Berry Romantic: A DAVIDsTea Review

A romantic strawberries-and-cream tea, strewn with pretty flower petals.

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$9.98/50g

Will you berry me…

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(Apple, oolong tea, cane sugar, blackberry leaf, gomphrena petals, jasmine buds, strawberries, rose buds, natural strawberry flavouring and artificial cream flavouring.)

For some, strawberries are essential to a successful Valentine’s Day, aside from chocolate and flowers, of course. Did you know that this popular red berry is a part of the rose family? No wonder they’re so romantic! And no wonder they were put together in Berry Romantic, a strawberries-and-cream oolong tea, newly released for V-Day. Strawberry shortcake is definitely one of my very favourite cakes to indulge in, so I have incredibly high hopes for this tea. Although it is not exactly what I expected, Berry Romantic’s loose leaf appearance is stunning. Largely in part to the gomphrena – a flower from Hawaii that symbolizes love and friendship – petals sprinkled throughout in all their pretty pink glory, while the cane sugar kind of makes everything stick together.

Fruity, and slightly creamy, which goes along with the whole “berries and cream” sales pitch. Too bad the smell doesn’t translate into the flavour. The oolong base is strong. After the minimum steeping time of four minutes, the oolong dominates over the aforementioned fruity aroma. The berry flavour is still there, but more so in the aftertaste, if anything. It’s quite subtle and underwhelming, all things considering. It’s a little surprising to me that I can’t pick up on much of the floral notes, considering the amount of flowers mixed in here, especially the jasmine and the rose. Although it’s already leaning towards being sweet, I find adding just a touch more sweetener helps bring this together somewhat. Berry Romantic is more or less appropriate for this collection, but at the end of the day, I don’t believe that it delivered on the flavour it promised to showcase.

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White Chocolate Rose: A DAVIDsTea Review

A beautiful black tea, packed with pretty rosebuds and creamy white chocolate.

japsench

$8.98/50g

Rose to the occasion…

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(Black tea, white chocolate, rose buds, natural and artificial flavouring.)

Valentine’s Day is one of the most commercial holidays in the year (aside from Halloween and Christmas), a time when people spend the most money possible on cards, toys, chocolate(s) and flowers (roses, in particular) to shower their loved ones with the utmost affection. Now with V-Day just over two weeks away, it is never too early to get yourself into the romantic mindset. White Chocolate Rose (formerly known as English Rose) is everything you love about February 14th fused into a fragrant black tea. I personally love how simple (and pretty!) this blend is. It is literally just curls of white chocolate and whole rose buds sprinkled into a classic black tea. The dry leaves smells incredibly floral, like rose perfume or rose water, which leaves me apprehensive, because who personally wants to drink perfume?

It basically has the same aroma after four minutes of steeping, but toned down a bit. The white chocolate contributes that trademark oil film that you may sometimes see at the top of your cup. It is a nice, caramel-like brown colour, with slight creaminess from the chocolate, but honestly, not very much. The rose does a great job of dominating over everything, from the aroma to the taste. Although, I must note that the maltiness from the black tea base does help mellow out the intensity of the rose, avoiding too perfume-y of an overall flavour profile. If you are not a fan of strong floral notes, this definitely won’t be your cup of tea. Personally, I don’t mind it too much. It actually sent me through a loop hole, because the smell and taste reminds me so much of cream soda, oddly enough. And I’m probably alone in thinking that. But all in all, this is a very fitting tea to be part of this year’s Valentine’s Day collection. It doesn’t get more romantic than this.

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Caramel Corn: A DAVIDsTea Review

Everyone’s favourite fairground snack, with a hint of fruit and coconut.

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$7.98/50g

Top of the pops!

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(Apple, cinnamon, pineapple, caramel, currants, almonds, beetroot, coconut, popcorn, natural and artificial flavouring.)

