11399 Tasting Notes

drank Bahama Mama by DAVIDsTEA
11399 tasting notes

Not a cold brew, but still another summer-ish profile that I found myself gravitating towards earlier this week. I drank a hot mug while starting the new episodes of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and, because that show has the major power to draw in my attention, I didn’t pay much attention to the tea but the sweet red fruit and citrus notes were a bright and pleasant backdrop for the show.

Not a pairing I would have expected to work out well, but it surprised 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 and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Dustin

I love how that show makes witchy satan stuff seem like normal life in Sabrina’s family, much the way religious stuff was normal in the house I grew up in, but it’s delivered in an almost too campy way for me. I suppose that’s how they balance out the evil for the masses. I want to love it more than I do. Maybe I need to give it another go.

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drank Melonade by DAVIDsTEA
11399 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

Maybe I was subconciously craving summer flavours this week, because I drank a lot of cold brewed DT blends from summer collections of the past. This was nice; crisp and sweet melon with just a bit of cucumber and lemon. It always surprises me both how much I really enjoy this tea and, also, how slept on it was when it launched. It’s the perfect mixture of a sweet and juicy melon notes with all the refreshing and bordering on spa-like flavours of a good cucumber or lemon infused water.

It really shines as a cold brew, too.

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 Mango Boost by DAVIDsTEA
11399 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

Sipped on this earlier in the week and it was super flavour packed and refreshing! I had been craving a sweet, juicy mango flavour for a few days so it really hit the spot on that level, but more than that the juicy notes of lychee and slight spice from the ginger really made everything pop quite a bit and highlighted a lot of those flavour notes. I hadn’t made this tea in quite some time, so it was a very nice rediscovery of 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 and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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drank Cinnamon Kisses by T Kettle
11399 tasting notes

…this would be the T Kettle “Glitter & Gold” dupe.

It smells nice, but very straight forward sweet cinnamon. Like the cinnamon heart candies you get around Valentine’s Day and, I mean, fair enough – that’s basically exactly how T Kettle describes the taste of this blend. Steeped up, it’s accurate too – medium bodied, malty black tea and sweet red hot cinnamon. Not too much, not too little. Still though, at the end of the day, just cinnamon.

If you want a pretty looking cinnamon black tea, this will do the trick. However, if you’re comparing it to Glitter & Gold then I don’t think they’re good matches. Yes, there’s cinnamon in Glitter & Gold but I think a bit part of why a lot of people enjoy that blend is because it’s spiced but not really any one particular spice, and more of a soft and sweet spice balanced by just the right amount of sweetness and even a touch of something just a bit creamy. I always loved the gentle use of clove in that tea as well, and while I see cloves in this tea I really just felt like it only tasted like cinnamon.

Still a nice tea, and I bet it would be good with milk too. However, more than anything else it just made me want to go and make a cup of Glitter & Gold, y’know?

Lupiressmoon

I have never found a cinnamon tea I’ve loved. I love cinnamon in general, and use in my coffee, but tea doesn’t seem to be the ideal vehicle for it for me. I’m no longer craving cinnamon tea or seeking them out after trying several years ago. I think other spices come through in tea better, with cinnamon as a small background, if this makes sense.

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drank Mama's Marzipan by T Kettle
11399 tasting notes

…do mom’s make marzipan!?

I’m sort of confused by the marketing angle of this tea. Maybe it’s my own limited experience with European culture but I always thought marzipan was more of a store bought holiday treat versus something that was “homemade” seasonally? And I guess I’m really just assuming the seasonal part based on the visual of the tea, which is loaded up with snowflake and other frosty blue sprinkles? It seems weirdly hodge podged together, but I suppose this would be the T Kettle version of Alpine Punch!?

Anyway, weird marketing aside, this is a nice tea. It’s very straight forward sweet almond and rooibos – which isn’t anything new, but is also just a very tasty combination. I love that almost amaretto type of flavour paired with honeyed and naturally nutty rooibos. The two just compliment really well, and I think this is a great execution of that flavour profile. The thing is, you can find this profile from a ton of different companies – and even Alpine Punch slightly sets itself apart because of the addition of coconut, rose, and other spices. That said, if Alpine Punch has a bit too much going on for you, this feels pretty classic and I do appreciate a good, direct flavour concept when it’s well done.

