Well, I guess I’ve finally found a RiverTea blend that I don’t like. As soon as I smelled it dry, I pretty much knew I wouldn’t like it though. It smelled sour and primarily of hibiscus and sour apple/oranges. And, if a tea smells that sour just imagine how it’ll be brewed up…

Sure enough, it brewed up to be incredibly tart and unpleasant. Maybe my taste buds are off, but I got the same “beet” flavour that I was experiencing with DT’s Queen of Tarts yesterday too. Ick. There were fleeting notes of sour oranges and apples, and brief flickering notes of something in there that kind of reminded me of DT’s Redberry Tonic which is also a Sea Buckthorn flavoured tea. Redberry Tonic is just so much better though.

Half the mug I made got dumped because this was just very unpleasant on the whole. I suppose I’ll try cold brewing it though, to see if that can mellow it out a little. You really can’t love ’em all, though…


Bleh – seabuckthorn is already tart, so why would anyone add hibiscus?!

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Bleh – seabuckthorn is already tart, so why would anyone add hibiscus?!

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My name is Kelly. I’m a mid twenties 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

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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