Zest for life…
(Apple, hibiscus, sprinkles, currants, blackberry leaves, rosehip shells, orange peel, sunflower petals, safflower petals, mallow flower petals, natural flavouring.)
Slightly reformulated with little multi-coloured flower shaped sprinkles, Sunny Citrus has risen from the DAVIDsTea tea graveyard just in time for Easter! Unfortunately because of the peanut oil in these very sprinkles — which pose too much of a health risk to those with nut allergies — this tangy fruit infusion is a certified “online exclusive”! It has quite the appealing loose leaf appearance, It’s mostly red you see, like the hibiscus, rosehip shells, currants, but then there are bits of orange peel and apple, alongside the pretty sprinkles (and various actual flower petals). Before steeping, Sunny Citrus has a very strong, pungently tart aroma. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it definitely catches you off guard and throws you through a loop.
Thankfully after 5 to 6 minutes, the scent has dialed down a bit. The citrus is present and it’s almost kind of creamy. I would say it smells a lot more like lemon, as opposed to orange. The hibiscus is what is greatly responsible for the vibrant crimson hue that fills your cup, as well as the powerful tang that flows throughout this tea with each sip. It’s definitely the first thing that hits you with its harsh sour pucker. There is some natural sweetness from the dried fruit and even some buttery notes, but unfortunately the hibiscus really dominates over everything. As soon I heard of this tisane, I had some pretty high hopes for Sunny Citrus. It honestly had all the potential in the world to be a great fruit infusion, but it still fell flat in my opinion. If it cut down significantly on the hibiscus, and upped the amount of orange, this would have been an automatic winner in my books.
Oh, oh it’s magic…
(Mango, apple, hibiscus blossoms, elderberries, guava crunchy, mango, beetroot, rosehips, artificial flavouring.)
Guava is such an unique, underrated fruit, found most often in tropical and subtropical areas (e.g. Central America and Mexico). Although it can only be located in select supermarkets, you don’t really see it around too much, and especially not in teas. But it is about time that the guava got a chance to prove its worth and showcase why it’s so charming of a fruit. In Guava Cadabra, this fruit infusion pairs up its star with a more familiar tropical “delicacy”, the mango. At a glance, this is a truly chunky tea; full of dried fruit pieces (both big and small), beetroot, dark red hibiscus blossoms, itty bitty elderberries, and rosehips. It has a tendency to stick/clump together, because of all the sugars in the fruit. It has a really, potent, irresistible aroma to it, enough to make you fall under its spell.
As it steeps, Guava Cadabra transforms from a cloudy pink (much similar to the flesh of a guava) to a more vivid pink that is borderline red in only five minutes. Almost like magic right before your eyes. The first thing that hits your tongue is the mango and guava together, from the scent right back into the initial sip, they are still very much bonded. They pair well here, but the mango seems to threaten to dominate over the guava. For whatever reason, it is the first ingredient listed (and not just once, but twice…). The level of tartness in this tea is much higher when prepared hot, thanks in part to the hibiscus, but is not so bad once sweetener is added, making it a lot more juice-like and enhancing the full, robustness of the guava flavour. This exotic tisane is really in a realm all of its own; I have yet to meet another tea quite like Guava Cadabra.
Cream come true…
(Apple, jasmine tea, rosehip shells, pineapple, sweet blackberry leaves, marigold flowers, natural and artificial flavouring.)
Imagine: you have just ordered dessert at a restaurant, and they are placing a ramekin of crème brûlée in front of you. You pick up your spoon and begin to crack ever so slowly through a brittle layer of caramel, right before sinking into the contrasting custard base. The French really knew what they were doing, when they came up with this decadent dessert. Jasmine Crème Brûlée, one-third of the new Macaron Collection, boasts all the trademark qualities of this timely classic, but with an unexpected twist. The loose leaf doesn’t look like anything you would expect from a tea with such a namesake, aside from the jasmine green tea. Other than that, there are a lot of chunks of apple and rosehip shells, as well as little bits of candied pineapple and marigold petals. It smells sweet and nutty, almost like Forever Nuts, but that’s just the burnt sugar coming through.
That essence remains even after three minutes of steeping, but the jasmine becomes more prominent. The green tea base is silky smooth and not astringent tasting at all. There is also a nice, natural sweetness to Jasmine Crème Brûlée, but at the same time, it’s not too sweet. It’s very rich and creamy, even before the addition of milk. You can taste the jasmine and you can taste the crème brûlée aspects, respectively. And I think featuring the jasmine adds a subtle floral touch and complements the other components of the tea a lot better than you’d expect. I would personally add a touch more sugar, because I feel that the flavour was a little bit light in terms of sweetness, but still basically tastes like liquid crème brûlée. It’s a well-balanced blend overall. Crème brûlée is nothing I’ve ever actually consumed before, and jasmine is generally a hit or miss for me, so I’m really impressed with Jasmine Crème Brûlée as a whole. Trust me, it tastes way better than it smells!
(White tea, apple, mango, pineapple, green tea, sugar, sweet blackberry leaves, raspberries, chamomile, natural raspberry, vanilla and caramel flavouring.)
