Monthly Archives: March 2012

Fantasy Island

I know it’s been ages since I last blogged.  I apologize.  School hit me hard, that’s all.  But I’m back!  Without further ado, another tea I know and love: Fantasy Island.

The details:

Type: Black

Bought at: David’s Tea

Description: It’s spring again, time to fall in love.  So start steeping this tea.  Let the black leaves unfurl, the coconut swirl and the heady scent of raspberry sweep you away.  You’ll find yourself on a magical island where the sun always shines except, of course, when the moonlight is reflected on the soft waves and some fabulous admirer is whispering in your ear.  Then try it iced.  It’s even better.

What I think:

Yet again, I’ve found myself sniffing teas.  This one’s amazing.  A heavy dose of coconut and a touch of raspberry make for a smooth scent that really does make me feel like I’m on an island: just as David’s Tea promised.

Without sweetener, this tea is a tad bitter.  I steeped it for the max time: 6 minutes, so I’ll probably just steep for 4 minutes next time.  The raspberry is dominated by the other ingredients, so much so that I can barely tell it’s there.  But the coconut still finds its way out.  It’s as good as coconut gets: smooth, strong, lingering on your tongue…  But since I’m finding the tea a little bitter, I’ll add honey.  Although it’s sweeter, I feel like the honey actually distracts from the coconut, which is a shame.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this tea.  I love coconut, so that’s probably a huge reason why.  Next time, I’ll be sure to cut my steeping time.  And I’ll be sure to try this iced, I’ve heard it’s delicious!

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David’s Tea on Twitter

Like many young adults, I’m on Twitter.  As a business student and furthermore, as a business student taking a course on social media, I notice the little things.  David’s Tea has a very well-monitored Twitter account (@DAVIDsTEA).  When I first spoke about my David’s Tea experience, I received a tweet asking how it went.  What I bought, what my experience was like, etc.  Since then, I’ve been tweeting them regularly and getting responses within a day, every time.  Impressive.  I told them about my great experience at the Queen/Spadina location, asked if they would refund my broken pincer and even asked for tea tips.  Which teas are best for steeping twice?  Do you actually suggest eating the mulberries after steeping?  etc. (FYI – yes, you should definitely eat the mulberries in teas like Organic Caramel Spice.  They are delicious).  And they even tweeted about my blog!  Super cool.

So if you’re on Twitter, I highly suggest following @DAVIDsTEA.  Especially if you’re already buying their teas anyway!  They’ll answer any questions you have about tea in general, or David’s Tea in particular.  I’ve found them to be incredibly helpful thus far.

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Glitter & Gold

This is slightly nerve-wracking.  My first tea commentary.  I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing… Well, I don’t. But I decided to start with something I know and love, Glitter & Gold.

The details:

Type: Black

Bought at: David’s Tea

Description: This deep dark tea is like a gorgeous starry night, glimmering with gold and silver sugar crystals that shimmer as they steep.

What I think:

I spent a couple of minutes sniffing this tea as the water was about to boil, simply because it smells so incredibly lovely.  The mix of vanilla and cinnamon makes me wish this was a perfume I could splash on for a night out.  Seriously, to die for. And then once it’s all steeped and done, it’s so pretty I feel bad drinking it!  David’s Tea is right.  It looks like a gorgeous starry night.  Well either that, or a really cool lava lamp.

Okay, but now the important part: taste!  I’ve been taking myself off of sweeteners, slowly but surely. So first, without honey, then with.  Without, it’s a very light tea.  It has sugar crystals and the sweetness is barely there, but lingers on my tongue after I’ve sipped. I really like the taste of cinnamon, but it’s very light with this tea – something that even cinnamon haters might enjoy.  I’ll try tricking my mom into drinking this.  I won’t tell her there’s cinnamon it in (she hates that cinnamon can be overpowering).    Honestly, I like this just fine without honey.  But let’s add a drop for kicks… There’s not much of a difference to be honest. The tea is naturally sweet so it doesn’t really need any honey.  Hooray!

I love this tea.  The combination of glitter, vanilla scent, light cinnamon taste and a touch of sugar do it for me.

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David’s Tea @ Queen/Spadina

This is the first tea shop I’ve visited.  After blabbing on Twitter about how nice it is to eat chili chocolate while sipping chocolate chai, I got a response saying that I absolutely had to try the Chocolate Chili Chai at David’s Tea.  So I obliged.  I decided to go to the location at Queen/Spadina.  The woman who helped me was extremely patient and understanding.  I told her that I was new to loose leaf teas and she helped me figure out what sort of teas I might like.  After sniffing about 15 tins of tea, I finally settled on four.  She gave me a bunch of little tips and hints along the way: certain teas are really good on the second steep, etc.  And she knew her teas!  At one point she said, “If you smell something and want a tea that’s a little sweeter, a little spicier, whatever, just let me know.  I’m sure we have something like it”.  Amazing.  I left with an empty wallet and arms full of tea.

The second time I went in to visit David’s Tea, it was for Free Tea Day!  The gentleman behind the counter was again, extremely helpful.  But more importantly, completely honest.  When I complained about my pincer being finicky, he told me that pincers aren’t really the best choice for steeping.  He gave me a refund and tossed in a complimentary pincer, saying, “But if it breaks again, just don’t bring it back”.  I bought some Glitter and Gold for myself (suggested by a friend) but was on the border for Fantasy Island.  So he threw in about 10 grams of Fantasy Island free-of-charge, saying that if I like it, I could buy some next time ‘round.  He’s a smart man, because guess what? Fantasy Island is now my new favourite.  Definitely buying a tin of it this week!

Side note: I’ve spoken to a couple of tea lovers who frequent other David’s Tea locations in Toronto… It seems that amazing customer service is standard across the board!

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I love tea.

Welcome to my blog, ExploringTea.  And thank you for joining me on this journey!  Simply by creating a blog about tea, I’ve probably made it evident that I am obsessed.  I love tea.  And I love blogging.  So naturally, I thought I should put the two together.

My tea addiction started about a month ago.  On my period, moody and dealing with unbearable cramps, I decided to grab a tea from Starbucks.  Now, I had never been a huge fan of teas.  I would drink them when sick, but that was that.  I drank coffee occasionally, but even that wasn’t a regular thing.  Anyway, I asked the barista for a chamomile (one of the few teas I knew of), and she gave me a Zen Calm.  When I received the full-leaf teabag, I was left speechless.  It was so beautiful to see entire leaves in my tea.  And when I tried the tea, I was beyond impressed.  But although this experience was wonderful, I still wasn’t ready to become a full-fledged tea lover.  That is, until I visited my boyfriend’s place a couple of days later.  I was watching Batman when his mother asked if I wanted a cup of tea.  Eager to please, I said yes.  Then she started listing teas.  On and on and on.  I settled on a chocolate chai (the thought of chocolate tea absolutely blew my mind).  Needless to say, it was nothing short of amazing.  That was the defining moment.  That’s when I fell in love with tea.

Since then, I’ve been introduced to David’s Tea, proper steeping techniques and loads of tea websites that ship from the other side of the world.  I’ve tried a couple of teas but there are still so many to taste.

About a week ago my boyfriend suggested I start a blog.  He knew that my love for tea had become an obsession and knew that I enjoyed writing.  So he said, why not combine the two?  This blog will be about exploration.  As a beginner when it comes to teas, I’ll be learning along the way.  I expect to write not only about teas and tea accessories, but about locales and brands as well as sites and books.  I hope to learn as much from my readers as they do from me.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. I can’t wait to start learning, drinking and blogging about tea!

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