drank Dong Ding Oolong by Tea Ave
11210 tasting notes

Gong Fu!

I thought that this was going to be a sipdown, but turns out that I had slightly more tea leaf left than I thought so it’s not – I chose not to overleaf my shibo because I thought it would ruin the balance of the session, and I think that was the right call. Now I have a weird/awkward amount of tea leaf left though.

I used 7.5 grams for this session, and while I did not time my infusions (because in general I just seem to not do that anymore; I trust my gut and intuition) I did actually count the infusion number this time! I ended up having a healthy nine infusions of this delicious, delicious oolong…

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwPuw8QHzU5/

As I described in my instagram post, I found that this Dong Ding tasted quite nice with a very sweet creamed honey note in the top of the sip with orchid and soft, subtle and supple red apple notes more moving into the body of the sip – especially in the first few infusions before the leaves had fully opened up. There’s still a nice roasted quality to the tea, but it’s definitely a lighter roast – nutty with a hint of brown rice, maybe? Those toasty, warming roasted notes are definitely some of my all time favourites in oolong (and most tea in general) so they were very well received by myself during this session. Because of those orchid/apple notes, I definitely didn’t lose that “Springtime” feeling though, and the whole tea was very well balanced. I seem to have enjoyed it more than my last experience with this tea, based on my memory.

I was also eating Granadilla during this session, which is one of my favourite tropical fruits because it’s sweet but surprisingly very mellow and a lot less acidic than most other tropical fruits tend to be. Like the mature older sister of Passion Fruit, if you will. I was a little worried how this might pair with the tea, but it turned out to be quite nice. The granadilla didn’t take away or add anything super significant to my experience, but I thought it complimented and drew attention to the creamed honey notes and floral elements in a nice way.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApXoWvfEYVU

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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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