Day 1: Sleigh Ride

Happy December 1st, tea lovers!

That’s right, the roomies are back with another round of DavidsTea’s #24DaysofTea and we are SO excited! Are you?! Sure, maybe we’re on the opposite sides of the country now, but we still love each other and tea just as much and we are making it work. Starting with me getting up at 6:45am in order to be able to message with Stacey and skype with my Mom before heading off to campus. The things we do for tea! Door #1: *Gasp* SLEIGH RIDE! Giddyup!

Tea: Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride

DAVIDsTEA Description: Falling snow, popping chestnuts, cold hands and noses…yep, winter has arrived. But don’t worry, we have the perfect tea to warm you up all December long. Cinnamon, apples, raisins, almonds, and hibiscus combine for a tea that is sweet, tart, and earthy. And beet pieces make it as nice and rosy as a caroler’s cheeks. So hop in your sleigh, snuggle up, and pass a thermos around. It’s lovely weather for a Sleigh Ride together.

Ingredients: Apple, hibiscus blossoms, pineapple (pineapple, sugar), papaya (papaya, sugar), beetroot, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds (almonds, sugar, glucose syrup, vegetable fat, caramelized sugar syrup), popped rice, natural and artificial flavouring.

Brooke: Mom, are you excited?!
Cathy: Oh no, this is the one you really don’t care for! What don’t you like about it? It’s all very cinnamon-y and good! Apple slices!
Brooke: Hmm… It’s too sour for my taste, but we’ll see what we think of it this time!

We’ve had this tea each year of  DAVIDsTEA’s 24 Days of Tea set (see 2012, 2013, and 2014) … and we’ve never liked it. What would happen this time?!

Stacey, via Google hangouts: I was so disappointed with finding out it was sleigh ride! My Mom and I are both hoping our taste buds have changed.
(Stacey’s mom was texting her: “The aroma smells like cinnamon and peppermint”)

*Sip*

Cathy: Hmm, it’s too insipid [adj. “lacking flavor”]. There’s no oomph! Brooke, how do you hip hop dance?
Brooke: W-what?

Stacey: Whoa, whoa, WAIT! Guys, when it’s lukewarm… it’s so much better! WOW! For once I am happy for the time difference between us so I could let the tea cool off before starting to drink. It was difficult to wait, but it was well worth it. My mom agrees! Says she’s drinking it cooler, too. Apparently at the beginning it tasted like cough medicine, but as she drank it, it  got her in the mood for decorating!
Brooke: Odd combo, I like it!
Cathy: Hmmm… It makes me think of an apple cider, like a mulled cider thing.
Brooke: I dunno… Still tastes like warm juice to me, ick!

Stacey: But what about the flavours? They are so nice this year!

Brooke: When I start drinking it, it reminds me of Forever Nuts (yay) but then I get this sour and bitter finish (boo).
Cathy: Oh, well I like it.
Stacey: I think that it tastes exactly like warm apple cider. Wait, Brooke, where’s Andre?
Brooke: Probably awake in bed, since I’m being loud and beat boxing with mom.  Hey…wait! The tea is getting better!
Stacey: Told you! Let it cool a bit!
Following our final dissections of the tea itself, we expressed how excited we were for the next 23 days of tea and blogging. While this tea didn’t light us up, it didn’t rile us up either, which was a pleasant surprise. We all agreed that this tea should be had at a cooler temperature rather than piping hot. This seemed to help with the bitterness and sourness that it sometimes tasted. And, hey! With that, we completed day one! HOW EXCITING!
 Psst!! Wait- there’s more!

 

We also hit up instagram and twitter to see what other tea fans were saying, and found that they were just as pleased!

@ O.V.E.R.E.X.C.I.T.E.D. ❄️ #24daysoftea

@ Started off my morning right! THERE’S A CINNASTICK!! #butnofire #24daysoftea

@DarlingLilRed On the first day of gave to me Sleigh Ride. Appley, tart and sweet. #24daysoftea

What did YOU think, reader? To let cool, or drink hot?

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and our moms)

 

horse-sleigh-rides

Stacey: Hey Brooke.. Let’s “sleigh ride” into December together… Brooke: *Sigh*

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Day 7: English Breakfast

Goood morning!

We’re waking up to a beautiful day here in Ottawa and it’s time for some tasty tea to get things started. We popped open the door to Day #7 and were content with what we found: a classic that we had reviewed last year. Get your kettle going and join us for a cup!

Tea: English Breakfast

Description: There’s nothing better than waking up to a genuinely fabulous cup of English Breakfast tea. Which is why we took great care in choosing our signature blend. We were looking for the perfect balance. Something with body and a satisfyingly full flavour, without being overpowering. The winner? A flowery pekoe from Sri Lanka. You’ll find yourself drinking it all day long.

Tea Instructions: 1.25tsp, 4-7minutes, 96°C

Since our previous post just last year, DAVIDsTEA apparently changed the way they want us to experience the brew. Down from 1.5 tsp per cup, they now recommend 1.25tsp and rather than having it at a piping hot 98°C, they suggest a slight decrease to 96°C. Will this difference drastically change our opinion on this “coal-miner” tea? Let’s find out…

*sip*

Stacey: Hmph.
Brooke: Was that a hmph?
Stacey: Yeah. It’s nothing special.
Brooke: It doesn’t claim to be!
Stacey: I guess that’s a good thing?
Brooke: I dunno, at least this one doesn’t have any added flavours just for the heck of it. Sometimes DAVIDsTEA does get a little flavour happy.
Stacey: Yeah. It’s just that… it tastes like it’s from Tim Horton’s or Second Cup… it’s just an English Breakfast. I guess when you think DAVIDsTEA, you think of something you couldn’t get anywhere else. I don’t mean to harp on this one, it’s just not radically different.
Brooke: I’m thinking of the woman who runs her Take Charge Tea booth in the Farmer’s Market at Lansdowne Park. Her ingredients were added to provide health benefits for the drinker and were all completely natural.  DAVIDsTEA isn’t like that, they’re only really focused on the taste and aesthetics of their tea.
Stacey: Yeah, sometimes even with artificial flavours!
Brooke: English Breakfast is one of their only “pure” teas with no added flavours, so I at least appreciate that. *Sip*. Oh man, though, definitely still needs almond milk. That is bitter. [Brooke contemplates pouring some of her cereal milk into her tea, then bails and gets some from the fridge]. Ahh much better. What does this tea make you think of, Stace?
Stacey: Uh.. *sip*, going for tea with my colleagues at work before starting my day? Yeah, just a standard morning at work.
Brooke: *snore* Yep. Not doing much for me, either. Even with the strange change in brewing instructions!

Tea Vibes:

Using Stacey’s “voice-type” feature on her phone, we let it decide we said with fabulous results: 

Brooke: You didn’t impress me and I have many other English Breakfast that I prefer. Sorry, David. To Navan special: 700.

Stacey: Hard for me to give it a ride back and forth, so I give it a nice day. English Breakfast. Oh, I give it an Eon 10.

(We really hope you are enjoying these voice-type translations as much as we are.)

All in all, this tea sparked our thoughts about what really makes a good tea. Its simplicity? Natural ingredients? Health benefits? Caffeine? What do you think? To each their own cup, I suppose!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

A tea you can ride back and forth.