DavidsTea’s Sun Moon Black

Sun Moon Black by DavidsTea
Black Tea / Straight
$19.98 for 50g

First Impressions

Sun Moon Black is one of DavidsTea’s latest straight teas. This has been described as a black tea with a “distinctive minty fresh”. Because I’m able to pop into a local DavidsTea storefront, I’m able to purchase less than 50g of tea at a time, which is great for trying out new teas. When buying loose leaf tea at their stores, you can receive the tea in resealable foil bags (like the one pictured), or in tea tins (like the one shown in my review of DavidsTea’s Organic Earl Grey).

The tea leaves are long and wiry, an almost dark purple colour. The aroma from the dry leaf reminds me of a little bit of sweetness with plum notes. Sun Moon Black is a straight black tea from Taiwan, DavidsTea’s product page describes the tea as having been grown on near Sun Moon Lake in Nantou.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Sun Moon Black in “near-boiling” water for 4 to 7 minutes. Near-boiling is 90-95°C (194-203°F). I did an initial steep of Sun Moon Black for 3 minutes at 93°C (200°F).

First Taste

Sun Moon Black steeps to a beautiful golden orange, with a very lovely aroma – it reminds me of plums and honey. The flavour is strong, almost overly so – it reminds of the robustness packing a punch behind a breakfast tea. There’s a nice honeyed sweetness to this tea that is delightful. I note the description of this tea includes a “minty finish”, but I don’t really taste anything that reminds me of mint. Sun Moon Black has a nice smoothness to it though, with zero astringency or bitterness.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Sun Moon Black a total of four times (five steeps overall), keeping my water temperature consistent throughout all of the steeps and adding 30 seconds for each additional steep. This tea strengthened in flavour for the first and second resteeps, and began to lose flavour for the third and fourth. The balance of plum and honey stayed the same throughout all the steeps, just differed in intensity.

My Overall Impression

I loved DavidsTea’s Sun Moon Black. This wiry black tea makes for a delicious cup of tea, and I found that the flavours were easy to drink. The smoothness of this tea makes for a good cup of tea, and I really enjoyed being able to resteep the tea leaves over and over again. I do wish that this tea was less expensive, as it’s on the pricey side for a black tea – that’s one of the factors that will probably be preventing me from keeping a large amount of it in my tea stash.

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DavidsTea’s Organic Earl Grey

Organic Earl Grey by DavidsTea
Black Tea / Flavoured
$5.98 for 50g

First Impressions

I realized a little while ago that I haven’t reviewed DavidsTea’s Organic Earl Grey yet. Which seems quite odd to me because this is one of those teas that I’ve bought repeatedly and gotten full tins of since I started this tea journey, that I almost feel like it was an oversight. I get Organic Earl Grey 100g at a time, which either means that I get a tin refilled or I get a free tin with purchase. In the case of the last time I got this refilled, there was these cute sheep tins so I opted to get the cute tin because sheep.

Organic Earl Grey consists of: organic black tea, cornflower petals, and natural flavouring. This tea does contain bergamot oil, which is the ‘natural flavouring’ and a staple in Earl Grey blends. This black tea blend has a very strong aroma – it smells of oranges and it almost smells astringent, just a bit too harsh.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Organic Earl Grey in near-boiling water for 4 to 7 minutes. Near-boiling means 90-95°C (194-203°F). I opted to steep at 93°C (200°F) for 4 minutes, which is the oolong tea setting on my Breville IQ Kettle.

First Taste

Organic Earl Grey steeps to a beautiful golden orange. The strong, almost astringent orange aroma from the dry leaf is considerably mellow in the steeped tea. I find that the aroma has a certain level of citrus, but it’s not overwhelmingly so. The flavour is smooth – there’s a light citrus aroma and flavour, with the black tea base that is robust in the way that an breakfast blend would be, but just not quite as strong. This may be because of the citrus notes. I can detect a mild sweetness, which may be due to the flower petals in this tea.

I typically drink Earl Grey with a bit of sweetener (typically honey) with some evaporated milk. It’s my preferred method of drinking Earl Grey. I find that a bit of sweetener helps accentuate the citrus flavours, while the milk helps to temper some of the strength behind the black tea to make it a bit more palatable at any time of day.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Organic Earl Grey. I find the first resteep to be fairly close to the first steep, just a bit less citrus flavour but the same robustness. The second resteep tends to be weaker in flavour and colour overall. I find Organic Earl Grey to be good for just one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved DavidsTea’s Organic Earl Grey. This probably comes as no surprise. It’s not the most inexpensive Earl Grey tea out there, but it is one of the better tasting Earl Grey blends that I’ve tried. It’s a staple in my tea stash for a reason – and that’s because I just really drinking it. This is one of those teas that I find to be good at any time of day – although it is caffeinated so it that bothers you, probably not a wise choice after mid-afternoon.

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DavidsTea’s Ceremonial Matcha

Ceremonial Matcha by DavidsTea
Green Tea (Matcha) / Straight
$34.00 for 50g

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First Impressions

Ceremonial Matcha from DavidsTea came to me in one of their standard resealable silver foil bags. The matcha itself is a bright green, and I can see some clumps of powder in the bag and after I scooped it out – who knows how long it’s been in there for?

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Ceremonial Matcha is made up of matcha green tea from Nishio, Japan. The aroma from this matcha powder is primarily that of grassy notes to me. The description suggests that this matcha is creamy, sweet, and delicate.

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Preparation

The packaging for Ceremonial Matcha is of their older label style – this one includes an actual temperature guide (74°C/165°F). On the product page online, the temperatures suggested are 167-176°F (75-80°C). Both packaging and online page suggests preparing Ceremonial Matcha with a whisk (their online page also suggests their travel-friendly matcha maker if that is more your style).

When preparing Ceremonial Matcha, I sifted the powder into my bowl and then whisked it with a small amount of water that had been heated to 165°F until the powder was mixed in, then added more water until it was thin enough.

First Taste

Ceremonial Matcha whisks to a beautiful bright green that’s on the darker side – it reminds me of emerald green. There’s a slight layer of foam on top from the whisking action. At first sniff, I can smell grassy notes, and a very familiar seaweed smell. On first taste, the first thing that hits my tastebuds in the umami notes from this matcha. It has a very strong grassy flavour, mixed with the seaweed flavours. I don’t get any sweetness from this matcha, nor do I found it creamy.

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I wound up adding a bit of agave syrup to it, to help tone down the umami notes, which helped to make to more palatable. Also, turning it into a matcha latte helped a lot as well.

My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like DavidsTea’s Ceremonial Matcha. I really wanted to like this one, but found it was just too strong of the grass and seaweed flavours for me to be enjoyable. In order to finish the cup that I had made, I needed to add a sweetener to it to make it more palatable to my taste buds. I’ve had better matchas before, and since this one is so expensive per gram, I can’t see myself wanting to buy more of it.

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