DavidsTea’s Lavender Swirl

Lavender Swirl by DavidsTea
White Tea & Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$10.98 for 50g

First Impressions

Lavender Swirl is one of those teas that I smelled in store, was super intrigued, and decided to buy. Oh, and if you’ll notice the label was printed in March because I somehow misplaced it and recently rediscovered it – and here we are now! I purchased this tea at one of DavidsTea’s retail stores, which is why it came in a silver pouch with a printed label. The tea itself smells really inviting – I mostly get the fragrance of lavender and vanilla. It reminds me a lot of walking into a bakery that specializes in cakes and pastries.

Lavender Swirl is a very pretty tea to look at, which is always nice. This tea is actually categorized as a white tea on the DavidsTea website, but it also contains oolong. Lavender Swirl consists of: apple, candied pineapple, white tea, oolong tea, blackberry leaves, lavender, and artificial flavouring.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Lavender Swirl in 90°C (195°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. My initial steep was for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Lavender Swirl steeps to a lovely honeyed orange colour. When I pulled the infuser out of my cup, I did notice that some of the debris from the tea came through the infuser – if something like that bugs you, I’d recommend putting the leaves into a filter bag. The tea itself has a very fragrant aroma – I smell lavender, vanilla, and fruity undertones in the background. On first taste, I note the lavender and vanilla notes, followed by the fruity sweetness. I found that the tea has a bit of a thickened mouthfeel, which is pleasant. The lavender notes made for a very relaxing cup of tea.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Lavender Swirl and found that the lavender notes just weren’t strong enough to make me want to continue drinking it. I would say that Lavender Swirl is good for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked DavidsTea’s Lavender Swirl. I really enjoyed the lavender and vanilla notes that I found in this tea, and it had a nice level of sweetness that I appreciated as I could drink it as-is and not need to add anything to it. The strength of the lavender was very pleasant in the initial steep, and I found it to be nice to smell and to drink – it didn’t end up being overly floral in that way. The thickened mouthfeel of the tea was a pleasant quality that I wasn’t expecting, but liked.

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DavidsTea’s Traditional Tea Discovery Kit

Traditional Tea Discovery Kit by DavidsTea
Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, and White Tea / Straight
$35.00 for 110g

First Impressions

This is the Traditional Tea Discovery Kit, which was released as part of the Origins Collection from DavidsTea (there is also a Green Tea Discovery Kit and Black Tea Discovery Kit). The Traditional Discovery Kit consists of 6 teas that each come in a cute metal tin: 24g of Organic Zen Pearls (white tea), 12g of Organic Mao Jian Jade (green tea), 24g of Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro (green tea), 22g of Guangzhou Milk Oolong (oolong tea), 16g of Orange Pekoe (black tea), and 12g of Organic Nepal Black (black tea). I’ve linked previously written reviews to the teas that I have tried previously, and I will be showcasing the Organic Zen Pearls and Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro in this review.

From left to right: Organic Zen Pearls, Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

Organic Zen Pearls has a beautiful jasmine aroma, and the tea comes in cute pea-sized pearls. There is a nice differing range of colours of the leaves from a dark olive to a light cream. Zen Pearls are rolled white teas from Fujian Province, China – scented with jasmine flowers. Gyokuro Yamashiro has these shiny dark green leaves, that have a slightly salty, umami notes. Gyokuro Yamashiro consists of organic steamed green tea from Kagoshima, Japan.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Zen Pearls in 90°C (195°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. My initial steep was for 3 minutes.

DavidsTea recommends steeping Gyokuro Yamashiro in 80°C (175°F) water for 1 to 2 minutes. My initial steep was for 1 minute.

First Taste

Zen Pearls steeps to a light orange colour. There’s a light jasmine aroma to this tea, which is nice and sweet. I found that this tea has a smooth mouthfeel. There’s light jasmine floral flavouring throughout, with no astringency or bitterness. I found it to put me in a very zen mood since I find it very relaxing to have a jasmine tea.

From left to right: Organic Zen Pearls, Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

Gyokuro Yamashiro steeps to a yellow. There are obvious umami notes from the aroma that comes off from the tea. I found that there is a full mouthfeel from this tea – it’s smooth and has a light sweetness. There is a nice savoury quality from this tea, which I think comes from the umami notes.

A Second Cup?

For each resteep, I kept to the same temperature of water as the initial steep, and added an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep.

From left to right: Organic Zen Pearls, Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

For Zen Pearls, I did 5 resteeps. I found that the jasmine flavouring stayed fairly consistent and it was nice to watch the leaves unfurl further with each steep.

For Gyokuro Yamashiro, I did 3 resteeps. I found that umami quality got a bit lighter with each resteep, becoming more sweet.

My Overall Impression

I loved DavidsTea’s Traditional Tea Discovery Kit. I really love the presentation of this tea kit, and the adorable printed tea tins. For the new-to-me teas, I really enjoyed the flavours and I think that DavidsTea did a great job of putting together an assortment of quality traditional teas to allow people to sample a variety of teas. The only thing that would have made it better is if they had included Butterfly Jasmine in it.

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Udyan Tea’s Dragon Claws Oolong Tea

Dragon Claws Oolong Tea by Udyan Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
585.00 for 100g

Udyan Tea has provided me with Dragon Claws Oolong Tea for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

Dragon Claws was initially a confusing tea for me. On the packaging that the tea came in from Udyan Tea, the label reads “Dragon Claws Black Tea” while the website calls it “Dragon Claws Oolong Tea”. The tea came in a sealed, resealable matte black pouch. The leaves themselves are beautiful – there’s some feathery down bits, some wiry leaves.The aroma of the tea has some grassy notes.

Based on my knowledge, I would call this a oolong tea. Udyan Tea calls this an oolong tea that was harvested during autumn 2018. The appearance reminds me of an oolong much more than a black tea.

Preparation

Udyan Tea recommends steeping Dragon Claws Oolong Tea in 90-95°C (194-203°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I opted to steep at 91°C (195°F) water for 4 minutes for my initial steep of Dragon Claws Oolong Tea.

First Taste

Dragon Claws Oolong Tea steeps to a bright orange colour, it has a lovely aroma – grassy and hay notes. I found the tea to have a bit of astringency, and a subtle sweetness at the end of each sip. There was a touch of nutty flavour that I found in the tea, I can’t quite pin-point which nut it reminds me of.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Dragon Claws Oolong Tea twice, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The tea steeped to a more golden orange, with a stronger flavour that stayed well balanced compared to the initial steep. The astringency stayed mild and wasn’t off-putting. The second resteep was considerably weaker than the first.

My Overall Impression

I liked Udyan Tea’s Dragon Claws Oolong Tea. I found that the dry leaf had a lovely aroma to it, and it steeped well. The flavour of this oolong tea was balanced well, I really liked the light sweetness throughout that went well with the astringency that was present. I could have done without the labeling confusion, and I do wish that the tea had held up a bit better to being resteeped since I’m so used to resteeping oolongs for many more times.

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