13699 Tasting Notes

drank Drink Me by Thésaurus Tea
13699 tasting notes

Adventaggedon Day Two – 5/5

Saved my favourite tea of the day for my last tasting note. I’m getting my notes up a little late today because I went to the Japanese Holiday market with my friend John tonight – hopefully late tasting notes doesn’t become too much of a habit.

When I first saw the ingredients list for this Alice In Wonderland inspired tea, my first thought was “Wow, five tea bases? Clearly needs a little bit of editing…” and I have a gut feeling that may become a reoccurring thought with some of these teas. Based on my own experience with Thesaurus’ other blends, the owner’s blending style is very busy and that doesn’t always come together cohesively.

In this case, I think I was too judgmental. The dry leaf aroma was really nice. Deep purple berry notes with a hint of florals. Really jammy but also bright and snappy! Steeped up, I was pretty much in love from sip one. I’m not totally sure what the flavouring in the blend is supposed to be, but to me it read as a really lovely black currant/cassis note with a deep syrupy sweetness and just a little top note acidity. It was supported beautifully by a really full bodied and pleasantly brisk and astringent mix of bases. If I was blind guessing what that base was, without knowing it was five different bases, I think I’d probably say black tea but that’s almost entirely just because it had the robust feel of a black tea less than it had the taste of one. Finally, there was a hint of florals in the undertone (sort of jasmine meets elderflower) that was the last ribbon tying the blend together. I liked how they lingered on the tip of the tongue after each sip, as well.

It just felt super appropriate as a Alice In Wonderland inspired tea with those punchy purple berry notes, and the playful qualities matched with darker elements. I think I maybe would actually buy this tea for myself, if I knew for certain that it would steeped this consistently each time around.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Clrnn5vOcag/

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I gave myself an extra challenge today of using only teaware with golden accent colours. It was a fun extra layer to the normal challenge of advents.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjiEDhF2FG4

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Adventaggedon Day Two – 4/5

Today’s tea was actually one that I’ve familiar with in EDC’s assortment because I already own it. I am very picky when it comes to ginger teas; mostly because I don’t really like the taste of ginger on its own very much. Though, I’ve gotten way more tolerant to it than I used to be. This one not only doubles down on the ginger but it triples down on it. Pun intended.

I just wasn’t feeling a mouth punch of intensely spicy and earthy straight ginger black tea today, so I doctored up my mug with a hearty splash of oat milk and a bunch of carrot blossom honey. They honey is deep and dark with both a sweet earthiness to it and a bit of a sour top note, and it worked really well with the ginger – leaning into the earthiness already present, and also tempering some of the heat. Between that and my oat milk, this ended up being a still pretty strongly flavoured and full bodied cuppa with almost gingerbread-like molasses-y dark flavours.

I think it was a really good way to spin today’s selection to better suit my preferences, and it made it feel more festive too! That said, if you are a ginger fan then there’s almost no better tea than this one hot and plain. It’s just such stellar quality ginger and it’s so perfect for an upset stomach or as a “sick tea” with a lighter honey and a bit of lemon.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Clrnn5vOcag/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Arvj1fmSrHk

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46

Adventaggedon Day Two – 3/5

I thought that this might have been a new tea from Adagio because I didn’t remember it from any of my past orders, but given the quantity and posting date of all these Steepster reviews it doesn’t look like that’s the case.

The dry leaf aroma was intense. Lots and lots of passionfruit and red fruit flavouring packed into this little sample, with a whiff of cinnamon. Steeped up, it was a beautiful bright red colour and the aroma a little nicer – a bit like a tropical grenadine. I didn’t notice the cinnamon as much, either.

It wasn’t really my favourite tea. The passionfruit was just a little bit funky paired with the cinnamon. Even though the cinnamon was pretty light in intensity, it was more of that red-hot sweet type and I just found that strange with the tropical notes. It’s weird though, because this was much more red fruit in taste to me than I would have ever guessed based on both the name and ingredients list. A touch of hibiscus, but mostly a pomegranate kind of vibe. That worked _much better with the cinnamon and also kind of worked a tinnnyyyy bit as a bridge flavour between the tropical flavours and cinnamon.

