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Recent Tasting Notes
So, this weekend I had a chance to go to Montreal’s very first tea festival – which also happened to be my very first tea festival!! It was an incredible event, and I think can definitely be called a major success. The festival started at 9AM – I arrived at about 8:50AM because I wanted to be early/make sure I got one of the free sample bags for the first 150 people in attendance and the line up people waiting spanned about two blocks! It was insane, and once we got in it was like trying to navigate through a can of sardines: PACKED!!
I did a ton of shopping, and I’ll be sure to write about all the teas that I purchased and make note of the fact I got them at festival when I do write about them – but of course I also sampled SO MANY different teas from all the different booths/stands that were there as well. I’m sure there are about a dozen or so teas/companies we sampled that I can’t remember or where I didn’t get the name of what was being sampled but I did attempt to keep a list of everything, and I’m going to try to get an individual review up for everything I could recall! The three things I know we sampled that stand out that I didn’t get name/company for are these though:
- Some type of Chinese Green Tea, which was amazingly soft and smooth with a delicate chestnut and peachy sort of combination!
- A “thick matcha” from a Chinese vendor specializing in different grades of matcha: this one unfortunately stands out because it was so bad! The texture was very pasty, and the sample we were given had many lumps in it!
- Finally, a chai infused salted caramel dip/spread from a bakery that specializes in scones. There were actually a few bakeries present, which felt kind of weird, but this was the only one that had at least incorporated tea into their stand in some way and the caramel dip was actually really nice!
Here, however, is the list of things that I got the name of the tea/company of though:
Pu’erh & Kumquat Kombucha – Quetzel Kombucha
Amethyst – Quetzel Kombucha
Original – Mate Libre
Rose & Hibiscus – Mate Libre
White Tea Nan Mei – Lao Kombucha
Digestion – Healtea
Revive – Healtea
Hydrate – Healtea
Headache Halo – DT
David’s Chai – DT
Menta – Mateina
Euforia – Mateina
Pineapple Jasmine Cold Brew – imPRESS
Matcha – O Japanese Tea
Takachiho Koshoun – Cha Yi
Pamplemousse – Upbio
Green Tea Peppermint – Fixi Kombucha
Nepal Autumnal Organic Jun Chiyabari – Camellia Sinensis
Mint Black – Arbonne
Strawberry Pow Wow – The Purple Dragon Fly
Aside from shopping/sampling, there were several different presentations and workshops throughout the day. A bunch of them seemed really interesting, but I sadly didn’t attend any of them since they were all given in French (and I’m not bilingual). However, I heard from some people who attended a couple of the workshops that they were all very well put together – so that’s very cool!
Lastly, DAVIDsTEA was actually one of the sponsors of the event so a bunch of people from the Tea Department and Events Department (as well as some staff from stores) had a booth where we were sampling teas and teaching people about what happens in the tea lab on a day to day basis: so, tea cupping and blend conception. It was really cool to see my coworkers just completely geeking out about tea to this massive crowd of highly engaged people just eager to learn everything they could! I think it made all of us feel very proud of what we do.
In general though it was just amazing to see such a large group of people enjoying tea! The booths ranged from very basic/introductory teas and flavoured teas/beverages to higher grade straight/traditional teas and traditional methods of brewing and very pricey teaware – and EVERY stand was crowded/packed, no matter the “level” of the tea/teaware they were carrying. Just, very uplifting to see!
I’ll try to get tasting notes from the festival written this week in between writing my normal notes – but as you can see it’s a long list, so we’ll see how long it takes. I don’t want to pressure myself into working on them too much.
Ok, first of all.. I havn’t been here for a while.. Been wanting to come here and update and Share the awesome teas I’ve been having, hoping you’ll try them out too…
This tea, I dnt know if I’ll call this ‘tea’, I’ll say why in just a bit. I accidently bought it while looking for tea tree shampoo(ironic much)? Anyway, while buying shampoo, I got sidetracked, by what exactly? You guessed it. I remember thinking how I’d like some Ginseng tea, but not mass produced. How nearly impossible where I was (in a mall) anyway, Some lady recommended it to me.. When I got home, I opened it, and it was woodsy, bits and pieces. “excellent” I said.. I opened it up, and I smelt, literally rain.. I kid you not. I was instantly in love.. What I had was not just tea but medicine and a snack, finely chopped up Ginseng root. Anyway, I chopped it up futher (the finer, the richer th taste) and placed half a teaspoon of it in a cold water pot, then switched to med heat, just before it boiled, I turned it off and let it simmer till it was cool, then turned th heat at max, brought to boil then turned off again and let it simmer down. Got the tea pot out, strainer. Poured it all in.. And I let it cool down a little further (about 1min). I sat down and poured myself a cup in silence and took a sip. The first thing I noticed was it’s rich woodsy, earthy, very faint spicy flavour and it’s smoothness..It’s quite a potent tea. It is pure Ginseng. Quite nothing like the Ginseng tea farms that mass produce. It’s wild. I was taken away with this tea.. The best way to describe it would honestly be.. Hmmm, let me see.. U know when it rains? And u smell that earthy smell of the soil just after it started raining? Now, imagine having that smell in a cup and drinking it.. Mmmmmm.. Had it not been that I found this tea in a mall along with stacks of others, I would’ve given it a rating well above 92.. None the less, it’s an excellent choice of tea if u want to relax, think and clear your mind. Besides it’s popularity of, you know what…;) I’ll always have a tea like this in my house.. And the best part about ginseng root, you can chew it, like gum.. Like having rain in your mouth on a sunny day.. Yum:) I’ll post a pic of it soon.. Peace peace peace, one love..