Throat Rescue: A DAVIDsTea Review

Find comfort in this sweet, soothing blend of mint, licorice root and cinnamon.

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$8.98/50g

Sweet relief…

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(Licorice root, fennel, nana mint, anise, ginger, peppermint, nettle leaves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, marigold blossoms, cornflower blossoms.)

It goes without saying that being under the weather is no fun whatsoever, but it comes to a certain point where you learn to look out for the warning signs. For me personally, 9 times out of 10, if a tickle arises at the back of my throat or it is sore in any way, that’s the initial red flag that I may be developing a cold. When it comes to overcoming a sickness or even warding it off before it starts, Throat Rescue from DAVIDsTea is definitely the kind of tea to have in your arsenal. Looking at this tea, you can pinpoint every component, from the licorice root and ginger to the black peppercorns and pods of cardamom. The pops of colour from the various flower petals, as well as the peppermint leaves, really liven up the appearance of the loose leaf, and kind of distract from the fact that this herbal blend is “good for you”. As for the scent of the dry leaf, the way all the various spices mingle together produces a really strange/hard to describe scent. Honestly reinforcing the idea of this being a medicinal tea that much more.

Four minutes later, and Throat Rescue has steeped to a golden yellow colour brew. The aroma is still as… complicated as before. I suppose I can smell some of the mint, some of the ginger, along with the sweet base of licorice. Speaking of licorice, licorice root has long since been used in DT blends as a natural source of sugar (cc: North African Mint, Chai & Mighty, Bravissimo), but in Throat Rescue, it is pulling double duty. Not only does it possess a powerful sweetness throughout each sip, but paired with the fennel and anise, its soothing properties definitely skyrocket. With licorice root being the primary ingredient, Throat Rescue is super duper sweet, but if you want to “go all out” in curing your sore throat, I would definitely recommend adding in a squirt of honey. Honey is an essential during sick times. I honestly can’t say that I would really reach for this tea unless it was an “emergency” and I was desperate for relief. The taste is not the best, but the tea more or less gets the job done, so it’s definitely worth a try… Even if you have to plug your nose to drink it.

Sweet Ginger Heat: A DAVIDsTea Review

A sweet and spicy blend of ginger, green tea, licorice and orange peel.

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$9.98/50g

Turn up the heat…

Organic Sweet Ginger Heat

(Ginger, green tea, licorice root, orange peel, rosehips, pink peppercorns, natural ginger flavouring.)

Whether you hate it or love it, there are so many reasons to appreciate ginger. For one, it’s been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years. And according to Ayurveda, this aromatic root also balances excess kapha or sluggishness. For as long as I can remember, I have avoided any form of ginger tea. But since discovering DAVIDsTea, my mind has opened up a whole lot more to trying things/ingredients out of my comfort zone, ginger included. And because of recent digestive issues, I discovered Sweet Ginger Heat, a green tea that claims to be both sweet and spicy. The dry leaf definitely smells spicy, but more so from the ginger (which is the main ingredient) than anything else. The rosehip shells, pink peppercorns, and orange peel are what stand out the most in the loose leaf appearance, colour wise, but other than that, every single ingredient is present and visible.

After steeping for close to four minutes, Sweet Ginger Heat brews up to a golden green-esque hue, with the ginger scent still intact, but now it is also supported by the licorice and peppercorns. It’s quite “spicy” from the initial sip, enough to feel it in your throat as the tea goes down, but personally, it’s not overtly intense of a flavour, if you ask me. It’s soothing, if anything. The added ginger flavouring definitely helps to kick things up a notch overall. There is a bit of sweetness from the licorice root that lingers slightly at the end of each sip. It’s not as overbearing as it can be, but it’s a shame, because it does seem to completely outshine the citrus aspect of this kosher blend. I can only imagine that an extended brew time would bring out even more sweetness, and certainly more heat. Aside from the orange peel’s absence, Sweet Ginger Heat still delivers on its sweet and spicy promise, all while being both organic and all-natural.

Sticky Rice Oolong: A DAVIDsTea Review

This sweet and creamy oolong is blended with Nuo Mi Xiang – a tender Chinese herb that tastes and smells just like sticky rice.

