12131 Tasting Notes

drank Rhubarb Fizz by DAVIDsTEA
12131 tasting notes

Cold Brew Sipdown (1419)!

Proud of myself for crushing this sipdown, but it does sometimes feel a little bit like for every one DT sample I finish I’m adding at least two into my stash…

This was such a refreshing cold brew though – it’s my second time cold brewing it in such a short period of time and I think that’s really just because it ended up being a perfect flavour sweet spot. I got that tart and flavourful rhubarb note but all the cooling and refreshing mint as well – very, very similar to the flavour balance of Raspberry Mojito but with more overall body from the different tea bases.

I’m not sure if this tea will make a return – I think it was largely missed my most people and it’s hard to take down Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait as the reigning rhubarb blend supreme. However, speaking purely personally, I would not be upset to see this blend make a return.

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!

The mug of Chocosnozberry that I had not too long ago really got me thinking about this tea, so I decided to brew it up and see if I felt as strongly about the flavour similarity with a fresh memory in my head. I did kind of forget that I was brewing this, so it got like a two day steep in the fridge which resulted in a pretty hibiscus forward cold brew. However, the finishing flavour is that same sticky sweet “soda style” strawberry flavouring with just a bit of candied pistachio and I’m now more convinced than ever that these two blends are using the same strawberry flavouring. It’s really good – even with the hibby bomb from the oversteeping!

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Gongfu w/ some fruit pairing!

One of my favourite things about Qi Lan (and the one from Camellia Sinensis in particular) is how much of a distinctly sweet and nutty “maple walnut” note it has alongside the roast and minerality, and that’s why it jumped to top of mind when I decided I wanted this tea session to incorporate some insanely juicy and fresh Quebec Strawberries that I’d picked up recently. This made for a really decadent afternoon tea session that was just an absolute explosion of flavour both on the side of the fruit and the sweet nutty tea. I’m really happy with how this turned out!!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CSCny6-r9sU/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XhsR63oZeY&ab_channel=RandyMichaud

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Sipping on this iced a couple days ago. I was worried that with the hibiscus it might be a little too tart or that the peach flavour could be masked, but I found this iced tea really flavourful and well balanced. I really liked the body from the black tea base and the slight floral undertones alongside the juicy peach! Thank you to Tea Runners for gifting this subscription box for me to try out; I got the Original Box but thanks to the great customization options I was really able to tailor my selection to remove teas I’d tried before or was confident I’d not enjoy – very impressed!!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CSFsvFpASfY/

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drank Kiwi Bubble Tea by Meiwei
12131 tasting notes

Meiwei added new summer flavours to their bubble tea menu, so looks like I’m not quite done tasting through their menu yet. I was excited by the idea of a kiwi bubble tea but my God was this sweet! It was kind of like drinking a kiwi simple syrup – had all the notes I was hoping for in terms of fresh tangy goodness but was much, much too cloying to really be all that enjoyable.

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Sipping down one of my two dragonballs this afternoon – steeped up grandpa style. The 2020 production doesn’t stand out in my mind as having been particularly good or bad, but this year’s is really impressing me this afternoon! There’s certainly astringency while steeping, but pleasantly so. I also really like that astringency as an offset to what I’m finding to be an otherwise very sweet floral and fruity puer – with notes of lemon zest, lilacs, green apples, sweet & tangy nectarines and even at times an almost “lemon meringue” kind of sweet citrus flavour! The finish is bitter but clean – and I appreciate the counter balance, while not dwelling on that note for too prolonged a time period. I’m curious how brewing this might change the impact of those flavour notes, or if I’d get new ones entirely…

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CSKLzHWgyea/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOJ2346dG1Y

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Morning cuppa – I rarely start the day with green tea/white tea but I was feeling something light and fruity today so this jumped out at me when I was selecting my samples for the morning. I remember really liking it during this past advent season – this cup is really tasty but it’s not striking quite the same magical cord as that first tasting; I think I actually may have just a little bit overleafed because the main thing I’m finding is that it’s a pretty tart/tangy peach. Something akin to ‘Fuzzy Peach’ candies, if you will. In my head this was a little softer, but I think a lighter leaf amount would probably resolve some of those packed in flavour feelings I’m having. Fuzzy Peach is still delicious, mind you – but maybe not 9AM on a Wednesday delicious??

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I love finding random teabags and tea samples lying around the office – it’s always a total crap shoot whether they’ll be good or not but I can never stop myself from trying them out.

It’s sort of the same any time a tea says “chili” in the name as well, isn’t it? Does that mean the faintest bit of heat possible while still making the ingredient claim or does it mean fiery hellscape in a cup? This one is a pretty good middle ground – I feel the heat but it’s not uncomfortable in the throat or too peppery, and it does build up over the coarse of the mug full but never to a bad place. The chocolate is nice too; a little fudgey and leaning into the complimentary nutty and honeyed notes of the rooibos.

For random office tea, I feel like I have to give this pretty big kudos.

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I received this one as part of a gifted subscription box from Tea Runners – so thank you for the tea! It’s truly stunning with long slender golden leaves that do, truly, look like needles. Some of them even have a bit of a pointy edge, as well!

The dry leaf aroma smells really interesting to me – there’s both a deeper but yeasty bready note (like rye?) and a sweet fruitiness to it, but also sort of a chlorine smell? I tried to think of how to describe the note of chlorine in a way that wouldn’t potentially sound unpleasant (because I mean it as a positive), but I couldn’t think of one so I’m just calling it straight out. What I mean by that, though, is that it has the aroma you get from a distance of fresh & clean pool water – as someone who swam a lot as a child, that’s something that I personally find to be a deeply nostalgic and comforting aroma.

The taste is fairly dissimilar to the aroma – the bready notes translate into more of a light sweet bread and there’s more of a gentle malt and cocoa note. The package describes the tasting notes as somewhat like a “chocolate chip cookie” and I see what they were going for with that – though it’s not the same richness/sweetness IMO. The basics of the flavour notes that comprise a chocolate chip cookie are there though. Also, I have to agree with Random in that there’s something rather mineral to the cup. I enjoy it and I actually like they nuance it brings to the baked and cocoa elements.

Overall, a pretty nice tea.

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My morning cuppa today!

I pulled this one in a rush this morning because I saw “caraway” on the label and that sounded up my alley today – but I totally forgot that it’s a chocolate blend, and I’m not particularly in a chocolate mood today. However, it’s still making for a really pleasant cup today despite that; it’s smooth and full bodied with pleasant and complex notes of smoked chocolate, malt, sweet potato, caraway, and a bit of brandied fruit. Many of those notes are particularly coming from the black tea base, and I really love how much the base contributes to the flavour and compliments the additions.

For a chocolate blend, this is a sophisticated and elegant cup – I love those boozier undertones with everything else. Nothing is “too much” or “too little” and I’m enjoying it as something reflective and calm this morning.

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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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