Crème Brûlée

Hi readers,

Brooke here. It’s late and Stacey and I are winding down in our cozy apartment. It’s been a long day for both of us. Stacey was taking minutes at a six hour physical literacy meeting and then attended night class for another three. I had various lab meetings, UPLC-Q-TOF metabolite data analysis, project discussions, and proposals. What could make two exhausted Master students feel satisfied? A nice warm caffeine-free tea. To the box-set!

The 24 Days of Tea pack has all kinds of teas in it: black, rooibos, mate, green, oolong, etc. We hoped that we could open a door at random and find one that would suit our needs.

Tea door number five…Black tea. Erm… We can’t be up all night and we know how Stacey got with the last one. Let’s skip it.
Tea door number six …No! That’s black too… One more try?
Tea door number seven… Oooh, Organic Crème Brûlée, a rooibos! Kettle on, mugs ready. Let’s do this.

Creme Brulee tea

Tea: Organic Crème Brûlée

Ingredients: Green and red rooibos, safflowers, calendula marigold.

DAVIDsTEA Description:  Sweet seduction

No one can resist this organic green rooibos tea. Seriously. The aroma is just too outrageously tempting. Creamy, caramel, decadent, rich. And the taste! How can something so sweet be so light and fresh? Plus, some experts are saying that the special antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids in green rooibos will fight aging and improve your health. Could life be more wonderful?

Rooibos tea, you know the drill. Poured our hot 98°C water over 1.5tsp of the loose leaf, let them steep for 5 minutes and then cool to a sip-able temperature. The colour was a warm orange after removing our infusers and, again, the odour was heavenly.

Stacey: It smells sweet, if that’s even a thing.
Brooke: I taste it.

*sip*

Stacey: It’s definitely sweet. I’m trying to taste the crème brûlée we had at the Fish Market the other night, but I’m struggling.

[Yeah, so? Two roomies can go on three course meal dates now and then!]

Brooke: That’s because ours was burnt. Now that cheesecake, Mmm…
Stacey:  What do you think of the tea so far?
Brooke: It’s good. Simplistic. Simple ingredient list and that works. Sometimes simple is better. DAVIDsTEA didn’t need to pump it up with lavish language. It’s a simple, nice, sweet, soft tea.
Stacey: You don’t need to pump up crème brûlée. Everybody loves crème brûlée. It’s crème brûlée.
Brooke: Nice French.
Stacey: I don’t get the creamy. It’s just. Sweet. But not too sweet. Just a nice “hm, there it is!” The picture on their site is perfect. THAT is what you think of when you take a sip.

Ta Da:

Organic Crème Brulée

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: Well, after a really long day, it’s really nice to have this cup of tea. I agree, it would be a nice dessert tea. I know I’ve said that before, but this one is a dessert. You don’t really get a lot of the rooibos, it’s more of a herbal feel. It’s nice. I feel satisfied. I give a 7/10. [Brooke: Why only a 7, then?] It’s not blowing me a way, it’s just comforting and giving me a little something. The taste isn’t in my face. I guess I could bump it to 8/10. A little bit of a different experience than the salted caramel. I feel like I’m winding down instead of being wound up.

Brooke: You know you’re at a wine tasting [Stacey: uh, sure] and to smell the wine, you have to dip the entirety of your nose into the glass? You give it a swirl and immediately throw your face into the drink in order to soak up the smell? Well… I’ve been doing that this whole time to this tea. It smells… wonderful. I do smell the cream, I do smell the rooibos, I do smell the dessert. Wow, just. And the taste? Mm. I drank it to the very last, lukewarm drop and it was delicious. 8.5/10

Ahh, lovely. Lights out, teeth brushed, and ready for bed. These two grad students are satisfied. Highly suggested tea for anyone who wants a nice topper to a busy day. Parfait.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

Stacey’s dog Titan doesn’t need a tea to sleep easy…

Advertisements

Salted Caramel

(New to our blog? Check out our first post- 24 Days of Tea)

One brisk fall morning, after the capital’s first snow fall, two roommates sit down for a relaxing cup of tea. Or so they thought…

 Brooke: Oh it’s a black tea, “medium caffeine” it says.
Stacey: I bet you it’s Chocolate Rocket.
Brooke: But we already had Chocolate Rocket.
Stacey:  I meant Checkmate.
Brooke: *struggle struggle* Stupid…box….!
Stacey: I can help you if you want.
Brooke: No, I got it. *struggle struggle* Oh! Salted Caramel… YOU WERE WRONG.
Stacey: What, I…
Brooke: You need to stop making bets without consequences, Stacey! You can’t say “bet you this is a thing” and then just brush it off when you’re wrong!  You keep doing that and it’s not FAIR!
Stacey: …I’ll go start the kettle.

