It’s been a crazy last few days and before I get into the tasting note I just wanted to write a small personal Corona Virus update because I’ve had a few people reach out to me asking if I’m still working and things like that.

As things with the Corona virus are rapidly escalating, what’s been going on with work has rapidly been changing. As of today, all of the retail locations have been temporarily closed and sadly all the retail employees have been laid off – along with probably about ninety percent of the office staff. I have conflicting feelings about this – obviously it’s good for stores to not be open to minimize the spread of the virus as much as humanely possible but my heart aches for everyone who has been laid off. Thankfully, it is a temporary lay off and when everything settles everyone should be hired back on. While being laid off is scary, I do think it’s the best call for the most part? I spoke to my brother who works FT at an Olive Garden – so, retail industry. He’s in a spot where their store is still operating, but have DRASTICALLY reduced the amount of shifts/people being scheduled. They’re not penalizing any staff that choose not to work/are taking sick time for self quarantine but at the same time in not actively laying off their employees many of them are having their income massively decline – my brother included. I was initially very frustrated that all the retail staff at DT locations weren’t kept on, but my brother telling me how being laid off would be BENEFICIAL to him changed my opinion. He would be able to collect unemployment insurance, which calculates how much you’re paid based on the average hours you’re working – if retail employee’s hours taper off to a minimum then they actually will make less in most cases than what they would on EI…

As for me, I was part of the small selection of staff that wasn’t laid off – for which I am both very grateful, and left feeling highly guilty about. The majority of staff who were not laid off will be working from home until further notice, but because it’s not possible for me to do my job from home I am continuing to come into the office for the time being. I’m obviously taking a lot of precautionary measures, and aside from the commute there and back I’m self isolating. There are actually less than ten employees now who have access to our office, many of them being lab staff, so it’s pretty safe at the office all things considered – it’s empty enough we can all be in completely different rooms and never interact if we don’t need to/want to. We’re working reduced hours to minimize the time we need to spend away from home; and to avoid high traffic periods on the metro.

So, that’s what’s going on with me.

I hope all my friends here on Steepster are doing well and taking precautions/working from home where possible and self isolating. I’m thinking about you all. And enough of the sappy stuff, time to talk about the tea…

I made this cup with some peppermint agave, which may initially sound like a weird pairing but this white tea blend has mint in it already so it really just exaggerated the cooling/refreshing notes that were already present. It also had the added bonus of adding some brightness, juiciness and general life to the watermelon notes. It was delicious overall, and an improvement upon how this normally tastes without additions.


Thanks Ros, you all take care too.

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Thanks Ros, you all take care too.

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My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer originally from the prairies, but recently relocated to Quebec. I was introduced to DAVIDsTEA and started drinking tea fairly casually about six years ago. At some point, that casual hobby became an ingrained part of my daily life; I became a part of a greater community, incorporated tea into my daily routine, and it became my career.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

I drink a balance of flavoured tea and straight/traditional teas – in all formats. I prefer to have a wide, and general knowledge over many types of teas and catagories rather than focus on any one specific tea: a jack of all teas, master of none. Loose, bagged, matcha, Western style, iced, latted, Gongfu…

You name it, I probably drink it.

In that vein, I’ll drink just about any type of tea – the only ones I have a particularly strong distaste for are green teas and Chai, with some exceptions of course. I have a weird relationship with Sheng pu’erh, but have been gradually increasing the amount of it I consume – currently I have a particular fascination with Yiwu Sheng. Other types of tea that I greatly enjoy are Yancha and other dark, heavily oxidized or roasted oolongs, most shou, black tea, and compressed/aged white teas. I’ll absolutely try anything once though; and I like to have an open mind and explore lots of tea types, even if I have reservations. I’ll probably never leave that “exploratory” phase…

Usually I drink my tea straight, but I’m not opposed to additions if I’m in the right mood. If I ever add something to a tea, I will ALWAYS call it out in the tasting note though. If I’ve not mentioned an addition, you’re safe to assume it’s been prepared straight up.

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, walnut, sesame, honey (in moderation), and very woody shou.

Least favourite flavour notes/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, strong Chai spice profiles, mushrooms, seaweed, chamomile, artificial tasting mango or peach, 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

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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