I am someone who does not like to add sugar to their tea. No sugar. Definitely no artificial sweetners. And no stevia. So personally, I don’t love when tea companies decide to pre-sweeten my drinks for me. I’m looking at you, DAVIDsTEA! Now don’t get me wrong…sprinkles, caramel bits, ice cream bits, and all those other bits and bobs that go into making a flavored tea fun and exciting, I enjoy. What I do not enjoy is this fairly new trend of DAVIDsTEA adding stevia to everything, sometimes in addition to adding actual sugar. Such is the case with their Caramel Shortbread herbal blend that they brought out (surprisingly early) for the 2017 Holiday Season.
Caramel Shortbread combines apples, raisins, brown sugar, elderberries, willow bark (a new ingredient to me that I am excited to try), almonds, hazelnuts, cherries, raspberries, stevia extract, and flavors. Though I don’t love it, I get adding sugar to capture a certain flavor but why does it then also need stevia? For some people, such as myself, stevia has a cloying and really unpleasant aftertaste so more times than not, its addition completely ruins a tea for me. That is why going into this, I am a bit hesitant.
I brewed this for 4 minutes in 200 degree water. As it steeped, I noticed it smelled a lot like another nutty herbal by DAVIDsTEA, Forever Nuts. It also reminds me of their Caramel Corn blend, which I suppose makes sense given the caramel.
As I drink this, to me, it also tastes like Forever Nuts but with stevia. Nutty and sweet. A bit too sweet but if I look past the stevia, I can kind of see how the sweetness lends itself to a more caramel-like flavor. It is also buttery, which is interesting and brings my mind to the melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies I think DAVIDsTEA is trying to capture. However, I am surprised I am not getting more of the berry/cherry notes given there is elderberries, raspberries AND cherries in the mix. That might be because I am distracted by the stevia but I find those flavors missing completely, which is a shame especially when you consider that without the sour cherries, this could be prepped as a latte.
Ultimately, I can see where DAVIDsTEA is going with this but like so many of their other blends recently with potential, I am completely put off by the addition of stevia. Luckily for many, that won’t be an issue so for those of you who don’t mind this ingredient, this is something worth trying. Also, for those that like Forever Nuts or Caramel Corn, this is in the same family and therefore might be something for you.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy: DAVIDs Tea
This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.