SSTTB: Pick #11

So, there are two mint Chais in The Box and both smell pretty good so I’m taking advantage of my day off to do a side by side comparrison of the two. So the other one I’m drinking is Rishi’s Vanilla Mint Chai. I prepared both the same way; same amount of leaf, same steep time, same water temp and I’m pretty well just alternating between cups of them.

And I have to say, they’re really NOTHING alike. This one definitely seems more like a Chai to me; it’s smooth and has much more noticeable spice flavours in it like cloves and ginger, which both very much stick out to me. The cloves, which I love, balance off the ginger for me, which I hate. I would have said I tasted fennel too, but I don’t see that in the ingredients list. Odd. The mint in this one is also much crisper and I feel like it suits the Chai element really well. Everything just kinda “pops”.

And then, as a whole there’s something very very familiar and weird about this one. It took me a long ass motherfucking time to place what – but as one component, without breaking down the flavours, this reminds me EXACTLY of the Halva that the East Indian Convenience Store near me in Regina (my old city) used to sell. And it’s so weird to me that that happens to be the flavour that this one reminds me of because the Halva that they sold there was like this sweet, very nutty melt in your mouth buttery kind of pastry – but with an almost “cotton candy” like feel to it. It’s kinda hard to explain, I think, if you haven’t had it before.

It’s delicious though – and now I’m feeling really nostalgic? And why the ever loving fuck does a MINT CHAI remind me of sweet nutty pastry? My tastebuds are confused, but on board with this.

Oh, here’s a link for people who have no idea what I’m talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halva#India

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cloves, Fennel, Ginger, Mint, Nutty, Pastries, Peppermint


I love halva, but I love just about anything sesame related.

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I love halva, but I love just about anything sesame related.

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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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