We are now on the last stretch of reviewing and blogging the 2015 DAVIDsTEA 24 Days of Tea advent calendar!
I’m really glad I was able to purchase the advent calendar this year as I’ve been able to sample so many new flavours! It’s a great way to try a sample of many flavours at once, instead of having to purchase the teas individually.
As mentioned earlier I’ve also been blogging about the tea reviews every single day. I haven’t reviewed the teas ahead of time or sampled a bunch at once, rather I review each one individually every single day.
You can also skip directly to the 24 Days of Tea list here.
Without further ado, let’s carry on!
Day 19: Dark Chocolate Delight
Ah, a dark chocolate tea to try!
I was pleasantly surprised when I found out today’s tea was a dark chocolate tea. Chocolate teas are teas I would like to try more of, as I notice their range of flavour varies widely. Sometimes they’re very sweet and have a heavy chocolate taste, sometimes they fall flat and lack a lot of flavour.
The first thing I did was roll off the tin lid and take a good sniff. There was a delicious smell of dark chocolate! I loooove me some dark chocolate!
Looking at the individual pieces, I could see black tea leaves, dark chocolate chunks, and cocoa shells.
The back of the box has useful brewing instructions: Boil water to 96 degrees Celsius (or 205 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Dark Chocolate Delight is a type of black tea, and contains a medium amount of caffeine.
Once brewed it did not have its strong dark chocolate aroma, and had more of a ‘leafy’ tea scent. I was a little disappointed in the flavour. I was hoping it would be rich and decadent like dark chocolate usually is, but it tasted flat and a little bitter. You could taste the dark chocolate but it wasn’t the decadent flavour I was hoping for. Perhaps my expectations were a little high over the excitement of the tea. I could also taste a hint of blueberry in the aftertaste but it was fairly subtle.
Overall in my review of Dark Chocolate Delight, I was not a huge fan of it. I wanted to like it but I felt it lacked flavour. I’m not ready to give up on it just yet, and will brew another cup and try adding in some milk and sugar (which is usually how I like to drink my black teas). This would have been a nice dessert tea but will probably not be my go-to tea for chocolate teas.
Dark Chocolate Delight ingredients: Black tea, spiced dark chocolate (cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, ancho chili, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, allspice, clove, chipotle chili, ground vanilla), blueberries, cocoa shells, natural chocolate flavouring.
Day 20: Moment of Zen
With Christmas around the corner, I woke up this morning staying in bed and dreading getting out. I was thinking of all the things I had to tackle today, including finishing the rest of my Christmas shopping and wrapping presents!
The only thing I was not dreading was opening up today’s tea from the 24 days of tea advent calendar!
I have to admit, I had a sigh of relief when I found out today’s tea was Moment of Zen. DAVIDsTEA must have cleverly placed a calming, green tea on the last Sunday before Christmas on purpose! They must have thought there would be a lot of last minute, stressed out shoppers (like me), who could use something calming.
As soon as I rolled the lid off I think the zen, calming affects started to work on me. I could smell the delicious aroma of light jasmine, with a hint of blackberries.
Looking at the individual loose leaf pieces, I could see green tea leaves, small dried pieces of blackberries, and cornflower blossoms.
The back of the box provided helpful brewing instructions: Boil water to 85 degrees Celsius (or 185 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 3 to 4 minutes. Moment of Zen is a type of green tea and contains a low amount of caffeine.
Once brewed it still had a pleasant aroma of jasmine and blackberries, with a slight floral scent as well. The liquor was a light yellow colour.
I found the taste to be very soothing. None of the flavours were strong and overpowering, which is perfect for a ‘calming’ green tea. You could clearly taste the green tea with jasmine, and there was a slight blackberry aftertaste. It tasted a little bit floral-y, but a little bit fruity at the same time. It was not tart or bitter, and not overly sweet either.
Overall in my review of Moment of Zen, I found this green tea to be a very calming and soothing green tea. There were not many flavours, and the flavours that were included were not overpowering. It was a very subtle green tea. This may be my favorite green tea that I have tried so far in this year’s 24 Days of Tea, and I will definitely be ordering more. Now that I am all calm and zenned out, I’m ready to tackle the rest of my Christmas shopping!
