Dessert by Deb’s Christmas Fruitcake

Christmas Fruitcake by Dessert by Deb
Green Tea & Rooibos / Flavoured
$16.00 for 75g

Christmas Fruitcake is an exclusive blend for Dessert by Deb subscription subscribers and is available for purchase by subscribers only at this time.

First Impressions

Christmas Fruitcake came in a sealed, resealable silver pouch and was part of my December box from Dessert by Deb – which was the very first box of the bimonthly year tea subscription. This is also one of two subscription exclusive blends – what a great incentive to join! I like being part of the super secret club.

This blend smells really inviting – I get strong orange, cinnamon, ginger, and clove aromas. It’s nicely mixed together and I didn’t have to shake it up to get a little bit of everything in my spoon, which was nice. Christmas Fruitcake consists of organic: green tea, rooibos, cherries, oranges and peel, elderberries, currants, raisins, rosehips, cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger, cloves and safflower.

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Christmas Fruitcake in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions and did an initial steep for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Christmas Fruitcake steeps to a nice golden orange. I can definitely smell the cinnamon and ginger, I think those are the strong players in the blend of ingredients! On first taste, I notice that it has a nice sweetness. The flavour of Christmas Fruitcake is that one orange, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. All the warming qualities of ginger make it a very pleasant drink. I did find that it reminded me of the flavours that you might find in a nice spiced pound cake. As for the base of the tea blend – I don’t really taste either the green tea or the rooibos – which is both a plus and a minus because I don’t typically enjoy rooibos blends. But I don’t smell or taste the medicinal-like quality that rooibos often lends to blends.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Christmas Fruitcake and found that it didn’t hold up very well for a second steep. The rooibos was a touch more noticeable, and the ginger and orange were significantly weak compared to the initial steep. I would recommend Christmas Fruitcake for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Dessert by Deb’s Christmas Fruitcake. I really enjoyed the flavours in the blend, and appreciated that I wasn’t able to taste the rooibos because it’s not my favourite thing in the world. The flavour of orange, cinnamon, and ginger really make me think of a spiced pound cake – mostly because I don’t think I’ve really ever tried a fruitcake before (and if I have, I don’t remember what it tastes like!). It’s certainly a fantastic first look an exclusive tea blend for subscribers of Dessert by Deb.

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DavidsTea’s Candy Cane Matcha

Candy Cane Matcha by DavidsTea
Green Tea (Matcha) / Flavoured
$9.98 for 50g

First Impressions

I picked up a bag of Candy Cane Matcha as part of the Cyber Monday sales that DavidsTea had online. I quite like mint (and I do enjoy candy canes), so I was curious as to how it would taste when paired with matcha. This is a seasonal offering, so if you’re thinking about giving it a try don’t sit on the fence too long. Candy Cane Matcha came in a sealed, resealable silver pouch with a bright green label on the front.

The powder itself is a pale pistachio green and has a very strong minty aroma to it. Candy Cane Matcha consists of: cane sugar, matcha green tea, milk powder, natural candy cane flavouring. I do question how does one get natural candy cane flavouring, considering how candy canes are a candy. Candy Cane Matcha is described as a matcha drink mix and is labelled as such so nobody will be confusing it with a traditional, straight matcha.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends mixing Candy Cane Matcha with 85°C (185°F) water, so I followed the temperature recommendation.

I sifted Candy Cane Matcha into my bowl first, and then whisked it with my bamboo whisk. You can probably get away with a handheld milk frother to mix it, as I find that the matcha drink mixes often do well in heated water. If you’re new to preparing matcha, you can find out more tips and tricks in my article The Basics of Preparing Matcha.

First Taste

Candy Cane Matcha whisks easily enough in water, but I honestly forgot about the fact that milk powder was a listed ingredient when I was whisking it and genuinely thought that something had got off about the drink mix because of the colour. It’s a milky pale green and if you’re used to how a matcha is supposed to look like – you might find this a bit off-putting. Once I reviewed the list of ingredients and reminded myself that milk powder is present, I didn’t find it so wrong anymore.

Candy Cane Matcha does smell delightfully minty, which met my expectations given the name. I found it to be sweet and minty in flavour. The matcha itself isn’t very noticeable, but that’s really not surprising given the intensity of a flavour like mint. I did find it quite tasty though, and plenty sweet – but not cloyingly so.

A Second Cup?

As Candy Cane Matcha is a suspension, there were no second helpings with the same powder.

My Overall Impression

I liked DavidsTea’s Candy Cane Matcha. I found the aroma and the flavour to be spot-on for what I expected from a matcha blended with candy cane. I do wish that perhaps that it had more of a matcha flavour to it, but it does make me think of the holidays so I do think that it was appropriately minty. I can see this making an excellent matcha latte for the holidays, and perhaps would even do well with a bit of eggnog in there as well.

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Dessert by Deb’s Jingle Bell Berry

Jingle Bell Berry by Dessert by Deb
Green Tea / Flavoured
$6.00 for 25g

First Impressions

If you have been following my Instagam (@onemoresteep), you might have seen my unboxing video for the very first Dessert by Deb tea subscription box! For those who aren’t aware, Dessert by Deb is created and curated by the same mastermind that was behind The Sugared Teacup (of which, I had also had a subscription to as well). Dessert by Deb features handblended organic teas from Toronto, Ontario (Canada) – created in partnership with Lemon Lily (also a Toronto-based tea company). Jingle Bell Berry is the first of the teas from the box that I’ll be showcasing and reviewing here on One More Steep (and no, this is not sponsored – I’m just an enthusiast for trying out tea blends from a Canadian-based organic tea company).

Jingle Bell Berry came in a matte copper pouch that was sealed and is resealable – which is always nice for keeping the tea from going stale. There are a lot of berries in this blend, which is the first thing that I smelled. It’s quite fruity and sweet – I don’t really smell the green tea base but with a name like Jingle Bell Berry, I’m not even mad about it. Jingle Bell Berry consists of organic: green tea, cherries, elderberries, currants, raisins, hibiscus, juniper berries, apple, rosehips, and safflower. That’s six berries and two flowers, for anyone who’s keeping track at home.

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Jingle Bell Berry in 200°F (93°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to steep at a lower temperature (175°F/79°C) but did steep for the full 6 minutes.

First Taste

Jingle Bell Berry steeps to a curious golden red colour, it’s not quite what I was expecting when I saw hibiscus in the list of ingredients (that often lends itself to a brighter pink colour). The aroma is mostly that of cherry to me, an overall nice fruitiness from it. The flavour is sweet, and I can taste berries. It’s pleasant with surprisingly no tartness given the hibiscus in it. I didn’t really taste the green tea base, as all the berries are much stronger in flavour strength.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Jingle Bell Berry and found that the flavour just didn’t quite match the initial steep (I think it’s because most of the flavour of the berries and flowers were sapped in the first steep).

My Overall Impression

I liked Dessert by Deb’s Jingle Bell Berry. I found that the fruity berry notes were really pleasant, and I did enjoy the colour. I was a bit surprised at how strong the cherry flavour and aroma was, given the presence of all the other ingredients, but it was quite tasty. I do wish that the green tea had been more present in the steeped tea, but I think it likely supported the other flavours. I would consider cold steeping Jingle Bell Berry in the future, as I think it might make a nice fruity iced tea.

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