14833 Tasting Notes

I think I expected this to be a little more tart and juicy raspberry, but honestly for a tea bag cut it was still pretty flavourful and definitely evocative of its name. Nothing fancy/high quality, but nothing to turn your nose up at either – especially for the cost and convenience.

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My last rating of this seems really, really high to me but I can’t deny that I loved this past cup. I do love pretty much any blend with Lapsang in it because I’m just that predictable, but it’s the unique contrast of the bright, green apple with the grounding savory smoke that really hooks me with this tea in particular. It does feel sort of enchanted and “story book” in a sense. I feel like this mug was the first time i really ‘got’ why this particular combination of flavour was picked for this romanticized New York inspired blend. There’s a pun in there somewhere about NY being “the big apple” and the smoke maybe being the dinginess of some specific areas, but also there’s sort of a Snow White feel to it all too…

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Sipdown (2365)!

This sipdown sucks just a little bit more than finishing off the Jester inspired blend from Black Lotus because, Critical Role inspiration aside, I actually just really enjoy the taste of the tea. Bright, tart and juicy blueberry with cooling crisp mind and that soft, soothing bergamot undertone that weirdly ties them both together.

I haven’t checked to see if Black Lotus has created character blends for Bell’s Hells/Campaign 3 but since this is a tea that I was legitimately buy more of in a larger quantity I may end up checking sooner rather than later. It would be hard to justify an order for one tea, but if I’m scooping up this tea and all the C3 characters that would be worthwhile to me…

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Cold Brew Sipdown (2366)!

Somewhat bitter sweet to be finishing off some of this Critical Role inspired blends because they’re so fun to drink while watching the livestreams each Thursday, but this past brew really just tasted kind of generically fruity without a lot of clarity of flavour so it does feel like it’s time to put this one in the past.

It was so fun, though! And I think it captures a lot of the essence of the character.

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This tea has silently and slowly become a favourite of mine from Brutaliteas. It’s so hard to find good hazelnut teas that don’t also have chocolate, and the hazelnut in this blend is perfectly smooth, creamy and nutty and also really works with that soft floral lavender note too!

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Mango? Check. Passionfruit? Check. Eclair? …ehh…

I had this one last week and honestly when I steeped it up I knew in my heart I was just making it for the mango flavour. It’s a great cross between sweet candy/gummy mango and that almost pine-y green mango taste, with an extra kick of passionfruit. The eclair is totally missing, but I’ve just accepted that element of the tea. What’s not missing is a subtle woody undertone from the rooibos itself – something I don’t recall being quite so strong in previous cups. I don’t dislike rooibos, but I just wanted to note it for all my anti-rooibos tea friends out there.

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drank Iced Black by Lao Kombucha
14833 tasting notes

Kind of hate the name of this kombucha because it’s not iced in any way, it’s just good black tea. Specifically, it’s the Niligiri Conoor from Camellia Sinensis which turns out to work splendidly as the base for kombucha. It’s got that tangy kombucha vinegar kick but it’s almost sort of citrusy and it works so nicely with the smooth, bold flavours of malt and honey that come through.

Crystal, the straight white tea kombucha Lao carries, is my favourite but there’s just something kind of perfect and magical about this one too. Simple but fantastically high quality. Fun flavours additions are fun, but keeping things classic can pay off in a big way too.

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Still deeply behind on tasting notes (thank you broken dashboard), so gotten work on cracking some out tonight…

I was pleasantly surprised to see yet another Fous de Lile kombucha flavour while grocery shopping and now that I’m drinking it I’m even more pleasantly surprised! This guava flavour is just absolutely banging. Perfectly sweet, tangy and tropical with a nice floral undertone that I’m going to attribute to both the guava itself and the rose. I was worried it would be too floral, but the balance is really perfect.

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New tea!

This tea released a week or two ago now – but it’s something I’ve been working on for over a year now. Cold 911 and Throat Rescue are two of DT’s best selling blends – especially during cold and flu seasons. However, both of them are more the type of tea you would drink after you’re already sick or starting to feel under the weather. Not before. And, with cold and flu season in particular, you’re not really fully covered unless you have something more preventative.

Enter Immunity SOS.

I feel like this is the long missing third sibling to this trio of teas. Developing it was actually a lot harder than it might seem. We spent a lot of time looking at traditional folk remedies for immunity as well as more “modern” things like Immunity Shots, and that was a huge part of the inspiration for both taste and flavour.

Though there are several ingredients in the blend that contribute to the overall taste and function the key ones are: Orange, ginger, sage, echinacea, and – to a lesser extent – turmeric. Orange and ginger as a combination are very soothing and we thought the brightness of the orange balanced out the warming, earthy heat of the ginger. Sage compliments both of these flavours with its soft herbaceous taste, but it’s also naturally anti-viral. Plus, we loved that it added this sort of aromatherapy component. It’s just so relaxing smelling as it steeps or as you cradle the mug post-infusion. Echinacea, of course, is very well loved for immunity so this was definitely a must have ingredient when balancing everything out in the blend, and the turmeric/ginger combination supports that natural spice note but is also this added layer/duo for inflammation.

In terms of taste I find this most comparable to The Skinny – but caffeine free, obviously. Compared to Sunny C, which is the other citrus-y herbal blend that DT carries year ‘round, this is a lot less sweet and punchy/tart. Though it has bright top notes, it’s overall just more herbaceous and cozy. That was important because a lot of people consume immunity targeted products as part of a routine so we wanted to create an overall experience that was comforting/relaxing instead of in your face – those type of really intense fruity profile teas tend to not as frequently be something that people want to consume every day or over and over during short stretches of time.

Overall, I’m really proud of this one! I think, even if you’re a flavour first kind of tea drnker, the blend is still really delicious and interesting. However, I love the ingredient list as this final accompaniment to what we’ve been playfully calling our “pharma-tea” trio. I hope others love it too!

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
14833 tasting notes

DAVIDsTEA recently had its 15th birthday as a company and to celebrate we had a giant office block party with some food trucks, music, tea infused cocktail classes, games, and of course different “tea stations” highlighting some of our teas…

One of the stations was an affogato station where we were serving fresh brewed Pumpkin Chai affogatos, so I of course had to scoop up one of those for myself to enjoy during the evening. I’m definitely one of those people who’s more of a “yearly one and done” Pumpkin Chai drinker but I did really enjoy the combination of sweet, warming pumpkin spices with the melted vanilla ice cream. It was delicious and perfectly autumnal for the cooler early evening festivities.

Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.


Wow! What a party!

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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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