8621 Tasting Notes

81

Had this as a hot cuppa earlier in the week and it just really struck me as tasting eerily like some kind of cranberry flavoured cereal or granola that I’ve had in the not too recent past. It was delicious but also strongly a deja vu type moment, and I couldn’t pick my finger on exactly what type of cranberry cereal/granola type thing I was being reminded of…

Damn if it didn’t make me hungry though!

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drank Pink Lemonade by DAVIDsTEA
8621 tasting notes

Hot cuppa from last night – it’s been a while since I last had this tea and it just felt right.

I was really craving something tart/sour and this really hit the nail on the head; pretty acidic and tangy sharp lemonade notes with a hint of acidic pineapple. However, also still some sweetness to soften those really intense tart notes. It was actually really refreshing, and it made me miss when this tea was on the tea wall.

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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75

This was very different from what I expected it to taste like – but I didn’t think it was bad. It’s pretty sweet tasting; definitely a cream type of vanilla flavouring and more of that “banana runts” artificial/overripe banana note that what I’d describe as a more natural tasting banana or the kind of “baked banana” taste I’d attribute to a banana bread. The spices are pretty good – cinnamon dominant with a little bit of cardamom. As a “banana chai” I totally get it; the flavours are there! But it just doesn’t land as a “Banana Bread Chai” to me – there’s just a subtle connotation to the word choice; I expect more of a baked note, some buttery elements if you will!? Or even just a little bit of nuttyness. This is just very sweet and almost waxy banana candy flavouring, vanilla, and chai spice.

It’s good – just not what I wanted from the name.

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Gongfu Sipdown (718)!

This was a free sample in an earlier W2T order this year – I liked the 2018 pressing of this tea quite a bit so I was excited to get to try the 2019. It’s actually something I’d have likely ordered for myself at some point anyway, so it was nice to get my hands on some for free!

I used the whole sample for the session in a larger gaiwan – so about 10g/150ml.

I find the 2019 pressing a little more drying than I did the 2018, in terms of mouthfeel. However it’s still a beautiful tea with a really pleasant and intense transition from woody/roasty notes and astringency to aromatic orchid & lilac with deep juicy sweetness in the form of muscatel grape, lychee, and overripe plum notes. The astringency might linger on the sides of the mouth, but so does that sticky sweet fruit note and in my opinion it’s a more than fair trade off!

I don’t think I’d buy this one – but it was a good session. I’d definitely feel more inclined to just pick up more of the 2018 pressing if I were to consider ‘bricking’ something like this tea…

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4-HTU6gv97/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eo-73037xY

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83

Office Gongfu!

Thanks Hachachacha for the gentle peer pressure to try this sheng, I really enjoyed it! Fruity/tangy initially – somewhere in the realm of nectarine/peach or maybe even something slightly more tropical like mango?? A little more astringent and bitter as the session progressed but never aggressively so – picked up an anise note in some infusions!

I generally don’t keep track of steep count at work – I kind of just brew until the tea is tapped out, and that was the case here. Took a while though, I remember that.

4.5g/70ml

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/B46Hq7Ggjj9/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oioDwNv7zkI

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80

Cold Brew!

Brought this along w/ me on the commute in to work today – it was delicious, but I need to remember in the evenings when I’m making commute bound cold brews to brew something that actually has caffeine in it. It’s a natural inclination to choose herbal teas in the evening because they’re caffeine free but I have to remember that I’m generally making cold brew for morning or afternoon consumption…

Tart and juicy tasting strawberry though! Reminds me a bit of the crisp and sour strawberry note in DT’s Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait blend – but not as hibby dominated I think. Not getting any kiwi whatsoever though…

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drank Rum Matcha by Matcha Outlet
8621 tasting notes

Sip…?…down… (718)!

Some hesitation in what to call this as I actually finished off the matcha by mixing it into bath water to have a tea bath. I’ve had this idea of doing a “matcha bath” for a while now, and I realized that I just simply wasn’t going to finish off this matcha any time soon as a regular tea because I just don’t love the flavour all the much.

I think this was a good call – it may have looked like I was pulling a Hozier and taking a soak in bog water, but it smelled amazing (actually a lot better than it does as a tea) and post bath I actually feel like my skin is pretty soft. I’m not totally sure what else to say about it because it was really straightforward to do – but it was honestly just a really nice way to repurpose some matcha I wasn’t enjoying.

I think the next evolution of this would be to attempt to make a matcha bath bomb!?

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Gongfu!

This is something that I made Gongfu near the end of last week to be shared between myself and my roommates over supper – I prepared the tea, one of the roommates provided the food, and the other cooked it. It was a nice trio of contributions! Unfortunately the food was really spicy; and it kind of killed my palate quite a bit during the tea session. Especially for the first part of it as well.

However, after the initial wave of heat had cleared I paced myself better and found a nicer balance between eating and drinking the tea. I think even without the wave of extremely spicy food I would have found this tea a little bit thin/light tasting, but I’m sure the spice didn’t help that feeling. It was, if nothing else, very clean and well rounded. No off notes/fermentation funk to it! Mostly tasted like a sweet woody quality; had a touch of a higher note so I’m inclined to say Cedar just because I think there’s an associated high note that Cedar has over other wood types – but it was also sweeter/smoother than I associate cedar, so maybe it was more of an oak type thing? What’s the in between/cross of cedar and oak!? Perhaps it was that. A little bit of cherry too – but only a smidge, just a hint of that sweet fruity note in the finish.

Despite feeling this was a little thin, I think I still enjoyed it more Gongfu than I have in the past when I’ve prepared this one Western style…

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Another tea that I drank this morning while waiting for the ID scanner to be fixed at work; I think I chose it simply because it’s been so long since I last had a cup – it wasn’t bad, very much like I remembered it tasting. I did leave the teabag in the mug while I drank it though and that was a bit of a mistake because it wound up getting far too sweet near the end of the mug to be enjoyable, and the last quarter of the mug had to get pitched because I’d let it steep too long/get too sweet…

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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78

Something that I had midweek (last week) – I was drinking it while making supper because I was feeling really crampy/bloated and this tea is very comforting to me during that special time of the month, plus the subtle but juicy raspberry notes were really fitting all the right chords and helping me achieve a little bit of zen while chopping veggies…

All of that changed, however, when one of my roommates came home in a bit of a rage. She’d had a very frustrating day at work dealing with a particularly awful manager and just needed a bit of a rant. That’s fine – I can listen to a good rant! However, it all went chaotic when she just started angrily saying “All he does all day is eat ass!!” over and over…

So this is really the story about how I had to explain, without laughing since that was NOT what she needed at the moment, to my roommate that there is a VERY different connotation to the phrase “eating ass” versus “kissing ass”. So yeah, that’s the story. I found it amusing – and the tea was good too!

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.

Frolic

That reminds me of a friend of mine who found herself explaining the difference between a “butt dial” and a “booty call” to her tween last year.

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Profile

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 – those 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 Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Ceramic Cat: Saffron
Wood Fired Old 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

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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