Morning cuppa at work today.

I still don’t love this one, but there are some really nice aspects to it – the creamyness of the while chocolate is a nice, softer undertone that adds a lot of body and richness to the profile of the cup as a whole. And, the sort of ‘brandied’/boozy fruit aspect is growing on me. Anyone who’s ever had an AU blend with plum will really pick out that flavour – it’s super consistent in all of their blends and this is not an exception. Aftertaste lingers, and while it starts off pleasant enough it does finish in a rather artificial way and for me that’s definitely the biggest drawback to the overall cup.

I wasn’t as wowed overall with this collection (Breathless, In The Mood For Love, The Black Lodge, Psychocandy, and Arabasque) as I’ve been with others – in fact the only tea I think I’d actually want to repurchase is the Psychocandy blend. However, this is probably my second favourite overall. If I could give any feedback to AU overall it would be that I’m at a point now where I’ve tried a lot of their blends and I’ve started to pick up on flavour notes that are present in a lot of them. They very much have certain flavours they seem to really enjoy including (smokey blacks, stonefruit, turkish apple, vanilla, etc.) and it’s not that they’re bad notes to hit on but they do at a certain point feel repetitive.

Since this is a company that really prides themselves on cutting edge, unique, and inspired flavours/ideas I’d really like to seem them diversify their flavours a little more. Especially when it comes to their blacks; I feel like often they rely strongly on the idea of smoked black tea or apple-y fruit flavours. I’d very much to see a bright, vibrant fruity black tea that doesn’t use stonefruit, apple, or smoked tea. Like, what about a blueberry? Or an exotic fruit – like starfruit or lychee? I think the AU take on lychee black tea could be pretty cool. Also, just throwing it out there, but what about more unique flavoured white options? That could be fun to experiment with.

But anyway, it was actually an awesome day! The last week has very much been dragging for me and it definitely didn’t start off super positively. A few weeks ago I was training our new manager on the core roles/duties of being a ‘tea guide’ (basically all the entry level stuff), after which the company sent him off to another store to do his management training. He got back at the start of the week, and it definitely wasn’t the most seamless transition. There were a lot of initial issues, and personality wise he didn’t seem to be meshing overly well with the team as a whole.

I mean, don’t get me wrong it’s very rare for management changes in general to go smoothly – and not only were we getting a new store manager but we were also losing our assistant store manager. I’m thrilled to say everything has only gotten better over the course of the week; personality wise everything seems to be clicking into place and he’s getting along great with the team – but not too much. Our previous manager got along FABULOUSLY with everyone but almost to a point where she approached things as more of a ‘friend’ than a superior. I don’t think that’s gonna be the case here. Plus, for the first time in a while I feel really supported in my role as a keyholder and I feel like I have a boss who not only deeply appreciates my ‘background’ with tea, but who deeply wants to help me to continue to grow with the company. There are still gonna be bumps along the way, but a lot less than I had originally assessed.

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Hello! My name is Kelly, though many people in the tea community call me Ros or Roswell.

I am a twenty five year old proudly queer tea addict, blogger, and all around tea geek. 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 preperation 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.

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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