DAVIDsTEA Advent Calendar 2014 – Day 9

I got so excited when I lifted the flap for Day 9! Wanna know why?

It’s…

Genmaicha!

Ingredients: Steamed green tea from Japan, roasted and popped rice.

Genmaicha is one of my absolute favourite types of teas ever! The roasted and popped rice gives a delicious, deep, umami flavour to the delicate green tea leaves from Japan.

The genmaicha that DAVIDsTEA stocks has a lot of rice in it, which kind of masked the green tea flavour. For me, it’s really tasty but I can see why some people would be turned off by the strength of the roasted rice flavour.

I love it! I really do! But, I already have a favourite genmaicha brand that I can get at a very competitive price, so I doubt I’ll be getting this from DAVIDsTEA…

xoxo,

B.elle

DAVIDsTEA Advent Calendar 2014 – Day 5

DOUBLE POST!

I tried two Days of Tea tonight for me and my mom, so here’s the second post!

What’s for Day 5? It’s…

Organic Detox!

Ingredients: rooibos**, sencha green tea, lemongrass, ginger, juniper berries, ginkgo. With natural lemon flavouring*.

DAVIDsTEA lists Organic Detox as a low caffeine product and I’ll have to agree with this. It’s giving me a slight kick, but it’s nothing that would keep me up or make me jittery at all!

I’m guessing that the “detox” part of the tea comes from the ginger, juniper berries and ginkgo? I don’t think I really believe in that, but they’re all pretty healthy components although I know that they’re all also pretty strong flavoured on their own.

It’s got a fairly typical green tea colour to it with a dark amber hue, and the sencha, juniper and rooibos scents come out really well.

I’m surprised that the flavour isn’t stronger than it is! I know that ginger and juniper berries can be VERY strong if there’s a tiny amount too much in the formula, so I’m very impressed with the balance that they’ve achieved!

The sencha and rooibos flavours are at the forefront, but the lemongrass and ginkgo provide a subtle woodiness to the tea that balances out the herbal flavours of ginger and juniper berries.

What’s in store for Day 6 and Day 7? You’ll have to find out tomorrow!

xoxo,

B.elle

DAVIDsTEA Advent Calendar 2014 – Day 3

Okay, I lied yesterday. I forgot to bring Day 4’s offering with me to work so TOMORROW will be a double posting. I promise!

Anyway, take a look at what was for Day 3! It’s…

Buddha’s Blend!

Ingredients: White tea, green tea, jasmine pearls, white hibiscus blossoms, natural and articifial flavouring*.

Holy eff, that’s an interesting blend of white and green tea… DAVIDsTEA lists this as medium levels of caffeine, but I was practically vibrating in my wheelie chair yesterday with the Organic Vanilla Chai. This one might make me want to run across the walls with all the caffeine packed into it!

It’s not quite as dark as the other teas, producing a nice amber infusion, and it smells distinctly of florally hibiscus and jasmine! There’s also another type of scent in the background that I’m not totally sure what it is (I suspect that it’s vanilla), but it lends a nice aromatic detail to the whole tea.

I left my teabag in for too long, so it came out a bit more astringent than I usually like it (oops!). But, it’s still a lot more delicate than most teas that I’ve had even when oversteeped! The hibiscus isn’t overpowering at all, but it lends a nice, slightly tart that lifts the tea to a whole different level!

Also, another good point is that it didn’t make me feel like my heart was going to burst out of my chest a la Alien.

In case you can’t tell, I may be getting a tin of this in the new year.

Come back tomorrow to see what’s in store for Day 4!

xoxo,

B.elle

Kombucha Wonder Drink

Whelp… I caved in and did it.

No, I didn’t get a new, questionable tattoo or pole danced in Dundas Square. I actually went and tried kombucha tea!

image

Kombucha Wonder Drink in Green Tea & Lemon – $2 for 250ml

Ingredients: water, organic brewed green tea (water, organic green tea leaves), organic kombucha (water, organic cane juice, organic oolong tea leaves, yeast and bacteria cultures), organic cane juice, organic lemon extract, carbon dioxide.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this new trendy drink, it’s tea with added live culture like yeast and bacteria to naturally create fizzy bubbles like in pop and beer.

“But wait,” you say. “The ingredient deck says that there’s organic cane sugar in the drink! Doesn’t yeast cause fermentation with sugary drinks?”

