86
drank 2018 Arbor Red by white2tea
11833 tasting notes

Made up as a larger Western style pot, since I missed the little bit of info in the tea’s description that recommends it Gong Fu and I usually don’t drink my W2T blacks that way so Gong Fu wasn’t my default. I do still have enough of my sample left to still drink it Gong Fu though, and also do a direct comparison between this and the white version…

I thought this was a really, really intense tasting black tea and looking at W2T’s description I think medicinal and herbaceous are really on the nose descriptors for the flavour. I’d also call it quite smokey though; in fact the smoke notes were the very first thing in the blend that popped out to me. Other than that, strong notes of oak wood and mahogany, some cumin, a tiny bit of malt and a tinier bit of molasses, and a borderline meaty/broth like element. I mean, it really is a very thick, rich/dense and more savory leaning type of profile. However, there’s a hint of sweetness in the undertones and very intriguingly that sweetness didn’t read as a note that I typically associate with sweeter black teas (honey, caramel, red fruits, jammyness, or stone fruit…) but as something more, well, tropical!? It took a while, about half the pot, to put a finger on it but I finally did after pulling out a tasting wheel to help pinpoint it. So what was I tasting in between all the savory, umami notes!?

Banana. The answer is banana.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this varietal and found it to be a great but very intense learning opportunity. I am honestly SO excited to compare it with the white version and see if I get anything even remotely similar to what I experienced with this tea.

Togo

Sounds interesting, now I wish I added both the white vesion and this one in my recent W2T order :(
I only got the other one.

Togo

Sounds interesting, now I wish I added both the white vesion and this one in my recent W2T order :(
I only got the other one.

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Comments

Togo

Sounds interesting, now I wish I added both the white vesion and this one in my recent W2T order :(
I only got the other one.

Togo

Sounds interesting, now I wish I added both the white vesion and this one in my recent W2T order :(
I only got the other one.

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Bio

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.

Location

Montreal, QC, CA

Website

https://www.instagram.com/ros...

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