13129 Tasting Notes

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Sipping this one currently!

I definitely overbrewed it because I was distracted by writing tasting notes, but even with the extra punch of astringency from that long steep time it’s still a nice and classic tasting cup with all the maltiness and floral undertones I was hoping for in the black tea base and that really crystal clear lemon constant throughout the sip. There’s even a hint of burnt sugar in the finish that, though unexpected, is a real delight! It’s a comforting tea tonight as it lightly drizzles outside and I write up some tasting notes.

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Another one of the new matchas to come out today!

This one is especially exciting to me for a couple different reasons. The first of which is that this is DT’s very first organic flavoured matcha offering! Organic flavouring is a lot trickier to work with that other kinds of flavouring, and the flavours you can achieve are also a lot more limited as well so I’m especially proud that we were able to achieve such a juicy, delicious organic offering in this incredible flavour!

The second reason I’m excited? Well, watermelon! I mean, like banana, this is one of the matcha flavours I’ve been dreaming of DT releasing since long before I was an employee. Being a part of bringing this flavour to the finish line has just been yet another experience where I’m again humbled by the fact I’m lucky and privileged enough to be able to make teas that I had dreamed about nearly a decade ago a reality. That never stops feeling amazing to me!

Though I am absolutely one of those people who drinks every flavour of matcha as a hot tea, I will admit that this one especially shines when you make it iced. It’s a very juicy watermelon flavour with a nice pop of sweetness to it, but I don’t find it gets too far into that Jolly Rancher/candy territory despite that, and I like that you can taste some of the grassy umami flavours of the matcha still. It’s really yummy!

If you want a really wild ride then I recommend adding a little pinch of salt as well! I feel like I sound like a broken record when it comes to watermelon and salt, but it’s truly just an incredible flavour combination and I like how that small addition can really change the profile of this matcha in a fantastic way.

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 Banana Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
13129 tasting notes

New matchaaa!

I feel like it’s been a while since we had new fruity matchas from DT. I mean, what was the most recent matcha released? It’s always hard for me to mentally keep track because I’ve seen behind the curtains so far in advance, but I think it might have been the Glitter Matcha? And before that the other winter flavours…

We’re full force into the summery matcha offerings now, though! Today’s launch had one returning matcha (Berries & Cream) and four new ones: Banana, Watermelon, Green Apple and an unsweetened version of our Peach Matcha. New tasting notes for all of them eventually, but I’m starting today with the two that I have in my personal stash, and have for quite some time that I’ve been eagerly chomping at the bit to talk about!

Banana can be a really polarizing flavour and I suppose that’s why it’s taken DT so long to put out a banana matcha, but I’ve been personally dying for one to be in the collection since even before I started working at DT as a seasonal tea guide many, many years back. Way back in the height of Red Leaf Tea’s flavoured matcha offerings, the Bananas & Cream Matcha was one of my very favourites of their offerings. If you are a fan of that very sweet candy-like banana flavour then you’ll know exactly what that matcha tasted like and what this one tastes like. A banana matcha for the banana lovers.

I’m definitely paraphrasing (poorly) here but I read something recently where someone described how it pains them that there’s no word in the English language for when you’re just meeting someone for the first time while simultaneously feeling like you’re two old friends/kindred spirits reconnecting after a long time separated. They said it really beautifully, and it reminded me of something similar I’ve experienced where trying new foods/flavours can trigger a feeling a nostalgia for something that you’ve not actually experienced. I mention it because the moment I first tried this tea it left me feeling both of these distinct things. It’s was so incredibly nostalgic tasting and even though it was my first sip I felt like I was greeting a long forgotten friend.

I personally think this is as classic and delicious of a banana matcha as we could have possibly gotten, and I can only hope that when others try it they’ll experience even one of the two feelings I’ve just described. It’s just wicked delicious, and I’m happy to have such a flavourful and full of life banana matcha in my tea stash now!

(PS. It’s great hot and iced, but it’s ESPECIALLY good as a hot or iced latte. Tastes like banana cream pie!)

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfo3CESOAcj/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1lfiy2_m3U

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.

AJRimmer

I love the sound of the new matcha flavors – especially this one!

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Gongfu!

