4452 Tasting Notes


Sipdown (206)!

So this tea comes from VariaTEA – it’s my first tea from this company! Turns out, like her, I made the mistake of thinking the flavour of this was inspired by the drink/cocktail instead of the actual location.

I was very surprised when I took my first sip and it was so strongly spearmint flavoured, with milder citrus undertones. I’ve only had a proper Long Island Iced Tea like twice, and to be honest I kind of hated it – but one thing it definitely did not taste like was mint. That said, this was delicious. I’d totally drink it again, but also I think it would be well suited as the base tea for a tea cocktail as well; maybe like a Mint Julep type thing?


Haha what does it say about us that we immediately thought alcohol :P

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Received this one a LONG time ago from Liquid Proust.

So, spent a few hours this evening hanging out with my ASM/friend Everett. The one who I play the ‘game’ with at DAVIDsTEA where we both pick out teas for one another. He came over for tea/supper. Turns out he’d never drank Gong Fu before so we had a really nice, relaxed Gong Fu session while just talking/hanging out.

In the spirit of LP who constantly has friends over for tea drinking/sharing, and who is just one of the most incredible people on the website when it comes to sharing tea and bringing people together I decided to put down the note pad and just enjoy the company I was sharing the tea with instead of tracking every minute detail of the experience. So, I have no idea how many infusions we had or how long each of them steeped for. I just know we drank until we were ready to move onto something else. Also, I picked this tea specifically because it’s one he shared with me and I thought it appropriate to continue the chain of sharing it with others.

That said, the things that stuck out in the session for me in between just enjoying everything for the experience were that this tea seemed to start off rather smooth for me. I know Everett didn’t like the first few infusions so much (he’s not a big Pu’erh fan generally speaking), but they were much better to me than a lot of initial infusions I’ve experienced with other shengs. I just know I braced myself for bitterness, and I didn’t really get that. Maybe some astringency though? In the tail of the sip in the first portion of the session. Also, I recall some veggie notes and roughly in the middle of the session more of a tangy, fruity sweetness that made me think of apricots.

This would be fun to revisit Gong Fu when I am tracking everything much more carefully and being a far more observant tea drinker just to see whether the more memorable things that poked out from this session would also be true for that one. However, judging from this experience alone it was really positive! Of course, the atmosphere I was in is reflected in that at least a little bit obviously.

Also, I didn’t take pictures because I felt kind of weird taking pictures of our session/the food while someone else was with us but for supper we had a freshly made Greek Salad, sans tomatoes because neither Everett nor myself like the texture of them that much. Also, ‘dessert perogies’. This was my very first time making dessert perogies and I wasn’t totally sure what to expect but basically think perogie dough wrapped around strawberry pie filling! As a supper, they were a bit odd paired with the salad – especially when you factored in the onion in the salad. However, on their own they tasted delicious and I bet they would have been even better with some cinnamon sugar dusted over them or hot with a scoop of vanilla icecream on top. You know, as an actual dessert.

Just… overall it was a good session, with a good meal, and good company.


Sounds like a good time! .

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drank Sweet Lime by DAVIDsTEA
4452 tasting notes

So after I finished my Cucumber Citron that I’d brought with me for the bus ride to DT, and after my matcha shot, I realized that I now had a carry mug full of lemon slices that weren’t doing anything but sitting there so I asked everyone who was working for a suggestion of something that would work well with the extra lemon slices and we decided on Sweet Lime.

So, on the bus ride home I enjoyed a second lemon infused tea – and iced Sweet Lime. Compared to the Cucumber Citron this didn’t work as well for me. I think that’s because this is already a REALLY citrus heavy tea, and the addition of even more citrus/lemon made it feel very ‘one note’. That said, that ‘one note’ flavour was pretty nice. I guess technically it was two note, because it was totally both lime flavoured and lemony. A little more sour/acidic than this normally is; but not tart or unpleasant. You could just tell it was natural lemon notes/lemon juice and not flavouring. I wouldn’t waste another lemon to drink it again because it wasn’t that good, but it wasn’t bad either.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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drank Kale Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
4452 tasting notes


I bussed into the store today both to pick up some of the new Matcha Genmaicha since it’s the only tea in this new collection that I haven’t tried yet and to meet up with my ASM Everett since we had planned to do something today after he got off work.

Turns out, our store hasn’t received our shipment of the Matcha Genmaicha yet so I had to get something else instead. While it was super tempting to just order a Genmaicha with some Ceremonial Matcha mixed into it, I settled for a Kale Matcha shot because I wanted to see if my theory that they’d work well for a shot was correct or not.

Final verdict? I liked it! Actually, I think I enjoyed the overall flavour of the kale matcha shot more than I do that of a Ceremonial Matcha shot. Even though you’d think it’d be more bitter because of the kale powder, it didn’t really seem that way to me. Still has a weird mouthfeel from the kale, though.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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Had the same cold brew from yesterday another cup from the pitcher today. Normally, I wouldn’t log another tasting note for the exact same brew but I did do something different with this one that I think is worth note.

