Chai & Mighty: A DAVIDsTea Review

A rich blend of warm spices, with a sweet hint of licorice root and vanilla.

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japsench

$4.79/50g

Chai it, you’ll like it…

chai

(Black tea, cinnamon, ginger, licorice root, cardamom pods, cloves, vanilla, black pepper, natural vanilla flavouring.)

It’s no wonder chai tea is a classic and a staple beverage for many all over the world. It’s warm and comforting with an extensive history (dating back to the early 1900s), but what exactly constitutes the perfect blend? Before it was declared Chai & Mighty, it was tentatively named David’s Chai, because DAVIDsTea considered it to be their perfect version of the classic. But with a new collection of chai options being released within the next week, Chai & Mighty’s reign is sadly coming to an end. The dry leaf of this organic blend is highly aromatic (as is to be expected of a chai tea); nicely spiced with an underlying sweetness from the vanilla. The loose appearance is minced for the most part; the black tea base, black pepper, cinnamon bark, licorice root, and vanilla appear to blend together. The remaining ingredients (ginger, cloves, and cardamom pods) stand out the most, because they are bigger in size than everything else.

Admittedly, licorice root is not something I’m particularly a fan of (in my tea or otherwise). It is used to supply a natural sweetness to teas, but at times, it can come off as cloying and overbearing, especially if steeped for long enough. Which is why I only steeped Chai & Mighty for just over three minutes, one minute under the suggested preparation time of 4-7 minutes. The scent at this point is quite similar to how it was originally, but certainly not as potent. In your cup, you can expect a reddish brown type of colour, typical of a black tea. Chai & Mighty certainly delivers on flavour. It’s spiced, but not at all spicy. Surprisingly, the licorice is tolerable this time around. If anything, it simply lingers after each sip. It seems to overtake the vanilla as well, because I’m struggling to detect it here. There’s a slight bit of astringency, but ultimately, it’s full of body/character. And just as great with a touch more sugar and a splash of milk. Stock up while you still can (currently out of stock online)!

Pear Blossom: A DAVIDsTea Review

This mouthwatering infusion balances the sweetness of Anjou pears with papaya, pineapple and a floral kiss of sunflower blossom. Pure pear-fection.

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$7.98/50g

Next-level nectar…

(Pear, apple, candied papaya, candied pineapple, rosehip peel, sunflower blossoms, stevia extract, natural pear and peach flavouring.)

I don’t know if anyone else can sense fall in the air too, but just because summer is slowly but surely coming to an end, there are still so many things to look forward to with fall just around the corner. Like pears coming into season, for example. With over 3,000 varieties available around the world, this member of the rose family, is an excellent source of (dietary) fibre and more versatile than you’d think. DAVIDsTea showcases the Anjou pear, in all its fresh and juicy glory, through a herbal blend called Pear Blossom (1/5 of the newly released Harvest Collection). Pear is indeed the dominant ingredient in the initial aroma of the dry leaf, followed by peach with a hint of apple, while the loose leaf appearance consists of little dried bits of pineapple and papaya, amongst slightly bigger pieces of pear and apple, with a much needed kiss of colour from the rosehip peel and yellow flower petals. Everything is present, except of course, the added flavourings and stevia extract.

Even after steeping for seven full minutes, Pear Blossom still results in a pretty light colour that is reminiscent of diluted apple juice, and it smells just as sweet and fruity as it did upon first sniff. I love that despite containing four other fruit flavours, the pear here is somewhat mellow, but ultimately manages to hold its own. The sunflower blossoms contribute a pleasant and delicate floral element in the backend of each sip. It should be noted that even with stevia being apart of this tea, it is thankfully quite tame. It’s there to help provide the perfect level of sweetness, and not take away from the ripe pear flavour, like it has a tendency to do at times. The fact that there is peach flavouring infused into this tisane admittedly throws me off a bit, but I think it is what is making me favour this tea as much as I do. The pear and peach are mingling together here in perfect harmony. From my previous experience with pear based teas from DT (cc: Poached Pear, Ginger Pear), they are typically paired with warmer components like ginger or cinnamon, but even though Pear Blossom is a sweeter, juicier pear offering, you honestly can’t go wrong whether you decide to drink this one iced or hot/warm.

Magic Potion: A DAVIDsTea Review

This magical blend of berries and butterfly pea flowers changes colour with lemon juice.

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$9.98/50g

Razzle dazzle…

Magic Potion

(Currants, apples, rosehips, butterfly pea flowers, raspberries, blackberries, stevia extract, natural kiwi, blackberry and bilberry flavouring.)

