Gongfu Sipdown (639)!

Discovery Tea Box – Tea Fifteen

Well we’ve come to the final tea that I pulled out of the Discovery Tea Box, and the box has long since left my house so this is sort of the official end to my experience with the box. It’s always really great getting to participate in a travelling tea box; it just fills you with a great sense of community and even if you don’t love every tea you experience it’s just very unique getting to so quickly expose yourself to so many unfamiliar teas or tea companies…

This was one of two Yunnan Sourcing teas I pulled; the other was the snow chrysanthemum black tea. I haven’t had a ton of exposure to YS teas and, up until the aforementioned black tea blend, I’ve never been blown away by one of their offerings. I get that they’re really popular not just here on Steepster but just in general – I’ve just always had better success from different companies. It’s that whole idea that whoever curates the selection of teas for a specific tea shop (Scott for YS, 2Dog for W2T, etc) has their own taste preferences so even when they’re trying to carry things that are diverse/different than their usual offerings it’s probably at least A LITTLE bit tainted by personal preference. I believe that there’s definitely some truth to that, and at least of the teas I’ve been exposed to from YS I’d argue that Scott and I probably have different taste preferences. If that makes sense!? As far as “general shop tastes” go, I tend to have relatively agreeable taste preferences to W2T (especially with Shou), and to BLT (with Shou/black tea specifically). Still trying to figure out what shop my sheng/oolong preferences lean more towards – but that’s its whole other side tangent of a conversation.

As for this shou in particular: I steeped this one a grand total of nine times not counting my initial rinse, which honestly probably should have been longer than the ten seconds I gave it. My first cup of tea was pretty funky…

Other than my ninth and final steep, I stacked my infusions in a very large teacup two at a time. And, I mean a really big teacup since it held two 150ml infusions comfortably with leftover ‘wiggle room’. Like I said, my first stacked cup of tea was fairly funky but not terrible. It was really savory/umami with sort of this “salted earth” kind of taste to it. After that stacked cup, the profile felt much more balanced. Even though it was balanced, though, I think this is yet another example of a YS pu’erh option that isn’t bad but that definitely doesn’t line up with my preferred profile. I’d describe the overall notes of the sessions as very umami leaning and “broth like” with things like cured meats, mushrooms, smoke, and dry wood being the primary flavours. Definitely not a lot of sweetness, and lacking a lot of the ‘wet’ flavours that I personally really enjoy.

Again – not a bad tea by any means and quite smooth for the flavours present; it’s just not my thing overly speaking. I’d recommend it though for anyone who doesn’t like shou with more of those wet, dank kind of notes. Plus, I 100% don’t regret trying it because it was still a REALLY good learning experience for me.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/BnhtR75HvXL/?taken-by=ros_strange

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer