Sipdown (121)!

So, I live in/rent out a basement suite – obviously there are stairs, right? Well in the year+ I’ve lived here we haven’t actually had railings. Not a big deal or anything, but they just didn’t exist. I’m quite sure about this because I remember when my Grandma came to visit she had a really, really hard time getting downstairs without something to grip.

I just walked out of the living room into the hall space that links to the bathroom and laundry room and our stairwell and… Railing! When did that get there!? When Tre gets home tomorrow I’m gonna have to ask if it was there when he left for Regina last week. I can’t imagine myself to be so unobservant to have gone a whole week without seeing it. Maye our landlord put it up Friday/Saturday when I was seriously out of it ‘cause of weird work hours? But even then, wouldn’t I have noticed leaving for work today or getting home?

It’s very obviously shiny and new…

Thank you TheLastDodo from the sample – this is a Teavana blend I haven’t tried yet, and while I know Teavana isn’t wildly popular here on Steepster I’ve had a few successes with their blends. Plus, where I live it’s actually really hard to acquire their tea so it was exciting receiving this one.

Dodo recommended trying this one cold brewed, and I was more than happy to oblige! I had the first half of it today at work, and I’m just finishing off the second half now. The plan was the drink it right when I got home, but then I got distracted by baking and had a beer with supper instead of tea.

Dry this smells pretty orange-y with not much else other than perhaps a faint but generic floral quality. One could almost say it’s the faint, natural floral tone of a fresh orange though, and nothing else.

Taste wise it’s a little bit underwhelming, not gonna lie. First flavour is an unsweetened but arguably very realistic orange note. It actually reminds me a lot of most Blood Orange teas I’ve had. It’s accompanied by a less overwhelming but kind of bitter grapefruit flavour. And then, there’s also a hibiscus edge to it – and it’s not all that pleasant, though tolerable at least. It reminds me a bit of the oddly beet like flavour the hibiscus took on for me in DAVIDsTEA’s Queen of Tarts blend. Bleck. It’s definitely not as strong though.

Once the orange and hibiscus welcoming committee leaves, the flavour transitions into something a lot more floral; but rather a generic floral tone and less so anything specific. The oolong base is kinda weak when compared to the flavourings used here – but it’s obvious floral too, and I’d say greener with maybe some mineral notes? Finally, call me really crazy here but I’m also tasting the faint licorice flavour of fennel!?

I just read all the reviews – no one else has mentioned fennel, anise or licorice so I’m just gonna chock it up to possible scent contamination? I really do taste it though.

If I were to drink this again, it’d likely be with waffles or some other kind of breakfast food – but I think to be anything other than average at best this blend really needs sugar, and as someone who doesn’t sweeten their tea that means I’ve just lost all interest in having it again. That’s perhaps harsh considering this isn’t bad; it’s just not good either, and if it needs sugar to be good then it’s not worth more of my time.

Sorry TheLastDodo – I loved getting to try this, but it’s not one I love. Perhaps that’s for the best; like I mentioned at the start of this review it’s hard to access Teavana blends where I live.


Que sera, sera. I sometimes get an anise note to it. heh, I rarely drink this as anything more than an addition to smoothies!

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Que sera, sera. I sometimes get an anise note to it. heh, I rarely drink this as anything more than an addition to smoothies!

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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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