DT’s new Korean Sejak comes from Jeju so it’s an area I know a little bit more about compared to other Korean tea productions – and I admit I was curious to see what a black tea from this terroir would be like. Honestly, I like the black sooo much more – but I don’t think that’ll surprise anyone who knows my general lack of enthusiasm for straight green teas…

I definitely packed this gaiwan preettyyyyy full so it’s strong, but with short steep times I’m really enjoying the almost syrupy liquor/mouthfeel and rich fragrant notes of lilac and fresh roses, chocolate liqueur, cocobolo and rosewood, and buckwheat honey. There’s sort of a jammy plum-like undertone, and the top notes are very perfumey – but not in an offensive kind of way! Definitely an interesting tea, and worth trying IMO if you’re interested in seeing the range that Korean black tea can offer!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfj0ds4uicy/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t3jiFL65Hg

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I decided to steep this blacktea grandpa style this afternoon so that I could sip on it off and on all throughout the day. It’s such a beautifully full bodied and robust tea with stand out notes of dark chocolate layered overtop a foundation of woodier and brandied fruit notes! So, so smooth with a really round profile when made this way!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CfmbHpROvv0/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n7bpiFWI3U

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So RISE put out this kombucha flavour awhile ago along with their new Lime one, but it’s been damn near impossible to find it so when I saw one lone bottle on a grocery store cooler shelf I snatched it up like the little kombucha goblin I am!

Honestly… It tastes… fine?

Like, I’ve been assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that the reason it’s so challenging to find in stock is because it’s very good. I mean, it certainly sounds delicious and the gorgeous blue colour from the spirulina is definitely eye catching and inviting compared to other kombuchas on the cooler shelf. However, it sort of tasted just generic. Like, I really don’t think I’d be able to identify either the peach or the mango in the kombucha if I was tasting blindly. Sometimes things just taste like the general idea of fruit and I felt like that’s sort of what this one was like for me. Not bad, but just lacking distinction.

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We spent the morning on one of the days this past week at Atwater Market where I picked up a couple different grocery items for myself (mostly hot sauce), but also snagged a refreshing cold kombucha to drink while we shopped too. I had never seen this flavour of Lao Kombucha before so I couldn’t resist! I don’t usually love mint flavoured kombucha but I thought this one was nice and refreshing with some really herbaceous tones to it. I think the main reason it worked for me though was that the kombucha vinegar blended really well with the acidity and tartness of the lime and lemon, and that made the fact this was minty and cooling less weird alongside that “tang” than it would have otherwise. For once my brain processed the combination as complimentary instead of cacophonous because I was associating it with something that is meant to have both mint and acidity! Brilliant!

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Finally saw this kombucha in a cafe the other day, so I was able to try it and check it off my list. I liked this one more than Gutsy’s other adaptogenic profile, but I still think their main line up is better. For me, this was just far too much tart hibiscus with almost no passionfruit at all. I did like that I could taste a little basil, which is one of the non titular ingredients in the RTD, but I still felt like the profile was pretty one dimensional overall.

My mom generally hates kombucha because she doesn’t like vinegar-y tasting things, but I generally encourage her to at least try a sip of every kombucha I buy while we’re visiting. This was the very first one she’s ever liked, so I guess they’re doing something right for at least some consumers!

(It’s just unfortunate she can’t get this brand back home in Saskatchewan)

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drank Chai Latte by Eva B
13129 tasting notes

Another activity we did during the trip was thrift shopping at one of the cool vintage shops in town – a place called Eva B! I didn’t end up finding anything for myself, but my mom got a couple good finds! After an afternoon of browsing their racks we cooled up with an iced Chai Latte in their little in store cafe area. I wish I knew where they were getting the tea from because it was actually a really nice chai latte – incredibly anise forward with some nice hints of clove and cinnamon.

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One of my favourite activities we did during the trip was the Ceramic Cafe! It had been so long since I last painted and it was really nice to get to do it again – hopefully when I pick up my cup in a few weeks time I’ll have a beautiful new piece to add to my collection!

We drank London Fogs (iced) while we were there, and it was nice and refreshing even though the drinks themselves weren’t necessarily the best. It was mostly just that the tea was very weak but the vanilla syrup really strong. Just seemed like not quite the right ratio of ingredients. It was the hottest day outside of the entire week though, so having something cold to escape from the sun with was still realllllyyyyy appreciated.

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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 mid-twenties tea addict, blogger, and all around nerd. 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 preparation 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.

I’m also one half of the “tea and fandom” podcast GeekSteep where, weekly, we discuss newly explored fandoms over tea as well as try to figure out the perfect tea to pair with each fandom. You can find us on Spotify and Apple & Google podcasts.

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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