Sipdown (593)!

Gifted to me by one of my coworkers; I don’t know where/how she found these “instant cold brew” teas but she kindly offered to let me pick one of the three tea options to test out and how could I resist!?

So, the idea here is that each packet has what is essentially a teabag in it but it’s filled with ground up tea similar to matcha – except not matcha. This one was Tie Guan Yin oolong, and it basically looked like a darker and more brown tinged matcha shoved into the teabag. You toss that bad boy into a bottle of cold water, and you shake it back and forth “forty times” then removed the teabag/packet. Wallah – ‘instant cold brew’.

It’s… fine.

I mean, it came out a weird, bordering on fluorescent green colour which was a little freaky and there’s definitely a lot of sediment in the cup from the “powder” that is basically getting cold shaken into the water. I thought it tasted more like a very nutty/softly roasted green tea than any Tie Guan Yin I’ve had recently; but I don’t know if that’s placebo effect because the whole time I was making this I couldn’t help compare the appearance to matcha. I suppose, because of that nutty/roasty element, is does kind of remind me of Tie Guan Yin? I definitely wouldn’t call it a good version of the tea though.

I think maybe this concept could work; but I don’t think straight/traditional teas are the way to go to do it well. I’d focus, instead, on flavoured and scented teas where you can compensate for the lack of quality of the straight tea base with some of the other flavours that you’re bringing to the mix. So stuff like jasmine or rose scented teas, Earl Grey, maybe a green tea version with some sort of fruit like mango!? Straight tea just feels like you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

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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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