drank Gunpowder by World Tea House
13276 tasting notes

Adventaggedon Day 20: Tea 6/8


The advent Gods must be pretty pleased with themselves today because I complained yesterday about how I simply don’t believe good Gunpowder tea exists and then not 24 hours later they served up a second straight Gunpowder for me to deal with. That’s cosmic karma.

Because I just don’t love plain Gunpowder and because the sample was fairly large I decided that I’d make the most out of it and try some fun, weird tea experiementation and home blending. I saw earlier this week a company on IG that was selling a blend of Lapsang Souchong and Szechuan peppercorns and that immediately caught my attention. If you’ve never had a straight Szechuan peppercorn it’s a one of a kind experience. They aren’t hot but they do immediately trigger a very intense sensation when you chew on one – it’s like your mouth simultaneously goes numb but also has this static-like “prickling” sensation. Sort of like the fuzzy feeling of having a limb that’s fallen asleep beginning to wake up. At the same time, you can’t stop salivating and the taste is like an intense fruity, almost citrus-like, explosion. So the thought of that pairing with a really woodsy camphor heavy smoked tea? Ooh, baby – no we’re cooking with gas!

So, for my home experimentation I mixed in a few pinches of a really aggresively smoked African black tea with about seven or eight gently crushed Szechuan peppercorns and then I steeped that gongfu! Now, the reality is that I probably would have much preferred to just be steeping Lapsang Souchong/smoked tea and the peppercorns but that’s not what I was doing – so I did get quite a bit of vegetal green tea taste from the Gunpowder. However, it was baked with an extra push of delicious savory smoke and a very distinct lemony taste from the peppercorns that complimented perfectly. No mouth static sensation because I didn’t have as many peppercorns as I think I’d need to trigger that plus they weren’t as directly exposed to my tastebuds – but the overall fruity taste definitely translated!

It was a very unique steeping experience and 100% an improvement upon just drinking the Gunpowder tea straight up.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kU03zXHZys&ab_channel=DuzMancini

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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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