Camellia SinensisEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve got the next two days off, so definitely looking forward to writing some tasting notes and trying some of the numerous blends/samples I received this week! There’s lots of goodies to go though (some I’ve already had and will be posting notes for)…
This was a cold Brew! Since it’s one I’ve cold brewed previously I didn’t record any notes for this particular blend since it was pretty spot on to other times I’ve cold brewed it. Definitely check out my other notes on this one if you’re interested in the details, though. Basically it’s sweet licorice/anise with undercurrents of pear.
Today’s word of the day is… Prescience.
Prescience is the “knowledge or awareness of things before the exist or happen”. I wonder if that’s like a fancy way of saying psychic? That’s definitely the context I’m imagining it being used in.
So I have a whole bunch of this one, and for the most part I’ve just enjoyed it the same way since getting it so I figured it would be worthwhile to do something different with it, although I didn’t really do anything drastically different – but still. So here we go: Peking Opera Cold Brew?
This is pretty anise heavy as a hot cup so I don’t know why any part of me thought that a cold version would be any different. I guess I expected the soak to bring out the pear? And it did, but of course it brought out the anise too. Duh. So yeah, this was really anise saturated with pear undertones. Still maintained a “freshness” to it, but the balance between those two main flavours was really thrown off. Not bad, though. Part of me somewhat feels that Butiki’s Pear Jasmin Candies will taste relatively like this, and if that’s the case then if I enjoy them I wont feel nearly as crushed by the fact they wont be available again.
So what next for this one? Well, I recently bought a bunch of Golden Pear liqueur so I think maybe I’ll mix some of that into a hot cup of this one. That might “right” the balance of flavours a little more and what’s better than tea and alcohol? The two best drinks rolled into one…
Wow, this was really, really creamy and anise heavy tonight. It almost totally buried all the pear and base flavour although ultimately both were still partly present. I enjoyed the cup but was overall hoping for something that was a little more balanced out.
And now my whole living room smells very strongly of anise.
I think I’ve asked before, but is anyone else watching The 100? A tumblr user made a VERY cool gif based on a suggestion I made, and now I have all the feels. I just want there to be like four more seasons released all at once tomorrow so I have something to mass stream; I hate watching TV shows as they actually air. My heart can’t take it.
Cool thing about this fandom, though, is that pretty well EVERYONE agrees on the ships in it. Like, it’s pretty much a universal constant that the fans agree Bellamy and Clarke are perfect for each other; they compliment one another and bring about the best in each other but are two solid, unique characters who can function on their own too. I mean, there are other totally cute pairing in the series (Octavia and Lincoln, Finn and Raven, etc). but there are really no ship wars.
Last tea of the night.
Made this one when I got home from work simply because I was craving a good, White tea. I’m so tired now though – I’m almost literally fighting to stay awake to write this note. So since I’ve done a more detailed description of this before I’ll just use jot notes and keep things short/simple:
- Strong Aroma of Anise/Licorice
- Very “dewy” in flavour (“fresh”)
- Bold anise/licorice notes softened by ripe pear juices
- Milder Cream/Hay notes
- I slightly oversteeped so there’s a very faint bitter edge
First to review this one as well.
It’s the last one from my most recent order, and I think out of the three blends I got this is probably the most interesting/unusual blend. Dry, it smells like very strong, sweet Star Anise/Licorice with this subtle fresh pear fragrance. The word “Dewy” also comes to mind when I smell it. You know, like wet flowers? Well, kinda anyway. It’s not abundantly floral but that’s the image I get.
Steeped up, this is definitely very full of character and flavour. The strong Star Anise/Licorice is well balanced by a supple pear flavour and accented by mild notes of sweet hay, honey, and some really light cinnamon. It’s also just the faintest bit floral. Really, there’s a lot going on here and it seems like just a really weird flavour combination in general, but especially so over top a white base.
But for a tea that is supposed to be pear “and spice” (I looked up Helichrysum and it’s the flower of the Curry Plant? It’s supposed to smell and taste somewhat like what you’d imagine an Indian Restaurant to smell/taste like) I really felt like there actually wasn’t a whole lot of spice going on. I mean, Star Anise yeah – lots. But that’s more sweet, you know?
