Sipdown (139)!

Thank you to Tea Story for providing the sample! Silver Needle is definitely in my top five favourite types of pure tea, and I always love trying new companies’ selections of it. Since the brewing instructions on the sample packet were Western style that’s how I decided to prepare it.

It was actually my commute to work tea for the morning; this week is my first in my new production position so I’ve gone from catching the bus to work at 8:10 to catching it at 6:40 in the morning. It’s a harsh change of pace; but I’m really appreciating the stillness of getting up so early. The world is so quiet! It’s the perfect time of day to drink my tea and appreciate it fully – for the same reasons I so greatly love having a cuppa in the dead of night.

All in all I enjoyed the cup quite a bit; although I have a hard time calling it anything more than average. It demonstrated very typical Yin Zhen flavour notes: sweet hay/straw, lightly floral characteristics, and slight peachyness. I also thought that it had a bit of a heavy whipping cream sort of vibe and while I can’t call that super typical it also isn’t a flavour note unique to this Yin Zhen. And typical isn’t a bad thing by a long stretch. If I was looking for a very simple, every day drinking Silver Needle that I wouldn’t feel bad for drinking quiet casually I think this would likely be a good choice if it was offered at the right price. I also think, however, that between this and the Big Red Robe I tasted from Tea Story the oolong was definitely the better offering.

Again, I’m very grateful for the free sample though! It was a very pleasant and enjoyable cuppa for the commute to work, and I can never pass up a mug of Silver Needle.

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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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