Camellia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

Thank you Sil for sending a sample of this my way. :)

I’ve western steeped the whole sample three times and it held up really well to that.
This isn’t my favorite style of black tea, but it certainly is a decent cup. It’s really smooth and gentle. A little starchy, quite sweet, a bit fruity. I’m not getting any malt or chocolate.
Happy to be drinking it today, but this wouldn’t have a permanent place in my cupboard.

Sil

best part about sharing things. great to try, now i don’t have to buy hahaha

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A sweet smell, sweet flavor. Though somewhat familiar I can’t quite place where I remember this sweet smell. Oh wait. Jasmine! That’s what that is. Maybe it was tainted or is that how it’s supposed to be? Either way I like it. Slightly floral with a bit of grass and hay. Very slight earthy notes too.

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec

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87

And so begins the Pu’erh journey…

Over Christmas, one of the presents I got was $75 towards whatever I wanted on Camellia Sinensis (‘cause my family knows it’s one of my favourite tea companies, and they’re Canadian so no shitty exchange rates) and I fully took advantage of that to buy several different kinds of Pu’erh to further explore this complex and interesting tea type. And, on Tuesday that tea arrived! Actually, a lot of tea arrived – I received my orders from Red Leaf Tea, Teaware House, and Camellia Sinensis all in the same day! Well, I immediately had to try something so I brewed up one of the mini bricks in my new gaiwan from Teaware House!

Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had Jingmai before – and someone here on Steepster (who definitely knows more about Pu’erh than I do) told me it’s odd to see a Jingmai shou so I had weird/low expectations brewing this one up. I really, really enjoyed it though! I only did six infusions because it was after two in the morning and I was already starting to feel tea buzzed on top of just plain exhausted so I decided it was in my best interest to cut the session early and just go to bed before I was too wired/slap happy to sleep properly.

This was really smooth with a rich, thick mouthfeel and a sort of softness to it. Every sip was really round, and pleasant – I don’t know why I expected more ‘bite’ or astringency to this, but I didn’t find it nor did I really miss it. I could really ‘feel’ the tea on the roof of my mouth and middle/surface of my tongue.

The flavour was also delightful; it was much sweeter than I think I’ve experienced with a lot of pu’erh! Right from the start of the infusions this had really consistent notes of honey, molasses, earth, and a dark fruitiness. That fruitiness later became more intense and picked up a more distinct fig/date flavour as well as a dark cherry-like note in the last few infusions. I also found this had an almost ‘oat’ like flavour as well. Quaker sells a ‘Honey Oatmeal’ (or something close to that) flavour and that in particular is a little like what I thought this was tasting like. The last few infusions were definitely more woody, as well.

This was so tasty! And to be perfectly honest, I’m just so incredibly psyched for my next session with this one because it was so lovely! It just makes me all the more excited to try the rest of the different Pu’erh I picked up from Camellia Sinensis…

Sil

YAY! So glad your journey started out with a bang!

Stephanie

Sounds delicious!

kristinalee

I’ve never bought from them because I always thought the prices looked insanely expensive, and then just now I realized they weren’t automatically converting things to USD based on my IP address. What-cha does do that, but I’d have automatically noticed from the pound sign if they didn’t. With the dollar sign… I bet they’d get more US business if they did the automatic conversions. I didn’t notice I could change it myself until just now, and I’ve known of this company for a few years.

kristinalee

And OMG, they are selling that Breville for half of what I’ve seen it go for in the US… Hm…

kristinalee

BTW, I hope wages there aren’t as stagnant as they are here, and have gone up to accommodate the dollar’s loss of value. That’s been an extreme and quick decline. I can’t imagine.

OMGsrsly

My union has processed a 0.045% raise for Jan 1. Super exciting, eh?

kristinalee

Ugh, I’m sorry to hear that. Wow… Unions were strong when I was in Montreal, even the graduate student union I was in (these barely exist in the US).

kristinalee

Honestly, I was jealous of the labor practices there — they were so much better, much higher graduate student pay and minimum wage. It was 2007.