Moment of Zen ingredients: Green tea scented with jasmine, blackberries, mallow blossoms, cornflower blossoms, natural blackberry flavouring.
Day 21: Cardamom French Toast
I was having a bit of a crummy day today so I was hoping today’s tea would be a comforting, yummy, make-me-feel-good kinda tea day.
I had mixed feelings when I found out today’s tea was Cardamom French Toast. I love French toast, but am not a huge fan of cardamom. Regardless, I was willing to give this tea a try because sometimes you can smell one thing, and taste something completely different!
The first thing I noticed when opening the gold tin was the smell. It smelled very strongly of cardamom. It also smelled like there was a zesty hint of cinnamon muffled in the background as well.
Looking at the individual loose leaf pieces, I could see black tea leaves, cardamom, sugar, cinnamon, and coriander seeds.
The back of the box provided helpful brewing instructions: Boil water to 96 degrees Celsius (or 205 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Cardamom French Toast is a type of black tea and contains a low amount of caffeine.
I thought it had a very pretty liquor to it once it was brewed. It was dark orange/light brown in colour and reminded me of the colour of maple syrup.
It also had a very interesting taste. It was sweet and buttery and was not spicy! To be honest, I was worried that the cardamom would be overpowering since the smell of it was strong. While I was waiting for the tea to cool, I got a little distracted and the tea cooled down quicker than I thought it would, so I drank it a bit cooler as opposed to a warmer, hotter, tea. I will have to try another cup of this tea again when it’s hotter to see if it still tastes the same when it’s hot, or if drinking at a cooler temperature is more optimal. I have to say it did remind me of French toast and did give me that ‘feel-good’ comfort certain teas give off.
In my review of the Cardamom French Toast, I was quite surprised at how good it tasted. I was not expecting a sweet, buttery, comfort tea. Since it had a strong smell of cardamom, I was worried there would be more ‘cardamom’ in the tea rather than ‘french toast’. Overall I was pleasantly surprised and I would be curious to see how this would taste as a latte.
Cardamom French Toast ingredients: Black tea, cinnamon, lemon peel, coriander seeds, cardamom, coconut sugar, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavouring. Contains coconut.
Day 22: Snow Day
I was super excited when I opened today’s tea and found out it was Snow Day! I was pumped that I got to try a new mint/chocolate infusion tea. I love, love, love, peppermint, and when paired with chocolate it’s even more delicious.
Oddly enough, I recently bought a box of dark chocolate mint cookies (don’t judge me!) and was debating on whether I should have some after dinner tonight, but decided against it. I didn’t want the peppermint to alter the flavour of the tea I was going to try, and decided I would have the cookies afterwards. Now I get to overload on mint chocolate tea and mint chocolate cookies! Oh my.
When I rolled off the tin lid, I was instantly greeted with the delicious smell of peppermint. I could also smell a faint hint of chocolate as well.
Looking at the individual pieces, I could see peppermint tea leaves, cocoa/chocolate pieces, white chocolate pieces, and white sugar snowflakes!!!
Even if you’re not a huge peppermint fan, you have to admit the composition of the tea looked pretty amazing.
The back of the box provided the usual handy brewing instructions: Boil water to 96 degrees Celsius (or 205 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Snow Day is a type of herbal infusion tea, and contains a low amount of caffeine.
Once brewed the tea still smelled like peppermint. The liquor was a dark yellow/light orange colour. It reminded me of the colour of apple juice.
The taste was how I suspected it would be; heavy on the mint, with a chocolate aftertaste. If you waited a couple seconds after, your mouth had a minty-fresh feel to it. It was also a sweet tea but not overly sweet. You could have added in some sugar if you wanted, but it was sweet enough on its own. It was slightly buttery, but I suspect this was from the chocolate.
