Camellia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

Smells… like how bad black currant teas can smell.

Lychee? What?

Taste isn’t bad. Strong green tea, even though I understeeped from the instructions. Strong flavours. Not really lychee, though there is a crisp and cool-sweet flavour component.

It’s really not to my taste. I kept this one because the tin was weighing down the box, and I though I’d share it with my friend. Only we haven’t hung out in ages because she doesn’t contact me very often, too preoccupied with her boyfriend.

Ahh well. What isn’t meant to be, isn’t meant to be. I will enjoy this cup, yet also enjoy that I don’t have any more to drink. :D

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Ugh, I know exactly what you mean about the bad currant. It makes me scared to try them.


Some have been really good! I like the ones that Steam Tea House and also Janet’s Special Tea carry. They remind me of the black currant licorice candies my mom gets every Christmas. :)

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Dry, this smells SO GOOD. And also comes in the CUTEST tin.

Unfortunately, steeping it at 85C as recommended has resulted in a bitter mess. There are some neat flavours there, floral and herbaceous/spicy. Maybe it would be better as a mini cold brew? I’ll have to try. (Maybe. If my bladder can handle it.)

Flavors: Floral, Spicy, Wood

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

Eeeee I can’t wait to do a TTB! I hope the one that just opened for sign-ups starts soon! :3


That tin is absolutely adorable!


There are SO MANY TEAS in this one. O.o I’m not sure how long I have it for, as I’m not entirely sure where I’m sending it next. :) Hopefully long enough to make a good dent, and also rummage through my cupboard for a bunch of additions.

Cameron B.

Yeah, it sounds so exciting! Plus I’m getting to the point where I have a few teas that I don’t love and that other people might enjoy. :)


Exactly. :) Teas other people might enjoy. Haha.

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This arrived as a sample in my latest CS order. Usually I drink pure tea all the time (with the exception of rooibos sometimes at night). When I first got into drinking loose leaf tea I liked having chai. So it is a type of drink I like to have, but not something I’ve been craving lately.

I’ve prepared this a few times already with the generous sample they mailed, and today’s infusion turned out just as satisfying. The loose leaf tea and spices have a strong scent (heavy on the ginger and cardamon). Chai liquor has an agreeable black tea flavour that isn’t too bitter, and the spices taste energetic.

Overall I found it to be interesting, zesty, and not dull in any way. It met my expectations by not being bitter, bland, or too off balance.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Almost through my entire purchase of this tea (50g) and must say that it met my expectations.

There is a nice balance between nutty flavor and spices. The tea isn’t bitter or dry, it’s smooth and has a palatable “black tea flavor”.

The only thing I dislike about the tea is that it can be fickle to get just right, or how I like it. If you like a strong tea, it’s easy to prepare it that way. I am cautious about the leaf/water ratio because sometimes I mess up and brew a cup that’s too bold for me. My main concern with this tea was the potential for bitterness/bland body but my fears were unfounded. It turned out to be a very nice black tea and comes with it’s own interesting terroir (Malawi) that sets it apart from other teas in my collection.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Queued post, written May 7th 2014

I got this one from MissB, who doesn’t seem to know very much about it, judging from the information on the tea page.

It’s a rooibos blend and it has been flavoured with… something. I think it seems very similar to the rooibos blend I have from Nothing But Tea which has vanilla and raspberry, so this is my first instinct. It definitely smells and tastes like some sort of berry, perhaps several kinds of berry. I can’t really pinpoint any that I think it’s more like, so I’m thinking perhaps it’s some kind of forest fruit or four red fruits blend on a rooibos base. These are not usually mixed with anything else so far as I know, though, and I’m pretty certain there’s something in here that adds sweetness.

Which leads me back to vanilla and raspberry.

Curious, I then went and made up a small cup of the vanilla raspberry blend from NBT that I mentioned earlier so that I could compare it directly. They are indeed extremly similar, the NBT blend being a little more berry-tart and this one more evenly blended.

Having thus determined the mystery of this blend, I can move on to inform you that I find it a very pleasant blend. Of course, it’s already a blend that I like on a rooibos base (who are we fooling, I’d probably like it on almost any base), so perhaps I’m a little biased. I’ve been drinking up the NBT blend for my before bed beverages as it’s getting very old. I expect I’ll be using this blend in the same way. This is not at all a bad thing. :)

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My friend ordered this in their teahouse. I had a sip of it and had to bring home some for myself.

Large, stiff, tightly rolled leaves. The aroma of raspberries and cream rises to meet your nose.

Brewing retains those berry aromas and a touch of sweet milkiness, while adding a bit of maltiness and a little bite of astringency and bitterness. The texture is silky smooth and medium-thin.

This would be an excellent breakfast tea, if you like yours a bit on the lighter side. Superb with milk (and sugar, if you wish). A nice example of an Indian black tea with that touch of tart berry giving it something unique.

