10421 Tasting Notes

drank Balhyo Cha by Soocha Tea
10421 tasting notes

Gongfu!

Mmmm…

This makes for a very cozy and warm tea session, and I’m actually still not over how delish the dry leaf aroma of this tea is; rich cocoa puffed wheat cake and peanuts!! The taste is equally yummy, but with some stewed red fruits notes mixed in with the cocoa, grains, and toasted nut flavours that make up the majority of the flavour! Puffed Wheat Cake is still a pretty good descriptor, but maybe if you crossed that will a really nice peanut brittle. Mouthfeel is creamy…

I’m definitely no Balhyocha expert, but I do think this is one of the best I’ve tried!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIEYYhgAJ9O/

…I did not steep that much loose tea in the gaiwan, don’t worry!

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbpgGZYQLww&ab_channel=TheBrummiesVEVO

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Gongfu!

I got a good teaware haul from Teaware House on Friday, so I broke in a selection of the teaware today during this session – including a very bootylicious frog teapet.

This was my first time revisiting this cake from after it first arrived and was very fresh; I was excited to see if it had settled a bit more and if the flavours had changed or become a little easier to pinpoint. Ultimately, with this session, this sheng has a very sweet liquor, with top notes of candied lemon early on with more vegetal body. From there it moves into more of a sugared lemon peel/rind top note with more body, pith, and texture and the finish gets more of a brothy umami quality with creamed greens mixed with fennel and anise!! Still a very interesting pu’erh with hard to nail down flavours!! Good huigan though, and steeps stack nicely!!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIJejSag-6s/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWKs9ZAn4Pc&ab_channel=COLORS

tea-sipper

That frog though :D

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Grandpa style…

So, let me first say that I think Grandpa style was not the most advisable way to steep this oolong. That much seems very clear from my experience. It was just unfortunately not a very nice tasting cup; the florals were there but the oolong was very sharp and acridly grassy with astringent and bitter finishing notes.

My gut feeling is that, in general, it’s probably not a super amazing TGY but I think this method of brewing likely just highlighted some of the areas where it would have already been rough around the edges. I’ll learn from this for next time, though!

VariaTEA

I ordered a Deadpoolong from Happy Turtle Tea.

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74

Sipped on this one today…

From lavender and floral, which is what I’ve come to expect from this blend, but backed my a clean and crisp sweetness like pure sugar cane with a finish that was more fruity than I’ve experienced from this blend before. As it cooled, it seemed increasingly more fruity with distinct blueberry jam flavours that complimented the thick lavender super well!!

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Steeped up Western style, but I did save myself enough to try it Gongfu later…

Jin Jun Mei is a style of tea with a mighty big reputation right now and, with that reputation, and equally big price tag in many cases. Do I think it’s worth the hype and price tag? Usually no, though there are admittedly some very nice ones out there.

I liked this one, but it was easy to find myself distracted from the taste of the tea by any one of the many other things going on in my day. When I’m drinking a straight black tea Western style, I usually want it to either fade into the background and act as a sort of pleasant “white noise” to be sipped on or I want it to command my attention because of how good it is. This tea? Somewhere in the middle.

Mostly tasted of cocoa, sweet potato, and some florals – but smelled dominantly like rich cocoa power/chocolate. The good stuff, from like some kind of fancy European brand.

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A little bit too much earthy beet and too little richness or sweetness from the chocolate; I couldn’t decide if it was trying to be dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or actual cacao and I think I would have been happy with any of those, but the direction needed to be more clear. The steeped liquor was beautiful though; very dark with red undertones that perfectly conveyed a “Red Velvet” appearance.

I think this would be perked right up with milk (for body/creaminess) and a bit of sweetener like agave for a flavour boost/carrier.

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57
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
10421 tasting notes

Drinking this now, but I over steeped it so there’s a hint of bitterness and some astringency to the cup. Otherwise, it’s a warming clove and pumpkin spice sort of profile with slight sweetness, vanilla, and hints of dull (but tasty) citrus. I find I rarely crave or think about this tea, but when I do dig it out and steep it up it’s usually quite satisfying and it’s a very different style and approach to a “spiced tea” from what DT is doing now and I appreciate the difference in direction…

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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72
drank Coffee Cake by DAVIDsTEA
10421 tasting notes

From earlier this week on a day I was craving sweet black teas…

Tastes like brown – sweet brown though, molasses and brown sugar with hints of the candied, gooey cherries that come in bulk in tubs for decorating cakes and other confections, drowning in a pool of barely fruity corn syrup. Delicious and nostalgic.

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 Juniper Joy by DAVIDsTEA
10421 tasting notes

Geek Steep S1E11 – Shera and The Princesses of Power

Cold Brew!

So, after doing my “initial watch” of the episodes that Marika had outlined I ended up rebelling from out episode outline by then watching the entirety of the first two seasons of the series – mostly as an insomnia show on nights when I was having a particularly hard time sleeping…

The advantage of doing that was that I got a near immediate “do over” from my Cotton Candy pairing that I was dissatisfied with and as I watched more of the show and tried more teas I got a stronger direction for what I might like the pair with the show. This ended up being my favourite thing I paired with it – and it came from the realization that I did want bright, fruity and sweet flavours to match the optimistic, hopeful and colourful characters but that whatever I chose couldn’t be all fruit – it needs some backbone too.

And that’s how I ended up with this jammy strawberry black tea with the body of the black tea base and a lovely mix of gin botanicals that fits the layers and depth of each character as well as the beautiful and haunting magical woods that the story largely takes place in. It was perfect.

Our Website: https://www.geeksteep.com/
Our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/geeksteep/

My Geek Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIDgUjkgzNi/

Listen to us on Buzzsprout:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/1286036/podcast/website

DB topic:
https://steepster.com/discuss/42133-geek-steep-a-new-tea-and-fandom-podcast

If you want to get caught up on the Geek of The Week for next Thursday, the spoiler for our explored fandom is at the bottom of our latest DB post!

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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72

Geek Steep S1E11 – Shera and The Princesses of Power

This is the tea that I paired with my “initial watch” of the show, which was the first two episodes and the last two episodes of season one. I picked it on an assumption of the series that turned out to be wrong; that it would be fun and enjoyable with bright and happy colours and characters but, ultimately, a show of fluff without substance.

I was very happy to be proved wrong – and I talk a lot more about exactly how I was proved wrong, and what I ended up loving about the show in our podcast episode. Even if you don’t listen to the podcast episode I really feel like this is a good show to check out. It is fun and colourful with bright and enjoyable characters but there is substance to them and important messages and themes as well as a beautiful inclusivity.

I obviously still think people should listen to the podcast too, of course. I think it’s a great way to spend an hour and introduce yourself to a new fandom or, better yet, hear someone else’s thoughts on a fandom you might already enjoy. Plus Marika and I are funny at enjoyable to listen to at least, like, 80% of the time…

Also, just because this wasn’t “the right” tea for this fandom doesn’t mean it’s not a good tea! I still like the sweet “fairy floss” style raspberry and creamy marshmallow notes a lot, and it was a very nice thing to sip on – I just think it’s probably better suited for other shows.

Our Website: https://www.geeksteep.com/
Our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/geeksteep/

Listen to us on Buzzsprout:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/1286036/podcast/website

DB topic:
https://steepster.com/discuss/42133-geek-steep-a-new-tea-and-fandom-podcast

If you want to get caught up on the Geek of The Week for next Thursday, the spoiler for our explored fandom is at the bottom of our latest DB post!

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Profile

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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