6401 Tasting Notes


Another from VariaTEA!

This is a really nice summer cold brew or iced tea; I’m drinking cold brewed though. It reminds me quite a bit of DAVIDsTEA’s Mango Fruit Punch. Definitely sweeter, with that candied fruit element that MFP also has. I think this is a bit more noticeably citrus-y though; maybe a larger percentage of citrus to mango than MFP has? This one also appears to have the strawberry in it just like DT’s blend but similarly I don’t taste the strawberry in this one either.

Anyway – MFP has never really been my jam, but it appeals to a lot of people and it’s one that I definitely don’t mind enjoying sporadically, so I’m enjoying this one! I wonder if it’s something The Necessiteas carries year round or if it’s something that they do just for the summer, like DT? Anyone know? This would be a really excellent alternative for fans of the DT blend if it is carried year round.

Sweet, smooth, refreshing and tropical.

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drank Icewine Berry by Pluck Tea
6401 tasting notes

Hot cup from earlier this evening.

It’s been a while since I had this one, and it’s definitely quite tart and hibiscus heavy like I remember it being but one thing that I’d forgotten was how sweet it is as well. I mean, that pucker of tartness in the front of this definitely transitions pretty quickly into this lovely mix of sweet berries (elderberry and currant?) and grapes. Also some apple-y qualities. Definitely has some wine like elements, but reminds me more of a sweet red wine as opposed to ice wine. Though I guess ice wine is also quite sweet in and of itself. There’s a difference though.

Definitely a difference…

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drank Matcha Latte by DAVIDsTEA
6401 tasting notes

I reorganized my tea desk/book shelves tonight to make room for the 80+ samples that I got from VariaTEA – and I needed something to drink while I sorted through samples and made space so I chose this because of the easy preparation.

It was nice though I used less than the recommend amount of perfect spoons so it was a little bit thin in mouthfeel and flavour. I didn’t want something overly rich though because my nausea today has been really mild and I didn’t want to set it off with something very rich or sweet. So, I played it safe – and thankfully I didn’t experience any queasiness as a result of that choice.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4EzwWPpPEE&index=6&list=WL

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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Probably my last tea of the day…

The dry leaf for this one smells amazing – really screams Cherry Cola, with hints of sweet and creamy vanilla. Makes me think of drinking an amazing float in some old school malt shop/diner. I was all kind of excited to steep this one up in the hope that it would be even half as tasty as it smells.

The taste is awesome; the cherry and vanilla notes both come through quite strongly and clearly and really balance each other out. I don’t think the cola is quite as strong in taste as it was in smell, but it is there and I have so say that it’s better than a lot of cola teas I’ve tried – and I have had my fair share. It’s a little bit citrus-y too, and that makes me wonder if this is one of those blends that uses a combo of citrus and spice to recreate the cola flavour. I don’t taste any spices though, so maybe not. Rooibos base comes through fairly strongly also; pulls you out of the cherry cola illusion a little bit but doesn’t completely shatter it. Thanks for sharing VariaTEA!

Ultimately I really like the taste of this one, the only problem is that as I finish off the mug that nausea/queasiness is coming back in full force and I’m starting to feel really sick. That strong feeling of being right on the verge of gagging or full on throwing up. I’ve felt this sensation so much over the last four days that I know it has ZERO to do with the tea itself, but it’s hard to not wonder what’s triggering it and if that trigger has any connection to the tea…

It’s making the last bit of the mug hard to finish off though, and that’s why this is likely the last tea of the night. Don’t need anything else adding to the nausea. Bleck. Ick. Ugh.


Glad you liked this but sorry to hear about the nausea. Sometimes it helps to actually throw up but I’m not sure if that’s the case with prolonged nausea. Hope you feel better soon.

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So sweet and smooth; light refreshing notes of cucumber, bamboo, and fresh Springtime grass accented with hints of cranberry. No tartness though; just sweet cranberry notes. ALMOST had a candied cranberry taste to it. Almost.

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First cup of the morning today, with some cherry infused honey.

I’m still feeling incredibly nauseous, and like literally all the time. I thought that the ginger in this blend might be settling on my stomach, along with the honey, but I didn’t really want to sacrifice flavour – this seemed like a good compromise.

It was fine; didn’t make me feel better or worse. The taste was great though; a strong and robust full bodied black tea base with lots of briskness to it, and then sweet cherry top notes and ginger undertones. I really love teas like this that have layers of flavours to them – flavours that compliment one another but contrast in their delivery. The push and pull of bright fruit notes and strong, warming spices.

