Chocolate Covered Banana from DAVIDs Tea. . .

One of my coworkers ordered Caramel Corn from David’s Tea and accidentally received this instead. (WHOOPS! Seems like somebody over there had a case of the Mondays.) Caffeine of any sort makes her face explode in treacherous boils of acne (she alleges; she’s perfect, so I doubt it). She got a refund. I got the tea.

The ingredients for this tea include “Banana, Blackberry Leaves, Chocolate Chip, Cocoa Bean Shells, Coconut, Currant, Green Yerba Mate, Natural Coconut Flavor, Pineapple.”

Though the tea isn’t currently available, there is a nice blog post about preparing a latté it here.

I didn’t prepare it that way. I can’t even begin to even. That sounds nice, though. If you have a tea on hand that has a similar flavor profile, please try that and report back.

The primary thing I taste in this blend is the cocoa shells, which is like slightly watery hot chocolate from a packet. There’s also a slight inkling of the freeze-dried banana/pineapple, which adds a little bit of a tartness/sassiness to the blend.

Would Elvis approve of this? I’m not sure.

This tea reminds me of one of those tropical-themed parties that happens in the winter. “We’re going to have a boardwalk treat!” the party-owner says, wearing a parrot-head hat and pretending to lean on a plastic, inflatable palm tree. The crowd is wearing leis over their sweaters. They are not sure they can handle the Jimmy Buffett/hula/reggae playlist forever. The basement they are in is not fully heated.

I’m not sure I love this mix, but if anyone ever wants to engage me in a Tea Trade, I will happily send it along!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Yerba Mate
Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea
Description

This tea is not currently available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Matcha Ice Cream from DAVIDs Tea. . . . . .

There’s no doubt that matcha has been all the rage in recent years. Brewed in traditional ceremonial style, mixed up as a latte, flavoring everything from macaroons to yogurt, you kind of can’t go anywhere *without* seeing it in some capacity. I’ve been a fan of matcha lattes especially for a while now– something about the verdant green-ness of the powder balanced with the creaminess of milk is especially heavenly. You can imagine, then, when I saw David’s Tea’s most recent matcha re-imagining included a matcha ice cream flavor– well, I was all about it.

The dry leaf is beautiful– matcha powder-coated green tea leaves, with big slivers of almond and tiny swirls of what I’m assuming is white chocolate candy (I mean, it’s *ice cream* tea. It was never going to be healthy). What I pictured: dreamy, vanilla-almond creamy green, perfectly balanced with a dash of milk. What I got: kind of vanilla-almond-y, with OMG STEVIA, YOU GUYS STEVIA IS HERE JUST IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, STEVIA. (Isn’t that how stevia always shows up in tea? Loud and proud?) I’m not an across-the-board stevia hater, but here, it just doesn’t work well for me. It’s harsh and takes me out of the otherwise lovely flavors, and leaves that funky-sweet almost aspartame-y aftertaste that’s just not my jam. Now if you’re wondering– why even review this tea if you’re thinking it’s just super not for you, Mary? Let me tell you, friends– the one saving grace of this particular blend is that is *does* work well with milk, which helps temper the stevia taste fairly well– particularly when it’s foamy, latte-style milk. Overall, once this sample is gone, I won’t be re-purchasing. I think I’ll just stick to my matcha ice cream by the scoop, please and thanks.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea
Description

This white chocolate and almond green tea contains a double scoop of healthy matcha.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the Rebound – Teavana-Styled Rebound Teas from Adagio Teas. . . .

Late last year, Adagio teas offered a free set of “rebound teas” for recent customers of David’s Tea and Teavana.  While David’s Tea isn’t going anywhere as far as I know, Teavana has been closing its doors and sold out of the final stock in its online shop.  Adagio’s rebound teas were blended to be familiar to tea lovers from those other shops in the hopes of encouraging these tea-fanatics to try out more teas from Adagio’s selection.

Now, I am a little biased because I got my loose-leaf start with Adagio, but I feel as though different tea suppliers have different specialities, and I’ve enjoyed tea from both David’s Tea and Teavana.  David’s Tea and Teavana tend to have more specialized themed blends.  They are a great choice when you want a tea that tastes like a peanut butter cup or an over-the-top tropical peach iced tea. Not to mention, they have some very cute tea tins, mugs, and accessories to jazz up your tea shelf.

Adagio’s Rebound Sampler featured 5 teas (though they are adding new rebound blends all the time, see their listing of comparable teas here)

Teavana had a few popular peach teas, so this sampler has two peach teas of its own: Peach Bellini and Peach Serenity.   They are subtly different, with Peach Bellini focusing on more tropical flavors like mango and papaya, and Peach Serenity with more herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile.  In both blends, the strong peach flavoring drives the smell and taste.  I think these would be best suited for cold brews, where the sweet candy peach flavor can add sweetness without sugar.  These teas are great if you are a fan of peach rings candy.  I’m always in favor of having more herbal blends, but I think I prefer the more subtle peach taste in Adagio’s peach black tea or peach oolong.

