5553 Tasting Notes

Ok, so one – I totally thought that I’d tried this one already and two, I was definitely under the impression this was a blend of straight black teas. Turns out neither of those statements are true though ‘cause when I went to go find the sample of this one downstairs I saw that it hadn’t been opened yet and very clearly said it was a flavoured black tea…

Neither of those things are bad, of course – it was just a bit of a surprise is all. As soon as I cracked the package, I could immediately tell that there was Lapsang Souchong in this blend: it had a strong smokiness to it. It was also accompanied by sweet notes of caramelized brown sugar though which was intriguing and inviting.

Steeped up, I think this one is delicious! It’s a very dark flavour profile, and really full bodied/intense. The smoke is a strong flavour, but it’s not overpowering. There are also some really great notes of caramelized brown sugar and bourbon – particularly in the body of the sip, though that kind of bourbon flavour carries really well into the finish. Some vanilla undertones are present as well, and some soft notes of wood. Honestly, there’s a surprising amount of nuance and flavour layering going on overall.

Just a really dark flavour overall with lots of depth. Kind of haunting too, in a way? Really pleasant, though! I like that sweet and smoky combo; and it’s really well done here.

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drank Algothé by Kusmi Tea
5553 tasting notes

Pot of tea, with some almond milk.

Almond milk may have been a weird choice; the nuttiness really came through quite strongly and I thought it provided a sort of cacophonous juxtaposition with the spearmint in the blend, which is also quite strong. Still finished the whole pot though, ‘cause I was really digging the spearmint even if I didn’t like the almond pairing as much. Mouthfeel was REALLY rich/thick too, which I found satisfying.

Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/L4GrDOOIIbk

One of those song that I’d literally heard a dozen times and knew ALL the lyrics for, but has no idea what it was called or who sang it. It was a very satisfying moment when I accidentally stumbled upon it on Youtube and it all clicked into place.

I like it paired with this tea for a few reasons. For starters, there’s colour imagery associate with the song (emerald) and I can’t help but associate strongly minty teas with that same sort of green imagery. So, in a way this is kind of a pairing of “auras”. However, there’s also a lot of aquatic imagery in this song, and considering this is a blend with literal seaweed in it that also just sort of clicked into place for me and just felt… right.

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Pineapple, yes.

But mostly very buttery coconut and toffee/caramel undertones. I must have had this tea like twenty times now, and I still don’t know exactly where those toffee notes come from but this certainly is NOT the first time I’ve experienced them and I doubt it’ll be the last time. But yeah; sometimes this is delicious Pina Colada and sometimes it’s coconut pastry/toffee with sweet pineapple undertones. This is one of those times.

Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/RYr96YYEaZY

This song is a bit of a recent obsession, even though it’s not really new in anyway. I just like that the background music is a little upbeat with those higher notes that almost sound like, I don’t know, beeps – but the voice of the singer is sweet and buttery in the same way I find the coconut notes in this blend to be right now.

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Straight, iced.

I brought my own stash of this one into work so that I could make a cup of it while training some of our seasonal hires since I’d been craving this like literally all day. It also gave me the opportunity to show the group of them how to do iced matchas/matcha in general.

Obviously a very strong honeydew flavour, as I’ve expressed before in different tasting notes. It’s a little candied tasting, and with this particular cup I thought it was kind of very melon and bubble gum tasting. With like, hints of grassy floral matcha. The floral part in particular, and in the finish/aftertaste after the initial rush/wave of melon and mellowed out a little bit. It felt like summer in a cup; which is a nice feeling to experience when surrounded by flurries and teeth chattering cold snowy winds.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

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So my mom just bought this balm that’s I guess like a muscle relaxer, but made with traditional Chinese herbs/spices and stuff? It’s called Tiger Balm and it actually does fucking wonders in terms of like back pain/shoulder pain and that kind of thing.

I bring it up ‘cause I drank a mug of this the other night and literally the only thing I could think of was her fucking Tiger Balm. This tulsi tastes exactly like how the tiger balm smells. I think that’s probably ‘cause this does have some intense cinnamon notes to it and like one of the main things in that balm is cinnamon/cassia oil. So, there’s overlap in that regard. Also notes of clove, and mint in addition to that herbaceous basil quality. I don’t know; it was a VERY good cup and really soothing/relaxing flavours.

I’m just sayin’… Tiger Balm.

Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/pstVCGyaUBM


Oh man you’ve never heard of tiger balm? Growing up that stuff was used in a lot of dares…. lol

Evol Ving Ness

Tiger balm is the bee’s knees for people with bodies.

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drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
5553 tasting notes

Currently sipping on this one.