Tea: Salted Caramel

Ingredients: Black tea, coconut, caramel bits, English toffee bits, sea salt

DAVIDsTEA Description: There’s no better treat than a salted caramel. You won’t find this in your history books, but we’ve heard that Romeo seduced Juliet with a salt-sprinkled toffee. Rich, buttery and sweet with a kiss of salt – who can resist? So it goes without saying that it makes for a seriously delicious tea. This is a rich black tea blend, strewn with pieces of English toffee, coconut, caramel and a touch of French sea salt. It’s guaranteed to seduce your taste buds.

Since we pulled out another black tea, we steeped our leaves for 5 min at a hot 98°C (Brooke wanted me to put in a picture of the boy band 98 degrees, but I said no). We also opted to use the entire 10g tin to make a pot (more on that later).

*Sip*

Stacey: Oh… it has a nice buttery-ness to it.
Brooke: I just taste sugar.
Stacey: I don’t think it’s too sweet at all. I usually don’t like sweet teas. I definitely taste the caramel…Mmm.
Brooke: I get the smell of chocolate. It’s not too bitter…it’s not too heavy…yes; I can see how they are trying to seduce me with this. STILL no coconut, though. This is nice, but I just see it as a sweet black tea.

Keeping on our theme of music (Bieber, Spice Girls, 98 degrees…what?), we decided to consider musical themes that we felt matched up with Salted Caramel tea.

Brooke: I have no idea why, but I think of A Christmas Carol. You know, Scrooge? It’s not even a musical!
Stacey: Well the Muppet’s Christmas Carol has music, is that what you were thinking of?
Brooke: Nope, I was thinking of the stage production. No music at all. Oops!
Stacey: Well, it reminds me of caramel popcorn, so I have a mash-up of carnival music and some sort of classical music in my head. Or maybe it’s just a monkey playing piano….

 

Tea Vibes

Brooke: You know, what often happens with DAVIDsTEA is they throw a lot of flavours at you. We have guests who ask for regular tea and we never have anything simple to offer them from our stash. I think this tea would be nice to have in our cupboards just for that. It’s a regular black tea with just a hint of caramel. I recommend this tea for someone who is used to drinking the regular Red Rose and is a little intimidated by all the flavours DAVIDsTEA offers.  I give it a 7.5/10 because you don’t always need a flavourful tea to make your morning.

Stacey: I really like this one. Like many other of the DAVIDsTEA we’ve had, I’m finding the flavours coming out more in the second half of the cup (why do they do that?). It’s definitely a dessert tea, one to enjoy after a big fancy meal. The smell really does it for me too. The caramel lingers in my mouth after I swallow. Wait…is this what they meant when they said seduced? I am seduced? I give it an 8/10.

*One hour later*

Uuuuh oh. Ok, so, remember how I said we made a whole pot of tea? Remember how I’ve said caffeine and Stacey don’t mix? Remember how I had two cups of BLACK TEA? [Brooke: Hoard the energy, Stace! Use it to focus on your work! Come on, now!]

 I’M ON THE VERGE OF EITHER WANTING TO RUN AROUND OR FREAK OUT RIGHT NOW. AAAAARGH!

 UNTIL NEXT T–

Brooke twisted my arm.

Coco Chai Rooibos

(New to our blog? Check out our first post- 24 Days of Tea)

Hello precious readers!

Welcome back to another episode of Tea Time. I’m Brooke, and I’ll be your host this afternoon. Today, Stacey and I dive into the world of spice with a zippy Coco Chai Rooibos. Will it pale in comparison to our rocket adventure or will it spice up our lives? Stay tuned to find out.

