reviews · white

Buddha’s Blend: A DAVIDsTea Review



Heaven can’t wait…


(White tea, green tea, jasmine pearls, white hibiscus blossoms, natural and artificial flavouring.)

Nirvana is not just an alt-rock band from the late 80s, by definition, it is also “a place of perfect peace and happiness”, like heaven for example. In Hinduism and Buddhism, nirvana is the highest state that someone can attain; a state of enlightenment, meaning a person’s individual desires and suffering disappear altogether. DAVIDsTea loosely claims that the key to achieving nirvana is easier than you might think. In fact it’s a cup away, and that cup is full of Buddha’s Blend. Buddha’s Blend is without a doubt a highly aromatic tea. It is evidently floral (jasmine, specifically), and slightly fruity. After smelling this one, you may do an animated double take at the ingredients list, because of the peach-like scent, but that’s just due to the presence of the white hibiscus blossoms in this blend. Speaking of the white hibiscus; without these massive blossoms, the loose leaf would lose a lot of its visual appeal. Otherwise, it is very dark and… green looking. With only four tangible ingredients, everything is easy to point out.

Even though DAVIDsTea recommends to steep Buddha’s Blend for 2 to 3 minutes, if you are trying this tea for the first time, it would be in your best interest to stick closer to one minute. Maybe even less than that, to be honest. Once steeped for about a minute (45 seconds), Buddha’s Blend has brewed up to an instantly golden looking cuppa, regardless of its super brief steep time. Its original inviting scent has toned down, and you can smell more of the white tea base at this point. If you don’t like floral teas, this blend may not be for you. But even with that being said, it’s not crazy floral tasting. It’s smooth, light, and soothing. Oh yeah, and it does just fine without any kind of added sweetener. Admittedly, this is hands down one of the most temperamental/finicky teas that I have come in contact with from DAVIDsTea. I feel like the combination of white and green tea has a lot to do with why Buddha’s Blend is so hit or miss at the end of the day. As enjoyable as the overall flavour is, if the preparation is not executed correctly, it’s almost not worth the effort. Basically the opposite of achieving nirvana…

reviews · white

Lemon Cayenne Cleanse: A DAVIDsTea Review



Rock your detox…


(Apple, white tea, lime pieces and peel, carrot, rosehip peel, lemon peel, chili peppers, sunflower blossoms, natural lemon flavouring.)

It is extremely commonplace that upon entering a brand new year to want to embrace a healthier lifestyle, and work towards becoming your best self. January (maybe even February) is certainly a peak month to witness the hoards of people filling up the local gyms. There’s a lot of talk about detoxing and dieting. Cleanse is another word that comes up quite frequently. A perfect segway to DAVIDsTea’s Lemon Cayenne Cleanse (yet another offering from their Wellness Collection release), if I do say so myself. I am not even a fan of spice, personally, but nonetheless, of the 5 new teas, this one piqued my interest the most. It has a very chunky loose leaf appearance. Varying sizes and colours. The pieces of lime are what really stand out and grab your eye, but carrot, rosehip, sunflower blossoms, citrus peel are all visible. As well as the base of white tea. The scent is 100% lemon in all its tart glory.

After steeping for just over four minutes, Lemon Cayenne Cleanse results in a lightly coloured liqueur. Looking like a very standard white tea blend. The strength of the citrus in the tea’s fragrance has only toned down slightly. The tartness/sourness is still alive and kicking. Don’t bother being intimidated by the chili peppers/cayenne pepper element. Honestly, it’s hardly noticeable, and even so, brings the slightest of heat to your palette. Totally bearable. The overall flavour of this tea delivers a bright, citrusy kick to my mouth. Definite pucker-worthy. Lemon Cayenne Cleanse is just as enjoyable iced, as it is hot. It bares some comparison to Live Wire Lemon, for obvious reasons, but at the same time, it makes me incredibly nostalgic for summers from my childhood, especially because it reminds me of what a melted lime popsicle would taste like. A great beverage to kick off your day with, first thing in the morning, considering how fresh and revitalizing it is. Detoxifying or not, LCC gets two thumbs up from this girl!

reviews · white

Walnut Orange Scone: A DAVIDsTea Review



Go your scone way…


(Papaya, white tea, apple, rosehip peel, walnuts, orange peel, orange blossoms, natural and artificial walnut and orange flavouring.)

