drank Ginseng Oolong by JADEsCHA
13950 tasting notes

Sipdown (119)!

So today I got packages from Camellia Sinensis (teaware – including my first ever Gaiwan) and JADEsCHA (another Gaiwan but in a different style – from my fabulous tea twin VariaTEA)! Both vendors included tea samples; from CS a sample of Darjeeling Casleton (took my a while to find it; it was sold out on the site, and not added into the Steepster database) and from JADEsCHA a Jasmine Pearl green tea, and this one.

I don’t know if I’m going to have time today to use both Gaiwans, but I thought I’d at least start with this one because I knew that pouring from it was going to be trickier and would require more practice, for sure. And, I picked this for my first tea because it’s a kind of oolong that I’ve got some familiarity with and it meant getting to use something from VariaTEA’s package as well – just in case I don’t end up using her Gaiwan today.

This is also, ‘officially’ my first Gong Fu session! I was nervous, but I’ve been bulking up on research videos on Youtube while waiting for this order to come in – I’ve learned a lot from all of your tasting notes, but really I just wanted to watch people using their Gaiwans to sort of feel at ease and kind of prepared. If that makes sense at all. I’m very excited about dipping my toes into this way of brewing and drinking tea!

Infusion One – 30 seconds:

My first time pouring out of a Gaiwan. I spilled probably about half of the tea onto my lap and couch. I expected as much. Definitely getting some notes of Sweetgrass and moss, and a very sweet finish; honey notes and licorice. So much licorice – and it’s really lingering in the aftertaste. Liquor is a medium yellow.

Infusion Two – 35 Seconds:

Still spilled, but not nearly as much! Still very mossy and green. It’s sweet with lots of honey and licoricey notes, but also had a few kind of wood like notes. The leaves are finally opening up now that the ginseng coating is really washing off.

Infusion Three – 45 Seconds:

No spillage! Liquor is much more close to a fluorescent yellow colour now. Not like “highlighter yellow”, but very bright. Much stronger wood/oak notes, as well as a dry nutty flavour – ginseng/licorice sweetness is still really strong but I can tell it’s starting to wain a little bit.

Infusion Four – 1 Minute:

No spillage again! Just a tiny bit of sediment in the bottom of my pitcher. STRONG wood notes, definitely a drier mouthfeel. More of a sugar cane/honey sweetness, and a little bit less licorice-y. Leaves are very open.

Overall, I thought this Ginseng Oolong was especially sweet; definitely more so than any other I’ve tried. Perhaps that’s because of the change in how I’m preparing it – but my gut is telling me it’s the tea itself that was sweet.

I know I could probably get more infusions out of this – but I’m definitely growing tired of it at this point, and I’d like to switch to a different kind of tea. Overall I think this was definitely a success though! I know I spilled a lot initially, but I didn’t really pour any leaves into my pitcher (hooray) nor did I burn myself (extra hooray)! And, I had a really fun time brewing as well!


You have much to learn, young grasshopper, but, much greatness I sense in you…

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You have much to learn, young grasshopper, but, much greatness I sense in you…

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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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