Camellia SinensisEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Stream of consciousness review, meaning once I get to the steepings/infusions part of this review I’m just going to be taking note of my initial impressions/thoughts. I initially recorded this as a series of jot notes but have obviously since edited things to be paragraph formatted and easier to read…
This was a birthday present from my Dad; with the expensive price tag that comes along with this one I didn’t think that I’d ever be able to justify buying it but when I was explaining to him why yellow tea is such a big deal and how it’s something that I’ve been dying to explore but, because of the rarity, having a hard time doing something must have clicked for him because he surprised me with 25g!
I should note, the only other yellow tea I’ve had was a flavoured one and definitely not this high of a quality – I think that’s obviously something of note with this review.
Dry smell: From the bag this smell very strongly smells of rich hazelnut with herby undertones. After measuring it out into my gaiwan and being able to smell it closer/more directly I notice those smells and an almost borderline graham like smell. I do think you need to have an at least somewhat refined palate to pick up on it though; I’ve had various family members smell the dry leaf for this one and each of them swears they can’t smell a thing. The smell is so distinct for me though so I can only assume the difference here is that they’re tea plebians/don’t drink tea at all and, well, I’m obviously not and I definitely do.
Visually, the dry leaf reminds me a fair bit of silver needle, but with a more “tarnished” dusty yellow/ light brown colour, and very slightly smaller and more compressed/flat. I think it looks very aesthetically pleasing!
Infusion One – 30 Seconds:
Strong herbaceous and hay notes with a particularly peppery start and just a smidgen of astringency and bite are the first and foremost flavours with a menagerie of buttery vanilla and creamy hazelnut notes offering contrast and softening the tea a touch. There are corn silk notes and very soft roasty ones that fit somewhere into the equation. Fades into a soft, lemony flavour that lingers for a very long time, but only after having swallowed. There’s a lot going on, but it’s very pleasant! The leaf left in the Gaiwan smells like lemon pepper and hazelnut; weird but mouthwatering.
Infusion Two – 20 Seconds:
Smells like pepper, lemon and hazelnut. Less bite and less generic herby notes but still has some grip and some hay notes; it’s much more distinctly lemon pepper in start of the sip fading into roasty notes, vanilla and lemon in the body of the sip. I’m losing some of the hazelnut now as the other flavours get stronger. I tthoroughlyenjoy the transition from savory to light and sweet. It almost reminds me of vanilla lemon sponge cake in the aftertaste but the confectionery component’s not all there. It’s the butter that’s forming that impression, though. Leaf in the gaiwan is very lemony with some hay scent as well. It’s ticking my nose a little and making me sort of want to sneeze. But in a good way?
Infusion Three – 20 Seconds:
Oh wow; the flavour has diminished quite quickly as well as lost almost all the bite/grip. I pick up on a lot of hay notes; it’s quite similar to the flavour profile of your generic white tea/silver needle. There’s some creamy, buttery notes and a faint hazelnut and vanilla flavour. Mostly, it’s a sweet but dull lemon flavour though. This is my least favourite infusion thus far and I think, probably, a good place to stop steeping – even though I think I could get at least one more decent infusion from this I personally don’t push my Gong Fu sessions too long; I’m the sort of person who prefers to experience multiple different teas in one day than spend my whole day drinking a single tea.
Overall, this tea had a lot of really varied flavours to it but I found it so fascinating and enjoyable, and I think I learned a great deal from it. I would absolutely seek out this varietal again; I’m so intrigued to see how other companies’ offerings would compare! It’s quite sad that all of the ones I’ve seen have been so expensive; it’s definitely not one of those teas I can afford to buy from several companies in order to sample/compare…
Personally, I thought the second steeping was the best and had the most range of flavour as well as distinct flavours. Even though I know I said that I feared a novice/less trained palate would have a hard time picking up on the nuances I may have been wrong there; I thought almost all the flavour notes were very obvious. And, I definitely recommend seizing the opportunity to try this one if it presents itself to you!
Flavors: Biting, Black Pepper, Butter, Corn Husk, Cream, Hazelnut, Herbaceous, Herbs, Lemon, Nutty, Roasted, Vanilla
I am so sorry I sent this to you without trying, Dex. OMG this is terrible.
6th rinse and it’s not drinkable at all. Smells and tastes like wet rotting leaves in the forest. Not that I’ve eaten wet rotting leaves out from under a log, but you get the idea.
This is seriously disappointing.
I’m going back to my moonlight cake.