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$14.98/50g

Stick ’em up…

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(Oolong tea, sticky rice leaves [Nuo Mi Xiang].)

Sticky rice, also known as sweet or glutinous rice, is grown mainly in south-eastern countries in Asia like Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Laos (where it is their national dish). But today, the focus is on a mountain region located in Thailand called Doi Mae Salong; the source of the oolong that is found within DAVIDsTea’s all new Sticky Rice Oolong. From the loose leaf appearance, I can notice that the little balled up nuggets of tea are on the greener/less oxidized side of the oolong spectrum. They vary in size… and shades of green, but are pretty consistent for the most part. I would be cautious before sniffing this unique blend on an empty stomach, there’s a great chance that it’ll make you hungry! It’s a little daunting to me, just how much this smells like a pot of freshly cooked rice… with some faint floral notes (orchid perhaps) to boot.

After steeping for five (out of seven recommended) minutes, Sticky Rice Oolong is just as fragrant in aroma, if not more so from the initial whiff. And the brew is a gorgeous golden yellow hue. As for the flavour profile? It’s slightly sweet, slightly creamy, yet savoury all at once. Which is none too surprisingly from a tea blend that is centered around rice. From a longtime rice lover, I really appreciate just how well-rounded SRO is. There’s an excellent balance between the oolong base and rice aspect. The oolong isn’t at all lost or overwhelmed by the sticky rice leaves, and not once did I reach for any honey or sweetener of any kind, which sort of says a lot about this limited edition straight tea. Interestingly enough, is processed with a Chinese herb (Nuo Mi Xiang) that tastes and smells just like sticky rice, so you are guaranteed that authentic sticky rice deliciousness, naturally. Not just that, but it can stand up to subsequent steeps, all the while increasing in sweetness, in colour, and taking on more and more of a rice pudding essence. Yum! DAVIDsTea really hit the nail on the head with this one.

 

Ruby Oolong: A DAVIDsTea Review

A rich oolong with notes of caramelized apple and quince, plus a hint of vanilla.

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$19.98/50g

What a gem…

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(Oolong tea from Doi Mae Salong, Thailand.)

Because I would say that at times, I highly identify as an “easily distracted tea drinker”, reading the description to DAVIDsTea’s Ruby Oolong instantly drew me to this organic straight tea. It claims that regardless of boiling temperature, there’s no need to stress, because this unique tea brews well at higher temperatures and never gets bitter. Meaning you can steep to your heart’s content. Although oolong teas are obviously in a realm of their own, this one in particular appears to be on the more oxidized side of the spectrum and closer in character to that of a black tea, as opposed to green. Its loose leaf appearance consists of dark, tightly rolled balls of tea with reddish-gold tips based out of Doi Mae Salong, Thailand. The initial scent out of the bag is not super strong (waiting to be unleashed from within each nugget of tea), but it still manages to come off smelling not only fresh and earthy, but malty too.

(Just shy of) four (out of a recommended seven) minutes later, and Ruby Oolong steeps to this beautifully rich amber colour. Its aroma has definitely developed significantly since being brewed. The supposed notes of “ripe plum, caramelized apple and quince, with a lingering hint of vanilla bean” are undoubtedly lost on me. If anything, the fruitiness is evident more so in the aftertaste, with a bit of a floral finish. It’s a shame the vanilla isn’t more apparent. Overall, it’s a pleasantly smooth cuppa, with a slight natural sweetness to it and a medium body. Although it’s enjoyable plain and as it is, some additional sweetener, honey even, definitely doesn’t hurt. The fact that Ruby Oolong handles multiple infusions like an absolute pro, makes its steep price point of $20 per 50g (or 2 oz.) a little less painful. In a nutshell, Ruby Oolong is the kind of gift that keeps on giving, without skimping out on a drop of flavour.

White Chocolate Chai: A DAVIDsTea Review

Our hunt for the perfect white chocolate chai is finally over. And with its balance of creamy sweetness and warming spices, this black tea blend is even better than we imagined.

