Cotton Candy: A DAVIDsTea Review

This sweet treat is deliciously nostalgic and ridiculously fun.

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$7.98/50g

Fluff love…

Cotton Candy

(Green rooibos, sprinkles, mango, brittle, natural and artificial flavouring.)

Cotton candy is a popular treat that has been around for many years. It is basically a fairground/carnival staple and is known to bring about very nostalgic feelings. What child doesn’t beg their parent at one point for a bag of sweet fairy floss or for a stick the size of their head? Any way you put it, cotton candy is a true classic, and you almost wouldn’t believe just how many cotton candy flavoured items exist! There’s cake, gum, ice-cream, candy, etc. And to think, it’s simply “spun sugar”, with the addition of food colouring and flavouring. DAVIDsTea’s Cotton Candy has returned from the tea graveyard as June’s Tea of the Month, and if you have a sweet tooth, this tea is certainly right up your alley. Its green rooibos base already has some natural sweetness to it, but there’s also candied mango, sprinkles, and nut brittle to bump up the sugar factor.

The sprinkles are colourful, and look exactly like little bits of dehydrated blue, purple, and pink cotton candy. For one, it definitely has a sweet and sugary aroma, but there is also a bit of a creaminess too. Oddly enough. Once brewed for about five minutes, this tea steeps to a somewhat cloudy orange colour with a more toned down scent than from before. All of the cotton candy sprinkles have dissolved straight into the tea, and that’s exactly what hits your tongue. It is an authentic cotton candy taste; really delivering on the flavour it is mimicking. The green rooibos acts as a great base for this tea, balancing well with all the sweetness going on and providing a nice, smooth mouthfeel. You really don’t need to add any more sugar, there is already plenty! It is almost borderline too sweet. And as good as it is hot, Cotton Candy is even better iced, especially as an iced latte. This tea is perfect for kids and adults alike that are a fan of this sweet treat.

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Fruity Oasis: A DAVIDsTea Review

With mineral-rich aloe vera, this hydrating tropical rooibos is blissfully refreshing.

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$8.98/50g

Stay cool…

Fruity Oasis

(Hibiscus, rooibos, papaya, pineapple, aloe vera, stevia extract, natural and artificial prickly pear flavouring.)

What grows wild in tropical climates around the world, is found in various consumer products (including beverages, skin lotion, cosmetics & ointments), and is unofficially known as the “plant of immortality”? If you guessed aloe vera, you would be 100% correct! This desert succulent is abundant in rich nutrients, and is rightfully being showcased in DAVIDsTea’s Fruity Oasis; one-fifth of the newly released Oasis Collection. Does anyone remember Green & Fruity? It was retired not too long ago, but already seems to bare some close resemblance to this mix. Fruity Oasis is a very sweet, fruity smelling rooibos, with every single ingredient present in the loose leaf; the green rooibos base, the candied pineapple, the aloe vera, but especially the hibiscus and papaya. Two components of Fruity Oasis that provide a vibrant pop of colour to this tropical blend.

It has managed to hold onto and retain its pleasantly fruity aroma, even after steeping for five minutes. The colour that ensues is very reminiscent of blood almost. Just this really rich, dark red. This is of course, brought on by the heavy handedness of the hibiscus, which is also the very first ingredient included here. It’s pretty hard to avoid. Upon sipping, you are hit with a powerful tartness off the bat, before any of the other flavours kick in. But it’s sadly just hibiscus and the over-sweetness of stevia in the mouthfeel. Fruity Oasis, in my mind, had a lot of promise and potential for such a unique sounding tea. (I mean, prickly pear AND aloe vera? Sign me up!) I was honestly beyond intrigued initially, but at the end of the day, was left feeling pretty underwhelmed. The overall hydrating properties of this refreshing tea are excellent for trying to beat the heat, so if anything, that’s at least one reason why you should go out and at least try Fruity Oasis for yourself.

 

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Green & Fruity: A DAVIDsTea Review

A super refreshing, hydrating blend of green rooibos and tropical fruits.

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$7.98/50g

Now that’s fresh…

(Green and red rooibos, apple, candied papaya, mango, natural and artificial flavouring.)

Consumed in South Africa for centuries, rooibos (pronounced ROY-bos), also referred to as “red bush” tea, is a miracle plant that has gained popularity in recent years, and not just because it is caffeine free, rich in antioxidants, and naturally hydrating. (But you have to admit, those are pretty great selling points, right?) The loose leaf is composed simply of chunky pieces of dried tropical fruit swimming in a sea of mostly green needle-like leaves (with a sprinkling of red). It’s a little tempting not to pick out a piece of papaya and pretend it’s a piece of candy and eat it straight from the tea. It smells incredibly fruity and sweet, but there is a slight earthiness yielding from the base. It’s really as self-explanatory as its name.

