Berries and Cream Matcha: A DAVIDsTea Review

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

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$8.98/50g

The berry best…

Peach 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.

 

 

Honeydew Matcha: A DAVIDsTea Review

Escape to paradise with this fruity blend of juicy melon, matcha and cane sugar.

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$8.98/50g

One in a melon…

hdm

(Cane sugar, green tea, natural honeydew flavouring.)

With the wide selection of melon flavoured teas that have released in the past couple months (cc: Melon Cooler, Cantaloupe Ice, Sour Watermelon), it just makes that much more sense to take things one step further and create a matcha based off a fruit that is light, juicy, and green: the honeydew. This is something that I never knew I needed until it actually came to fruition. Last year’s fruity matcha collection was a total smash hit in my eyes. Strawberry, blueberry, and of course, peach, were all amazing, so it’s safe to say that exceptions are high this time around. Off the bat, it has the standard appearance of a flavoured matcha: a lively green colour with the cane sugar sprinkled throughout. Honeydew Matcha possesses a pleasantly rich aroma that perfectly represents the melon it features. Oddly enough, it reminds me a lot of Hubba Bubba bubblegum…

After being prepared, Honeydew Matcha results in an opaque, emerald green colour. At this point, it may not smell as strongly as it did initially, but it easily has the most potent aroma of the brand new matchas, and I think that’s a significant part of its overall appeal. The honeydew here is anything but mellow; it’s incredibly juicy, and very reminiscent of what you would expect overripe honeydew melon to taste like. There isn’t much of the grassy green tea base present, and it’s definitely not bitter whatsoever. Bonus. At the end of the day, the flavour as a whole, is just so well done. And once some milk is added, it’s more like a mix between melon-flavoured bubble/boba tea and a melona bar. Smooth, creamy and sweet. Very much so. The cane sugar could be a lot less heavy handed to be honest, but it’s nothing some Matcha Matsu or Grand Cru Matcha can’t fix. Whether you enjoy it hot or cold, you’re in for a real treat!

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…

hpm

(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.

Pura Vida: A DAVIDsTea Review

Kick back and enjoy life with this fruity blend of green tea, pineapple and coconut.

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$8.98/50g

Chill out…

Pura Vida

(Pineapple, green tea, apple, coconut, mango, chamomile, natural flavouring.)

In modern-day usage, the Costa Rican saying ‘pura vida’ goes beyond its simple translation: it’s a way of life. It is a perspective to life that evokes a spirit that is not just carefree, but laid back and optimistic overall. And what with it currently being a week or so into summer, this is ideally the kind of attitude you want to embody, especially while relaxing outside with a tall glass of Pura Vida, DAVIDsTea’s Tea of the Month for July. The loose leaf has an overall green look to it, obviously in part to its green tea base. Even the coconut shavings have a tinge of green to them. But there is also dried pieces of apple, pineapple, mango, and surprisingly enough, chamomile flowers. You can tell just how lively this tea is, from its scent alone, which is highly aromatic by the way. The aroma is creamy pina colada, anchored by the tropical fruit. In this case, the mango is detectable, but doesn’t fight the other ingredients.

After four full minutes of steeping, Pura Vida brews to a diluted yellow greenish colour that is still rather pleasing to the eye. It has managed to retain a lot of its original scent, that coconut with just a hint of mango. And that’s what translates right into the flavour profile. The coconut dominates, despite the fact that the pineapple is the first ingredient. Speaking of the pineapple, it’s bright and sweet, followed by ripe mango. The tropical fruit works well with the creamy coconut, and then there’s the chamomile… Personally, I’m not the biggest fan, and it definitely seems out of place in this blend. I suppose it contributes a bit of natural sweetness, but that doesn’t make it any more necessary. I’ve found myself enjoying this tea a lot more with a touch more sugar added and a nice splash of milk to bring the whole pina colada vibe to life. Because DAVIDsTea has released variations of this popular cocktail in recent years, Pura Vida doesn’t do a whole lot for me. I can appreciate the creativity in adding mango and chamomile, but it’s still nothing particularly special or unique.

 

 

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…

sl

(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.

 

Grapefruit Squeeze: A DAVIDsTea Review

With hibiscus, rosehips and juicy grapefruit, this fruity tea is as fresh as it gets.