Tea: Coco Chai Rooibos

Ingredients: Rooibos, coconut, cinnamon, ginger root, cardamom, cloves, pink peppercorns.

DAVIDsTEA Description: If you’re into spice-based chais, this one is for you. It’s got a smooth base of caffeine-free, antioxidant-filled rooibos, and a satisfying kick of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and piquant red peppercorns. Plus there’s a strong hint of coconut, for a slightly exotic twist. Try it straight up or infused in hot milk for a truly fabulous chai latte. It’s the kind of thing you get addicted to.

To start things off, we used 1.5tsp of the loose leaf mix per cup and steeped our mugs for 6 minutes at 98°C. We could smell the spices right away but we had some initial concerns with the flavours…

Stacey: Ok, so… the goal of this tea test is to try and taste the coconut. But…man. The cinnamon is still freaking me out. Why is it there??

After removing the tea infusers, we had both noticed hoards of cinnamon debris floating in our cups.  Like… way too many for us to not feel a bit weirded out. How did they escape? What did they want with us?

*sip*

Stacey: you can definitely taste the rooibos, Mmm. I like that.
Brooke: I was worried about the ginger, but it’s really complimentary. Like a gingerbread cookie.
Stacey: But “Coco” Chai? Really? No. There is no coconut here.
Brooke: I might have burnt my mouth off from the Indian food I had last night… but I don’t taste any spicy either.
Stacey: Aw this is fun, Brooke.

We paused briefly to shout about Justin Bieber, as roommates often do. “How could he post that shirtless picture of himself on twitter?” “He met Stephen Harper wearing dirty overalls!”

Stacey: HOLD UP. I TASTE THE PEPPERCORN.
Brooke: I don’t know, this tea is kind of falling flat at the end. It’s just burning the back of my throat.
Stacey: …He got at MEDAL? HE WAS WEARING OVERALLS! There’s still cinnamon in my teeth.

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: Okay, so to be honest, this tea is spicy… but not a hot spicy, just flavourful. I could definitely taste the ginger but the cinnamon unnerved me. I’m always a fan of rooibos so it was nice to have a chai rooibos. Definitely NO coconut, though. Overall, I’d give this tea a 6/10. It would have been a 7 or 8 if the flavours lasted the whole time but they pittered out at the end. I would say enjoy this tea while it’s hot.

Brooke: Couldn’t agree more, Stace. There were delicious hints of gingerbread cookie and cloves at the beginning that unfortunately faded near the end. Unlike black tea based chais, this one was softer and easier to drink without milk. It filled you up nicely but be sure to drink it down before the tea cools, or else you’ll be left with spicy water. I’ll give it a 7/10, because it was certainly delicious at the beginning. Whew!

Overall, we both agreed that the two signature ingredients “coconut and peppercorn” were not accurate. We’d say they were ginger, cloves, and cardamom. It’s a nice tea to have when you’re in the mood for some zip- but drink it quickly! You don’t want to let it cool down as you discuss baby pop stars with your tea partner.

With that, another episode of Tea time comes to an end. Coco Chai Rooibos: a tea that makes you really, really, really wanna zigazig ah.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

What is this I don’t even.  

Chocolate Rocket

(New to our blog? Check out our first post- 24 Days of Tea)

Hello fellow tea drinkers!

Stacey here. Thanks to everyone who read our Buttered Rum experience—we really appreciate the love. We were so appreciative in fact that we couldn’t wait to write another one. So here we are!

There’s less banter in this post, probably because we were up at 8am with the kettle on, but also because this tea left us gurgling speechless. I mean, whoa. Good on David’s Tea for making a tea that shut these two goomers up. The tea in question? Chocolate Rocket. Yes, you read that right—prepare yourself for one wild ride.

Tea: David’s Tea Chocolate Rocket

Ingredients: Roasted Yerba maté (Brasil), cocoa, almonds, roasted chicory root, raspberries, natural and artificial flavouring

DAVIDsTEA’s Description: Need a boost? Try this tea. First you’ll experience a pure, sweet hit of chocolate. Then you’ll find yourself awash in the freshness of raspberries. Followed by the richness of almonds and chicory. And then, bang, you’ll realize you’ve been infused with roasted Brazilian maté. How will you know? It’s what’s giving you all that crazy energy. Just fly with it.