Commonly found in traditional afternoon tea spreads, the scone (with clotted cream, jam, or otherwise) is truly the perfect accompaniment to your afternoon cup of tea. They’re honestly a match made in heaven… But because the holidays are upon us, it only makes sense that the standard scone get a festive makeover complete with nuts and citrus. Walnut Orange Scone from DAVIDsTea is yet another offering from their newly released Winter Collection. The loose leaf appearance is quite pleasing to the eye. Every single ingredient (apart from the flavourings) is visible – the white tea leaves, rosehip shells, candied papaya, bits of orange peel, bright orange blossoms, and especially the sizable chunks of walnut. In the scent of the dry leaf, the nuttiness of the walnut reminds me a bit of Toasted Walnut, but it also balances well with the aroma of the sweet citrus. As I suspected, there isn’t much of a scone element present here.

To avoid possible bitterness in this white tea, I chose to sidestep DT’s steeping recommendation of 4-7 minutes and opted for closer to three. At this point, Walnut Orange Scone has brewed to a pale yellow colour. The aroma after brewing is still nutty, but more of the orange has pushed itself to the forefront. The white tea flavour is really delicate and light; it actually compliments this tea blend quite nicely. No one ingredient is dominating/fighting to be tasted over another, although unquestionably the walnut could be a touch stronger to match up to the orange. As for the scone aspect, there is just the faintest note of butter in the finish, but to be honest, I don’t particularly mind the lack of “scone”, because the flavour overall is still so delicious. (I can imagine this being pretty amazing as an iced tea also.) This is probably my top choice from the new collection, and not just because it’s one of the only options without stevia in the ingredients… But that fact definitely warrants it “brownie points”.

reviews · white

Zomba Pearls: A DAVIDsTea Review



White zomba…


(Hand rolled, lightly oxidized white tea from Malawi, Africa.)

Fun fact: there is a beautifully green and lush plateau located in southeastern Africa, called the Shire Highlands, and in those same highlands is a third generation, family-owned garden where the white tea for DAVIDsTea’s Zomba Pearls is grown. These exceptional, little pearls of tea have an almost indescribable shape to them, but then again, they’re 100% unique. Each and every leaf has been hand-plucked and then hand-rolled by an incredible team of 15 tea-crafting local women in Malawi. A true labour of love, if you ask me. Because this is a straight tea, there’s evidently not a whole lot to Zomba Pearls, down to its plain but very fresh white tea scent. But its loose leaf appearance is honestly enough to make one stop what they’re doing, pick up a piece and just admire the handiwork that’s been accomplished.

After a brief steep of a minute or so, Zomba Pearls has already brewed up to a gorgeous, bright standout shade of yellow. At this point, its aroma has also transformed. There is now a subtle hint of artichoke alongside sweet hay. Initially, it starts off tasting like a “generic” white tea offering, but this one has a surprisingly complex finish even after the first steep. The same hay-like essence and artichoke that I was smelling earlier are now present in the taste. Because of how tightly rolled this tea is and its rather steep price point ($20/50g), you will want to drink Zomba Pearls more than once at a time. Evidently over multiple steeps, the leaves unfurl more and more, making each cup a brand new sipping experience. Where I was previously picking up on vegetal notes in my first cup, my second cup had a pleasant buttery smoothness to it, while the third brought out some highly enjoyable citrus notes of lemon. Zomba Pearls is easily the gift that keeps on giving.

reviews · white

Tea The North: A DAVIDsTea Review





(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.

reviews · white

Vanilla Bergamot: A DAVIDsTea Review



Just add pearls…

(White tea, apple, white chocolate, rose petals, vanilla, bergamot peel, artificial cream, vanilla and bergamot flavouring.)

Bergamot (a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, but the colour of a lemon), the key component in Earl Grey tea and vanilla (without a doubt the world’s most popular aroma and flavour). Two delicious and well-known flavours coming together to create an even yummier tea, that just so happens to be called Vanilla Bergamot. Out of the two new Mother’s Day teas, this is definitely the one that sounded the most promising to me, because I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into, and I also love London Fog lattes! You can see pretty much everything in the loose leaf… The white tea leaves, the whole pieces of vanilla bean, chunks of apple, dried rose petals, and more. The bergamot peel, as opposed to just flavouring, makes for a super strong scent throughout.

