Recently paid a visit to the newly opened David’s Tea in Oakbrook Mall. I thought it was an interesting approach to the design because it’s designed to feel very fresh and minimalist in both their interior design of the shop as well as their packaging. A young (very hipster looking) woman was working that day and couldn’t have been nicer or more friendly. She asked if it was our first time (I was shopping with a friend, post Friday-taco-lunch) and we said yes then she explained the layout of the store and also a bit about the how the teas are broken down into categories, etc.
I had my eye on either one of their samplers or to just buy a couple of small sachets of a couple of different teas. I opted for the latter after asking if they had an equivalent to a Russian Caravan. She asked me to describe what it tasted like and I replied, “Kind of smoky and musky and like old leather.” She immediately pulled down the canister of Lapsang Suchong Star. She flipped open one side that just has a small amount to smell and it smelled like a bonfire and cigars. I told her, “That’s it. Let’s try it.” So I got a small sachet of it and we discussed it a bit more. She said it was a bit strong for her but that they did have some customers who really enjoyed it. I told her I wasn’t a smoker but I think there’s something about teas that have that smoky flavor that remind me of my grandfather who smoked cigars, and therefore drinking it was like drinking memories. She said she understood.
The description provided by David’s Tea on their website for Lapsong Suchong Star:
“If you like single-malt whisky and fine cigars, then this is the tea for you. Most say it was invented when soldiers took over a tea factory in Xingun (Star Village) during the Qing dynasty in China. When they finally left, the workers had to dry their tea in record time to sell it at the market. In desperation they lit open fires of pine to speed the process, and wood-smoked Lapsang Souchong was born.”
My friend also liked the scent of the Lapsang Suchong Star and ended up buying a small canister of it.
The other canister that immediately piqued my interest was the Cardamom French Toast. Much different on the spectrum. This tea makes you think of exactly how it’s described by smelling it. Like having sweets in the morning. I got a small sachet of each – she explained that it would make about 8-10 cups which is a good amount of time to truly decide if you like it or not.
According to David’s Tea the Cardamom French Toast is described as:
“Something about cardamom just makes us happy. We love its rich, fragrant taste any way we can get it. One of our faves? The buttery, cardamom-scented breads popular in Sweden and Finland. And since cardamom toast is so great, it only stands to reason that cardamom French toast would be out of this world. With black tea, cardamom, cane sugar and cinnamon, this rich, sweet blend tastes just like the decadent breakfast of our dreams. Only this is one brunch item you’ll be wanting all day long.”
I tried both that weekend. The Lapsang Suchong Star was SMOKY!! As in you’re drinking a 100 proof bonfire smoky. It actually might be a bit TOO strong for my palate. Even the scent after brewing was a bit overbearing. I will have to try a few more cups and see if that changes and if so, will note that to this post accordingly. My friend really enjoyed the taste immediately, so I’m also curious to see in the future if based on steeping times I might be able to better control the strength of the smoky flavor.
The Cardamom French Toast was quite delightful. It’s naturally sweet, so if you do drink sugar in your tea, I would advise tasting it first and either not adding any or just adding a small amount.
As far as the quality and flavor of both teas, I would highly recommend David’s Tea and am looking forward to going back and trying some others, which naturally, I will report on here on my blog!
Have you tried any teas from David’s? If so, please comment below!
Until next time… xo