That said; I quite like it! Though, I think it’s going to take several more cups of it to really, truly wrap my mind around everything going with this one. Hopefully I’ll be able to share it with a few people and we can compare flavour notes…
Flavors: Anise, Licorice, Pear
This is one of three iced tea blends Camellia Sinensis has recently released for summer. A blend of black tea, green tea, guava, rose, bergamot, vanilla and cornflower it is quite delicious on a hot hot summer’s day (which we are still getting in the bucket loads here in Southern California at the end of August). I cold brewed this overnight in the fridge as per the directions on the bag and was pleasantly surprised with the results. The scent is mildly fruity and the taste is delightfully tropical with a hint of guava. Yum!
I prepared this tea Gaiwan style and it was sweet with smoky notes. It is claimed to be cultivated without pesticides which is a good thing. It gets sweeter with multiple steeps and the smoky notes hand on throughout. A great green tea from Vietnam!
Flavors: Herbaceous, Smoke, Sweet, Vegetal
Hmm, something is wrong here. This tastes exactly like my last cold brew, but the smell. Oh, the smell is so bad. I don’t understand why, either! I did literally nothing different with leaf or water amount, and it got an almost identical brew time as the last batch. But for whatever reason this smells like pee this morning.
And I don’t know if I can do it guys; it tastes good – very lemony, a little bit of papaya underneath that, but this smell is really distracting and it’s making my tummy do somersaults. Uhhh…
Anyway, the last little bit is gonna be given to my friend Robyn; I just don’t love this one so I might as well share it with someone else who’ll learn from it and hopefully enjoy it more!
Wow, it feels nice not having a queue! Just gotta log stuff I had today, which wasn’t a lot…
I cold brewed this; the hot brew was really disappointing (but not really bad – just not what I had anticipated) and when I tried it I immediately knew this would be better suited for an iced or cold brewed tea, so that’s the next step I’m taking having this one.
Immediately I’m noticing an improvement, though I’m not sure whether that’s because I’m prepared for the very strong lemon flavour or if it’s because this one is actually better cold brewed. Maybe both. Actually, most definitely probably both.
But yeah; this is still very lemony with other citrus notes to it. It treads a very thin line between tart and sweet, and it’s very natural tasting. Seriously, there’s nothing artificial about this. I almost wonder if it would be enhanced by some sugar or agave; I think that would maybe make it more lemonade like. In addition to the strong lemon/citrus flavour there’s a rawness to it, and only the word “leafy” is coming to mind but I know that’s not the word I want to use. More so, it’s like…
I don’t know. It’s like a dried green leaf, but chalkier and not a leaf. Or chalky. God dammit; I can’t think of the words I want here. Ugh. Fucking lexical gap.
Positive things: I actually noticed the papaya this time. It was really subtle and if I hadn’t been looking I probably would have missed it, but buried under the taste of natural/raw lemons and leaves and stuff was some very mellow papaya adding a touch of sweetness and actually making this seem a little more tropical, like the name suggests it should be.
And VariaTEA I know I sent you some of this so get on it so I can finally compare notes with someone! I need to see whether I’m craving with the raw lemon/leaf thing! Maybe you can capture the idea I have but am so desperately struggling to convey.
Stupid Steepster Server…
Anyway; first review for this blend. Again, no pressure right? Right.
I actually put off placing my Camellia Sinensis order for about two months because this blend was out of stock, and I really really wanted to try it. The day they restocked this, I made my order. It was a very satisfactory feeling. That said, I had a hot cup of this the day my order arrived, and I was definitely quite disappointed by it.
Dry, it smells very very damn lemony. Lemon fucking everything, really. And not in a tart way or a sweet way – but sorta in a “Vitamin C” citrus health pill/acidic chalky lemon crap type way. That’s really a terrible description, but I’m writing this note based on the notes I wrote myself like a week ago, and it’s 2AM and I’m really tired. The words are not coming easily to me.
Steeped, this is still pretty well pure lemon with no noticeable papaya. None. Literally none. Which is crushing, because that’s the aspect of this blend that attracted me to it in the first place. But hey, at least the lemon tastes pretty ok. Like I said, it’s not sweet and it’s not “puckering tart” or anything – it’s just really strong and fairly natural. It reminds me so much, in a hard to describe way, of citrus health drinks or that instant powdered lemonade stuff that comes in little premeasured packs for water bottles. But with the instant lemonade it’s not that taste it reminds me of, it’s the smell of the stuff.
