Camellia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

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.

Sil

i’ll be sending more from CS once i get around to drinking those ones :) next box!

Terri HarpLady

LOL, take your time! I’m trying to get down below 300 this month! And I have quite a ways to go, YOU!

Sil

heh it’ll be a few months i think before this box goes out. I need to get through some of my smaller sizes so i can dig in to the new teas from mandala, CS, dragon tea house etc… i’ve got major overflow happening at the moment!

OMGsrsly

Oh good! I’ll also have some that I think Sil doesn’t have that she’ll be able to pass on to you, Terri! I’m waiting until she shows up to give her ALL THE TEAS. ahem

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94

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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
VariaTEA

Oh yay! I’m glad you got it to work :)

Sil

Just do a swap that involves larger amounts – someone orders this for you and sends it to you…while you order something that isn’t readily available outside the uk for them :)

Nattie

I will definitely keep that in mind if I find someone that wants UK teas!

whatshesaid

I’m going to have to try this one again sometime! I’m not really familiar with this company whatsoever though

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75

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! :)

OMGsrsly

Glad it works better for you! :D

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87

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 3 OZ / 88 ML

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94

When sharing this with my girlfriend, our reactions to tea are always very different from each other. That being because she is a coffee drinker and doesn’t really consider herself a teaist by any means, however, she still keeps me company while sitting for gongfu of some good cha. This experience, is note worthy because our reactions are hilarious. Hers being more so.

Her: “Ugh, this tastes like an old wet leather boot.”
Me: “AH!! Oh my god! What?! Holy shit!! This tastes like GOD!”

Had a bit of this recentley from a sample. Oh, boy. Brewed this in my Gaiwan. This is what aged pu’erh is supposed to taste like. 20 years has been very kind to this tea. There is so much complexity. Heavy on the mineral, light on the bitter. I got through NEARLY 30 INFUSIONS on this. It lasted about 3 hours. The Chi has evolved into what feels like getting a Hadouken in the throat chakra, and then getting a nice warm cuddle. Hits you hard at first and then gives you the lovin. This may be one of the best teas I’ve ever had, Smoky, beachy, roasted nuts, pine. Viscous is nice, and leaves your tongue slightly numb and wanted a whole lot more.
Not too tippy, and doesn’t have that overwhelming fermented taste. This was a hell of an experience.

Flavors: Anise, Bergamot, Berries, Camphor, Mineral, Ocean Air, Pine, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tealizzy

30 infusions??!! Awesome!

Air_Chrysalis

Seriously! I was getting inpatient too, I had things to that morning! But, yes, it lasted forever.

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80

Got this as a sample with my order. green and unusual taste, it makes me want to try other Nilgiri teas. Loved it with milk and sugar.

Flavors: Green, Malt

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Smooth and slightly sweet. This is a very earthy cup, with a little toasty quality to it. It’s like drinking dirt-y honey nut Cheerios. I drank this down too quick to make any careful notes :P I really loved spending time with this one! I still have some steeps to go too.

http://instagram.com/p/zAVgbnKHwH/

95C/~5g/gongfu style:
Rinse x2/Rest/5/10/15/15/20/25/30/35/40/45/50/1min/1:30/2:00…… still going!

Flavors: Decayed wood, Earth, Honey, Toasty

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
Sil

i’m in your tasting notes…reading your thoughts ;)

TheLastDodo

GET OUT OF MY BRAAIINN!

Sil

nowaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiii

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81
drank Mei Zhan Zhen by Camellia Sinensis
5800 tasting notes

mmmm tasty tea from Dexter Since this year will be the year of Canadian companies…who let you buy in CANADIAN DOLLARS thank you very much, we’re trying to get through as many samples of teas as possible from various companies. this one is a deliciously tasty black tea. it’s a little floral like but it’s also sweet..not honey leafhopper sweet, but still sweet. This is a tea that is lighter…but not lacking in flavour. Overall another enjoyable tea from Camelia!

Cavocorax

I’m still shaking my head at those shenanigans. Sneaky.

Sil

just another X against their name in my books

Kittenna

I think I missed something.

OMGsrsly

Zen Tea was poopy and changed their currency to USD on the sly then announced a sale.

Kittenna

That is unbelievable. (Yet not, because, you know. But still. Screw them.)

Sil

meh..i’m still bitter about that issue we had 2? yrs ago lol

Cavocorax

Yeah, that was bs. :|

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Edit: Whoops. Thanks so much, Dexter! I really appreciate the sample. :)

This seems like a pretty typical shou.

But holy &^%*! I can FEEL THE WARMING that Cwyn mentions in her note. OMG. Whoa.