So, a few weeks ago one of my coworkers brought a lemon to work to cut up and put in iced tea – and I thought that was fucking brilliant, so when I did my grocery shopping this week I bought a whole bunch of lemons so that I could do the same with cold brews. When I tried this one yesterday, I knew that it was something that would probably work well with the extra lemon flavour so it was my guinea pig today.

One cut up meyer lemon later, and I had a really nice cold brew that was greatly like yesterday’s but with a more pronounced lemon/citrus quality. Since the cucumber was SO strong in the first place, this sort of leveled it out a little bit. Really enjoyable, and even more Spring-like than yesterday!

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78DVtcsT26k&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=1

Like a lot of songs by this band, this sort of just feels like free word association, but when I first heard it I was super curious about it and so I looked it up. It’s kind of a love song of sorts, inspired in part by something overheard by a homeless man and a tattoo one of the artists once saw on a fan that they fell in love with. The overall sound is supposed to be like a downtown neighborhood/sort of slum which sets the scene for the people in the song.

I don’t know; I just really enjoy this band a lot and I thought that with that in mind and with the fun, upbeat nature of the song it worked for the bus ride I was taking whilst drinking this tea. My bus ride was headed to the heart of downtown, and we pass through a couple of neighborhoods not unlike what the artists were going for in the song, so with the flavour of the tea complimenting the tone of the song, and my literal surroundings matching the implied ones in the song it was just very immersive.

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So for once my tea mail actually arrived while I was at home, so I have a few new goodies from Bitterleaf to play with today on my day off! I got two new gaiwans and cups, and then the sample size of this tea. I really badly wanted to get the 2015 version when that was first announced, but it sold out before I could afford to so when I saw this one I pounced.

Of course, I can’t use two gaiwans/cups at the same time – that would be madness. I posted some pictures of the session on FB though which I’ll link at the bottom of the review here and if you guys want you can check out the pretty new additions to my teaware collection, as well as the gorgeous leaf/flower from this tea.

But enough exposition – here are the stream of consciousness notes from the session:

10 Sec. Rinse

10 Sec.
- Liquor is a beautiful rich gold
- Though lots of “bits”/floaties, not unlike you see in chamomile
- Quite a bit of initial sweetness
- Floral undertones
- Long lingering finish/aftertaste

10 Sec.
- A little more orange hue to the liquor; now a gold verging on amber
- Thicker/more syrupy mouthfeel
- Sweet fruit/floral duo notes
- Finish is like peach juice and reminds me a bit of fruit cocktail syrup

15 Sec.
- The leaf/flower expansion for this tea is just unreal; comparable to a lot of oolongs
- Slightly more floral
- Otherwise the same

20 Sec.
- Liquor is somewhat cloudy
- Has settled into a floral and stonefruit combo flavour
- Though the stonefruit is marginally heavier on the peach side of things
- As it cools, there’s a honey cruller sort of taste? (Yes, like the donut)

30 Sec.
- Beginning to see the first stages of liquor colour decline
- Though the flavour is still the same as above

30 Sec.
- MUCH paler liquor now, and a gradual decline of flavour

45 Sec.
- Ditto to above

60 Sec.
- Pretty flat flavour now
- Just traces of some floral sweetness and honey
- And thus, the session ends

Overall, my experience was that this starts off/gets going really quickly and strongly, but when the decline starts to happen it’s pretty sharp and fast as well. I think this would be something great to keep on hand though for when you want to do a session, but it’s already late at night and so you don’t want the caffeine from a session.

And as promised, pictures: https://www.facebook.com/resteep/posts/10209652649606977

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drank Peach Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
4452 tasting notes

Ok, last of the new matcha flavours!

Of course, this one has been out before – although I never actually tried it over the summer so this was a first time tasting for me. It’s also, of the three that just came out today, the only one that’s going to be part of our core collection. I have to say I do think it’s smart that we’re adding a fruity matcha to the core collection as right now our only other core matcha flavours are mint and vanilla.

This was my least favourite of the new ones – I think Red Leaf Tea/Matcha Outlet has just spoiled me a lot and so my expectations for flavoured matcha are quite high. Especially the fruitier flavours. This was just a touch too sweet in my opinion, and the finish was really noticeably artificial peach to me. It did have a bit of a floral undertone to it though that I didn’t really feel like I got from the other matchas. If I was going to drink this again, I would definitely underleaf it though. I think that MIGHT resolve some of the issues I had with flavour concentration/distribution. My overall recommendation for this one? Sprinkled over yogurt, or straight and iced.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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drank Maple Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
4452 tasting notes

Another new matcha flavour!

Of the three, this is the one I was most hesitant about – I do love maple a lot, but I know that we tend to add sweeteners to our flavoured matcha something I have a well documented history of strongly disliking and so I was really worried that it would be too sweet, since maple is already sweet on its own.

