DavidsTea’s Oh Canada!

Oh Canada! by DavidsTea
Rooibos Tea / Flavoured
$7.98 for 50g

Happy 149th birthday, Canada!

20160701-davidsteaohcanada1

First Impressions

Oh Canada! smells amazing. It smells exactly as one would expect a Canadian-themed tea to smell – like maple syrup. Somewhere along the way, maple syrup just became the thing that is associated with Canada. Sadly, this tea does not also smell like poutine, but the cute maple leaf candies sprinkled throughout the tea more than make up for that. I really enjoy smelling this tea, it doesn’t smell like the maple syrup “products” that are more water than syrup, it smells like the maple syrup I’m used to.

20160701-davidsteaohcanada2

Oh Canada! is made up of: red and green rooibos, honeybush, caramel, toffee, candy leaves, natural and artificial flavouring. For those with allergies or sensitivities, Oh Canada! has milk, soy, and almond in it.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends near-boiling water for 4-7 minutes. Those temperatures, according to their website, are 90-95°C (194-203°F). I steeped mine in just boiled water for close to 6 minutes.

First Taste

20160701-davidsteaohcanada3

Oh Canada! smells like strongly of rooibos, with hints of maple syrup and caramel after it has steeped. This patriotic rooibos steeps to a lovely reddish brown that I’ve come to expect from rooibos based teas. There’s a very pleasannt taste to it, but it is primarily rooibos rather than maple syrup and caramel. Despite the added sources of sugar (maple syrup, maple leaf candies), it isn’t very sweet.

I added a little bit of sugar into my cup of Oh Canada! and I found that the maple flavours became more pronounced with the addition of a sweetener.

A Second Cup?

Based on the nature of this tea and the use of flavourings and candies, I did not resteep Oh Canada!

My Overall Impression

2cups-2

I thought that DavidsTea’s Oh Canada! was just okay. I love the idea on a patriotic, maple syrup tea more than I actually liked drinking Oh Canada! I really wanted to love it for all the reasons that I love Canada, but the fact remains that the rooibos base overpowers the maple syrup flavouring without additives on my part. I think this tea does well with the addition of a sweetener, and if you want to taste more of the maple flavouring I would recommend using a little bit of sweetener.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

DavidsTea’s Mango Fruit Punch

Mango Fruit Punch by DavidsTea
Herbal Infusion / Flavoured
$7.98 for 50g

20160628-davidsteamangofruitpunch1

First Impressions

Mango Fruit Punch has an amazing smell when you first open up the package. It smells strong of mango, pineapple, with a touch of citrus and reminds me a lot of a fruit punch concentrate (the iced one that comes in a can). You can definitely see the pieces of fruit in this mixture and it smells so good! The problem that I do have with Mango Fruit Punch is that because of all the fruit, it is a bulky and heavy fruit infusion. I had bought 26g of Mango Fruit Punch and used about half of it to make a pot of tea (I use my Tea For One), which means that each cup is fairly expensive.

The ingredients in Mango Fruit Punch are: pineapple, mango, orange peel and slices, tangerine, safflower, marigold, strawberry, and artificial flavouring. I don’t smell the strawberry, but I do smell most of the other ingredients although mango really overpowers the pineapple.

20160628-davidsteamangofruitpunch2

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Mango Fruit Punch in 90-95°C (194-203°F) water for 4-7 minutes, as per their website page for Mango Fruit Punch. On the label that was printed for my bag of tea, it was 96°C water for 4-7 minutes. I steeped mine for 6 minutes.

First Taste

20160628-davidsteamangofruitpunch3

Mango Fruit Punch steeps to a bright yellow. First off, I would recommend steeping this with a tea filter as I had used the metal basket infuser from the Tea For One and many small pieces from the fruit infusion wound up in the tea. Mango Fruit Punch smells strongly of mango, pineapple, and oranges. There’s a tartness to the taste of this fruit infusion, and there’s a mild sweetness to this tea that goes well with the mango and pineapple taste that is very much present in this. The orange isn’t as strong, which is a little disappointing considering I can smell it. There’s this watery juice quality to this tea, like if you were to take a carton of juice and mix it with some water to thin it out.

While the flavours are there, I don’t really like it hot (this may be because I also do not like warm juice). I cooled the rest of the tea in the fridge and found that it makes a delicious iced tea.

A Second Cup?

I did not resteep Mango Fruit Punch.

