10409 Tasting Notes

79

This is the other tea I received from this company to review/check out!

It’s a tulsi based tisane, with cacao and lots of really beautiful and fresh coconut. Like, I don’t know that I can say enough how incredibly fresh all of the ingredients used in these teas seem to be – but the coconut here in particular is the freshest, most tender looking coconut that I’ve seen used in a tea blend in ages…

Even though the coconut makes up the majority of the blend, I think the strongest flavour here is still the tulsi – that savory and soothing basil flavour just carries so well in a blend. It’s nice in contrast with very creamy, fresh coconut and the hints of cacao though. A simple, three ingredient mix but very dynamic and different flavours so it feels more nuanced/layered that it actually is in reality – so kudos for that cool effect. It’s thinner than the Peppermint Patty, and a light to medium bodied tea overall that does seem to benefit from longer steeps. Also the mouthfeel gets a tiny touch oily, but that’s only natural and to be expected when you’re using fresh coconut shreds like this.

I prefer the Peppermint Patty, but this is still very good!

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIGktULgGId/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar_FScsMr8w&ab_channel=IndieSoundsGood

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91

This company reached out to me on instagram to see if I would be interested in trying some of their yaupon/tulsi teas and I said “yes please!”. I love tulsi so I was definitely intrigued there, but I was actually more intrigued by the idea of yaupon blends because I haven’t seen many of them out there (usually you just see straight yaupon) and, historically, I haven’t loved the ones I have tried…

I love to be challenged, though!

And you know what!? This was good! The ingredients list is pretty clean/simple and you can really tell that everything used here is very fresh and natural – and it comes through to the flavour, which has a strong crisp and cooling peppermint note that supports rich and indulgent cocoa flavours and that toasty but juussstt a little bit grassy flavour of yaupon.

While I do really love a good chocolate peppermint tea year round (and have actually explored a lot this year) I feel like this is particularly well timed for the holiday season and I like having the option to pull something fresh, rich and indulgent from my stash that fits the holiday mindset that also isn’t loaded up with sugar/sprinkles/chocolate the same way so many holiday teas often are. It feels like a “cleaner” way of indulging.

Big thumbs up on this blend – would definitely recommend!

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82

This tea is pretty old now (from 2017, I think) but man does it still hold up!!

Warm toasted grains, honey, roasted/grilled nuts, a little minerality, hints of dark cherry, and a woodiness – so complex, but yet perfectly in sync and layered. I think with the current age it probably would benefit from a reroast but wow this is still so impressive. Medium body, and a thick liquor but with a roundedness to it and a clean finish that ends on the sweetness of the tea.

I had this Western style, can only imagine how nice it would be Gongfu…

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87
drank Voodoo Cashew Mate by 52teas
10409 tasting notes

Wow, this was different from what I expected but very good!

I got way more butterscotch from the flavour that I expected to, but I wasn’t mad at it. I actually adore butterscotch and there are few butterscotch teas I’ve been impressed with – one of my favourites is a teabag, actually. DT tried to do Butterscotch this year, but honestly I don’t think we nailed it. I’m trying to think, now, about what the last tea I had from 52Teas was that used this butterscotch flavouring because it tastes so familiar but recently familiar!!

Aside from my delight at such a forward butterscotch flavour, there’s a nice nutty undertone and hints of grass and a mild smokiness from the mate used in the tea. It all comes together very nicely, and I appreciate the more herbal and natural elements that the mate brings to the party – it helps keep this from crossing into cloying territory.

I remember, years back, I really enjoyed an Adagio fan blend called “Felix Felicis” that was caramel and different nuts (mainly almond, I think) and this feels like an improved upon version of that concept. Voodoo Cashew is an adorably cute name and I’m obsessed with it, but this could easily pass as a “Felix Felicis” blend too.

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Cold Brew!

This isn’t my favourite tea that I’ve tried from Cuppa Geek, but it was alright overall. The strawberry is nice and very natural tasting – it has a bit of that tarty bite that slightly underripe strawberries have that seems to lean into the natural quality of it. There was something in this that felt almost medicinal though, and it really stuck to my palate after each sip. I’m thinking it might have been from the base teas, but I’m not actually totally sure. It was unexpected, and I thought it detracted from what was otherwise a nice strawberry note.

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52
drank Gingerbread Man by Pudtea
10409 tasting notes

Steeped long and strong this morning with a splash of cream added in during the steeping process and the result!? Still more thin than I’d like and missing the all important molasses note of a good gingerbread, but it’s infinitely more enjoyable this way and is actually on the way to resembling a gingerbread cookie…

Also a nice winter profile to help get me hyped up for advent season!! I’m simultaneously so excited for it, but also waaayyy in denial that we’re already almost in December. That part feels fake.

Leafhopper

You’re right, it’s hard to believe we’re almost in December, though I can’t be the only one who’s eager to say goodbye to 2020.

