My name is Kelly. I’m a mid twenties tea drinker and reviewer originally from the prairies, but recently relocated to Quebec. 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 and career path.
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. I love black and white tea, but traditional/straight and also flavoured or blended. I also drink a lot of oolong and shou teas. For my oolong, I prefer greener oolong in flavoured blends and darker or more oxidized oolongs more pure and with traditional preparation. For shou, I gravitate towards straight, unflavoured shou teas (the exception being Chenpi) but I drink it about 50/50 Western Style and Gong Fu. I WILL drink all tea types though.
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.
I like to listen to music when drinking tea, especially when I’m brewing a large pot at a time or steeping Gong Fu. 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, walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.
Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strong Chai spice profiles,mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, artificial tasting 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: Sheng from Yiwu, straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, Dancong Oolongs, and compressed black teas. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas! Searching for a really good caramel flavoured blend, ideally with a black tea base.
Tea Pet Reference Guide:
Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Jade Pixiu Dragon: Whitaker
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Sculpted Tuxedo Cat: Pekoe
Sculpted Tabby Cat: Marmalade
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Ceramic Cat: Saffron
Wood Fired Old Man: Leopold
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.
Montreal, QC, CA