DavidsTea’s Maple Chai

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

First Impressions

I got Maple Chai samples from my local DavidsTea locations as part of their sneak peek to promote the new chai blends (I might have made a few purchases…). So I decided I should probably give them a try especially since so many people were talking about this blend online. Each sample is 5g and good for one cup. There’s no mention on the packaging directly that I can find about it being compostable or recyclable, which is unfortunate.

Maple Chai has a great aroma to it. I can pick out the ginger, cinnamon, apple, brown sugar, and cardamom. It’s really inviting with all the warm spices in it. It’s a pretty dry leaf, but I don’t really smell the maple in it which I find to be disappointing given the name of the blend. Maple Chai consists of: black tea, apple, ginger, brown sugar, roasted chicory root, orange peel, cinnamon, maple sugar, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, natural and artificial flavourings.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Maple Chai in 95°C (200°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I opted to do a 4 minute steep.

First Taste

Maple Chai steeps to a golden orange colour. There’s a pleasant aroma, but I don’t smell the maple. I do smell the warm spices in the blend – primarily ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. It has a nice sweetness, a nice robust flavour behind it that I believe to be from the black tea. The brown sugar comes through nicely, and goes well with the spices. It’s a smooth tea, no bitterness when steeped for 4 minutes.

I did attempt Maple Chai as a latte, and found that it was greatly improved – I also used maple syrup as sweetener to get some maple flavouring in there.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Maple Chai twice, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour didn’t really improve, resulting in a weaker tea each time. I would suggest steeping Maple Chai for just the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I  thought that DavidsTea’s Maple Chai was just okay. There was a lot of hype about this black tea blend, so I was quite eager to try it – it was great that it was available to shoppers in the retail shops. I do hope that DavidsTea continues to give out sneak peek samples, because it’s a great way to create hype about a new blend that they’re proud of. While I liked Maple Chai as a chai, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more maple flavouring in the tea because that was the part of the name that I thought should have been better reflected in the flavour. Definitely try this one as a latte though, and maybe use maple syrup as a sweetener, as it works nicely as a latte despite not having a lot of maple syrup by itself.

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My Go-To Drink Order

Before I dived into the world of reviewing teas, I used to order Chai Lattes and London Fogs a lot from coffee shops (especially, the one with the white-and-green-mermaid logo….). It was on my university campus and while the smell of coffee made me nauseous at the time, but I ducked in there to get that Chai Tea Latte (as it was listed on the menu…) because one of the girls I took organic chemistry with had introduced me to it and I was hooked.

I was already drinking Earl Grey at home at the time, but the idea of turning it into a latte completely escaped me. Of course, that was nearly 10 years ago that I first drinking the Chai Lattes in disposable to-go cups (whomp whomp, showing my age now!). Nowadays, I’m more likely to have a drink in so its a reusable cup, or to bring my own. It’s been a long time since I sat in a large lecture hall, learning about aromatics and trying to wrap my mind around molecule structures. I make the London Fogs at home now (because I personally prefer my own way of doing it), but the Chai Latte is one of my go-to drinks when I’m ordering something now.

I find the nuances of a good Masala Chai can be difficult at times to recreate at home. I often buy the blends pre-mixed, and opt to get a Chai Latte when I’m out and about because it’s easier than trying to make my own spice blend at home. I’ve tried numerous recipes, but still struggle to find one that I enjoy or like as much as I do when I’m at a coffee shop or diner. I’m still working on it! And tweaking existing recipes that I find because I want to be able to make a spice blend at home that I love…. In the meanwhile, I keep ordering it.

If you have a Masala Chai recipe that you should think that I should try, let me know below in the comments with a link!

Dessert by Deb’s Coconut Maple Custard

Coconut Maple Custard by Dessert by Deb
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

First Impressions

Coconut Maple Custard came in a now-familiar packaging – a matte white foil bag that’s heat-sealed and resealable (so important for tea storage!). The colourful label on the front gives me information about the all organic ingredients and how to steep it. Simple and the point, which is always nice.

Coconut Maple Custard smells like cake and coconut – there’s some strong vanilla notes in this blend! I don’t really smell maple, but there is something in there that smells sweet. Coconut Maple Custard consists of certified organic: black tea, vanilla, Canadian maple, coconut and palm sugar. I love how visible the ingredients are in this blend (and how much it smells like cake!).

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Coconut Maple Custard in 212°F (100°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Coconut Maple Custard steeps to a golden red colour. There’s some mild amounts of oil floating on the surface, which I attribute to the coconut. The aroma of the steeped tea is mostly the vanilla and coconut, which is pleasant. The flavour of this black tea blend is a mix of coconut, vanilla, sweetness, with light maple syrup notes in the background. It’s quite pleasant and there’s a bit of robustness in the black tea base that reminds me of a breakfast tea.

I did try it with a bit of evaporated milk, just to make it taste even more like a dessert. I think maple syrup would be a good sweetener option for this tea to help amplify the maple flavour.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Coconut Maple Custard once and found that the flavour wasn’t that great compared to the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked Dessert by Deb’s Coconut Maple Custard. I thought that the flavour profile was really forward with the coconut and vanilla, and it did make me think of a dessert (more cake than custard, but I attribute that to the vanilla notes). I liked the sweetness in the blend, and found that the maple was hiding on me in the dry leaf but I was able to taste it in the steeped tea. I would recommend adding a touch of evaporated milk or cream, and perhaps some maple syrup to sweeten it – it helps amplify the flavours and also make it even more dessert-like! But you can always opt to omit the maple syrup if you’re trying to be good.

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