Welp; it’s happened – I’ve tried my first chaga/mushroom tea. I guess the good news is that I clearly didn’t die since I’m writing about it now…

For anyone “not in the know”, I have an allergy to mushrooms of basically all kinds. It used to be really bad but over time I’ve been cycling out of it and the severity of my reactions has gotten far, far more manageable. I’ve even been experimenting with eating different kinds of mushrooms in very small amounts at the recommendation of my physician. I’d never tried a chaga tea though because I just didn’t know how bad my reaction might be since it was a type of mushroom I’d not had exposure to at all before it starting trending in wellness/tea communities.

For anyone curious if I had any reaction at all, my mouth did get a little bit itchy for a few hours – but it was easily manageable. I also took some precautions, like making sure I tried it at the end of my work day, and ensuring I was with people just in case I did have a bad reaction. So, I guess this means I can try the other chaga tea in our line up, and after that I will once again be able to say that I’ve had every tea on the tea wall.

(Not in DT history of course, but for sure anything currently carried or that was carried at one point before my employment there.)

As for the taste of this tea? Well, I’ve never had chaga or most mushrooms on their own to really know what to expect in terms of that flavor – and my coworkers have all said that they can’t really taste the mushroom in this blend either, so I guess I’m not surprised that I didn’t really pick out any weird/different notes. It mostly just tasted (strongly) of chocolate? Like, a mix of dark and milk chocolate – with roastier undertones from the chicory. My immediate thought was just that it reminded me a lot of Cocoa Boost from the Wellness Collection in 2017…

So I guess, my final verdict is that if you liked Cocoa Boost then I think you’d probably like this one too? Or the same thing with Hot Chocolate. For me, I didn’t love the flavour enough to revisit this one in the future, especially given the whole itchy mouth thing. But at least I can say that I’ve tried it!

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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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, Gongfu…

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 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.

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
Brass Mouse: Stilton

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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