13129 Tasting Notes

drank TwenTEA Sack by Hella Tea
13129 tasting notes

Brewed this one up last week. As I think I explained in a previous tasting note, while my mom was in town I alternated between sleeping at her Airbnb and sleeping at my place in the evenings – all kind of dependent on what we were doing the next day.

This was from one of the evenings where I was at my place, and I just felt sooo tired and sore so I knew that a cup of strongly brewed CBD tea would help take the edge off. I didn’t get much in the way or either mango or lemonade from this, but it was soothing and herbal tasting nonetheless and whether it was placebo or otherwise I did feel like it helped me properly unwind that evening.

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One of the things that I did with my mom while she was in town visiting was go for high tea at the Ritz Carlton – it was probably the fanciest place that I’ve ever gone for high tea and I have to admit that I felt very under dressed the entire time we were there…

That said, it definitely wasn’t the nicest high tea experience I’ve ever had despite the glitz and glamour of it all. All of the teas that they carried were from Sloane, which is a nice tea company so I was excited. I grabbed this one because it’s one I’ve been curious about before and debated ordering, but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger on. It was pretty nice, but definitely very light on the pear flavouring and didn’t feel like it exactly met the expectations I had given that I love so many of Sloane’s other white tea blends.

The main thing was just that the food was kind of only okay. There were some really delicious things, like the cranberry scones and the rose jelly they were served with or the hibiscus cheesecakes that were served for dessert. However, all of the sandwiches were super dry and had such a minimal amount of toppings – all of which were just not great tasting.

I think at the end my take away was that I definitely wouldn’t go high tea at the Ritz Carlton again. Nothing was awful but it was just so underwhelming for the very extravagant price tag that came with it – and I know I could get better tea elsewhere or pastries that are just as nice but much cheaper from one of the many, many bakeries in the city…

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Was excited to try this one because I remember reviews that said it was a lot better than some of Bird & Blend’s other violet teas, and as someone who was let down by their interpretation of violet in the past I was cautiously optimistic! I have to say that I do think it’s a drastic improvement! I found that the violet was a lot more clearly violet and it reminded me heavily of the Parma Violet candies that have such a distinct sweet floral flavour. No awful hibiscus or other florals to mask that note, either!

I do wish there wasn’t chocolate in the blend because it’s distracting to me and feels unnecessary. However, I like the sort of boozier tasting chocolate liqueur kind of flavoring that’s used otherwise – it’s in some other B&B teas and I find it much more pleasant than the alternative of using chocolate drops/pieces.

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I have to admit that this past week, knowing how often we were going to be at restaurants that didn’t have good tea selection, I was “that person” a lot and brought my own tea with me – including this one on one occasion. It’s always been kind of a weird and quirky tea, but it’s crazy that I still enjoy it after so many years. It’s actually one of the teas I included in my very first ever online tea order – which was from the now defunct Della Terra. I was very lucky to get my hand on a sealed bag of it not too long back…

Weirdly, when I drink this tea I almost only taste the cola and cherry with just a hint of chocolate. However, when I let my mom try it should could only taste chocolate and cherry, and not the cola at all. Taste buds are super weird like that!

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Cold Brew!

This is another tea that I had cold brewed in advance on one of the days during my mom’s trip so that I could have tea with for the afternoon instead of water. I had forgotten that this doesn’t just have apple in it but also a spice medley so my first sip caught me a little off guard. It was fine overall because the apple was still sweet and crisp, and the spices weren’t heavy but I don’t think I would have chosen this blend to cold brew if I had remembered the cinnamon in it, and I wouldn’t cold brew it again either.

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drank Citrus Zing by T2
13129 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

I spent a lot of this past week walking and doing ourdoor activities. Frankly, way more so than I would normally be comfortable with. So, it was really important to me to keep hydrated and have a water bottle with at all times. On one of the days, however, I made this cold brew in place of just regular water. That was kind of the best because when I got really thirsty I just slammed back this brew of bright, zesty lemon with that herbaceous eucalyptus and minty finish. It was so unbelievably refreshing in that moment and I felt like the most brilliant person in the world for having brewed it in advance.

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Steeped this one up a couple evenings ago with a splash of almond milk. It was so smooth with a silky mouthfeel and just the most lovely mellow roast and sweet nuttiness. I only really got nods to the pear flavouring in the finish of each sip, but the vanilla really felt like it was coming through more prominently than usual.


woah, this has my attention. need to try to find some of this.

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I went to the MTL Cat Cafe a few days ago with my mom for brunch and this was the tea that I ended up grabbing for myself. Here in Montreal it’s pretty normal for Camellia Sinensis to be the in house tea offering at most coffee shops/cafes but since it’s generally not their most interesting tea offerings I don’t usually grab them – but this morning I just wanted a “classic tasting” black tea to start my day with. Something breakfast blend adjacent, if you will. So this malty and straightforward cuppa definitely served that need for me.

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Sipdown (1709)!

I brewed this Grandpa Style, and it made for a really dense and full bodied mug to sip on throughout the morning with an almost eclectic mix of tasting notes such as black cherry, rye bread, bitter chocolate, sandalwood, and leather – all with a brighter, sweet fruity top note though! Hard to pin down that top note flavour; in the past I’ve gotten peaches from this tea but with this brew method it just tasted far more abstract. This tea sample was inclusion in a relatively recent order, and though I do have a most of a cake left of this hongcha to sip through, I can’t argue that dragonballs are just super convenient…

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CfgzJIXOdB2/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuU3jXhgrfA

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Picked this one up a couple days ago at the Montreal Botanical Gardens!

This tisane has such a fresh, clean and sweet woodsy profile that’s just incredibly immersive and evocative of being outside in the forest on a cool Summer morning after a night of heavy rainfall. As someone who has pretty much always sought out teas and tisanes that help me feel connected to and grounded by nature, this tisane brings me such a feeling of peace and comfort!

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfb6Kr1OXgx/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH49U-vVs_g

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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.


Montreal, QC, CA



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