We used all 10g of the loose leaf tea to make a pot; since it was a maté, we let the water settle to a comfortable 94°C before steeping for 4 minutes. This time the tea was a soft butterscotch colour. I thought there was a slight hue of pink in there but Brooke said I was seeing things. Go figure.

*sip*

For the first fifteen seconds there was a silence. We just looked at each other…nodding every few sips. It’s safe to say that we were at a complete loss for words. It was that good. With its intense aroma and smooth raspberry taste , it was definitely something to savour. After we were finally able to formulate words and not just go “hum.. ohh!…ahh” we both agreed that the raspberry hit the spot. On the other hand, we struggled with the chocolate flavouring.

*Sip. Sip.*

Stacey: Nope, I don’t taste it!
Brooke: Oh, wait now, yes! There’s the chocolate.
Stacey: Really?
Brooke: Yeah, the flavour is coming in nice now, Mmmm. It’s just a hint, like a brown tootsie roll pop. Not rich like a piece of chocolate, you know? Just the candy flavour.
Stacey: I still can’t taste the chocolate…oh wait, there it is.  Yes, like a tootsie roll! Nice!

Aside from the fun flavours, we were also impressed with the taste of maté leaves. For those of you who don’t know, maté is a traditional South American tea from the Yerba tree. It’s got about half the stimulant effect as coffee but it’s also loaded with other healthy bits like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, unlike coffee, it won’t leave you feeling all jittery and addicted—which in my book is definitely a plus.

[Brooke here: check out this article in the LA Times from a few years ago, some studies suggest that too much of a good thing…causes cancer. Whoops!]

*Sip. Sip.*

Brooke: I’m trying to think how this is going to feel compared to coffee… I don’t want a headache!
Stacey: It’s weird, usually I think of teas as relaxing, but all I can think about it stimulant in here.
Brooke: No, just unwind and enjoy! The stimulant comes after.
Stacey: But what am I going to be like in an hour?
Brooke: Buzzed. Like a bee.

Tea Vibes:

Brooke: Overall, this tea rocks. Pun intended (get it? Chocolate Rocket? Hmph). From the name alone I was hooked. The raspberry wasn’t tart and bitter, it was silky smooth. I think the whole taste could be summed up as a quality street chocolate. You know, the ones with the fruity goo in them? Even though the description said we’d taste the chocolate first, we had the reverse effect… with delicious results. Mmmm. Pour me another cup. 8.5/10.

Stacey: It’s different, that’s for sure. It’s interesting that as you go in for a sip you’re hit with the smell of the raspberry and your taste buds get to enjoy nice chocolate flavour. I think we might have to add more matés to our tea cupboard; this tea is just utterly delicious and has me wanting more. The flavours are so soft and inviting. I’m kind of left speechless with this one…I hope that’s not the stimulant kicking in… 8/10.

Final Thoughts:

Chocolate Rocket could replace your coffee any day [Brooke: just don’t drink liters of the stuff!]; with its sweet hit of raspberry and chocolate, this one will have you traveling to the moon and back. And we definitely recommend the trip.

Until next tea,

Stacey and Brooke

“My tea sent me to the moon this morning.”

 

Buttered Rum

(New to our blog? Check out our first post- 24 Days of Tea)

It has begun!

With a poke through the cardboard and a twist of the cap, we’re off! The first tea we pulled out is the Organic Buttered Rum. The two main ingredients are coconut and vanilla and from the first whiff, we were drunk. Well, Stacey said she smelled “alcohol” but I think she was just excited.

Tea: DAVIDsTEA Organic Buttered Rum

Ingredients: Black tea, coconut flakes, vanilla beans, cornflower petals. Organic and natural flavouring.

DAVIDsTEA’s Description: Hot buttered rum is so delicious we want it all day long. Unfortunately, most employers frown on workplace drunkenness, so we came up with this rich and creamy alternative. Toasted coconut and vanilla beans mingle with black tea in a caramelized caress of flavours. Decadent hot or iced, it also blends perfectly with dark rum, brown sugar and a dash of milk – so go ahead and indulge your inner pirate, off the clock.

