I’ve wanted to try Kuding for over a year now; ever since the Christmas before last Christmas where I was working at Calendar Club and one of the P/T staff was a Chinese exchange student who told me about how her family drank gallons of it every day for the “health benefits”. She said they drank more kuding than actual tea! That seemed so contrary to what I know about China as a tea consuming country that I just had to see what the big deal was.

I’ll admit; when I saw this in the box I didn’t immediately recognize it as kuding. Everything I’ve read about it online has made the tightly wound holly leaves/spikes sound so much bigger than these ones actually are. Plus, the name of the “tea” threw me as well: it’s marketed as a green tea!? That’s definitely not right. Also, silly anecdote: the writing on the baggy makes this look like it says “Jasmine Slime” and so I spent much of my cup pondering where the fuck the ‘slime’ part of the name came from. I thought maybe the liquor colour? It is a very chartreuse-y green, which I suppose is kind of a slime green? But nope; the package actually says SLIM and I just read it wrong.

I wish this wasn’t jasmine scented: I get that it’s probably to make this less bitter tasting as kuding is traditionally quite bitter but as someone who’s been waiting a year+ to try kuding I wish I could have tried the unadulterated version. As is, this tastes almost solely of jasmine/floral notes with only a bit of a vegetal/earthy undertone. Also, it actually doesn’t really taste bitter to me at all?

It’s strange; I seem to have had a much different experience than either two people who’ve currently reviewed this one Steepster. Huh. It’s weird ‘cause I’d kind of built this up in my head as something that’d likely be an awful experience and now that I’ve tried it and it wasn’t awful I feel actually quite let down?

EDIT: I used four “sticks” for my cup.


LOL, sorry for the misspelled label, I was in a bit of a hurry at the time. XD

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LOL, sorry for the misspelled label, I was in a bit of a hurry at the time. XD

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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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