24 Days of Tea: Organic Sweet Almond Green

Organic Sweet Almond Green by DavidsTea
Green Tea / Flavoured
$8.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

The first thing that came to mind when I smelled the tea for day 19 of the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar is that it smells like marzipan. Sweet Almond Green smells like almonds, almonds, and more almonds – which shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprise given the name.

Sweet Almond Green is made up of green tea, almonds, marigold flowers, cornflower petals, and natural almond flavouring.

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Preparation

Steeping recommendations for Sweet Almond Green are to steep with hot water (75-80°C/167-176°F) for 3 to 5 minutes. I steeped my cup of Sweet Almond Green for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Sweet Almond Green steeps to an almost murky yellow-green. There’s a salty smell to it, that comes from the green tea, and then there’s the almonds (from the almonds). It still smells like marzipan, and I’m not sure how I feel about drinking my candy when marzipan isn’t a favourite.

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The salty seaweed-quality of the green tea is heavily present, as is the almond from the almonds and the almond flavouring. They do not balance well together to form a cohesive flavour profile.

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A Second Cup?

I did not resteep Sweet Almond Green.

My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like DavidsTea’s Organic Sweet Almond Green. There’s just something about the almond and the salty flavour of the green tea base that do not mingle well together for me. It probably doesn’t help that I’m not the biggest fan of marzipan either! If you’re a big fan of almonds and/or marzipan, this might be a better tea for you than it is for me.

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24 Days of Tea: Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride by DavidsTea
Fruit Infusion / Flavoured
$7.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

I wasn’t sure what to think when I pulled out day 18 of the 24 Days of Tea and saw that it was Sleigh Ride. I’m 90% sure that I’ve tried it in store before, but it’s hard for me to remember since I’ve sampled so many teas in the past. The first thing that I thought when smelling the dry tea is that it smells like the red heart cinnamon candy that is very commonly found around Valentine’s Day. Sleigh Ride has that spicy cinnamon smell to it, and I can’t really make out the rest of the ingredients.

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Sleigh Ride is a mix of: apple, hibiscus blossoms, pineapple, papaya, beetroot, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds, popped rice, natural and artificial flavouring.

Preparation

The recommendations for Sleigh Ride are to steep in near-boiling water (90-95°C/194-203°F) for 4 to 7 minutes. I steeped for about 5 minutes. Sleigh Ride is a fairly bulky tea with its ingredients, I used the entire tin to steep my cup of tea.

First Taste

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Sleigh Ride steeps to a beautiful deep pink that reminds me a lot of Bear Trap or Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait. There’s a very strong cinnamon smell to this tea, and it tastes like cinnamon as well. There’s a mix of sweet fruity flavours and some sourness to it as well. The sour notes aren’t very pleasant. Sleigh Ride is weird to me, because some sips tastes like apple cinnamon and that’s just delicious, the others are just sour and tart and makes me unhappy. This isn’t something that really evokes the feelings of winter or snowy days to me, which is what I think they were trying to aim for with a name like Sleigh Ride.

I did add some sweetener to this one (honey) and it does help to temper that sourness that I’ve tasted in the tea.

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A Second Cup?

I don’t resteep fruit infusions, Sleigh Ride wasn’t an exception to that rule.

My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like DavidsTea’s Sleigh Ride. The sourness to this tea isn’t pleasant. Perhaps it’d be better as an iced tea? I find that the sour notes don’t help to endure me to this tea, and I think there have been better fruit infusions in the 24 Days of Tea calendar so far.

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24 Days of Tea: Chocolate Covered Almond

Chocolate Covered Almond by DavidsTea
Black Tea / Flavoured
$8.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

The name of day 17 of the 24 Days of Tea calendar shares its name with a tasty snack – Chocolate Covered Almond! The tea smells like you’d expect – I can smell chocolate and I can smell almonds, so already the dry tea is a win in matching the fragrance to what I expect from the tea. I was half expecting this one to be a fruit/herbal infusion, but it’s actually a black tea and yerba mate blend. Definitely not a tea that you’d want to have late in the day or before bedtime.

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Chocolate Covered Almond is made up of: cocoa nibs, roasted carob, black tea, almonds, yerba mate, sugar, natural and artificial chocolate and cream-almond flavouring.

Preparation

Like most of their black teas, DavidsTea recommends steeping Chocolate Covered Almond in near-boiling water (90-95°C/194-203°F) for 4 to 7 minutes. I steeped mine for close to 4 minutes.

First Taste

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On first glance, Chocolate Covered Almond has a beautiful golden orange liquor. The smell that first comes to me is the malty tones from the black tea base – yum! There is a thin oil film on top of the tea, from the chocolatey ingredients in this tea blend. There is a pleasant mouthfeel with the oil though, it’s thin enough that it isn’t overwhelming or completely coating the mouth. I can taste the almonds, and some of the malty flavour of the black tea. I can smell more chocolate than I can taste. The chocolate flavour is watered down.

There this almost alcoholic taste to the tea as an aftertaste, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it just yet.

