8713 Tasting Notes

88

#adventageddon Day Five – 3/5

No jot notes because I wrote a summary on instagram:

‘White Lynx’ is fragrant and sweet, with notes of honey, orange blossom, sweet grass, meyer lemon curd, cream, and just a hint of straw!

Also, a thing that I didn’t say is that the dry leaf appearance is fucking GORGEOUS!! Plus, this tasted delicious and is the kind of white tea I would definitely purchase for myself.

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5twTYOgWHP/

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78

#adventageddon Day Five – 2/5

- A mix of floral, tropical passionfruit, and a hint of ginger in the finish
- Reminds me heavily of DT’s Green Passionfruit but lighter and a little spiced
- I like it around as much as I like that blend
- AKA not much…

(Though I’ve apparently had it before, and liked it more in the past?)

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62

#adventageddon Day Five – 1/5

So, I just got home from celebratory drinks out with coworkers – more on that later, and I am so tired but I also don’t want to fall behind on advent calendar reviews so I’m gonna write my five for the day super quickly in jot note form!!

- Really excited for this tea since it seems like a really fun and creative concept
- The visual is a lot more plain/simple that I would have expected & doesn’t feel fun
- The taste is very light and mild with a mellow sweetness
- I get A LOT of roasted rice notes which I imagine are intended to be the “popcorn”
- The mint is creamy and smooth like DT’s Santa’s Secret
- However I find this lacks sweetness and intensity that I’d have expected/craved
- But if I accept it as a light and mellow blend I enjoy it a little more

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drank Let It Snow by DAVIDsTEA
8713 tasting notes

#adventageddon Day Four – 5/5

Wasn’t thrilled to see this one today – not because I hate the tea but more just because I’ve had it really recently and I don’t like having the same tea within too short of a time span. I think it’s a perfectly fine tea – not a favourite but not a least favourite. This mug was a little thin, but had creamy notes and sweetness that I like and a gentle cinnamon/clove/nutmeg vibe. It was sort of like an “eggnog adjacent” flavour.

It was easy for me to get the mug out of the way, but it didn’t spark joy.

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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#adventageddon Day Four – 4/5

This was another advent tea today which was a little bit of a let down for me – and not in the way I’d expected. When I saw the tea I felt weird about it because I don’t jive with bergamot and I’ve never had a pleasant experience with bergamot mixed with oolong that I can recall. Since I anticipated that, I made the tea as a large teapot to be split between everyone working in the lab with me today.

The dry leaf smelled ok – but not at all like Earl Grey/Bergamot. It was weird, and if I couldn’t smell it on the leaf I was unsure what would come out in the steeped tea. Sure enough, after the pot had steeped we couldn’t taste any bergamot at all in the infusion – you would have never known that this was an “Earl Grey Oolong” from blind tasting. On one hand I felt a bit of a sense of relief, but on the other if you were purchasing this with the intent of receiving an Earl Grey Oolong then I think you’d be deeply disappointed.

The other part is that, aside from not tasting like EG, the oolong itself was a little light/flat tasting and pretty boring. Not nearly as nice as the one I had yesterday, for sure. Just softly/weakly floral and a bit green. Really meh.

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75

#adventageddon Day Four – 3/5

I think this is maybe my favourite tea from the day!? It’s a pretty simple blend and there’s not really anything interesting in the ingredients list or unique about the composition but it is tasty for what it is! Very bright, juicy and acidic/tart with a little sweetness. The immediate flavour I get is a sharp (but not acrid) hibiscus with an undertone of cranberry – I can see why you’d go with a hibiscus heavy mix to get that sharp cranberry note and it mostly pays off in my opinion but it does feel a little more like hibiscus than cranberry. I think what I want is a little more “crispness” to the finish or a little more sweetness to give more of a jammy cranberry; not both but just one or the other. The apple is nice; it’s the main source of sweetness in the blend, I’d wager, and after the bright notes of hibby/cran I think that sweeter/juicier apple note at the end of the sip is a really strong way to finish the cup.

I described it to a coworker today as “the perfect tart drink when you want a fruity tea you don’t have to think about” and I stand by that. I think it’d be great iced, too.

