8710 Tasting Notes

drank Apple Cider by DAVIDsTEA
8710 tasting notes

#adventageddon Day Two – 5/5

It’s no secret that I enjoy DT’s Apple Cider blend – I drink it year round and have a small stash on hand currently. I was excited to see this was the DT selection for today’s advent because I knew exactly what to expect from it and it’s a tea I like a lot. I did make my cup a little special today though and I steeped it iced with a giant handful of cubes Granny Smith apples tossed into the cup. It was very sweet, as it usually is, with a hint of creamy vanilla but the added apples slowly added a little more tartness to the cup and then at the end I was able to have them as a snack and they even tasted a bit like the juicy sweet apple notes from the tea! It was a nice way to round out today’s advent selections!

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.


Oh what a great idea with the apples!

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drank Choc Mint by Tea Revv
8710 tasting notes

#adventageddon Day Two – 4/5

This was a new to me tea as well – but I felt like, after reading the ingredients list, I knew exactly what to expect for it and I was really spot on in my assumption of what it would taste like. It certainly wasn’t unpleasant – in fact it was a very smooth and rich tasting combination of milk chocolate and cooling peppermint notes with a little bit of a honeyed rooibos base that poked through just enough to be present but not enough to feel invasive or descrating. Very well rounded blend overall and not jaw dropping but safe. I appreciated that among the other weirder new teas I tried today and the green tea that wasn’t majorly my thing I had something that felt familiar and reliable.

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#adventageddon Day Two – 3/5

This might have been my favourite tea of the day – and it was nice pulling something from the DF calendar that I hadn’t previously tried, as well.

Flavour wise it was really smooth and warming, while also having a gentle sweetness and creamy taste. I thought that all the flavours described by DF were present (cinnamon, ginger, apple, vanilla) and unlike yesterday’s tea they worked really well together. It felt appropriately festive in the flavour choice while not being at the “Santa Claus shoving a fistful of Yuletide cheer down your throat” levels – I could sip this in the evening, curled up with a good book or TV show and it would feel merry but also relaxing, and I like that.

Strongest note was cinnamon, erring on the sweeter side, and then apple – more of a red apple with that sweetness but slight floral undertone. Plus, as with most DF blends, the flavour of the black tea base wasn’t lost either.

It was just a solid tea overall!


I am sad my wonky tastebuds gave me licorice b/c I could tell this one had potential


Man, I’d love to stock up just on DF’s Noel teas!

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#adventageddon Day Two – 2/5

I’ve been curious about this ‘matcha’ for a long time but it’s so expensive to blind purchase Bird and Blend’s matchas, and I’m at a point where I’ve sampled enough of the flavours that buying one of the kits that has smaller sizes just isn’t worthwhile for me because I get too many I’ve had already – so I added a lot of matcha/powder to my BYO calendar because it seemed like the PERFECT way to sample the flavours I would be too hesitant to buy full tins of blindly but that I just need to know what they taste like…

I think this is a cool concept – matcha is high in caffeine and is often drank for energy or focus, and those functional benefits align with yerba mate really closely too! However, I had the same issue that I do with a lot of Bird & Blend teas where texturally the grind on this matcha was just REALLY rough and I found it settled really quickly and felt fibrous as I drank it. As my manager would say, “it was chewy!” Sadly the flavour wasn’t great either – very abrasive and really grassy and smoky in a bit of a bitter and muddy way. I thought it was drinkable but not pleasant.

I do still think there’s functional usage of this powder though for focus/energy – maybe in the form of “matcha shots” where you’re shooting back the matcha and not paying as much attention to the flavour or mouthfeel? So I wont go as far as to say I wouldn’t recommend it; just not for the taste, anyway…

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#adventageddon Day Two – 1/5

Started my morning with this advent selection – just hot and straight. I wasn’t thrilled to see a green tea selection so early in this advent, but at least this is one that I’ve had before and I felt like I knew what to expect for it. However, even still I found myself taken aback/surprised – the infused liquor was definitely a little sharper than I remember this tasting when I previously tried it, and it was really fruity! I couldn’t nail down exactly what the fruity note I was getting was, but it was hard to taste much else in the cup – though I do think there was some nuttiness happening right in the initial sip but it soon was taken over.

