24 Days of Tea: Nutty and Spice

Nutty and Spice by DavidsTea
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$9.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

I was super excited to see that Day 7 of the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar was an oolong tea! And then I smelled it and I was just overwhelmed with the heavy spice aroma from this little tin of tea. I couldn’t even see the oolong until I started shaking it out into my stainless steel tea infuser because of the giant chunks of fruit. Honestly, the first thought that went through my head was “What’s all this stuff doing in an oolong?!”. There’s a heavy cinnamon smell to this tea blend.

Nutty and Spice’s ingredients are: oolong tea, roasted chicory root, pineapple, papaya, cinnamon, walnuts, ginger, apple, rose pepper, roasted almonds, cardamom, almonds, pistachios, cranberries, rose blossoms, natural and artificial flavouring.

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Preparation

The calendar packaging recommends steeping Nutty and Spice for 4 to 7 minutes in hot water, this is the same as the online product page where hot water is 75-80°C (167-176°F). I steeped my cup for close to 4 minutes.

First Taste

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Nutty and Spice steeps to a nice golden orange, the first thing I could smell while it was steeping was the cinnamon. Unfortunately, the first thing that I could taste when I was drinking it was the cinnamon. I could not make out the oolong base at all – I’m assuming it’s there because I can physically see it and pick it out from the rest of the ingredients. It has a very “warm” flavour profile, the mix of spices is almost comforting in a way with how they just warm you up from the inside out. Unfortunately, that’s not what I look for in an oolong – especially all that cinnamon.

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A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Nutty and Spice a second time and was disappointed as it was kind of this watery messy that sort of resembled a cinnamon stick.

My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like DavidsTea’s Nutty and Spice. I really like oolongs, generally speaking, and the additives thrown in here don’t do the tea any favours. I find that the spices are very heavy in the flavour profile and effectively drown out any flavour that the oolong base would have added to this tea. On the other hand, I wish that some of these spices had made their way into day 6’s Apple Cider for more of a mulled apple cider flavour.

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24 Days of Tea: Apple Cider

Apple Cider by DavidsTea
Herbal Infusion / Flavoured
$7.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

For Day 6 of the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar, it was Apple Cider. I really quite like apple teas, one of my favourites is Honeycrisp Apple. Apple Cider, on the other hand, smells like apples and vanilla icing – the kind you can buy in can that comes premixed so all you have to do is slather it over a cake. The tea mix in this little calendar tin is chock full of apple pieces, and despite the vanilla icing smell to it, I’m eager to give it a try.

Apple Cider is made up of: apple, apple pomace, sweet blackberry leaves, apple flavouring, artificial vanilla and cream flavouring.

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Preparation

The calendar packaging suggests steeping Apple Cider in near-boiling water for 4 to 7 minutes, which does match what it says on the product page. Near-boiling water is 90-95°C (194-203°F). I steeped Apple Cider for 6 minutes.

First Taste

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Apple Cider steeps to a nice golden yellow colour, and there is this sweet apple aroma that wafts up from my cup that is quite enjoyable to just inhale. For the apple infusion itself, I find that it has a great sweet apple taste. The one thing that I find very lacking in it is the spices. When I think of apple cider, I often think of mulled apple cider so I was really hoping for some cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in the flavour profile. This Apple Cider is sadly lacking in all of that and I do wish that I had steeped it with some cinnamon to give it more of a mulled apple cider flavour.

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A Second Cup?

I do not resteep herbal infusions.

My Overall Impression

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I liked DavidsTea’s Apple Cider. It has a great sweetness to it that doesn’t taste artificial, and the apple flavour itself is quite tasty. If it had more of the spices that I associate with apple cider, I would have given it a higher rating. It’s not a bad version of apple cider, but it isn’t quite what I was expecting (or hoping for).

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24 Days of Tea: Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake by DavidsTea
Black Tea / Flavoured
$7.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

Coffee Cake smells like what you’d expect a tea called Coffee Cake to smell like – like its namesake. Interestingly enough, there isn’t actually any coffee in the ingredients list. Coffee Cake is comprised of: black tea, candied fruit, pineapple, natural and artificial flavouring. I do love black tea, but the smell of coffee in general makes my stomach turn so I won’t be giving this one a try.

