After my recent excellent experience with DAVIDsTEA, I decided to expand my horizons in terms of their tea selection. Given that Christmas was rapidly approaching, I decided to pick up one of their holiday samplers. In particular, I picked up the Merry And Bright collection.
This collection consists of four teas and includes an appropriately colored red metallic “Perfect Spoon” to measure out the tea. While the spoon isn’t the point of this review, I feel obligated to mention that their Perfect Spoon is a bit different from the traditional perfect spoon available through other retailers. Specifically, it’s about 50% larger than the competition. In my experience, however, there is a good reason for this. Their teas seem to taste better when brewed with what they consider the perfect amount of tea!
#1 Zest Wishes
We’re starting with the one failure from this collection, at least in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong; this is a decent tea that tastes just the way I expected. DAVIDsTEA bills it as a zesty blend of “warm cinnamon, cardamom, and zesty orange peel,” and they aren’t wrong. The cinnamon and cardamom are well-balanced and rich, and the orange peel provides a decent kick to go along with the lightly caffeinated oolong tea.
Unfortunately, the orange zest was a bit much for me and caused a near instant bout of severe heartburn. Truth be told this wasn’t a surprise. I’ve always been a bit touchy with citrus, mainly orange. Oh well, live and learn! I can’t fairly judge a tea until I’ve at least given it a chance.
DAVIDsTEA claims they take their french toast very seriously. In my opinion, they’re right! When I first saw that they had a french toast tea, I couldn’t imagine it tasting anything like one of my favorite breakfasts. Boy was I wrong! The Cardamom French Toast tea is rich, creamy, and tastes just like a buttery slice of french toast.
It’s a unique, sweet and spicy black blend that is perfectly balanced with a moderate level of caffeine. DAVIDsTEA even managed to nail the aroma! It actually smells like french toast drenched with rich maple syrup. The only perceived difference between drinking this tea and eating french toast is the sugar content. Well, that and the fact that I won’t feel guilty drinking this all day.
At first blush, Candy Cane Crush is definitively festive! With candy cane pieces and snowflake sprinkles mixed into the tea, it has the appearance of being quite literally made for the holiday season. But does it taste festive? DAVIDsTEA bills it as a sweet, icy-cool peppermint black tea, so candy canes do seem to be what they’re going after, and that does have a sort of traditional festivity to it. The addition of chocolate to the mix results in an aroma that reminds me of a peppermint patty; not festive per se, but appetizing nonetheless.
On the flavor side, I’d give this tea a solid 3.5 out of five stars. The peppermint is spot on and fits their “icy-cool” description. Ironically, the only downside to it in my book is, ironically, the chocolate. While I love chocolate, the combination of chocolate and peppermint ends up mellowing out the tea a bit more than I’d like. In short, I’d like to taste a bit more peppermint and a bit less chocolate. That said, this is still a pretty good tea that’s well worth trying.
I’ve always thought of chocolate tea as a bit of a conundrum. While I love chocolate, and I love tea, in almost every case attempting to blend the two leaves you with little more than a watered-down cup of hot chocolate. Call me crazy, but hot chocolate is supposed to be rich and creamy, and somehow nobody ever seems to understand that!
I will say that DAVIDsTEA did a better job than most with their rendition. It’s very rich chocolate, but still too thin for my taste. A touch of milk or cream improves things immensely, making this an ideal chocolate tea in my opinion. Even without that, it’s a more than adequate attempt, and I’m happy to drink the rest of my supply. Will I order it again? I’m not sure. It’s possible but unlikely; I prefer teas that I can drink straight.
Merry & Bright Collection Review
All told, this sampler was a resounding win in my book. While I did end up with one tea that I absolutely can not drink without an instant migraine, the rest of the selection was at least well worthwhile, and I have to admin the Cardamom French Toast will almost certainly be something I’ll buy again. My initial thoughts on DAVIDsTEA were that they know what they’re doing with unique teas, and this sampler proved the point quite nicely. Given their massive collection (over 100 varieties), and numerous seasonal selections, I have a feeling that they are going to keep me busy for quite a while… and I’m perfectly okay with that!