Camellia SinensisEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I was just feeling out of sorts, with an upset belly, and the description on this one made it seem like a good bet. It was. You’d think a Campari drinker would know better than to expect sweetness from a bright red tea, but I was still surprised that it was so…grainlike? If I closed my eyes I thought of basil and millet while actually tasting neither. Only after reading the description did I pick up on the anise – and I really hate anise in tea. But not in this one. It steps to the back and doesn’t leave that Ouzo stickiness. And it did settle my belly!
So, I made the last of this in my timolino and drank it on the walk home. It started snowing! Like, fairly heavily. Boo! Fingers crossed it all melts by tomorrow. DEATH TO ALL THE SNOW.
Anyway; this was nice! It’s sweet and maybe a little more “chocolate” flavoured than the previous cup was – but mostly it’s the cloves I’m really ‘digging’ right now. Concluding thoughts: this will be a little missed, but I’m sure it’ll be short lived/soon forgotten – it was a good, solid gingerless chai and I loved that, but I don’t think it was special enough/unique enough to be remembered over the other chais I keep stocked.
Thanks VariaTEA for the
Transylvanian Transsiberian Chai!
Oh, I lost my tasting note on this! Steepster ate it on me…
Anyway, I broke this one out because the amount of Chai samples in my possession is only growing, so I figured I needed to step my shit up and actually finish (or at the very least, try) some of them. This one comes from VariaTEA and appears to be gingerless, so it was the top choice for the moment.
I have to confess; I originally thought this was called “Transylvanian Chai” and I kept getting the image of Dracula either taking a sip and his fangs being really sensitive to the heat of the liquor or him saying something like “It’s Spiiicccyyy” in his thick, sexy accent. I’m a little disappointed that that’s not actually the name…
Steeped up what I’m finding is that this isn’t as scary intense/spicy as I had assumed/feared it would be. The cloves and cinnamon are pretty strong and there’s some sort of thick creaminess/sweetness that I would maybe label as more like vanilla, but I’m assuming is the chocolate in this. The absence of ginger really helps a lot with putting this more forward in my books.
So conclusion drawn based on that? I’m pleasantly taken aback and will really enjoy finishing this off, but wont seek it out once it’s gone because I have other sweeter/fruit based (my preference) Chai blends in quantity that are more important I finish off first before getting more.
But yes; this is good and not as scary as I thought it’d be!
Ok, ok, I lied. I’ll have a white or green tea tonight. This one is from VariaTEA. :)
Basically it was an “Anything that smells amazing!” choice. As long as “anything” wasn’t a black or oolong.
So this. Dry, it smells like fruit candy. Mmm.
Steeped (for 5 mintues!!), it smells like fruity candy plus tea.
This is really good! I don’t specifically get rhubarb and pineapple, but I do get tea and fruit and sweet-with-a-little-tart. Really nice balance. I wonder how this is iced, or cold steeped. Hmm…
(2-2.5 tsp per 14 oz)
There are many different fruits in here, but the outcome for me is a tea that tastes like dried strawberries. Not the crispy ones with the citric acid taste, but the soft, chewy ones, as if you dried them in a dehydrator yourself, with the slight dark syrupy note under the fruity lightness. As a bonus, this feels like a total indulgence. Dessert, but not sugary.
This is every bit as delicious as the Verdant version I just discovered. Such a great tea. The only difference I can see is that where the Verdant one makes me think of buttered toast with apricot jam, this one makes me think I blended in some of my American Tea Room Immortal Green, which is a peachy green with brown sugar notes.
I’m drinking the winter harvest version. You know how your life seems to progress from a love of simple, bold flavors (Hi-C?) to, say, fine Burgundies (yeah, I’m old) that you never would have remotely liked as a kid? I think I’m somehow enjoying this relatively more delicate but creamy, sweet, thick Jin Shuan at least as much as I ever enjoyed the bolder, crazier versions I’ve tried. I think it’s satisfying, thick body makes up for the relatively delicate (but delicious) flavor.
