4290 Tasting Notes


This is a queued tasting note.

Made a cup of this for myself and one for my assistant manager at DAVIDsTEA the night we were doing set up for the feel good collection. I took notes on the cup itself, and then just took a picture of them for myself for later…

It got odd looks from staff members. Eventually we’ll reach the point where that’s common place, though. Probably.

- Lapsang/smoke is very forward whilst the tea is hot
- Like a grilled peach, in a way? Has that sort of char to it
- Peach is like a weird cross between natural and artificial; not sure how I feel about it
- Smoke backs off as it cools
- Realizing the fake/sweet quality may have been the butterscotch?
- I think it feels weird/out of place in the blend
- This was best after it had cooled down a ways
- Personally, would probably cut back on the butterscotch and Lapsang
- Both seem a touch heavy handed

For the time being, I feel sort of undecided about this blend. I think it might be one of those “acquired taste” sort of ones. I look forward to the next tasting, though.

Maddy Barone

I quite liked it, although I have lovely memories that the smoke and peach evoke.

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Needed something better/smoother to wash the taste of DT’s Cocoa Boost out of my mouth. I may end up regretting picking something with caffeine for so late at night; but we’ll see. This is miles better, though! Still has lovely cocoa notes, and a nice degree of malt with sweet potato and red fruit undertones. Really smooth, easy to relax to…

Most of my evening tonight has been tasting notes, tea, and good music. Just the way it should be! It’s nice having an evening in sometimes, just to relax.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyAJ4V06izg&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=14

I like The Shins a lot – have since I started highschool, when I first discovered them. However for the most part I’ve listened to the same songs over and over. Even though this isn’t a new song (it’s like five years old?) it is new to me and I’m pretty into it.

The music video is really solid too – but not watching that right now because there’s dialogue in it and that would interrupt the mood a little bit too much.

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Steeped this, and then because my mug warmer is in the kitchen, it ended up going cold in my room because I forgot about it. I think I may just have to buy a second one; one for the kitchen and one for my bedroom.

Who would have thought I’d become so dependent on it so quickly, though? I guess probably VariaTEA

Anyway, I still drank the tea because I certainly wasn’t going to let it go to waste. The rhubarb was actually very strong and bright/jammy. Really succulent, and then softened by the creamy flavour of the custard.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gj4_qp4a28&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=17

I almost feel like McLovin’s acting in this music video is better than the rest of his career in its entirety. Good song, though. Just upbeat enough, I’d say.

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drank Hot Brandy by White 2 Tea
4290 tasting notes

This is a queued tasting note.

5 Sec.
- Rinse/wash

8 Sec.
- Sweet & Fruity (Stonefruit/apricot)

10 Sec.
- More malt/hay
- Still fruity with faint floral undertones

10 Sec.
- Malt and hay top notes
- Silky body; stonefruit and autumn leaf
- Finish is floral

12 Sec.
- Settled into more of a strong hay note
- Hay note with backbone!?
- Like a strong white or a weak black (as a generalized profile thus far)
- Raisin

15 Sec.
- A little astringent but pleasantly so
- Thicker mouthfeel; a bit like cream
- Hay, malt, raisin, wood, dried fruits

15 Sec.
- Much the same
- Some spice in the finish? Not sure where that’s from; seems out of the blue

18 Sec.
- Resurgance of apricot notes in the top
- Stronger hay/malt
- And just as quickly as it appeared, there goes the spice…?

25 Sec.
- Feels a bit like a repeat of the fifth infusion
- A little more leaf-y in flavour?
- At this point, I’m really feeling the caffeine hit me

I found this tea really, really fascinating overall and I believe that I could have easily pushed forward for more steeps to see how the flavour would have evolved but I set a timer for this session because I had to get ready at a certain point in the afternoon to head out for the New Year’s Party I went to (drunk board games!) and it was after this infusion that the time went off and I had to end the session…

It was fascinating though how I was able to get very traditional “white tea” and “black tea” notes though! I’d very much like to see which of the two would be more dominant with this steeped up Western style…

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This is a queued tasting note.

Well, so far I’m doing pretty good in regard to keeping my New Year’s resolution of at least one Gong Fu session/week – more time for Gong Fu in general. Of course, you’d hope so given that it’s only day three of the new year…

Stream of consciousness review; mostly just enjoyed the calm of drinking tea and listening to music though. With Slack people keeping me company in the mean time. Slack folks are good Gong Fu company.

