Went out for ice cream yesterday afterwork to Kem Coba (a fancy ice cream place here in MTL I guess?) with a coworker – which was actually an amazing experience and delicious. I got a scoop of Pandan icecream and a scoop of Salted Butter, both were amazing but there was actually something surprisingly magical about the salted butter!?

On the way home I stopped at a Depanneur for something iced/cold to drink on the way home and I noticed a bright orange kombucha in the line up of flavours of RISE Kombucha. Now, I thought that I’d tried all of the flavours RISE carries (minus the ginger, ’cause no…) so seeing something BRIGHT ORANGE threw me off. Well, I guess they put out new flavours! So, I grabbed a bottle to introduce myself – orange and turmeric, sounds lovely right!? So I had kombucha for the metro ride home.

I’m a bit thrown by this one – I think I’d need to drink it again to make my mind up. It’s got a weird ingredient list; the orange/vanilla/oolong with a hint of spice from the turmeric and ginger!? Quite a lovely mix, one that I’m really into. However, there might be just a bit too much turmeric because I was getting that bitterness that’s hard to avoid from lots of turmeric. There’s also lots of carrot in this; I’d wager that’s intended to both add orange colour visually but also for sweetness, since carrot is naturally sweet and often used in tea blends for subtle sweetness. However, when you use a lot of carrot it can taste earthy – so that and the turmeric might have been a bit much. Also there’s a floral undertone, clearly coming from the inclusion of chamomile and lavender – it’s weird and I don’t think it goes with that sweet orange/warming spice vibe. I didn’t enjoy that element.

So overall… Lots of nice qualities, really cool concept but a few interesting ingredient choices that I’m not into. Will try this again, though!

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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, 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.


Montreal, QC, CA



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