Tasting this makes me think the first oolong I ever had many years ago must have been a tieguanyin. I brings back everything I love about it with its floral, mineral, mushroom notes. Finally a candidate worthy of filling the spot opened up by the out-of-stock Verdant Handpicked Autumn Tieguanyin. If they were both available, I think I’d have to flip a coin. This version has less-pronounced (but still present) hyacinth flavors in favor of a warmer profile.
When tea drinkers live dangerously. That’s actually kind of true here. Apparently you’re really not supposed to drink this stuff if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and it has a ‘slightly stupefying’ relaxing effect. So it’s basically beer. In flavor it reminds me of….gin? Definitely a bit medicinal but not bad. It’s just a little piney. I’m definitely relaxed, but then, I’m spending an evening drinking tea, reading a cookbook, and playing with my dog. Really hard to pin down the culprit here. Still, I really think I need to keep this around.
This has to be the most beautiful tea I’ve ever seen. You could throw it at weddings. Don’t try to brew it with a little spoon infuser though – even in my basket infuser, I barely stuffed 3.5 grams in there. Next time I might just use a strainer after brewing completely loose. I chose this one because it promises to help with seasonal allergies that seem to be popping up tonight. The flavor is sort of a cousin of chamomile, very comforting, a little less floral perhaps. I think I like it a bit better than chamomile. I’m halfway through the cup, and my allergies have subsided quite a bit, which I of course have to attribute to just being inside for long enough to make tea. Still, maybe it didn’t hurt? UPDATE: Oh it definitely worked. 30 minutes later, after being back outside, I was completely cleared up. My claritin doesn’t work that well. That’s crazy.
Surprise after surprise after surprise. I plucked this tea more or less at random from a giant delivery of nearly all of Camellia Sinensis’ herbals. The first surprise: it looks just like that photo! All of their herbals look just like their ridiculous photos. They look like someone may have cut the stems out of a lovely dried bouquet. Next, the tea brewed up to a deep purple I’ve never seen in a tea. Then the flavor – floral herby basil. Emphasis on the herby basil. I think this will be the perfect pre-bedtime tea.
I have no idea what to say about this tea.
There was immediately a flavor that I didn’t care for, but can’t quite place.
I kept sipping.
Then there was roasted barley, reminding me of some of the herbal teas I used to enjoy.
Then it was almost as if I was drinking a Dancong: roasted florals & grapefruit.
I’m still sipping re-steeps of this interesting tea, sent to me from Sil who got it from Dexter I think. It’s almost like a houjicha now, only tangier, like apricot. Thanks girls!
Now I’m sitting on the camellia sinensis website…just looking around…
well what a strange tea. I picked it out the enormous swap box Dexter3657 sent me because I have been attracted by the leaves…of course I have thought it was an Oolong because it looks like an Oolong but no this is not…and however it comes from Taiwan and I adore Taiwanese teas…
And now I am sipping it after a 3 minutes steeping and…I am perplexe…I cannot really say what I feel about it and what I can taste. I it a medium black bodied tea, I would say a little malty with very little candied fruits.
It is a pleasant tea but really strange tea exactly like some people you meet and cannot really grasp their personnality.
Maybe I should meet this tea sevenral times…
Drinking this tea I can’t help but compare it to some of the Dancongs I’ve had. It has the slight astringency they can have, but it is not quite as thick, rich, floral or as sweet as the oolong. It does have the hint of cream and fruit the ones I have had. It is a bit thinner than most black teas I’ve had until later steeps, but it has an interesting blend of contrasting flavours and I quite enjoyed it. The product description said the tea had cherry notes. I instead got mainly citrus, pink grapefruit and apricot tones. I may have had more cherry tones in a longer steep. In later steeps cocoa and malt came out as well. The tea is quite naturally sweet with the stevia like tones I’ve found occasionally in pouchongs. Altogether a really nice tea, which leans towards a dark roast oolong. Thanks Dexter3657 for the generous sample!