5 Sec.
- Wash (to start the leaves off)

5 Sec.
- Some top note sourness
- Very strong hay/vegetal notes
- Cucumber flesh and rind/peel; the rind/peel component is a bit bitter

5 Sec.
- Smoother/less sour
- Hay/crisp vegetal body
- Floral undertones at first stages of development

10 Sec.
- Sweet hay with softened vegetal
- Still cucumber-y but more crisp/cool flesh than bitter peel
- Finish is sweeter and floral

12 Sec.
- Honey top notes!
- Body of sweet hay/grass/cuke
- Peach notes poking through

15 Sec.
- Silky smooth
- Peach, hay, cucumber flesh, honey
- Flavour starting to diminish/on a downward trend

20 Sec.
- Peach/hay top notes
- Honeysuckle finish
- Loving the defined/clear notes despite diminishing flavour
- This tea has great clarity overall

30 Sec.
- Same but progressively weaker/more watery

35 Sec.
- Last ‘good’ infusion
- Hay notes are mostly what remain
- Too watery to press on though

Song/Album pairing for this session was Iwan Rheon’s Dinard LP. He’s got a playlist up of the whole thing on Youtube that you can check out here:


The entire LP makes for really nice calming, peaceful and reflective background music for the tea session but this track in particular is my favourite:


Maybe I’m foolish for being drawn to music in languages other than the one I speak (French music in particular) since I can’t understand the message but maybe that also means there’s more of a raw appreciation for the music itself and the tone of the singer’s voice. I did look up the English version of the lyrics after the session though, and they’re equally beautiful and do seem fitting for the tea/session on top of the music just working beautifully for it…

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 Cocoa Boost by DAVIDsTEA
4290 tasting notes

Third from the Feel Good Collection!

…And also the last, for a while. I tried Buchu Superfruit last year and my store hasn’t received Zestfully Green yet so I can’t try that one until it comes in.

Of the three new ones I’ve had so far, this is my least favourite. Not only do I think it’s pretty boring compared to the others it also seems pretty similar to Hot Chocolate, ingredient wise. My tasting of it kind of confirms that as well: in many ways it tastes like a roastier version of Hot Chocolate. Sweet chocolate notes at the start of the sip; chicory in the body and finish. Something else is off about the finish though. I think maybe it’s partly because the stevia in this blends seems REALLY strong/noticeable (why must everything have stevia!?) but there’s also a harsh bitter note and chemical tasting quality. I’m really not feeling this one…

Bottom line; I think if you enjoyed Hot Chocolate you’d probably like this one because they’re pretty similar but it’s not working for me at all. To be fair, I was kind of “meh” about Hot Chocolate overall too. Still though; I think one tasting is enough for me. The way the flavours play off each other in this blend is a bit… off to me.

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 Turmeric Glow by DAVIDsTEA
4290 tasting notes

Second one from the Feel Good collection!

This is the one I was most excited about, to be honest. It just sounds really unique/interesting in concept and I was excited to see how the flavours would play out.

My first impression of it is… that I need a second impression of it.

It was just a little hard to put my finger on whether I liked it or not; the flavours were definitely there and interesting but my mind’s not made up either way at this point. It starts off sweet and earthy, pretty well like the tea description implies it should. The sweetness is interesting because it’s both fruity sweet but also kind of like the natural sweetness that baby carrots have. The more identifiable turmeric notes crept in mid sip and a bit of an undertone; I definitely expected something a little more upfront than what I got but it was also nice having them as a constant, lightly spicy back note. The mid sip had fleeting apple/pineapple tasting fruity notes: overall the cup was sweet/fruity but these short mid notes were the most defined they got throughout the cup. Finishing notes were a bit of a more forward turmeric.

The aftertaste… was rather salty?

This is DEFINITELY one I need to try a few more times before I make my mind up 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.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, it brews up a really pretty pink colour!

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, awesome! I need to pick a bit of this up to try. At the tea festival, there was one tea blender that did all its teas at the festival with turmeric. Pretty cool. I should probably write reviews on those.

Roswell Strange

Ooh, interesting – do you remember the name of the vendor?

Evol Ving Ness

Tea and its splendour was the vendor.


My impression trying it in store was… “interesting.” LOL

Sébastien Tremblay

IMO, way better than Mango Tumeric

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drank Moroccan Mint by DAVIDsTEA
4290 tasting notes

Yesss! New Tea Collection!