(You probably didn’t say that, but you might’ve. If that’s the case, you’re awesome.)

Why, yes! Fermentation DOES occur with certain sugar-based beverages. Not only is it the main reaction that creates alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, vodka and many blacked out, vomit-filled nights around the world, it also causes food spoilage.

I think you can see why I was so hesitant to try it!

Anyway, I found this can at the Richtree Marketplace convenience store in the Eaton Centre mall in downtown Toronto and decided that it was a good day as any to be culinarily adventurous. I picked the green tea and lemon variation over the original just because I figured that some extra flavouring would help me get over the fact I was drinking yeast.

The lemon extract flavour did come out quite well with a good amount of sweetness and the astringency from both tea leaves was very noticeable, even through the very distinct yeast flavour.

And I mean VERY distinct.

The recurring thought I had while drinking the kombucha tea was that it felt like I was drinking a the dregs of a very strong, very yeasty and possibly spoiled stout mixed with sweet lemon tea. And that’s a really weird combination, even for me!

The most prominent factor for me was this: It left a very unpleasant aftertaste on my entire palate and left me kind of bloated, not unlike downing half a pint of Guinness in a few gulps but without the buzz that comes with it.

After doing some light research, I found out that kombucha’s supposed to be a sort of cure-all tonic back in the older days, but there’s no real scientific backing to any of these claims. This would be why I couldn’t find any health claims besides the organic certification on the can!

Verdict: 1.5/5 I do appreciate the all-organic ingredients that they sourced and the lemon green tea combination, but I can’t get over the fermentation flavour and how it tastes like a badly-made beer.

Have you tried kombucha tea? Do you like it? Maybe I need to try a different brand. Any suggestions?

Xoxo,
B.elle

Silk Road Tea Store – Golden Phoenix Pu-Erh

I’ve been sleeping really badly in the past week or so. In fact, I’ll even say that my sleeping patterns are shit right now. The culprit? Stress and increased intake of delicious coffee at the wrong hours. I know that caffeine plays a major role in it, but I also prefer cream over sugar while ignoring the fact that I’m somewhat lactose intolerant at night.

I already had a coffee this morning but I’ll definitely be riding out the afternoon slump with some tea I got from Silk Road Tea Store!

Silk Road Golden Phoenix Tea

Silk Road Tea Store is a gorgeous organic tea store located in the heart of Chinatown in Victoria, BC. It doubles as an organic spa, but they’re best known for their insanely good teas. It’s sort like Teavana or David’s Tea but a million times better!

I found out about this place when I went to BC for a little vacation and visited Victoria’s Chinatown. The sleek storefront caught my eye even though my mom never noticed it before! After spending an hour inside, we walked out with bags of tea in adorable little tins!

But this time, I bought a 40-cup tin of their Golden Phoenix Pu-erh tea through my cousin, who was already ordering some stuff from Silk Road.

Silk Road Golden Phoenix Tea

Golden Phoenix Tea of Prosperity | Semi-Green, Organic

Ingredients: Chinese semi-green tea, citrus peel, cinnamon bark, calendula flowers, tangerine, grapefruit, cinnamon essence

The tea mix had a fresh citrus scent when I first opened the tin, but it didn’t really transfer into the tea very well! I was a little disappointed in that, but the tea was still delicious and didn’t have a high astringency like other semi-green teas that I’ve had and over-steeped like I always do.

Golden Phoenix Tea

I was rather surprised that it turned my tea into a dark, orange-brown drink instead of a clear, lighter coloured tea that I was expecting for some strange reason. Maybe it was the citrus scent that forced me to think of lighter colours?

The best way for me to describe this tea is “smooth” like the smoothest cream you could imagine without all the fat! I don’t know how it works, but it works!

It’s definitely not as strong as other teas like the classic oolongs or jasmine tea, but there’s a lot of subtle citrus and flowery notes that I really appreciated. Surprisingly enough, I could smell the cinnamon as it steeped, but I didn’t get any of the usual burning sensation or flavour! Strange, but I didn’t really miss it, either.

Check out Silk Road Tea Store and their huge selection of organic tea, spa products and teaware! They offer free shipping for purchases over $50 and then $10 flat rate for anything less!

Ever try their teas? How do you think they compare to the big chain tea franchises?

xoxo,

B.elle