Camellia Sinensis

Recent Tasting Notes

92

I don’t care what people will say I will always put soymilk and agave nectar in Darjeeling tea. It’s a phenomenal celebration tea.

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94

To me this smells like passion fruit and tastes like honey. Very well done.

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76

Lately this has been my go to tea in the morning. It’s a bit rough and harsh, but I like that sort of thing when I wake up. ;)

Usually I just do 2 steeps, starting with 1 min and then either 2 or 3 minutes for the resteep. The suggested 3-4 minutes for the first infusion is way too strong for me. If I were the sort of person that puts milk or sugar into tea, this one would be a candidate. Unfortunately I usually hate added sugar and I am lactose intolerant. So I adjust steep times to my liking.

I’m about 2/3’s the way through this bag, and I still pretty much feel the same as when I drank my first cup. It’s a nice tea, but I primarily bought it to try something new and develop my palate.

See previous tasting note for more comments on the tea flavour.

200ml glass teapot, 1 generous tsp, 2 steeps

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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88

It’s finally cold outside, came home and decided that I need some tea. I added a good amount of honey into it making it a very nice smooth warm drink =)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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89

Wow, this is my fourth tasting note for this tea. I usually just make one if it gets the point across or if I don’t change the steep parameters much. Anyway, today I am using my gaiwan to quick steep this tea.

Drinking the first cup was a treat, I tasted something tangy, malty, earthy, kinda sweet and with familiar black tea flavour.

Second cup continued to get stronger, with a new flavour sneaking in which I couldn’t quite describe. It gave me a nice resonating sensation throughout my body. (Sometimes I feel like great tea rings me like a bell!)

Not much change with the third steep, except the flavour is stronger to the point where it gets pretty bold.

The fourth steep is my favourite. Along with the familiar flavours there is an emphasis on cherry, with a bit more tangy/zesty going on, and an amazing sort of menthol sensation with the aftertaste. At this point I took a break to brew more water, and that sensation stuck around quite a while. Very pleasant.

With such a good experience from the last cup, the fifth while good… couldn’t really top it. The main quality I liked about this one was the reduction in the boldness of the tea. Three and four were a bit “in your face”, kinda boldness and this one is more friendly.

Flavour in the sixth cup shifted a bit, again I can’t really describe it well enough but it was a different feeling. Still tastes enough like a good cup of tea.

Finishing up with the seventh and eighth cups, I can finally taste the original water. (Usually this is my indication of where to stop.) But the brew still has a nice light, zesty, tea flavour going on.

I’ve had this tea in my cupboard for a while now, and today gave me a lot to reflect on. I think this tea comes out too weak or delicate if you use too much water, and today’s session with the gaiwan was my most pleasant. My favourite thing about this tea is the sensation it gives me, along with the combination of interesting flavours. It does a good job of keeping me captivated. Overall, a charming black tea with sweetness that does not overpower the wonderful earthy flavour.

100ml gaiwan, 2 tsps, 8 steeps (45s + 15s resteeps)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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91

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84

Now that I’m down to the last few grams of this tea, I’ve come to appreciate rose flavour. Whereas initially, I was a bit put off by how floral this tea was. If you’re looking for a more in depth review on the flavours, check my previous tasting notes. Anyway, it’s not a tea I’m in love with but overall I found it to be a very positive experience. This tea, along with a cheaper one from the same province have really peaked my interest. So I’m looking forward to trying more black tea from Szechuan in the future. :)

Looking at the CS website, this tea is “sold out”. However if it becomes available again, I recommend trying it if you enjoy black tea with strong floral notes.