It’s actually been a long time since I last had this one. I was hoping for something a little more elegant in terms of flavour, but right now that only thing my brain is able to equate this profile to is tapioca pudding, with a vanilla base. Which makes me think of elementary school lunches. It doesn’t taste bad; but it’s not the elegant/classy flavour I was kind of looking for in tonight’s evening cuppa.

It’s also been literal years, but I find my mind wandering back to when I first tried this tea in the kitchen of my Saskatoon apartment. Back when I still brewed all my teas with a teaball. I think I originally received it from Keychange. I miss seeing her reviews here on Steepster! She was so kind, and such a positive force.

I mean, I still see her on FB every now and then but it’s totally not the same thing.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, I miss keychange too. Come back!


Tell her to come back! I miss her, too. Lots of other missing folks I’d love to see as well.

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Obviously I was in a bit of a mint mood today, because this was the third tea I drank today that had mint in it. It’s interesting though, this one, Wintergreen, and Cuban High Ball all use mint in them but are at the same time completely different flavour profiles.

This was kind of my sweet dessert tea for the day; as a latte too, for added richness/impactful dessert flavour. I’ve drank this one A LOT lately – especially as a latte. I need to limit myself ‘cause at this point I don’t feel like I have anything new to say about this one other than just reinforcing that it’s my new obsession. It’s so funny too ‘cause last year I wasn’t into it at all.

Yup; making a personal commitment to myself that I wont drink this again until I do it in a new style where I’ll actually be able to make fresh observations on it.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.


Try this as a chocolate milk latte. It is awesome!

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Tea Press!

Ok, I’m learning! Last time I thought this was way to weak/watery tasting so this time around I doubled the amount of leaf I originally had used, and gave it about three more minutes of steep time. The resulting brew was way more satisfying! Very sweet with, in my opinion, quite a distinct winter green flavour without that kind of harsh minty/menthol finishing that sometimes winter green flavoured things, like candy or gum, have. I also thought it had a touch of a herbaceous sort of undertone, which does make some sense to me since this is actual wintergreen leaf and not just a wintergreen flavoured tisane/blend.

I shared it with some coworkers too, without telling them what it was. Both agreed it was minty, but likened the flavour to bubblegum as well. I definitely didn’t personally see that beforehand but after having it pointed out to me I can see where they were coming from.

Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/oTgYqm76ILo

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Another more unique flavour Pu option from Cornelia Bean!

To be perfectly honest, when I grabbed this one I wasn’t totally sure I was actually going to like it but I thought it was super unique/I’d never seen a pu’erh flavoured like this so I figured I’d probably really end up kicking myself if I passed it up. Today, I made it iced in my tea press because I figured that it’d likely be well suited to iced prep since it is inspired by a cocktail.

I actually enjoyed it quite a bit! My first observation was actually just how straight forward I found the flavour to be. The top notes are light, fleeting earthy tones from the Pu’erh base and then the body is a very full bodied, stretched out lime note that persists for quite a long period of time, but then finishes really crisply and cleanly. I think a lot of that freshness and crisp/clean profile can be attributed to the mint in the blend, although I don’t actually think the profile of the tea tasted all that minty. It was really unique seeing a lime flavour on a base like this, and I liked that it was sweeter and not really acidic/sour. Really satisfying, actually!

I think this would make a KILLER cocktail base too! Maybe I’m influenced a little by the music I was listening to, but I’d like to see it either paired with tequila or a mix of rum and ginger beer! That would be so good.

Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/GshEzAUVcvQ

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drank ME to WE by DAVIDsTEA
5553 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

Sipped on this today while we got a new dryer installed.

Ours kicked the bucket about a month ago, so for close to a month now I’ve been very slowly trying to use as little clothing as possible because while we had a way to wash it, we had no method of drying it. The installation today was good timing ’cause I was down to one more viable pair of pants, and only a few more more pairs of PJ pants.

This was my first time trying this one cold brewed, and I have to say it makes a world of difference flavour wise. For starters, it’s really not tart or hibiscus heavy at all. Or, at least, not in the way that it is as a hot or iced tea. Instead it’s mostly very smooth and mellow/fruity cherry and cranberry notes with some other nice, pleasant fruity undertones such as the apple and pineapple. Didn’t really get much fig, and didn’t get any of the peppercorns. The small bit of tartness that is present comes from the cranberry, and it’s pretty well balanced out with sweetness.

Just overall a very, very delicious cold brew that basically highlights all the best aspects you get of this one as a hot and as an iced tea!

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.


Feel for you with the dryer issue. The summer I lived in Ireland the townhouse we rented had one of those combined washer/dryer machines but the dryer function would literally bake the clothes and they would come out stiff as a board so we used the clothes rack our landlords had used in the dining room. There were lines outside but seeing as that summer was unusually wet even for Ireland ( it rained everyday for 62 days where we were in Malahide) they were essentially useless. Yay for the new dryer.

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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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