5309 Tasting Notes


Sipdown (133)!

The pool finally opened for the evening today, so Cathryn and I went down and swam for a few hours. Now I’m tired again, so I’ve resigned myself to the couch for the evening and will probably just write tasting notes and maybe watch a movie with Kyle at some point.

Once again, I’m enjoying this one as a cold brew. The profile is much like the first time I had it so I wont go into greater detail. Suffice to say it’s a good balance of base and flavour with natural, fruity sweetness and some floral traits too. There’s still some leaf left but I think I’m gonna add it to the Great Canadian Travelling Tea Box; so this is only kind of a sipdown.

Kind of in a bad mood right now though, if I’m being honest. My swim was great but then as I was checking out and grabbing my keys the receptionist said something to me that I definitely interpreted in a rude way.

“Do you own a bathing suit?”

“Umm, pardon?” Not sure I heard her right – I’m standing in front of her in a bathing suit.

“You’re not allowed to swim with shorts on. You’ll need a bathing suit next time.”

“I’m wearing swim trunks and a bikini top? Shouldn’t that be fine?”

“Oh, those are swim trunks? Well I suppose…”

Basically, fuck you counter lady: It definitely felt like she was either commenting on the fact I was not following some kind of idiotic, self created ‘code’ of what was acceptable for a woman to wear OR she was being snide about my weight. Either way; totally uncalled for. I see absolutely no reason why my swim trunks do not count as a bathing suit! Kind of ruined my swim, if I’m being honest…


Ugh, yeah, if the issue were truly about whether or not they were swimming trunks and not normal shorts, she could have just asked you that nicely.


Just paint one on next time, that’ll show em’. :)

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drank Chai Apricot by Tea Desire
5309 tasting notes


Ok, so I’ve had this tea before… on many occasions, actually.

However I saw it in the box, and then I smelled it in the box and it made me nostalgic for past pots and mugs of this brew. I think it really is an underrated Chai and as someone who really dislikes Chai in general I’ve found that the combination of green base and sweeter, fruitier notes really does work so well for me. I just had to revisit this one.

So Cathryn and I are sharing a pot while we wait for the swimming pool to open up: there’s a strong aroma of cinnamon, ginger and apricot wafting from the pot and it’s making the apartment smell really lovely. Drinking it, I’m definitely hit with heavy waves of melancholic nostalgia. The flavour is lovely though: a great ratio of ginger, clove, peppercorn, and cinnamon notes though a bit more heavy on the cinnamon over anything else. It’s hard to taste the base, but there’s a certain smoky quality that’s more than likely the only trace of the gunpowder to be detected. The best part is the bright, sweet apricot note that pushes its way to the top, creating a very sweet and lively top note that forms an amazing contrast to the spicey base. It’s a very warming brew, but in the sunniest way possible.

I mean, Chai blends don’t really read as “Summer Blends” do they? But I think if you find a somewhat lighter one with a fruit ingredient thrown in as a bit of a ‘twist’ they CAN lend themselves to a more summery sort of feel. And this one does that.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to take the rest of this out of the box for myself; and I still might. However, I’ve drank my fair share of this over the last few years and I think I should try to be happy with just revisiting it and let some other people enjoy this unconventional Chai.

And yes I DID get moments where I tasted ketchup, just like years ago…

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This is a queued tasting note.

So, there’s a swimming pool available to residents and I’ve been waiting to take advantage of it ever since moving in: it finally opened last week! I spent so much time in that pool when it opened, and I feel like I’ll be spending much, much more time in it throughout the summer…

Made a cup of this when I got back from the pool: needed some more hydration after so much exertion. This was nice and lemony with a sweet marzipan note; also a little bit floral in the finish. Really glad this one is still holding up.

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I’ve really liked the Yabao that I’ve tried, but haven’t done much experimenting with different companies’ versions so I was excited to see one from Yunnan Sourcing in the box.

Going by dry sent alone, this smells very similar to Whispering Pines’ Yabao and that’s the one I have the most familiarity with. Taste wise, they’re similar: I get a nice silky mouthfeel, and notes of heavy cream, honey, cedar, wood, hay, and a sort of herbaceous note as well. One thing I found a little weird about this one was that along with the herbaceous flavour I also found I got a bit of a licorice/anise type flavour and I’m really note sure where that’s coming from.

But it’s tasty! Hard to compare it to the other Yabao I’ve tried though; there are so any similarities and some dissimilarities.

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The box has landed! I happened to have today off, so I’m enjoying tapping into the box and sifting through the many, many goodies to see what I want to try/sample. There’s a LOT to go through!

I’m surprised this one caught my eye; I’m not big into green tea but I think the very unique shape of the tea leaf really intrigued me. The description says that each little curl/ring is done by hand which is just crazy to me. Can you imagine being the person who has to curl the leaves? They’re just so petite and charming. I mean, certainly not the craziest shaped tea leaf I’ve ever seen but just so beautiful none the less.

I got two infusions out of this; I feel like a third would have been possible but there are just so many other teas to try. With the first infusion, I was a little taken aback by how smoky this tasted. Like, it’s really smoky. There are other nice notes too: it’s vegetal and has a bit of a green pepper note as well as a kind of butteryness. The finish is also a little nutty. Second infusion was much more smoke and nuttyness.

Definitely liked this one! Wish I’d had a camera to take pictures of the little rings as they unfurled; it was hella pretty.

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Sipdown (134)!