So next up will be a cold brewed version of this. I honestly don’t have the ‘highest of hopes’ but I think, if nothing else, the strong lemon flavour of this blend will be better suited to a cold cup than a hot one. I just want some damn papaya! Just give me a LITTLE. Just a pinch.
Flavors: Lemon, Lemongrass
Commute to work tea.
It’s been a while since I’ve really gotten those lovely toasted coconut/buttery toffee type notes from this blend – lately it’s been super tropical with a strong focus on the pineapple. However, those rich and more confectionery type notes are definitely what was the focus of this mornings cup. In fact, the pineapple almost felt a little disconnected because it was most distinguishable in the finish of the sip well after I’d already gotten the bulk of the toffee/coconut flavours.
Really pleasant way to begin my day, though.
Whipped up a cold brew of this into a bit of a make shift tea cocktail earlier in the week…
Basically, I just added a couple shots worth (like two and a half) of Malibu Coconut Rum into my normal 25 oz. cold brew and then I just enjoyed. It was richer and sweeter, with a more pronounced coconut flavour and exaggerated buttery/toffee sort of component with the pineapple taking a bit of a small step into the background. Though, the pineapple WAS still very much a present flavour. The additional flavour of the rum of course complimented the pineapple and coconut – I mean, this was essentially the tea cocktail version of a Pina Colada so OF COURSE it tasted phenomenal.
Delicious, delicous summer cold brew!
That said I may need to start hoarding ‘cause I was browsing Camellia Sinensis’ website and making super expensive dream carts and I was shocked to see that it wasn’t listed on the site anymore! WHAT!?
In other news, I almost wound up not getting to drink this! Typically, I drink my cold brews out of a carry mug at work because it’s nice having something cold and refreshing at work during the day. My carry mug is one of the orange/mango ones from DAVIDsTEA and turns out that a coworker just bought the exact same one. We found out because we both brought ours to work this week, and accidentally switched mugs at some point during the day.
We figured it out, though. I foresee this being a bit annoying in the future, though.
EDIT: Just went to check out the CS site again, and this is back up on the site. I can breath a big sigh of relief.
So, when Trey’s parents visited for the first time last week I made a pot of tea for each of them based on a flavour suggestion: for his Dad I made DAVIDsTEA’s The Earl’s Garden and because his mom asked for something with coconut in it I made a pot of this tea!
Personally, I adore this tea and this latest pot was no exception. The coconut and pineapple flavours were prominent, and brought about a lovely tropical/pina colada note while at the same time reeling the drinker in with their softness, and the comforting, sweet nature of the flavours. I also find this tea often tastes buttery in a confectionery way, and that the base lends an almost toffee-like flavour and that was as true about this pot as any other I’ve made.
His mother adored it as well; I’d certainly hoped she would, but she’s kind of a difficult woman and while I had confidence in the tea getting her praise still felt lovely and surprising. So, basically, I will slowly win over both the parents…
I’m hiding in my room right now until I have to start getting ready for work, and I suppose I might as well be catching up on tasting notes in the meantime…
I cold brewed this one yesterday; it’s really nice to have it back in my cupboard. Easily one of my favourite blends from Camellia Sinensis, this tea has such lovely tropical and confectionery notes! It’s a blend of super fresh, yummy and sticky sweet pineapple with tropical and buttery coconut notes and a hint of toffee type flavour presumably from the base! It’s been on my restock list for a while to be perfectly honest; don’t know why it took so long for me to slip it into an order considering how many sizable ones I made last year…
Tasty as this was, though, I just have to note that I really don’t remember the coconut shreds in the blend looking as vibrantly green as they did with this order. Again – everything tasted fine but the coconut is a sort of Chartreuse green. Huh.
Tea Infused White Rum Part Two:
As part of continuation of my count down to my birthday (which is today), I had a few shots of White Rum last night that were infused with the remainder of this tea life. Definitely was thinking “Pina Colada” when I picked it out and cold brewed/infused it.
