81
drank 2016 Trap Bird by White2Tea
9122 tasting notes

Sipping away at a Western style mug of this one currently. It’s going to be my last tea of the night; I just wanted something to drink while working on some reviews and Shou actually makes me sort of sleepy so it works as a before bed tea too.

I’m struck by how clean and smooth this one is, with a really thick and almost syrupy seeming mouthfeel. The balance between sweet and umami notes is also really nice; I can see it being even better if you were Gong Fu-ing as well! Main note I pick up on is wood, like cedar/pine. However, other notes are a sort of ‘semi salted’ Earth note, sweet smoke, and raisins/prune. More of those raisin notes in the top of the sip than anywhere else, with the more umami aspects coming out in the finish.

It almost seems like this would be a waste of the tea itself, but I can imagine this making a bomb as fuck soup stock or broth. Toss in like a handful of onions/shallots, some celery, carrot, pinch of brown sugar, and firm cubed tofu and you’d have an awesome dish. If I end up liking the rest of my sample Gong Fu enough to cake this, then I’ll try that out – but if I’m just gonna be working with this sample amount then I’ll leave this as an idea untested…

Mastress Alita

I can’t use the little flavor packets that come with ramen because they contain MSG which is one of my migraine triggers, so I actually use tea as the broth in my ramen and it works very well! I’ll have to put this one on my list. At the moment I’ve been using very lemon-gingery/fennel teas.

Roswell Strange

I like Genmaicha, Houjicha, and Matcha a lot used as broth; fennel sounds like it’d be right up my alley though so I’ll add that one to my list! ;)

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Mastress Alita

I can’t use the little flavor packets that come with ramen because they contain MSG which is one of my migraine triggers, so I actually use tea as the broth in my ramen and it works very well! I’ll have to put this one on my list. At the moment I’ve been using very lemon-gingery/fennel teas.

Roswell Strange

I like Genmaicha, Houjicha, and Matcha a lot used as broth; fennel sounds like it’d be right up my alley though so I’ll add that one to my list! ;)

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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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https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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