Strawberry Lemonade: A DAVIDsTea Review

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

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$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.

 

3cups-2

 

Frozen Raspberry: A DAVIDsTea Review

This sweet and tart raspberry-packed tisane tastes just like creamy frozen yogurt.

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$7.98/50g

Berry delicious…

Frozen Raspberry

(Apple, sugar, raisins, hibiscus blossoms, carrot, yogurt pieces, beetroot, raspberry, natural and artificial raspberry and strawberry-cream flavouring.)

Also known as Rubus idaeus, the raspberry belongs to the same botanical family as the rose and the blackberry. But the fun facts don’t stop there – it turns out that there is far more to this brilliant berry than first meets the naked eye. And what’s not to love? Raspberries are a delicious fruit that pleases one’s taste buds and satisfies their nutritional needs all at once. With their slightly tangy flavour and bright, summer freshness, it makes sense that DAVIDsTea decided to showcase them in the newly released Frozen Raspberry. It smells super tart and creamy, sort of reminiscent of Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait, another herbal blend with some overlapping ingredients. Raisins, carrot, hibiscus, beetroot, apple, sugar crystals, yogurt pieces… You can see it all in the loose leaf. Not so much the raspberry though, it appears to have faded into the background among the hibiscus, beetroot, and other dark coloured items.

It is this tag team of hibiscus blossoms and beetroot that helps to deliver a deep, vibrant shade of red to Frozen Raspberry after just over five minutes of steeping. If you love raspberries in all of their fruity, slightly sour glory like me, then you will also be able to appreciate the flavour this tea manages to capture: fresh raspberry with just a touch of creaminess. It is a great balance between sweet and tart overall. Yes, there are actual pieces of sugar swimming throughout this tea already, but what with all the natural tang/tartness present in here, some added sweetener definitely helps tone it down and heighten the creamy factor. This tea seems to have a similar concept to Blackberry Blizzard, another berry based tisane that came out recently and also boasts a smooth, yogurt richness. Ideally, this supposed “creamy swirl of yogurt” is not nearly as strong as it could be. Which makes it that more frustrating, that you cannot add milk to Frozen Raspberry, nor can you transform it into a latte and bring forward its true “frozen yogurt” characteristics… because hibiscus would ruin it completely. Still a great iced tea overall!

 

2cups-2

Melon Cooler: A DAVIDsTea Review

Stay hydrated with this fresh and juicy melange of watermelon, citrus and hibiscus.

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$7.98/50g

Use your melon…

(Apple, pineapple, hibiscus, orange peel, carrot, fig, stevia extract, natural and artificial watermelon flavouring.)

Is anyone else starting to get a little too bogged down by all the melon/watermelon tea releases from DAVIDsTea? We’ve had Melon Drop, Cantaloupe Ice, Sour Watermelon, and now Melon Cooler. No offense whatsoever to DT; watermelon is easily my favourite fruit to enjoy once the weather starts to warm up, hands down. Watermelons are filled with water and electrolytes, making them the quintessential fruit to keep you refreshed and plenty hydrated whenever needed. Dried melon may not exactly be in the list of ingredients, but the loose leaf is actually full of carrot, moderate pieces of fig, hibiscus, apple, and pineapple. Melon Cooler has an interesting dry leaf scent. For the most part, it’s nice and fruity… Almost smells like artificial watermelon flavoured gummy candy. But the more that I think about it, I’m also getting a strong pickle vibe…

After just over seven minutes of steeping, Melon Cooler’s aroma changes once more; to something that is oddly reminiscent of boiled or steamed carrots. Any previous melon-like smell is basically gone at this point. A deep, dark red colour results thanks to the hibiscus in this mix. As is expected, it is the very first thing you taste, with its sharp tanginess. Thankfully, a slight sweetness follows with each sip. There is certainly an essence of watermelon present, but it’s honestly not strong enough to keep the hibiscus at bay or from outshining it. Especially since it is meant to be the star of this blend… It’s also a shame that the citrus aspect of Melon Cooler is basically undetectable. On the other hand, the inclusion of stevia doesn’t seem to be too bad here; it is contributing some sweetness alongside the natural sugars in the dried fruit. Additional sweetener does appear to tamper down the strength of the hibiscus somewhat, making this cuppa more bearable. Here’s hoping this is the melon-based to come out this year…

 

2cups-2

Serenity Now: A DAVIDsTea Review

This soothing blend of lavender, strawberry and hibiscus is a one-way ticket to your happy place.