Glad I’m back to finding this tea lovely and enchanting for the sipdown! If I’d finished it off with a cup as bittersweet and lacking as the last time I brewed this up I would have felt really sad…

I realized I didn’t have enough leaf left for a quality Gong Fu session so I finished this one off Western style in one of my larger mugs: it had a very nice thick mouthfeel and overall sweetness to the cup. The top notes were roasty, and combined with nutty body notes it was almost like drinking a mouthfeel of lightly toasted mixed nuts. The body, in addition to notes of sweet hazelnuts and peanuts was also a little lemony in quite a nice way. At the end of the sip, the liquor left a gentle peppery tickle in the back of my throat.

Overall; I’m happy I got to explore with this tea. I think it was my first pure yellow tea (unflavoured, that is) and if not the first certainly one of. I’ve tried a handful of them now though, and I can definitely say this is one of the better ones but not the best. For that reason, and given the price tag, I wouldn’t get it again but I certainly don’t regret grabbing it when I did.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Hazelnut, Lemon, Peanut, Roast nuts

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Tea Bath!

I don’t think I’d recreate this tea bath again; it smelled pretty nice with soft caramel, sea salt, and kind of roasty, coffee like notes but it did nothing so far as the “feeling” when I was bathing – unlike the peppermint or even the green tea bath which felt pretty relaxing.

This one felt almost distracting…

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Nearing the end of the tin, which will be a sad, sad day…

Drank this one hot; you can tell it’s both old and the dregs of the tin because the richness just wasn’t there. I mean, it was still sweet and conveyed a convincing rootbeer flavour but the creamyness/float aspect was lacking and there’s so much crushed up cinnamon bits at the bottom of my tin than the cinnamon flavour was pretty over powering and almost had that dry “bark”-like astringency.


The lady at DAVIDs said they are bringing in a boardwalk collection so my hope is this or something similar makes an appearance as I miss it.


oh man that would be great!

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Sipdown (135)!

Well, I’ve got a few tasting notes to get through that have built up; it was kind of a busy week for me…

I wrote my exams for Tea 106 and got 98% on the written one. Though I will have to wait for the presentations to see how I did and those two. I’m feeling pretty good about it though! And last night was my boyfriend Kyle’s 19th birthday, so I planned his party for him and then we took him out to the bar. It was a really lovely night, and selfishly I’m kind of glad that he’s finally legal drinking age so he can accompany us to the bar regularly and I can spend more time with him.

I drank this tea with my roommate Cathryn while we were cleaning house and getting drinks and what not ready for people to come over: I think the sample was from VariaTEA? Thank you to whoever provided it, though!

One thing about drinking tea with my roommates/non tea drinking people is that I find more often than not I’m just enjoying the experience of sharing tea with someone who otherwise wouldn’t be drinking it, so I’m not paying very close attention to the flavour I’m actually experiencing. Personally, I think that’s more than acceptable as a trade off: as much as I love good tea and exploring the nuances of the flavour of good tea there’s something to be said for the experience of taking tea too.

We drank this Gong Fu though; I did a quick rinse and then we had probably around six or seven infusions? I think we could have extended the session farther but it was getting quite close to party time so we cut it short. I was hesitant about sharing this one with Cathryn ‘cause it’s a Pu and typically people react so extremely to Pu’erh. She actually really liked it though!

So, since I was more focused on the experience/conversation than the specifics of the tea I can tell you that this had notes of: Earth, Mud, Baker’s Chocolate (not overly sweet, a little bitter but in a good way), Roasted Nuts, Char, Wood, Malt, and maybe even mushrooms a little bit? Definitely can’t tell you which infusions in particular focused on which notes or how the flavours evolved and changed and worked with one another. Those are just the flavours I distinctly remember experiencing at one point or another.

The liquor was nice and velvety though; a really rich mouthfeel and viscosity. It wasn’t all that aggressive, but it was bold and fairly sweet. I definitely enjoyed the session! Actually, I sort of wish I had more of this just to go back and make more astute observations: but I’m happy with being able to say I just really enjoyed this one, and the company I was sharing it with.

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drank Pink Flamingo by DAVIDsTEA
5309 tasting notes

Sipdown (136)!

I think it’s been years since I’ve had a point where I’ve been out of this tea? It’s always just been a cupboard staple of mine: even back when I first got into tea! Like, first first! Oh well; I’m sure I’ll buy it again…

Of course I’m finishing this as a cold brew: the strong tangerine and grapefruit notes are so intense that I can smell them from the mason jar across the kitchen. Yummy! I really, really have been in a citrus mood this week, haven’t I? Anyway, this is kind of like the perfect “twist” on a lemonade style drink for the summer. You know, that kind of sweet, tangy tartness? I think I’m gonna pop the last half back in the fridge and drink it later on the balcony…

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My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually about five years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

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

I’m a TAC certified Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more than straight but one of my mini goals is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends and as of late oolongs but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

A personal goal of mine has been to do a proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for. I can’t say I’ve been doing great staying on track with this goal, but I haven’t forgotten about it!

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives. The exception to this is matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives. So unless I mention otherwise you can assume that I’ve prepared my tea Western style without added ingredients/sweeteners.

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, lychee, cranberry, cream, melon, pineapple, malt, roasty, petrichor, sweet potato, heady florals like rose, walnut, and honey, but only in moderation.

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger, often Chai spices in general, mushrooms, overly vegetal or marine/seaweed, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach, stevia, saltiness, or anything that reminds me too much of meat that isn’t supposed to taste like meat…

Currently exploring/looking to try: Shou Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries. Also, I need to try ALL the root beer teas!

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket

I also have two real life pets:

A skinny pig hairless guinea pig named Eilert, after Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler, and a fancy rat named Wasabi.

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.


SK, Canada

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