Raja Oolong is an oolong blend with lots of delicious inclusions like chicory, ginger, and cocoa nibs.  Likewise, White Ayurvedic Chai  is a white tea with a long list of flavorful spices and fruits, like cloves, pineapple, lemongrass and cinnamon.  Despite the varied ingredient listing for both blends, the strong cinnamon flavoring takes over.  These teas would be great for fans of Adagio’s hot cinnamon spice tea, or for fans of Hot Tamales candies.  I’m all for a spicy tea, but I wish there was more variety in the spice.  It would be great to have some sweet ginger heat or herbal black pepper spice share the spotlight. I would recommend trying Adagio’s original White Chai blend as another take on the white tea and spice combination.

Samurai Mate is a sweet and tropical mate blend, with lots of sweet papaya flavoring.  The fruit pairs well with the green yerba mate, but it is a little one-note.  This might be more subtle when iced, not to mention a cold brew would suit the tropical fruit theme.  Not the blend for me, but a very striking fruity blend.

If you were able to take advantage of the rebound deal, I hope all the Teavana and David’s Tea fans out there enjoyed your first taste of Adagio.  I think Adagio’s strengths lay with their more naturally flavored or unflavored teas. Let’s not forget their lively fandom blends where customers design themed flavors using the tea blender tools.  If there’s a discontinued tea flavor that you’re missing, why not try your hand at creating a signature blend of your own to bring it back?

Here’s to a healthy rebound in your loose leaf tea life!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Adgaio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sour Appletini from DAVIDsTea. . . .

My coworker and I have a spiritually violent “hot potato” going with teas. We complain and toss things onto each other’s desks with aplomb. We also occasionally sneak things into each other’s collections and wait with bated breath to see whether the other will notice.

I got up to go to the bathroom yesterday and when I came back, this was on my desk. “What’s wrong with this one?” I asked. “I don’t feel it,” she said, shrugging.

So I decided to channel J.D. on Scrubs and make myself a nice iced appletini. But from tea. Sadly, not drinking booze at my desk. (Would that make more pleasant? Irritable? Sleepy? Not exactly something I can test.)

I think this is fairly pleasant. It tastes like a slightly synthetic apple (think: Jolly rancher) mixed in with a bit of citrus and tart hibiscus. (Turns out this “hibiscus” flavor is beetroot, according to the ingredients). It’s a big sweet, a bit tangy.

It’s also a really cute shade of pink.

I suspect this blend was intended to be iced. My coworker only drinks her teas hot (I’m flexible). Hot, this would probably be a little too strong & tart. I’ve found that icing teas tends to bring out the sweetness.

This tea is currently available on David’s Tea’s site. It is also available to be stolen off my desk if you’d like to continue the tradition of Hot Potato!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Tisane
Where to Buy:  DAVIDsTea
Description

Class up your summer soirée with this sweet, mouthpuckering green apple blend

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Blueberry is Super Starling’s New Jam. . . Blueberry Jam from DAVIDsTea. . . . .

Are you looking for sweet, dark berries — but they aren’t in season? Or maybe they ARE in season but you don’t want to go outside? Because there are mosquitoes, mud, heat, and other people out there?

This tea is a lovely solution to that issue. This blend is mostly currants, blueberries, and elderberries. At first glance, you might think the blend is rolled into balls like an oolong, then you realize it’s berries! TONS OF BERRIES! There is black tea in this, but not much. This tea is a “1” on the David’s Tea caffeine scale, which means “Low.” (There’s “None,” “Low,” “Medium,” and “Stimulant.”) Black teas tend to be “2/Medium”, but this one has so little black tea in it that it’s a 1. This is great if black tea isn’t your jam (GET IT?) or if you need something less high in caffeine for health or time-of-day reasons.

This tea will also help you find a bridesmaid dress, if that’s what you need.

Seriously.

I bought this tea after a devastating day at the King of Prussia Mall. I’d forgotten to pack my bridesmaid dress for a wedding three hours away and was trying to find a replacement. Nearly in tears, I ducked into the KoP’s David’s Tea for a breather.

Sometimes a person just needs to stand among tea for a few minutes. Especially a David’s Tea store, which has a rainbow of pleasing colors, free things to sip, and, typically, interesting-looking employees.

Today was no exception. There was one cute nerdy girl and one badass punk girl, both of whom were lovely to behold and chat with. We talked about favorite flavors and my aversion to matcha. They let me sniff EVERYTHING. I bought this tea and Lemon Pound Cake (which I’ll also review shortly!).

Then I found a suitable bridesmaid dress replacement right after!

Was it the tea calm that gave me the inner strength to find the right dress?

YES.

PROBABLY.

So, in summary: I looked great in the dress, I like this tea, and I like the store. Win win win!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  DAVIDsTea
Description 

A fruity blend of black tea, blueberries elderberries, cornflowers and stevia.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!