So, I wanted to save my 200th tasting note for something special – and a Tetley tea is not something I exactly had in mind. However I suppose it’ll do.

Tonight Tre and I were invited to my Aunt’s house for a nice sit down meal. Honestly, best meal I’ve had all week BY FAR (but I guess that’s not too hard to say: I’ve been living off mall food for weeks now). Perhaps the best meal I’ve had since moving to Saskatoon (that, I think, is a good compliment). She made quiche florentine from scratch, squash, pickled beets (this was the only downside to the meal: I hate beets and anything pickled – however considering that they were quite delicious and still top three straight days of cheese and crackers), and homemade tomato and rosemary bread. Oh, it was SO heavenly and I stuffed myself like a glutinous little pig. All my aunts seem to be such AMAZING cooks (I know Tre was impressed by her cooking skills) but that makes sense since they grew up with my Grandma who was a caterer. For dessert we had rhubarb from her garden topped with homemade soy based yogurt and pecans. It was SO FREAKING GOOD.

Tre also had some of her homemade chardonnay (I passed because firstly I’m underage, and secondly because I’ve been substance free for approx. two years now and wish to keep it that way), and I was offered some tea. I had brought her large sample sizes of two teas from my stash that I dislike, but I genuinely thought she might like (Ontario Ice Wine and Earl of Lemon) and she asked if I wanted something from her stash or one of the ones I brought. I jumped at the chance to have something from her stash: she’s a pretty extensive tea drinker (my uncle not so much, he’s the type who’s impressed by the variety of teas carried by bulk barn and thinks chocolate tea is super fancy) and I know she’s got loose leaf from tons of local shops she’s travelled to when her and my uncle were touring Canada (they’re musicians/performers) so I thought I might get to try something I otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

Well, to my surprise she pulled this out… Really, of all the things she keeps stocked she wanted to drink Tetley. Oh well, not wanting to be rude I said I was happy with this one (and Tetley really is fine in its own right, it just wasn’t what I was expecting). Afterall, I was a guest in her home and no one appreciates an ungrateful guest who isn’t content with what’s offered. I guess the fact this tea was part of such a fancy and special dinner is enough to make it worthy of my 200th tasting note.

The tea itself was actually really good. I was probably being way more critical than necessary and it still managed to impress me. There was, of course, the signature taste of rooibos (I find Tetley’s rooibos teas have extra noticeable notes of “wood” and “maple”). The vanilla was super rich and very creamy. Tre ended up having a cup, and I don’t know if it was the pressure of being someone’s guest and not wanting to seem ungrateful (like I felt) or something else, but he didn’t even add any sugar to this one.

In a lot of ways I was pretty heavily reminded of DAVIDsTEA’s Birthday Cake. It’s quite similar, but still very different. Of the two, I much prefer to stock Birthday Cake – but this still went down very smoothly and I had no issues finishing it. It was a great complimenting flavour to the rhubarb as well.

Unfortunately, since I didn’t prepare this for myself I have no idea what the brewing parameters were though.

(Extra bonus story: On the drive home I was talking to my Uncle about tea, and he mentioned that in the morning my aunt had made him his first chai tea. Except, he knew nothing about what kind of chai it was or even than there are multiple kinds of chai, and the tea he described sounded almost exactly like the flavour profile or this tea or perhaps a cinnamon vanilla rooibos; he used the words “woody” and “medicine” like to describe it and that sounds like most people’s perception of rooibos)

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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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