Cartems has been on my wishlist since its pop-up shop opened on the corner of Carrall and Hastings. As I walked into the small store, I picked up a sample of the Earl Grey donut on the counter. I don't like drinking Earl Grey tea, so I was surprised that I actually enjoyed this dense cake donut with a light yet fragrant Earl Grey flavour. The top was decorated with an Earl Grey glaze and rose petals. I probably should've ordered that instead of the Mexican mole I got. This chocolate cake donut was light and moist, but the flavour wasn't the rich dark chocolate I was expecting. The glaze that was a mix of chocolate and a variety of spices including 4 kinds of chili, cumin, coriander, star anise and cinnamon didn't offer a strong enough kick for my liking either. The donut was also a bit small for $3.
I still remember when there were long lines outside the shop when it first opened. People lined up daily and the donuts would be sold out long before closing time. These donuts make a good novelty item or a nice afternoon snack, but for me they didn't live up to the hype. The ingredients were indeed very good quality, yet the taste was not as impressive as I had expected. Although I can see myself having an occasional craving for a fresh and moist Earl Grey donut!