You guys have no idea how excited I’ve been to get to try this collection; and today’s the day! I didn’t even work today, and I made sure I was at my store at some point today to pick up the new ones. It’s been killing meeee…

So, of all the teas in the collection this is probably the simplest and also the most traditional. It’s also the ‘main’ theme/inspiration of the teaware for this collection. A lot of the teaware has beautiful mosaic tiling/Moroccan inspired Motifs. I’m especially digging the colours for this collection: my two favourites pieces of teaware are the deep indigo Perfect mug with the gold/yellow mosaic pattern and the Moroccan Mint filled ceramic jar that’s the most beautiful shade of orange. The yellow carry mugs are pretty cool too, though.

Honestly, I was half surprised that until now DAVIDsTEA hasn’t offered a Moroccan Mint; it’s such a basic tea and generally speaking a relatively regular staple for most tea vendors who sell flavoured blends. Essentially, the only thing that separates our Moroccan Mint from the traditional ingredients is that we’ve also added peppermint to the Gunpowder green tea instead of just spearmint. Also, Moroccan’s generally drink theirs with SO MUCH added sugar and this one doesn’t even have stevia in it! Hooray DAVIDSTEA for resisting the urge to presweeten!

I was actually explaining to a coworker the history of Moroccan Mint today while he was making my tea for me – yesterday when we were doing Merch set up I mentioned this one is traditionally made from Gunpowder tea and he looked really freaked out. I couldn’t figure out why; but when I was picking through the leaf in the sniffer lid today to show him the Gunpowder in the blend I realized that he thought I had meant actual Gunpowder in the tea… No wonder he was concerned.

I may bring sugar cubes to work so the staff can drink this through a sugar cube held in their mouth… the traditional way.

Anyway; the tea is good! I wouldn’t call it a ‘knock you off your feet’ Moroccan Mint blend; personally I don’t think any blend is going to compare to the Moroccan Mint I made myself during my sommelier course. That one was so fresh. This is very refreshing though, and I think both kinds of mint are pretty balanced to the green tea. It’s sweet, but not overly or artificially. I was also worried that the peppermint would sort of make this one feel like traditional, but not really the case.

I’d call this one a really positive way to start out the collection!

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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First tea of the morning.

I added some cashew milk into it this time because last time I thought it was a little harsh and I remembered wanting to mellow it out a little bit.

I think the cashew milk is doing wonders here; the tea is definitely still thick and very smoky with tobacco, ash, and leather notes but I don’t feel nearly as assaulted by it and it’s smoother/creamier . Previously, it had a level of astringency that sort of felt the way that nail on a chalkboard sounds. In addition to the wonderful Lapsang, the cherry also comes through very nicely. It’s dark and seductive, and tastes sweet without having the brightness that a bing or maraschino cherry would have. If this cherry note were a person, it’d be at the point in life where it’s a bit of a Silver Fox. You know, still very hot/attractive but with hair starting to grey and wrinkles in just the right places. Yes, this cherry is the Clooney of cherries…

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rv_nBEgwCaw&index=1&list=WL

Ah, perfect mood music! Completely matches the tone of the tea and is submersive in every way. Plus, Iwan Rheon is just so nice to look at. Whether you see him as Simon from Misfits or Ramsey from GoT I think you’ve gotta agree the man can sing…


I didn’t know Iwan Rheon had his own songs! To me he is Ash from Vicious lol, but I agree about him being nice to look at.

Roswell Strange

I’ve never seen Vicious – would you recommend it? And yes! His music is SO GOOD.


It depends on the kind of thing you like to watch, I come down on the side of HELL YES but I also know some people that hate it… I have a deep and abiding love for Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, sitcoms and anything camp so I’m biased lol. I’d recommend giving it a shot if you don’t hate anything I’ve listed haha (:

Evol Ving Ness

Can women be silver foxes?

Roswell Strange

Hmm, I’d think so?

Evol Ving Ness

I’ve never heard the term referring to a woman. My mind jumped immediately to a male and then, boom, Clooney.


Silver vixen for a woman? I immediately think of Clooney too lol.

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Sipdown (160)!

Finished this one off yesterday – but I wanted to do something more unique to finish this off so I decided that I’d add some tequila to it because it is a margarita themed tea, after all. This is the point in the tasting note where I should point out that I pretty well fucking hate the taste of tequila. I drank way too much of it in high school and it just makes me feel sick now. However, in the moment I thought that this would be a good idea.

It was not.

Even though I only added about an ounce of tequila into a twelve ounce mug it was still way too strong of a flavour note and I felt like it detracted from the tea which is just so nice and beautifully balance all on its own. Though I will say, after a while a lot of the alcohol burned off from the boiling water and that made it bearable enough to finish the mug which I was originally worried I’d have to dump out.

Tea and alcohol can be a wonderful thing to mix together… but not always.


Oh dear

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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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