Sweet Tart: A DAVIDsTea Review

This blend of ripe cherries, hibiscus blossoms and little candy hearts will totally steal yours.




Will you cherry me…


(Apple, raisins, carrot, hibiscus blossoms, beetroot, sugar hearts, white hibiscus buds, rose blossoms, sour cherries, artificial flavouring.)

Upon my initial encounter with DAVIDsTea’s latest limited edition release, Sweet Tart, I honestly couldn’t help but instantly think about SweeTARTS, a popular sweet and sour candy that was created more than half a century ago in 1962 (shout out to Jeff Sousa!). And although Valentine’s Day is still a whole three weeks away, it is never too early to get yourself in a lovey-dovey, celebratory mood! The dry leaf of this festive herbal blend is borderline artificial smelling, fruity and sweet, very candy-like, and pure cherry all at once. Kind of reminiscent of Me To We and Hard Candy from years past. As for the loose appearance, it is somewhat minced looking, but overall pleasing to the eye. There are three major colours that stand out: orange, red, and pink. The bright pieces of carrot, the delicate white hibiscus buds, the dark raisins, the beautiful rose petals, and we can’t forget the adorable sugar hearts that round everything out.

After being steeped for five and a half minutes, Sweet Tart brews up to an absolutely gorgeous crimson red colour. Cherry red, even. Its fragrance at this point is still as fruity and irresistible as it was from the beginning pre-steep. Something about it is also highly nostalgic. Even though neither Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait nor Queen of Tarts possesses a cherry flavour of any kind, these are two teas that help to convey a better picture of just how tart Sweet Tart really is. (Somewhere in the middle, I’d say.) Despite its sources of natural sweetness and sweet finish, there is still no denying that this vegan blend is significantly more tart than it is sweet (thanks to ingredients like the sour cherries and hibiscus blossoms). Sugar is a necessity here, unless you’re a fan of a nice sharp pucker. Gives a better balance to the overall flavour. Sweet Tart is definitely worth trying (preferably iced), especially if you love Sour Cherry Blasters! In my opinion, this tea tastes quite similar.

Valerian Nights: A DAVIDsTea Review

Oozing with rich caramel and coconut, this is a seriously scrumptious nightcap.



The sweetest snooze…


(Apple, coconut, rooibos, chamomile, caramel pieces, sweet blackberry leaves, valerian root, natural flavouring.)

For someone who occasionally deals with sleeping issues, and anxiety on a daily basis, valerian root is a true godsend. Also unofficially known as “nature’s Valium”, valerian root is a particularly popular sleepy time ingredient and definitely not DAVIDsTea’s first time experimenting with this natural sleeping aid. In fact, two other herbal teas in their extensive catalog feature this medicinal ingredient: Mother’s Little Helper & The Big Chill. And as soothing as those teas are, Valerian Nights from the newly released Wellness Collection just may give them a run for their money, because of the indulgent route it’s taking. Despite having caramel (pieces) listed in the ingredients, it is really the coconut and chamomile that come out on top, in terms of the dry leaf and its potent scent. In the loose leaf appearance, you can see the apple chunks, chamomile flowers, rooibos, coconut, as well as the minced bits of blackberry leaf.

Once steeped for just over five minutes, and Valerian Nights has brewed to a rich, amber-like colour with a slight oil film right on top (“thanks” to the inclusion of coconut). At this point, the tea really smells a lot like a dessert. The chamomile is very strong, but the caramel and coconut is also present in the scent. There are a handful of ingredients that contribute to the natural sweetness of this caffeine free blend, so I’ve opted against adding any additional sugar. The tea performs just fine without it. The creaminess from the coconut paired with the overall decadent feel suggests that Valerian Nights could make an enjoyable latte, and a great drink to end one’s night with. But at the end of the day, I cannot see myself reaching for this tea ever again. It consists mainly of ingredients that aren’t particularly my favourite. And to be honest, I had a pretty strong inkling early-on that I would dislike Valerian Nights, but was worth at least trying. Thankfully, I have other options for sleepy teas (with valerian root) at my disposal.

Banana Nut Bread: A DAVIDsTea Review

This tea miraculously captures the flavour of freshly-baked banana bread.



Freshly baked…


(Dates, currants, almonds, banana, and artificial flavouring.)

It honestly does not get much better than coming home to the smell of homemade banana bread baking away in the oven. Not only is it warm and comforting, but it is utterly delicious too! DAVIDsTea does a pretty good job of mimicking this nostalgic treat in liquid/tea form with Banana Nut Bread, a blend that has been on and off their tea wall in past years. Returning most recently two years ago due to popular demand, as the November Tea of the Month. It is currently the one and only banana flavoured offering at DAVIDsTea (and rumour has it, not for very much longer…). The loose leaf appearance looks like it could easily pass for trail mix. Because Banana Nut Bread is categorized as a fruit infusion, it doesn’t contain any actual tea leaves. Literally just fruit and nuts. There are chopped pieces of almond, larger chunks of dried currants and dates, as well as a few banana chips/pieces here and there. Its aroma is just as enticing as you would expect it to be, before AND after being brewed up.

