DavidsTea’s Zomba Pearls

Zomba Pearls by DavidsTea
White Tea / Straight
$19.98 for 50g

First Impressions

I’m a sucker for rolled teas because I always find them that much more impressive than other teas – I think it has a lot to do with the fact that there’s a lot more care and consideration put into the teas during the processing of the leaves. Zomba Pearls is one of those teas that didn’t hesitate to impress me. I ordered Zomba Pearls online from the DavidsTea website (the tea, at the time of writing, is part of their current sale!). Zomba Pearls comes in a sealed, resealable foil pouch that has a seafoam green label that has the information regarding the tea on one side.

Zomba Pearls comes in large, almost oval-shaped pearls – no round pearls here! The dry leaf has a light vegetal and grassy notes to it. The leaf detail is lovely, and the pearls are tightly wound together. I noticed that there was a beautiful variation in the colour of the leaves that I could see, raging from green to brown to almost black.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Zomba Pearls in hot water for 4 to 7 minutes, according to the product label. As per the product page, that would be 90°C (195°F) for 3 to 5 minutes – a bit inconsistent. I opted to use the white tea temperature setting on my Breville IQ Kettle (85°C/185°F) for 4 minutes, and I used 4 pearls in a 600ml teapot.

First Taste

Zomba Pearls steeps to a light golden yellow colour. There’s a warm vegetal aroma from the cup. I found that Zomba Pearls has a light sweetness to it, there’s a buttery/creamy quality to both the texture and flavour of the tea. I didn’t find the flavour to be too grassy, despite smelling that it the dry leaf. Zomba Pearls has a pleasant, smooth mouthfeel to it and the lack of bitterness or astringency makes for a pleasant cup of tea.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Zomba Pearls a total of seven times (eight steeps total with the same leaves). I opted to keep using the white tea temperature setting on my variable temperature kettle, and I added an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavours deepened for the first three resteeps from the initial steep and got a bit more floral with each steep, and then the tea began to slowly lose flavour after that. There was still a considerable amount of creamy flavour by the last steep, so I do think that I could have just continued.

My Overall Impression

I loved DavidsTea’s Zomba Pearls. I was just really impressed with this tea from my first impression of the dry leaf, to the flavour of the first cup, and all those many cups after that. While this tea may be on the pricier side (and you can get it on sale right now!), I found that there’s that much more value in the leaves that you can find with the additional steepings of the same leaves to just get all of that flavour out of there. I only used 4 pearls and got eight steeps out of those pearls, so it steeps pretty darn well and tastes good too!

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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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