Monthly Archives: April 2012

Organic Caramel Spice

This tea introduced me to the lovely world of mulberries, which has now become an obsession in and of itself.

The details:

Type: Black

Bought at: David’s Tea

Description: Have you heard about the new tea in town?  She’s a looker alright: dark, robust, and seductive, with a heart of gold.  And you didn’t hear it from us, but she’s even better with a little booze.  She’s a luscious black tea, with deep caramel flavour from dried golden mulberries and spicy warmth from orange peel and cinnamon.

What I think:

This is another autumn tea from David’s Tea.  The dry tea smells amazing.  You can smell the orange peel, but it’s not a purely fruity smell, probably because of the Saigon cinnamon.  Once steeped, the first thing I do, before even touching my drink, is pick out the mulberries from the steeped tea.  Unconventional, maybe.  But they are so delicious that throwing them out would be a sin.  I had never tasted mulberries before picking them out of this tea, and now I’m hooked.  They aren’t tart like a lot of other berries, and they soak up the tea so they’re just about bursting with flavour.

But I digress, the tea is now steeped.  It still smells just as sweet, and is a very dark, but clear brown.  Unfortunately, I find it to be lacking a little in flavour.  After taking a sip, I taste a bit of orange and mulberry on the back of my tongue, and hints of mulberry and cinnamon definitely linger.  Regardless, it isn’t as full a flavour as I had hoped, and I couldn’t taste caramel at all.

I’m trying to decrease my use of sugar and honey in tea, but I’ll sweeten this a little.  It makes a bit of a difference, the tea tastes a little fuller now.  I can actually taste the cinnamon before I’ve swallowed the tea, but the aftertaste isn’t ideal.  The mulberries are already naturally sweet and I find that the sugar makes it all a little overpowering.

I’m not sure if I’ll buy this tea again.  As far as scent goes, it’s definitely at the top of my list.  And the mulberries are a huge plus.  But the tea is lacking taste without sweetener, and gets overpowered with sweetener.  Unfortunate, since I really do love mulberries.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Pumpkin Chai

I have had this tea in my cupboard for a while now.  It was one of the first couple of teas I bought from David’s Tea, and among my current favourites.

The details:

Type: Black

Bought at: David’s Tea

Description: Let’s face it, the best thing about fall is pumpkin pie.  And this spiced black tea is arguably just as delicious.  It’s got all the warmth of cinnamon, pumpkin pieces, cloves and cardamom, plus the sweetness of caramel and pumpkin candy.  For a true autumn treat, top it up with steamed milk and stir in a spoonful of brown sugar.  It’ll make you wish it were fall all year round.

What I think:

This tea smells like autumn.  The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon and caramel resemble a pumpkin pie so closely that I’m getting a little nostalgic…  Is it Halloween yet?  This tea has adorable little orange-coloured candies floating among the tea leaves.  I can’t help but smile, it just makes me so happy.

The tea steeps to a beautiful orange-brown, and the smell is still just as prominent.  And drinking it?  Amazing.  I taste the spices first – cinnamon, cloves and everything else that makes both chai and pumpkin spice delicious.  It’s pretty light for a chai, not as spicy as others I’ve encountered.  Then, the taste of pumpkin lingers on your tongue.  Even though there are candies in the tea, the taste is by no means fake.  The pumpkin taste is as real as pumpkin can get; I’m impressed.

As per David’s Tea’s orders, I’ll try this with a bit of sugar and milk… Oh wow, this is even better!  I added just a little milk and a touch of sugar, but the effect is extraordinary.  Now, I really feel like I’m eating a pumpkin pie.

This tea is up there among my favourites.  When I bought it, I was told that it was a seasonal tea, but creeping around on their website – I see that it’s not!  I guess they changed their minds, and I am oh so glad they did.  If you want a tea that’s a lot of pumpkin and a touch of chai, this is it.  Pumpkin Chai seems like an appropriate tea to drink before heading out to a costume party.  It’ll almost make you believe it’s Halloween.

Tagged , , , , , ,

David’s Tea Pincer

Bad news.  This pincer leaves much to be desired.  Now, since I’m new to tea I can’t comment on this too much.  Maybe all pincers are terrible?  Maybe that’s why I only had to pay $5 for it?  One of the employees at David’s Tea told me that pincers aren’t really all that great in general.  So maybe I’ll just steer clear from now.

Regardless, I’m unhappy with the David’s Tea pincer.  A screw fell out on my second day of using it and needless to say, rendered it useless.  I got it refunded and got a replacement for free, so thank you David’s Tea.  Although my second pincer hasn’t broken yet, a bit of tea does escape if I’m steeping a finer tea.  Luckily, I mostly drink black teas so it hasn’t proven to be much of a problem.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys fine rooibos teas or something of that sort, a pincer might not be the best method of infusion.  But I will admit, it’s a cheap and easy starting point for those of us who are just learning how to steep loose teas.

Tagged , , ,

Chocolate Cake

This is the third and final cake tea from David’s Tea.  A little different from the other two because it doesn’t have freeze-dried ice cream in it!

The details:

Type: Black

Bought at: David’s Tea

Description: There’s not much you can count on in this topsy-turvy world, but one thing we’re sure of is chocolate cake.  No matter who you are, a big slice of cake is pretty much guaranteed to make you happy.  We call it the Sweet Life Theory: life just isn’t as sweet without chocolate.  And this cocoa and cake-scented tea is just as rich and chocolaty as the real thing.