OMGsrsly

Honestly it depends on the institution, if a union was able to form, who was included in the union, and what the union was able to negotiate. UBC is my shining example here on the West Coast, but BCIT is pretty close as well. :)

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80

This is one of the Black Friday teas I ordered through Amoda. The idea of this blend seemed intoxicating.

I butchered the beautiful bag in trying to open it: the instructions give a pull strip which takes you to ripping the pouch, but how to rip is unindicated, so I ended up with the plastic open/close zip strips on the same side. However, I may have proceeded correctly but had a faulty bag to begin with. I hate that. It forces one to run around hunting up an extra tin. Who has an empty tin at this time of year?

Anyway, the smell of the dry leaf is intoxicating too. Quite divine really. The leaf contains plentiful coconut bits and fat pineapple shreds. Pretty blend.

The taste is lovely, but a bit less lovely than one would imagine it would be. To me, the melding of flavours is less smooth than I would like. I don’t quite know how to explain it. It is as if each sip contains disconnected flavours: pineapple, coconut, and tea. Each flavour comes through clearly on its own. There is also the slightest bit of imitation flavour coming through at the end of the sip. Not so much as to tamper with the overall experience, but still.

Perhaps the second steeping will give up a smoother experience.

On the second steeping, the coconut creaminess and flavour come through far more prominently while the pineapple steps into the background. A far milder but still enjoyable cup. The imitation flavour disappears completely.

I may add the slightest bit of Lapsang Souchong to a cup at some point to see how it works with a bit of smoke.

Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

I nearly screwed up opening one of those bags too. Such an odd design to get used to, I think.

Hmm, maybe it’s good I didn’t grab this one. Almost did. Adding LS is such a unique idea. Not a fan of the stuff but I’d imagine that smokiness would pair perfectly with the pineapple.

Evol Ving Ness

Do tell how you managed to not screw up because I have another bag or two from Amoda which I have yet to open and I would be so sad to have to run around to find more tins or more elastics or contraptions to keep the tea from losing all its flavour immediately.

It is a nice tea. I’ve only had it for the first time today. The flavours of the pineapple and the coconut are bright and vivid. I thought that the hint of LS might mellow things out a bit. Not that there’s anything wrong with bright and vivid. Maybe it was out of step with the black tea? I really enjoyed David’sTeas Grilled Pineapple Genmaicha with that toasty ricey thing going on, so perhaps that was what I was attempting to conjure up with the LS. I will report back once I have had another cup or two and/or begun experimenting. I hope I haven’t preventing you from trying this tea. It is a nice one.

Fjellrev

I have a couple more to open, and will probably try one a little later so I’ll let you know. From what I remember, I carefully lifted the tab up entirely before proceeding to start tugging at it, if that makes sense.

That does sound worthwhile trying. And thanks for reminding me that I still need to try Grilled Pineapple. Completely forgot that even existed.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. I will give it a go. And if it fails again, maybe I will send Teagan a note and report back.

Yes, do try it if it is still around. I really enjoy that one.

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, it is still around. I just checked. A heavy one and a bit expensive for a genmaicha/rooibos. I think I might choose this one as one of my upcoming free teas. https://www.davidstea.com/ca_en/our-teas/grilled-pineapple

Fjellrev

Ok, just opened my last one, and definitely just do it very slowly and carefully. I know that isn’t much of a help but no tins are needed!

How sweet would you say Grilled Pineapple is?

Evol Ving Ness

Did you have to rip the bag? Or just pull the tab?

I’ve had several cups of Grilled Pineapple, but it has been a while. It is not overly sweet. That is to say that it is not a particularly sweet tea when compared to some of DT’s dessert teas etc. The pineapple comes through with more of a pineapple tang than sugar sweet in my recollection. The sweetness that is there gets toned down by the rooibos and toasted rice, so there is that groundedness to it.

Evol Ving Ness

I just took a look at the ratings. The average is 65 while I gave it a 90, hoisting up my initial 81.

Fjellrev

You just have to pull the tab to the right and it’ll make an incision just above the ziplock part.

Cool, I’ll definitely pick some up next time I go.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks. Maybe that is where I went wrong.

I just found out Zen Tea is having a sale now—last day. 30% off. Code is thanks. Where shall I post this so that people will see it in case they are interested?

