13100 Tasting Notes

95

I’ve spent much of my vacation so far catching up on Critical Role and I guess that’s maybe subconsciously informed some of my tea making decisions, because this is one of a couple different Critical Role inspired teas that I pulled out to sip on while watching.

This is always a delight though! Truly, I can’t say enough how much Dani just absolutely nailed the vision I had with this blend tasting like a smoked Creamsicle. Perfect for my little soft, empathetic red haired wizard with a penchant for fire.

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Sipdown (1708)!

I had this one in the morning and it was definitely nice and very agreeably flavoured. Not too much chocolate in taste or texture, and the strawberry was very even throughout the sip though maybe just a hint more artificial tasting. I definitely don’t think this is something I’d seek out again as it’s not particularly unique, but if this is a profile that you like then I imagine it would make for a really good “everyday” cupboard staple option where you’d be able to produce the same tasting cup over and over – and that’s definitely not something to write off.

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Sipped on this one last night and it was… interesting?

The idea of mascarpone and tart cherry together kind of weirds me out a little bit because of the acidity and creaminess juxtaposition, but drinking the tea I totally could see where they were coming from and it wasn’t as peculiar as I had expected. Definitely that thick sort of buttery creaminess from the milk oolong along with some fairly floral undertones and a little green sharpness to the oolong. The cherry is thin in mouthfeel and flavour, but definitely discernible in the top notes and does have a tartness to it. I didn’t mind it with the milk oolong, I just wished the body hadn’t been so thin and the finish of the sip nearly as astringent as it was.

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Gongfu!

I went into this tea session with a completely blank slate of expectations, and was pleasantly surprised by just how soft and smooth the liquor of this tea was! It did get thicker and more rich as the session progressed, but for much of the steeps this sheng maintained a delicate floral sweetness. At times it reminded me loosely of elderflower or lilac simple syrup, but lacking any semblance of being close to cloying! Quite lovely all the way until it brewed out many, many steeps into the session!

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CfJxOOju35d/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7ZuQsCNlRU

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Still not getting as much juniper as I want from this, but I had a cup a few nights ago and I did note that among the semi-sweet dense red fruit notes there was a bit more of a “forest kind of vibe” to the tea than previously observed – in particular in the finish when more of the woodiness of the rooibos came out. It was more than just the woodiness though. So, I think maybe it’s growing on me!

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This was one of the teas included in this month’s gifted subscription box and at first I wasn’t really sure what to think of it. The main flavours are hibiscus and star anise, both of which can be pretty polarizing in their own right. I do, however, LOVE star anise and I don’t personally have any sort of vendetta against hibiscus so this very intense, punchy cuppa wasn’t a turn off for me! Weirdly, the phrase that kep coming to mind was “Summer Mulled Wine” – and I guess that makes sense because between the #hibiscus, anise, cinnamon, and orange in this blend there are A LOT of flavours that overlap with mulling spices. I guess, in my mind, the fact this is somewhat brighter and juicier in its top notes is what gave it that summery twist. Unexpectedly, I think making this one iced is what’s gonna be next on my list to try with this blend!

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CfHDjCau2L7/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BPqVAdd5SQ

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80

Geek Steep S2E26 – Ms. Marvel

Cold Brew!

This was my pairing for my reread of this comic. I actually hard a harder time than expected coming up with the tea I wanted to choose for this comic that I feel I have an almost intimate familiarity of. There was one ingredient/flavour that I kept coming back to over and over though as I brainstormed options, and that was pistachio.

That might seem random, but as I explained in more detail on this episode, pistachios are an ingredient that’s used pretty heavily in a lot of Pakistani/Middle Eastern cuisine. Especially in desserts. It’s also something that a coworker of mine used to bring into the office to share, back when I was working at Value Village. Specifically, what she would bring in was a Jaggery rice dish and pistachio halva. She wasn’t from Pakistan, but she was Muslim and I feel like I got to know a lot more about Muslim culture just from her generosity. So, picking a pistachio tea just felt right.

I own a lot of pistachio teas, though. In the end I felt like this was the right one because it’s got that very sweet candied pistachio and strawberry soda-type flavouring that feels quite playful together. In my head, especially as I sipped this cold brewed, I could picture Kamala coming home from either a late night study session with Bruno or a hard day of fighting bird people in the streets of Jersey City and reaching for some kind of sweet strawberry soda and a homebaked pistachio sweet.

Really, really happy with this pairing!

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drank Ultra Pink by Chroma Tea
13100 tasting notes

Geek Steep S2E26 – Ms. Marvel

Cold Brew!

I’ve been basically patiently waiting for this Geek Steep episode since our first season. It was one of the first things I put on my list to eventually explore, and to my delight it ended up being suggested by a viewer so I didn’t even have to use one of my coveted fandom slots to get to talk about! (Thanks Jackie Allen for the fandom suggestion!)

I chose this tea for my recording tea for very little reason other than the name of the tea makes me think of super heroes. It’s not really a favourite tea or a least favourite tea of mine, but this was a good excuse to dig out the sample. It’s got a really lovely bright and tart top note with some stand out schisandra notes. It’s also weirdly just a little bit savory, and I can never put my finger on exactly why – but not enough so to completely throw me off.

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drank Melonade by DAVIDsTEA
13100 tasting notes

Now this is a tea that just tastes like Summer.

I did oversteep my mug so I ended up with more of a thick liquor and that kind of brown sugar type of dense sweetness that occasionally comes out in cantaloupe, but even with that taste present I felt like this was such a bright and refreshing cup of tea. Sweet but refreshing with a crisp vegetal finish. Feels like a breath of summer air on a gently breezy day.

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 Just Beet It by DAVIDsTEA
13100 tasting notes

One of my many, many different cups of tea that I drank while watching the Critical Role EXU Calamity finale yesterday – I needed the little pop of energy so this was a smart choice. It’s got that kind of stewed berry taste with notes of black currant, elderberry, and red berries where there’s a borderline cooked kind of note but still a lot of brightness and sweetness. That flavour is met and balanced by a really loved subtle clean earthiness from the beet.

I definitely miss having this blend around more accessibly, so it’s become a nice treat when I dip into my tin of this yummy mixed berry mate blend.

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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Profile

Bio

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.

Location

Montreal, QC, CA

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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