DavidsTea’s Sticky Rice Oolong

Sticky Rice Oolong by DavidsTea
Oolong Tea/ Flavoured
$14.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

Having grown up eating copious amounts of rice (sticky and otherwise), the name of this tea definitely intrigued me. Plus, it’s also an oolong and I love oolongs so it was kind of a no brainer to use one of my Frequent Steeper rewards from DavidsTea on this one. This oolong smells amazingly like rice, a bit of rice pudding. There are some floral notes with the dry leaf, which are enticing. I’m quite eager to try this one out.

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Sticky Rice Oolong consists of oolong tea and sticky rice leaves (nuo mi xiang). From an aroma stand out, this oolong is really quite fragrant and aromatic. If you have a DavidsTea location near you, it’s definitely one that I would recommend sniffing because it just smells so good.

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Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Sticky Rice Oolong in hot water (167-176°F or 75-80°C) for 4-7 minutes. I steeped mine at 175°F for an initial steep of 5 minute.

First Taste

Sticky Rice Oolong steeps to a beautiful golden yellow. The aroma of rice might be stronger in the steeped tea than in the dry leaf, if that’s even possible. The taste of this tea is an interesting blend of rice to rice pudding, and oolong. There’s just a tiny hint of astringency that I noted at the end of each sip, although I can’t tell for sure if it’s from the oolong or the sticky rice leaves. I found that there was a touch of sweetness in this tea, but overall it’s quite a savoury tea.

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I did try a cup of Sticky Rice Oolong with a touch of honey and it made it taste more like rice pudding.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Sticky Rice Oolong four times, adding an extra 30 seconds per subsequent steep. I found the aroma and flavours of this tea to become stronger, the rice pudding flavour is delicious and gets just a touch sweeter in the additional steeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked DavidsTea’s Sticky Rice Oolong. I found that the tea smells just like the name implies for both the dry leaf and steeped tea. The slight astringency might be a touch off-putting for something, but I found that the tea does wonderfully with a tiny amount of honey. The sweetness makes it taste more like rice pudding. I find the tea resteeps well, so if you find that the price is putting you off from buying it, the quality of the tea is good enough to resteep repeatedly.

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2017 Autumn Tea Round Up

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It’s been remarkably warm around here earlier this week, but I’m ready for autumn full on with the crisp leaves underfoot and it being the perfect weather for hot cups of tea and hand knits. Last year around this time, I shared of my favourite teas for the autumn and while I still love all of those, I thought I’d share five different teas that I’m heavily relying on this autumn as the weather gets cooler and I’m more in the mood for snuggling up under a quilt than going for a stroll along the water.

Out of DavidsTea’s Chai collection for the early autumn, I’m crushing on their S’mores Chai and love it at a latte over plain. A lot of stores have sold out of this one, so if you’re wanting to get your hands on some S’mores Chai, I’d recommend visiting your local shop earlier rather than later.

Grand Tea’s Premium Pearl Jasmine makes the list because I love jasmine green teas and this is one that I’ve found myself reaching for repeatedly the last few weeks. It makes such a great cup of tea and when I (accidentally!) leave it a bit too long, it’s still great cold.

For a more ‘normal’ Chai, I’ve been drinking Chai from The Virginia Tea Company and loving every moment of it. It makes for a nice cozy cup of tea with the lovely warming properties of cinnamon and ginger – delicious!

I caved and bought a tin of DavidsTea’s Cardamom French Toast lately and have been greatly enjoying it as a latte. When I take it to work, I’ve been steeping it at home and then adding milk later at work. It helps cool it down (since my travel mug keeps tea way too hot!) and I can instantly enjoy it.

For the days that I’ve actually been at home, I’ve been enjoying Oollo Tea’s Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong. A delight for my taste buds, for sure! It makes for a great at-home tea because of how many times I can manage to resteep this tea and still enjoy it. It’s been a joy to have when I’m at home and just to have throughout the day.