Since this is a black tea, we used 1.5 tsp of the loose leaf per cup of water (98°C) and left our cups sit for 5 minutes before taking out our infusers. After steeping time was up, our teas were a rich brown and smelled delicious. 

*sip*

Stacey: I.. I’m trying to taste… anything. (Don’t write that!) It reminds me of their Jolly Jellybean. The smell had hyped me up but now I’m not sure if I can grasp it…
Brooke:  It tastes…like caramel. Buttery, yes. Rum? Not so sure.

Stacey: It tastes better with little sips… The taste comes out more that way… Mmm, yes, that was nice.

Brooke: It’s like diluted syrup!
Stacey: Yes! Yeah, that’s it.

Brooke: But in a good way.

We were feeling the thick and buttery part but couldn’t quite get the coconut/rum sense so we re-steeped our cups for about two more minutes. We both agreed that it seemed a little weak and wanted the full effect.

Stacey: Oh, that’s MUCH better. Yes, stronger.
Brooke: What does it make you think of? Close your eyes.
Stacey: I think of outdoors. Fall or winter, out on a country landscape… there’s a fence… it’s… well, it’s not rotten or anything, but the wood is old… Rustic! That’s it. A rustic country landscape.
Brooke: Mm. Like a tea for a blacksmith on a cold morning.
Stacey: Still don’t taste the rum, though. Man, this is hard. I didn’t think it would be so difficult to just describe a tea.
Brooke: Oh my God. I just deleted everything we said. What was that? What were we saying?
.

Tea Vibes:.

Stacey: The taste isn’t as strong as the smell; I think the coconut gets lost in the black tea mix. The flavour they were going for, the buttered rum, is strongest after your sip- it sits on your tongue and sticks to your mouth. It’s a smooth tea, which is probably the vanilla coming through. It’s not a drink I would have every day but it’s a good specialty tea to sip after a brisk evening walk. 6/10.
.
Brooke: Agreed, what a treat! Overall, this tea has a heavy base with smooth savoury flavour. Though I don’t taste the coconut, the ingredients mixed well together to create a soft blend that reminded me of chocolate without the cocoa. It’s a very sweet tea; no sugar needed. Maybe add a drop of milk but we both drank it black. I usually like my teas a little lighter but overall it was a lovely brew. 7/10
.
In the end, we both agreed that the tea should be steeped for 6 or 7 minute to get the full essence of buttery goodness. If rum’s the flavour you’re going for, we suggest tossing in a teaspoon of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum. Now THAT’s a tea worth having after an evening “walk”.
 
Final considerations:

Brooke: Do you feel like a pirate, Stace?
Stacey: Pfft. *pause*. Yeah. Wait.. yeah. Okay. I do.

So, there you have it. A tea for those with a sweet tooth that like to go “Arrr”.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey
Orwell Corner Historic Village
“It’s tea time, John!”

Welcome!

Hi friends and fellow tea drinkers,

We are two twenty-something roommates living in the capital city of Canada who can’t get enough of loose leaf tea. This blog is meant to be a reflection of our opinions on any and all teas we try together. Whether it be over a scone at our favourite tea shop or during an evening of report writing at home, we are constantly consuming tea.

As it stands,  DavidsTea dominates our cabinets at home due to their incredible marketing ploys (“look at the packaging, Brooke!”) and it looks like this blog will reflect that, too.

For the past few years, we have bought the famous DAVIDsTEA “24 Days of Tea” box set. For our own entertainment (and hopefully yours), we’ve started this blog to discuss and provide commentary on each tea as we brew them (e.g. “whoa, is that a POPCORN kernel in there?”; “aw, this one reminds me of Nanny”). We’ll also be giving out ratings on the teas based on our own parameters (e.g. “this tea smells like birthday cake, but tastes like wood. 3/5”). Hopefully we can provide an unbiased opinion of the exciting flavours of DavidsTea for your consideration.

We don’t plan on following the rules and drinking a tea each day but our kettle is never cold for too long so expect blog posts fairly often.  If you’re interested in hearing what Chocolate Rocket, Goji Pop, or Organic Breakfast taste like, be sure to stay tuned. If you’re not, follow along anyway. We’re pretty interesting people as it is.

Welcome to what we’re sure will be the adventure of a tea time.

For now, drink tea and be merry.

Brooke & Stacey