What I think:

As far as smells go, this tea is a winner.  The dry tea smells so rich and chocolaty; it’s perfect.  This tea has everything from cocoa to roasted carob to white chocolate.  And of course, what would a cake tea be without sprinkles?  There are loads of white candy sprinkles!

I’ve noticed that this tea has an oily residue on the surface.  If you let it cool down for too long, the residue becomes even more prominent.  Regardless, the tea smells great.  Smelling the steeped tea honestly has me convinced that I’m about to indulge in a delicious hot chocolate.  This would be great in the winter!

Maybe it’s because I was hoping for a hot chocolate taste, or maybe because I love rich chocolates, but this tea is a little weak for my liking.  The smell has you expecting an explosion of chocolate, but I’m tasting more of a watered-down chocolate.  That aside, it definitely does remind me of chocolate cake batter.  But unfortunately, this tea is more woody and bitter than the other two cake teas.

The tea is plenty creamy without milk, but I’ll add some just to see what happens… And what a great decision that was!  The milk makes the tea creamier, brings out some of the chocolate and in my opinion, makes it taste more like the hot chocolate I was hoping for.

So although this tea has a rich smell that promises a deep, chocolate taste, it ends up tasting a bit watered-down.  Milk improves the situation a bit, but I still think this is my least favourite of the three cake teas from David’s Tea.

Tagged , , , , ,

Birthday Cake

This is another one of the cake teas David’s Tea recently came out with.  To be honest, I’ve had some bad experiences with rooibos teas but decided to try this one anyway…  And I’m glad I did.

The details:

Type: Rooibos

Bought at: David’s Tea

Description: What’s the best thing about birthdays?  It could be the presents, or spending time with loved ones, but let’s be honest.  It’s all about the cake.  With vanilla icing, and lots of sprinkles.  And this sweet and festive rooibos blend brings the taste of birthday cake to your cup any day of the year – sprinkles and all.

What I think:

Yum!  The dry tea smells so sweet.  Close your eyes and you’d be convinced you were about to bite into a delicious birthday cake, complete with tons of vanilla icing.  This one, just like the Ice Cream Cake, has sprinkles in it.  It’s important to note that this tea is extremely fine.  The first time I made it I used my pincer, which let out about half my tea.  Needless to say, straining the tea afterwards wasn’t the most pleasant experience.

Just as I’m about to take a sip, I notice the nice, light smell of vanilla.  Maybe even maple?  This one, although it has sprinkles and ice cream bits just like the Ice Cream Cake, doesn’t have a layer of residue on the top of the tea.  The tea tastes great; I feel like there are hints of maple and caramel.  I was expecting more icing, but I’m tasting a lot of cake batter.  Definitely not a bad thing since birthday cake batter is always delicious.  This tea is creamy as well, but not as sweet as the Ice Cream Cake.

After my great experience with adding milk to Ice Cream Cake, I know I need to try this one with milk too…  And again, it’s a nice touch.  The tea’s creamier, which goes well with the taste of cake batter.  Unfortunately, I think I might have added too much milk as it’s distracting from some of the flavours I initially noted and enjoyed.

This tea smells like a birthday cake and tastes like a birthday cake with maple syrup poured over it.  It has definitely changed my opinion of rooibos.  If you’re new to rooibos, this is definitely something I’d suggest as a starter!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Ice Cream Cake

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up David’s Tea’s new cake teas.  I love cake and I love tea so I figured a combination of the two would be amazing… And I was right!  So here’s the lowdown on the first one, Ice Cream Cake.

The details:

Type: Black

Bought at: David’s Tea

Description: Does life get any better than chocolate cake?  Well… what about chocolate ice cream cake? It’s basically the king of desserts – rich, sweet and creamy.  And with this decadent black tea blend, your favourite indulgence is just a sip away.

What I think:

Something about the way this dry tea smells throws me off a little.  It’s sweet, but there’s a hint of something that almost smells like alcohol.  I’m not entirely certain what it’s from, but it might be the stevia (which by the way, is a family of herbs that is often used as a sugar substitute, so yes – this tea is naturally sweet).  But I have to say, the dry tea looks like an ice cream cake, complete with sprinkles and all.

Once steeped, the smell dies down to a light, sweet vanilla scent.  Although I think the sprinkles and freeze-dried ice cream are an innovative addition, they leave a residue on the surface of the tea.  Not a big deal to me, but it might turn some people off.

This tea really does taste like liquid ice cream.  Obviously not as sweet, but the major flavours are all there.  I would compare it most closely to Neapolitan ice cream!  The tea is very creamy, as promised.  And although I never drink milk in my tea, I’ll add some to see what the effect is.  It seems appropriate, given that it’s an ice cream tea…  Note: I am lactose intolerant, so I am taking a huge risk here.

Oh my.  With milk, this tea is even better, phenomenal even.  Creamier, but still just as sweet.  I feel like I just took a big bite out of a delicious dessert.  Awesome.

Although the dry smell and the way the steeped tea looks are unwelcome surprises, the taste is creamy, rich and just sweet enough for my taste buds.  With milk, it’s a goldmine of deliciousness.

Tagged , , , , ,