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My Overall Impression

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I did not try DavidsTea’s Coffee Cake, so I can’t give it a proper rating. I’m aware that there isn’t actually any coffee or coffee beans in this tea blend, but I just find the smell of coffee overall off putting on a good day, so I’m not able to try it for fun. If you gave Coffee Cake a try, comment below with your thoughts on it!

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24 Days of Tea: Organic Serenity Now

Organic Serenity Now by DavidsTea
Herbal Infusion / Flavoured
$8.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

Day 4 of the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar is Organic Serenity Now. It’s a very, very, very floral and fruity smelling tea. This is not something that I would have necessarily picked out for myself, mostly because of the overly sweet combination flowers (in particular lavender) and fruit. I can see the lavender buds, the dried fruit, and other dried flowers.

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The ingredients in Organic Serenity Now are: currants, rosehips, lavender, spearmint, blueberries, quince, apple, hibiscus, rose petals, strawberries, natural rose water, and strawberry flavouring.

Preparation

The packaging from the 24 Days of Tea recommends steeping Organic Serenity Now in “near-boiling water” for 4 to 7 minutes (this is the same as what is stated on the product page on their website). Near-boiling water is 90-95°C (194-203°F), I used the “French Press” option on my Breville IQ Kettle, and I steeped the Organic Serenity Now for about 6 minutes.

First Taste

Organic Serenity Now steeps to a deep pink. There was quite a bit of debris from the tea at the bottom of my mug even with using a stainless steel tea infuser, so I would recommend using a tea filter instead if you’re not one for having ‘stuff’ in your tea.

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Organic Serenity Now has a very strong floral smell to it that leans heavily towards lavender. I found that it has a very strong lavender taste to it that overpowers the other ingredients in this mix. I ended up pouring out half of the tea that I had steeped.

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A Second Cup?

I generally do not resteep herbal infusions, I did not resteep Organic Serenity Now.

My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like DavidsTea’s Organic Serenity Now. There is just something off-putting about a mug full of tea that smells like and tastes like lavender. I generally associate lavender with fancy soaps, not with my teas.

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24 Days of Tea: Genmaicha

Genmaicha by DavidsTea
Green Tea / Straight
$6.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

Genmaicha has been on my list of “teas to eventually buy and try”, so I was pleased as punch that it was in the DavidsTea’s 24 Days of Tea advent calendar as day 3. The dry leaf has a salty and vegetal quality to it, and I can smell the roasted rice as there’s a distinct rice smell to the tea itself.

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Genmaicha is filled with popped rice, I didn’t see the green tea leaves at first! The tea leaves are generally small and broken, which is a bit disappointing. Genmaicha is made up of: steamed green tea from Japan, and roasted and popped rice.

Preparation

The steeping instructions for Genmaicha are to use “hot water” and to steep for 2 to 3 minutes as per DavidsTea’s website. On the packaging, it says to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Drastically different steep times! I opted to steep for less, and my initial steep of Genmaicha was for 2 minutes. DavidsTea considers “hot” water to be 75-80°C or 167-176°F.

First Taste

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Genmaicha steeps to a very pale yellow, the tea has a salty and vegetal aroma that reminds me a lot of seaweed snacks! It smells very much like how it did prior to steeping, which is always a good sign. After letting the tea cool just a smidge, Genmaicha has a tasty but salty vegetal flavour to it. There’s this slight crispness to the flavour that is difficult to describe. I found it very enjoyable and not bitter at all when steeped for 2 minutes. I feel that 5 minutes for an initial steep would be overkill.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Genmaicha twice. The second time around, it was very much like the first. I found the third steep, that there was this added sweetness to the tea that wasn’t there before. The subtle change in the flavour profile was enjoyable.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved DavidsTea’s Genmaicha. There’s just something enjoyable about a flavourful cup of tea, which is what Genmaicha was for me. I found the salty and vegetal flavours to be enticing, and it’s overall a very good cup of tea. I would not recommend following the steeping instructions for this tea based on the packaging (which is highly unfortunate!) as 5 minutes is generally far too long for a green tea.

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