I used a little over 1 TSP in 200ml of water at around90°C
1min. Maple coloured brew.
Scent- roasted note, citrus rind/grapefruit, slight floral green note.
Flavour- top note is bright with citrus pink grapefruit notes. Underneath the top notes are roasted notes and cream. As it cools a slight green floral iris note appears, it becomes sweeter and creamier, with an apricot vanilla fruit tone. the tea has a creamy texture that dtssipates into a slight astringency. The dominant flavour is the roasted note with grapefruit. The tea has an aftertaste of sweet fruit, vanilla and cream with a slight astringency.
Scent – similar to first steep, but slightly less intense.
The tea has this beautiful gilded seppia tone.
Flavour- the taste is sweeter and softer. There are still a grapefruit and citrus note along with a mineral tone that is more apparent than the roasted tone. It is creamy and there is a slight bright citrusy floral tone. There is a hint of peach and apricot. The roasted note is breaking down into minetal notes and a woody tone. It is mildly astringent and very sweet with an all most Stevia like tone like I’ve found in pouchong at times.
1min 60s. Bright fruity scent, grapefruit and citrus rind, green floral scent, woody note and something sweet and deeper.
Flavour- cream, mineral, wood, citrus rind with hint of grapefruit. The cream has vanilla notes and the tea sweeten as it cools. The roasted wood note is stronger as it cools. There is a hint of cocoa and honey under peach and grapefruit. Bright citrus aftertaste contrasts with a sweet cocoa note underneath.
3min. Cream, malt, hint of honey, cocoa, fruit, mineral tone. Woodiness has dissipated leaving a vegetal tone.
4 min cream, honey, malt tone, fruit as top note.
5min and 6min malt, cocoa, tastes less sweet, but still gives a hint of tartness. Cream and a hint of soft fruit appear as it cools.
6min and 7min. Malt, cream, touch of cocoa.
Definitely didn’t expect to be sipping down this one down tonight, but that’s a thing that happened! I made the last bit of this as a tea soda, because I wanted to do something different with this tea to finish it off. Sadly it’s no longer up on Camellia Sinensis’ site which means this is probably a permanent goodbye. That makes me pretty sad; I’ve really enjoyed having this tea around!
The tea soda is kinda weird; I don’t think rose is a flavour that goes well with carbonation. Plus, the the carbonated ‘chocolate’/cacao bean flavour as well. Normally I can hardly taste the chocolate in this blend to begin with, but it’s so exaggerated here! What I was hoping for was that this would taste like one of those sweet, fizzy cherry Love Heart candies.
Uhh, these things for people not familiar with what I’m talking about:
However, that’s definitely not what I’m getting from this. In fact, the cherry is really quite obscured! And even though it’s weird I’ve got to mention it: maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of Earl Grey this week but something about this soda is reminding me an awful lot of the
pretty awful Earl Grey Cream tea soda I made a few months back. Except, I cannot for the life of me place what it is about this that’s hearkening back to that mess of a soda.
But darn it! This sad, sad tea soda is not only ending tonight on a disappointing note but it means I wasted my last bit of this tea leaf on a brew that just was not satisfying…
Mmm, I can smell Safeway baking cinnamon buns right now…
So yesterday, I made this in a timolino before I left for work and then when I got home, after taking a nap, I drank this when it had cooled enough in the timolino to be a perfect temperature. I don’t know if it was from sitting in the timolino for several hours or just from being prepped in a timolino in general (or maybe I’m just crazy), but this was very cherry, and not necessarily good cherry.
If it’s happened before it was a while ago because I don’t remember it, but this actually tasted kinda medicinal and borderline cough syrup like instead of like fancy cherry candy!? Still drinkable, but no…
Probably going to avoid timolino prep with this one, to be on the safe side.