I don’t think I’d revisit this one, though.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Clrnn5vOcag/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_3jBwLHMkU

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Adventaggedon Day Two – 2/5

Gongfu!

Of course there were two straight green teas today. Of course. However, it is kind of cool that I had both a Japanese and a Chinese green – and a very classic variety for each terroir. Even for a green tea, though, I wasn’t too disappointed to see this one. Every now and then I do enjoy a Bi Luo Chun. It’s probably one of my favourite types of Chinese green tea, if I had to pick one.

The dry leaf had a really interesting aroma to me. It was nutty, which was expected, but also surprisingly sweet with notes of golden toasted marshmallows and white chocolate. I could quite explain it. It’s a shame that didn’t come out in the taste, but I think maybe it also would have been kind of weird if it had.

It was a very nutty session though. Roasted chestnuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews. Warm, toasty and just kind of pleasantly golden. If the whole session had been that way I think I could have gotten pretty strongly on board. However, after about the second steep I started noticing more and more of a bean-y edamame note that I just didn’t like nearly as well. I ended up with five infusions. I think I could have pushed for maybe one or two more, but I just didn’t care to.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Clrnn5vOcag/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y_E3ttJr_g

I feel like this song pick sort of captures some of my sentiment about when I end up with advent teas that just aren’t really my thing but I drink them anyway, haha.

Cameron B.

Yes, cashews and edamame for sure!

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Adventaggedon Day Two – 1/5

Cold Brew!

Notoriously not a fan of straight green teas, and Japanese green teas are kind of the worst IMO. Exceptions being the roasty toasty ones like Hojicha and Genmaicha. In fact, I think Japanese Sencha is probably my very least favourite tea carried by DT except for, maybe, Gyokuro Yamashiro. Soooo… this wasn’t exciting for me to see today.

I cold brewed it hoping that it would be a softer and more subtle flavour, and I think that was a smart choice for me. It was smooth without any bitterness or astringency at all, and a little more of a more muted flavour. However, that said, it’s still awfully oceanic and seaweedy and the finish was really spinach like. I made my way through the mug, but I was very relieved to have it out of the way.

I know this is one of DT’s best selling straight teas, but I just don’t get this one. Or, really, any sencha… Maybe someone like Cameron who loves straight Japanese green teas can patiently explain the appeal to me some day.

With all of that said, maybe it’s better to get this tea out of the way now rather than come across it later in the month. Though, between this advent and The Tea Practitioner and EDC, I’m sure there’ll be much more straight greens finding their way into my cups.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Clrnn5vOcag/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBtYFq98QhA

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.

Cameron B.

LOL, well I’m not a fan of shou puerh so you know, to each their own! ;)

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Adventaggedon Day One – 5/5

Fandom themed advent!? How could I possibly resist. I’m way too nerdy to pass on this shit. I think what I’m most looking forward to is less the flavours of the teas (though obviously I care about that too) and, more so, the fun of seeing what fandoms are selected. I can’t wait for the first day where I don’t know the fandom at all and I get to go on a nerdy little deep dive to understand the reference!

This was my second pumpkin tea of the day but, unlike the Adagio one, I can’t get over how clever this inclusion is. I mean, it’s perfectly on theme. Of all my teas today this somehow felt the most festive – and at the same time I felt a sense of relief that the pumpkin tea was not only early in the advent but day one. Because as much as this would have been “on theme” all month it would have begun feeling a little out of place if it had been near the end. Pumpkin spice only has so much place within December.

That said, in terms of taste, I think it was my least favourite today. It certainly wasn’t bad though – not a single tea today was one I wouldn’t drink again or that I’d pass up if offered a cup. I just felt like it had the most muddied tasting flavours and the ingredients list is a little bizarre to me. I mean, what are the hibiscus and sumac doing here? Do they really need to have been included?

