Sipdown (122)!

I just realized that all in all I had a pretty great, and unintentional, sipdown Saturday!

This review is for Mosaic Tea & Coffee Company…

… Who generously sent me this sample to review so they could determine whether or not to pursue Compassion Tea Company as a supplier!

For this review, you get the added ‘bonus’ of not just my opinion but my roommate Shauna’s since I split the large pot of this that I made today with her as well. I would definitely call myself a more experience/invested tea drinker and she’s certainly a casual/novice tea drinker so you get the ‘best of both worlds’ (not to sound arrogant) this time!

Personally, when I’m drinking English Breakfast I’m looking for a few different things: the first of which is a strong, brisk flavour that kind of slaps you in the face. This IS a breakfast tea after all and you really do need something to jump start your day. Secondly, I like an English Breakfast with a strong malty flavour. To me that’s kind of a signature note in English Breakfast. And third, it has to be able to take milk or cream well because while that’s not something I personally always add to my tea it’s something that MOST do (if not sugar/honey as well). So just going through those criteria point by point…

1. This tea definitely had a strong very full bodied and brisk flavour overall. It wasn’t the smoothest base which is definitely something I observed from Compassion’s Earl Grey as well but I would argue that in an English Breakfast that’s not necessarily the most important thing because you really do want something BOLD and any over the top astringency CAN be ‘corrected’ with milk/creamer anyway. Shauna, as well, observed that this was quite strong. I think she may have made the all too common mistake of calling astringency bitterness though, because she said this was bitter and I definitely got lots of astringency but NOT bitterness. Those two things are NOT the same, but it IS something often and easily confused by people…

2. Yes to the malt! In addition to a sort of baked bread type of note, the primary flavour I noticed was DEFINITELY malt. Which is what I feel it SHOULD be.

3. Ok, so I didn’t actually add any milk to my tea because I don’t have any milk right now. However, Shauna had milk (we don’t share groceries, and while she offered to lend me some I know better than to fall in that rabbit hole and lose out on some of my own groceries in the future) and she added some to HER cups. So really, I can only convey her thoughts on this tea with milk added. And basically, that boils down to the fact she absolutely enjoyed this better with milk added in. Just judging from the plain cups I had, I can see why: this tea is full bodied enough that it could easily take milk well and I think it probably really softened the astringency she was feeling.

Overall; I have mixed opinions of this company’s offerings just judging on the three teas I sampled for Mosaic Tea & Coffee: I REALLY enjoyed my session with the Ti Kuan Yin I had today but both my pot of Earl Grey and my English Breakfast today left a little to be desired and were kind of just run of the mill. I don’t know if the trend there is the black base but I have a slight gut feeling that it MIGHT be. That said, neither of the two tasted bad per say and I do believe both the black blends are also available in sachet form and if that’s something that Mosaic pursues I think it’ll probably open them up a lot more towards casual tea drinkers who like the idea of not just drinking tea but doing good by drinking tea.

And on that note, you DO have to take into account the good that Compassion does. Literally 100% of their profits go towards offering medical aid AND education to the less fortunate in Africa and that’s a pretty damn compelling reason to want to support from Compassion Tea and use them as a supplier…

Regardless, I hope I’ve been a help to Mosaic Tea & Coffee in reviewing these teas for them and helping them to pick out a supplier. If you haven’t checked them out already you really should do so because what they’re doing in providing on the job training for adults with disabilities is really quite phenomenal and I had a fantastic time drinking tea on their behalf. I think most people here on Steepster can really get behind what they’re doing.


Christina / BooksandTea

This sounds like a neat company! Also, I’m glad that you’re having fun with your new roommates.

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Christina / BooksandTea

This sounds like a neat company! Also, I’m glad that you’re having fun with your new roommates.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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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