There was this old Davy Crocket mug at my grandmother’s farmhouse that my cousins and I would fight over. I can remember it was always such a treat to sip tea from it in the evenings. Of course there was more milk than tea in those days, but the aroma and taste of steeping tea always stayed with me as a nostalgic reminder of farmhouse visits and footed pajama sleepovers. When I went through my first heartbreak my mother came to my rescue and the first thing she did when she walked through my doors was prepare me a large mug of chamomile tea. Tea has always been woven into my daily life, now, as an adult I often find myself preparing a mug of herbal tea before bed or bringing along a travel diffuser for my morning commute into the office.
I flipped through The Tea Book (DK Publishing) by Linda Gaylard, in preparation for my Tea Tasting adventure. It is essentially an encyclopedia on tea history, preparation, tradition and etiquette. It was interesting to read through – I learned that it used to be customary at high tea to pour milk into the teacup first, the cold milk helped to cool the bone china so that when the tea was poured it would not crack the delicate cup. I also learned that it is now considered customary to sip champagne alongside a cup of tea while enjoying afternoon tea (bonus!).
Although I really enjoy a warm cup of tea I would not consider myself to be an aficionado. I was excited to learn more about tea culture when I found out that David’s Tea was opening a store on Roncesvalles Ave, a location that is perfectly situated at the halfway point on my bike commute home from work. David’s has managed to take tea out of the stuffy white glove tradition and into the contemporary, urban cups of the city landscape. The shop offers hundreds of varieties of tea and every time I walk in I feel like I’m in an adult candy shop (FYI: adults also like regular candy shops).
I really enjoy the loose leaf process. Partly because it makes me feel like a super cool apothecary in my Parkdale kitchen, but also because it allows me the control to put as much tea in my water as I want, providing me with more control than a boring old tea bag.
5 Soothing Sips by David’s Tea
Is this tea or dessert? This beverage was seriously yummy. Naturally sweet and even a little bit creamy, this Black Tea tastes of chocolate and coconut with an after taste of nuts. The tea tastes amazing piping hot, served clear- however I could see how it would be equally successful in a latte type scenario (served warm or on ice).
This one took a little longer to grow on me than the other. When I took my first sip I thought “this tastes the way straw smells”- but then it started to make an impression on me. It was soothing and relaxing and the taste was earthy and comforting. I added a little bit of lemon and agave syrup and it made things extra calming. This Japanese Green Tea is also both kosher and organic.
North African Mint
I love Mint teas- it’s one of my standard go-tos, especially in the cooler months. David’s North African Mint is a Green Tea that provides all of the cooling goodness found in menthol with an added kick of spice. After the initial sweet sensation of peppermint this tea reveals some hidden flavours like cardamom, ginger and fennel.
Naturally sweet and fruity, this tea tastes like the berry version of a hot cider. The tea is upbeat and even a little energizing (I did a little dance after I drank it, so…), which is great considering Rooibos tea contains zero caffeine.
Ginger Peach Moringa
This Herbal Tea is a little bit wacky. I was really expecting to be overloaded with Peach goodness, but the flavor is a little more complex than that. The Moringa tree is full of nutritious vitamins; mixed with peach and ginger it creates a healthy, zingy and spicy flavor. David’s recommend’s the Ginger Peach Moringa as an herbal cleanse- however you don’t have to commit to a detox to enjoy this aromatic blend of unique taste sensations.
Written by Erica Mawson @EricaMawson