13965 Tasting Notes


Cold Brew Sipdown (1950)!

I had a bit of an awkward amount of tea leaf left in my pouch and, in all honestly, I probably should have split this up into either two cold brews or a mix of cold and hot cups. However, I’ve been doing so well with sipdowns that I got excited by another and I just dumped the rest of the bag into my little cold brew bottle.

It was a mistake because, even for a cold brew (which are usually smoother and not bitter at all) this was too much tea. It was very strong and the tannins of the white tea outweighed the jammy blueberry notes I usually love from this blend. It was a bit of a bittersweet way to finish off the bag.

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drank Tie Guan Yin Gu Feng by Sebz
13965 tasting notes

This was a gift from the Montreal Tea Festival!

I had this as a Western cuppa last Thursday while I was in office. I’m gonna be honest, I remember drinking the cup and noting that it was pretty good but not great and… well, that’s almost everything I remember about it. Oops.

In my little sticky pad of tea jot notes I wrote down “toasty” but I don’t actually mentally recall that – and not sure if I meant toasted in a nutty sense, or grains or just something else…

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drank Yuzu Chai by Paru Tea Bar
13965 tasting notes

Sipped earlier in the week.

Something about this cup came out just a tiny but sulpher-like in taste, but not in an off putting way. Mostly I got clove and fennel but with a more brisk, tannic black tea and hints of black pepper. Those tannins and the peppery were such a nice compliment to the hint of more pithy yuzu. Really meshes those flavours together quite cohesively. Sometimes I wish the yuzu was a bit brighter and more acidic because I think the added pop of flavour would really take this from a solid tea to a superb one. However, it also wouldn’t be as nuanced, and the nuance adds a sophistication that I also appreciate.

Daylon R Thomas

I wanted to try that one really bad. I’m glad I didn’t spend the money on it then.

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Just like I noted last time I had this tea, there’s something very bubblegum like in how the different fruit notes combine together with the ginger. Like, if I stopped and thought about what I was drinking I could pick out the tart top notes of cranberry, the more sweet orange, and the earthiness of the ginger. If I let myself drink the cup absentmindedly then they blurred together into hubba bubba.

However, the finish of each sip always tasted like tulsi regardless of the above.

(Also, bubblegum or no bubblegum, I still like the blend!)

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drank Sweet As F**k by Snarky Tea
13965 tasting notes

Steeped this one up earlier in the week. It’s one of the few teas from Snarky that I got in sachet format, since that’s all that was offered on their site. The smell reminds me a lot of DT’s now discontinued Chocolate Orange Pu’erh – both dry and as it was brewing.

I wasn’t very fond of the pu’erh base itself in this blend – it was pretty funky in taste and didn’t seem super well settled. Kind of that fishy vibe that newbie pu’erh drinkers often associate with shou that’s simply just too fresh/not aired out. The chocolate was nice and fudge-y though, and the orange just right. Like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

The pu’erh got better as the tea cooled down, but it’s just not my favourite.

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So, I think this cup was a lot closer to what I wanted my first one to be. It was very basil forward and that taste made for a deliciously crisp and refreshing cuppa that reminded me a lot of my grandma’s herd garden growing up – but also a bit Thai in influence as well. The cinnamon was lighter this go round, and more concentrated towards the finish and I thought it complimented the natural clove notes that were present within the basil itself. Very, very different but wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Cold Brew!

Let this one go in the fridge longer than intended and the result is that it’s very forward with the green rooibos notes, but it finishes bright and tart with those cranberry and lime notes leaving a pleasant hint of sweetness on the tip of the tongue after each sip.

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Another one that I had earlier today because, I guess, it was a green tea sorta day at the office!? It was so pleasant though. Like a liquid creamsicle, but just way more gentle and soothing and without the cloying level of sugar. All the elements present, though!

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This is a very, very old tea and you can definitely tell that when you’re drinking it. It’s pretty stale and flat. However, the hint of rosemary still holds up pretty great so I just tried to focus on that quality as I sipped through the mug.

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drank Apple Custard by DAVIDsTEA
13965 tasting notes

Dipped into my office stash of this one earlier in the week, after a heavy snowstorm when I just needed something rich and comforting that would be a total hug in a mug. It’s thick, silky and custard heavy with beautiful golden apple notes. Always, always, always a favourite.

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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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.


Montreal, QC, CA



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