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I’m not sure if I’ve had a tea with plantains/inspired by plantains before now but I really love the concept and I was excited to try this one out!! I discovered a restaurant over the summer, here in Montreal, called Lloydie’s and they have some of the best fried plantains I’ve ever had and I’ve basically just been obsessed since…

It very good!! Definitely the starchy sweetness of a plantain, and the rooibos is an incredibly smart choice for a tea base because it leans into that flavour profile really smoothly. However, there’s also that sweet banana taste that so closely rides the line between banana and plantain. It feels balanced, and is topped off with a subtle kiss of chocolate and a cakey quality that yes, truly, is best described as “moist”. It also feels a bit boozy – almost like a realllyyyyy good banana/plantain cake that’s also been soaked in maybe a rum!?

I’m super into it, and it’s very impressively conveyed IMO.

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A free sample from my recent order! Thank you!

I’d not totally sure what the name is a reference to – I would have assumed maybe cardamom pods but I think this is just a pure/straight up hazelnut flavour and I definitely don’t see any cardamom in it…

Hazelnut is hard. I think that, in general, it’s just a more challenging nut flavour to accurately convey, and I’m probably a little bit biased because I’ve been drinking so much of DT’s Hazelnut Chocolate lately which has one of the best hazelnut flavours I’ve ever had in a tea. It feels wrong to compare though, because the approach is very different. This is almost a little bit toasty versus a raw or creamy hazelnut which are the ways I usually see the flavour presented.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the tea – it’s straight forward, clear and it does taste like hazelnut. It’s just not really my favourite thing either. I’m definitely going to finish the sample though, and it will be easy to finish off because it was enjoyable!

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drank Balhyo Cha by Soocha Tea
10409 tasting notes

Gongfu!

Mmmm…

This makes for a very cozy and warm tea session, and I’m actually still not over how delish the dry leaf aroma of this tea is; rich cocoa puffed wheat cake and peanuts!! The taste is equally yummy, but with some stewed red fruits notes mixed in with the cocoa, grains, and toasted nut flavours that make up the majority of the flavour! Puffed Wheat Cake is still a pretty good descriptor, but maybe if you crossed that will a really nice peanut brittle. Mouthfeel is creamy…

I’m definitely no Balhyocha expert, but I do think this is one of the best I’ve tried!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIEYYhgAJ9O/

…I did not steep that much loose tea in the gaiwan, don’t worry!

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbpgGZYQLww&ab_channel=TheBrummiesVEVO

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Gongfu!

I got a good teaware haul from Teaware House on Friday, so I broke in a selection of the teaware today during this session – including a very bootylicious frog teapet.

This was my first time revisiting this cake from after it first arrived and was very fresh; I was excited to see if it had settled a bit more and if the flavours had changed or become a little easier to pinpoint. Ultimately, with this session, this sheng has a very sweet liquor, with top notes of candied lemon early on with more vegetal body. From there it moves into more of a sugared lemon peel/rind top note with more body, pith, and texture and the finish gets more of a brothy umami quality with creamed greens mixed with fennel and anise!! Still a very interesting pu’erh with hard to nail down flavours!! Good huigan though, and steeps stack nicely!!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIJejSag-6s/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWKs9ZAn4Pc&ab_channel=COLORS

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Profile

Bio

Hello! My name is Kelly, though many people in the tea community call me Ros or Roswell.

I am a twenty five year old proudly queer tea addict, blogger, and all around tea geek. I grew up in the Prairies, but a few years ago I relocated to Quebec to pursue a career with DAVIDsTEA in the tea industry! I’m still working on getting my French language skills down…

My first introduction to tea, in any form outside of instant and bottled iced tea, was about seven years ago when I happened to stumble upon DAVIDsTEA while looking for a birthday present for a friend! I tried their Birthday Cake rooibos blend, and I’ve been hooked on tea ever since! In those seven years; I was introduced to the online tea community, expanded my interest in flavoured teas to include a deep love and appreciation for straight teas and traditional brewing methods, got a tea themed tattoo, started reviewing teas, amassed a sizable tea and teaware collection, became a TAC certified Tea Sommelier, & even came full circle by beginning a career in the tea industry with DAVIDsTEA!

I consider myself a Jack of all Teas, and strive to have a knowledge and appreciation of all tea types, formats, and styles of drinking. I don’t like to feel boxed in to just being a “flavoured tea” or “straight tea” drinker – my expectations may vary depending on the type of tea or how it’s been processed/prepared but if it’s good tea, it’s good tea no matter how it’s been made!

You name it, I probably drink it- and I’ll absolutely try anything at least once.

My default method of preperation is hot, Western style, and straight – but I’m not opposed to additions if I’m in the right mood. If I ever add something to a tea or use a different method of preparation I will ALWAYS call it out in the tasting note though.

I like to listen to music when drinking tea, especially when I’m brewing a large pot at a time or steeping Gongfu. 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, hazelnut or walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.

Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strongly spiced profiles (and most Chai in general), mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, 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.

Please contact me at the instagram account listed below if you would like me to review your teas.

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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