It’s supposed to be like a pumpkin spice cookie, and I do taste pumpkin spices but they’re just a little bit dull and lacking clarity of flavour. The most clear was cardamom, but even that was soft. I think the biggest thing was just that it tasted a bit bakey. Not, like, “baked goods” bakey but more bakey in the sense of being an over fired black tea base. I think milk and just a bit of sugar would have really helped, though I wasn’t confident enough to add milk because of the hibiscus. I didn’t really want to deal with any accidental curdling today.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/ClpC3C9OZ7i/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2IVn0wiYXs

I mean, was there really any choice for a different song? This one was just too perfect.

Cameron B.

I love how this one ended up being fandom AND holiday themed ha ha, perfect!

Nattie

Nooooo, fandom themed advent?! Don’t they know I’m on a no-buy?!

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Adventaggedon Day One – Tea 4/5

I think the best surprise out of all the tea companies that released advents this year was when Sierra said The Tea Practioner would be doing one – I pounced on that preorder so fast. I have such a special place in my heart for The Tea Practioner. They’re truly one of my absolute favourite discoveries to come out of the pandemic.

What’s really cool is that Sierra is going to be doing the advent along with everyone on Instagram, and in doing that it was really neat to get a lot more back story on this tisane. I never would have guessed that it would have been Canadian grown and the farm in Ontario that it comes from just sounded so lovely! I made it as a mug earlier today – it was quite different from anything I’ve gotten not just in today’s advent teas but really in any advent I’ve ever done. I’ve also not had straight elderflower in years. I’m so, so used to consuming it in blends. It’s a beautiful floral though! This mug had a bit of a sourness to the top notes, and then the body was a bit more sweet and lush.

Years and year’s ago DT carried a white tea called Elderflower Spritz – it was one of my favourite floral teas that DT has ever carried, even though it wasn’t very popular to other people at the time. It was sweet, floral, and fruity in a way that reminded me of the pink off brand jellybeans that my Grandmother used to buy around Easter that came in these giant bags mixed with yellow and baby blue jelly beans too. Just, the tea was not as artificial/cloying. Ever since that tea, elderflower always reminds me of pink Easter jelly beans.

So, I guess what I’m saying it that after that initial slight sourness in the top notes this tastes faintly like jelly beans to me but with a more overly floral finish. Maybe just a bit yeast-y too? A good kind of yeast, though!

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/ClpC3C9OZ7i/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TOUJwrIKoM

Leafhopper

I was considering getting this calendar and look forward to reading your notes. Maybe next year!

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Adventaggedon Day One – Tea 3/5

It’s honestly kind of weird that this is the first year I’ve done the Adagio advent calendar. Other than DT, I feel like they’re the tea company that has been releasing one the longest. Only other company that comes to mind that could maybe give that a run for its money is Bird & Blend – but I’m not awake enough right now to try and fact check myself on that right now. Anyway, I’m finally doing it now!

I actually ended up with two advents today that featured pumpkin teas, which I thought was weird. Though, if you’re going to include a pumpkin blend I suppose I prefer you do it early and get it out of the way before that festive mood really sets in. This was intriguing to me too because I love Adagio’s honeybush base, but generally don’t particularly love pumpkin spices. The first thing that I noticed about this blend, though, was that it was pretty clove forward. Clove is one of those spices that most people seem to think they dislike but, when mixed with other spices, actually enjoy more than they expect to. In North America, anyway. I feel like I’m one of the outliers in the fact that I actually enjoy that taste of clove on its own a lot. So, a Pumpkin Chai that’s heavy on the clove? Perfection!

The honeybush was also really nice and, though the next most prominent spice was ginger (not a favourite), it ended up being a pretty nice cup of tea overall. I think I’d actually probably much rather have this over the more traditional black tea based Pumpkin Chai.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/ClpC3C9OZ7i/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4E8DPn6oww

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Adventaggedon Day One – 2/5

Gongfu!

So, back before The Tea Practitioner announced their advent, I was really struggling to decide on a fourth advent. It was at that point that Marika came up with this secret plan to put together an advent for me from Epices de Cru – the spice shop owned by her family, which also has a really solid tea assortment.

Now, Epice de Cru doesn’t actually sell advents so this is one that she had picked out and packaged for me – it’s honestly one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone has ever gotten me around the holidays. I’m also sure it totally confused her parents when I tagged them on IG and announced that I was doing an advent from their store.