Fjellrev

If there isn’t a thread in the discussion forum, maybe there? I wish they had their Chocolate Mint rooibos in stock. SO GOOD. And they got rid of two of my favourites, so nothing for me. What are you interested in?

Evol Ving Ness

Particularly Coconut Island Herbal. But here is my cart so far.
Raspberry Vanilla Rooibos

Rooibos-Vanilla Almond – 10g (0.35 oz) sampler Rooibos-Vanilla Almond – 10g (0.35 oz) sampler

Black tea – Taiwan Ruby – 50g (1.8 oz) zip pouch Black tea – Taiwan Ruby – 50g

Black tea – Keemun Finest – 50g (1.8 oz) zip pouch Black tea – Keemun Finest – 50g (1.8 oz) zip pouch

Qty

Fruit tea – Blood Orange – 100g (3.5 oz) zip pouch Fruit tea – Blood Orange – 100g (3.5 oz) zip pouch

Fruit tea – Sweet coconut island – 100g (3.5 oz) zip pouch Fruit tea – Sweet coconut island – 100g (3.5 oz) zip pouch
This sweet and mild combination of coconut and tropical fruits will transfer you to a tropical island.Ingredients: ap…

Fruit tea – Blueberry Cream – 100g (3.5 oz) zip pouch Fruit tea – Blueberry Cream – 100g (3.5 oz) zip pouch

Evol Ving Ness

Sorry. Didn’t manage to clean that up very well.

Evol Ving Ness

I am now trying to be sensible and whittling my cart down because yanno.

Fjellrev

Have you tried any of those before or you’re just going with 100g of some untried?

Evol Ving Ness

The deed is done. Nice discount. Reasonable shipping. And in Canadian currency. So, yay!

Evol Ving Ness

I have been reading up on comments and making my own list of wants when I get ready to order. I reduced all the 100 gr ones except for the coconut one. And no, I haven’t tried any of them before other than the Milk Oolong. I have tried a few of Zen Tea’s herbals and have been quite happy with them, especially when pitted against the overly artificial ones DT produces. I need uncaffeinnated options (but perhaps I don’t need them immediately).

Evol Ving Ness

I see myself justifying the purchase of more tea. Hard.

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drank La Boreale by Camellia Sinensis
2164 tasting notes

I’m not sure if I knew there was wintergreen in this tea when I got it, but I’m REALLY happy with it. OM NOM NOM.

Quite fresh, but with a really delicate wintergreen freshness, not peppermint or spearmint. It’s kinda like pine forests on a crisp day with snow on the ground. Kinda.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Mmm, wintergreen…

rosebudmelissa

I’ve only tried one tea with wintergreen – stash’s merry mint green tea, and it was a fun change of pace. I’ll have to try this one eventually since it’s herbal.

Marzipan

Handmade Tea’s tea this month has wintergreen, I’m looking forward to it.

OMGsrsly

I really don’t like spearmint, and mostly don’t like peppermint. So wintergreen is a nice alternative! It also looks so cool because they just mixed whole leaves and twigs and berries and flowers. Definitely a feast for the eyes as well as the tongue. :)

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84

This is a queued tasting note.

I had a weird/wonky Gong Fu session with this tea, which Camellia Sinensis added a generous free sample of into one of my orders this year.

It wasn’t the tea itself that was weird; just how I prepared it. I only had two infusions and then I just sort of, well to be perfectly honest, just forgot about the tea? I don’t even remember why: I was taking notes on the infusions and then I must have started cooking or watching TV or something else and the tea just sat there. But anyway, here are the notes I took for those two infusions:

- GORGEOUS leaf!!!
- Sweet, honey notes! Like ambrosia? Most dominate flavour
- Very light/gentle overall with a delicateness to it
- However, despite that the flavours are NOT subtle
- Also has notes of spring flowers, red fruits and white peach

After those delightful, wonderful Gong Fu infusions I popped the leaf into a mason jar and cold brewed the leaf (when I finally did remember I was drinking tea) so as to not waste it and get the most out of leaf which clearly wasn’t spent yet.

