A David’s Tea just opened in my town!! YAY! Unfortunately I am on a strict no-tea-buying diet until I have room in my tea chest for more goodies. So going into a brand new tea shop who’s offerings I’d been very fond of when I was sent them by friends in cities already blessed with a David’s Teas was well, masochistic to say the least. Possibly damaging to my psychological well-being, I think I strained something in exercising my restraint and not buying any loose leaf. So while I simply marveled at all the offerings, I left only with one cup of brewed tea, specifically this Pumpkin Chai.
I love pumpkin (my favorite kind of pie!), and a chai is just the best tea for this time of year in my opinion. As this is one of their limited time only seasonal teas I just had to try it while I could (it narrowly beat out another seasonal selection, the Lemon Cream Pie which also smelled intoxicating). I’m not exactly sure of either the amount of leaf, or the water temperature this was brewed in since the lady behind the counter made it, but I definitely think the water was cooler then boiling. Unlike many other places I get tea I didn’t have to wait half an hour for the drink to cool enough to avoid tongue-scalding, making me think the water was much cooler initially.
In the big tin the tea smelled lovely, a warm black tea note mixed with a subtle combination of chai spices (compared to some of their chais that have peppercorns in them this one was positively mild). There was a hint of the creamy, sweet, slightly…vegetable-y? note of pumpkin as well which seemed to give it a nice depth.
The lady gave me the cup with the tea in one of those little tea pouches and suggested waiting 2-4 minutes to let it steep. No suggestion of sweetening it unlike the package directions so I didn’t, though I think a hint of honey or brown sugar would have really brought out some of the flavours. I went on a walk, and sort of forgot about the pouch of tea, and so it probably steeped 10+ minutes. No bitterness resulted, even when the amount of water the tea was in steadily decreased. The flavour of the liquid tea wasn’t as strong as I had hoped, the black tea was rather milder then most I’ve had before (as evidenced by the fact I was happy to drink it without milk or sugar, generally an absolute necessity when I drink blacks like English breakfast). There was a hint of chai spices, mostly cinnamon that I noted, but again, not terribly strong, more something you noticed when you swallowed. The pumpkin well…I can’t really say I got a real pumpkin note from this. It’s a pretty subtle flavour most of the time so I wasn’t too surprised, and there was definitely another part of the tea that wasn’t “black tea” or “chai spices” but without the title I don’t know if I’d have identified it as pumpkin. More of just a bit of creamy richness to the tea rather then an actual pumpkin taste maybe. I enjoyed this tea, it was nice having a black that I didn’t feel needed any additives, and it was pleasant just to sip on a brisk fall evening.
One other note, I was rather disappointed in the layout of the David’sTea store. The had all their teas in big tins on a shelf behind the counter, necessitating that a sales person bring the tin to you. Now I’m a person who likes shopping on my own, I’ll ask questions if I have them, but otherwise I’m not big on conversing with sales people etc (prefer to slowly come to my own decisions without the pressure of someone standing there waiting) and this layout basically forces you to stand at the counter and chat. The sales people were very nice, friendly and helpful, but I also found them a bit pushy, bringing me all sorts of teas I hadn’t asked for and sticking them under my nose. While many of the David’sTeas teas sounded/looked/smelled amazing and so I’ll be back, I much prefer the layout of tea stores in my town like Teaopia/The Tea Store/Cha Cha Tea who have their teas along the walls and let people sniff and comparison shop undisturbed and on their own. Just my two cents, just in case a David’sTea representative comes across this note :)