Not terrible – but I’m hoping for better tomorrow.

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As I’ve mentioned previously – I have a coworker who is currently getting her Sommelier Certification & I’ve been helping her with the course work/tastings. This is the same coworker who was recently in BC and picked up a bunch of teas from Cultivate Tea to bring back for us all the taste.

She drinks Gongfu w/ me all the time in the lab when I’m brewing, but a couple of my coworkers and I were finally all free at the same time for us to give her a crash course on brewing Gongfu so that she could take her first crack at it! It took my two years+ to build up to brewing Gongfu, but she got there in less than six months! She picked this tea to make for us all, and with some gentle guidance she brewed it up like a pro!

We went light leaf and longer steep times, because we all agreed that was probably the best choice since strong leaf and small steeps seems like a recipe for burnt fingers and over brewed tea for a first time using a gaiwan. I certainly remember the burnt fingers…

She brewed for about five people and it was a small approx 80ml gaiwan so we basically all got a sip or two of each infusion – which was three in total. It was a short session, but they all came out nicely and it was a really great starting point in her Gongfu journey! I thought the Rou Gui she had purchased was nice enough; it was a little light for my tastes (a result of the leaf used I think, not a reflection on the tea) but had some mineral/rocky and toasty roasty notes that I love in Rou Gui along with a dry cinnamon/woody quality and a finish that was very cannabis heavy! The last infusion was beginning to break into that floral territory but we didn’t steep long enough to really get into the floral part of the tea.

It was just a really nice experience just getting to be a part of her first time brewing Gongfu!


So I have managed to avoid burnt fingers since my first session. My issue is timing. I do like 10 sec. and the tea is tasting weird.

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Had a mug of this last week but I did the thing where I just guzzled the mug and didn’t really take mental note of it, and now I don’t remember exactly what it tasted like aside from the fact that I definitely really liked it and the finish was a little mineral/metallic.

I’ll make this again and be more observant, though!

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Tasted like bad lemonade and waxy candied pineapple, but damn if it wasn’t pretty.

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5LSvZcANfF/

Though as you can see in the photo, my bottle was more of a pink hue than a purple/violet one…

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Probably my last caffeinated tea for the day – after all of the black teas in my advent today you’d think I’d be ready to move on to something else, but I was really craving something raisin/grape heavy and brisk. This cup is delivering – it’s black grape/raisin forward but then leans into more of a tannic, full bodied black tea profile with notes of crunchy autumnal leaves and a brassy note that I’m digging.

It’s been a hot minute since my last mug of this and I can tell it’s lost sweetness/brightness since I last visited it, but it’s still good!

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From last week!

There’s a lot going on with this blend – and immediately, from smelling the dry leaf, I get the sense that there’s probably a lot of flavouring packed into this tea. However, steeped up I quite like it! The roasted oolong was a really good choice for tea base because it adds a great depth and denseness overall and the nuttier roasted notes really play up this idea of a candied fruit/mixed nut fruit cake like all the nicer homemade/artisan ones generally have. I taste notes of pecan/walnut quite specifically too! There’s a good general sweetness level; I swear I’m getting maple notes and a molasses/brown sugar thing that feels very accurate to me of really good fruit cakes!

But how is the fruit note of this fruit cake, you ask!? Well, it’s a little bit boozy bordering on medicinal – like some kind of cherry or maybe blackcurrant brandy!? It’s strong, for sure, but oddly works for me. It’s got that syrupy sweetness that does remind me of those little candied bits of fruit or even a sweet but heavier maraschino cherry vibe!? It works really well with the nutty and roasty elements of the blend and I 100% get “Fruit Cake” from the overall profile!

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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.


Montreal, QC, CA



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