Today’s tisane was a slam dunk for me, though! It’s a blend of mostly fir and cedar, with some Labrador Tea and Tamarack. I decided to basically stuff a little tiny glass teapot with as much of the needles and herbs as would fit to brew gongfu earlier this morning. It’s a bit of a lighter tea just by the nature of its ingredient composition, so this is definitely a full rolling boil and long infusion sort of tea. Even still, I found it surprisingly more flavourful than other cedar or fir based tisanes I’ve had. Mostly it tasted of fir – crisp, sweet and woodsy. Really refreshing. I liked the addition of tamarack though, I thought it really did add a pleasant sweetness – a bit honey like and a bit like wintergreen. Of course I liked this tisane though, my predictable palate is on board with any tea that tastes like drinking trees.

I have to say that my only criticism is that the Labrador Tea in the blend feels redundant. It doesn’t detract from the infusion, but I didn’t feel like it added any noticeable body or taste either – and at the end of the day I’d probably take more fir in the blend in place of the labrador tea. That’s splitting hairs, though.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/ClpC3C9OZ7i/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNZu8-d8_8Q

Kaylee

What a sweet and thoughtful gift!

Nattie

This sounds delicious, and what a lovely gift!

Lexie Aleah

thoughtful surprises are the best.!

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drank Cinnamon Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
13699 tasting notes

Adventaggedon Day One – 1/5

Gongfu!

It’s that magic time of year again where Steepster and IG just explode with advent calendars! I’m doing five in total this year, with 52Teas “12 Teas of Christmas” kicking in as my sixth at the halfway point. Like last year, I’m posting stories on IG throughout the day and then after 5PM I’ll have one post on IG with all the advents throughout the day. Reviews here on Steepster will follow some time after that point!

Since beginning at the head office I generally do an advent from DT each year – it just feels weird not to. Usually I try to pick whatever the “newest” format is, and this year it was Around The World. So, what you can look forward with this advent is mostly traditional/straight teas (with a few exceptions) sourced from different terroirs and inspired by countries all across the world. Sometimes in origin, sometimes in ingredient, and sometimes in flavour!

I was thrilled to get to start the day with Cinnamon Oolong – it’s one of my absolute favourite Garden To Cup teas from DT and I actually included it in my “Top Teas of 2021” with Geek Steep last year. Side note – we’re back from our unplanned hiatus and, as of today, have a new episode out! I’ll try and get the discussion board thread updated sooner rather than later for the new episode, but I’m REALLY stoked about this week’s fandom.

I brewed this tea gongfu since that’s my favourite way to drink it. I’ve written reviews on it before that will probably be better than today’s, but essentially my favourite thing about this tea is (and has always been) how soft and delicate the notes of cinnamon are and how, combined with the natural flavours of the oolong, this tea tastes so warm and nostalgic – like fresh baked cinnamon bread or pastries. Hot Cross Buns in particular, actually, because of the raisin note that’s present.

A lot of reviews of this tea on the website seem to expect this oolong to have the same intensity and punch as Cinnamon Rooibos Chai and that’s simply not the case – in part because CRC has (a lot) of cinnamon flavouring in it but also because it has the actual cinnamon bark and this tea is only scented with cinnamon. I’m hoping that the inclusion of this beauty in the advent will introduce it to some new people, and maybe spark a bit of appreciation for the craft and skill that goes into its production.

Truly this tea is a labor of love, and I personally think you can really taste it with each sip.

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/ClpC3C9OZ7i/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp5A8awHfas

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.

Nattie

This sounds right up my alley, straight on the wishlist it goes! Also, this might be the most excited I’ve ever been to discover a podcast. Just subscribed and can’t wait to start listening! Very excited to see that you started out strong with Buffy, my favourite show ever and the namesake of my car! ^^

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Bio

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

I am a mid-twenties tea addict, blogger, and all around nerd. 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 preparation 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.

I’m also one half of the “tea and fandom” podcast GeekSteep where, weekly, we discuss newly explored fandoms over tea as well as try to figure out the perfect tea to pair with each fandom. You can find us on Spotify and Apple & Google podcasts.

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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