So, this weekend I had a chance to go to Montreal’s very first tea festival – which also happened to be my very first tea festival!! It was an incredible event, and I think can definitely be called a major success. The festival started at 9AM – I arrived at about 8:50AM because I wanted to be early/make sure I got one of the free sample bags for the first 150 people in attendance and the line up people waiting spanned about two blocks! It was insane, and once we got in it was like trying to navigate through a can of sardines: PACKED!!

I did a ton of shopping, and I’ll be sure to write about all the teas that I purchased and make note of the fact I got them at festival when I do write about them – but of course I also sampled SO MANY different teas from all the different booths/stands that were there as well. I’m sure there are about a dozen or so teas/companies we sampled that I can’t remember or where I didn’t get the name of what was being sampled but I did attempt to keep a list of everything, and I’m going to try to get an individual review up for everything I could recall! The three things I know we sampled that stand out that I didn’t get name/company for are these though:

- Some type of Chinese Green Tea, which was amazingly soft and smooth with a delicate chestnut and peachy sort of combination!

- A “thick matcha” from a Chinese vendor specializing in different grades of matcha: this one unfortunately stands out because it was so bad! The texture was very pasty, and the sample we were given had many lumps in it!

- Finally, a chai infused salted caramel dip/spread from a bakery that specializes in scones. There were actually a few bakeries present, which felt kind of weird, but this was the only one that had at least incorporated tea into their stand in some way and the caramel dip was actually really nice!

Here, however, is the list of things that I got the name of the tea/company of though:

Pu’erh & Kumquat Kombucha – Quetzel Kombucha
Amethyst – Quetzel Kombucha
Original – Mate Libre
Rose & Hibiscus – Mate Libre
White Tea Nan Mei – Lao Kombucha
Digestion – Healtea
Revive – Healtea
Hydrate – Healtea
Headache Halo – DT
David’s Chai – DT
Menta – Mateina
Euforia – Mateina
Pineapple Jasmine Cold Brew – imPRESS
Matcha – O Japanese Tea
Takachiho Koshoun – Cha Yi
Pamplemousse – Upbio
Green Tea Peppermint – Fixi Kombucha
Nepal Autumnal Organic Jun Chiyabari – Camellia Sinensis
Mint Black – Arbonne
Strawberry Pow Wow – The Purple Dragon Fly

Aside from shopping/sampling, there were several different presentations and workshops throughout the day. A bunch of them seemed really interesting, but I sadly didn’t attend any of them since they were all given in French (and I’m not bilingual). However, I heard from some people who attended a couple of the workshops that they were all very well put together – so that’s very cool!

Lastly, DAVIDsTEA was actually one of the sponsors of the event so a bunch of people from the Tea Department and Events Department (as well as some staff from stores) had a booth where we were sampling teas and teaching people about what happens in the tea lab on a day to day basis: so, tea cupping and blend conception. It was really cool to see my coworkers just completely geeking out about tea to this massive crowd of highly engaged people just eager to learn everything they could! I think it made all of us feel very proud of what we do.

In general though it was just amazing to see such a large group of people enjoying tea! The booths ranged from very basic/introductory teas and flavoured teas/beverages to higher grade straight/traditional teas and traditional methods of brewing and very pricey teaware – and EVERY stand was crowded/packed, no matter the “level” of the tea/teaware they were carrying. Just, very uplifting to see!

I’ll try to get tasting notes from the festival written this week in between writing my normal notes – but as you can see it’s a long list, so we’ll see how long it takes. I don’t want to pressure myself into working on them too much.

Martin Bednář

Happy to hear that you have enjoyed it! I wanted to go to one tea festival back in June, but unfortunately – I have not, because of quite big expenses and train back home goes way too early and I could not afford one night over there. Maybe next year. And I think I had as well some other things to do.

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Martin Bednář

Happy to hear that you have enjoyed it! I wanted to go to one tea festival back in June, but unfortunately – I have not, because of quite big expenses and train back home goes way too early and I could not afford one night over there. Maybe next year. And I think I had as well some other things to do.

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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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