Despite using my finest meshed strainer, this one still had tons of little floaties. So, it had an almost grainy mouthfeel going down. Not much burn though. Taste wise, it was certainly a step up from ‘part one’ of this count down – Flowery Pineapple Oolong. For starters, I didn’t throw up. So automatic win there…
This still had a very strong soapy taste – but intense, artificial coconut soap this time around instead of floral soap. Not that enjoyable (though still better than drinking the rum straight). It smelled so good too; lots of rich, buttery toffee notes! Pineapple flavour kicked in during the aftertaste – thank God.
Also; I just have to point out that this is something I definitely wanted to restock, and somehow it hadn’t made it into either of the Camellia Sinesis orders I placed last week (yeah, I put in two – one for teaware and the other for tea). It’s probably going to be a while before I do another one now – so I’ll likely be without this tea for a while. Boo. My teaware order did show up today though! It was my birthday present to myself; my first Gaiwan and a Celadon cup and pitcher to use with it. It’s so precious and beautiful! I’ve been using it all afternoon (my first Gong Fu session ever!) – just kind of practicing using it and, more importantly, pouring from it…
Guys, I slept in today and had ZERO time to make tea if I wanted to make it to work on time today, so no tea right now. I am a sad slug of tired.
Also, this is my last day at Calendar Club; they’ll start taking the kiosk down this afternoon. Who knows, I may be back next year but as of tomorrow I’ll be down to one job again! That’s both awesome (sleep!) but also kinda shitty because it means less disposable income, which means less tea…
Also; I have no clue what it’s going to mean for my regular morning tasting notes: with a now totally open availability at Sobeys I’ll be working earlier shifts, so I may not have time in mornings anymore for tasting notes and Steepster chat. And that makes me sad.
You know what doesn’t make me sad though? This tea! Made in a timolino and awesome!
Guess what! This is officially my last note in my queue! I am now all caught up again!
I’m actually currently drinking this. Well, the last of it really. I brought a mug to take on the walk to work, and since starting this morning I’ve just been saving the last little bit of it and taking very small baby sips. It’s so good, and really tying me over while I wait to get off. Only half an hour to go!
The top note here is very fresh, tropical pineapple (4433). A little bit sweet and a little bit juicy. Then there’s this very buttery bottom note of coconut (4261) that really anchors every thing and gives more depth to the tea. The combination of these two glorious flavours, somehow, also makes a toffee/brown sugar flavour that very nearly (with the buttery coconut) adds a confectionery element. And then just the most perfect, smooth black base.
My favourite pineapple/coconut, no questions about it.
Love this blend. Love it.
I definitely didn’t have to worry I was being too generous with my rating for this when I first had this; it’s amazing and very deserving of such a high rating. In fact, I’m gonna bump it a little higher!
Pineapple, Coconut, Toffee, Butter, Caramel.
It’s so tropical and nummy!
First to review, and what an honor because mother fucking balls this tea is amazing!
My Camellia Sinensis order came in, and this was pretty much the tea in the order that I wanted to try most of all, and when I cracked open the packaging I was flooded with the most heavenly, amazing tea smell ever. Legitimately, I’m struggling to think of another tea which smelled this damn good when I first opened it. Basically, think really fresh, supple pineapple and coconut pastry with like pastry butter goodness and toffee. But yeah; fresh is really the most important word there. FRESH.
I was impatient to try it, so I made it in my timolino so I could have it at work with me. It steeped up splendidly. I followed package instructions, and they did not lead me astray even a little bit. The black base was very, very smooth and had notes of malt and honey to it. And then carefully layered over that was intense notes of fresh, sweet, juicy pineapple, buttery coconut pastry, toffee, and sex. So pretty much; an orgasm in your mouth.
For Butiki fans; this one reminds me heavily of Hello Sweetie in that the coconut/toffee vibe is very, very similar but instead of Banana you’re working with Pineapple – which is better, in my opinion. So if you liked that one, you may want to try this one. Really, if you like Pineapple or Coconut even a bit, you probably want to try this one. It’s the best pineapple/coconut tea I’ve had in a really, really long time (if not the best ever).
Even if the other two blends I got in this order are total flops – this one blend makes the whole order worthwhile. Right now, I’m rating it a 90 even though I want to do the full 100. I’m a little worried some of the love here might just be new tea excitement (but I’m thinking probably not) so I’m trying to be conservative with my rating until I have it again.
I want to share this gem with all of you! Except that would mean less for myself, and I don’t know if I can do that…