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$8.98/50g

Spice up your life…

White Chocolate Chai

(Black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, white chocolate curls, cardamom, cloves, cocoa powder, stevia extract, natural and artificial white chocolate flavouring.)

The concept of a “white chocolate chai” really piqued an interest in me, especially because I haven’t really seen any other company release anything quite like it. But upon seeing the ingredients for DAVIDsTea’s White Chocolate Chai, my original excitement lowered, here’s why: I am personally not a huge fan of regular chocolate, but because the in-store sample didn’t have a strong chocolate taste, I figured I should give this tea a fair shot. The loose leaf appearance looks exactly like a standard chai tea… There’s cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom pods, all on top of a base of black tea. But in this case, there’s also curls of white chocolate, as well as cocoa nibs to “spice” things up. The dry leaf has a strong spiced scent to it, with the ginger, cinnamon and cardamom standing out the most to me. It’s even somewhat comparable to Cardamom French Toast, another spiced black tea blend.

Once steeped for four full minutes, White Chocolate Chai results in a warm, rich brown colour, with a slight oil film across the top of the brew. Upon the initial sip, you can without a doubt feel the presence of the ginger. It’s quite strong, and you can feel the intensity and burn as it goes down. The other spices help to round out the chai aspect, while the white chocolate and stevia extract contributes a sweetness that is not over the top. If the stevia wasn’t listed, I would have had no idea that there was stevia in this tea. It’s really not as in your face as it can be at times. The cocoa (nibs and powder) is not as dominant as I was expecting it to be, the spices definitely reign supreme. Unfortunately the white chocolate is not detectable in the tea’s overall flavour, despite the various chocolate curls scattered throughout, as well as additional flavourings. Adding milk (or preparing WCC as a latte) definitely enhances what White Chocolate Chai should have tasted like from the get-go, but otherwise, it is presented more like a pre-sweetened chai blend than anything else. Yeah, the cozy/comfort factor is there, but it’s still lacking some oomph.

Pumpkin Chai: A DAVIDsTea Review

A sweet black tea spiced with caramel, pumpkin candies, cinnamon and cloves.

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$7.98/50g

Celebrate the harvest…

Pumpkin Chai

(Black tea, cinnamon, cloves, caramel, carrot, lemon peel, pumpkin candies, pumpkin flakes, natural and artificial pumpkin spice flavouring.)

One of the quintessential flavours of fall, is without a doubt, pumpkin. Around this time of year, you slowly but surely start seeing it everywhere you look. From pies, cookies and scented candles to ice cream, alcohol and coffee creamer. The list could definitely go on for quite a while. Even though it has gone through some recent changes since it came out more than five years ago, there’s a reason why DAVIDsTea brings Pumpkin Chai back every year. I think a riot would ensue for this classic otherwise… The bright orange pumpkin candies are a definite ingredient standout in this tea. Amongst the loose leaf, you can almost spot cubes of caramel, cloves, pieces of cinnamon bark and even dried carrot on top of a base of black tea. What comes through the most to me via the scent is the clove and cinnamon, as well as the overall pumpkin spice that is added to this seasonal blend.

After steeping between 3 and 4 minutes, Pumpkin Chai smells like it did initially, but more toned down. The maltiness of the black tea and the spices really make for a warm and comforting cup of tea. Personally, it would have been nice to see the pumpkin (flakes) ranked a bit higher in the ingredients list, because not only am I unable to spot them in the dry leaf, but it’s also not translating as well as it should in the end product after brewing. Pumpkin spice flavouring is included here, and is probably a way better representation/description of what Pumpkin Chai (as a tea) actually is. Although delicious (especially with a splash of cream and a bit of brown sugar stirred in), it is still not quite a true chai, and the pumpkin flavour could be a lot stronger at the end of the day. Thank goodness DAVIDsTea brought back their pumpkin agave (which retails for $14/bottle) again this year, because not only is it another product to rope in pumpkin lovers, it also does wonder for enhancing this tea.

Chai & Mighty: A DAVIDsTea Review

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

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$4.79/50g

Chai it, you’ll like it…

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(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)!