What has been some of your favourite teas to have so far this autumn? (And if you’re in the southern hemisphere, what are you having during your spring?) Share with me below in the comments!

An Afternoon Tea Party

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This past week, I had a small get together in my home for a few friends. I talk a lot about tea, so my friends know that I’m a bit of a tea enthusiast. When the idea of a tea party was suggested, I was like “Umm, yes!”. I am in no way an “expert” on hosting tea parties or afternoon tea, but I had a lot of fun from planning, shopping, decorating, and setting everything up. I shared a lot of photos in my Instagram Stories (@onemoresteep) on the day of and the days following, so I wanted to share some more photos – along with answering some questions that I’ve been getting about what was featured.

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I definitely went with an autumn theme. I did not break the bank on this one – I swear!

Each setting had a small, white pumpkin. I bought a bag of six at a local grocery store for $3.00. They’re just so adorable – one of my guests had the great idea of hollowing out her tiny pumpkin to fit a tea light. I had a couple leftover after the party and I gave one to my mom for her desk at work (she thought it was just the cutest thing).

My patterned tea set (consists of the teapot, sugar bowl, cream, four cups with saucers) was from Amazon by Gracie China by Coastline Imports in the Dahlia pattern. The full set is no longer being sold by Amazon, but you can still get the teapot and the cups and saucers.

The silver rose teaspoons are also a purchase from Amazon, I love the floral detailing so much. I’ve had them in photos before on my Instagram account, I feel just a bit extra fancy stirring my tea with a rose teaspoon.

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The autumn leaves paper napkins and the red felt maple leaf are both dollar store purchases. One of my guests had seen the felt maple leaf at a big box store (and I saw them at a popular arts & crafts chain store) for a lot more – I paid $1.25 at a dollar store while the arts & crafts store had them for $8.99.

The 3 tier stand is glass and stainless steel and it was a purchase from Ikea (KVITTERA) for the low, low price of $12.99. I feel like I’ll put on enough tea parties in the future to make the purchase completely worth it. It can be taken apart to store flat (which was one of the huge pros to buying it). It’s a decent size too, and had enough room to hold enough food for four people.

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For the food, I put sandwiches at the bottom and at the top were the sweets.

Everyone got three varieties of sandwiches. All of them had an avocado-cream cheese mixture. The first was avo-cream cheese with cucumber; the second was the same as the first, just added shrimp; and the third was avo-cream cheese, tomato, and shrimp.

The middle tier was quiche – I had ham & cheese, and spinach quiche. The top tier was chocolate cupcakes.

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I opted to go fairly traditional with the tea, and I served an organic Earl Grey (from DavidsTea).

Not pictured are the goodie bags that I had for my guests as well. It was both an opportunity for me to share the love of tea and to destash some of my tea surplus. I have an amazing amount of tea, as one could assume, so I put together some goodie bags of both loose and bagged teas, along with some stainless steel infusers to make steeping the loose tea a little bit easier.

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DavidsTea’s White Chocolate Chai

White Chocolate Chai by DavidsTea
Black Tea / Flavoured
$8.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

I got a small bag of White Chocolate Chai at a local DavidsTea, their customer service representative told me that it reminded her of Cardamom French Toast – which I liked. The smell of this tea did remind me of Cardamom French Toast a bit, but the ginger is quite a strong player in the battle of the aromatics in this black tea blend along with the cinnamon. I don’t really get a lot of chocolate/white chocolate fragrances from this tea.

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White Chocolate Chai is made up of: black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, white chocolate curls, cardamom, cloves, cocoa powder, stevia extract, natural and artificial white chocolate flavouring.

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Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping White Chocolate Chai in “near-boiling” water (194-203°F/90-95°C) for 4 to 7 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep of White Chocolate Chai for 5 minutes. I checked it at 4 minutes and could still see unmelted chocolate.