Are you bored of your current tea selection at home or just looking to try something new and exciting? Well, look no further than Magic Potion, a brand new herbal tea offering, that features an ingredient that is not so common in the tea world. Although it goes by a handful of different names, butterfly pea is the most common, and it is a unique flower/plant that is native to Southeast Asia, where it is regularly used as a natural food colouring. Magic Potion’s loose leaf appearance consists of azure petals (complimented by a pop of yellow) from the aforementioned flower, which are transferring some of their colour to a lot of the other components. There are bits of apple, rosehip shells, as well as currants and an assortment of dried berries. The aroma is familiar, but difficult to put my finger on. It’s quite potent, with lingering notes of mixed berries and a candy-like essence.

After just over six minutes, Magic Potion smells like it did initially, but a watered down version, if that makes sense, and possesses a deep, enticing shade of blue, that is almost too pretty to consume. At this point it is literally a blue, blue raspberry flavoured brew that has a juicy, nostalgic blue raspberry flavour. There are very soft floral undertones present, but it’s a shame the kiwi flavouring gets lost amongst everything else here. Overall, it definitely doesn’t taste all that natural, and it’s quite sweet due to the addition of stevia extract. My teeth are already protesting against it. Now, you can continue on enjoying this tea as is, but if you do that, you miss out on finding out how Magic Potion got its name. The so called “magic” happens when you squeeze some fresh lemon juice into your cup, and get to watch your tea turn from a rich indigo to a vibrant purple right before your eyes! Once the citrus is added, the flavour gets a pop of acidity and takes on more of a lemonade vibe. Good hot or cold, with or without lemon, and despite the sweetness, is at least worth trying for its fun colour changing abilities. 

Guangzhou Milk Oolong: A DAVIDsTea Review

A luxuriously creamy blend of oolong and all-natural milk flavouring.

japsench

$12.98/50g

Indulge…

Guangzhou Milk Oolong

(Chinese oolong tea from the Fujian province, natural flavouring.)

The Wuyi Mountains are a mountain range in the Fujian province, China, where many black teas (like Lapsang souchong) and oolong teas are produced. Because the Wuyi region is notably small, these teas tend to be more in demand and more on the expensive side. DAVIDsTea’s Guangzhou Milk Oolong is an ultra-rare luxury tea from the area mentioned earlier, that has an interesting “origin story”/legend connected to it, about when the moon supposedly fell in love with a comet. Honestly, it does not really smell a whole lot like actual milk as much as it smells milky. That, and a not-so-subtle hint of orchid. This adds a nice floral element to the aroma. The appearance of the loose leaf on the other hand, consists strictly of tightly rolled pieces of oolong tea, with some more green in colour than others. After steeping for a full four minutes, this all-natural blend brews to a light golden yellow-ish colour, almost like liquid sunshine in a cup!

There is a slightly vegetal, but floral scent that wafts off of your cup once prepared. It reminds me a lot of Vanilla Orchid, as well as Monk’s Blend, two oolongs that I particularly favour. This oolong is such a treat! …Creamy, buttery and super smooth. It’s basically everything you want in a cup of tea combined together. There’s minimal need to fuss and alter, besides making sure that your boiled water is the right temperature, but aside from that, there’s already a natural sweetness present here, so there’s no need for sugar whatsoever. And of course, the milk is there. It’s more or less the intended star of the show. The milk flavour is fairly light, unfortunately, but as the tea begins to cool down, it increases slightly. But it doesn’t hurt to toss in an additional splash of milk. And although it might sound like the epitome of redundant, preparing GMO as a latte has a better end result than you would think. It obviously enhances the natural creaminess, and just pairs well with the buttery quality of the base overall. At $13 per 50g/2oz, Guangzhou Milk Oolong is on the pricey side, but because of its high quality, you can re-steep it over and over to get your money’s worth!

 

 

 

 

Berries and Cream Matcha: A DAVIDsTea Review

A silky sweet blend of creamy vanilla, fresh berry and vibrant stone-ground green tea.

japsench

$8.98/50g

The berry best…

Berries & Cream Matcha

(Cane sugar, green tea, natural vanilla and berry flavouring.)

Simple, to the point, yet oh so delicious. Does it really get any better than sitting out on your porch on a warm, summer morning/afternoon/evening with a bowl of fresh berries and a generous dollop of whipped cream right on top? After witnessing the immense popularity of both Blackberry Blizzard and Frozen Raspberry that have released in the past couple months – fruity, herbal infusions that are advertised as the “ultimate berries and cream treat” and a “berry-licious “game changer”, respectively – it is not at all surprising that DAVIDsTea decided to create a Berries and Cream inspired matcha. The appearance is typical of a flavoured matcha with the vibrant stone-ground green tea and cane sugar crystals sprinkled throughout. The initial smell wafting out of the bag, although present, is unfortunately merely only a faint combination of berry and vanilla.