Flavors: Berries, Malt, Milk, Raspberry, Sweet, Tannic

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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drank Si Ji Chun by Camellia Sinensis
257 tasting notes

Origin: High mountains, Taiwan
Thank u to Camellia Sinensis for this sample with purchase!!
Dry Leaf: Tiny, rolled dark forest green pellets. Scents of hazelnut, cream, honeysuckle. Smells so delish!!
Method: 10 oz ceramic gong fu pot – measured out 100ml/3.4 oz water – 2 tsp tea – 200F
10 " rinse/ 15"/25"/25"/30"
Wet Leaf: Roughly chopped medium size pieces and then very tightly rolled forest green leaves. No stems. Very bright green and leaves open fully after 3rd steeping.
Liquor: Light, clear pearl. Mostly floral scent. Hazelnut scent has gone :(
Flavor: Flowers and cream. Not a very creamy mouthfeel, just a tiny tiny touch. Unfortunately, I didn’t detect any hazelnut in the flavor as I had in the scent of the dry leaf. There was a tiny touch of nuttiness after the leaves had fully opened but not as much as the dry leaf scent had teased me with :(
Very good Oolong though, with no bitter, astringency, or stomach upset.
I have a bit more of this sample and must try it again to see if I can coax out the rich cup with a touch of nutmeg and an edge of fresh vanilla that are expressed in the tasting notes. They do say an explosive floral nose and an echo of caramel in the aftertaste. I do detect that from my tasting. Gonna use one of my smaller gong fu pots now that I see these leaves are smaller and chopped and don’t need a super large expansion space,,,that might be where I can get those flavors :)

Flavors: Cream, Flowers

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

Yay! You found some oolong that doesn’t hurt your tummy :-)


Lol I’ve found lots. The only one that hurts my stomach is Tie Guan Yin/ Iron Goddess. I don’t care for that Oolong. I want to like it bc the tea is named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin,,but oh well :)

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Just ordered some new 2014 teas from Camellia Sinensis, this is the first one I decided to try.

First steep struck me as very crisp and refreshing (didn’t expect that). With subtle buttery and vegetal flavours, also a bit of sweetness, spice (cinnamon).

Second steep brought out a floral flavour (jasmine) and a nice velvety texture to the tea liquor.

Finally on the third steep the terroir came out. I expected to taste it a lot sooner, but I might just need to change the tea amount/steep time a bit.

Fourth through sixth steeps were consistent on the flavour. Overall they were a nice balance of the previous cups but still light as opposed to strong/bold on the flavour. I decided to stop on the sixth steep because the dryness was starting to dominate the mouth feel.

My expectations were met with this tea, but I still feel that some changes to the tea parameters (amount and steep time) might yield better results. I’m looking forward to many more short steep sessions to get my perfect cup of tea.

Tea steeped: rinse, 30s, 45s, 1m, 1m 30s, 2m, 2m 30s.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 tsp 3 OZ / 90 ML

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drank Xue Ya by Camellia Sinensis
2194 tasting notes

This one is from MissB. Thank you for sharing!

Sadly, not for me. It’s the green pea and spinach flavours that just do me in with so many of these green teas! I’m sure that it’s a lovely example if you like those flavours in your teas, but unless I’m pouring the tea over rice and salmon, I’m not interested.

Now, I wonder whose bag I can put the other half of the sample in. :)

Flavors: Peas, Spinach

160 °F / 71 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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A wildly delicious jasmine green. The most fragrant jasmine I have ever had. I have been drinking this a week straight and now and not tired of it one bit.

Flavors: Jasmine

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Hong Jing Tian (Latin Rhodiola rosea) is an herb supposedly used in Tibet traditionally by monks engaged in physical labor, stronger than, but similar to ginseng. Used as a tonic, warming herb, balances qi, liver, cardio- genital. It is unclear to me from the store description of these 5 gr mini tuos if this herb is actually present in the tuo, whether the tea name is actual or just marketing. Rhodiola is usually sold as a powdered root or twigs.

Having said that, I think the twigs or root powder might really be in here. The tuos look hand formed rather than molded. The smaller 5 g size is perfect to toss in a Yixing. Opens up right after the rinse. I used about 200F temp. Dark red liquor, straddles the edge of musty to a little fishy in the aroma but not the taste. Viscous, bubbles stayed in the cup. Broken leaves and really cooked black twigs, but some fairly green leaves showed up in the pot for me.

Not bad for a shou, rolls and tingles the entire tongue and I definitely taste the black earth/ scorched bark with a touch of sweetness, not mineral quality or fig in the description. Not much change in the steeps, which is expected from a shou.