The cold brew was similar in flavour notes to what was observed in the Gong Fu infusions, just even sweeter and richer with more honey notes and more sweet fruity flavour. However, I also tasted a light finish that reminded me of Easter Buns a little bit? Kind of that sweet, doughy quality with a sort of cinnamon note as well? And of course a fruitier glaze but that easily melds with the honey and preexisting fruit notes.

I definitely look forward to further, more conscious exploration of this tea.

Lion

Love me some Gui Fei. I recently had my mind blown by one that exceeded all others I have tried.

Roswell Strange

Where from, if you don’t mind my asking?

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93

Sipdown (116)!

This one comes from OMGsrsly and I have to thank her for sending it, because it was really interesting and unusual. With the frequency of orders I make with Camellia Sinensis you’d think that I’d have tried this since it was on my wish list for so long, but for whatever reason I never grabbed any. Probably because you have to buy this one in a larger quantity.

I have so many thoughts about this one though…

First off; the health warnings! They’re a little unnerving, no? I mean the pregnancy warning is fine: I have no plans to get pregnant anytime in the immediate future. The parts that concern me are that longer infusions can cause bad cramps and frequent consumption is recommended against. I mean, I’ve certainly been known to lose track of how long I’m steeping something (and how long is "too long). As well, what if I absolutely LOVED the tea? I’d have to ration when I drink it? Not my favourite concept.

When it boils down to it though, this is just super unique tasting and very enjoyable though. There’s such a striking familiarity to the flavour; and yes I can break down that flavour into recognizable notes of citrus/lemon, cedar, camphor, grass, and under ripe green melons but that’s not it. There’s also a thickness to the mouthfeel that makes this really rich despite a more supple/mild flavour and it leaves my lips just slightly sticky?Like I’ve just had something to eat with lots of honey it. There’s something about how those individual notes and textures come together as a “whole” that makes me feel like I’m experiencing Deja Vu.

Sil touched on this too and to some extent I agree with her: it kind of tastes like early morning fresh air. There’s a crispness and naturalness to it that just reminds me of the outdoors. A lot. There’s something else to it too; but I just can’t place it. It makes me feel a little nostalgic and sad, though. Yet, in that sort of silent sadness there’s a peaceful and calming quality. Have you ever just burst into tears and cried? It’s not a pretty thing, but then at the very end when you’re finally done crying you feel so good.

Describing flavour in emotions is a tricky thing but one I’m compelled to do in this moment. Anyway; props to this tisane for tasting wonderful and almost making me have an emotional epiphany and breakdown.

OMGsrsly

That’s a lovely description! Makes me want to have this again. :)

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80

Yay, a green rooibos. I get mostly pineapple from this one, with maybe the slightest hint of banana. I could see papaya being really good in here. I also wish I could have gotten the coconut. I don’t really taste it. But granted, I have a cold right now. Maybe I’m not getting the most out of this. I also let it steep for close to ten minutes so the flavours should be as strong as ever.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy more but it’s really good for what it is.

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80

Sipdown (125)!

It’s been a busy, and tiring week at work! I’ve built up a whole week’s worth of missed reviews, so time to crack into those before I have class in a few hours…

And speaking of class, I finished this tea off as a “cold infused juice” which was an optional recipe for the class I’m currently taking, which is tea and food pairings/cooking with tea. Basically, I just cold brewed a larger than normal amount of tea straight into some orange juice. As someone who’s already very comfortable with cold brewing it was impossible to resist trying this out. It’s something I’ve actually been curious about even before this class.

I picked out this tea because I thought the strong floral/rose notes of the tea would really compliment the orange. And it totally did! The flavour pairing was a really solid choice, and I’m happy with coming up with it all on my own instead of following the ‘guide’ of tea/food pairings we received in class. While it IS nice to have that as a reference, I think coming up with good pairings is definitely a skill and one I want to master without a major crutch.

The only issue, I’d say, was that the orange juice was still very strong and while I definitely did taste the tea there was still a lot of competitive flavour from the juice itself. That’s an issue because cold brewing this way already takes a lot more leaf than a normal cold brew would and cold brews ‘eat’ leaf really quickly already. I’m going to try this again, for sure, but I need to play around with how I’m using my “juice” base. I don’t know if that means I’ll use a different kind of juice or if I’ll cut it first with water but some more experimentation is definitely coming.