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A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Chocolate Covered Almond – this is something that I would not recommend

My Overall Impression

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I thought that DavidsTea’s Chocolate Covered Almond was just okay. It didn’t quite remind me of chocolate covered almonds, but I wish that it did. There’s the watery chocolate flavour and the almonds are there, there’s just that odd alcoholic aftertaste to each sip that I don’t quite enjoy too much. I think this tea would benefit from having a little bit of sweetener and perhaps some milk. Milk would add some creaminess that you’d expect from a chocolatey tea, and probably help with bringing that chocolate almond taste to the forefront in the flavour profile of each sip.

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24 Days of Tea: Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait

Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait by DavidsTea
Fruit Infusion / Flavoured
$7.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

I was excited to see Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait as the tea of the day for day 16 of the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar because it’s one of those teas that I’ve always wanted to try, but hadn’t gotten around to buying just yet. There’s this amazingly sweet and fruity smell to this tea that mingles well with the natural tartness of the rhubarb that I can make out. It essentially smells like strawberry rhubarb pie filling, which I think is just delicious.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait is made up out: apple, hibiscus, raisins, carrot, yoghurt bits, beetroot, strawberry, rhubarb, and natural and artificial flavouring.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait in near-boiling water (90-95°C/194-203°F) for 4 to 7 minutes. I wound up steeping the entire tin’s worth of tea for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait does not disappoint in the colour department as it steeps to a beautiful deep pink. There’s a nice natural sweetness to the tea that is well balanced with the tartness from the hibiscus and the rhubarb. The flavours of strawberry and rhubarb are both well represented in this tea, and it tastes exactly like one would expect with the name of the blend. It’s quite enjoyable.

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Because Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait is so fruity, I think it would make an excellent iced tea or tea pop candidate. I wound up putting some ice cubes into my cup and I’m pleased to say that it makes a great iced tea. If it’s a bit too tart for you, I would add some sweetener to it prior to cooling it down (honey or agave would be a great choice!).

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A Second Cup?

I don’t resteep herbal or fruit infusions, so I did not resteep Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait.

My Overall Impression

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I loved DavidsTea’s Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait. I can definitely see why it’s considered a Fan Favourite out of their whole tea collection. I greatly appreciate the fact that the smell of tea before and after steeping is very similar, and it tastes as expected. It has a great flavour to it, the tartness leads to some mouth puckering that isn’t unpleasant. This is definitely a blend that would be best suited as an iced tea or a tea pop, but it is still good as a hot cup of tea. I think that Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait would be good year-round, and I may need to get my hands on some more now that my tin is emptied.

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24 Days of Tea: Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie by DavidsTea
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$9.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

Mmm, day 15 of the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar is Coconut Cream Pie! I was expecting with a name like that it would be an herbal/fruit infusion, but Coconut Cream Pie is surprisingly an oolong tea. There’s a delightfully strong coconut smell to this dry tea, it smells exactly like it’s namesake and the oolong base is kind of lost in the mix with the strong flavours that they’ve added to it. It’s easy to see both the tea leaves and the coconut, chocolate, and everything else that has been added to this tea.

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Coconut Cream Pie is made up of: oolong tea, white chocolate, coconut, toasted coconut, cane sugar, and natural coconut flavouring. The allergens in this tea are: coconut, milk, and soy (soy is in the white chocolate).

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Coconut Cream Pie in hot water (75-80°C/167-176°F) for 4 to 7 minutes. I don’t usually steep oolongs for that long, so I opted for closer to 3 minutes but found that the white chocolate hadn’t fully melted (it took a full 4 minutes in 80°C water for the white chocolate to completely melt).

First Taste

Coconut Cream Pie steeps to a nice yellow colour, with an oily film on top from the melted chocolate. The strong fragrance of the coconut is subdued after the tea has steeped, and the oolong base starts to take over as it is much stronger now that it has been steeped. There is an oily mouthfeel to this tea, which I anticipated from the white chocolate chips that I saw in the mix. The cane sugar adds a good amount of sweetness to the tea, but it does need a little bit more to help out the flavour. The tea lacks a certain creaminess that I was expecting, because of the namesake of the tea, and the coconut taste is milder than expected. However, there is a nice buttery quality to it that does add a certain sense of cream taste to it, so not all is lost.

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I’m not sure where the aftertaste comes from, but there’s just a slight hint of a bitter aftertaste to this tea from each sip. It’s not the usual ‘you oversteeped your tea and this is your punishment’ aftertaste though, so I’m not quite sure where it comes from.

As an aside, it always makes me smile to see how much oolong can expand and unfurl. Oolongs are definitely teas that deserve to have a whole tea pot to fill up, or metal infuser, versus being put into a tea bag.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Coconut Cream Pie just once, the odd bitter aftertaste persists, and the oolong has a nice buttery quality to it that adds more of a creamy flavour to the tea itself. Sadly, the coconut flavouring gets weaker on the second steep so I would say that Coconut Cream Pie is good for one steep only.

My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like DavidsTea’s Coconut Cream Pie. There was just something ‘off’ about this tea for me, with the lack of creaminess to the tea and the weird bitter aftertaste. This tea may taste better as a latte, I think, because the added dairy (or non-dairy milk) would add some much needed creaminess. A little bit of sweetener wouldn’t hurt either, to help boost the sweet coconut flavour a bit as well.

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