Review of the new DAVIDsTEA winter/holiday collection coming up. Starting with the one I was most looking forward to, Caramel Shortbread. The loose tea smells a bit too fruity, but definitely the aroma of a caramel shortbread in there. Reviews on the teas in this collection seem hit and miss, you either love them, hate them or just can’t get over the stevia in some of them.
This is the second one I have tried and both have a fair amount of stevia and I got a headache drinking them. Not sure if I am just more sensitive to it with everything going on in my life right now or if there is more in them causing it. But if you are sensitive to stevia, I recommend giving this one a miss. It is not as bad as Let It Snow, the DAVIDsTEA tea of the month for November, but enough to cause sensitivities.
DAVIDsTEA Caramel Shortbread Ingredients and Steeping Instructions
“Shortbread cookies are the star of every dessert table. They’re rich, sweet and filled with buttery goodness – who can say no to that? So it goes without saying that this classic holiday treat makes for a seriously delicious tea. Our version has all the melt-in-your mouth richness of shortbread baked into a blend of willow bark, caramelized almond and cherry. Resistance is futile.”
Ingredients in DAVIDsTEA Caramel Shortbread Tea: Apple, raisins, brown sugar, elderberries, willow bark, almonds, hazelnuts, sour cherries, raspberries, stevia extract, natural and artificial almond and hazelnut flavouring.
Steeping Instructions for DAVIDsTEA Caramel Shortbread Tea: 1-2 Perfect Spoons per 16oz near boiling (194℉ – 203℉ or 90℃ – 95℃) water. Steep 4-7 minutes.
I steeped mine for the full 7 minutes after reading the opinions of others who had tried it. The tea does have a butter caramel scent to it. Not quite shortbread, more caramel corn to me with a fruity background. I think I would have preferred it without the sour cherry for a straight up caramel shortbread tea, why mess with a staple?
DAVIDsTEA Caramel Shortbread Tea Review
I did use a sample tin for this, so it can impact the mix of ingredients. Something to consider as sometimes I love samples but hate them when I get a bag as you get more (or less) of some ingredients.
First off, the apple taste to this is a bit off putting and not what you would expect from Caramel Shortbread. The sour cherry, I expected but it is more Caramel Apple than Caramel Shortbread. You can taste the stevia. Not nearly as much as with Let It Snow, but it is there. Sure, it adds to the sweetness needed for caramel flavouring but I know quite a few people who usually do not have issues with stevia in teas and this collection just seems to have more or stevia from a different source as lots have mentioned the mild side effects.
It does have a buttery taste to the apple-caramel-cherry flavour but the shortbread is only there as an aftertaste mingling with stevia. I really wanted to love this, but I drank about 5oz before the headache hit.
DAVIDsTEA Caramel Shortbread Tea Latte
I know others have had issues with making this as a latte, but since I knew I wasn’t going to finish it, I thought I would give it a try. I had used the 7g sample in 9oz water. So not the 2-3 perfect spoons I would usually use in a bigger latte mug. This mug is only 11oz (12 if the milk foam sits above it). Using more of the loose fruit infusion mix may have enough sour cherry and apple to curdle the milk. I also allowed my tea to cool a bit before making a latte since I was taking photos of it.
As a latte, I found Caramel Shortbread more drinkable. The fruitier taste was calmed by by the creaminess and I got more of the shortbread taste I wanted. The stevia taste is also less noticeable. I still got a headache from it, just didn’t taste that dry stevia flavour. It still tastes a bit more like caramel corn than caramel shortbread, but a lot more true to the name than without milk.
Overall, not buying this one again. I can see some people loving it, but the stevia headache isn’t worth the smooth buttery flavour when it makes a decent latte.