Hello and welcome to my first day of tea blogging! (You may insert a fanfare here if you like. I know that I am, in my head.)
Why start a tea blog on December 1st you might ask. Why not start the day I thought of it, or else wait for January first? Well, the answer is simple, my friends: the DAVIDsTEA advent calendar. It’s managed to sell out for the second year in a row (out of two years of making the things at all, to my knowledge), and also for the second year in a row, I have been one of the many happy tea-lovers to get my hands on one of these beauties. So, for these first 24 days, I plan to make my way through this advent calendar. After that, a world of tea in my… far too full tea-cupboard and top of bookshelf awaits, as well as the seemingly infinite amount of tea in production around the world.
My hope is that by the end of 1001 days I will have sampled a nice cross-section, and have shared my discoveries with you.
Amusingly, for the beginning of this journey, we’re starting with an alcohol-inspired tea with which to toast the beginning. That being said, I’m not much of an alcohol fan at all. I cook more with alcohol than I drink it, and my idea of a good drink is a bit of Irish cream in my tea. No really, that’s pretty much the extent of my alcohol intake (though the very rare exception may be made). As such, I don’t have a point of reference on this front, but will still be glad to talk about the tea as I find it. If you’re looking for someone who can compare it to the beverage to which it gave its name… I suggest looking at some other Steepster reviews.
Day 1: Buttered Rum (black) by DAVIDsTEA
Ingredients: Organic: Black tea, coconut flakes, vanilla beans, cornflower petals. With organic and natural flavouring*.
Brewed: 1 tbsp of tea brewed loose in 2-cup pot with freshly boiled water.
First cup: Brewed for 5 minutes
The flavour has a bit of a dry quality to it, I think it’s between the coconut flakes and the vanilla… though I think (in mentally comparing it to DAVIDsTEA’s old Irish Cream tea) I can pick out the flavour (or at least the astringency) of the cornflowers.
Second cup: Same steep, approx 25 minutes brewed.
The flavours are stronger, though it doesn’t seem bitter-oversteeped. That being said I added milk to it after a few sips anyway. The addition gave it a rather smooth quality, and definitely brought out the butter part of the “buttered rum”.
Third cup: Resteep (a few hours later), approx 10 minutes brewed
Tastes rather watered down. Drinkable, but not something I’d really go after. So, more of a one-steep wonder. (I may try adding a black teabag to the resteep next time and see if that adds enough body while still letting a hint of flavour come through….)
Fourth cup: Same resteep, longer brewing time
Flavour stronger now (thankfully), but still not quite right with me. Still a little astringent, and coconut seems very predominant.
My overall impression: Not bad. Not great — I prefer teas that can steep better the second time, and while the flavour certainly wasn’t unappealing, it wasn’t something I would go out of my way for either. This isn’t surprising though, I’m generally not one for coconut when given the choice, or alcoholic beverages for that matter (though as with everything, there are exceptions….) I’ve also heard that this goes really well with some sugar. I’ll try that again, and may adjust my ratings/feelings if I find it better that way. But still, not bad overall.
My rating: B- 72%. Certainly passable, but not something I’d go out of my way for. May be far better enjoyed by a more rum-loving audience than I.