15960 Tasting Notes


It was very interesting having this tea on the same day as Coastal Carrot Cake, another carrot cake flavoured blend that I like quite a bit. It made me realize just how much more emphasis there is on the sweeter vanilla and cream cheese frosting notes in this blend. Both still have that pleasantly sweet and earthy carrot note and some spices (mostly cinnamon in this one and just a smidge of nutmeg), but it’s like inverse of proportions. More spice in Coastal Carrot Cake and more frosting in this one.

Plus, the lighter body of the green tea base makes the vanilla pop a little more whereas Coastal’s rooibos base leans into the more baked good/cake part of the profile.

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Happy (belated) Easter!! In honor of the holiday, I’m sipping on a strongly brewed mug of Coastal Carrot Cake along with some fresh baked scones and chocolate eggs. This is one of my favourite carrot cake tea blends and, trust me, I’ve tried a lot!! It’s rich with a naturally sweet, earthy note of carrot along with a mix of warming spices – the perfect mix of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg all wrapped in a silky smooth white chocolate finish…

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/C5L0jvROJkX/?img_index=1

Those scones were SO good. Cranberry scones with marscapone and strawberry, and of course some chocolate eggs on top just for Easter.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7DWwoAZgJ8

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Gongfu Sipdown (2564)!

I thought about doing something weird for April Fool’s this morning, and then I decided to just focus on sneaking in another sipdown even though that was the less fun option. My tea collection could use the focus on finishing things off though, so responsibility wins out here…

Following W2T’s suggested steeping parameters for these compressed dancong bricks has been a real game changer. Though I had one forgotten steep in the latter half of the session that was sheer sandpaper astringency, the quick steeps and milder water temp really encourage the aromatic and sweet florals of this tea to flourish. Like candied magnolia or lilac blossoms laced with fresh juicy lychee and plums. Just a little woody on the backend but in a pleasantly mineral and crisp sort of way (unlike my unintentionally over brewed steep). It’s a satisfying sipdown, especially since I have a whole brick of one of the newer productions of this material waiting for its turn to be enjoyed!!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/C5O9gqyOVjM/?img_index=1

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcYgGb0wiGc

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Whisked up and enjoyed on the flight home from Vegas back to Montreal! It felt kind of weird but nice having the symmetry of drinking on of these while flying to Vegas and one while flying back. Also, I just wanna say that since I’ve started regularly incorporating these into my weekly routine I have actually noticed some positive benefits – particularly with the late afternoon acid reflux that I used to get! So, that’s pretty cool!

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A late night drink that I had bedside while in Vegas. I shook it up real good in a water bottle and just had it there to sip on as I wound down for the evening. Very refreshing, and so convenient for the hotel.

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Realizing that I forgot to log this from back when I was in Vegas! I ended up making this as a hotel room drink very hastily whisked up and downed in one of the short 15 minute periods I had midafternoon as I switched from morning restaurant/shopping mode to walking the expo floor. Could have whisked better as this was a little clumpy but the bright lemon was so refreshing and perfect!

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I’ll write a better tasting note for this another time but I just wanted to capture that I made a hot cup of this earlier in the week and though I drank it super absentmindedly while working at my desk I stil lfound myself very impressed with how smooth and pleasant the strong naturally sweet notes of spearmint were.

I’ll have to taste again, though, to better evaluate exactly how I feel about the whole mojito positioning – particularly the yuzu incorporated.

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Sipdown (2565)!

A perfectly fine full bodied and brisk black tea with a gentle nuttiness. Malty, maybe a smidge floral, and just a bit naturally raisin-y. I did find myself disappointed that the hazelnut note was so much weaker than I was remembering it, but I know hazelnut pops up as a flavour in several other Plum Deluxe blends so maybe I was mixing this one up with another tea that also has that flavour in it.

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Cold Brew!

Currently sipping on this and it’s fine. Fairly refreshing with an overall lighter flavour that leans a little bit apple-y with a subtle note of tropical fruit. Not sweet, really, a very natural tasting. As I drink it I do think it’s slowly growing on me. The main “criticism” I have here is that the finish tastes very strongly of that sort of stale/dehydrated fruit flavour – like when you buy a bag of “apple chips” and they have that kind of musty funk at the end of the bite.

I get that Firebelly doesn’t want to use flavouring – which is what would typically mask that off note in an herbal blend. While I disagree with the chemophobia, I’m not inherently opposed to a no flavouring blending stance. You just can’t expect dehydrated fruit to taste the same as your “typical” fruit tisane when it doesn’t include it – and that’s obvious here. Some acidity might help brighten the blend and balance things out, though – and there are ways to do that without using flavouring or other “chemicals” that Firebelly avoids like citric acid.

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Iced Latte!

Two weeks ago we have a team of people from DT out as Expo West running a booth, and when they came back they were kind enough to give me a bunch of tea samples that they’d picked up from other booths – including a bunch of single serve packets of different matchas from Aiya!

Since this is a cane sugar sweetened matcha without flavouring I decided it would probably make for an excellent matcha latte base, and I was right! I whisked it up with some cashew milk and the tiniest bit of maple syrup and it was smooth as silk with a fresh, vegetal taste and the tiniest hint of maple. So creamy! Definitely a very good cafe-style iced matcha latte.

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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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