When it’s raining cats and dogs out, the sky is dark, and the lightening is bright, there is nothing quite like a latte made with a warming dessert tea. Normally, that warmth comes from a spice like cinnamon or clove but this time I decided to go a different way and picked out Bonfire Coffee by Bird and Blend Tea Co., a smokey black tea with caramel and apple.

I brewed up the tea rather strongly, steeping 4 perfect teaspoons in 8 ounces of boiling water for 4 minutes. I topped the steeped tea with 8 ounces of frothed 1% milk.

The first thing I noticed when drinking the tea was the smoke from the Lapsang Souchong black tea. No surprise there given that Lapsang is always one strong tea.With that said, the milk sat atop the smokiness making for a smooth and creamy smokey flavor, as opposed to a more harsh smoke, until the end of the sip when the smoke just broke free and lingered in the aftertaste. The aftertaste is also where I most noticed the presence of a caramelized sugar/burnt caramel quality that was intermingled with the milk and Lapsang throughout the sip but came through more clearly in the aftertaste. Apple was missing in the latte but my guess it was drowned out by the more prominent flavors of the milk and the Lapsang.

It’s a nice tea but definitely not for the faint of heart. If you are not one for smoke, stay away from the Bonfire.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Description

Travelling 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!

Terry’s Tea/Bird & Blend

Confusingly, the outside of my container for Terry’s Tea says “It’s not Terry’s…”

But, like, whose is it?

Apparently it’s named after Uncle Terry, but he did not come up with it. Is the story. Which is confusing. I’m not a fan of this advertising scheme.

Anyway, this is a chocolate orange tea.

I’ve had some in the past that tasted like one of those chocolate oranges you smash against the wall at Easter.

But this one tastes more like a hot chocolate/cocoa that someone squeezed an orange and some hibiscus into. It has more of a mellow sweetness that comes from cocoa shells than the dark chocolate bite. They each have their time and place, and this one’s a gentler approach.

I haven’t met Terry, but I imagine, from the flavor of this, that he wears a lot of cardigans. He has a self-effacing style of humor. He’s more of a “teach you to take photographs of nature” uncle than a “fix your car” uncle. Animals like his gentle, affable nature. He and his wife like to tend their garden together, their quiet laughter whistling through the acres of fields surrounding their home.

If this is NOT who Terry is, please don’t tell me, Bird & Blend. I like my personal Terry. And this tea.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy:  Bird & Blend

Description

We named our amazing chocolate orange tea after our uncle Terry because it’s his favourite. He’s so fond of it he keeps telling people it’s his. So we have to remind people it’s not actually Terry’s, it’s ours! But with chocolatey cacao and fruity orange peel we can’t really blame him!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!