The real kicker of this tea though is in the heat it generates in the esophagus, upper stomach and heart. 8-10 steeps I was breaking a sweat. This tea is how to get your Yang on. I am really Yang anyway, and I will be treating this tea as a medicinal. This is a good tonic for jet lag and too much airplane food, or the salad someone makes for dinner in the winter. That clammy, cold feeling of too much yin food. I am overly warm anyway and had to chase the whole thing with half a glass of milk and I am still feeling the stomach and heart heat an hour later.

Like I said, I don’t know what is in this tuo, if it doesn’t have Rhodiola it is a darn good imitation in a puerh. I am going to treat this as if that herb is in there. However, it does concern me that the website description doesn’t tell people outright that an herb is in the tea you might not need. If you want a risk, would recommend for brave men, caution in women, check with your doctor or herbalist about Rhodiola to be sure.

Flavors: Burnt, Decayed wood, Earth, Fig

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Brewed in gai wan for a tea ceremony, light green in the cup. Grassy, vegetal, fresh taste. Strong for my ceremony participants, I was the only one left drinking when the tea was steeped out at 8 steepings. I used short 15 second steeps, gradually increasing until I was well over a minute at the end.

Flavors: Grass

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

Am still drinking this up, oh my it really is good. After taking a nap and a couple steeps of this I almost feel back in my 20s again, full of energy and lightness. But alas I am 50 and the effect must by nature wear off. I will definitely get some more of this once I finish the rest my new spring teas.


Right. Delusions of well being. Seriously. Ordered more, not waiting. :P

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205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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I love my Ceylon, but this one was a bit of a disappointment. Didn’t have anywhere near the complexity that the Amba did. That being said it smelled delicious when it was being brewed, roasted chocolate, pecans, and a nice malty orange aroma. Just not much of that transferred to my taste buds.

Hoping that I just brewed it wrong, and will try again…but definitely no where near as good as the Amba.

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I love this tea. It’s on the must restock list.
Light fruity on a really nice white base – what’s not to love?

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Sipdown (192/197)!

Thanks VariaTEA for the sample! I decided to cold brew it and take it to work.

Basically, this came off as the “green version of Des Roses et Des Bonbons” to me; same cherry flavour, same light rose flavour, same almost candy sweetness to it. However I didn’t like the green base and I thought it kind of detracted from the yummy flavourings: it was very grassy. But that’s ok; I have lots of Des Roses et Des Bonbons and I love that one so I’m still set and not sad to see this one go at all!

And hey, at least it didn’t taste medicinal.

That’s always a plus with cherry tea!


I far preferred Des Roses et Des Bonbons as well. Though, I didn’t mind this one, it certainly pales in comparison.

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I’m roasting some baby eggplant and eating some lovely heirloom tomatoes so I thought I would try this Darjeeling sample that I got from Camellia Sinensis,,thanks!!
Camellia Sinensis has some maps for the growing location of your teas and the Darjeeling garden map showed that the Seeyok growing area is right on the edge of the Mirik Valley region next to Nepal. It is interesting to see the seven valleys and many gardens of Darjeeling. Cool.
The dry leaf looks like tiny brown wood chips and smells a tiny bit of ‘walking in the woods’ woody and like baked sweet roll.
I brewed this Western style at 200F for 3 minutes.
The wet leaf smells like baked dark bread and is in little brown flake-like shapes. I smell a scent of sweet relish as well.
The liquor is a deep clear amber color with scents of baked sweet roll; citrus, especially orange, and raisin.
The flavor is raisin bread and orange zest, which gives a tiny, tiny bit of bitter. On a scale of 1-10 for astringency,,,there is about a 1 or 1.5… so it is cleansing but not harsh at all.
I was drinking this as I was preparing lunch so it was heavy on my stomach and needed to eat a bit of my lunch immediately to curb that,,,so I wouldn’t drink this one on an empty stomach.
I am glad that I got to try another Darjeeling tea to gain more experience with them!! Thanks C.S. !!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Orange Zest, Raisins, Wood

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



did you ever order teaware fr them? their gongfu pots look amazing, i would grab them all if i had money and space


No I didn’t get any tea ware from CS,,,just tea :)

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Welcome to day 6 of little terri’s Ultimate Sipdown Extravaganza!
I’m starting the day with a tea from Sil (anybody surprised?) that I’ve had for quite some time, from one of our many awesome trades. I’ve been avoiding this one for awhile, not really sure why, maybe because it’s the first tea I’ve ever had (to my knowledge) from Camelia Sinensis, whose website I’ve loitered on quite a bit lately, drooling over teas I might order, & a yixing I really want.

I was originally thinking, “gongfu”, but then I read some of the other reviews. (I’m not ashamed to admit it. My ego isn’t tied into coming up with my own unique take on a tea, or being able to recognize some taste nobody else noticed, so although I don’t always read others’ reviews before drinking a tea, I occasionally do, to see what kind of steeping parameters they used.)

