In an occasion of tea-lovers good luck, I happened upon some single-serving packets of David’s Tea in my work kitchen (in the shared cupboard). My only conclusion is that someone won the teas in our recent holiday party, and found that loose leaf tea didn’t suit them so gave them up for the shared consumption of all. (Or perhaps they only like a particular type of tea and so the variety pack wasn’t necessary.) Their dislike is my gain!
First off – what a GREAT way to try new teas. I know that David’s Tea offers free samples to customers who shop online, but why don’t they offer this for in-store purchases too? (Perhaps with free shipping over $50, they’re trying to encourage online shopping? I’d be all for that if I was just replacing favorites, and didn’t want to try new things.. but smelling the teas is a fun part of the tea-shopping experience for me, and often the staff in-person have urged me to try new things…) They should really consider giving away samples with purchases in-store too. After all- it’s a great, low-commitment way of trying more flavours (especially if the flavours were chosen based on what you purchased..) and you know if you try more tea, you’re going to find a new favourite and buy more!
So Jumpy Monkey was the first one I grabbed from the shared cupboard (though there are many still there tempting me with their tea-y goodness). It is described as “sweet energy” on the David’s Tea website and includes Argentinean mate, roasted peaberry coffee beans, almonds, white chocolate and “other roasted barks and roots” which from the ingredient list would appear to include carob, clover, oat straw, and cocoa nibs. The package also indicates that there is vanilla in the tea, though it isn’t listed on the website. The package also lets the consumer know that the coffee beans are rainforest alliance (certified?).
Oat straw huh? Neigh.
The scent dry is slightly coffee scented, with a bit of smokiness that I sometimes associate with yerba mate. Steeped up, the scent is even a stronger coffee scent, and there is definitely a coffee taste to the steeped tea, but again with that smokiness and a bit of ‘dryness’ as well. There is also a slight sweetness (mind you I added sweetener). I found that the tea lacked the bitterness that I usually associate with the aftertaste of coffee though – which was great! I didn’t have milk in this tea, but I think it would be really good with just a drop to mellow out the dryness a little bit. It is also DARK when steeped up. I kind of regret having this at work where I couldn’t get a good ‘in the mug’ photo for you to show off just how dark this tea is – very similar to weak coffee.
I’ve talked a little about yerba mate in a past post so that’s where the “jumpy” comes from – sort of. Mate is supposed to provide the energy-boosting/stimulating effect of caffeine, but without the ‘jitters’ often associated with coffee.
My conclusion – this is a really great coffee alternative tea. If you have a coffee lover in your life –this might not turn them away from the coffee pot for good, but it might convince them to join you for a pot of tea more frequently.
I made up a second cup of this tea using the same leaves, and it was just as flavourful – but this time I added milk, which gave it a warm richness and smooth body which was wonderful! It however, was a lot less “coffee” and a lot more “tea” to me; still with that slight smokiness.
The only problem I had with this tea – and it is most likely due to the fact that it was a pre-packaged sample, rather than freshly chosen from a bin at the store – the fannings/dust. There was a lot of crushed material in the tea, which obviously makes it’s way through my beloved Tuffy strainer, and made the tea slightly less appealing. If I remember in the future, I’ll bring in some of those T-bags from home for these sample packs at work.