After five minutes, the colour of this tea can be best compared to that of a straight black tea. It has that same kind of orange-y hue, and a strong fruity quality to the scent, but the rooibos has come through a lot more. I personally would have preferred if it was merely the green rooibos alone, not a blend, but at least the red doesn’t manage to completely dominate the green, and is still somewhat light and refreshing. On top of all the other fruits showcased in Green & Fruity, there is some peach coming through, which may be hidden in the ‘artificial flavouring’ aspect of this tea. I love its smooth taste and the natural sweetness it possesses. Overall, Green & Fruity’s rooibos base is nice and delicate, which allows the fruitier notes to have their moment in the spotlight. Sadly, this tea is being discontinued, so stock up while you still can!

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Raspberry Cream Pie: A DAVIDsTea Review

Treat yourself with this creamy blend of rooibos, raspberries and white chocolate.

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$7.98/50g

Cream of the crop…

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(Green rooibos, cane sugar, white chocolate chips, pink sugar mix, blackberries, raspberries, gomphrena petals, hibiscus, strawberry leaves, natural and artificial raspberry, blackberry, and vanilla cream flavouring.)

Flaky crust… rich, creamy filling… with juicy raspberries delicately dotting the top. Does it really get any better than (a slice of) Raspberry Cream Pie? I don’t just mean the dessert, but the equally as decadent tea blend. Raspberry Cream Pie, a smash hit from last year’s spring collection made its mighty return today as tea of the month for February, to the delight of many, including yours truly.  The loose leaf is honestly a pink lover’s dream! You can spot the various white chocolate chips, the rooibos base, both the raspberries and blackberries, hibiscus, and then everything is covered in sugar crystals. It’s kind of hard to describe how RCP smells, but the word ‘heavenly’ is most definitely applicable.

I really appreciate that green rooibos was used here instead of red. I don’t see myself enjoying this tea nearly as much, if the roles had been reversed, because this is actually one of the few rooibos based teas I like, for this exact reason. Unfortunately, there’s a film at the top from the oils in the white chocolate, but the chocolate is what really makes Raspberry Cream Pie taste so rich and creamy. It balances well with the fruity notes, and it is also what contributes to the cloudy appearance of this dessert tea. Additional sugar is not at all necessary. This blend is already plenty sweet. But not even the sugar can hide the fact that there’s still a bit of a tartness going on here. It still throws me off that hibiscus is a component of Raspberry Cream Pie, because all it really does is prevent you from making a successful latte (aka the best way to enjoy this tea!), and it’s bad enough that the pie aspect of this tea is completely MIA…

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Buchu Superfruit: A DAVIDsTea Review

A mix of smooth-drinking buchu and yummy goji berries.

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$9.98/50g

Merci buchu!

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(Black currants, blackberry leaves, green rooibos, goji berries, strawberries, buchu, blueberries, acai, stevia extract, natural acai and raspberry flavouring.)

The name says it all… Super fruit. Goji berries, acai, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry… leaves. You name it, it is all featured in Buchu Superfruit. Buchu, on the other hand, is a completely brand new concept to me. Apparently it is a smooth drinking herb native to South Africa that is traditionally used for renewal and detoxing purposes, and has a black currant-esque flavour to it. Off the bat, the loose leaf has a nondescript mixed berries aroma (obviously), but is also very reminiscent of grape candy (Jolly Ranchers, for example). Green rooibos is used as the base here, providing a lighter taste, that’s also fresh and mildly sweet. I have always personally preferred green over the typical red rooibos, which I find to be much stronger in flavour.

After close to 5 minutes of steeping, Buchu Superfruit results in a nice, “burnt orange” type of colour, but the brew itself seems to lose a lot of its original fruity/berry-like scent AND taste, unfortunately. The black currant is very much at the forefront, along with the blackberry leaves, when you take your initial sips, but as time passes, it just tastes more and more watered down to me. Medicinal too, kind of like cough syrup. The good news is, that no sugar/sweetener is technically needed. That’s what the stevia extract is there for… BUT I find it ruins this tea for me. There are times when it’s not as noticeable, but here, it leaves a strange aftertaste that just coats your tongue. For an all-natural, organic tea, this tastes a little too artificial for my liking. Preparing it iced certainly helps, and I will be doing so in order to finish what I have left of Buchu Superfruit, but because it still leaves a lot to be desired from it, I will not be purchasing anymore of this juicy, caffeine-free blend…

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