24 Days of Tea: Jumpy Monkey

Jumpy Monkey by DavidsTea
Yerba Mate / Flavoured
$7.98 for 50g

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First Impressions

This is about to be the worst review ever, because I’m going to start by stating that I did not actually try this tea. I hate coffee (I know, I know…). I really cannot stand the smell of coffee on a good day. Up until maybe 4 years ago, the smell of coffee made me sick to my stomach.

Jumpy Monkey has a bitter coffee smell to it, I don’t really smell any of the chocolate that is supposed to be in there (I also don’t see it at all). With all the coffee that’s supposed to be in it, this is not an infusion of any sort that I want to try, but I am posting about it because it is part of the 24 Days of Tea.

The ingredients of Jumpy Monkey are: roasted yerba mate, green yerba mate, white chocolate, carob, baba budan coffee, green peaberry coffee, Brazil green coffee, Kenya green coffee, chicory, olive leaf, almonds, artificial vanilla flavouring.

My Overall Impression1cup-2

I did not try DavidsTea’s Jumpy Monkey, so I can’t give it a proper rating. I’m just really not a coffee fan at all, and the idea of drinking something that may make me feel sick to my stomach is not why I started One More Steep. If you’ve tried Jumpy Monkey before, let me know below in the comments how you feel about it! Is it something that a coffee hater might actually like, if given the chance?

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Teavana’s S’mores Oolong Tea

S’mores Oolong Tea by Teavana
Oolong Tea & Yerba Mate / Flavoured
$9.98 for 2oz

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First Impressions

I am going to preface this review with the fact that I, perhaps unfairly, have high expectations for this tea. I love s’mores. I love camping, and roasting marshmallows, and the ooey-gooey marshmallows with graham crackers and slightly melted chocolate. The smell of the dry tea is interesting – the only smells that I can pick out are chocolate and cinnamon, with perhaps a touch of vanilla. There’s a whole host of other ingredients that I’m not getting.

The ingredients for S’ores Oolong are: cocoa kernals, white chocolate pieces, carob pieces, cinnamon, chocolate flakes, chicory root, marshmallow, oolong tea, roasted maté, artificial flavouring, bourbon vanilla pieces, and marigold petals. I wasn’t able to make out the tea bases at all, the aroma of the chocolate and cinnamon definitely overpower the oolong and maté

Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping S’mores Oolong in 195°F (91°C) water for 3 minutes. I steeped mine for 3 minutes.

First Taste

When S’mores Oolong is steeping, it has a heavy chicory root and cinnamon smell, surprisingly I can’t make out the chocolate at all. I would recommend that you use a filter bag instead of a stainless steel filter basket, unless the mesh of your basket is very fine – I wound up with a lot of small bits in my tea. The tea is quite cloudy, and smells strongly of chicory root and cinnamon, it smells sweet and has an oily film from the melted chocolate floating on the top.

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S’mores Oolong smells of cinnamon and chicory. It’s a cup of watery cinnamon and chicory root, with a little taste of chocolate, but it isn’t overwhelming in terms of flavour. There’s a bit of sweetness (from either the chocolate or the marshmallows), but I can’t taste either base (oolong or maté). It doesn’t taste very good to the point where I did not finish my cup because it just does not taste good (or taste like any kind of tea or beverage that I’d want to finish). I looked into the steeping basket after I had poured out a cup and realized that there was actually very little tea in the tea itself – the majority of what was left was just all the ingredients that show up before the oolong (aside from the marshmallow, that melted away).

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A Second Cup?

I did not steep S’mores Oolong a second time.

My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like Teavana’s S’mores Oolong Tea. It does not remind me of s’mores at all, the chocolate doesn’t come out as strongly as I expected from the dry tea. The overall flavour is underwhelming because the chicory root and cinnamon are strong and I can’t taste the base at all. If I were to try this tea again (and that is a very big if), I would probably add more tea to steep, in hopes of getting more flavour, but it isn’t a very promising tea at all. I wouldn’t recommend S’mores Oolong.

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

DavidsTea’s Pumpkin Matè

Pumpkin Matè by DavidsTea
Yerba Mate / Flavoured
$7.50 for 50g

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First Impressions

Pumpkin Matè reminds me a lot of the smell of spices for pumpkin pie. It’s quite strong in that regard, and I do not really get the aroma of pumpkin when I smell it, which is a shame considering the ingredients. Pumpkin Matè is part of DavidsTea’s Fall 2015 Collection and is a limited edition tea for the season, something to keep in mind if you want to give it a try. Pumpkin Matè consists of: roasted yerba mate, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, coconut palm sugar, natural & artificial pumpkin flavouring. The disappointing part of the ingredients is the lack of real pumpkin in the tea itself – they opted for butternut squash (delicious) and pumpkin seeds. The squash and seeds are big and vibrant and stand out well in the tea, but how well will it translate in a cup of tea?

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For those unfamiliar with yerba mate, it is not an actual tea. Yerba mate is a South American drink that is high in caffeine. If you’re looking for a coffee replacement but still want the caffeine to kick start your day, yerba mate infusions may be a good coffee alternative.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends that Pumpkin Matè be steeped in 85°C (185°F) water for 4-7 minutes. I wound up steeping it for about 5-6 minutes. I should really start using a timer when preparing tea.

First Taste

Pumpkin Matè steeps to a dark brown colour and smells a bit like pumpkin pie. There’s that sweet aroma and undertone of pumpkin, which I would attribute to the natural and artificial pumpkin flavouring, and smells a lot like pumpkin spice mixes. First sip and I’m pleasantly surprised by the earthy taste to it, the tea is more enjoyable that I expected it to be. The earthy taste reminds me a lot of pu’erh teas, which was surprising (but I also like pu’erhs so I’m not offended by it). While I can smell what I would say is nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon – none of these are present on the ingredients list. Pumpkin Matè itself doesn’t taste spicy, but I also wouldn’t say that the pumpkin and butternut squash are strong contenders in the flavour profile – the roasted yerba mate overwhelms all of the delicate flavours and has a strong profile in this tea.

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A Second Cup?

Nope, Pumpkin Matè is good for one steep only. Resteeping the yerba mate resulted in a drink that tastes nothing like the original. It’s missing the sweet pumpkin aroma that was in the first cup.

My Overall Impression

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I thought that DavidsTea’s Pumpkin Matè was just okay. Honestly, I was torn between giving Pumpkin Matè one or two cups. One cup because it honestly does not taste like a pumpkin tea, which is what it should be because of the ingredients. On the other hand, Pumpkin Matè earns itself two cups because the taste is good. It’s earthy and is smooth, but isn’t quite as advertised. So while I did enjoy it, I won’t be stocking up on this one because there are better teas that could take its place.

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