13991 Tasting Notes

81

Gongfu!

Revisited this cake earlier in the week. The liquor is thick and syrupy with a flavour that’s about equal parts decadent dark chocolate and sweet waxy red fruits, almost in a fermented kind of way. I paired this with some juuuusstt ripe strawberries because I thought the chocolate would be a nice contrasting tasting note, while the hint of red fruit would be a connecting point. Truthfully, this tea was even fruitier than I remembered though so this ended up being more of a celebration of bright, tangy berry flavours than the chocolate strawberry combo I initially had in mind. Still tasted excellent though!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck_qbdXO5lM/

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

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New Tea!

So this tea actually launched at the same time as Silent Night but I wanted to revisit the tea before writing my tasting note, since it had been nearly half a year since I had last had a mug of it – shortly after we finished the development.

I was trying to think of the last time DT had a new pear tea and I feel like it may have been Pear Blossom years and years ago!? So, this one feels overdue. I’d describe the flavour as a combination of pears and figs – leaning heavier on the pear though. Definitely sweet, but not sugary – despite the name maybe potentially implying that. It gives me strong baked pear or poached pear vibes where there’s still juicy sweetness but some of that maillard reaction taste that’s just sort of pleasantly “brown”.

Actually, on the note of sweet… one of the things I think is coolest about this tea is that there’s actually no added sugars. That includes stevia. It’s a blend that I think would be understandable to assume would be filled with stevia or rock sugar or anything like that, but we really focused on finding ways to play up that delicious cozy pear flavour using only fruits and spices. Fennel for natural sweetness, and the compliment the other spices.

So yeah, spice! As much as I think this is a pear and fig tea it’s also lightly spiced with things like cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg – which play into the baked pear flavour but also lend a more wintery flavour since that trio of spices in particular is so prevalent around the holidays.

On paper, it maybe feels a bit like there’s a lot going on with this blend but I feel like it all clicks into place to create a herbal blend that feels seasonally on point but still refreshingly different from anything we’ve had in our herbal assortment in recent memory.

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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Cold Brew!

This was better when it was ice cold, as it tasted a lot like fresh blueberry juice but with a grenadine-like accent to it. As it warmed up the red fruit notes seemed to get a bit stronger, and the stevia in the finish a little more discernable and lingering. Overall enjoyable with a playful sweet and tart combo – just a little more sweet than I was banking on this particular afternoon.

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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From this weekend – possibly the best cup I had all week.

The blood orange flavour was a little lacking, but I expected as much based on the last cup I had. It’s the honey notes that make this tea. The taste isn’t overly sweet but still rich enough to convey thick, golden honey and it really compliments the white tea itself. However, I think the thing that pushes me over the edge is the aroma of the honey. It’s like creamed honey, but also definitely smells of beeswax in a super strong and VERY nostalgic way.

Growing up, my mom was very into the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and that led to her and my step dad learning a bunch of different skills – arrow making and archery, sewing, home brewing beer… and candle making. Specifically hand dipped beeswax candies. The aroma is like candles she used to make, but sweeter and more honey like. It’s realllyyyyyy lovely. I couldn’t stop smelling my mug.

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Sipdown (1950)!

Been really on top of my sipdowns this last week or so, and feeling proud of it. This last cup was deliciously smooth with delicate notes of watermelon, honeysuckle, cream, and cucumber pulp. Not really any ginger, but that watermelon… Wow, that watermelon.

I’d love to see this one come back in the future – maybe without the ginger? Just a pure watermelon white tea would be so delicious.

(Side note for Anne – any news on when 12 Days of Tea will be shipping?)

Cameron B.

Yay sipdowns! It’s always nice to feel like you’re doing well and making a dent in your stash and/or finishing off old teas that have been hanging around for a while. Keep it up! \o/

52Teas

@Roswell Strange – I ran into some delays due to vehicle troubles but now that the vehicle is running again, things are going pretty smoothly now. I should have the boxes out within a week or so.

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drank Cinnamon Pear by Three 6 Tea
13991 tasting notes

Sipdown (1951)!

Finishing this one off as a midafternoon cuppa and bit of a caffeine break. It’s extra pear forward today with a juicy tartness to kick off each sip, though still grounded by the cinnamon notes. Definitely very cozy, very autumnal and a pleasant send off for the tea. In the long run I don’t know if this will be a memorable blend, but it’s been a nice exploration this last week.

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83

Gongfu!

Last night’s evening session. I know this puer has a of a loyal following, but if I’m being honest it’s not a personal favourite. Generally speaking, I find the vegetal bite and astringency a bit too unpredictable and, though the session comes with a warm and fuzzy tea drunk “glow” I have to say that I value taste above texture and body feel. With that said, I hit a bit of a sweet spot with this session where I got four steeps in a row with the perfect ratio of astringency, bitterness, and jammy stonefruit notes with a finish of leather. Very apricot forward. Still had those cooked green/vegetal notes that aren’t typically my thing, but I enjoyed myself more than expected with this session!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck6uKYZu2y0/

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

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Gongfu!

It was the descriptor of molasses that really hooked me into grabbing this shou puerh, though the affordable price tag certainly made the decision easier. Most steeps had the same basic structure; a bitter top note and hint of wet soil followed by a whole lot of molasses in the finish. The liquor is thick and oily, coating the palate with each sip. To me, the name is justified – it’s hard not to think of Gingerbread with that much molasses. Overall, as a gongfu session, this definitely felt like a “get the job done” kind of tea – to the point flavour payoff without nuance. Would probably be a bit better brewed grandpa than gongfu, but I’m also super on board with this as a daily drinker. It’s tasty without needing attention!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck1au0rOYLZ/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRcAPVNd-6o

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Sipdown (1952)!

Steeped a pot of this on Saturday afternoon while listening to the rain. The gentle vanilla notes, though a little fondant like, are silky and soothing. Coupled with the cool air and pitter patter of lightly fall raindrops, it’s a really calm and almost meditative combination. It’s been a long time since I last had a blooming tea but something about today just made it seem like a good idea. Sometimes you have to revisit the classics to respect them!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck3935aOWg4/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoS7kFSFSAQ

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This cup was a little thin in mouthfeel but the flavour excellent. Like a maple cotton candy but grounded by cozy toastiness from the Genmaicha itself. Not overly sweet but not without substance to the sweetness present either.

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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 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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