I have to say, trying to buy my first 24 Days of Tea calendar has both a stressful an extremely impressive experience. For those who are not familiar, David’s Tea is a Canadian company that sells loose leaf teas, tea cups, tea pots, and other tea related things (you get the gist). The 24 Days of Tea is their advent calendar that provides a different flavour of loose leaf tea for each day of December.
Please bear with my long winded explanation of the calendar. My discovery of the calendar started when I was on a hunt for a tea subscription box. I personally am not a tea drinker but my mom is and she has been interested in trying loose leaf teas. Her interest really started around the time that I got into subscription boxes so I thought it would be cool if I could find one.
Unfortunately, I was not overly thrilled with the cost of any of the boxes that I was seeing. That is when I stumbled over blog posts and articles talking about the 24 Days of Tea calendar from 2013. People seemed to absolutely rave over this thing. The more I looked into it, the more interested I became.
Many of the posts I read talked about how quickly the calendar sold out so I knew that I had to be on the ball to purchase this. I had been obsessed with when this would be released since early to mid summer probably. I finally found out the release date and set an alarm so I could wake up early and be online to buy it. I purchased mine within minutes of it going on sale but I do think that it was available on the website for at least 12 hours before it sold out. I was just happy to have gotten what I wanted!
I ordered this package on November 1 (Saturday) and it came today which is November 4 (Tuesday). I know that it wasn’t going through customs or anything but that still was only 1 full business day before it made it between provinces. Very cool!
I am kicking myself for not taking pictures as I unboxed this package! I don’t know if I have ever seen a package in the mail that was so well packed. I am so completely impressed with this. This box was so big and was jam packed with paper and those air packets that are like giant, less-fun versions of bubble wrap. They had also stamped the outside of the box with “fragile.” I don’t think anything could have happened to this box short of them throwing it off of the truck somewhere.
As of right now the 24 Days of Tea is sold out online but if you are interested in looking at their other products, you can check out their website here: http://www.davidstea.com/
Now on to the good stuff. I ordered two things in this order. My 24 Days of Tea and also a mesh tea ball so that my mom can actually make the tea.
First, let’s talk about the actual advent calendar. This thing is heavy duty! The box itself is pretty thick because each days tea comes in its own little tin. From what I have read, you can get 2-3 cups out of each tin which is really nice. The sides are held together with a magnet and has a ribbon to pull it up. I do find that when opening it, you need to be a bit careful. I feel like I am afraid that the tins are going to fall through the door prematurely.
Now, the website and the back of the box do tell you what teas are in the calendar (they don’t tell you which day will be what flavour). This may help you to decide if it is worth purchasing for you or not. I am going to post the list of teas at the bottom of this post with a spoiler title so if you do not want to know the flavours, don’t go past that title. Although the box is out of stock, I am not sure if they have a restock planned or not so it may be of interest to keep your eyes open just in case. The calendar sells for $34.50 which I thought was fairly reasonable considering what it contains.
Next was the tea ball. This wasn’t anything especially interesting, I just wanted to make sure that she would be able to make the teas without issue. This tea ball sells for $4.50 and is reusable (for a long time, if not forever) so I think it is worth the price.
Each online order also comes with 3 tea samples which I think it really nice of them. Each sample contains 5g which is enough for one cup of tea. The packaging also includes the brewing instructions for each particular flavour.
The first sample I got was Sweet Apple Cider which is one of their fruit infusions and is a product of Germany. “This fresh-from-the-orchard blend tastes just like a hot comforting cup of old fashioned cider. The only thing missing is the cinnamon stick.” The ingredients are: apple, apple pomace (pomace, citric acid), sweet blackberry leaves, apple flavouring (artificial apple flavouring, concentrated apple juice), artificial vanilla and cream flavouring. This tea is caffeine free and should be brewed to 96°C (205°F) and steeped for 4-7 minutes. Even as a non-tea drinker this one sounds appealing because I do love apple flavoured things and apple cider. If my mom decides not to try this one, I may give it a go.
