13250 Tasting Notes

So in full transparency, I bought this one because I was interested in the blood orange. Honestly, I had low expectations for the honey. I’ve had a couple different honey flavoured 52Teas blends lately and I’ve pretty much felt that they’ve all been a bit off the mark and just not quite the right honey profile. So I was pleasantly surprised when this turned out to be rather lightly blood orange flavoured and much more of the honey flavour that I’ve felt a bit has been lacking from other 52Teas blends I’ve tried. Especially as this tea cooled, that honey note really came through and was pretty rich and golden tasting. A perfect compliment for the lighter crisp and cooing vegetal notes of the fluffy white tea base.

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drank 2022 Dance by white2tea
13250 tasting notes

Gongfu!

I almost didn’t grab a sample of this sheng puerh because the site description didn’t resonate with me, but I’m happy I did because this tea session has not been at all what I’d expected! Though the brothy savory notes I expected are still present, what I’m finding is that they’re pretty isolated to the finish of the sip and the rest of the session has been shockingly sweet and fruity! Consistently I’m getting notes of fresh Summer peaches, wild blueberries, and black currant syrup – all with a bit of a licorice undertone. After swallowing I’m left with a touch of soft astringency on my tongue, but it’s quickly washed away by the almost plump feeling that the next infusion starts with. Simply put, right now I cannot get enough of this tea!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CghcWK0ugAS/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f08fPkuOIU

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Gongfu!

Steeped and paired with a handful of ripe raspberries! To be honest, tieguanyin has never been one of my favourite kinds of oolong. However, when you find a good one it tends to be reeeaaallllyyy good! I love the more caramelized sugars, toasted grains, and coffee like notes of this more medium roasted TGY. Of course, in my books, a roasty toasty and mineral tasting tea is always a welcome and comforting cuppa. What really sets this one apart for me is that sitting under the surface of those delectable flavours in such a beautiful and complex array of fruitier notes: grilled apricots and other sweet ripe stonefruits, candied orange peel, and maybe even a hint of papaya. I love how the raspberries add to sweetness of those undertones while giving more brightness and acidity. They can be pretty intense though, so it’s best to keep the snacking in between infusions and just let the tea wash down the lingering aftertaste of the berries!

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

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSj2SgAuvgo

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drank 2021 Hot Brandy by white2tea
13250 tasting notes

Gongfu!

Steeped while reading a new manga! To me, the “gold standard” of Hot Brandy productions is definitely the 2020 minis. It was hard not to directly compare the two in my head, and I have to admit that the minis came out on top. Even still, Hot Brandy is always an interesting tea; I’ve never tasted a blend of white tea and black tea quite like it! This session mostly tasted like dandelions dunked in brown sugar simple syrup. The manga was pretty good for a first volume. A lot of the series I’ve been reading for a while are coming to an end, so I’m definitely looking for recommendations of new ones to check out!

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CgetGW3uDAS/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIhzToW3sCY

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Gongfu!

Had a very robust session with this tea at the park over the weekend. This is such a full bodied and heavy black tea with such pronounced notes of oak, and with the gentle breeze and fresh air around me that almost grizzly, unsweet woodiness feels just so appropriate for the day! On top of that signature taste that carries throughout the session, there are also notes of incense, molasses, and leather with just a bit of malt. It’s not bitter at all though there’s a pleasantly consistent light astringency. This tea feels powerful yet understated!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CgZ3os0Oi7u/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0FyZh1ESN4

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87

Cold Brew!

As I said in a tasting note earlier this week, I’ve been craving lavender quite a bit lately and there’s maybe no better tea company to choose lavender blends from than Dessert By Deb. She does really, really love lavender. The blueberry flavouring she uses is also really delicious though, and I’m not yet sick of it the same way I’m getting to be with the strawberry flavouring…

I think this cold brew actually came out mostly blueberry, which is maybe a little atypical since the lavender tends to be quite heavy handed across all Deb’s lavender formulations. It’s playful but still had a bit of depth to it. The lavender mostly comes through in the finish, which is more assertively floral but still has a softeness to it. It’s very refreshing and easy to sip on a lot of it one go without the flavours building up too much on the palate and getting unpleasant, or feeling “bogged down” by having so much cold brew in one go.

I’m actually getting so close to a sipdown of this tea now, and I don’t think I’m quite ready to finish it off! I don’t have a shortage of other lavender or blueberry teas from Deb, but this one is definitely my favourite.

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78
drank Brise d'automne by The Amo
13250 tasting notes

Sipped on this one last night!

This was kindly gifted to me by the Montreal Tea Festival, so thank you for the tea! It’s primarily a Labrador tea blend, but there’s some other things in it as well like apple and cinnamon and (I believe) almond. It steeped up very soft and gentle, with a warming and cozy “apple pie” kind of taste from the combination of all the aforementioned ingredients. I can definitely see how the light and delicate profile with these baked, Autumnal flavours would translate into a name like “Autumn Breeze” – which is what the French translates to. It’s very romantic as a profile/concept, actually. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of Labrador tea but I liked the undertones still carried through the soft greener notes of it on top of those yummy apple and cinnamon pastry flavours.

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I feel like for a long time Snickerdoodles had kind of fallen off the radar of most people and were sort of seen as “unpopular” but lately I’m seeing snickerdoodle flavoured things everywhere. It’s weird how some foods are almost cyclical in their popularity…

I’m sipping on this one right now and it’s actually pretty nice. I remember feeling underwhelmed a bit by it in past tastings, but as it starts to cool right now I’m finding that the softer flavours are representing its namesake well. Kind of starchy/doughy and baked tasting with hints of cinnamon and a nice maple/toffee kind of finishing note. It’s still not a favourite, but for a lightly sweet Sunday morning cuppa I feel I have nothing to complain about in this moment either.

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75
drank Thai by Paru Tea Bar
13250 tasting notes

Oversteeped this cup and it resulted in it tasting far more savory than I would have ever thought would have been possible given the ingredient list here. I still got that soft creamy starchy quality of the pandan in the top notes, but the body was brothy with notes of anise and the finish pretty harsh and bitter. Milk probably would have softened it up, but I was tired and couldn’t be bothered to get some. Plus, I only have oat milk in the house right now and I felt like that wouldn’t have been the best flavour fit…

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drank Banoffee Pie by ETTE TEA
13250 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

So last time I had this my take away was that it was pretty thin. I have to say, this cold brew was not thin at all… but it also wasn’t super good.

I really love Ette’s Peanut Butter tea so I want to like this one so badly, but it’s just sickly sweet and cloying. I get the same kind of nuttiness that I enjoy so much in Peanut Butter and a hint of banana in a way that leans more banana candy/taffy but it’s just coupled with the most intense licorice root that pushes both flavours over the edge and makes them feel really artificial. There’s other things present in the brew like a hint of apple in the undertones and the woodier notes of the base used, but it’s hard to pay either any mind because the rest is just a lot.

No more cold brewing this tea. Maybe I can find a way to improve the hot cups though…

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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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