I just want to not feel nauseas all the time though.

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One of the many teas that I received from the amazing VariaTEA today. Seriously, she passed along more than eighty tea samples to me – single handedly pushing my cupboard into the 600+ tea mark! Tea friends are amazing, and also sometimes kind of crazy.

I picked teas today by just randomly picking from the box, which is how I wound up drinking this one. Here’s the thing, I don’t know that I’m familiar with what a fluffernutter actually is? I mean I’m like 95% sure it has marshmallow in it but other than that I’ve got no clue. It was good though! The taste was very rich and sweet and it put one very solid image in my head that I just couldn’t break away from; this basically tasted exactly like those banana marshmallow five cent candies that you used to be able to get at the convenience store. Very sweet and more of an artificial banana flavour but still so good; definitely has this nostalgic quality for me. I could also taste the honeybush; sweet and woody with a very slight peppery undertone to it as well. I actually liked the pairing a lot; that woody/peppery combo kept this one from being too sweet/sugary.

Thanks VariaTEA!


Hahahahaha ha ha I saw the box before it went out :) have fun!


A fluffernutter is a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich.

And also we hadn’t swapped in a while and there were teas I really wanted to send and I had much smaller boxes at first but I had to keep upsizing until finally I only had a big box so I figured if I was gonna send that I might as well make it worth it and just stuffed the shit out of it.

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Cold Brew!

Was recently talking to a tea friend about yuzu/yuzu infused tea blends and she made a comment about how yuzu always tastes so much like black pepper to her. She also suggested that if I drink this tea with the idea of it tasting like black pepper in mind that maybe I’d enjoy the blend more. So that’s what I’m doing…

Here’s the thing; now that the comparison has been made I 100% think it’s accurate; as I was drinking this brew all I could think was how peppery it tasted to me, with these weird fleeting undertones of orange. Now, does that mean I liked it? Oh hell no. I still thought it tasted very bitter and very disgusting and there was no way I was ever going to finish drinking the infusion. Most of it definitely got tossed out.

Still; very interesting take on yuzu – and something I’ll watch out for with other yuzu flavoured things; tea and otherwise.

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Decided to do a cupping with this one tonight to see if it’s any closer to being ready to drink yet; it was gorgeous outside I brought my cupping set outside with me and drank it in my backyard while watching the sunset – it was sort of a cheesey moment, but still beautiful regardless…

I think this tea definitely still needs time to be good; the body of the tea had a lot of funk/fishiness to it still that just tells me it’s not aired out enough. That said, it smelled a whole lot less funky and dank then when I first acquired it. Ignoring the aforementioned notes, though, there were some nice qualities if you paid enough attention – the finish was actually surprisingly sweet and the mouthfeel was nice and lush. Earthy, of course. Sort of a decaying wood kind of quality, if someone had sprinkled cocoa powder on top of the wood? Not as bitter as I’d expect it to be at all, either. This will totally mellow out and get to a pleasing state, I’m sure.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/BkMOw6fHGM9/?taken-by=ros_strange

It did feel a little wrong to not be drinking it on a Sunday, though.

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drank We Are Obsidian by BlendBee
6401 tasting notes

Sipdown (562)!

This is an upsetting sipdown for me; I’ve greatly enjoyed this black tea and all its weird but connected layers of flavour. It’s sweet (chocolate), spicy (clove and cinnamon), tart (cranberry) – really it’s just every great autumnal flavour in one beautiful package. I debated not finishing it until the fall when it would be more appropriate, but I think I was just ready to let go of this one and everything it meant to me…

When I envisioned this blend it was a representation of a relationship with someone that no longer exists now – literally a phrase that he said to me to poetically convey how we were two opposite people coming together to create something stronger and more beautiful. That just simply isn’t true any more though.

I’d love to get this recreated by BlendBee for myself at some point in the future – but I can guarantee you that if I ever do that it will be under a different blend name.

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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 about five 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 certified Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more than 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.

A personal goal of mine has been to do a proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for. I can’t say I’ve been doing great staying on track with this goal, but I haven’t forgotten about it!

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives. 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, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, and honey, but only in moderation.

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, often Chai spices in general, mushrooms, overly vegetal or marine/seaweed, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/looking to try: Shou Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas!

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Wood Fired Old Man: Leopold

I also have a real life pet – 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.


SK, Canada



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