160ml water in a 200ml glass teapot, 2tsps, 2 steeps

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100

The apricot and artichoke flavor description is spot on. I always turn to this tea after running as it is very refreshing and energizing. I should try it cold or with agave very soon. Overall this is a quality white tea and the price is alright. I love this.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Mayuan Shan by Camellia Sinensis
108 tasting notes

A mild celery sweetness that fills the mouth, but doesn’t blaze SWEET in the back-of-the-mouth like some Gao Shan oolongs (although I’m not really sure of the elevation of this tea). Very green tasting, with an bit of an energizing kick at the end. Dry aftertaste. Honeysuckle aroma in the leaf. Reminds me a lot of green San Lin She or fresh Pinglin Baozhong.

Infused in my light roast Yixing pot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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97

One of my favourite tea. Really rich and tasty. Ideal for fall and winter to warm you up.

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79
drank Chuan Hong by Camellia Sinensis
311 tasting notes

I’ve had this a few times so far, but didn’t bother to write a tasting note.
Anyway, today used some extra leaf today (not much) and extended the steep time to 4 mins (usually I start with 3). I got a nice strengthened chocolatey flavour, floral notes, and a nice little nip of bitterness. All of those properties combined makes me think of dark chocolate while I sip.

Sometimes when I add extra leaf I dislike the results, but this one turned out favourably. Very happy with this one so far.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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76

From the aroma of dry leaves, I picked up on a nice nutty fragrance. And with the wet leaves and liquor, muscatel and floral notes. There was also something there that reminds me of white tea scent and the “springy” nature of FF.

Onto drinking the stuff, I immediately taste strong bold flavours, astringency sensation, and bitterness (the sort within my liking). Which kind of surprised me, because the aroma from the dry and wet leaves makes me think it will taste very delicate. The aftertaste is quite mellow, with no trace of the bitterness from before.

I can definitely sense the grapefruit flavour mentioned in the description. I think it’s a combination of the bold, bitter, and astringency I’m picking up on.

The second steep was much tamer. Along with the original tea flavour, there is a nice spiciness. I especially liked the experience of inhaling the tea aroma just before sipping. A very captivating tea for the senses.

All in all, I like this experience. It turned out to pack quite a punch, but in a good way. And it was nice to taste a tea from Sikkim, an area so close to Darjeeling, and taste the difference. I may have added a bit too much leaf, so I’ll see about toning down the tiger by adjusting my tea leaf/water ratios.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

The scent of dry leaves inside the pouch remind me of that Grape Nuts cereal (like wheat? barley?). Other than that, nothing else really grabbed my nose.

Onto brewing the first cup. Aroma from the liquor and wet leaves makes me think of fleshy tomato and thick wheat bread, with the liquor having more floral and “tea” notes.

Taking in the first sips, I taste notes of malt, wheat, cinnamon, pepper, honey, and “flesh” or pulpy texture in my mouth. With a lingering kind of cinnamon and sour note. Such a lot of flavours in one cup, it definitely gives my mind a lot to think about! Besides the flavour, I really like the fleshy texture combined with the otherwise light body.

In the second steep, the honey aroma really stands out. Tasting the liquor, notes of cinnamon and honey grab my attention right away. Following with the same flavours from the first steep.

At the third steep, the flavour is still staying pretty strong. Just the fleshy texture is fading.

Steeps four to five: Mostly tasting sweetness and spice

Sixth steep: Sweet, muted flavours but still going

Seven and Eighth steeps: Hardly anything resembling tea, mostly just sweet, honey water

Overall I thought this tea was a nice surprise, because I didn’t have high expectations going into this purchase. For me, it was a nice balance of sweet, spices, texture and just enough floral notes. Like a lot of black tea from this retailer, resteeping black tea is totally worth it.

Ending note: This reminds me (minus the sweetness) very much of Camellia-Sinensis’ Zhenghe Hong Gong Fu. So if you’ve enjoyed that one it’s worth checking out Huiming Hong Cha (or vice versa). Also, the sweetness (honey, cinnamon) found in this tea kind of reminds me of the sweetness you find in roasted tea. Perhaps it’s like what I expect a black tea version of Oriental Beauty to taste of. A bit of a bold claim, but at the 2nd steep onward you get a really fantastic sweet/cinnamon flavour.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

I’ve been drinking this all year, even during the wicked heat waves in Ontario. I love Lapsang Souchong so much, but it’s always more enjoyable when it’s cold and raining outside. Each sip makes me think about sitting around a warm campfire

Smoky, malty, slightly buttery, with a pleasant soft black tea body.

