87

Tried this tea for the first time on Friday, brewed up Gongfu and paired with an absolutely incredible raisin and fennel corn crusted baguette from a local bakery!

I actually started with the baguette, and then tried to pick a tea to drink specifically when I ate the baguette – so thank you to James/Shredsofmetal for helping me select the tea! We generally have very, very similar tastes in hongcha, so when he said that this was a really raisin-y tea that would suit the bread quite well (based on the description of the bread) I definitely trusted his opinion!

Of course, unsurprisingly, he was absolutely correct. I knew he would be as soon as I opened up the sealed bag of loose tea for the first time; the smell of the dry leaves was deeply, sweet raisin-y with a hint of malt and autumnal leaves. I was salivating before I’d even begun to heat the kettle!

Similar to my experience with a lot of W2T’s black teas, this doesn’t have a ton of longevity when brewed Gong Fu – which is why I often drink most of White2Tea’s black teas Western style or Grandpa style. I have a gut feeling this would be incredible brewed up in a big ass, huggable mug. So, I got about five really solid infusions of this when brewed Gongfu – and then two more lousy ones at the end of the session that I’m not going to count against the tea.

The tea was thick, full bodied and raisin-y right off the bat; and that raisin note continued all throughout the session – easily the most prominent flavour throughout the whole session. However, it wasn’t all raisin notes: I also thought that this was pretty sweet and malty, with undertones of very dark cocoa as well and even a hint of overripe, dark cherries during the middle of the session.

The bread was essentially fancy raisin bread – so of course a very raisin-y tea and a sweet, raisin heavy bread would compliment one another; but it did go farther than that: the maty, cocoa notes in the tea also complimented the raisin and the sweetness and licorice-y note of the fennel in the bread added a hint of sweetness to the tea as well. Essentially just making both sweeter and more robust feeling.

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

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqOICwwBUP4&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=13&t=0s

VariaTEA

Don’t you not like raisins? Am I thinking of someone else? Also, talking about Montreal breads, I used to get a mini loaf of this amazing bread that had 3 different chocolate chips in it and it was SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOODDDD!!! It was from Brioche Doree I think

VariaTEA

Or maybe Au Pain Doree

Roswell Strange

You’re not thinking of someone else; I’ve always enjoyed that raisin note in straight tea, but I used to really struggle with actual raisins (the taste and the texture) but I’ve gradually gotten a lot better with them – and now even enjoy them most of the time :)

tea-sipper

This tea sounds dreamy.

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VariaTEA

Don’t you not like raisins? Am I thinking of someone else? Also, talking about Montreal breads, I used to get a mini loaf of this amazing bread that had 3 different chocolate chips in it and it was SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOODDDD!!! It was from Brioche Doree I think

VariaTEA

Or maybe Au Pain Doree

Roswell Strange

You’re not thinking of someone else; I’ve always enjoyed that raisin note in straight tea, but I used to really struggle with actual raisins (the taste and the texture) but I’ve gradually gotten a lot better with them – and now even enjoy them most of the time :)

tea-sipper

This tea sounds dreamy.

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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 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/prepare 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.

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Goldfish: Dot
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Jade Pixiu Dragon: Whitaker
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ruyao Dragon: Pablo
Ruyao Frog: Bebe
Sculpted Pig: Nelly
Sculpted Tuxedo Cat: Pekoe
Sculpted Tabby Cat: Marmalade
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Stringray: Irwin
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Ceramic Cat: Saffron
Wood Fired Man: Leopold
Brass Mouse: Stilton

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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