Despite its recommended steep time of 4-7 minutes, Banana Nut Bread really demands more than that. If anything, 10 minutes and up. Otherwise, it has a tendency to come off tasting light and rather weak. (Friendly warning: it would be in your best interest to steep this caffeine-free blend in a tea sachet/bag, unless you don’t mind cleaning up the mess that’ll ultimately be left in your infuser/steeper.) As time passes, the shade of yellow that results brightens considerably. In this case, after about 8 minutes, BNB has brewed up to a golden-ish yellow colour with an oil film right on top. I’m really enjoying how smooth this flavour is as a whole, especially with a couple dashes of cinnamon added. For a dessert tea, it honestly has all the sugar it needs. In fact, any more, and it becomes way too sweet. My biggest complaint would probably be that there isn’t nearly enough banana chips dispersed throughout. The overall banana flavour could be a lot stronger. The last thing you want is a cup of tea that tastes nothing like what it’s supposed to… If you’re looking for a new tea to indulge in, Banana Nut Bread is definitely worth trying, especially if you’re a fan of bananas. It has all of the goodness, with none of the calories!

White Cranberry Bark: A DAVIDsTea Review

Get your holiday fix with this infusion of white chocolate and tart cranberries.



The bark side…


(Apple, papaya, raisins, cranberries, elderberries, hibiscus blossoms, white chocolate, stevia extract, natural cranberry and chocolate flavouring.)

Cranberries and the holidays – they just seem to go hand-in-hand, don’t they? This tiny super fruit is oh so versatile; it can be used in every single aspect of your table spread this holiday season. From appetizers to beverages to desserts, you name it! That includes a rich and decadent white chocolate bark served up with tart cranberries right on top. DAVIDsTEA’s newly released Winter Collection features a caffeine-free blend called White Cranberry Bark, which has a rather pleasant aroma that wafts off of the cup. It is sweet, juicy, and super fruity. Kind of like candy. On the other hand, its loose leaf appearance is a mixed bag of various dried fruits; candied papaya, bits of apple, dark raisins, elderberries, and cranberries. There are also hibiscus blossoms and pieces of white chocolate shaped like stars, which almost makes this tea feel that much more festive. Even though we’re still about a week away from the start of November, it’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit…

Somehow after five full minutes of steeping, White Cranberry Bark has maintained its original fruity scent, but it’s no longer as pronounced. I can now pick up on the sourness of the star ingredient: cranberry. And considering that there’s hibiscus in this tea as well, it’s kind of surprising that it didn’t brew up as red as one may expect. From the first sip, you can just barely taste the creaminess of the white chocolate, but it’s not very strong at all, despite the addition of chocolate flavouring. Because of the hibiscus and the fact that cranberries have a reputation for being quite tart, it’s nice that the stevia extract is present to sweeten this fruit infusion up a bit. Here it’s not as overpowering or cloying as it can be at times. Although, I personally find that it could still use a touch more sugar to round out its overall tang. (Vanilla agave is optional.) Honestly, I can really see myself enjoying White Cranberry Bark a lot more as a cold drink. At the moment, it’s giving me strong hot (cranberry) juice vibes; slightly sweet but sharp in taste just the same. Impressive.

Caramel Shortbread: A DAVIDsTea Review

Shortbread fans will love this buttery blend of willow bark, almond and cherry.



A caramelized classic…


(Apple, raisins, brown sugar, elderberries, willow bark, almonds, hazelnuts, sour cherries, raspberries, stevia extract, natural and artificial almond and hazelnut flavouring.)

One part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. These are the main components that make up a traditional melt in your mouth shortbread cookie. Let’s be honest, shortbread is easily accessible all year around, but there’s just something about transforming this classic dessert during the holidays and bringing ooey gooey caramel into the mix. The brand new winter collection from DAVIDsTea features Caramel Shortbread, a tea that claims to mimic the rich, buttery goodness of a piece of shortbread. Its scent definitely does a good job of luring you in. It’s absolutely intoxicating, and very much reminiscent of another caffeine free blend with caramel influences… Caramel Corn. Both smell sweet, but nutty. Which is also a fairly accurate description of what’s in this fruit infusion. Dried fruit, an assortment of nuts, willow bark, crystallized brown sugar, and more.