Having said all that, I went with 5G + 8oz X 4min. There was enough here to drink this tea one time, and that sounded like the most promising formula.
This tea is not particularly exciting to me. It’s very smooth, with a kind of vanilla feel. There is a gentle sweet spiciness to it, perhaps cinnamon, & kind of a bland wood taste, with a growing but light coriander in the background. So, although there is nothing wrong here, & it doesn’t taste bad, it just doesn’t really do it for me. But I’m still glad to have tried it, & maybe on another day (if I had more), I would be in the mood to enjoy a tea such as this.
Sipdown – only 370 to go!


you’ve only had it for like 6 months or so i’m guessing since i wrote mY tasting note 7 months ago lol

Terri HarpLady

haha, well, it’s gone now! :)


I find I get confused easily if I read other people’s thoughts on a tea before formulating my own. I think I’m easily influenced that way.

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Thank you, VariaTEA, for letting me try this tea :)

The aroma and flavor remind me so much of some sweets from my childhood. I can’t remember what it was exactly, but I think it was, surprisingly, some hard candy! Very unusual flavor combination, I haven’t experienced these notes in any ther tea. It is kind of similar to MF’s Marco Polo in that respect. Because it’s so unique.

There’s rose in it but kind of… fruitified. More like rosehips? Also a note of caramel… But there’s also some balanced citrus in here! Very interesting.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Yay for Des Roses et Des Bonbons! I am glad you liked it. One of my favs :).

Also, it reminded OMGsrsly of a certain candy too


I guess this tea is designed to bring out some forgotten candy notes from the depths of one’s memory!


Haha maybe.

Roswell Strange

Reminds me of candy too; though I’m thinking more those almost fizzy sweet hearts, not a hard candy. The Sweet Hearts were like a dense powder/tablet.

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Ah! Rose and Cherry!
When I brewed it I didn’t know what I was making really. I just figured I’d look it up later.
I’m not a huge green tea person, but I’m starting to enjoy them in the evenings more often. The change in weather helps. The warmer days just call out for greener cups.

This tea is yum. It’s a green I will easily look forward to drinking the rest of the week.

I’m watching Shield in the student lounge at work.
I’m trying to savor it.
Also, it’s Hawkeye comic day. I’m goin shoppin at lunch :)


Yay, Hawkeye!


I think I prefer the French name for this one as it just sounds happier.

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VariaTEA sent this to me labelled “just enough for one 12 oz cup”. So that’s what I’ve made!

Steeping, it smells SO GOOD. Many spices. Lots of spices. Spices, spices, spices. This is gonna be great with that whipping cream. :)

Yeah, this is seriously spice-heavy. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be this way, as my sample was fairly powdered, but I kinda like it. Loads of cloves, some cinnamon. No chocolate. What? Chocolate nibs? I thought those were cardamom. Oops.

I still prefer my Mariage Freres Chandernagor, but this is still a nice chai. Different. And different is good!

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

Different is definitely an apt description of this one.

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drank Assam Banaspaty by Camellia Sinensis
257 tasting notes

Assam Banaspaty from the plains of Assam, Banaspaty garden. India.
The dry leaf smells like malt and cacao beans. They are tiny dark black-brown twisty threads but broken into halves and tiny bits. There are a few blonde ones mixed in too.
I steeped this at 200F for 3 minutes. It created a deep red liquor with scents of malt and hints of orange.
The wet leaves look like chopped reddish brown fall leaves and smell like baked brown bread.
The flavor is good. It has a touch of astringency from a taste like orange zest but just a touch,,, not overbearing at all and would be good for people who add a splash of milk. I love this tea, it really tastes like malt and orange zest. Delicious.

I added some of my homemade almond milk to this and it is heavenly!!!! I see this as a good base for when I make Chai since it has that orange hint in there and blends with milk.
Having a bit of this today with milk. Bold, citrus, malt, good.
Having a cup with milk in it. It needs the milk and can take sugar too though I didn’t put any.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Orange Zest

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

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From gardens in Nepal; short distance from Darjeeling.
Dry leaves are nice twisty, thick threads of light brown, cream, and dark brown with an interesting scent of a light ginger snap but not heavy on the ginger—more snap!
As it brews, it is smelling like Oriental Beauty and come to think of it,,,,those leaves look like Oriental Beauty.
I tasted this at 3 minutes and it was still faint in color and flavor so I left it steeping a total of 4 minutes at 200F.
This is a black tea that wants to be an Oriental Beauty. It has all of those qualities that are sort of indescribable about that tea. The wet leaves are mixed fall colors and the liquor is that golden orange clear hue. I think I will play with this tea because the tasting notes on Camellia Sinensis promote fruity apple and chocolate accents along with honey and rich floral perfumes. I want to bring more out of this tea. I do catch the apple as the liquor cools off a bit.
Very interesting and unexpected flavors.

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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