drank Vianney Side Up by Boba Boba
11833 tasting notes

This is the featured Boba of the month for September at Boba Boba, and it’s pretty different sounding from the rest of their menu so I had to try it the last time I was there…

They don’t specify exactly what the “Canoe Lake” in the blend is, but I think it’s actually a tea by the same name from Pluck Tea – it’s the only other tea I’ve seen with a name like this and, since I actually own it, I can confirm that the taste of the bubble tea definitely overlaps with that blend…


It’s really weird and interesting, and I’m happy I tried it because it’s different than any other bubble tea I’ve had before. However I’m not sure if I really liked it and I wouldn’t order it again – so I’m glad it’s just limited edition. The flavour is best summarized in there main parts: Smoke, maple, and apple. The smoke is coming from the Lapsang in the Canoe Lake tea, I believe. This is why I think that the company should have clarified more what the “canoe lake” in the tea is because Lapsang/smoke is a SUPER polarizing flavour and there’s nothing in the “recipe list” for this Boba that would lead you to expect it to be smoky if you’ve never experienced the pluck blend before. It’s a bit misleading…

I happen to like Lapsang a lot but even I was weirded out by having it cold in bubble tea format. Imagine if you didn’t like Lapsang!? That’d be strange.

The maple is lovely though, and it compliments both the smokey flavour and the apple quite well while acting as a bridge between those two flavours. It was the best part of the bubble tea, for sure. The apple was bright and a little bit tart, and that through me off at first because it was strange to be tasting a more meat-y smoke note and a tart, crisp and juicy apple but the maple really helps connect the two. Other things going on in the bubble tea are really just the condensed milk which adds some sweetness and creaminess. There are other things in the ingredients list, like oolong, but you don’t taste them so I don’t know that it’s worth talking about them. As far as I’m concerned, they’re filler.

Really interesting boba though – I continue to be impressed and fascinated with this location! Can’t wait to see what they do for October! Spooky season!

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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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