Out of the few LS I’ve tried, this is absolutely my favourite. This company also sells a more authentic (?) and expensive version, but the cheap version suits me just fine. (I’ve tried the other one, and it’s wonderful.) As a plus, this is one of my favourite teas from Camellia Sinensis that doesn’t sell out right away. Finally a word of warning: you’ll either love it or hate it. If you’ve never tried Lapsang Souchong before, I recommend getting a small size (at your retailer of choice)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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84

Used a bit more leaf today, and I like the result. Still has a rose flavour, but now I get some notes of chocolate. There’s a bit of maltiness and fuzz that lingers in my mouth, which I find pleasant. Next steeps had more notes of lichee, just like I experienced in my previous tasting note.

Overall I find the flavours very “rich”, so not the sort of tea I’d want to drink too often. Definitely a nice treat to make up for that ripe puerh and osmanthus from yesterday. :D

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Bai Mu Dan by Camellia Sinensis
658 tasting notes

I should really give white teas a more extensive run. I don’t own many. I’m using up the last of this and playing with parameters on each steep. I’m really enjoying how much the flavour can vary based on temperature. This has been delicate and sweet, floral, and then a bit grassy and woodsy on different infusions.

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100

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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89

Oh the agony of finishing off a pouch of tea! I used the last 3 teaspoons to make a nice big pot of tea (ok not BIG big, but bigger than what I normally do).

Delicate, silky, muscatel, comforting.

It’s hard for me to use up special tea like this, so I’ll be resteeping the leaves until the flavour says good bye. :) And I can’t wait to say “hello” to a new FF tea next year.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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96

Backlogging from yesterday! Incredibly smooth! One of my FAVE overall matchas! See previous notes! :)

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89

Still drinking this and working my way through the 50g bag. Speaking of the bag, this tea is light so it’s taking me a while to go through it all. Which is a shame because I thought to myself, oh after I finish this first flush I can get some second flush or autumnal (d’oh!).

Anyway, still loving how light and refreshing this one turned out to be. It kinda reminds me of my Bai Mu Dan (light, crisp, “spring” veg). And I like the velvety texture of the tea liquor going down my throat. Finally, there is always that familiar darjeeling flavour in each sip. :)

The leaves are a mix of big green whole bud/leaf and some broken bits (not dust). Sometimes I have to play around with time settings/leaf amount to get the brew I like, but it’s an otherwise easy tea to brew (never a disappointing flavour). Looking forward to buying the 2012 FF version of this or another similar looking one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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89

Tried this again with 2 teaspoons in my gaiwan (I prefer it a bit stronger), starting at 3mins. Resteeps were 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (so 8 steeps total). On the last steep, my husband had just come home from work and tried it out. He was pretty surprised it was the 8th steep and still flavourful (although at this point I can taste the water more than anything).

I have to say that this one has really grown on me, and the resteeps have a nice spectrum of flavour. Like Jin Die, I think it’s a must to resteep this all you can. I’m looking forward to trying this with the same settings next time, and to write down the notes of all 8 steeps. Today I was just trying to enjoy it, not worrying about writing down the tasting notes. ;)

edit: Forgot to mention that this is a black tea, which is why the extra steeps impressed me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Xue Ya by Camellia Sinensis
658 tasting notes

What a nice unassuming little tea. It’s mild but not low on flavour, which is nice and I think rare. It’s grassy, but really sweet. More like hay, I guess. Very creamy, too. Also, the leaves are really beautiful. Fluffy and downy.

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