Conceptually, Raspberry Meringue makes the most sense being included in the new Macaron collection from DAVIDsTea. For one, macarons are a French meringue-based concoction that are both dainty and bite-sized, while raspberry is a pretty traditional/common flavour used for macarons. So it will be interesting to see how this tea compares to the real deal. The smell is quite nice, like raspberries and creamy vanilla, but there is something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. The caramel perhaps? The loose leaf has a real minced appearance to it; you can see the bits of green tea, white tea, raspberry, little chamomile flowers, the candied fruit, as well as the sugar crystals scattered throughout.
This tea can best be described as Raspberry Cream Pie’s distant relative. It has a similar look; after close to five minutes, you can expect your cup to be filled with a deep caramel-esque colour that looks slightly milky. The first sip delivers a delicate, fruity flavour. The brew tastes very true to actual, fresh raspberries: tart, but sweet. It definitely has a nice lightness to it, which makes it even more of a refreshing cup of tea. The white and green teas blend well together; thankfully the chamomile doesn’t really come through, which was something I was a little worried about. While the combination of the vanilla and caramel flavourings really impart Raspberry Meringue with this rich, dessert tea feel, in addition to the natural sweetness that is subtle and just sweet enough. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, this tea leaves me feeling indifferent. It’s really nothing to write home about, but if you found RCP to be a little too much, this might be a better alternative for you, with a hint of caffeine to boot!
Ice to meet you…
(Apple, melon, carrot, roasted chicory root, apple pomace, sweet blackberry leaves, beetroot, passionfruit granules, marigold, natural watermelon flavouring.)
Not to be ignorant, but I am only particularly familiar with three types of melon, and out of those three, I can’t say that cantaloupe ranks very high on that list. About a year and a half ago, I tried my very first tea from DAVIDsTea… Honey, I Dew. A white tea that unfortunately has been discontinued, but at the time, really sealed the deal for me. But now that Honey I Dew is virtually extinct, the hunt for an exceptional melon flavoured blend has been ongoing ever since. Cantaloupe Ice, one-third of the new Macaron Collection, immediately stands out because it was somehow formulated without containing any actual cantaloupe… just melon and flavouring. That’s impressive, because this fruit infusion truly does smells just like cantaloupe.
But as much as it smells like “cantaloupe”, it also kind of smells like plain ol’ melon too. Some carrot, or even the roasted chicory root maybe? After close to six minutes, Cantaloupe Ice steeps to a beautiful red orange colour, which is a little surprising to me, knowing that this blend has beetroot listed in the ingredients. Even though the cantaloupe is a simulated flavour, this tea doesn’t taste artificial in the slightest. The taste is juicy and robust, but also slightly tart with a tangy mouth feel, thanks no doubt to the passion fruit granules. For this reason, sugar is a definite must. Overall, it’s still an incredibly refreshing cuppa. It would have felt a bit sacrilegious drinking this hot when “ice” is in its name, so I think trying it both ways was important, even though I already knew it was better off being made iced. Perhaps the best way to describe Cantaloupe Ice is to think about if Melon Drop and Luscious Watermelon came together and made a (fruity tea) baby. Yum!
(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.
Bake it til you make it…
(Oolong tea, lemongrass, lemon peel, sunflower blossom, white hibiscus blossom, natural and artificial pound cake and lemon flavour.)
If you are a fan of lemon flavoured things, and you also enjoy cake, how could you possibly go wrong with Lemon Pound Cake? A fan favourite from last year’s Mother’s Day collection, that has made its highly anticipated return as DAVIDsTea’s Tea of the Month for March. The traditional recipe (for pound cake) calls for an entire pound of sugar AND a pound of butter, which makes total sense why it tastes so darn good. The dry leaf consists of bits of decent sized oolong pieces, flower petals, lemon peel, and plenty of lemongrass, which contributes to the strong citrus smell that wafts straight out of the bag. Two things that instantly come to mind (that are just as amazing as this tea): Lemon Loaf from Starbucks and the Lemon Poppyseed muffin sold at Tim Hortons (usually around the summertime). Four minutes is literally all you need to get a deep, rich yellow cup of tea. I can pick up more of a cake batter scent now after steeping, while the lemon has toned down a touch.
The lemon is certainly more pronounced than the oolong in the brewed tea as well. The oolong base is not very strong in taste, but it offers a buttery, floral character to the tea, on top of the sunflower & white hibiscus blossoms and compliments the lemongrass/lemon flavour very well, rounding everything out. Without any sweetener, I am not sure how “lemon pound cake” like compared to just lemon it actually tastes. The sugar helps bring out some hidden flavours, while milk definitely adds a decadent creaminess. It is very lemony, with cake flavour in the aftertaste. Really and truly, Lemon Pound Cake is the lighter version of the real thing without sacrificing on flavour. Not only does this tea blend live up to its namesake, it is also an amazing dessert tea to indulge in every once in awhile or all day, every day, no matter how you decide to make it. Hot, iced, and especially in latte form!