Tea Tasting

DAVIDsTEA 24 Days of Tea – 2015 Advent Calendar – Part 3

December 13, 2015
davidstea 24 days of tea

We are now passed the halfway mark for the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar (insert sad face here).

Since I always try to view things in life with a cup half full approach (ha get it – cup half full?), we still have another 11 more teas to review!

That’s 11 more cups of tea to taste, smell, photograph, write about, and enjoy!

As mentioned before, every single day I review that day’s tea sample. I don’t review the teas ahead of time or review a bunch at once. Otherwise what fun would an advent calendar be?!

You can also skip directly to the 24 Days of Tea list here.

Let’s carry on then, shall we?

Day 13: Buddha’s Blend

Today’s tea sample piqued my curiosity. The name alone automatically made me think of Zen, tranquility, and peaceful and soothing thoughts.

The smell was divine. It had a very sweet, floral, and fragrant smell to it. Since the smell was so sweet, it reminded me of the gummy bear and fuzzy peaches candy.

Looking at the pieces individually, you could see white and green tea leaves, jasmine pearls, and small white pieces of hibiscus blossoms. The jasmine pearls and hibiscus blossoms must have been the cause of the delicious, sweet aroma.

buddhas blend davids tea

The back of the box provided helpful brewing instructions: Boil water to 80 degrees Celsius (or 176 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Buddha’s Blend is labeled as a white tea (even though it also has green tea in it) and contains a medium amount of caffeine.

back buddhas blend

Once brewed, the tea still had a delicious and sweet smell. It had light yellow liquor, due to the white, green, and jasmine tea leaves. The tea leaves unfurled to be very large in size. This would have been a fun tea to watch brew in a glass teapot.

buddhas blend steeped

The taste threw me off a little bit. It was a little bitter which was a bit of a shock considering how sweet the smell was (although this could have been my fault as I may have over-steeped it a little bit – oops). Buddha’s Blend still had a refreshing aftertaste to it. I noticed once it cooled down, I could taste more of its flavour and less of the bitterness. It was sweet and had a floral taste to it (I actually noticed the florals more in the aftertaste).

buddhas blend brewed

Overall in my review of the Buddha’s Blend, it was a pleasant tea. I want to say that it was a refreshing tea, but the bitterness was a little too noticeable. This is probably my fault for over-steeping, so I will have to give this tea another try. However it does have a nice floral aftertaste that really reminds me of spring. I would be curious to try this tea as a cold brew as well.

Buddha’s Blend ingredients: White tea, green tea, jasmine pearls, white hibiscus blossoms, natural and artificial flavouring.  

Day 14: Alpine Punch

Today’s tea sample from DAVIDsTEA is the Alpine Punch. Right away the first thing I did was roll off the tin lid and take a good sniff.

It smelled so good!

It had a very heavy almond/marzipan scent to it. The smell reminded me of almond sugar cookies my mom used to buy when I was a kid.

When I looked at the individual loose leaf pieces, I could see that there was a lot going on. You could see rooibos tea leaves, almonds, dried apples, cinnamon, small pieces of coconut and ginger, rose blossoms, and cardamom to name a few.

alpine punch davids tea

Since there were so many spices, I was worried it would be another Organic North African Mint, since they shared similar spices in both teas. I found the spices in the Organic North African Mint to be too strong and overpowering and I did not enjoy the tea.

As usual the back of the back provides handy brewing instructions: Boil water to 96 degrees Celsius (or 205 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Alpine Punch is a type of rooibos tea and is caffeine free.

back alpine punch

When I took the first sip I had a huge sigh of relief. I did not get hit in the face with a bunch of spices!

The tea was quite delicious. It tasted very sweet, smooth and creamy. It had a nutty taste, most likely from the almonds and coconuts, but was very smooth and subtle. The liquor had a dark orange colour, and while I was sipping I could also taste hints of apple and cinnamon. The aftertaste did have a punch to it (no pun intended) but it wasn’t so strong that it knocked me off my feet. The aftertaste was spicy, which was most likely from the black pepper and ginger. The spicy aftertaste gave you the kind of warmth that really warms you up from the inside – perfect for those bone-chilly winter nights.

alpine punch brewed

In my review of the Alpine Punch, I found it to be a wonderful winter tea. It’s a perfect seasonal tea that’s great for winter when you really need some help warming up. Since its caffeine free it’s also a great tea to have in the evenings or before bed.

Alpine Punch ingredients: Rooibos, coconut chips (coconut, coconut fat, sugar), coconut rasps, apple, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, rose blossoms, almonds, natural and artificial almond cream flavouring. Contains almonds and coconut.

Day 15: Honey, I Dew

Aww, the name of this tea sounds so sweet, “Honey, I Dew”. I love the clever and witty names DAVIDsTEA always comes up with. It always keeps things interesting and fun. I mentioned earlier that I am such a sucker for their clever marketing and packaging. Cute tea names like these are one of the many reasons why I keep coming back…

Right off the bat my instincts told me that this will be a melon flavoured tea. The tea smelled very sweet and fruity. Looking at the individual pieces, it confirmed my hunch. I could see white tea leaves, dried apple, dried pineapple, melon, and mango pieces, along with some tiny rose petals. Oddly enough there was one piece of clove that managed to sneak in. Since it wasn’t listed as an ingredient I knew it wasn’t supposed to be in there, but I decided to leave it anyways. Maybe the clove just wanted to hang out with the cool kids?

honey i dew davids tea

The back of the box provided the brewing instructions: Boil water to 90 degrees Celsius (or 194 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 4 to 5 minutes. Honey, I Dew is a type of white tea and contains a low amount of caffeine.

back honey i dew

Once brewed the liquor was a pale yellow colour. When I took the first sip, my taste buds were dancing. The tea was delicious! It was sweet and I could taste several flavours; the melon, apple, and a slight floral hint. It had just enough sweetness to it in that it wasn’t overly sweet. You could drink it just as it was without needing to add any sugar. There was also a watermelon aftertaste that kind of reminded me of the Juicy Fruit gum, but I enjoyed it (I’m a huge Watermelon fan in case you didn’t know).

honey i dew brewed

Overall in my review of the Honey, I Dew tea, I found it to be a very enjoyable tea. It’s refreshing, light, and smooth all at the same time.  It actually reminds me of a spring tea rather than a holiday tea. I’m seriously considering purchasing more of this tea closer to spring time.