As for the tea itself; for one I didn’t actually pick out myself to order (it was a free sample) I was really quite happy with it and I’d be tempted to get more with my next absolutely inevitable Camellia Sinensis order. It’ll depend on whether it’s available in sizes smaller than 50g because I wouldn’t want that much. If I can scoop up 25g I’ll be getting more.

Flavors: Floral, Rose

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80

Freebie sample from my last Camellia Sinensis order!

Today in tea chat I had Oolong Owl pick something for me to brew up that I hadn’t tried before ’cause I was feeling indecisive and this is what she chose. So, prior to and during class today I brewed this tea Gong Fu in one of my gaiwans.

It’s a really interesting tea: I don’t have a ton of experience with Chinese blacks. Admittedly, I think I lean a little more towards Indian blacks but I’m open to learning and exploring and trying new things. I wasn’t the most technical about this session; but really when am I ever when it comes to brewing Gong Fu? I much prefer to just drink in the moment and go with what feels right rather than take a more technical/precise approach. There’s a time and place for that, but sometimes tea is best as an experience.

Seven infusions in total:

Infusions one to three had a very dry, astringent initial mouthfeel but none of the infusions were actually bitter. All infusions except for maybe the last one were quite rose flavoured which was a different experience. I’ve definitely drank my fair share of floral blacks but don’t think I’ve had much experience with ones that taste distinctly rosey and certainly not to this level/degree. I quite liked the flavour, though! Then, the first few infusions were more nutty with a woody undertone; a mix of sort of peanut nuttyness as well as a sweeter almond-like flavour. Both almond skin which has a drier nutty taste and then as infusions progressed a more sweet, marzipan-like nutty flavour. There were honey notes too which seemed stronger as the infusions progressed. The middle infusions had a nice fruity quality to them; kind of like red currants? But the first few and last few infusions lacked this flavour. Faint notes of cinnamon, as well but not consistently throughout steeps.

This was a really interesting, enjoyable tea! I’d have never picked it out for myself either, so I’m definitely thankful that Camellia Sinensis added it to my order. They’re probably just adding random teas as free samples, but occasionally it feels like the samples they toss in are more thoughtfully picked out. Not sure, honestly. I’d definitely brew this again Gong Fu except I’ve already got the remainder of the leaf cold brewing right now in some orange juice as it’s the tea I thought would best work for the optional juice infusion from class this week.

keychange

Cold-brewing tea in juice! how neat!

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88

It’s my birthday, so I decided to celebrate with this. I would have preferred some sheng, but this is what was available, so it will have to do. I opened the package and gave these old leaves a whiff. I was picking up some real old tones. I picked up some slight roast, parchment, and just a little bit of dry sweetness. I warmed up my new teapot and cups (Novak :D) and poured these little curls in. The scent deepened into a deep earth and dry minerals. This scent was a lot like a basement in the summer. It’s a good but oddly strange scent. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves had an amazing scent! I really loved the spice, musk, mineral aroma. I picked up some amazing pine resin scent with a background of smoke. The aroma was so good! The flavor was something unique. The taste began drying with some pleasant sour tones. The sip then developed to an intense pine flavor. I got a nice head high and body buzz from the drink. In later steeping I picked up some maple syrup sweetness. I was able to pull only about four good steeping sessions. The session was decent, but it wasn’t all that amazing. I thought that for the price this should be at least somewhat fantastic. However, it was still a good experience, and I still have some to try out. I will hopefully find a better suited birthday tea…

https://www.instagram.com/p/-HEtTiTGVS/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Earth, Maple, Musty, Paper, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Resin, Smoke, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
curlygc

Happy Birthday!

Nicole

Happy, happy!

Lion

Happy Happy Birthday! :D
I often describe aged teas and Shou as smelling or tasting like basement as well, and it’s a positive observation for me too.

mrmopar

Happy Birthday!

Evol Ving Ness

Happy birthday to you!

Evol Ving Ness

It is my birthday too this week and now you have me planning several days in advance what super fabulous tea I will begin the day with.

carol who

Happy birthday!

Haveteawilltravel

Thank you all so much!