Overall, in my review of Snow Day, I found it to be a delicious and comforting tea. I am a huge fan of peppermint and chocolate, and when combined together, I find it divine. However, if you’re not as mint-obsessed as I am, you might find the peppermint notes fairly strong in this one. This one had more peppermint than chocolate, but overall I found it to be an enjoyable tea.
Snow Day ingredients: Peppermint leaves, cocoa beans, cocoa husk, chocolate drops (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, sunflower lecithin), white chocolate pieces (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, sunflower lecithin), sugar sprinkles (sugar, rice flour, canola oil, tragacanth), cream flavouring, peppermint oil, natural chocolate and peppermint flavouring. Contains milk.
Day 23: Gingerbread Cookie
We’re onto day 23 already! December sure is going by fast and I’m sad that the 24 days of tea advent calendar is almost over. Luckily each tin can be used to make two cups of tea, so there is still plenty more cups to enjoy.
Today’s tea is the Gingerbread Cookie. I immediately thought that the name sounded promising and hoped it would taste good.
When I opened the tin I could see that there was a lot going on. I could easily see rooibos tea leaves, green rooibos tea leaves, cinnamon bark, dried pineapple, white chocolate, safflower, and honeybush. It had a unique smell that reminded me of maple and light cinnamon.
The back of the box provided helpful brewing instructions: Boil water to 85 degrees Celsius (or 185 degrees Fahrenheit) and brew for 4 to 7 minutes. Gingerbread Cookie is a type of mate tea, also known as yerba mate. It is technically labeled as a mate tea, but it appears rooibos is the dominant tea leaf. Gingerbread Cookie contains a high amount of caffeine.
Once brewed, the liquor had a dark red/maple syrupy brown colour to it. I found that the taste didn’t blow me away. It wasn’t bad; it was sweet, and you could taste the mate as it wasn’t too strong (probably because there was lots of rooibos). I felt the flavour lacked a little, and I couldn’t really taste the ‘gingerbread’ or ‘cookie’ part at all.
Overall in my review of the Gingerbread Cookie, it was enjoyable but wasn’t what I had hoped for. I felt it was missing the ‘gingerbread’ and ‘cookie’ flavours that should have brought this tea to life. I will try rebrewing another cup in the near future to see if my opinion changes.
Gingerbread Cookie ingredients: Rooibos, green rooibos, honeybush, cinnamon bark, currants, candied pineapple (pineapples, cane sugar, citric acid), crystallized ginger (ginger, sugar), maple sugar, white chocolate (sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, whey, milk, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, vanilla), ginger root, safflowers, roasted mate, natural and artificial flavouring. Contains milk and soy.
Day 24: Santa’s Secret
Today’s tea is Santa’s Secret. I’m really excited to try this tea because it’s the last tea of the 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar, so it has to be good, right? Maybe we’ll get to learn Santa’s secret and how he manages to deliver all those presents overnight…
The first thing I noticed was the delicious smell. It smelled like Christmas morning. It had a yummy, sweet, vanilla smell, almost like cookies, with a bit of mint. I’m not sure if I’ve smelled anything more delicious then vanilla and mint together.
Looking at the individual loose leaf pieces, I could see black tea leaves, peppermint leaves, and… mini candy canes!!!
The back of the box provided helpful brewing instructions: Boil water to 96 degrees Celsius (or 205 degrees Fahrenheit) and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Santa’s Secret is a type of black tea and contains a medium amount of caffeine.
Once brewed, it had a lovely dark orange, maple syrupy colour to it. And the taste – the taste was divine. It was sweet, minty, and smooth. The mint was not strong and overpowering. It was a lovely holiday tea that combines black and peppermint tea together. I drank this particular cup black, but I will have to brew another cup to see how it tastes with some milk added (although it’s not needed, as it tastes fine just as it is). I really enjoyed the simplicity of this tea and appreciated that it was delicious without a lot of ingredients and spices thrown in.
Overall, in my review of Santa’s Secret, I found it to be a warming, cozy, delicious tea. It’s lovely festive drink that combines black and peppermint tea leaves together. It’s simple yet delicious, no wonder Santa drinks it!