First Taste

White Chocolate Chai steeps to a warm brown colour, with a bit of an oil slick across the top (oils from the melted white chocolate). It’s a bit cloudy (again, because of the chocolate), and has a very interesting smell. I say interesting because it confused me at first and I couldn’t quite place it. There’s the warming aromas of the ginger, and I can smell the cardamom and cinnamon. The taste of this tea has mostly ginger, with a touch of the cardamom, cinnamon, and cocoa. There’s a hint of bitterness at the end of each sip. I found that most of the spices were well-balanced, besides the ginger that just edged everything out. The ginger has a bit of spiciness and heat, but it doesn’t seem to mix well with the black tea. Despite the white chocolate and the stevia, I didn’t find the tea particularly sweet. There’s the odd aftertaste from the stevia, which reminded me why I don’t usually use artificial sweeteners.

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I did try White Chocolate Chai as a latte and found that the addition of milk helped soften the ginger, but it didn’t do much to hide the artificial taste of the stevia. It was drinkable, but still had the artificial aftertaste of stevia.

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A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep White Chocolate Chai and found it to be watery and didn’t taste at all like the initial steep. If possible, the stevia aftertaste is stronger in the resteep.

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My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like DavidsTea’s White Chocolate Chai. I really wanted to enjoy this one, because I love the idea of a white chocolate tea (because I love white chocolate). The unfortunate thing is that I didn’t like the stevia aftertaste – it just lingers quite a bit in the mouth and I didn’t like it. Despite the name, this black tea blend did not remind me of white chocolate or chai, which is quite unfortunate.

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Davidstea’s S’mores Chai

S’mores Chai by DavidsTea
Pu’erh Tea / Flavoured
$8.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

When I first heard about DavidsTea putting out a S’mores Chai, all I could think was the fact that I really wanted to taste some marshmallows over an open campfire (huge fan of s’mores here!) so of course I had to get my hands on some of this tea. S’mores Chai smelled delicious in the store, the dry leaf honestly smells like a s’mores with the smell of chocolate and marshmallow. I don’t really smell graham crackers, but it’s forgiven because it does remind me of s’mores. The pu’erh base gives it a nice nutty aroma.

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S’mores Chai consists of: pu’erh tea, brittle pieces, cinnamon, sugar, marshamllow, chocolate chips, natural and artificial flavouring. The label suggests that the tea contains hazelnuts, but where? Perhaps in one of the flavourings.

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Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping S’mores Chai in 194-203°F (90-95°C) for 4 to 7 minutes. I steeped it at 200°F (94°C) water for 5 minutes.

First Taste

S’mores Chai steeps to a cloudy reddish brown, with an oil slick on the top from the melted chocolate. The tea smells like s’mores, which is quite delightful. On first taste, there’s an oily mouthfeel (from the melted chocolate) and it tastes a bit chocolately with some nutty flavour. It’s a slightly watery version of hot chocolate, with the sweetness of marshmallows. I didn’t really enjoy the tea straight so I added it some sweetener, and milk to make it a latte. It’s delicious as a hot latte and would highly recommend it.

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If you’re interested in learning how to make tea lattes at home without the use of a fancy machine to froth the milk, check out my tutorial on how to make lattes at home using a glass jar (and a microwave).

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A Second Cup?

I steeped S’mores Chai a few times and found that the flavour wasn’t as rich as the initial steep. I would say that S’mores Chai is good for only one steep only.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked DavidsTea’s S’mores Chai. I loved how this tea smell, it smells just like s’mores! This tea is excellent as a hot latte, and would highly recommend it. However, this tea didn’t taste remarkably well as a straight tea and I didn’t enjoy it. The addition of milk helps temper the oily mouthfeel that was the result of the melted chocolate chips and make the tea more enjoyable. A s’mores-flavoured tea is okay in my books and I greatly enjoyed it as a treat. I think this makes a great dessert latte.

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