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Next up on my evening of trying out new teas! This one was purchased from Janelle in a sample size to give me a taste before deciding whether or not to include it in my Black Friday order. I also recieved Butiki’s Root Beer Float tea today as well, so I’m thinking I might have to drink that one directly after this so I can get a comparison of the tastes and determine which I like better. I don’t think there’s any reason for me to keep two Root Beer teas stocked which seem to be so similar in base and ingredients.

Dry, this one smells slightly “medicinal root beer” like – kind of like when you get those old fashioned root beers that are in the glass bottle with the kind of bottle cap that doesn’t just twist off. That makes sense considering this utilises a rooibos base and that often tastes a little medicinal to people. I love those old fashioned type of root beers: I think a lightly medicinal sort of tasting root beer seems more natural and “real” rootbeer tasting. I also get some creaminess and vanilla notes in the dry leaf that do work with the “float” aspect of the tea as well.

For steeping, I used 1 tsp. level in 8 oz. boiling water steeped for about 3 min. 30 seconds. The liquor is a really rich brown colour: actually sort of the colour of an old fashioned root beer. I say old fashioned, because I find non old fashioned root beers, like Barq’s is a much darker (almost black) colour. Even though I used a fine mesh strainer I did still wind up with a bunch of floaty bits in my mug, though.

The smell is distinctly rooibos, with a light rootbeer smell that follow the rooibos in a less noticeable way. I feel like in the smell I lose the creaminess associated with the “float”.

For taste, the rooibos is definitely strong and very present. I often get the woodiness associated with rooibos and NOT the medicinal taste, but in this blend I am very much getting medical notes and finding an absence of woodiness. Like previously stated, though, I think that medicinal taste works in this blend because it’s strengthening the comparison of an old fashioned root beer drink. I do wish the root beer taste was just a bit more present. I’ve lost a lot of the creaminess, but what is still here manages to linger in the aftertaste for a pretty long time.

I don’t think I’d call this Root Beer Float, but instead Old Fashioned Root Beer (the “Dad’s Rootbeer” brand comes to mind). It’s still a really good tea though, and I’m very much enjoying the cup. I’m excited to try Butiki’s version immediately following and do a comparison.

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Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer originally from the prairies, but recently relocated to Quebec. I was introduced to DAVIDsTEA and started drinking tea fairly casually about six years ago. At some point, that casual hobby became an ingrained part of my daily life; I became a part of a greater community, incorporated tea into my daily routine, and it became my career.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

I drink a balance of flavoured tea and straight/traditional teas – in all formats. I prefer to have a wide, and general knowledge over many types of teas and catagories rather than focus on any one specific tea: a jack of all teas, master of none. Loose, bagged, matcha, Western style, iced, latted, Gong Fu…

You name it, I probably drink it.

In that vein, I’ll drink just about any type of tea – the only ones I have a particularly strong distaste for are green teas and Chai, with some exceptions of course. I have a weird relationship with Sheng pu’erh, but have been gradually increasing the amount of it I consume – currently I have a particular fascination with Yiwu Sheng. Other types of tea that I greatly enjoy are Yancha and other dark, heavily oxidized or roasted oolongs, most shou, black tea, and compressed/aged white teas. I’ll absolutely try anything once though; and I like to have an open mind and explore lots of tea types, even if I have reservations. I’ll probably never leave that “Exploratory” phase…

Usually I drink my tea straight, but I’m not opposed to additions if I’m in the right mood. If I ever add something to a tea, I will ALWAYS call it out in the tasting note though. If I’ve not mentioned an addition, you’re safe to assume it’s been prepared straight up.

I like to listen to music when drinking tea, especially when I’m brewing a large pot at a time or steeping Gong Fu. 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.

Favourite flavour notes/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.

Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strong Chai spice profiles, mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, artificial tasting mango or peach, 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.

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Jade Pixiu Dragon: Whitaker
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Dragon: Pablo
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Sculpted Pig: Nelly
Sculpted Tuxedo Cat: Pekoe
Sculpted Tabby Cat: Marmalade
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Stringray: Irwin
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Ceramic Cat: Saffron
Wood Fired Man: Leopold

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.

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Montreal, QC, CA

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