10421 Tasting Notes

Adventaggedon Day 2 – Tea 6/6

This was actually my first tea from today – it wasn’t a favourite because the green tea was pretty grassy and strong in terms of flavour, and it also seemed to steep quite quickly without much forgiveness for over steeping. In other words, it got bitter quickly. That said, the simple and straight forward lemon note was nice – basically just like your average, no frills lemon hard candy. A classic approach to a lemon tea.

Today’s advent photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUQkZLAFJz/

Cameron B.

I have their Nil Noir, and it’s delicious. Sort of a lemon/honey/fig thing going on, with a black base.

Roswell Strange

Ooh – I hope that’s included in the advent, sounds delish! :)

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Adventaggedon Day 2 – Tea 5/6

Probably as “classic” of a Chai as you can get, right!? I wasn’t thrilled to see this one in the advent this morning but I wasn’t disappointed either – this is absolutely going to be the advent that challenges my taste preferences the most.

The tea itself used in the blend is a CTC grade of black tea, but it looks quite nice for that grade. The spices, as well, as all pretty chopped or “sachet grade” – including a fair amount of cardamom husk. The aroma smells beautifully of thick cardamom. I was talking with Cameron earlier this evening in our advent IG chat group, and it seems like Vahdam leans pretty heavy on the cardamom but I’m super okay with that – the three spices I have the “best” relationship with are cardamom, clove, and star anise and while I don’t much like them all together (too much spice for me) they’re typically delish on their own. I got a lot of cardamom from the steeped up tea, and a very full bodied and robust malty and grain-y heavy black tea with whisps of red fruit and honey. For a masala, I enjoyed it a lot.

We were talking stovetop chai as well today – I don’t usually bother with it because it’s a lot of fuss for a type of tea I don’t really enjoy, but I’m verbalizing the commitment to make at least one chai stovetop this advent season!

Today’s advent photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUQkZLAFJz/

Cameron B.

I’m glad to hear you tasted the base tea a lot, and cardamom. I felt like I was tasting the base in my cup but it was hard to tell with the milk. Cardamom was definitely there.

VariaTEA

Honestly I was surprised you went with this one given Vahdam’s focus on spiced teas. With that said, it is pretty and has cute tins so part of me wanted it just for that.

Roswell Strange

The goal was definitely to do something I wouldn’t normally reach for, so it checked that box off for me for sure.

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Adventaggedon Day 2 – Tea 4/6

This is another “12 Teas of Christmas” style advent, so I’ll be alternating back and forth between this advent and the 52Teas one – like I mentioned yesterday. It’s also Harry Potter themed, so I’m very excited to get a little injection of fandom with my advents this year!

The smell of this through me off at first because I was expecting a more overt chocolate aroma and flavour, because of the name. The tea itself was very tasty, but I would say the strongest note was a fresh and slightly zesty orange followed then by cocoa, ginger, and a sweet graham note from the honeybush. A weird thing kind of happened with the loose leaf smell where it was almost cola-like in aroma to me, but I didn’t get that from the taste.

Today’s advent photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUQkZLAFJz/

Cameron B.

I would love to have an all Harry Potter themed tea advent! :3

VariaTEA

So something about the citrus in this is coming off oily to me and almost like febreeze was shot in my mouth. It is really weird. Like its orange and a good orange at first but then it gets wonky and becomes like a tums orange or some other artificial orange.

Roswell Strange

…but was it a cola scented febreeze? XD

Cameron B.

Yum, you know how I’ve been looking for a nice cola Febreze tea…

VariaTEA

Haha definitely not cola for me…I don’t think. Cola Febreeze sounds sticky and unpleasant tbh.

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drank Sleep Breezy by Offblak
10421 tasting notes

Adventageddon Day 2 – 3/6

I don’t love chamomile so this was definitely a big push outside my comfort zone today, but it actually turned out to be a pretty nice and approachable version of a chamomile blend. I was hit with that floral and almost apple-y chamomile flavour first but to my delight it was swiftly followed by a juicy ripe peach and red fruit note, playful citrus from the lemongrass, and a sweet finish on the tongue. The longer it steeped, the more peach I got and the less chamomile – and in the end, while it started off unpleasant, it finished as something truly enjoyable.

I would still never order this for myself, but I know that I’m going to be experiencing it once more in this advent and at least now I wont have a feeling of dread when I see that sachet in the advent…

Today’s advent photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUQkZLAFJz/

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Adventaggedon Day 2 – Tea 2/6

This was my favourite tea from today! It is very similar to some of yesterday’s teas from other advents (I remember from last year that I ended up trying A LOT of spiced orange teas) but I like the spice combination in this one quite a bit – medium spice level with emphasis on the clove and star anise!

Clove is probably my favourite typical “chai spice” ingredient, but it’s not super popular in North America so it’s always nice when I see a tea company lean into it with a blend. The anise adds to the juicy quality of the orange, and the whole thing just feels full of juicy life and flavour. I can’t remember if this was around in prior years, but it’s definitely caught my attention this year. If there are enough B&B teas in the advent this year to justify an order, this will likely be one that I include.

