11399 Tasting Notes

drank Black Dragon by Tearunners
11399 tasting notes

Gongfu Sipdown (1402)!

This gorgeous & tippy tea is robust and full bodied with bold and complex notes of bittersweet dark chocolate, burnt sugar, baked yams, smoke, and stewed red fruits – but it’s really the burnt sugar and cocoa notes that stay with you after the finish! Such an interesting balance of bitterness and sweetness made for a very enjoyable tea session this afternoon!!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQCGi1gg9ir/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmPuKFmAVFA&ab_channel=RunForCoverRecords

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I practically lost my mind over this tea session! This tea is mouthwatering with notes of sweet breads, amber honey, leather, & dark cacao complimenting a complex range of fruit notes that encompass tropical sweet guava jam, black currant, and candied plums – with a floral and spicy lilac undertone. The liquor is syrupy and smooth with a coating and lingering finish of perfumed sweet ‘purple’ fruit juices. There’s so much to unpack here with each steep; I am so enamored and impressed! One of the best sessions I’ve had this week, easily!!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CP_Mo5fAkFZ/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4qsjmLxhow


Sounds like a wonderful way to start the week!



btw, I got tickets for Primavera Sound next year! If (the festival happens and) they won’t clash with something I might be able to see The Strokes live there :)

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drank Maple Ginger by Cuppa Geek
11399 tasting notes

This was a little too drying and ginger heavy for me personally but I liked the combination of maple and ginger a lot – there’s a lot of interest and fun to be had this with this juxtaposition of sweet brown flavour with it’s kind of woody undertones and spicy, hot ginger. I loved the base choice too – leans well into the more natural and earthy notes (“sap like” if you will) of maple that sometimes feel very neglected/forgotten. Gonna try this with milk though, because I think that will balance the dryness and ginger heavy aspects for me…

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I was a bit worried that this would be too medicinal or woody tasting and that the cedar notes would just be like a 15/10 in intensity but this was super well balanced and really refreshing. Definitely had those woody and distinct cedar notes with some camphor and cooling finishing elements but also that effervescence and lightness from the kombucha and a very mild level of that vinegar like note that I enjoy so much.

Really unique kind of take on a kombucha, and one I’d definitely order again.

Sierge Krьstъ

Cedar is unique and I would say they took care of synergy aspect, nice to see bold entrepreneurship when it comes to blending.

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Grandpa Style!

Made this one in a new piece of teaware (photos to come at a later date, I’m sure) that was admittedly probably much too small for the size of the dragonball. Like, to give some perspective, the unfurled and opened up tea leaf and ribbons of chenpi probably accounted for about half of the space in the cup – the rest being water/tea. So, this was strong and so, so THICK. A bit like drinking syrup in terms of mouthfeel but deeply tasting of rain soaked earth and brothy medicinal herbs with the sweetness of a coating and oily orange flavour in the undertones of this deeply dank and camphorous profile. Really intense but super tasty. Unsurprisingly given the strength I was brewing it, this lasted the entire work day before even starting to get close to steeping out.

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drank Smoke by Adjourn Teahouse
11399 tasting notes

Y’all – I love smoked tea so, so much and this is just a beautiful one!

I find this a very “dry” smoke with some really interesting savory kind of undertones and elements to it – much of the body of the sip was very brothy to me (in a good way) and the overall smoke level is quite robust and assertive. The cinnamon certainly adds an interesting element to it – the notes seem woodier and more nuanced with this back of the throat warming sensation that not all smoked teas have. It’s like sipping on campfire smoke and then having the coziness you feel from being near the heat of the campfire rise up from within yourself after each swallow.

I wish the notes of the pineapple and cherry in the blend were stronger – because there is no flavouring used here and only these stunning large cut dried out fruits there isn’t the same level of flavour that a lot of people are used to in blended teas. Not a bad thing by any means but it’s just super different stylistically. For me, I got an undertone of sweetness beneath those brothy smoke and spice notes that reminded me of the syrup quality of ripe pineapple without so much having the distinct taste of it.

This is a tea I want to steep up again and again and just sit with and sip – mulling over the intricacies of the blend. A very good “thinking” tea.


Beautiful note! I loved reading it. This tea sounds really special.

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Cold Brew!

I’m currently drinking this one right now and it’s hitting all the marks of a good summery brew! The raspberry leads the sip with a sweetness and hint of tangy tartness – it’s then followed up by a hint of grassy greenness from the yerba mate and a nice punchy citrus finish! It’s equal parts lemongrass, with its more natural and zesty notes, and this sort of effervescent “soda type” lemon flavouring that reminds me a little of Sprite or other comparable lemon/lime sodas. There’s maybe a smidge of something here that’s a little more mineral or “chalky” that kind of reminds me a bit of vitamins – but it’s more in this nostalgic way and the flavour is very light just in the finish. I know it’s strange to say anything is chalky/vitamin like and that to be a positive but I do mean it when I say it’s not detracting from the really fun and dynamic mix of berry and citrus for me.

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Still such a silky and smooth blend – notes of malty and floral black tea support this very rich and creamy cashew and coconut combination that’s equally nutty as it is buttery. I love the addition of carrot for the mild earthiness it brings and the natural, but not sugary, sweetness that supports the creamy and thick combo of cashew/coconut.

It’s honestly held up very well!

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Cold Brew!

Had this one earlier in the week with a pretty hefty amount of coconut milk poured in after straining it. There is a lot of acid in this blend from the citrus and hibiscus and that definitely caused my added coconut milk to badly separate, however that was something I had fully expected so it didn’t catch me off guard. I just gave it a vigerous shake and it mostly reincorporated.

Very tasty though – just this explosion of tropical citrus notes and creamy coconut. I’d say dominant flavours were orange, coconut, and pineapple – in that order. Something about it does lean a little bit bubblegum-y in taste, but in a good kind of way. Sweet, decadent, refreshing. Y’know, all the good summer things.

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Had this one in the morning – it’s been a long time since I last watched Psych but I remember it being a very fun show and the reoccurring pineapple gag was such a fun part so I was stoked when I saw this in the sub box this month!

The dry leaf smell is really nice – sweet and syrupy pineapple to the extreme! I’m a bit let down by the taste, but it’s not really from the pineapple itself as much as it’s from the tea base. I think it’s really cool and interesting that Happy Turtle has so many teas on a pu’erh base, but the really earthy and dank taste of the shou does not mesh well with this super sweet and tropical candied pineapple note. It’s just a super bad disconnect, which is a shame because either flavour isolated would probably be really damn good!

Yeah – not sure what to do about that. It’s a bummer.


Psych was such a good show! I didn’t realize how much I missed it until reading your review! :(

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Hello! My name is Kelly, though many people in the tea community call me Ros or Roswell.

I am a twenty five year old proudly queer tea addict, blogger, and all around tea geek. 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 preperation 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.

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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