So, JKTeaShop was really nice and sent me some teas for free in exchange for some reviews; they showed up yesterday and I would have loved to crack into them then but it was like 10PM at night when I got home from work so definitely not the ideal time for a good session…

I wanted to try this one first though; I’ve a pretty big fan of Lapsang Souchong regardless of whether or not it’s smoked (this one isn’t) but I’ve been drinking a lot more unsmoked Lapsang lately so I was excited to try another take. I steeped this one up Gongfu, with 8g of leaf. I’ll probably finish the rest of the sample Western style because this is a style of tea I enjoy both ways, and while Gong Fu black can be nice it doesn’t generally have much staying power.

I got about eight steeps out of this one – I found it had beautiful flavour right off the bat but it tapered off very quickly; but like mentioned above black teas don’t often have great staying power when it comes to brewing Gong Fu. Right off the bat, this one had a very nice full bodied and smooth malty quality to it that then further developed into undertones of stonefruit and some honey-like sweetness. I say honey-like because it was almost more something that is honey flavoured versus actual, realistic honey. Midsession steeps continued the malt and fruity sort of notes/traits, but developed into a bit of a bittersweet dark chocolate/baker’s chocolate sort of flavour with a somewhat spicy finish. Like, notes of cumin were definitely present. I actually really liked the introduction of those cumin notes because they were really unique and interesting contrasted against the stonefruit undertones and sweetness.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed this one! It was a great early morning session for me, and while it didn’t have the most staying power in the world it had solid flavor and for me that’s always the most important thing.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6Nt1ssPLBA

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/BfL1faRFoUf/?taken-by=ros_strange

Buy It Here: https://www.jkteashop.com/

Evol Ving Ness

I love that bowl. So lovely!

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Evol Ving Ness

I love that bowl. So lovely!

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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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