16045 Tasting Notes

This is the other new sparkling iced tea that I picked up in my last local grocery haul.

Honestly, it way exceeded my expectations. Similar to the other flavour from Flirt, this had a really great balance between the notes of peach and the black tea base. The peach tasted like fresh peach juice with both a bright and tangy element but also a sweetness to round it out. Not artificial at all, and such a playful and dynamic note with the effervescence. The black tea, like I said in my Lime & Lemon review, strikes a nice balance between something like a Brisk/Nestea and a higher end specialty loose leaf black.

It just tasted like exactly what you want on a hot summer afternoon. Really refreshing, well balanced acidity and sweetness, and just authentic on every level. I will definitely be buying this one again – having that no step sparkling iced tea is so convenient. It might actually replace the sparking Blackberry Lemonade (non tea related) that I often get from Flirt…

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So, Flirt is a local(ish) company that specializes in sparkling juice drinks and natural sodas. They’re a partner with the grocery delivery service I do weekly for local produce, prepped meals, baked goods and such – usually I get their Root Beer or their blackberry lemonade. However, last time I ordered I saw that they’d added two sparkling iced teas to their menu so I got those instead!!

I can’t decide if I liked this one or not. Honestly, there were a lot of things in the pros column. For starters, it taste distinctly of both lemon and lime and neither are particularly artificial or cloying or too tart/sour. Just nice and bright/lively. The lime is actually a little stronger than the lemon, which is refreshingly different too. They use black tea as the tea base, and you can actually taste the tea quite clearly and it’s not half bad either. Somewhere between being a Brisk or Nestea level of black tea and, like, a more specialty loose leaf tea that you might use if you were making Southern Sweet Tea by hand and wanted to avoid instant mixes/teabags.

Really the only con here was the aftertaste. Something about almost tasted like spearmint to me!? Flirt has a Mojito Lemonade that has a similar note in it, and I just kept thinking of that tea. It’s not that I disliked the mint note, but it was so out of place feeling that I ended up being a huge distraction from what I think could have otherwise been such a strong drink.

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drank Cherrifier by BrutaliTeas
16045 tasting notes

I always forget there’s peach flavouring in this right up until I take my first sip, and then I’m clearly reminded it’s there because this tea tastes really distinctly of an almost waxy floral peach note that I find kind of at odds with the red cherry flavour. It’s mostly the floral I think I dislike, but I can’t totally put my finger on why!? I don’t know. I still find this to be a really confusing tea, and given I have better cherry and better peach teas in my stash it’s one I think I’m gonna struggle a little to finish off even though it’s also not particularly a bad tea either…

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89

One of my favourite Deb teas! I had a nice piping hot mug of this last night and it was very soul soothing. Were it not for the hint of sweet, brown maple that sometimes bleeds through the undertones into the heart of the sip I would say that this particular combo of really bright, tart red berries and hibiscus with the spicy ginger makes me think of Cranberry Gingerale. In a good way. It’s a compliment. As it is, that maples pushes it into being something more unique tasting that verges of the “crisp” part of the tea’s name pretty well.

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Sipdown (2587)!

Whoah, Nelly! The aroma of the tea bag after tearing open the overwrap was so much more potent and boozy than expected. Almost like uncorking a particularly strong bottle of limoncello. Steeped up, however, it was very nice. Definitely lost that strong edge while still having quite a bright and distinct lemon note with a hint of more woody yet sweet ginseng in the finish.

Plus, of course, we love an homage to RBG.

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Sipdown (2588)!

Something about this was surprisingly herbaceous and savory and I don’t think it was just from the echinacea, which is a pretty unpleasant tasting herb generally speaking. All in all though I thought this was pretty palatable for a clearly very functionally targeted blend. I mean, the combo of elderberry and echinacea is definitely a bit of a powerhouse duo for immunity and it’s a tough thing to get those two really bold flavours to want to cooperate with each other.

I did think the berry notes were really dense and jammy, and almost more cassis/black currant like to me than the somewhat floral leaning and tart taste of elderberry. However I just read the ingredients list and see there’s actually black currant flavouring in the tea, so I do feel a little vindicated in my observations here.

Don’t think I’d seek this out again – especially when I’ve recently discovered a lot of other much more pleasant Pukka teas. However, if you were looking for an immunity focused tea blend I do think this isn’t a bad option. Certainly better than many other grocery store teabags targeting that function that taste sickly sweet because they over corrected when trying to mask the taste of the herbs or of feet because they haven’t tried to mask anything at all…

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78
drank Spicy Mandarin by Silk Road
16045 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

I don’t know why I decided to cold brew this tea since on paper it doesn’t sound like it would be a very good tea chilled. It was fine though. Pretty full bodied for a cold brew, but smooth with distinct notes of cooked orange/orange peel and spices. Clove, more than anything else. It kind of reminded me of the stock that I make tea eggs with but less salty/savory. That same sort of Chinese-influence to the spice composition though, with the citrusy edge.

I’m not sure I’d make this tea that way again – but it was surprisingly pretty drinkable and refreshing despite the unfortunate egg comparison.

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I shit you not that I have had the tin of this tea with the last two cups worth of tea leaf sitting next to my kettle for me to work on sipping down for over two years now. I look at it almost every day and think “nah, not today” and make something else. So, I finally made a cup this past week and… I can’t even remember what it tasted like. All that stuck in my head was that it was surprisingly quite smooth. But no tasting notes. No thoughts at all, really.

But at least there’s just one cup worth of leaf left now. Hopefully it doesn’t take me another two years to want to drink it.

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88
drank Lemon Lolipop by Tealyra
16045 tasting notes

Iced!

Love, love, love this tea. It’s just a really refreshing, pure play lemon or lemonade type flavouring that has this perfect balance of sweet and sour. I had forgotten that I reordered it last summer, so for the past few months in my head I thought I just had a cup or two left but turns out I have enough to make several pitchers worth. So this last brew really felt like a special, summer-y treat.

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Cold Brew!

Ooh, I liked this cold brew much more than I thought I was going to! Very strong notes of blackberry syrup/compote lead the cup with a bright tartness to them. Sweet and super juicy but also really thick. Definitely makes me crave pancakes a little bit. They’re balanced out right at the end though but fresh, lush notes of floral jasmine that take the edge off what might otherwise be described as a really saturated, decadent berry note.

In my head, I had sort of remembered this as one of those teas that’s “okay” tasting without any real off notes but maybe not the most memorable. But, well, dang. Thank blackberry flavour seems pretty memorable to me now.

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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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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