…whoa.

Let’s see how far I can get with this tea.

2x pour-in-pour-out rinses.

Steep 1: IDK, time. WHOA. Yeah, it smells a little of that fishy smell that shou puerh does at times. But the taste is all DARK TEA and WHOA.

Oh man. Is 7pm too early to go to bed? It is? Guess I should have more tea. Ok.

Steep 2: 4-5 seconds. That’s really dark. Little mushroomy-fishy smelling. That warming taste/feeling is still there. Wow. My mouth almost feels like I’ve been nomming spicy foods. But I haven’t. Sadly. (Oooh, maybe I should order in Chinese. Or not. I am feeling kinda lazy. And IDK if Vancouver has one of those things where you order and pay online so someone just drops off food for you and there is a minimum amount of interaction.) A bit of sweetness is lingering.

Steep 3: I just want to nod off. I’m still enjoying this, but I’m not sure I’d want a lot of it. Fairly smooth, that weird “spice” flavour, a bit of lingering bitterness/sweetness.

I’ve been distracted and have done more steeps. I think I shall thaw a steak and do some dishes and cook the steak and NOM IT. Because that’s what I think my body needs.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 100 OZ / 2957 ML
TheTeaFairy

This made me smile :-)

OMGsrsly

Haha! Awesome. I’ve been all …squirrel! this evening. And I’m in bed and well fed now. :)

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90

I am a fan of this style and know it is difficult to produce. Traditionally it is a 30 hour or so process.

This was well done in my opinion and very smooth…very enjoyable to drink.

Flavors: Chocolate, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g

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95

First to review this, really? Well let’s try to do a good job at it then, it’s worth it!

I was quite intrigued with this tea as soon as I saw how unusual it looked like and read its description….I knew I had to buy some. Anything that has maple in its description gets my attention. (My grandpa had a sugar shack, I grew up literally “in” maple!)

Interesting fact, this tea was compressed and aged in bamboo baskets.

Its dry appearance is light and flaky. It looks like giant flakes of roasted maté, and pretty similar in terms of color.

Its smells a little like damp moss and seaweeds.

I rinsed once as recommended.

The first steep was a beautiful golden yellow.

It feels round in the mouth, almost oily, very nice.

The taste is super sweet, with a light earthiness to it. Maple water, yes please…the description did not lie.

I get a nice fresh camphor finish just like some puerh do.

It’s so tasty, some sweet spiciness emerges in the background, reminds me of anise.

Bonus: it provides a very relaxing and warming qi. I feel giddy :-)

This is a superb tea and I’m now adding Liu Bao to the list of favorite tea! It will be interesting to also try their 1996.

I take this opportunity to give some love to the wonderful teahouse that Camellia Sinensis is. When I used to live in the beautiful city of Montréal, I was a frequent customer of theirs. Superior product and impeccable service.

Americans, take advantage of our low Canadian dollar and encourage them! They even offer free shipping to the USA for all orders over $50. (Did I mention they have exquisite teaware? Cause they do!!)

Link:

http://camellia-sinensis.com/en/tea-store

Pics of this amazing tea:

http://instagram.com/p/ybE9jHQhxV/

http://instagram.com/p/ybGNmcwhy-/

boychik

This tea sounds AMAZING!

DeliriumsFrogs

I’m right there with boychik… amazing! (and, I checked out their teaware, and it’s gorgeous! Thanks for the link, and the beautiful pictures!)

TheTeaFairy

Boychik, it’s very different and unusual :-)

DeliriumFrogs thank you and you’re welcome! Hope you get to experience them someday :-)

Cwyn

Their Sencha Ashikubo gives me delusions of being 25 again.

TheTeaFairy

Cwyn, I’ll take some “feeling 25 again” please, dilusional or not ;-)

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76

First review for this one! This is a blend with dark green tea leaves and dried raspberry pieces, though I didn’t identify the orange peel pieces from the description. There is a raspberry scent that reminds me of the pastille type of fruit hard candy, and also leans toward floral and perfume-like. These qualities become stronger after steeping, which produces a yellow-green color. This is a very solid dark green tea, vegetal but not vegetable-like or grassy. The raspberry flavor is potent and refreshing. Aside from the scent being a little too perfumed, it’s quite enjoyable.

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drank Nadeshiko by Camellia Sinensis
5800 tasting notes
picked this one up from CS because i wanted to try something that was a little different from other teas that i’ve had. Sipping this, i’m still not sure what to make of it. It reminds me of another tea that i’ve had before…this is not your typical black tea. there’s an almost plum-y depth to this while also being kind of like a bold port like drink. this is a really strong, distinct tea. Holding out on rating this until i have it a couple more times.

