Gong Fu Session!

I didn’t really take thorough notes of this session, and instead opted to focus more on the aesthetics of the session and tea itself and just let the mood, tea, and environment take me where they felt I should wind up. I did measure out the leaf I used though; I decided to split my 10g sample into two 5g amounts so that I’ll still have another session of leaf for another time when I do feel more inclined to do a more documented session.

Dry leaf for this one through me for a loop initially; it smelled SUPER potently of dandelion – the flower, and not greens. In that degree of concentration I wasn’t sure that was a flavour I wanted to experience throughout a session. I pushed through though and it wound up being fine. First infusions definitely did have a strong dandelion taste/quality to them, but it mellowed/leveled out into a more pleasant, smooth and generic floral taste throughout the session all the way until the end.

I didn’t track infusion numbers either, but my best estimate would be somewhere between 12 and 18; I drank this one for a long time. It had a lot of staying power, and every time I felt like I was reaching where I thought the ‘natural decline’ of flavour would start I was surprised by that not being the case.

Other notes throughout the session, though in lesser amounts that the overall floral vibes, were; raisin, wood chips/cedar wood, grass, timothy hay, sap, and the faintest hint of something vegetal like cucumber skins – not the cooling pulp/flesh of the fruit. Mostly with a general sweetness to the sips, despite some more savory/umami elements overall. It was very pleasant; relaxing flavours and a viscous soup from the tea that just made it very easy to relax and enjoy myself.

I look forward to comparing the two other years of this tea that Healthy Leaf offers.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bens-0yledG/?taken-by=ros_strange

Video: https://www.instagram.com/p/BenpfR9lj5l/?taken-by=ros_strange

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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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