My Overall Impression

2cups-2

I thought that DavidsTea’s Mango Fruit Punch was just okay. While it tastes great and makes a fantastic iced tea, I do think it is expensive given how heavy the tea is and how much you need per pot of tea. That said, Mango Fruit Punch is delicious and I think it would make for a nice iced tea treat, if you wanted an iced tea for special occasions. The tart and sweetness to Mango Fruit Punch makes it delicious to drink, and I would definitely recommend making it an iced tea rather than hot.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

DavidsTea’s Vanilla Orchid

Vanilla Orchid by DavidsTea
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$11.98 for 50g

20160624-davidsteavanillaorchid1

First Impressions

Vanilla Orchid has an incredibly strong vanilla scent to the dry tea. When I first smelled it, I thought of vanilla pudding. The oolong base isn’t as noticeable as the vanilla that was added to it, but the tea is lovely. The vanilla reminds me of baking, which is always a pleasant memory/thought/activity. I love vanilla. There’s a very light floral aroma with the oolong base, but it doesn’t overpower the vanilla.

20160624-davidsteavanillaorchid2

Vanilla Orchid is made up of: Huang Jin Gui Oolong from Anxi in Fujian Province, natural vanilla flavouring. Only two ingredients!

20160624-davidsteavanillaorchid3

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Vanilla Orchid in 75-80°C (167-176°F) water for 4-7 minutes on their website, the label that printed with my tea in February of this year was 85°C. I steeped it for about 4 minutes for the first steeping.

First Taste

Vanilla Orchid steeps to a pale yellow. The tea is smooth, no bitterness, and has a very light floral taste to it. Overall, the vanilla flavouring is very strong and overpowers the oolong base. The first steeping is delicious, I wish the oolong base was more pronounced, but the tea is delicious. The tea leaves unfurl and they’re about two to two and an half inches long.

20160624-davidsteavanillaorchid4

A Second Cup?

Vanilla Orchid resteeps well. I steeped it an additional three times. The vanilla flavouring lessened with each subsequent steeping, but the floral oolong taste becomes more pronounced with each additional steeping. Vanilla Orchid has this creamy taste to it that isn’t noticeable until the second steeping. The tea leaves opened up mostly with the first steeping, but they finish unfurling and opening up by the second steeping.

20160624-davidsteavanillaorchid5

My Overall Impression

3cups-2

I liked DavidsTea’s Vanilla Orchid. The vanilla flavouring is delicious, but I thought the tea improved with the second and third steepings because the natural floral taste of the oolong was stronger. I think the first steeping was the most like vanilla pudding (which I liked), but the oolong base has a lovely, creamy floral taste to it that is second to none. I’d be interested in trying this tea without the added vanilla base, but it does make a decent cup of tea.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Teapigs’ Darjeeling Earl Grey

Darjeeling Earl Grey by Teapigs
Black Tea / Flavoured
£3.99 for 37.5g

This is a review of a tea that I received for my birthday in 2015.

20160621-teapigsdarjeelingearlgrey1

First Impressions

Teapigs is an amusing name, this is my first experience with them! I got this package of their Darjeeling Earl Grey for my birthday last year, and I’m quite curious about it because I just love Earl Grey. The packaging states that the “tea temples” (I’ll be calling them pyramids throughout my review, or sachets) are biodegradable. The total package is 37.5g, which makes for 2.5g per sachet, a fairly generous amount!

Inside the cardboard carton, there’s a cellophane bag which contains all the sachets. Sadly, this is not resealable once opened. I put all of my leftover pyramids into a ziploc bag with the necessary information from the packaging itself. I try to put my tea into containers if I have them handy, but I didn’t have any empty tea tins and I did have resealable bags available.

20160621-teapigsdarjeelingearlgrey2

The pyramids are adorable, and you can very easily see through that the leaves are a decent size for a bagged tea. I could even see the cornflower petals in there, which is a nice touch. The ingredients for Darjeeling Earl Grey are: Darjeeling tea (98%), natural flavours, and corn flowers (1%). The tea is described as being high quality Darjeeling with bergamot and lime flavours. I’ve never had an Earl Grey with lime before, but then I’ve also never had an Earl Grey with a Darjeeling base! It smells like bergamot, and the lime aroma is definitely present. I can’t make out the Darjeeling when the tea is dry though. (I have checked out Teapigs’ UK website, their Darjeeling Earl Grey on the website does not list lime as a part of the tea, so I believe they must have changed the formulation of the tea since this was purchased.)

Preparation

Teapigs recommends steeping in 100C water for 3-5 minutes.

First Taste

I steeped my pyramid of Darjeeling Earl Grey for about 4 minutes (possibly closer to 5) and I think that was a bit too long. Darjeeling steeps to a lovely reddish brown that’s deep and clear. There’s just a touch of a bitter aftertaste, so I definitely think that steeping it for a shorter period of time would be a good idea. There’s a bright citrus aroma to the tea, thanks to the bergamot and lime. I would almost say that the lime overpowers the bergamot just a little bit too much, but it’s not unpleasant.