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drank Labrador Tea by Camellia Sinensis
1800 tasting notes

This is really, really light, sweet, and somewhat resinous. Very fresh feeling, although I wouldn’t say there’s menthol. It’s also sticky and kinda sorta (at this steep level) is making my teeth feel weird. That’s probably the tannins. It’s also rather thick.

(5 minutes at 95C, decided it was too light so I popped the basket back in for another 5 minutes.)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Roswell Strange

weird; sounds interesting though.

OMGsrsly

It is weird. It’s apparently a soporific, and it definitely made me feel a little unusual last night. I’m going to look up some history/other brewing methods for it.

Lindsay

Neat, some of the First Nations people in my area drink/use Labrador Tea (I once met a guy with a foot infection who was treating it by soaking it twice a day in labrador tea). I’ve never tried it. :)

OMGsrsly

Same on the west coast. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it all over while out hiking, but I wasn’t sure and felt it would probably be best to try it from a known supplier first. :)

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79

i told omgsrsly that i would try this one today since we both ended up ordering it from CS during their sale the other week. This tea has super cute little curly buds that made me smile as i wasn’t expecting that today.

So i don’t actually get cocoa from this one…it’s more of a slightly sweet, malty tea..with a hint of “dirt?” lol maybe there’s a little cocoa there in the background if i concentrate, but this one is vastly different from other cocoa/chocolatey teas that i’ve had. I’ll have to try this one gonfu as well to see how that changes things up.

OMGsrsly

:D I’m planning on trying this one gong fu when I wake up.

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88
drank Choco Shou by Camellia Sinensis
5800 tasting notes

yep. I enjoy this one. I had it again today, in the travel mug and the puerh/chocolate is a really nice combo.

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88
drank Choco Shou by Camellia Sinensis
5800 tasting notes

i picked this one up in my first CS order because i wanted to try at least ONE flavoured from them that was on the bolder side, since steepster friends have let me try their lighter flavoured teas. This was actually much tastier than expected. Something about the way the puerh balances and plays with the chocolate, really just works for me. I’d be inclined to try steeping this one in milk as well some time to see how it fares. Just a deliciously darker chocolate sort of treat! YUM!

Terri HarpLady

Sounds tasty :)

Roswell Strange

Cough This is one I’d be curious about trying Cough

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Uhh.

Uhhhhh…

Dirt tea.

(Actually dirt plus dark chocolate plus some more dirt and maybe a few cedar shavings thrown into the smoothie just for kicks.)

Anyone interested in trying? I’m sending some off to Dexter, but there’s a good 1/3 cup remaining in my 50g.

Even gongfu this is not for me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 tsp 4 OZ / 120 ML
Lindsay

I’d love some! (your dirt teas tend to be ones I like because of the cocoa notes)

OMGsrsly

Ha! Ok, PM me your address. :D I think I have a smallish envelope so I can send it tomorrow.

OMGsrsly

Umm, also… I have a bajillion teas not on steepster. I will send a list so you can pick a few more. Just because.

DeliriumsFrogs

Hahahaha! Your dirt tea notes are my favourite.

OMGsrsly

The cocoa/cacao flavours in tea are just not my thang. :D And there are potentially going to be a lot of dirt tea notes as Dexter sent over… 24 samples, and some of them are bound to be cocoa-y. :)

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Today I cannot. I tried it the gongfu method recommended on the website (2tsp, 100ml, 15, 30, 15, 15) and I can’t.

It tastes like sour dirt to me today.

I’ll need to try again yet another day…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML
Dexter

Sour dirt – that’s not good. Hopefully you do better with it another day.

OMGsrsly

I’m mostly surprised that it was better western brewed. Not that it was good then either, but at least I could drink it.

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This is another one of those chocolatey teas that tastes like dirt to me. Dirt tea. Made better with some coconut milk creamer, but it’s still pretty much dirt tea. I expected it to be rather different from the description, so that sucks. And now I have 50g of it. Sigh.

Edit: Oh, there’s some spice as it cools. But still, dirt + spice. (I’m drinking it. I’m going to give this one a good try out. Gong fu style later as well.)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Ost

Oy >

OMGsrsly

All I can say is it’s better than all versions of laoshan black I’ve tried. :D (I really don’t like that tea omg.)

Ost

Really? Even the one from Verdant? Feels like everyone is obsessed with it!

