drank Monk's Blend by Tea Desire
12963 tasting notes

Well, depending on how you look at it, I’ve had a really good tea day and a really bad tea day…

I got up literally three hours ago and since waking up I’ve added 21 teas to my cupboard – and the day is not yet done. I’m expecting to meet up with Janelle today and purchase the samples I wanted from her tea stash which shall add about ten more teas to my cupboard. Yikes!

So, after waking up the first thing I did (after checking steepster, of course) was catch the bus to the mall so I could go to the bank to take out my rent money and the money I’ll be owing Janelle for the teas. Of course Tea Desire is in that mall so I had to stop in to, if nothing else, say hi to the sales ladies and get a tea to go. Of course, in addition to having this as my tea to go, I walked away with 50g each of two mores teas (Prickly Pear, which I think will be excellent for cold brewing, and Brasiliano which is a mate that smells SO indulgent).

I had this on the bus ride back home, and I have to say I was not totally impressed. Shelby, my favourite sales lady, said this was a favourite of hers and highly recommended it, so I took a chance but I’m glad now that I only got it as a tea to go and didn’t purchase any.

Taste wise, the black tea base had a very chemical taste to it that I just couldn’t shake. It was super present and it ruined any other positives this tea had. I’m wondering if a shorter steep time would reduce the harshness of that chemical taste, but I also did allow it to steep for exactly the time that Shelby said she liked it best.

There were positives, though (just sadly out weighed by the harsh chemicalness)! The vanilla that managed to come through was very smooth and natural tasting, and the grenadine was sweet in a way that wasn’t cloying like I’d imagine a grenadine tea to be. It almost but not quite reminded me of a Shirley Temple.

When I got home, I saw that in the 40 minutes I’d been gone I’d recieved not one, but two parcels of tea! My order from Butiki had come in, and I’m SUPER impressed by how quickly that made it to me. I definitely was not expecting to get everything by Black Friday. Also, Stacy was super kind and added an extra sample to my order (Irish Breakfast)!

And, the package from RiverTea which I won in their “what would you do for 100g of your favourite tea” arrived today as well! Considering it was coming from Berlin and mailed out less than two weeks ago I’m also very impressed by how quickly it got here, and seeing as I’m one of five people to get to ‘pre-try’ their teas I definitely opened that one up first. All the packaging looks beautiful, and they even sent me this super cool steeper shaped like a musical note! I took some pictures of things as I was opening the package up, so I’ll be sure to link them in my first review of their tea. It’s neat because I can definitely see how they picked teas for my to try out based on the flavours I told them I’m interested in! It feels super personalized and I’m incredibly thankful!

Now the only problem is what to have first…

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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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