I should go to sleep soon; I know Brenna’s gonna have me up at like 6 or 7 in the morning and at this rate I definitely wont be well rested for that…
Currently she’s half sleep talking and half snoring. It’s kind of weird being able to hear someone else sleeping, if I’m being honest. I mean – Tre is relatively within earshot but enough that I can hear the guttural noises he makes in his sleep. For a while she was talking in her sleep about making me a suit out of rice…
Earlier tonight we played a game called Geek Out with Tre which was fun; I was kicking ass at all things comic book and Tre was doing the same with Sci-Fi TV shows. Brenna owned us both when it came to naming sciences she kicked both our asses. But she was definitely getting upset that she wasn’t doing as well, so I had to throw a few rounds to halt the waterworks. Someday we’ll be ready for Monopoly, but not today. It was fun though!
Anyway, thank you Sil for the sample! I keep seeing this on the CS website and it looks interesting but not enough to order any, so sampling is so very, very welcomed! And, it definitely smells good – a little earthy with a coco puffs cereal sort of thing going on.
The smell is awesome; very sweet and robust with chocolate, vanilla and earth notes. However, it’s not translating into a rich, full taste – though the taste certainly isn’t bad either. I definitely get a rather muddy, thick Pu’Erh flavour with some natural sweetness and a little malt perhaps? The chocolate comes off a little bit powdery the way some French teas do – and the way the malt and vanilla play with this it definitely makes the Coco Puff cereal comparison a lot stronger.
It tasted better as it cooled down; the chocolate and vanilla flavours appeared to get stronger. Because of the way I’m picturing this as cereal, and with the cooled down temperature I can definitely see it working as either a hot or iced latte – if I had more, I’d try it that way for sure. As is, I enjoyed this one even if it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I don’t think I’d purchase it – but I’m happy I sated my curiosity!
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Earth, Malt, Mud, Vanilla
Happily my new teapot set arrived from Camellia Sinensis, and my heart sank to find this 09 tea as the sample in the box. Of all the tea types, Darjeeling is one of my least favorite. So I approached it with some fear and trepidation. My familiar tea experiences are primarily with puerh tea. So naturally I’m far more comfortable with dirty, musty, moldy tea containing dried bugs, pods and pubic hairs. Really I am just not sure what to do with clean tea. Do I rinse it? Or is that sacrilegious?
Neon green in the cup. Tastes like sour corn. Guess I won’t be rating this.
Dry scent is of earth and dark chocolate, I see lots of little chocolate chips in here, it instantly reminds me of a less spiced version of Della Terra’s Chocolate Chai Pu-er. I wonder, if I added a bit of coconut, would I be able to make it taste at all like David’s Tea’s Coco Paradiso? Gah, I loved that tea so much, I miss it!
Not a lot of change in the smell of the wet leaf after it’s steeped here, except for the Pu smell being a bit more pronounced.
I was expecting a bitter edge to this one, but I’m not getting it, there’s barely any astringency, and if there’s a little bit at the end of a sip, it reminds me all the more of dark chocolate. I don’t taste any vanilla at first, but after I swallow, that’s what lingers most. There isn’t a lot of layers to this tea, as far as I can tell, but it’s a good quality, solid chocolate tea. It’s steady and reassuring. This would be an every-day, take to work sort of tea for me.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Earth, Vanilla
i had this one today while my other half and i wandered about for a while. we tried out a london fog donut today as well…that was interesting and delicious!
this tea? I don’t remember much beyond being seriously satisfied that i’d pick this one to have today. I’ll have to have it again soon to get a better note. heh
This sample came courtesy of the GCTTB – I love the name, it makes me think of the Transsiberian Orchestra… aaaaand now I’ve got their music running through my head. ;)
The smell of the tea is very cinnamon-heavy though that lightens up a bit in the flavour. There’s also this nice, fudgey chocolate flavour that I’m really liking. It reminds me of a Mexican chocolate brownie recipe I tried once that had dark chocolate flavoured with spices. Given the opportunity I was definitely buy more of this tea.
These are some big and green leaves! The smooth, tightly rolled balls of leaf smell buttery green. Like buttered green beans with slivered almonds.
The fist couple steeps provide a slight gassiness and something creamy and similar to fresh coconut meat. The grassiness melts away after a couple more steeps, and it gives way to a mineralized buttery floral. I loved spending time with this tea! For being a mellow winter oolong, it had whispers of brighter and greener springy harvests.
Gah! This is yet another tea that has me dying for the spring 2015 harvests to grace my doorstep!
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Grass, Vanilla
So many rose petals in this tea, and a really lovely green-black tea blend. I steeped for 3 minutes and it is very smooth and light colored and the roses come through strong. A really nice earl grey flavor that brings out the green tea flavor.