Honey, I Dew ingredients: Apple, white tea, pineapple (pineapple, sugar), melon (melon, sucrose, calcium chloride, citric acid, natural melon flavouring), mango (mango, sugar), rose petals, natural watermelon flavouring.

Day 16: Organic Japanese Sencha

Ohh, a  Sencha green tea to try!

The first thing I noticed when I rolled off the gold tin lid was the smell. There was a strong, distinct aroma of green ‘tea’. It had a sort of grassy, earthy smell to it.

Looking at the individual loose leaf pieces, they were long and small thin pieces of green tea leaves. It’s interesting to note that these tea leaves were steamed.

organic japanese sencha davids tea

The back of the box provided the usual brewing instructions: Boil water to 80 degrees Celsius (or 176 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 2 to 3 minutes only. This is the first tea I have come across in this year’s 24 Days of Tea where you should measure 0.75 tsp of tea instead of the usual 1.25 tsp of tea. Organic Japanese Sencha is a type of green tea and contains a medium amount of caffeine.

back organic japanese sencha

Once brewed the tea had a pale yellow/green liquor. It still maintained its grassy, tea-ish aroma as well.

I found the taste to be quite refreshing. It was a light tea, and you could taste the grassy and vegetal notes in it. I did not experience any tart or bitterness either. In my opinion this would be a nice tea to have after a heavy meal.

organic japanese sencha brewed

In my review of the Organic Japanese Sencha, I found it to be a calming and refreshing tea. It is a straight basic green tea only and has no other flavours added. I will have to double check the price for this tea, but it is something I can see myself having in my cupboard.

Organic Japanese Sencha ingredients: Steamed Japanese green tea from Mount Fuji, Japan. Kosher.

Day 17: Mulled Wine

When I saw today’s tea sample I couldn’t help but groan a bit. I am not a huge fan of mulled wine, however I have never tried a tea version of it. How does the saying go, don’t knock it before you try it?

The individual pieces I could see were oolong tea leaves, dried apple and orange peel, cloves, and small pieces of ginger. There was a very strong smell of cinnamon and citrus. It was a very zesty scent.

mulled wine davids tea

The back of the box provided the usual brewing instructions: Boil water to 85 degrees Celsius (or 185 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Mulled Wine is a type of oolong tea and contains a low amount of caffeine.

back mulled wine

Once brewed the liquor was a light yellow colour and it still maintained the same zesty, cinnamon, smell.

mulled wine brewed

The taste was not what I expected it to be. It was light with a still fairly noticeable amount of cinnamon in the flavour. I could also taste the orange, clove and ginger as well. I didn’t really taste a resemblance to mulled wine and it didn’t really connect for me. I was also a little disappointed that the oolong wasn’t more noticeable.

However the leaves did open up very nicely when steeping:

mulled wine steeped

Over all in my review of the Mulled Wine, I was not a huge fan of it. It wasn’t a bad tea, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Even though it didn’t really taste like mulled wine, because I’m not a huge fan of mulled wine to begin with, it may have swayed my opinion before I even took the first sip.

Mulled Wine ingredients: Oolong tea, apple, orange peel, cinnamon, clove buds, ginger, natural flavouring. Kosher.

Day 18: Forever Nuts

Today’s tea in this year’s 24 days of tea advent calendar is Forever Nuts! Judging by the name, it sounds like this tea is going to be nuts!

I could tell by the smell that I was going to like this tea. It had a delicious nutty, sweet apple cinnamon smell to it. It reminded me of an apple pie/oatmeal cookies/ apple cinnamon oatmeal. The smell reminded me of different flavours that it was hard for me to select only one.

The individual loose leaf pieces consisted of almonds, dried apples, cinnamon and beetroot.

forever nuts davids tea

The back of the box had the usual handy brewing instructions: Boil water to 96 degrees Celsius (or 205 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Forever Nuts is a type of fruit infusion tea and is caffeine free.

back forever nuts

Once brewed the liquor was a pink colour!! This is from the beetroot.

It still had the same delicious, nutty sweet apple smell once the tea was brewed as well. I was expecting the tea to have a strong taste due to its strong yummy smell, but it was actually quite the opposite. The flavour was very subtle, but very yummy. It was very sweet and a little buttery, and you could taste the almonds and apples but it was very subtle. There was a hint of cinnamon but it was not overpowering (which is great for those of you who do not like a lot of cinnamon).

brewed forever nuts

Overall in my review of Forever Nuts, I found it to be a delicious tea. Since it is yummy and sweet, it reminds me of a dessert tea. Since it is caffeine free, it is a wonderful tea to have in the evenings after dinner or before bed. I can see why this is a DAVIDsTEA staple and I will definitely be ordering more!

Forever Nuts ingredients: Apple, almonds, cinnamon, beetroot, artificial flavouring. Contains almonds.

Skip Back: 24 Days of Tea PART 2, 24 Days of Tea PART 1

Skip Ahead: 24 Days of Tea PART 4

Which one of these teas are your favorite and why? Would love to hear your comments below!

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