KiwiDelight

Happy Birthday! I hope it was wonderful. (belated since I didn’t have internet access)

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86

Puerh Tea TTB. This tea is excellent. It’s fruity with notes of cocoa. It has very little fermentation flavor left for a 2012 tea. I did not notice a heavy fermentation taste that you might expect in a recent shou. I think I get a slight note of camphor here, but very slight. There are no off tastes or wet storage tastes. Camellia Sinensis must have done a good job of storing this tea. This is definitely one I would look into buying if it is still available. I used a little less leaf on this than my usual because there was only 6.6g of leaf left in the original 15g sample. So I think later steeps were a little weak. Nothing more leaf wouldn’t solve anyway.

I brewed this tea twelve times in a 100ml gaiwan with 6.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I think with a larger amount of leaf this tea would go twenty steeps or nearly anyway.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80

A very pleasant asamushi sencha: softly marine with a slight roasted flavour in the first infusion, followed by a surprisingly muted astringency in the second. The third brew produces a refreshingly sweet liquor.

First infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz water, 65 deg., 1:00 min.

Second infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz. water, 65 deg., 2:00 min.

Third infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz. water, boiling, 10:00 min.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77

I spent most of my day drinking this tea.

I bought 50g of it during my last Camellia Sinensis order because I’m seasoning my first ever yixing with Lapsang Souchong and Camellia Sinensis’ version is pretty well reviewed and very affordable. Plus the idea of a “licorice” note present in a LS intrigued me. You can see a picture of my pot here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205892868334795&set=ms.c.eJxVz8cNwAAIA8CNInrZf7E4r5jvCYNRMclZm8r1aM9Hf~_mGKElFRsewfKmSI0gVp9ohzTIK2SPfzNYRbF7uM6UxYiRrEG0WpMbkCBob31r8Na4vL9EzKw~-~-.bps.a.10205892864334695.1073741829.1051291635&type=3&theater

Doesn’t the little dragon spout just seem SUPER appropriate for a pot dedicated to smoky/ashy Lapsang? Pretty sure I’ve nailed the “matching the pot to the tea” aspect.

I spent A LOT of time researching the best way to season my pot, which is what I did today, and while I was REALLY tempted to use the boiling in a pot method I ultimately played it cautious and am instead going to be naturally seasoning it through general use. While flavour sucking is the big concern about seasoning a pot that way I figured that LS is such an incredibly potent/strong full bodied tea anyway that some flavour sucking wouldn’t be a terrible thing especially if I just overleafed my first few Gong Fu sessions to compensate. And to be fair, today was my first time trying the Camellia Sinensis Lapsang Souchong but I didn’t feel like much flavour was lost.

It tasted like Lapsang Souchong: strong smoke/ash notes and a defined woody taste as well like described on the website/packaging. Certainly, this wasn’t the sweetest or smoothest LS I’ve tasted (there definitely were NOT licorice notes) but it was enjoyable. Enough so I had at least ten different cups worth. The only reason I stopped making cups was because I had to leave to go do laundry. As well, when is Lapsang Souchong ever really smooth? The first taste ALWAYS slaps you in the face with the harsh flavour. You just have to kind of… settle in to it.

Today was a success though! I loved brewing with my yixing, and I’m very happy with the shape/style of it. I can hold everything comfortably and pour with precision and ease. Already, the desire to purchase another one (or two or three) is bubbling up…

rosebudmelissa

That’s a cute pot! I don’t think I drink any one tea often enough that devoting a pot to it would be worth it, but there is something appealing about yixing pots. I think about the only teas I drink almost every day are peppermint or maybe earl grey. Although, I guess I have been getting pretty fond of Bai Mu Dan/White Peony. Lapsang Souchong is a bold choice for a first pot. It’s not one I like straight, but I’m really curious how it would taste in a blend.

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60

So i laughed a lot when i found this one from omgsrsly in my bag of goodies. Both her and dexter couldn’t drink this one so they sent it along to me. I of course, have saved some so that i can send it along to my tea sister for fun! To be fair, this one doesn’t hit quite the wrong note with me as it did omg and dex. To me, this smelled like carrots that are just starting to go bad. Not sure why it was specifically carrots, but that was my view. This is a really….weird tasting puerh. I haven’t tasted anything like this one before, but i also didn’t hate it straight up. it was just weird.