20160621-teapigsdarjeelingearlgrey4

I added a small spoonful of honey, because I’m usually a fan of a touch of sweetness with my Earl Grey. It does not disappoint, the sweetener brightens up the bergamot flavouring but doesn’t amplify the lime so it’s a bit more familiar and closer to what I’m used to, but still retains that lime flavour.

20160621-teapigsdarjeelingearlgrey3

I found that the pyramids are way too small! The leaves unfurl and they fill the pyramid to capacity. I would really recommend, if you can, to snip the sachets and empty the leaves into a basket infuser (like the kind that comes with teapots) to allow the leaves more room to expand.

A Second Cup?

I did resteep Darjeeling Earl Grey and it’s delightful. The lime and bergamot flavouring is less pronounced in the second steeping, but the Darjeeling base holds strong and still has a bit of a kick to it in terms of caffeine. The flavouring was mostly gone by the third steeping, and did not resemble an Earl Grey at all. I would say that Darjeeling Earl Grey is good for one more steep only.

My Overall Impression

3cups-2

I liked Teapigs’ Darjeeling Earl Grey. I think it’s a great mix of the convenience of bagged tea with the quality of loose tea. It’s a very interesting experience because I’m not used to lime in my Earl Grey, but that doesn’t mean that it was bad. I definitely would recommend steeping the leaves outside of the pyramid because they’re just so stuffed in there, they need room to steep! My guess is that Teapigs may have changed the formula of their Darjeeling Earl Grey because lime isn’t really what people expect in an Earl Grey, although it is a bit confusing that they kept the same name and changed the added flavourings. Nevertheless, lime is a welcome change to an old time favourite, but I’m kind of disappointed that I won’t be able to get more of it once I run out since it’s not longer being produced. Also, pro-tip – watch your steeping times! It can (and will) get a touch bitter if you don’t baby your tea a bit more carefully than I did.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

DavidsTea’s Japanese Sencha

Japanese Sencha by DavidsTea
Green Tea / Straight
$9.98 for 50g

20160614-davidsteajapanesesencha1

First Impressions

Green tea and I have an interesting relationship, I find it to be a little bit fickle in terms of proper steeping because it can easily burn and oversteep and then you wind up with this bitter, sad cup of tea. It’s a love-hate relationship and often times I wish green tea was less picky about things like water temperature and steeping times, but I digress. Onto the review of Japanese Sencha!

20160614-davidsteajapanesesencha2

Japanese Sencha smells like a mix of grass, salt/ocean, and spinach. If you’re a fan of spinach, this might be a tea for you! The saltiness in the smell reminds me a lot of going to the beach and smelling that fresh salty air. It reminds me of seaweed and salt water. Japanese Sencha is made up of: “fine organic steamed Japanese green tea from Mount Fuji, Japan”. Mount Fuji, according to Wikipedia, is the highest peak in Japan, and is also a volcano that last erupted in 1707. I imagine that last eruption would have made the soil quite fertile on the mountain, which would make it ideal to grow on (albeit perhaps a little dangerous, although not having an eruption for 300+ years probably makes a person less worried).

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping in 80°C (176°F) water for 2-3 minutes. Because it’s a green tea and I’m wary of oversteeping, I steeped for just two minutes – life is too short for a bad cup of tea.

First Taste

Japanese Sencha steeps to a very pale yellow-green with a very light scent to it. The taste of this tea is very smooth, the taste of the steeped tea matches the dry leaf very well. It tastes a bit salty, a bit grassy, and reminds me of spinach. The saltiness reminds me a lot of the ocean and seaweed snacks. No bitterness when steeped for two minutes, it makes for a very pleasant cup of tea.

20160614-davidsteajapanesesencha3

A Second Cup?

Japanese Sencha holds up pretty well for resteeping. I resteeped it twice (2½ and 3 minutes for each resteep). The tea itself taste the same, although it does begin to fade in terms of flavour in the second resteep. I would say that Japanese Sencha is good for a total of three steepings.

My Overall Impression

3cups-2

I liked DavidsTea’s Japanese Sencha. It resteeps fairly well, and tastes great – if you like a bit of saltiness in your tea. It’s great plain, I wouldn’t add sweetener or anything like that to it (unless you really wanted to, of course, then go for it). My biggest advice for this tea would be to keep your steeping times low to avoid burning it (really though, that’s my advice for all green teas – don’t burn it!). It’s an enjoyable green tea though, and I quite like it. I’m not overly fond of the spinach-y flavour in the tea though, despite it tasting fairly good, so it’s not something that I think I would be reaching for on a regular basis. Still, it steeps well (and resteeps well), and reminds me of the beach, so it still ranks up there as a good cup of tea!

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.