DeliriumsFrogs

OMGsrsly, I never knew that you disliked LB… does that taste like dirt to you, as well? That is so interesting to me, how varied tastes are… I love how tea is so different for people. :)

Sil

omg… i picked this one up..so i’ll try and get a chance to try it and if it’s delicious to me, we can trade for things

OMGsrsly

Yeah, the one from Verdant. I ordered some ages ago because everyone was all, “WOO chocolate tea it’s so good woo!” It just tastes like dirt to me. I’d drink it if I had to be polite, but if I’m at home by myself and am not expecting that flavour… it gets spit back into the cup. Haha. I managed to stay strong today though.

OMGsrsly

I do think this one will be better rinsed and brewed with short steeps, so I will try it. If it doesn’t work, everyone whose address I have (until I run out!) will end up with samples.

OMGsrsly

Oh I didn’t see your post Sil! Sure thing.

I think it could be a great tea for the right person. :)

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I got this because the description said it was an “accessible, easy to prepare tea.” Sounds good to me. It’s super light and fluffy; a loose tea, not a brick.

8g in 100ml
Dry: Woodsy, spicy.
Rinse: Yep, smells like a shou. I let it rest about 5 minutes just because.
Rinse 2: 5 seconds (I’m doing this with a basket in my tea cup because it’s easy.) Smells like a shou. Earthy, foresty. Honestly, so far I can’t tell that it’s different from other shou puerhs I’ve had. IDK. Oh hey, that does taste different. I can’t tell that it smells really different right now though. Might just be my nose.
5s: This is quite dark, but very clear. It’s somewhat resinous smelling. Mushrooms, forest, etc. It reminds me of the puerh I have that I really like (1990 Kunming), only both really strong yet mellow at the same time.
10s: A little more spice. It’s not clovey, but the feeling in my mouth is reminding me of cloves.
15s: Quite a bit darker, maybe a little sweeter?
15s: Not as tingly.

And I have been catted, so I can’t lean forward to get more water without tossing him off my lap. :)

It’s certainly accessible. No raunchy flavours, even though it is quite dark and strong. Super mellow. Actually, as I’ve drunk this and edited my writing… I’d almost call this boring. Have I already been exposed to too many puerh teas? Was I expecting too much?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
OMGsrsly

Although… I have the munchies. Hmm…

DeliriumsFrogs

“And I have been catted..” lol

OMGsrsly

I didn’t know what else to call it? All of a sudden I had a cat on my lap!

gmathis

That is a wonderful phrase. Bob, our Cat of Very Little Brain, is a cuddle bunny and wills himself ten pounds heavier when you try to get up—you can just feel him pushing you back down :)

OMGsrsly

Aww.. :)

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drank Ali Shan 1999 by Camellia Sinensis
803 tasting notes

So happy and excited to have a great aged oolong back in my cupboard. This is fantastic.
I’m not writing about it tonight – just basking in it’s greatness.
http://instagram.com/p/xx2SwwuE6G/?modal=true

Kittenna

Might have to pick this one up. I’ve been looking for good aged oolongs lately – the one I got from Verdant recently didn’t taste quite the way I wanted (but the couple previous ones were delicious). I think it’s because they were roasted.

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Last Camellia Sinensis sample! Thanks again to Roswell Strange for sending these my way. This one… I’m hesitant to try. It has a lot of coconut shreds in it, and I can already smell the soapiness even through the bag. Oh well, I will try it anyway! This tea is a mixture of small black tea leaves, coconut shreds, and some kind of dehydrated fruit chunks that I’m going to assume are pineapple. Dry scent is pretty much just coconut and soap.

The steeped tea also has a coconut/soap aroma. Honestly, the taste isn’t terrible, but there is a noticeable soap flavor that makes this hard for me to drink. Other than that, it’s a nice, creamy, mildly flavored coconut black tea with some pineapple in it. I’d imagine this one is quite tasty without the older coconut in it. Withholding rating.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Soap

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Another Camellia Sinensis flavored tea from Roswell Strange! I think I have one more left after this. Now, I’m not a rose lover, but I figured I’d give this one the benefit of the doubt and try it anyway. It appears to be discontinued, as I couldn’t find it anywhere on Camellia Sinensis’s website. The black tea leaves are small, and there are white rose petals mixed in among them. Dry scent is tartly fruity and strong on the rose.

Yeah… So this is pretty much a rose tea. :P The flavor also has that powdery quality to it that I associate with rose. I don’t taste much fruit flavor, maybe a tiny hint? Mostly, it just tastes like some kind of powdery rose candy. Noop! :P

Flavors: Candy, Powdered sugar, Rose

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Roswell Strange

Did you taste the cherry at all? I find that the cherry/rose is most prominent – and then guava and chocolate to a much lesser extent.

Cameron B.

Not really… :(

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