The colour of the brew is somewhat hard to describe, it’s like a diluted amber tone (equipped with a slight oil film) after just over six minutes of steeping. Fun fact: willow bark was commonly used during the time of Hippocrates, when people were advised to chew on it to relieve pain and fever, because it apparently acts a lot like aspirin. Apart from that piece of knowledge, I don’t really know much else about this ingredient, and what exactly it contributes to Caramel Shortbread at the end of the day. For a tea that is attempting to portray a caramel cookie, it is kind of all over the place. The cherries make it acidic, while the combination of both stevia extract and brown sugar make it extra sweet (total overkill in my opinion), while still possessing a very slight buttery note. I’m happy to report that it is just as fragrant after steeping. But at the end of the day, CS smells better than it tastes. Not to say that it’s not enjoyable, but it’s nothing really special, and could have better delivered on a liquid shortbread cookie. It was a little too fruity to convince me otherwise.

Magic Potion: A DAVIDsTea Review

This magical blend of berries and butterfly pea flowers changes colour with lemon juice.



Razzle dazzle…

Magic Potion

(Currants, apples, rosehips, butterfly pea flowers, raspberries, blackberries, stevia extract, natural kiwi, blackberry and bilberry flavouring.)

Are you bored of your current tea selection at home or just looking to try something new and exciting? Well, look no further than Magic Potion, a brand new herbal tea offering, that features an ingredient that is not so common in the tea world. Although it goes by a handful of different names, butterfly pea is the most common, and it is a unique flower/plant that is native to Southeast Asia, where it is regularly used as a natural food colouring. Magic Potion’s loose leaf appearance consists of azure petals (complimented by a pop of yellow) from the aforementioned flower, which are transferring some of their colour to a lot of the other components. There are bits of apple, rosehip shells, as well as currants and an assortment of dried berries. The aroma is familiar, but difficult to put my finger on. It’s quite potent, with lingering notes of mixed berries and a candy-like essence.

After just over six minutes, Magic Potion smells like it did initially, but a watered down version, if that makes sense, and possesses a deep, enticing shade of blue, that is almost too pretty to consume. At this point it is literally a blue, blue raspberry flavoured brew that has a juicy, nostalgic blue raspberry flavour. There are very soft floral undertones present, but it’s a shame the kiwi flavouring gets lost amongst everything else here. Overall, it definitely doesn’t taste all that natural, and it’s quite sweet due to the addition of stevia extract. My teeth are already protesting against it. Now, you can continue on enjoying this tea as is, but if you do that, you miss out on finding out how Magic Potion got its name. The so called “magic” happens when you squeeze some fresh lemon juice into your cup, and get to watch your tea turn from a rich indigo to a vibrant purple right before your eyes! Once the citrus is added, the flavour gets a pop of acidity and takes on more of a lemonade vibe. Good hot or cold, with or without lemon, and despite the sweetness, is at least worth trying for its fun colour changing abilities. 

Throat Rescue: A DAVIDsTea Review

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



Sweet relief…


(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.

Blueberry Muffin: A DAVIDsTea Review

With apple, raisins, carrot and blueberries, this tea is the breakfast of champions.



Muffin really matters…

Blueberry Muffin

(Apple, raisins, carrot, hibiscus blossoms, beetroot, yogurt bits, blueberries, cornflower blossoms, natural and artificial flavouring.)

The blueberry. So much could be said about this teeny tiny, itty bitty fruit. They are chocked full of disease fighting antioxidants, fiber, and the list goes on. But the disadvantages sadly overwhelm the advantages once said blueberries are baked into a muffin batter… which is typically comprised of high in fat ingredients (here’s looking at you, butter!). Moist on the inside, bursting with berries, and sometimes topped with a sugary crumble… You really can’t go wrong with a blueberry muffin, first thing in the morning or otherwise. In this case, DAVIDsTea has resurrected Blueberry Muffin and dubbed it the official Tea of the Month for September. The appearance of this loose leaf tea consists of both dark and bright components. Hibiscus blossoms, raisins, blueberries, and beetroot with pops of colour delivered from the yogurt bits, apple chunks, cornflower blossoms, and vibrant carrot pieces. The aroma of the dry leaf definitely channels the scent of a freshly baked blueberry muffin, with sweet, fruity notes.

