8984 Tasting Notes

I started reading Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure over the weekend, after years of seeing clips/screencaps from the anime and being so completely and utterly confused by what the story is actually about. Like, it’s truly wild to me that after such a long time of being aware that Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure exists I was able to go into the manga without having had literally ANY of the plot spoiled…

I actually loved the first volume a lot so I am going to keep reading it; but this is mainly intended to be a tasting note for this tea, which had the distinction of being what I was sipping on while reading.

I usually like Blackberry Blizzard a lot but there were some things bugging me about this mug. For starters, the blackberry actually had a bit of a medicinal type of currant note to it while was unpleasant and unexpected. Secondly, the cream flavour that finishes out the sip it certainly starting to age because it tasted a bit chalky.

It’s time to replace this bag with some fresh tea, I think.

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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90

Picked up 50g of this while I was in SK over the holidays!

I had a slight fear I wouldn’t like it as much anymore because it’s been a few years and my tastes have changed so much, but I actually felt like I had a deeper appreciation of the vanilla flavouring in the blend! It’s so simple, and so clear in the delivery of a really smooth and semi sweet vanilla that doesn’t lean too heavily or require a cream flavour for support. Years later, I have such a stronger appreciation for how MASSIVELY HARD it is to achieve a vanilla flavour like that without support like coconut/cream flavouring/white chocolate and that makes this even better to me!

Sometimes, simplicity just wins.

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73
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
8984 tasting notes

From over the weekend, sipped on while reading a couple chapters of the Kurt Vonnegut novel I’ve been trying to get through during January…

I don’t like how the quality of the cup of tea produced by this blend can very so greatly depending on your scoop but also brewing parameters; I really appreciate consistency in a blend. However that said, I thought this cup was excellent. Definitely had that sweet, creamy cooked milk/caramel sweetness that I want in a caramel tea and that salinity was also present but not dominating. I thought it was smooth overall, albeit oilier in the mouthfeel from the melted caramel pieces.

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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69

Tried to make this again, but since I found it so thin last time I just used a fillable teabag and left the bag in the cup instead of removing it at a set point. I think this improved the overall experience; there was definitely a sweet spot where I was getting rich lavender and coconut and a hint of sweet, fruity mango. The mango really never gets to a strength that matches with the dry leaf smell, though. Unfortunately that sweet spot does pass, and the last few sips of the mug were far too heavy on the lavender and had a slightly sudsy type of taste before of this…

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90

Latte!

I was having an interesting conversation with a coworker yesterday about how houjicha is such a prevalent and commercial flavour in beverage/food in Japan but largely unknown here in Canada and we were loosely speculating if maybe the next progression after the “matcha bubble” inevitably bursts/hits a peak in North America will be an exploration of houjicha…

I’m not sure if we were reached a conclusion to our conversation, really, but it did prompt me to bring in my houjicha matcha/powder to work today so that I could make us a houjicha latte since this coworker had never experienced one but really loves straight houjicha. Unfortunately the only milk I could find in the office that she could drink (she’s lactose intolerant) was rice milk, so we ended up making rice milk houjicha lattes…

Y’know, the rice milk complimented the dark, toasty and nutty notes of the houjicha really well then and we both ended up LOVING our lattes. The profile was very, very nutty with a roasty top note and more of a caramelized something to the undertone. Smooth, not even a little bit gritty – very rich and still pretty creamy despite the use of rice milk. I wish the milk had actually frothed up, but that’s just the downside to using non-traditional milks, I suppose…

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Made a mug of this when I got home from work today. While the mug itself was delicous and quickly guzzled down, I’ve been fighting the soothing lavender all evening ever since. It’s like drinking it relaxed me a little bit too much and I was ready to head to bed for the evening at like 8PM – which is just too early. I’ve got stuff to do! Maybe that’s placebo, but whether it is or not this mug hit me HARD.

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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73

A mug from the weekend!

Definitely an enjoyable cup, but I’d 100% forgotten that there’s bergamot in the blend so when I took my first few initial sips I was a little surprised and taken aback with the mix of nutmug, clove, and warming spice profile in generic juxtaposed with that lighter, citrusy note. However, once the initial shock had passed I was super into the profile. The little flicker of woody and malty notes too were perfect, as well as the hint of strawberry.