If you ask me, there is one thing you should never have to choose between, and that’s eating something sugary and sweet or something more savoury. Life is too short not to enjoy the best of both worlds. Just think about some of the most popular sweet and salty food combos: peanut butter + chocolate, chicken + waffles, pineapple + ham, and of course… caramel + popcorn. DAVIDsTea’s Caramel Corn is honestly just as addictive. The loose leaf has a lot going on; not only are there huge pieces of cinnamon bark and bits of caramel sprinkled throughout, there’s also popped corn, coconut, slivers of almond, and dried fruit. The good news though, is that this caffeine-free blend smells absolutely amazing! 110% like Caramel Corn, but with a bonus nutty quality. The cinnamon in it makes it super warm and comforting when prepared hot and left to brew.

Because this tea is on the heavier side, you’ll unfortunately need to use more in order to avoid a weak tasting cup of tea. After close to 7 minutes, Caramel Corn steeps up a pretty pink colour due to a touch of beetroot. Despite the obvious natural sweetness they bring to this tea, I feel like the fruit (apple, pineapple, currants) isn’t actually needed for the success of this tea. But it’s okay, because Caramel Corn is still rich with creamy, sweet caramel-y notes. Note: Adding a splash of milk/cream or making a latte really helps develop the creaminess, transforming the sipping experience into even more so of a treat. Overall, Caramel Corn is a satisfying tribute to its namesake and a great option for those with a massive sweet tooth in search of something truly indulgent and guilt free. It basically takes all the good qualities of the following fan favourites: Forever Nuts, Sleigh Ride & Movie Night and bundles them up with a buttery, caramel corn flavour.

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Honey Lullaby: A DAVIDsTEA Review

A delicately sweet honey-chamomile blend with a twinkling dash of rose petals.

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$9.98/50g

I dream of honey…

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(Chamomile, rose petals, cornflower petals, stevia extract, natural and artificial honey flavouring.)

It’s time to de-stress and let yourself succumb to the powers of Honey Lullaby, a newly released herbal infusion that is both sweet and soothing. Everyone has their own special way to wind down before bed, but sometimes all you need is a warm cup of tea. Perhaps after trying this particular tea, you just may make it a part of your night time routine. First of all, it’s got a calming base of chamomile – a flower renowned for its relaxing properties, then add in a nice touch of honey, and finally, rose petals to perfume the mix. Now, is this or is this not the prettiest loose leaf tea you’ve ever laid your eyes on? It’s basically a blend of colourful flower petals. Gorgeous!

Too bad I’m not the biggest fan of chamomile, because that’s all I smell. And after just over four minutes, it’s still all that I smell. The colour that it steeps to can be best described as liquid honey. That nice, golden hue. Let’s talk about the stevia, shall we? As per usual, it is doing nothing but making this tea taste overtly sweet and leaving a really weird aftertaste. It’s the first thing that I notice upon taking a sip, followed by the chamomile. If anything, it would have been better to leave it out completely or at least increase the honey flavouring. I wish I could say that the honey and chamomile compliment each other well, but here the honey is actually quite weak, just like the supposed floral undertones. Unfortunately, this is on the more expensive side, especially for a herbal tea, but because it’s so light and fluffy, at least you get a lot of bang for your buck…

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Mighty Aphrodite: A DAVIDsTea Review

This sweet, herbal raspberry leaf tea is perfect for soon-to-be moms.

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$8.98/50g

Girl power!

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(Raspberry leaves, apple, lemon balm, rosehip shells, raspberry, natural raspberry and red fruit flavouring.)

To be honest, dried raspberry leaves look extremely odd, and not like something that should be consumed, but on the other hand, they’re known to be “a girl’s best friend” for many reasons. For example: treating cold sores, promising to increase fertility, and relieving morning sickness symptoms. But the benefit that has always caught my attention is the supposed ability to relieve menstrual cramps… something that I  personally suffer from a great deal, each and every month (Sorry if that’s TMI, just being honest). Sweet raspberry with a slight herbal background is what I can pick up from the first whiff, but there’s still something else there that I can’t quite put my finger on… Guess that’ll remain a mystery to me.

