Camellia SinensisEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
My Camellia Sinensis package arrived! With a sweet handwritten note and a gift sample of Black Indian tea! :) We are so spoiled in Montreal with Davids Teas everywhere and Camellia Sinensis… Camellia’s teas are slightly more expensive but they are also better quality, and I’m rarely disappointed. Their teas are the only ones I can drink without milk and sugar.
So all five teas I ordered were blind-buys (well, expect for creme of Earl Grey), that’s how much I trust them haha!
And… I’m not disappointed! This tea is such a treat! I tried it both straight and with milk and sugar and it’s equally delicious. It’s heavier with milk but it makes me feel like I’m drinking a hot chocolatea, or teacolate? I wonder if they put flavours in this, but if they don’t it REALLY tastes like chocolate! Also, I don’t really get the pu’erh, though I’m not exactly sure what pu’erh is supposed to taste like…
I can’t wait to get my Chocolate Rocket from Davids to compare. I hope it’s really chocolatey. So! Another Davids package to come (probably on Monday) and I shall be ready for winter (as if…)
Sarsita (Sarsonator) has been kind enough to share her fungus with us. Which admittedly, doesn’t SOUND like a good thing, but in this case it so IS. Along with Sarsy and the Lovely Tea Fairy, The Teaplets had a Sunday morning fungus party. This is our third round of fungus – we started with the 2010 and the 2011 and today was the 2013. Sarsy and I like this one best, while LTF prefers 2010.
This was delicious with a really sweet, earthy-mushroomy taste that I enjoyed quite a lot. The body feel was all relaxation with a slight head buzz. A most enjoyable way to start Sunday – great friends and great tea.
Roswell Strange sent me a bit of this in trade and I have to say that it is pretty amazing. There’s a bit of a bite to the end of the sip that I can’t quite track down the reason for but the tropical feeling of coconut and pineapple are very delicious together. I added milk and sugar because I do that for black tea and it’s become a sweet dessert.
Well this was disappointing. I have been impressed with Camellia Sinensis so far but this is a huge miss for me, at least as a hot brew. It tastes incredibly artificial and almost has a clayesque flavor that is really putting me off. Every now and then I get a hint of fruit but nothing distinctive and it really isn’t strong enough to redeem the cup. The last of this sample is getting cold brewed or iced but I doubt this is one I will be sad to see go. Still, thank you Roswell Strange for the chance to try this because it is one I certainly might have picked up in an order. Now I know better.
From the Lewis and Clark TTB.
Brewed gongfu-style with gaiwan. Steeping times: 20 sec, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60.
The leaf consists of twisty forest green leaves, whose color brightens when they are first infused. Even though they were picked from the bush long ago, they appear as if their life is retained. At first the aroma is generally sweet and buttery. But as the leaf cools, the notes change: kettlecorn and sweet potatoes with marshmallows (like the Thanksgiving dish), and then squash and zucchini. Each infusion produces a pale green liquor – almost neon – that is medium-bodied, creamy, vegetal and sweet.
This is an unusual-tasting tea. It is similar to a FF Darjeeling (possibly as a result of the hard wither each receives), but with more of a tart tang and fruit-like element to it. A FF Darjeeling on steroids, perhaps.
First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz water, 90 deg., 2:00 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 4:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.
This is one of my favourite oolong teas. I first tried it at high tea at the “Chateau Frontenac” in Quebec city and fell in love with it. It is creamy and buttery with a hint of coconut and a slightly sweet taste. I brew it Gong Fu style and each steep is delightful.
2. 25 seconds
3. 25 seconds
4. 25 seconds
5. then double the time for each additional steep
95 degrees celsius
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Creamy, Vanilla
This is a black wulong tea and it is smoky, creamy with a taste of dark chocolate and a creamy taste which is more like a caramel cream taste which appears as it is steeped multiple times in the Gong Fu Cha style.
Gong Fu Cha:
95 degree C water in Gong Fu
Then double each steep
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Smoke
Quite possibly the best jasmine pearls I have ever tasted. The jasmine flavour is present but not too overwhelming like some. The second steep on this magnificent tea is my favourite. This is the type of tea I love to share with friends
Flavors: Herbaceous, Jasmine
Brewed in a Gong Fu for a total of 8 steeps. The tea is floral, buttery with a taste of pine nuts. It is slightly grassy and it is refreshing. I found the butter and cream taste came out more at the end then at the beginning.
This is how I brewed it:
90 degree Celsius water
first THREE steeps 25 seconds
and each steep after the first three is doubled in time
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Grass, Nuts
We are starting with the 2010 fungus and moving to newer years later. I think I like this more when I drink it on it’s own, not intending to compare it to the others that I purchased. It’s lightly sweet and less astringent that I remember, though I do feel it has a slightly dry finish.
It gives a nice woozy feeling, which I always enjoy!
It’s time, tea friends. Time for the 3rd and final tasting of what me and my TeaFFs affectionately call – Fungus Tea!
I made all years using the same method, which can be found on the 2013 note.
Firstly, this smells incredible. Like grapes and fruit leather, specifically fruit rollups. And not just ANY fruit rollup. CHERRY fruit rollups, which always happened to be my personal fave growing up.
And now, the taste… I’m going in!
Not quite cherry fruit rollup, sadly. This oddly has no sweetness and an astringent finish, which neither of the first two teas had. The 2013 was especially sweet, IMO. Neither the 2011 nor 2013 had one trace of bitterness, but there is some bitterness here. I can only speculate that these were from different makers and different types of original material?
