This is my “MVT” – most valuable tea – for the week.

I brewed this one Gong Fu, after first taking it to work with the intention of brewing it there and being told by my manager that this tea was too good to brew at work and I needed to take it home instead and brew it Gong Fu and really focus on the flavours/session. Who am I to tell my manager, the head of research and development for a tea company no!? If he gives me a tea recommendation I generally listen to him; he’s got great taste! Except when it comes to green tea, then I usually just tune him out, haha!

I’m glad he made the suggestion though; I know I definitely would not have been able to brew this at work with the same care and attention and it was a VERY good tea. Like, I enjoyed it more than the shou I had this week that literally caused me to have an emotional breakdown at my desk.

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwhuePDHXxb/

I wish I could better convey how amazing the tea was to you, but I think just recapturing my “in the moment” thoughts from instagram will have to suffice because after I finished snapping photos and writing up that instagram blurb it was like all words vanished from my mind and I could only drink tea and be happy. It was delicious, and I steeped this tea fifteen times, literally right down until there was NO MORE flavour coming from the tea at all. My last infusion might as well have just been water…

So here’s what I said on instagram:

“Notes of Sandalwood, malt, black currant, apricot, red wine/muscatel grapes, oak, and soft smoke. Coats and lingers in the back of the throat really long and intensely.”

It’s been a while since I last had a black tea that flavourful and nuanced, and to think that this was a freebie sample that I received from CS and not something I selected myself! It was an amazing selection though, and 100% something I recommend and am going to purchase more of. Just… Damn!

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u11kLhDXsG0&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=75&t=0s


You might have gotten more out of it than I did, but yes, this tea is amazing. It’s something I hoard for special occasions.


guh, sandalwood is the holy grail of tastes in my tea. do want. 15 steeps for hongcha is crazy.

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You might have gotten more out of it than I did, but yes, this tea is amazing. It’s something I hoard for special occasions.


guh, sandalwood is the holy grail of tastes in my tea. do want. 15 steeps for hongcha is crazy.

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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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