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68

#adventageddon Day Four – 2/5

Today’s DF pick – another new one for me! Never would have known from the name that this was a rose/ginger/orange blossom blend, but I guess that’s true of most DF tea profiles and names. I think this is somewhere in the middle of the Dammann Freres offerings I’ve pulled so far; so decidedly average. The rose flavour was pretty strong for me and I really like rose teas (especially rose black teas) so I enjoyed that aspect a lot; the orange blossom wasn’t super distinct for me and I wish it had been a bit more pronounced. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the rose with the ginger but I thought it added character to the blend and the little bit of warmth at the end of the sip was enjoyable. Biggest fault is just that, despite solid rose and ginger notes, the blend just seemed a bit flat still – needed a bit more heat from the ginger or maybe just some sweetness or acidity to make those flavours really pop.

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31

#advantageddon Day Four – 1/5

I’m come so close to ordering this matcha probably near a dozen times; it’s one of those flavours that I’m basically positive that I’m not going to like but that I simultaneously feel like I just have to experience it!

It feels cathartic to finally be able to say I’ve tried it now. I made it up as a matcha shot first thing in the morning – very thick, very green and vegetal smelling. I could see the sediment in the shot glass as well; the DT Kale Matcha from a few years back did that really badly too; the kale just has a higher density and the grind isn’t as fine so the suspension settles so quickly.

Taste wise, I didn’t hate this but I didn’t love it either. However, as I said above I also really didn’t expect to like it at all so even just not hating it was still a pretty significant win. I couldn’t really taste the kale in the blend, at the concentration of a matcha shot all that vegetal, umami and bitter flavours just fade together. However, I certainly felt the heat of the chilli afterwards. Oof, that has a decent amount of heat to it!

Certainly an interesting way to start my advent teas today…

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50
drank Spiced Orange by Tea Revv
8713 tasting notes

#adventageddon Day Three – 5/5

This is the last tea today and I’m actually just finishing the mug off right now as I write about it. I don’t like the idea of having a “losing” tea each day, but I guess if I was going to have one it’d be a tie between this and DF’s offering…

I mean really this isn’t bad but I’m finding it pretty flat and lifeless and while I get a lot of cinnamon in the flavour I really get hardly any orange at all. I just want some more heat or juiciness; just a bigger “oomph” factor to any of the flavours would do!

I guess maybe that’s because I’m mentally comparing to DT’s Spice is Right Blend which is REALLY strong – and perhaps that’s not a fair comparison, but it’s the one my brain just naturally wants to make and in a side by side of the two teas this is just worse.

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92

#adventageddon Day Three – 4/5

Had this one when I got home from work – just hot and straight. I’m glad it was included so early in the advent – it’s arguably the matcha from Bird and Blend that I was most curious about/likely to have blindly bought a tin of. Violet flavours in tea is something that was new to me this year and I ended up trying maybe a half dozen different version of them and really liking the majority of them. The idea of a violet flavoured matcha deeply intrigues me and I just had to know what it would be like!

I actually only ended up using 1/2 the sample pot as well, so I’ll have another serving for a later time – which is good because I loved this tea. It’s probably tied with Virgin Forest for my favourite of the day, though this was definitely the most unique thing that I tried today.

I wish it was just straight up violet though because the violet note wasn’t overly floral at all and it had what I almost want to call a “juicy” sweetness to it; more like a violet candy!? However, there’s also lavender and cardamom in this blend. I liked the warming and comforting spice note of the cardamom; it definitely wasn’t stronger than the violet but it was pretty distinct all the same. I actually didn’t taste any lavender which I was relieved by because I really don’t like the idea of a lavender matcha. Lavender, to me, is more for relaxation and de-stressing but that’s not what I want out of a matcha; matcha should be energy and focus. The idea of those two concepts mashed together makes my head hurt…

This is something I would 100% purchase for myself in a larger amount – though maybe not until I’ve finished off the cardamom matcha that I already own. It’s unique and very tasty, though!

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Profile

Bio

Hello;

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, Gong Fu…

You name it, I probably drink it.

In that vein, I’ll drink just about any type of tea – those 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 Gong Fu. 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 Horse: Bergamot
Ceramic Snail: Snicket
Ceramic Cat: Saffron
Wood Fired Old Man: Leopold

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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