This smell increases even more so after close to five minutes of steeping, with a nice twist of vanilla.   The white chocolate listed in the ingredients, leaves its usual oil film at the top of my cup. But the creaminess that it ultimately adds to this tea is lovely. The tangy note brought on by the apples, on the other hand, is another story. So far, I’ve tried Earl Grey (from DT) as a black tea, green tea, and a rooibos, and I think that this white tea version is really something else. I would have never imagined to pair this light base with the more notable qualities of the vanilla and Bergamot. Thankfully, the rose is not very detectable; it has been greatly overshadowed by the bergamot. If you like Cream of Earl Grey, and maybe want to try something similar, this could be easily one of your new favourites!

pu'erh · reviews · white

Moonlight White: A DAVIDsTea Review



Can’t fight the moonlight…


(White tea from Yunnan Province, China.)

The original Chinese name for this tea is “Yue Guang Bai”, which quite literally translates to Moonlight White, word for word. Yunnan, a province of/in China that is known for their pu’erh tea, is the source of this special tea blend. And I say tea blend, because people often get confused on whether Moonlight White is in fact a white tea, or is it Pu-erh? The answer is both, technically. Even though it has been lightly processed just like your typical while tea, you can steep this as if it were a pu’erh, ultimately making it a “white pu’erh”. Its appearance is comprised of white silvery leaves, complete with a black underbelly, which the Chinese believe mimics the glow of the moon. Not to be ignorant, but to me, Moonlight White has the standard “white tea” scent: light, fresh, and vegetal. Kind of like a green tea, actually.

The fact that you can steep Moonlight White up to 7 minutes if you wanted is pretty refreshing. I have often accidentally burnt a white tea (or six), because I forget how delicate they can, and this tea helps take some of the stress out of that process. After four minutes, this tea brews up to a beautiful golden colour. Although I bet more time would have brugh t forth a rather toasty, brown shade. The aroma wafting off the cup now smells a bit like warmed cream, oddly enough. As for the taste, super smooth. And the pu’erh aspect gives it this malty depth. It’s a little bitter as you make your way to the bottom of the cup, but it’s really not so bad, because there’s a nice honey finish with each sip. Quite the tea experience, but it’s very limited edition, so get some while you still can!

reviews · white

Raspberry Meringue: A DAVIDsTea Review



Berry nice…


(White tea, apple, mango, pineapple, green tea, sugar, sweet blackberry leaves, raspberries, chamomile, natural raspberry, vanilla and caramel flavouring.)

Conceptually, Raspberry Meringue makes the most sense being included in the new Macaron collection from DAVIDsTea. For one, macarons are a French meringue-based concoction that are both dainty and bite-sized, while raspberry is a pretty traditional/common flavour used for macarons. So it will be interesting to see how this tea compares to the real deal. The smell is quite nice, like raspberries and creamy vanilla, but there is something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. The caramel perhaps? The loose leaf has a real minced appearance to it; you can see the bits of green tea, white tea, raspberry, little chamomile flowers, the candied fruit, as well as the sugar crystals scattered throughout.

This tea can best be described as Raspberry Cream Pie’s distant relative. It has a similar look; after close to five minutes, you can expect your cup to be filled with a deep caramel-esque colour that looks slightly milky. The first sip delivers a delicate, fruity flavour. The brew tastes very true to actual, fresh raspberries: tart, but sweet. It definitely has a nice lightness to it, which makes it even more of a refreshing cup of tea. The white and green teas blend well together; thankfully the chamomile doesn’t really come through, which was something I was a little worried about. While the combination of the vanilla and caramel flavourings really impart Raspberry Meringue with this rich, dessert tea feel, in addition to the natural sweetness that is subtle and just sweet enough. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, this tea leaves me feeling indifferent. It’s really nothing to write home about, but if you found RCP to be a little too much, this might be a better alternative for you, with a hint of caffeine to boot!