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$8.98/50g

Zen and sensibility…

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(Currants, rosehips, apple, lavender, spearmint, hibiscus, blueberries, rose petals, strawberries, quince, natural rose water and strawberry flavouring.)

Nothing evokes feelings of  calm and pure relaxation, quite like lavender. The aroma alone can put you at ease. It is one of the most fragrant and highly versatile herbs that you can grow. Not only is it used in aromatherapy as an essential oil, it is utilized in traditional herbal medicine, in the kitchen as a culinary herbal, as well as in tea blends like Serenity Now from DAVIDsTea. This pretty purple flower acts as the base to this herbal infusion that also features strawberries, hibiscus, and spearmint (which happens to be in the same family as lavender, interestingly enough). The floral aspect is not as potent as I originally expected, it actually smells quite soothing. Somehow you can pick on several different components here and there, but it’s mostly the sweet strawberry and floral lavender that come through the most in the dry leaf nose.

After four minutes, Serenity Now steeps to a really diluted, red colour that is also transparent looking. Its initial fruity/floral scent remains in tact, but it is subdued. Did you know? Lavender comes from the Latin verb, “lavare”, which means to wash. And a little definitely goes a long way. Otherwise you may end up with a taste in your mouth, very similar to that of a fancy soap, your grandmother’s signature perfume, or even potpourri. I feel like there’s something sophisticated about mixing lavender, mint, and strawberry. But it’s also a very hit or miss tea. Serenity Now, admittedly, has a lot going on and a very complex flavour profile. Sweetener (may that be agave, cane sugar, honey, or otherwise), is what is going to bring out the fruitiness and tone down the intense floral and tart hibiscus notes present here. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of lavender or teas that are too perfume-y, this is still a worth try, especially iced, when it transforms from soothing to incredibly refreshing.

 

2cups-2

 

 

Sparkling Sangria: A DAVIDsTea Review

This sweet tropical sangria sparkles with papaya, mango and pineapple. Just add wine!

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$7.98/50g

Patio not included…

Sparkling Sangria

(Apple, papaya, mango, pineapple, hibiscus, cornflower petals, rose petals, artificial passionfruit flavouring.)

If you ask me, Sangria is very representative of the summer months, having fun, and enjoying the company of friends. This popular Spanish beverage is like an adult version of “punch”: wine is typically mixed together with a number of different fruits, a hard liquor of some kind, and at times soda water to make it nice and fizzy. The great thing about Sangria is that the selection of fruit used is entirely up to you! In Sparkling Sangria, a cocktail inspired infusion, DAVIDsTea revamps their classic Sangria tea by opting for a sweet, more tropical flavour. Candied pineapple, papaya, mango are all accounted for in this tea. But there’s also the usual culprits as well: apple pieces, hibiscus, and flower petals for a bit of decoration. Its light champagne fragrance reminds me a lot of Pineapple Mimosa from last year.

The dark, red wine-like colour that produces after just over six minutes, looks just like actual sangria. It doesn’t smell as much like alcohol anymore, though the fruity notes are now stepping forward. I am wholeheartedly digging the exotic spin on this version of Sangria compared to last year (with its more traditional take), and that aspect of the tea comes through very strong and clearly. Some of the blends that have been released as of late, that have claimed to have a tropical essence, have failed to hit the nail on the head with that like Sparkling Sangria does. You can very much taste the sweet fruitiness of the pineapple, passionfruit, and mango (papaya too!), with the hibiscus contributing a nice tang to round things out. It’s both undeniable and addictive. Sparkling Sangria has a full, robust flavour profile that doesn’t require any additional sweetener. But with some wine added, or even made into a tea pop, it would be absolute perfection – because sangria is nothing if not versatile.