Today’s advent photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUQkZLAFJz/

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drank Matcha Matsu by DAVIDsTEA
10421 tasting notes

Adventaggedon Day 2 – Tea 1/6

Another day, another advent… or six!!

I was pleasantly surprised to see a straight matcha included in DT’s matcha advent, though it would have been nice for it to have been more mixed into the middle of the advent – I have a feeling we’ll be all flavoured matcha and treats from here on out.

I like Matcha Matsu a fair bit – for what is technically the “lowest” grade of matcha from DT I think it’s very smooth and creamy, with fresh vegetal flavours! It’s also, fun fact, the matcha that is used in all of DT’s flavoured matchas. So, I’ve had it a lot. Today I just rocked a plain, hot cup while working at the lab today – it was a bit chaotic so finding the time to whisk matcha was not the most convenient thing in the world, but it was a tasty cuppa once it was made!

Today’s advent photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIUQkZLAFJz/

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Cameron B.

Ooh, that’s good to know that it’s the same base as the flavored matcha! I thought it was pretty good straight, definitely drinkable.

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Adventaggedon Day 1 – 6/6

Last tea from today!

I was very surprised that this made it into the advent assortment, I really think of Pumpkin Pie Matcha as a very Autumnal flavour and not a winter one – but I guess American Thanksgiving is considered more of a “winter holiday” and Pumpkin Pie still makes an appearance there, plus it is day one so at least we got it out of the way early…

I made this up as a latte, but a very concentrated one – somewhere between a matcha shot and a normal mug of matcha. The result was an ultra rich cuppa with lush mouthfeel and exaggerated flavour notes, in particular the nutmeg which was arguably stronger than I’ve ever experienced it in this matcha before. Not my favourite tea from today, but probably middle-ish of the pack.

FYI – this is my advance warning for anyone doing the 52Teas/Geek + Tea advents that I’m treating them as one “whole” advent (since they’re 12 days each) and will be alternating days between the two. That means I’m going to be doing tasting notes for both advents now so there may be spoilers! For today, I’ll do my 52Teas tasting note in the middle of my block of six advents so that there’s some advent cushion/warning for people who might want to avoid the spoiler…

Advent pics from today: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIRXCaNAoMq/

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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drank You're Golden by Offblak
10421 tasting notes

Adventaggedon Day 1 – Tea 5/6

I try to get a good mix of “tea styles” in all of my advents each year, and while that includes things like matcha advents, straight/traditional teas, and more French/European blending styles it also includes companies I’m familiar with and that are new to me. This is a new to me company, and I’ve actually not tried any of their teas before so this was my first intro to them!!

The blend is a black tea with a mix of spices (namely ginger/turmeric) as well as lemongrass and orange. I’m not big on either ginger or turmeric, but this was a really pleasant surprise for me! The orange was insanely fresh and juicy, and the warmth and subtle spice of the ginger actually seemed to make that pop even more! It reminds me a lot of DT’s “The Skinny” but I think I actually prefer this because of the black tea base that was used.

I know that in the Offblak advent there are only twelve teas so after the 12th day I’ll presumably be getting the same set of teas – so it’ll be nice to taste this again and see if my opinion stays the same.

Advent pics from today: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIRXCaNAoMq/

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Adventaggedon Day 1 – Tea 4/6

Starting off the B&B advent with a familiar holiday blend from last year!!

I feel like I was pretty critical of this tea last year, but today I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was similar to what I remember, but just a bit different – still plenty of ginger but a lot more clove and more of a molasse-y sweetness (appropriate for a gingerbread inspired tea) and kiss of caramel. Not really much salt/salinity.

A good number of my teas today were spiced, and I think this was probably either my favourite or second favourite of the day…

Advent pics from today: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIRXCaNAoMq/

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77

Adventaggedon Day 1 – 3/6

I can’t remember if it was someone here on Steepster that I was talking to, but a few weeks ago I was lamenting about how disappointed I was that there were no companies with a really good rum raisin tea, so I was ECSTATIC seeing this one today!

It’s definitely a bit different than how I would have assumed it would taste – very grape flavoured instead of a raisin note, almost like Welch’s grape candies. That through me off a little bit because it was so much fruitier than I had anticipated. It’s missing that sweet and starch-y cake note as well. However, the spice balance is really nice and the rum flavour is excellent – reminds me a lot of good spiced rum. An enjoyable cup, and a delightful concept but not really the execution I’d expected. That said, I think my “ideal” rum raisin tea is probably more of an ice cream than it is a cake…

Advent pics from today: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIRXCaNAoMq/

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Bio

Hello! My name is Kelly, though many people in the tea community call me Ros or Roswell.

I am a twenty five year old proudly queer tea addict, blogger, and all around tea geek. 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 preperation 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.

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.

Location

Montreal, QC, CA

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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