Terri HarpLady

That brings to mind that aged black tea from TTC, which reminded me of carrots & beets that had been left in the root cellar a little too long.

Sil

hahaha

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76

Sipdown (119)!

I had a super fun chance to do a Gong Fu session with my mom and sister tonight. It was a rare opportunity since I typically only share tea with one of them at a time and it’s usually more informal but this time around I picked out one of the samples that Camellia Sinensis added into my giant teaware order and we made more of an occasion out of the experience.

In total, we did five infusions – six if you count the first though we discarded that one/used it to warm and heat all of the cups and Chahai. No one was a fan of the first infusion: it was far too strong and astringent tasting. In fact, I was the only person to finish their cup of the first infusion. Everyone else poured theirs back into the tea tray. The second and third still had some astringency, but were more palatable. My little sister isn’t a huge tea fan (mostly she just drinks sweet dessert rooibos blends) so even getting her to participate at all was a success for me, so we were all quite understanding about the fact she really disliked the first couple infusions. The fact she tried them at all was more than expected. Personally, while I wasn’t paying super close attention to the nuances of the tea (I was just enjoying the experience of drinking it with family) I did notice that these first infusions had a distinct smokiness and underlying sweetness.

The fourth steep seemed to be the sweet spot and everyone’s favourite. It was just so smooth and had a great balance between grassy tones and artichoke-like notes and sort of peachy sweetness. My mom has actually been to China, and participated in tea ceremonies there and compared this infusion to the tea she was served in China and holds as the ‘best tea she’s ever had’. And my sister finished the entire cup of tea; which was a BIG deal. The last cup had a lot of flavor deterioration, sadly, and so we decided not to push with any more infusions.

I should also mention, that during the entire session we were nibbling on broken chunks of DAVIDsTEA’s Red Velvet Cake infused milk chocolate bar. I thought having something to accompany the tea would be nice, and would also be a little more enticing for my sister. I also remembered from the Science of Taste module I did in my Tea Sommelier course that milk chocolate was a good pairing with some green teas. I think the combination did work well; as long as you took small nibbles of chocolate both flavours could be tasted on the palate and enjoyed instead of overwhelmed.

Haveteawilltravel

I love reading about these kinds of Gongfu sessions! They just make happy :)

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78

Sipdown (120)!

So for anyone who doesn’t know already; I’m currently getting my Tea Sommelier certification which I’ve been paying for primarily through an education fund my grandparents set up for me. Since I didn’t go to University/College after graduation and have no immediate plants to they were ok with me tapping into this fund for the Tea Sommelier certification courses. I’m done about three/eight now, and I decided that at this point I was interested in purchasing some more traditional teaware – and my Grandma OKed me taking some money from that fund to do so! That’s the long story version of my saying, “Recently I made an order with Camellia Sinensis for some teaware and they included several free teas such as this one”.

Personally, I’ve never really sought to purchase an EG blend from Camellia Sinensis; I do enjoy Earl Grey but not enough to need more than one good kind on hand (and currently I’m loving the Liquid Proust’s Peach vs. Bergamot twist on the traditional Earl Grey) and when I’m ordering from Camellia Sinensis, which I frequently do, it’s more for the interesting and often unique straight/pure teas they carry or for the teaware.

That said, I’m grateful for the inclusion: I love the fact this Earl Grey is both organic and fair trade as those as aspects of tea I look to support as often as possible. This sample was a sachet style tea bag, and I ended up making it early in the morning before work. I have to say, I thought the dry leaf smelled fairly mild and quite floral and even as it was steeping up I was noticing more floral traits than anything overwhelmingly bergamot-heavy. However, the taste wasn’t bad! I enjoyed how smooth and clean the overall flavour was in addition to the light floral notes and medium concentration of bergamot flavour. There was also a very natural sweetness which I was fond of. That said, I wouldn’t have minded if the bergamot was a little stronger. For people who really LOVE Earl Grey and drink it on a more daily basis this could be perceived as a little light handed.