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So, when I saw that T Kettle was carrying some catalog blends from wholesalers that I was familiar with the one that I hoped they would carry more than anything is this Watermelon Oolong that I adore. It’s been carried by dozens of companies now, including T by Daniel among others – I think I currently have some in my cupboard from Cuppa T Specialty Teas. I try to always have it on hand/don’t really care where I grab it from…

Sadly, it appears they’re not going to carry it – but I had to try this tea on the off chance it might use the same delicious watermelon flavouring that I love so much in that oolong. The gamble was worth it, because this is very much that same distinctly sweet and juicy watermelon candy flavouring that I adore so much. Like a Watermelon Jolly Rancher but without are tang/sourness to it!

I’ll be honest, I think “bubblegum” is a weird flavour descriptor here – it’s definitely a sweet and more candy leaning watermelon taste but it’s not really bubblegum in anyway. More like a watermelon hard candy, or even one of those gummy candies. I like it way more on the green tea base than I had expected to, and the addition of lime is surprisingly refreshing and adds a nice vibrant and playful top note to the cup. Also just a bit of crispness!

I do greatly prefer the Watermelon Oolong – but this would more than do in a pinch just to keep that watermelon flavouring in my life.

Lupiressmoon

Having bubblegum in a flavor description is kind of offputting to me! But I’m glad it’s a good tea. Don’t think I’ve tried a watermelon tea.

Dustin

I wonder if the reference was more in relation to the flavor of watermelon used in gum, like the Hubba Bubba brand watermelon gum and not what we typically refer to as classic bubble gum flavor that seems to be a mix of fruit flavors.

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Sipped on this one tonight, and it was… alright.

It smells quite good in the pouch – sweet and spicy cinnamon, ginger, maple and a hint of something fruity. It seemed like it had all the bells and whistles to be a good gingerbread profile. Steeped up, it’s a nice tea but there are a few things that detract from it fitting my personal idea of what a good Gingerbread tea is. To start, there’s a surprising amount of spice/heat to the ginger – of course, I expect ginger in gingerbread but usually more of a warming and sweet ginger versus a ginger with real heat to it. It’s also very maple forward and while I do enjoy the ginger and maple flavour combination it’s not exactly what I think of for Gingerbread.

I’ve said it time and time again and I will likely continue to say it for many years to come, but a good gingerbread profile needs a warmth to it from the spices but it should also have a dense/darker sweetness – something like a brown sugar/molasses flavour. The maple is a little too sweet in my opinion, and not heavy enough to properly convey my perfect gingerbread profile. The ginger/maple/hint of currant mix here? Yummy! And I think to many people it will fit the concept – I’m just personally super particular about this specific flavour profile.

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Shockingly, I think I prefer this to T Kettle’s “Papa Don’t Peach” blend.

The two are similar enough profiles – both ginger peach, although this is on a black tea and obviously also has the addition of Turmeric vs Papa Don’t Peach which is more of a fruit based tisane. Despite that fact, I felt like this seemed juicier and more forward in the peach flavours. Still earthy and spicy, of course, from both the turmeric and ginger but the spice in this came almost seemed to make the peach more vibrant/flavourful in contrast.

Not really something I would go out of my way to get, because at the end of the day it is a pretty commercially available profile and I don’t love turmeric or ginger. However, my expectations were pretty low here given my reaction to Papa Don’t Peach and I thought they were more than fairly exceeded.

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Dipped into this tea last week, and was surprised by how pleasantly boozy/rum like it actually tasted! From the smell of the dry leaf, I was actually expecting a little bit more of an orange flavour – and while it does taste a bit of orange, it mostly reminded me of a very mildly spiced type of rum. Sort of like the Captain Morgan’s I drank in highschool? But in a nostalgic sort of way. Smooth, and enjoyable overall.

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87

Cold Brew!

I’m realizing now, in hindsight, that I maybe should have saved this for New Year’s Eve/Day because the Mimosa element would have been more on theme. Even still, this was pretty refreshing – very heavy on the grapefruit while not being overly sweet or bitter which is commendable. The rosemary starts off pretty mild, but definitely does build on the palate over the course of drinking the tea. I liked it at first and thought it was a great compliment/juxtaposition to the bright grapefruit and orange notes but 24 oz of cold brew is a lot and by the end the savory pine notes were getting to be a bit much. Definitely better in a smaller dose, I think. The orange flavour also, over the course of 24 oz of cold brew, built up too much on the palate and it started to taste just a little bit chalky.

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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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