3cups-2

Sour Appletini: A DAVIDsTea Review

With its fresh and tangy taste of green apple, the sour appletini is the ultimate summer cocktail. And we made a version you can sip anytime, anywhere.

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$7.98/50g

An apple a day…

Sour Appletini

(Apple, beetroot, blackberry leaves, artificial apple flavouring.)

Shaken, not stirred… That’s how James Bond preferred to have his martinis made, but this well-known cocktail is traditionally dry gin and vermouth stirred together, with an olive garnish (or even a twist of lemon). In comparison, the “appletini” is a fun variation on a classic, featuring a bright, eye pleasing green colour and a flavour that leaves the taste buds absolutely zinging. DAVIDsTea’s latest collection includes Sour Appletini, a fruit infusion that captures this unique sour apple flavour, which can be hard to do without coming off too artificial tasting. But added flavouring is inevitable, because this tea is simply bits and pieces of what looks to be Granny Smith apple, blackberry leaves, and beetroot. That’s it. Straightforward and to the point.

The aroma is quite potent, and definitely delivers on a green apple scent. Oddly enough, once steeped for 7 minutes, Sour Appletini loses a lot of its apple smell, and takes on more of a citrus-y smell, but that could just be the citric acid coming through. And it steeps to this appealing candy apple red colour. I’m glad there isn’t anything else in this tea to distract from the fact that it is an apple based/inspired blend. That being said, if you are a lover of sour things like myself, Sour Appletini succeeds in being mouthpuckeringly satisfying, with a taste just like a green apple Jolly Rancher. It’s plenty tart as is, so you may feel inclined to add some sugar. But the longer the steep, the greater the pucker! If you enjoyed Sour Watermelon from the recent summer collection, there’s a chance you’ll enjoy this one too. Although, I kind of wish this tangy tisane could have turned green somehow… #enoughwiththeredteas

3cups-2

Rosé All Day: A DAVIDsTea Review

This delicate and mildly fruity pink tea tastes just like a chilled glass of rosé wine.

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$7.98/50g

Make me blush…

Rosé All Day

(Apple, sultanas, hibiscus, elderberries, red currant, blue mallow flower, blueberries, black currants, artificial wine flavouring.)

Not red… not white… but pink! Rosé is a type of French wine that incorporates some of the colour from the skin of red grapes, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. This year’s cocktail collection features nearly a handful of new teas, including Rosé All Day, a fruit infusion that possesses all of the components that make this vino so darn yummy, but without that pesky morning-after headache. There are an assortment of berries, both black and red currants, apple pieces, hibiscus, flower petals, as well as sultanas. Fun fact: Raisins, sultanas, and currants are all sweet dried fruits that stem from different varieties of vine-grown grapes, are used in similar ways, but ultimately they have their own unique traits. 2/3 of these make up the all important grape aspect of Rosé All Day. And you know what? It smells just like wine too! Mind blown.

More than five minutes later and you have a gorgeous blush rose colour filling your cup, all thanks to the hibiscus. Smell-wise? That slightly alcoholic hint is still very much there. The fruit notes are on the milder side, but pair nicely alongside the more refreshing, tart notes. There’s definitely a “bite” to this tisane, but it’s not at all unpleasant, and the wine flavour profile lingers right into the aftertaste. For someone who is not particularly a big fan of wine, I was quite surprised by not only how much it actually tastes like its namesake, but how much I enjoyed it, especially when prepared iced with a touch of sweetener. Only then, do you get the full effect of what Rosé All Day is trying to capture. Who knew that “artificial wine flavouring” was a thing? I sure didn’t, but it seems to have helped get the job done. How you manage to get a tea to taste exactly like wine, but still be non-alcoholic is beyond me, but I can definitely picture myself indulging in this tea all summer long!

3cups-2