13482 Tasting Notes


Cold Brew Sipdown (1902)!

I stand by my opinion that there’s too much hibiscus in this blend to accurately reflect the pure, sweet black licorice flavour of the titular candy it’s inspired by. However, I kind of like the dynamic that’s created by the intensely tart and slight drying rush of bright wine-like hibiscus top notes followed by the sweeping wave of darkly sweet and mouth coating black licorice. It’s vibrant and saturated in the mouth and I feel like the contrast of tart and sweet makes both those flavours pop exponentially more.

Will I reorder this tea? No, I don’t believe I will. It’s just not the kind of profile I actively crave even though I find it incredibly interesting and dynamic. I’m much more likely to drink either a plain hibiscus tea or a plain anise/licorice one. But I’m glad I not only tried the tea but also sipped through the entire sample.

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drank Midi / Midafternoon by Ozer
13482 tasting notes

I saw this company while grocery shopping and I was curious enough to pick up this one flavour. Not all of their RTDs were tea based, but this one is yerba mate so it’s the one that I was drawn towards. Basically, they have several sparkling drinks targeted for specific times of the day with different functions attached. The morning one is energy, the evening was sleep, and it looks like this one is more about focus – makes sense to me!

I thought the flavour was pretty nice. I don’t remember all the ingredients and I had this last week so I don’t have the can anymore but it was yerba mate, ginseng, and peach from what I recall. The peach was really intense and it kind of tasted like someone had poured the cocktail syrup from a can of Dole peach slices into tonic water or seltzer. That may not be for everyone, but I thought it worked pretty well.

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This wasn’t bad but I definitely wanted to like it more than I did. It did taste like chocolate and it did taste like banana but everything was so muted and also level in terms of flavour balance that it really created this very flat and unexciting profile despite the presence of multuple distinct flavour notes. The black tea itself was also really bakey. Not in the sense of, like, “baked goods” either but in the industry terms where it tasted over fired. The whole time I drank the tea I just had this sense that it was incomplete; I think it just needed more of like any one flavour direction to just create dimension: bitterness of the chocolate, sweetness of the banana…

Anything like that would have helped.

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drank Hops by Gutsy Kombucha
13482 tasting notes

Fresh. Fruity. Floral. Tangy. Herbacous.

I mean, I feel like this is one of those drinks that kind of has all the flavours!? Except spice, I suppose. Anyway; it’s not my favourite from Gutsy but it’s pretty high on the list and when it hits it hits hard. I find hops so challenging to describe, but this is really lovely and great representation of the flavour.

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I’m starting to realize that maybe sage is a bit of a comfort flavour for me…

I was having a bit of anxiety yesterday morning when I was selecting my teas to take into the office – not about the selection but just as a generalized feeling – and I immediately gravitated towards several blends like this one that were heavy in sage or other similar ingredients like basil. This one won out and it was the first thing I steeped when I got to the office. The thick dark berry notes were pleasant but it was the aromatics of the sage and the almost medicinal herbaceous flavours that actually caused me to release the tension I had unknowingly been holding in my shoulders.

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drank Vanilla Pear by Tea Forte
13482 tasting notes

Sipdown (1903)!

I find the pear flavour really pleasant in this tea. It’s pretty bold but not bolder than the white tea itself, and it’s sweet lush orchard fruit flavour with a hint of creaminess and a bit of a floral undertone really compliment the natural floral character and warmth of the white tea itself. I don’t particularly taste the “vanilla” half of “vanilla pear” but the pear is the more important part anyway so I guess I’m pleased enough since that element is so well executed.

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drank Cedar by Chroma Tea
13482 tasting notes

This seemed so promising to me.

It’s basically just a sheng mixed with cypress oil, which is just a brilliant combination. On the dry leaf, the rich woody aroma of the cypress is also really apparent – I’ve been sneaking little whiffs of the sample bag every time I’ve gone to make a tea from Chroma.

I made it as a Western cup of tea yesterday and I honestly thought I had overdone it with the amount of leaf I’d measured out – but steeped up the flavour of this was so, so weak. It did have a really nice almost effervescent mouthfeel with this light, plucky astringency. However, as pleasant as the mouthfeel might have been, none of that really means anything to me without taste to back it up. I’m not writing it off entirely yet, but it’s just shockingly mild without any real presence of the cypress oil.

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Tea Pop!

I didn’t exactly intend to brew this yesterday but I was just hit with such a strong craving for this sweet and saturated raspberry flavour and I figured that since I was in office and the sparkling water was available to me… might as well teapop it!

It was pretty delicious. Definitely intense in both its sweetness and tangy tart hibiscus flavours but with that creamy finish to pull you back from the hibiscus overload right at the last second – and it’s just so well suited to the fizz of a teapop.

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 and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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drank Gaba Guava by DAVIDsTEA
13482 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

This was my commute tea yesterday on the way to work. Definitely very tropical with a burst of sweet orange and tangy guava, but those lively fruit notes were met in almost equal part with creamy coconut and crisp grassy green tea. The green tea kind of gave me a curve ball at first, but I warmed up to it as my commute progressed.

It’s starting to get noticeably cooler now in Montreal, so sadly I won’t be able to enjoy commute cold brews for much longer.

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 and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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The early steeps have such a distinctly sweet and tangy umami snap to them that makes me think of honey mustard. It’s very unlike anything I’ve tasted in a yellow tea before, and also wickedly delicious. The back end is nuttier and more traditionally like the yellow teas that I know and love, and as I pushed the session and the mustard seed elements waned I found the nuttiness slowly built along with a more bean-y vegetal note.

I’ve wanted to try Mississippi grown tea for a whole now, as currently the only other US grown Camellia Sinensis I’ve come across is from Hawaii. I’m definitely glad I snagged this at the MTL tea fest because I think it was worth it just for that striking mustard note alone!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CjN85A6OiSa/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my6zHC-5MDM

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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



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