Overall, not a ‘stand out’ Earl Grey but a solid choice if you’re already placing a Camellia Sinensis order and want to do all your shopping in one place. And like I pointed out, the fact it’s Organic and Fair Trade (and still reasonably priced) makes it a tea easy to get behind.

Indigobloom

I just attended a talk given by Kevin!! He was amazing. So much knowledge in that head of his

Roswell Strange

I’m super jealous! I almost wish I lived closer to Quebec specifically for Camellia Sinensis (and all the other French tea shops with branches there). Me and my Camellia Sinensis tattoo would fit in quite well, I think.

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88
drank Labrador Tea by Camellia Sinensis
7144 tasting notes

yay for interesting teas! thanks for sending me this one omgsrsly i am quite enjoying this this afternoon. we tired the dog out at the dog park and then proceeded to make orange cupcakes with marshmallow cream frosting, dry rub ribs and later there will be awesome potatoes and salad in the house too!

this tea is just different. I can’t place the aroma, though there’s a familiarity to it. there’s a slight almost mint, but not mint taste to this one..the taste kind of reminds me of what outside smells like on the west coast…those early mornings on the island when the tide’s going out, it’s rained over night, and you’re walking through the trees on the trails… inhale….breath deeply…that’s what this tastes like. so good.

keychange

That sounds amazing! Love it when teas taste like “outside”.

Sil

that’s why i love national parks dept from bellocq, and the one from whispering pines that is pine and elderberries.

Rasseru

one i had the other day took me to a canteen in a department store o.O and smelt of curry. both steeps!

Roswell Strange

Petrichor? Sort of?

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I really like this one. It’s a marsh/bog plant, so to me it smells like hiking on a misty day in certain areas. It doesn’t grow everywhere around here like it apparently does on the East coast. :)

Rasseru

These end up being my ‘atmosphere tea’ when im reading a book with similar settings :)

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84
drank La Boreale by Camellia Sinensis
7144 tasting notes

another tea from omgsrsly and one that i am really enjoying. it’s light and refreshing, a hint of mint withe juicy berry notes and a very smooth brew. I’d reorder this again in future i think. Especially as a canadian company and our crap dollar. noms. thanks omg!

Roswell Strange

Camellia Sinensis has certainly become one of my favourite companies if not my most favourite. I don’t even want to look at the budget thread and see how much I’ve spent there this year. Adding this to my wishlist though; it sounds great.

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75

my other half better appreciate me. We got him a bike before the wedding, now he’s getting a car and he volunteered to dog sit for 4 days…at our place. sheesh! lol the things i let him get away with. Finished off this tea today and it was an enjoyable cup. Still have a bunch of sipdowns i want to try and get through over the next three days. but i’m glad that some of those cups will be tasty cups of tea like this one.

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75

i had this one with breakfast yesterday from the lovely variaTEA and while i don’t remember much, it was a tasty cup that was over before i realised it :)

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75
drank One Night In Rio! by Camellia Sinensis
7144 tasting notes

Another one from VariaTEA I was looking forward to trying this one because it’s a favourite of the girls and yet, i’ve never gotten around to ordering it or trying it from them. Sadly, this one fell a little flat for me. It’s a decent coconut black, but i was not getting any real sense of the pinapple – which i think would have made it a much more interesting blend for me. that being said, still tasty and i did enjoy finishing this one up!

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75
drank Choco Shou by Camellia Sinensis
457 tasting notes

This tea feels cutesy to me, with its teeny tiny mini chocolate chips. The aroma of the dry tea is straight chocolate but more like bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate. Maybe even cocoa nibs. It smells kind of nutty too, like coconut. The taste is rich. The vanilla is more prominent to me now than the chocolate. I did notice that the chocolate chips had only just begun to melt so perhaps subsequent steepings will have more chocolate flavor.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 200 degrees + 6 minutes

The chocolate chips still have not completely melted. I will try to steep this until they are gone. The flavor and aroma is still vanilla.

Third Steep
8 ounces water + 200 degrees + 16 minutes

I finally got all of the chocolate to melt but the color is weaker with this one. The taste is still good but a little light.

Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Oxidated and fermented using spores, this is quite an unusual tea. From a strange taste it grew on me and I kept reordering it. To drink with moderation as too much of it can saturate you.

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