I’m afraid I’ll drink this too quickly before I can get back to Canada. Oh well, guess I’ll have to take another trip ;)
This roses-and-earl-grey mix is similar to the Adagio fandom blend of Lady Hawkeye, though that one is stronger on the earl grey and less so on the roses. Guess I’ll have to drink them both!
woooooo! Another puerh from dexter I’m working from home today so i’m going to try and spend some time with a few of the raw puerhs that i have started to accumulate in my cupboard. I generally prefer ripe…so i need to focus on exploring more raw to figure out what i love.
First steep: holy mother this smells like when you pull carrots out of wet gardens. Sipping on this, i’m getting leather, mushroom notes…but there’s a sweetness hiding in the background. Really interesting…more to come.
Later steeps, this never stops reminding me of the garden but i wouldn’t call the steeps overly earthy. there’s just something about drinking them that reminds me of that fresh from the garden memory. Really enjoyed this one today.
This was my last tea yesterday and while dexter was awesome enough to send me two of these little guys, I will be giving the other to Cavo since i think this might be one she’d really enjoy. I know i’m likely going to order this one next time i place a CS order because it was such an enjoyable drink last night. So much so that i forgot to even take notes hahaha. I didn’t get the warming sensation that the others did with this one but it did result in a much relaxed Sil last night. Thanks so much for sharing this one Dexter
Final Count: 123
Here’s a sample from my tea sister Sil, which actually came from Dexter, I think. I haven’t had very many teas from Camellia Sinensis, although I’ve perused their impressive website on more than one occasion. This is a lovely & delicious cup of roasted barley with a buttery caramel creamy mouth-feel that makes it especially appealing to me.
Sipdown (27/330)! I wanna reach 33 – 10% – by the end of the week.
This was a sample from VariaTEA. Thank you so much! I am so glad to have gotten the chance to try this tea and company. I only wish I could pick up more. ):
VariaTEA was kind enough to send me a two cup sample of this, even though it was one of her favourites! I’m glad she did, because I messed the first one up. I didn’t look at the instructions she’d written down, and assumed I should use boiling water since it was a black tea. I ended up with a bitter mess, and tried to cancel it out by adding milk. That just made the whole thing too bland, as I underleafed a bit too, and I was basically drinking warm, thin milk with a hint of roses. This cup, I paid attention and it paid off! I now have one very delicious cup of cherry and rose tea – a combination which I wouldn’t have put together, but it totally works. The dry leaf smells strongly of roses, and the cherry comes in after steeping. The scent of the liquid is sweet acerola cherries with a floral rose back note. I get rose notes primarily in the sip, rounded out wonderfully by the sweet juicy cherry which lingers. I added half a teaspoon of sugar as an experiment, and that really made the flavours pop! The cherry, especially, comes out more and is very juicy now. It’s a shame that this isn’t more readily available to me. It would definitely go on my reorder list if I could actually get my hands on some. It might have even become my go-to rose tea (I love rose tea). Sigh. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to think wistfully on what could have been.
Thanks to OMGsrsly for this sample. :) I actually did try it back when I first received it, but I was coming down with a cold and worried that everything was going to taste weird. I do remember thinking that I could taste cocoa and grain notes, as well as something else that I’m guessing is the “dirt” flavour OMGsrsly gets from this. I liked it! Mmmm, yummy dirt. ;)
So today I decided to brew it along side the Jin Pin Zhenghe Gongfu tea by Tao Tea Leaf. Western style, 2.5g in 10oz of near-boiling water for 3min. The leaves of these two teas are actually really different: the TTL one is mostly long, black, twisted leaves with just occasional golden tips; this one is small, curly leaves with lots of golden tips. :)
Today I’m getting mostly grain and malt, with a bit of sweetness and a bit of sourness or acidity. Not much cocoa or dirt today, lol. I think I might have underleafed it a bit though – usually I go for 3g in 10oz, not sure why I went with 2.5g today. By comparison, the TTL one has a richer flavour, more malt and more cocoa and less acidity. I don’t think I’ve figured out the optimal brewing parameters for this yet, but happily I still have more of this sample to experiment with! :)
This is niiiiiiice. It smells earthy and has an earthy taste, but in a nice way. I’m unwinding from a rough week of work, and this is really doing nice things to my coconut. Thumbs up!
Also, Camellia Sinensis was really generous with this order. They gave me several nice-sized samples to try, and the order got to PA from Canada extra fast. I’m always happy with their tea and service.