Saturday, May 10, 2014

Special Mini Reviews of the DavidsTea Summer 2014 Collection of Teas

Released several days ago, the DavidsTea summer 2014 collection of teas include four herbal blends (Just Peachy, Mango Fruit Punch, Sangria, and Watermelon Mint) and one white tea (Shooting Starfruit). I had the opportunity to try all five of these drinks over the past two days, and I could not wait until next Tuesday to share my thoughts with all of you, so here are my mini reviews and impressions!

DavidsTea Mini Review: Just Peachy
While DavidsTea might recommend this for an iced tea, I am sampling this, hot, as I quite enjoy my peach teas, hot. However, just judging based on the aroma, iced Just Peachy would be...just peachy!

From the small tasting cup, the aroma is strictly peaches, as it should be - this blend is an herbal with no tea to change the flavor toward vegetal, malty, or other notes. Yet, DavidsTea's website mentions that the blend contains apple. I find this a curious addition for a peach blend. While the flavor does not reflect the apple (at least not noticeably), the taste/mouthfeel has an interesting tart finish, which I suspect may come from this additional fruit. The peach notes are bold through flavor and smell. Quite the delight. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this herbal blend a 90/100.

DavidsTea Mini Review: Mango Fruit Punch
Wow, the chunks of fruit in this blend are immense and eye-catching. Mango Fruit Punch is an herbal infusion of pineapple, mango, orange, tangerine, strawberry, and other flavors. The list almost reminds me of a sherbet.

Aroma-wise, I find it light on smell, not overwhelming and not artificially sweet-smelling. Predominately, the mango and tangerine stand out, but overall the fruits blend well together. The sweetness of the strawberries is noticeable on the edges of the smell. I suspect this may be due to the fact that it is not citrus. Pleasantly, it works, and I cannot wait to taste it.

Taking a sip, the blend slides across the tongue, a fruity burst with a rounded mouthfeel. It is hard to distinguish among the various fruits, until it moves to the back of the tongue, where pineapple becomes much more noticeable. Sip after sip, I taste through the cup, enjoying the sensory experience. The flavors are also a bit reminiscent of a rainbow sherbet, like I mentioned about the aroma. When it comes to the aftertaste, a bit of tangerine lingers, but, more than the others, strawberry fills the aftertaste (with perhaps a touch of citrus). Fruit-lovers will really enjoy this blend, if a purely-fruity, non-caffeinated drink is the goal. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this herbal blend an 81/100.

Thoughts on Sangria and Shooting Starfruit
While I have not yet had the opportunity to review these two fully, I did get to taste each of them, and I had some initial impressions to share. The Sangria herbal blend, which I tried chilled, was tart...very tart. In fact, I felt that it was far more tart than any sangria wine I had ever consumed. If tart, fruity drinks are your thing - this could be for you! On the other hand, the Shooting Starfruit white tea blend was fantastic, and I cannot wait to have more. Never before had I tasted jackfruit, but the flavor was very unique, and I quite enjoyed it. The foretaste of the tea was all fruit, though it did not overwhelm in flavor. Pleasantly, the flavors changed to almost a pure, white tea taste with the fruit notes around the edges. Then, when I completed the sip, the aftertaste was left more jackfruit than tea but with some tea flavor. The evolution was very unique and enjoyable.

DavidsTea Mini Review: Watermelon Mint
Here we have another case of a blend in which the flavor and the aroma do not match...and it is not at all a bad thing! Welcome to Watermelon Mint.

The mismatch of flavor and aroma is not that they are completely different; the difference is in the strength of each component and how much it reveals itself. As the name suggests, this herbal blend is primarily composed of watermelon and mint notes.

Before trying any of the brewed tea, I breathed the aroma of the dry leaf, and the smell of mint filled my senses, almost overwhelming (though not in a bad way). Breathing deeply, again, mint dominates, again. On the edge lies fruit, somewhat watermelon, but easier called just "fruit notes."

The list of ingredients mentions apple, honeydew melon, carrot, and beetroot in addition to watermelon and mint flavors. These are certainly contributing factors to the "fruit notes," but one would be hard-pressed to pick out their smells from the dry leaf. I am slightly disappointed by the use of artificial flavoring, but without it the watermelon would be next-to-non-existent.

Steeped, mint and watermelon share the nose profile, blending in the aroma, pleasantly. A sip later, my mouth is flooded with watermelon. Despite artificial flavors, the watermelon does not taste fake (like the taste of a watermelon Jolly Rancher does). Rather, it is a clean flavor. In the foretaste, a bit of mint dances on the edges, and it cool-ly settles across the tongue in the aftertaste.

While I drank this blend, cold, as I am sure it was intended, I feel that a hot-brew of this herbal blend would be interesting to say the least, though it might perhaps be a bit odd. It will be an experiment for another time. This is a pleasure to drink cold. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate Watermelon Mint an 88/100.

The DavidsTea summer 2014 collection can be acquired from your local DavidsTea store or their website, here.
These reviews were unsolicited and uncompensated.
Photo credit to DavidsTea.

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