The second sample is called Brazillionaire and it is a black tea from Sri Lanka. “This fabulously opulent blend combines black tea with whole brazil nuts, raisins, and coconut. Trust us – it tastes like a million bucks.” The ingredients are: black tea, Brazil nuts, golden raisins, coconut, natural and artificial flavouring. It has medium amounts of caffeine and has the same steeping instructions as the Sweet Apple Cider. She does tend to stick to black teas so this could be one that she enjoys.
The last sample that we got is called Buddha’s Blend which is a white tea and it is a product of China. “We don’t like to brag , but we’re pretty sure we just found the key to achieving nirvana. Just sup a cup of this delicate blend.” The ingredients are: white tea, green tea, jasmine pearls, white hibiscus blossoms, artificial flavouring. This one also has medium caffeine but should be brewed at 90°C (194°F) and should be steeped for 4-5 minutes. This one sounds awfully earthy so it may not be her cup of tea (pun completely intended).
I am hoping that as she opens each day, I will be able to keep up with it and give you full descriptions of each tea plus what she thinks of them!
If you do not want to know the flavours that will be in this years 24 Days of Tea box than don’t read any further.
Once again, they do not tell you what days each flavour falls on but I will tell you the names of each tea and a couple of the key flavours within them. I’ve just listed them in alphabetical order:
Apple Custard (herbal tea) – apples, golden raisins, honey-scented chamomile, coriander, vanilla
Bubbie’s Baklava (oolong tea) – honey-scented oolong with candied fruits, nuts, and spices
Buddha’s Blend (white tea) – white tea, green tea, jasmine pearls, hibiscus blossoms
Coco Chai Rooibos (rooibos tea) – rooibos chai, cinnamon, ginger, hint of coconut
Cocomint Cream (herbal tea) – mint, apples, coconut
Crème Caramel Rooibos (rooibos tea) – red rooibos, caramel pieces
Eggnog (rooibos tea) – green rooibos, white chocolate chips, meringue powder
English Breakfast (black tea) – Sri Lankan black tea, hint of honey
Forever Nuts (herbal tea) – almonds, apples, cinnamon
Genmaicha (green tea) – Japanese steamed green tea, roasted and popped rice
Lime Gelato (green tea) – green tea, apples, lime (with pineapple and lemongrass)
Main Squeeze (mate tea) – green yerba maté, candied papaya, pineapple, safflower
Organic Cream of Earl Grey (black tea) – black tea, bergamot oil, vanilla
Organic Detox (green tea) – rooibos, green tea, lemongrass, ginger, juniper berries, ginkgo
Organic Mother’s Little Helper (herbal tea) – peppermint, lemongrass, valerian root, chamomile
Organic Peppermint Amour (herbal tea) – peppermint leaves from Oregon
Organic Silk Dragon Jasmine (green tea) – Chinese green tea, jasmine flowers **the description of this one on the website is quite interesting, I am going to post it just because it sounds so neat. “Made from premium green tea, our Silk Dragon is a limited-edition treasure. To create it, night-blooming jasmine is gathered in the morning and kept cool all day. In the evening, when the flowers burst open and release their scent, they are placed with the tea until midnight. This is repeated with fresh flowers over the course of five nights, infusing the tea with a most magical flavour.” How cool does that sound…
Organic Vanilla Chai (black tea) – cinnamon, black tea, liquorice root, ginger, vanilla
Pink Flamingo (herbal tea) – hibiscus blossoms, apple, carrot flakes, blackberry leaves, eucalyptus leaves, lemongrass, tangerine, orange (they suggest trying this one iced)
Quangzhou Milk Oolong (oolong tea) – Chinese oolong tea
Read My Lips (black tea) – Chinese black tea, peppermint, chocolate, pink peppercorns (plus little sprinkles in the shape of lips)
Santa’s Secret (black tea) – black tea, peppermint
Sleigh Ride (herbal tea) – apple, hibiscus blossoms, pineapple, papaya, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds, popped rice
Sugar Plum Forest (rooibos tea) – apple, hibiscus, rooibos, ginger, cinnamon, plum, cardamom, star anise, cloves
Alright, so that is all of the tea flavours. If you managed to get your hands on a calendar or have tried any of these teas before. Let me know in the comments 🙂