GCTTB Round 6

God bless you, Tea Sommelier education!

Tonight I’m drinking/eating the best meal I’ve had literally all of 2017 – and I mean to be fair it’s only been twenty eight days but still…

So, I planned this whole thing out as I was going through the tea box for this first time; I saw a traditional black Darjeeling and I remembered the tea/cheese pairing exercise we did as part of the course. I’ve casually practiced this since doing it, but I haven’t really made a big thing out of it yet nor have I revisited cheese pairings with Darjeeling so I figured why not do both! After all, I did receive a Brie baker for Christmas that I hadn’t gotten to try out yet.

So to break it down, my tea was obviously this one but the meal I had was a baked brie topped with red pepper jelly (which was cooked along with the brie) spread over the most heavenly cranberry hazlenut crackers. I know that sounds like a lot of flavours going on but it was thought out, and all came together really wonderfully. The high fat content and butteryness of the brie eliminate the astringency in the mouthfeel of the Darjeeling which can sometimes be unpleasant, and at the same time the butter acts as a flavour carrier. This leaves the beautiful muscatel notes which Darjeeling is so prized for which are drawn out and exaggerated by the sweetness of the cranberry in the crackers.

So like I said, well thought out/planned out – and just orgasmic as well. I was literally moaning with nearly every bite. My only regret is that I didn’t have someone to share it with that would have properly appreciated it.


There’s a crappy quality picture of it in its full glory for you all to be jealous of – and of course it wouldn’t be complete without a song pairing for auditory stimulation as well so here was my selection:


And oh what a night it was!

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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.


Montreal, QC, CA



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