Sipdown (135)!

Well, I’ve got a few tasting notes to get through that have built up; it was kind of a busy week for me…

I wrote my exams for Tea 106 and got 98% on the written one. Though I will have to wait for the presentations to see how I did and those two. I’m feeling pretty good about it though! And last night was my boyfriend Kyle’s 19th birthday, so I planned his party for him and then we took him out to the bar. It was a really lovely night, and selfishly I’m kind of glad that he’s finally legal drinking age so he can accompany us to the bar regularly and I can spend more time with him.

I drank this tea with my roommate Cathryn while we were cleaning house and getting drinks and what not ready for people to come over: I think the sample was from VariaTEA? Thank you to whoever provided it, though!

One thing about drinking tea with my roommates/non tea drinking people is that I find more often than not I’m just enjoying the experience of sharing tea with someone who otherwise wouldn’t be drinking it, so I’m not paying very close attention to the flavour I’m actually experiencing. Personally, I think that’s more than acceptable as a trade off: as much as I love good tea and exploring the nuances of the flavour of good tea there’s something to be said for the experience of taking tea too.

We drank this Gong Fu though; I did a quick rinse and then we had probably around six or seven infusions? I think we could have extended the session farther but it was getting quite close to party time so we cut it short. I was hesitant about sharing this one with Cathryn ‘cause it’s a Pu and typically people react so extremely to Pu’erh. She actually really liked it though!

So, since I was more focused on the experience/conversation than the specifics of the tea I can tell you that this had notes of: Earth, Mud, Baker’s Chocolate (not overly sweet, a little bitter but in a good way), Roasted Nuts, Char, Wood, Malt, and maybe even mushrooms a little bit? Definitely can’t tell you which infusions in particular focused on which notes or how the flavours evolved and changed and worked with one another. Those are just the flavours I distinctly remember experiencing at one point or another.

The liquor was nice and velvety though; a really rich mouthfeel and viscosity. It wasn’t all that aggressive, but it was bold and fairly sweet. I definitely enjoyed the session! Actually, I sort of wish I had more of this just to go back and make more astute observations: but I’m happy with being able to say I just really enjoyed this one, and the company I was sharing it with.

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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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