You would think that this tea would be red or pink even, but after just over five minutes, Mighty Aphrodite steeps up to a golden/amber-ish colour, but loses its fruity aroma somewhat. Apparently its flavour as well. The first sip is not very strong or impressive, but perhaps a longer steep time was necessary. It’s pretty bland as is. It seems a touch of sugar/sweetener is needed for it to be enjoyable. After agave, I could taste the raspberry mingling with the apple, with lemon (balm) coming through in the aftertaste. Overall, Mighty Aphrodite is a smooth and soothing blend. I can’t exactly vouch for whether or not it actually helps with cramps. It could just be a placebo effect, after all. But I’ll probably continue to drink it out of sheer desperation.

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DAVIDsTea – The Perfect Spoon

Made to measure…

This is one of our very favourite products. It’s small, but has great powers. By helping you measure your loose-leaf tea correctly, it will ensure a perfect brew every time. Not too strong, not too weak. You’ll love it. Just the high-quality heft of the stainless steel is enough to make us want to buy another.

When I first got into DAVIDsTea in September of 2015, I made my very first online order about a week or two later, which included the following starter items:

first

It’s debatable whether the perfect spoon really serves a purpose, or how necessary it really is to the tea making process. Every tea drinker is different; some opt for using regular measuring spoons to make their daily cuppas, but for me, The Perfect Spoon is all I’ve known to use from the very beginning. It is an essential part of my day, especially where tea is concerned. And to be honest, that is every day. In the past year, DAVIDsTea has developed their accessories line, expanding on their variety of spoons. They’ve always had their standard silver, but recently they have come out with black for Halloween and gold for the holidays.

A couple days ago, guava pink, teal, mango, deep indigo, and sunshine yellow all joined the spoon family. They’re all limited edition colours, and as much as I was intrigued to have my very own spoon rainbow, I decided to stick strictly with the teal option. Any of the other colours would have added a nice added brightness to my tea corner, but I ultimately felt like teal was the clear winner, because it’s the perfect representative of DAVIDs Tea as a whole. That classic teal is splashed on their store walls, their website, and even the boxes that get dropped off at your home each time you order. Now, if they ever came out with a lilac purple or minty green coloured perfect spoon, I would be all over those in a hot second!

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Zestfully Green: A DAVIDsTea Review

Start fresh with this energizing blend of citrus, ginger and benefit-packed matcha.

japsench

$8.98/50g

A citrusy splash…

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(Ginger, green tea, apple, licorice root, orange peel, sweet blackberry leaves, matcha green tea, natural lemon flavouring.)

Who’s ready for an all-natural detox… in liquid form? Now that we have officially left 2016 behind us, what better time than now to sip to a fresh new start, via another offering from DAVIDsTea’s Feel Good Collection that is chocked full of healthy, beneficial ingredients. There is matcha, as well as regular green tea; both are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. The addition of licorice root aids in digestion and helps to soothe irritation and inflammation of the digestive tract, while the citrus is hydrating and great for helping to improve your immune system. But best of all, there is ginger. It’s almost like a secret weapon. This spicy root is renowned for its powerful cleansing properties, and that’s the very first thing you can smell when you get a whiff of this tea, along with a splash of citrus.

Every ingredient in this tea is dusted thoroughly with matcha powder, so even after the minimum steeping time of three minutes, you’re left with a really murky looking cup of tea. It’s similar to swamp water. You know, like a very unappealing brown-ish green shade. I can already predict that this blend is going to get plenty of comparisons to the Tea of the Month, Live Wire Lemon, which makes sense, but there’s more of an earthy kick from the ginger here, as well as the licorice root that hits you at the back of throat with its natural sweetness. As you get closer and closer to the bottom of this brew, the ginger becomes more and more prevalent; ginger just has a way of stealing the spotlight and making itself known as much as possible, and here is no exception. You can’t really taste the green tea or the matcha at all, but it’s still there for a nice boost of energy. Zestfully Green, simply put, is the love child of the aforementioned Live Wire Lemon & The Buzz.

 

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