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$8.98/50g

Get squeezed…

Grapefruit Squeeze

(Apple pomace, lemongrass, rosehip shells, sweet blackberry leaves, roasted chicory root, lemon peel, hibiscus, rose petals, artificial grapefruit and black currant flavouring.)

Tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, grapefruits have a juiciness that without a doubt, rivals that of the ever popular orange, and sparkles with many of the same health promoting benefits. The newly released Freshly Squeezed Collection from DAVIDsTEA, features three prominent members of the citrus family, but for this review, we’re focusing on Grapefruit Squeeze (a seemingly re-packaged version of Ruby Red from their very extensive tea graveyard). Brace yourself for the highly aromatic scent coming off this bad boy! It consists mostly of grapefruit (obviously), while the other citrus component, lemon, rightfully plays second fiddle here, blending with the grapefruit nicely. Considering how lemongrass can be quite assertive alongside other ingredients, here it’s no match at all for the grapefruit. The rose petals, hibiscus, and aforementioned lemongrass help to liven up the otherwise really bland loose leaf appearance of this tea.

The colour after steeping (for a full six minutes) is pretty spot on to what a glass of pink grapefruit juice looks like. Or red, depending on if you let the colour seep out from the hibiscus past 7 minutes. The aroma is no longer as potent as it once was, but has retained a bit of its original kick. I am happy to report that Grapefruit Squeeze has a very true to form grapefruit essence, with the roasted chicory root supplying a bitterness at the end of each and every sip. There’s a strong tang present, that is borderline pucker worthy. There’s also a high citrus aspect happening here, so it’s kind of expected. Sugar is definitely recommended if you’re not the biggest fan of sour/bitter teas. At this current moment, it is still unclear of where exactly the “blackcurrant flavouring” comes into play, but that’s a listed ingredient here… At the end of the day, this herbal blend is definitely for all the grapefruit lovers out there, the once “forbidden fruit”. If you were at all disappointed with Grapefruit Granita from this year’s summer collection, have no fear! You don’t have to worry about there being any ginger mixed into this tangy tisane, just 100% grapefruit-y goodness!

Tea The North: A DAVIDsTea Review

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with this juicy blend of white tea, watermelon, coconut and rhubarb. Sweet, tart and packed with red and white, it’s a fireworks-worthy infusion. Happy Canada Day!

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$10.98/50g

#Canada150…

ttn

(Melon, pineapple, coconut, white tea, hibiscus, sweet blackberry leaves, apple, rose petals, rhubarb, safflower blossoms, natural watermelon, rhubarb and coconut flavouring.)

What happens when you throw three incredibly overdone flavours together? Well, in this case, you get Tea The North, a cheesy play on words of We The North… in true DAVIDsTea fashion. Here, melon and coconut come together in a limited edition blend, created in honour of Canada Day and its upcoming 150th birthday. It is packed full of ingredients that are meant to represent the colours of our nation’s flag: red and white. Red? Hibiscus, rose petals, rhubarb, safflower blossoms. White? Coconut, apple, melon, and of course the white tea. The loose leaf contains shavings of coconut, plenty of dried fruit and flower petals, with the white tea base laying amongst everything else. It doesn’t look completely red and white per se, but I suppose it’s close enough. The dry note is strong and powerful; it really tickles the nose if you get close enough. It’s mostly the coconut and watermelon that you pick up, but there is also a slight floral hint from the rose petals.

After four minutes, it steeps to this reddish orange colour, that kind of looks like diluted watermelon juice. Thankfully the aforementioned potent aroma has toned down significantly. The white tea isn’t really present, and there’s no bitterness at all, which is certainly a plus. The other flavours here clearly dominate and camouflage the base. In sipping, the following tasting notes come through: sweet, creamy, and tangy. It’s admittedly a nice mix. As excepted, the coconut definitely stands out alongside the other ingredients, but the fruitier aspects help to keep this blend in check. I appreciate that there isn’t a heavy tartness or need for additional sugar. But even with that being said, if you don’t enjoy coconut, Tea The North is probably not the tea for you. Yes, it is the summer time, but overall, this tisane comes off as a half-assed attempt at being patriotic. Tea The North definitely had a ton of potential to be great, decent even. But it was like a bunch of red and white looking ingredients were just thrown together blindly and forced to co-exist.