Geek Steep S1E19 – Frankenstein (Novel)

I mentioned just now in my tasting note for BLT’s “Body & Soul” that I explored two different paths with my tea pairing for this novel – this was the first one, and arguably the most obvious choice as well: A Halloween themed tea.

By pure luck, I actually ended up getting my copy of the novel and an order of Halloween themed teas from Adagio on the same day so it was just fortuitous timing. However, since Frankstenstein’s monster is such a PROMINENT part of Halloween culture (despite there being no in novel tie in to Halloween at all) it just seemed like the most fun route with pairing would be to chose a Halloween tea. DT’s Monster Mash was something I considered (and ultimately what Marika chose!) but I kind of wanted something a little “heavier” and “darker” tasting.

I picked this one because it’s primarily Hojicha – something we know I have a soft spot fo. However, it also has roasted mate, black tea, and a very “red hot” cinnamon flavour that comes through super clearly and distinctly in the cup – creating this very roasted/toasty and comforting profile that not only feels like Halloween in a cup but also like an Autumnal hug, but with backbone. It’s also the first Pumpkin Seed blend I’ve ever seen and I just think that’s such a cool concept and I love it way more than all the generic Pumpkin Spice profiles that pop up around October. Yes, this is spiced, but it’s more about the roasted quality of the mix of base teas.

Ironically, if you disregard the fandom blend I included in our “Top Teas of 2020” holiday special, this is the FIRST fan blend from Adagio to be featured on the podcast – and it’s not even a fandom blend in the sense that it’s inspired by a TV show/movie/comic/etc. I just think it’s funny that Adagio is the company probably most well known for their fandom teas and not only did we wait until the penultimate episode of the first season to feature one but we also didn’t really feature one that highlights what they typically represent…

Ultimately I did really like this pairing though, and it feels like the best way to approach Frankenstein using a flavoured tea to me. However, I preferred my other pairing and if I was going to reread the novel I would be more likely to choose something similar to Body & Soul than I would be to repeat this one.

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This sounds so good! I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin spice flavors but I like other pumpkin things so I may have to look into this one

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This sounds so good! I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin spice flavors but I like other pumpkin things so I may have to look into this one

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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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