Santa’s Secret ingredients: Black tea, peppermint, sprinkles (sugar, rice flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, corn starch, natural and artificial flavours, cellulose gum, red 40 Lake, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, titanium dioxide (colour), polysorbate 60), natural and artificial vanilla flavouring.
24 Days of Tea List
If you’re looking for a specific type of tea and would like to skip directly to that page, below is a handy list of the entire 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar. You will find each tea categorized by day, name of tea, type of tea, leaf quantity for steeping, water temperature, steep time, and caffeine level. Clicking on the tea name will bring you to an in-depth review and summary, along with pictures and an ingredient list.
|Day||Tea||Type of Tea||Quantity||Water Temperature||Steep Time||Caffeine Level|
|1||sleigh ride||fruit infusion||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||caffeine free|
|2||mango madness||white tea||1.25 tsp||90° C / 194°F||4 to 5 minutes||low caffeine|
|3||orange pekoe||black tea||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||medium caffeine|
|4||organic sweet almond green||green tea||1.25 tsp||85°C / 185°F||3 to 4 minutes||low caffeine|
|5||banana nut bread||fruit infusion||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||caffeine free|
|6||glitter & gold||black tea||1.25 tsp||90°C / 194°F||4 to 7 minutes||medium caffeine|
|7||organic north african mint||green tea||1.25 tsp||85°C / 185°F||3 to 4 minutes||low caffeine|
|8||cherry blossom||white tea||1.25 tsp||90°C / 194°F||4 to 5 minutes||low caffeine|
|9||organic cinnamon rooibos chai||rooibos||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||caffeine free|
|10||organic nepal black||black tea||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||medium caffeine|
|11||hot chocolate||pu’erh tea||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||medium caffeine|
|12||organic the spice is right||green tea||1.25 tsp||85°C / 185°F||3 to 4 minutes||low caffeine|
|13||buddha’s blend||white tea||1.25 tsp||80°C / 176°F||2 to 3 minutes||medium caffeine|
|14||alpine punch||rooibos||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||caffeine free|
|15||honey, I dew||white tea||1.25 tsp||90°C / 194°F||4 to 5 minutes||low caffeine|
|16||organic japanese sencha||green tea||0.75 tsp||80°C / 176°F||2 to 3 minutes||medium caffeine|
|17||mulled wine||oolong tea||1.25 tsp||85°C / 185°F||4 to 7 minutes||low caffeine|
|18||forever nuts||fruit infusion||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||caffeine free|
|19||dark chocolate delight||black tea||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||medium caffeine|
|20||moment of zen||green tea||1.25 tsp||85°C / 185°F||3 to 4 minutes||low caffeine|
|21||cardamom french toast||black tea||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||low caffeine|
|22||snow day||herbal infusion||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||low caffeine|
|23||gingerbread cookie||maté||1.25 tsp||85°C / 185°F||4 to 7 minutes||stimulant / high caffeine|
|24||santa’s secret||black tea||1.25 tsp||96°C / 205°F||4 to 7 minutes||medium caffeine|
This year was the first year I purchased the DAVIDsTEA 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar, and I’m really glad I did. There were many new teas I got to try and teas I have tried in the past and became reacquainted with. I was a little hesitant at first due to the price (I believe I paid about $40 at the time), but decided it was worth it due to all the new flavours I could try. In addition, each tin of tea can be used to brew two separate cups of tea. At a minimum, you could get 48 cups of tea, and that’s assuming you don’t re-steep the same leaves throughout the day (in which you could squeeze out several more cups).
I have to say my favorite part about discovering all these news teas was that it was in an advent calendar format. It made opening each day’s tea exciting because you had no idea what it would be. I would look forward to coming home every day just to see what tea I would be having, and then going through the process of steeping, photographing, blogging, etc.
I found the tea and packaging to both be of high quality. I even have a few ideas on how I can reuse the box and gold tea tins, so I can reduce waste and not have to throw them out.
Overall I was impressed with this year’s 24 Days of Tea and look forward to next year’s tea advent calendar.
Which one of these teas are your favorite and why? Would love to hear your comments below!