Ultimately, this rang in as my second flavourite of the three; so middle of the pack. While the added sugar does fit in fairly seamlessly with the flavour of the matcha I can tell there’s a lot of it because this is only rated as “low caffeine” and since matcha itself is NOT a low caffeine beverage, that means it’s really been stretched out from the cane sugar/fillers. So yes, obviously it was sweet tasting but not in a way that didn’t work with the maple flavour. Also, I definitely like the maple in this matcha more so than I do in any of our other maple teas. ie. Oh Canada!, and Maple Sugar. Ultimately, I think this matcha in particular is going to be best suited for lattes or baking infusions.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.


I usually add sweetener to my teas, so I really like the flavoured matchas since its sweet on its own. This one is really good, sweet just how I like it

Roswell Strange

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking sweet tea/wanting added sweetener in a tea – the main thing that I personally dislike is when it’s pre-added because at that point you can’t take it out of the tea, and anyone who prefers less sweet tea is going to be turned off. It’s so much easier to add something than remove it.


Very true

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drank Kale Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
4452 tasting notes

Aaah! It’s matcha launch day!

What does that mean? Well, it means I can finally talk about the three new matcha flavours that came out today; Kale, Maple, and Peach! The latter isn’t technically new, it was released as limited edition over the summer and now it’s back as one of our core teas. The other two are limited edition, and we’ve also released a limited edition Matcha Genmaicha as well. I still need to try that one.

As for the three flavoured matchas, this turned out to surprisingly be my favourite of the three. If you like straight matcha/Matcha Matsu this is fairly similar to the taste of a normal matcha but more boldly vegetal and umami. Like we’re advertising it in the description for this matcha, I definitely see it working well in smoothies. That said, I think it’s also well suited for matcha shots for people looking for some of the wellness benefits of matcha and kale but who aren’t quite as big on the taste.

I do like the taste though; but I also like the taste of straight matcha as well.

On thing I do think it worth note; this has kale powder in it in addition to the matcha. In fact, that’s the only other ingredient in this. However, it likes to settle REALLY quickly and can kind of get sludgy on the bottom of whatever you’re drinking it in. Texture wise, that’s not an issue if you’re choosing this for a smoothie or shot but if you’re drinking this otherwise just remember to give it a stir every now and then.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, good morning, Ms. Strange! Can you tell me how much matcha powder you use for one DT matcha shaker travel mug?

Roswell Strange

So, according to the Matcha Maker’s box, if you follow the directions exactly, we recommend about 1/2 tsp of matcha for 8 oz. of water which is in line with what I would typically use at home.

That said, when we make matcha in store our measurements vary a bit. For flavoured matcha, we’re generally using 5 “Perfect Matcha Spoons” one matcha spoon is 1 tsp for flavoured matcha, and 2 for straight matcha, for 16 oz. cups. So, a fair bit more than you’re measuring into your matcha maker. However, personally I’d just experiment and see what you like because everyone’s tastes are different anyway. I know for me, 5 Matcha Spoons is WAY too much but there are other staff who think anything less tastes super watery/weak.

Also, for this tea specifically we use 2 matcha spoons in store like we would for a straight matcha.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Ms. Strange. Much appreciated.


huh, my reaction to reading about the tea was ’ewww!". I may have to try it after all. ;)

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drank Fireberry by Tiesta Tea
4452 tasting notes

Sipping on this tonight while I try to wind down before bed.

This is another one that my mom picked up for me, and when I smelled the dry leaf I kind of knew that despite interesting sounding ingredients this was going to primarily just be a cup of tart hibiscus. When I measured out the leaf, those fears were reinforced yet again because there’s just so much hibiscus in this tea.

And of course now that I’m drinking it, it’s just really tart, hot hibiscus. The liquor itself is even so opaque and dark red that when the mug was full it basically looked black. The only other thing I can say about this one that’s positive is that the finish does have very light hints of cranberry. It’s just so light though, and getting through the hibiscus for that cranberry note isn’t super worth it.

I’ll try this again cold brewed though ‘cause sometimes that can decrease the intensity of hibiscus heavy blends enough for other notes to be more present and enjoyable. It’s worth a shot, at least…

Flavors: Hibiscus, Tart

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My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually three(ish) years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC trained Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more that straight but one of my mini goals is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends and as of late oolongs but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

My Goal for The New Year (2017) is to make time for at least one long, proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for…

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additive. The exception to this is matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives. So unless I mention otherwise you can assume that I’ve prepared my tea Western style without added ingredients/sweeteners.

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, Lychee, Cranberry, Cream, Melon, Pineapple, Malt, Roasty, Petrichor

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger/“Chai” in general, overly vegetal or marine, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach

I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms; as such I do not drink Kombucha teas (just to be on the safe side)!

Currently exploring/looking to try: Straight Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot

If you see me writing about sharing tea with any of them that’s what I’m talking about ;)

I also have two real life pets:

A skinny pig hairless guinea pig named Eilert, after Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler, and a fancy rat named Wasabi.

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.

The URL to my tumblr blog is: guyfierithirdandfinalantichrist


Regina, SK, Canada



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