A steep of just over five minutes has resulted in a very pink-ish red looking cup of tea. Its scent can be best compared to a hug from a loved one. It’s warm, it’s comforting, but it also really does smell just like a buttery, baked good. Upon the initial sip, the sweet berry quality is detectable, anchored by an undeniable tartness. It could certainly use some added sweetener to round out the overall flavour profile. From looking at the ingredients, it is a bit daunting for one to wrap their head around a tea that is supposed to taste similar or exactly like a blueberry muffin, but has blueberries as one of the very last ingredients listed. I suppose that’s where the natural and artificial flavourings come into play… But I think that at the end of the day, it would have been nice to see more blueberries thrown in (yogurt bits even, to make up for the fact that you cannot add any milk to Blueberry Muffin without high risk of it curdling completely), and less of the hibiscus. Oddly enough, when this herbal tea is prepared iced or has had a chance to cool down, is when it truly succeeds in delivering a muffin-like essence. And it is in the lingering after taste that I am reminded of this the most.

Pear Blossom: A DAVIDsTea Review

This mouthwatering infusion balances the sweetness of Anjou pears with papaya, pineapple and a floral kiss of sunflower blossom. Pure pear-fection.



Next-level nectar…

(Pear, apple, candied papaya, candied pineapple, rosehip peel, sunflower blossoms, stevia extract, natural pear and peach flavouring.)

I don’t know if anyone else can sense fall in the air too, but just because summer is slowly but surely coming to an end, there are still so many things to look forward to with fall just around the corner. Like pears coming into season, for example. With over 3,000 varieties available around the world, this member of the rose family, is an excellent source of (dietary) fibre and more versatile than you’d think. DAVIDsTea showcases the Anjou pear, in all its fresh and juicy glory, through a herbal blend called Pear Blossom (1/5 of the newly released Harvest Collection). Pear is indeed the dominant ingredient in the initial aroma of the dry leaf, followed by peach with a hint of apple, while the loose leaf appearance consists of little dried bits of pineapple and papaya, amongst slightly bigger pieces of pear and apple, with a much needed kiss of colour from the rosehip peel and yellow flower petals. Everything is present, except of course, the added flavourings and stevia extract.

Even after steeping for seven full minutes, Pear Blossom still results in a pretty light colour that is reminiscent of diluted apple juice, and it smells just as sweet and fruity as it did upon first sniff. I love that despite containing four other fruit flavours, the pear here is somewhat mellow, but ultimately manages to hold its own. The sunflower blossoms contribute a pleasant and delicate floral element in the backend of each sip. It should be noted that even with stevia being apart of this tea, it is thankfully quite tame. It’s there to help provide the perfect level of sweetness, and not take away from the ripe pear flavour, like it has a tendency to do at times. The fact that there is peach flavouring infused into this tisane admittedly throws me off a bit, but I think it is what is making me favour this tea as much as I do. The pear and peach are mingling together here in perfect harmony. From my previous experience with pear based teas from DT (cc: Poached Pear, Ginger Pear), they are typically paired with warmer components like ginger or cinnamon, but even though Pear Blossom is a sweeter, juicier pear offering, you honestly can’t go wrong whether you decide to drink this one iced or hot/warm.

Orange Glow: A DAVIDsTea Review

This freshly pressed tonic of carrot, orange and ginger is so vibrant, it’ll have people asking what your secret is. Time to get your glow on!



Liquid sunshine…

(Carrot, candied ginger, beetroot, pumpkin, hibiscus, orange peel, marigold blossoms, safflower petals, natural orange flavouring.)

Pop quiz time! What do oranges, carrots, and ginger have in common, besides containing vitamin C (a dietary essential), and being paired together in various dishes and pressed juice recipes? All three ingredients are featured in Orange Glow, a fruit infusion included in DAVIDsTea’s brand new Harvest Collection, and are said to be beautifying. Radiant skin, here I come! From the aroma of the dry leaf, you can pick up just the slightest hint of the ginger, as well as the orange, but it’s still primarily sweet carrot and earthy pumpkin. Carrot is also easily the first thing you spot in the loose leaf appearance, followed by the hibiscus blossoms, beetroot, pumpkin, and candied ginger. These ingredients are the biggest components of Orange Glow and stand out the most visually, while the smaller pieces of orange peel and flower petals (marigold and safflower) sort of blend into the very orange background.

Six minutes later and the resulting brew is essentially a blood orange hue. The orange scent has increased since being steeped, and is supported by the carrot. These same two ingredients are easily the dominant flavours noted upon sipping. It tastes a lot like what you would get if you melted down a bunch of orange flavoured lollipops (or think about drinking a can of Fanta Orange!), but with at least half the overall sugar content. Despite the amount of carrot in Orange Glow, the orange flavour is still able to shine through, even though it comes off more artificial than anything else. For anyone worried about the (candied) ginger, it is hardly detectable in this blend, it’s basically just contributing sweetness to the tea. If it wasn’t listed, I would have no idea that it played any kind of role in this juicy brew. And there’s really no need for any additional sugar, there’s plenty of natural sweetness present in this fruit infusion. At the end of the day, Orange Glow embodies its name perfectly; bright, vibrant, and orange all around.