But once it is prepared, you are left with a pleasant, emerald green liqueur, and the berries and cream concept finally begins coming to life. In both smell and taste, with just a hint of that grassy green tea base. The vanilla is a satisfactory addition to the mixed berries flavour, making it feel that much more like a dessert. Obviously adding milk helps to build on the natural creaminess of this matcha and develop the overall mouthfeel. The disappointing factor here would have to be the sugar level. Of course, all the flavoured matchas have added sugar, but for whatever reason, these new matchas seem to be over the top sweet. But at the end of the day, all you need is some Ceremonial or Grand Cru matcha to tone things down to your personal preference. I do love that although it’s highly enjoyable hot or warm, Berries and Cream matcha really does have iced latte written all over it! It’s a pretty decent “dupe” or “replacement” for my beloved Blueberry Matcha. It takes the nice, silky smooth berry flavour you expect, and amplifies it by adding a smooth creaminess from the vanilla element.

 

 

Hawaiian Punch Matcha: A DAVIDsTea Review

This lively blend of powdered green tea and tropical fruit flavour packs a punch.

japsench

$8.98/50g

Pineapple express…

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(Cane sugar, green tea, natural fruit punch flavouring.)

Apple, apricot, guava, orange, papaya, passion fruit, and pineapple. These are the seven fruit flavour components that make up Hawaiian Punch, a brand of fruit punch that has been around for global consumption for many years (83, to be exact).
Sweet and fruity, with a tropical essence, perfect enough to quench the greatest of thirsts. Even though DAVIDsTea is in no way a stranger to creating fruity matcha flavours (cc: strawberry, peach, mango, and blueberry), I never once thought I would see the day that a fruit punch inspired blend would come to be. The appearance is typical of a flavoured matcha with the vibrant stone-ground green tea and cane sugar crystals sprinkled throughout. And not only does it look like regular matcha, it smells like it too. Unfortunately… If anything, the scent is super duper faint, buried deep under the grassy matcha, which is a bit of a disappointment.

The fruity scent of HPM does not really appear until after the matcha has been prepared. It’s almost as if hot water activates the smell and brings it to life. Of course with it being fruit punch inspired, I must say I can’t really pick up on any one fruit over another here, besides pineapple maybe. But one thing is for sure, this matcha has certainly nailed that almost nostalgic feeling from having a tall glass of Hawaiian Punch. It’s lively, and bursting with tropical fruit flavours. (Who knew “natural fruit punch flavouring” was actually a thing, by the way?) Unfortunately, just like the two other new matchas, this one too (like its red counterpart) is overtly sweet, and would benefit from being mixed with some plain, unflavoured matcha powder. Hawaiian Punch Matcha is the one that makes the least sense to me, to be served as a hot beverage. Just think about drinking hot juice… Although it is still pretty good either way, iced is definitely how I prefer to have it. And even though it may seem odd to add milk to this one, the milk obviously adds a pleasant creaminess to the overall mouthfeel and enjoyment of this green tea.

Strawberry Lemonade: A DAVIDsTea Review

This citrus-y tea tastes just like a fresh glass of lemonade, with a strawberry twist.

zero

$8.98/50g

Berry contrary…

Strawberry Lemonade

(Apple, hibiscus blossoms, blackberry leaves, candied papaya, lemongrass, beetroot, strawberries, marigold blossoms, natural strawberry and lemon flavouring.)

When life gives you lemons, you obviously have to make lemonade. Sweet or tart, pink or yellow, a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade is the perfect beverage to have on hand on a warm, sunny afternoon. A nostalgic symbol of both summertime and childhood, this simple drink (literally lemon juice, water, and sugar) has been enjoyed all over the world for at least ten decades, and it clearly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But what do you do when life hands you a pitcher of lemonade? Why not amp it up and add some juicy strawberries into the mix? Strawberry Lemonade is a brand new herbal blend from the Freshly Squeezed Collection by DAVIDsTea that released today, and from the scent alone, I’m already getting strong lemonade vibes. The lemongrass is what stands out the most in the dry nose. The sharp citrus kind of towers over the sweet strawberry, but still manages to hold its own.

There’s yellow via the marigold petals, green via the blackberry leaves and lemongrass, and of course, plenty of red via the hibiscus blossoms, beetroot, strawberries, and more. These are all visible in the loose leaf appearance of this tisane. Once steeped for just over six minutes, Strawberry Lemonade quickly transforms into a dark, crimson red colour that now smells a lot more like berries than it did previously. Upon sipping, you get hit directly with a bit of a pucker from the tart lemon (as well as the hibiscus!), finishing with a sweet berry note to round it all out. Sugar is definitely required in this tea to remove a lot of the tang. Hot, it’s not too impressive, but iced, it reigns supreme. Suffice to say, it is both delicious and refreshing. This tea really hits the nail on the head, capturing the idea of Strawberry Lemonade perfectly. It has the bright tartness that you expect from lemonade, with a sweet hint of strawberry. If you like Electric Lemonade, this tea is pretty similar in flavour, but without the mate base/caffeine aspect.