In any event, you must drink it hot! As it cools it becomes significantly less pleasant, and more bitter. The nicer aspects are the aromas and the leather flavors. This also leaves a dry finish on the tongue, which I did not notice on the first two teas.
To sum up:
Buy the 2013. But for goodness sakes, people. LEAVE SOME FOR ME! :p
Buy the 2011. It’s an interesting contrast to the 2013 version.
Pass on the 2010, or just order a small sample at first.
I lucked out because I ordered a huge chunk of the 2013 since it was cheaper, and it ended up being my fave.
Well I still like it, but this is nothing like the 2013 I got from CS.
This is a little smoky and less sweet, though it IS still somewhat sweet. It also has more of an aged flavor. A bit less complex. I like it, but I’m super glad that I ordered a much larger block of the 2013!!!!
I admit that it’s hard to rate this on it’s own merits without comparing it to yesterday’s tea because… DAMN.
Here’s yesterday’s tea! http://steepster.com/Sarsonator/posts/262092
And a pic from today’s session! http://instagram.com/p/sgEEP4PkUy/
So as a staples employee, working tonight was like working on Christmas, as in it aways crazy busy. When I finally got home, I decided to make a cup of tea and before even deciding what to make, I set it to boil because I knew I felt like having black tea. Anyways, as the kettle heated, I noticed a package on the table from my awesome tea twin and inside was this tea. Immediately, I made my decision and oh what a right decision it turned out to be.
The scent of this brewed cup is sort of buttery but the taste is coconutty pineapple deliciousness. It’s creamy and sweet from the coconut with an amazing pineapple tang to curb the sweetness from becoming cloying. It is really hitting the spot as many Camellia Sinensis teas tend to do so thank you Roswell Strange for this awesome midnight treat!
I haven’t been logging teas much, and I’ve been missing Steepster. How is everyone? I hope all is well!
This tea really works wonders on my mood. Things have been a little wonky lately, but this gave me a nice reset and I’m feeling happy again!
Have I ever mentioned how much I love tea???? Hooray for tea!!!!!
I know I love A LOT of teas. And I love them with all my heart, but this fucking tea… It’s incredible.
I wasn’t exactly sure how to brew this and I admit to being far too lazy to walk from the kitchen to the living room to grab a device connected to the interwebz to look it up.
Method: 5 g, 4 oz, 200 degrees, 30-60-60 (no rinse), Novak teapot (glazed)
Aroma: Smells like fucking genmaicha. I curse when I get excited.
Flavor: The first thing is that this is fucking SWEET. All on it’s own, with zero additives. I didn’t want to rinse and get rid of all the fungy goodness, so the bag said 4-5 min western style and I made up my own semi-gongfu times. NBD.
This tasted kind of like a black tea at times, but a little like a green tea. I’m having a hard time finding words other than: Good. Yum. Fuckin. MOFO. Nom.
I also bought 2010 and 2011 versions from CS, but I started with the 2013, which was purchased in larger quantity since it was cheaper. For realz, yo. Y’all gotta try this.
I’ll be trying the other years over the next day or 2. Can’t! Wait!!!!
If your a pineapple and coconut fan do yourself a favor and get yourself some of this tea quick! The bag is full of shredded coconut, pieces of dried pineapple and black tea, in fact, there seems to be more of the first two ingredients in my bag than the last! A brewed cup screams of mouthwatering pineapple and creamy coconut and is simply delicious with a splash of milk. Hope the rest of my Camillia Sinensis tea haul live up to the high standard that this tea has set!
I wanted a more interesting way to finish this blend off and I got it! I made it up as a tea soda and drank it today in place of my standard cold brew (truth is time just got away from me and I didn’t strain my cold brew in time – and now it’s too late for something caffeinated).
I actually think this tea soda may have been the best version of this one that I’ve tried; at first it was mostly just sweet licoricey anise which, while it does work very well as a soda flavour, was ultimately a little flat and one dimensional. But after the soda started to go just a little bit flat I began noticing very fresh ripe pear notes at the tail end of the sip and lingering into the aftertaste and a bit of a floral top note that could compete with the strong anise.
Overall, a very, very memorable and pleasant way to finish this one off! In the future I may reorder it though currently I certainly have enough licoricey teas on hand to keep me more than satisfied.
…Another boring one.
I seriously need to figure out a better way to finish off the rest of the leaf for this one because if I end up sipping it down as a cold brew I just know I’m going to be finishing it off on a flat note and that’s not what I want.
Suggestions for ways to switch things up welcome.
I’ve decided not to keep hoarding this blend anymore; for whatever reason it doesn’t quite seem like the right time of year for this blend – and I do have quite a bit of other white tea currently as well.
This cold brew actually came out a touch bitter/drying which is odd as that’s not a problem I tend to have with the majority of cold brews – I suppose most of the measured out leaf was broken up or little fannings from the bottom of the tin but I didn’t think that would affect the brew as much as it did. In addition to adding some dryness, I thought the hay notes were a bit stronger than normal as well.
As always, very strong anise notes. This is not a blend for people who dislike licorice/anise – the flavour isn’t really pointed out in the description but it’s there! I still wish the pear wasn’t as drowned out as it is – but it’s present too. Very sweet and supple; like a Bartlett pear more than anything else.