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91

Just had to order this one again in my Lufa box – it was that good/memorable! This time around I shared a bit of it with some coworkers, and all were quite impressed with how delicious the apple and ginger notes were; like a lightly spiced apple cider vinegar profile or even a hard cider…

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This is a bottled iced tea/RTD that I saw in a local “health food store” that I decided to pick up and try; primarily actually because of the haskap. Since moving to Montreal I see a lot of haskap juices/jams but it’s not actually a berry I’d ever been exposed to before moving. I was curious what it would be like…

This definitely isn’t really a “tea” profile – the drink uses white tea and any character that base tea might have had has 100% been covered by the berry juice. However, the haskap is nice – it’s a thick/dense berry flavour with a little bit of tartness; it reminds me a lot, actually, of a Saskatoon Berry. Otherwise, I’d say it’s sort of blueberry adjacent in terms of flavour.

So, disappointed in this drink as a “iced tea” but happy for the learning experience and exposure to haskap…

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62

This was the last of the four tea sodas, and another one that I found VERY busy in terms of competing flavours. It’s also somewhere in the middle of the four flavours for me, in terms of ranking…

I liked the concept a lot; there was lime in the majority of these but this was the only one where I thought the lime actually tasted distinctly like lime and not just citrus. Lime, berry, and lavender actually all should go really well together; and usually I’m into that pairing. I think the lavender should have been much lighter though because it came off very heavily floral and almost soapy, and I also just don’t know that my brain/palate were fully prepared for carbinated lavender.

Overall, I could probably nurse a can of this over an extended period of time and find it alright but I couldn’t, say, drink a can of it over a lunch hour or anything like that. It’s just a bit too… much.

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Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer originally from the prairies, but recently relocated to Quebec. I was introduced to DAVIDsTEA and started drinking tea fairly casually about six years ago. At some point, that casual hobby became an ingrained part of my daily life; I became a part of a greater community, incorporated tea into my daily routine, and it became my career.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

I drink a balance of flavoured tea and straight/traditional teas – in all formats. I prefer to have a wide, and general knowledge over many types of teas and catagories rather than focus on any one specific tea: a jack of all teas, master of none. Loose, bagged, matcha, Western style, iced, latted, Gong Fu…

You name it, I probably drink it.

In that vein, I’ll drink just about any type of tea – the only ones I have a particularly strong distaste for are green teas and Chai, with some exceptions of course. I have a weird relationship with Sheng pu’erh, but have been gradually increasing the amount of it I consume – currently I have a particular fascination with Yiwu Sheng. Other types of tea that I greatly enjoy are Yancha and other dark, heavily oxidized or roasted oolongs, most shou, black tea, and compressed/aged white teas. I’ll absolutely try anything once though; and I like to have an open mind and explore lots of tea types, even if I have reservations. I’ll probably never leave that “Exploratory” phase…

Usually I drink my tea straight, but I’m not opposed to additions if I’m in the right mood. If I ever add something to a tea, I will ALWAYS call it out in the tasting note though. If I’ve not mentioned an addition, you’re safe to assume it’s been prepared straight up.

I like to listen to music when drinking tea, especially when I’m brewing a large pot at a time or steeping Gong Fu. Often I curate very intentional tea and music pairings, and sometimes I share them here in my tasting reviews. Music is something that I find can deeply affect the experience of having tea.

Favourite flavour notes/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.

Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strong Chai spice profiles, mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, artificial tasting mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/obsessed with: Sheng from Yiwu, Yancha (Qilan in particular), anything with a strong sweet potato note. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas! Searching for a really good caramel flavoured blend, ideally with a black tea base.

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Jade Pixiu Dragon: Whitaker
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Dragon: Pablo
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Sculpted Pig: Nelly
Sculpted Tuxedo Cat: Pekoe
Sculpted Tabby Cat: Marmalade
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Stringray: Irwin
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Ceramic Cat: Saffron
Wood Fired Man: Leopold

Currently I’m employed in the tea department of the DAVIDsTEA head office. While I’m still sharing my own personal thoughts on new & existing DAVIDsTEA blends, I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any comments expressed are a reflection of my own thoughts and opinions, and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of the company. Any DAVIDsTEA blends you currently see with a numeric score were reviewed prior to my being hired there and have not been adjusted since becoming a DAVIDsTEA employee.

Location

Montreal, QC, CA

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