Camellia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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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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84

Sniffing inside the bag, I’m suddenly reminded of the tea description mentioning notes of rose. I don’t always think back on those descriptions, but wow does it ever smell of rose! Normally I don’t like rose flavour, but it’s not as strong when you brew it. I guess in general I dislike floral notes, especially lavender. But if there’s just a hint of it, I’m ok.

Anyway, most of the “tea” flavour reminds me of their other black tea: Zhenghe Hong Gong Fu (Fujian). Smooth, Light body, malty, with floral notes, and ending slightly bitter (in a good way). The wet tea leaves look like a bunch of thin long hairs (all bud and hardly any broken bits).

On the resteep, the rose flavour was still present and much of the original flavour was there along with the lichee flavour mentioned in the description. Third steep was even more light bodied and an interesting new flavour. I can’t quite describe it, but it came across as kinda zesty. I stopped at the fourth steep, because it was getting too light and watery. There is still some flavour but not enough for my liking. (Unfortunately, not every tea can be an awesome resteeper like Jin Die!)

I’m not crazy about this tea, but I always enjoy reaching for this in my cupboard. Although lately I have just been trying to get through older teas instead of drinking my newer stuff. :/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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100

This is my favorite Chaï tea, for its delicious mix of cardamom and cinnamon. Its neither too cardamom or cinnamon, perfectly balanced.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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88
drank Xiao Zhong by Camellia Sinensis
658 tasting notes

Opening my recently-arrived pouch, this tea just screamed CHOCOLATE at me. Rather amazing! The chocolate is a lot less apparent in the liquor’s aroma, which smells more green, but does show up flavour-wise. It takes a back seat to the nutty sweetness, though. Smooth and medium-bodied and delicious!

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85
drank Bai Mu Dan by Camellia Sinensis
326 tasting notes

Before I purchased Bai Mu Dan, I’d only tried flavoured white teas. I kept hearing good things about white tea but it never really impressed me. Now that I’ve had this I can see why some people like it so much. It has a light body, with notes of fresh vegetables (but not vegative like green tea). Not to say I don’t like flavoured white tea, Champagne from DAVIDsTEA is one of my favs.

Happy to have tried this once. I think I’ll try another white tea, Bai Hao Yin Zhen sometime in the future. So far I like what Bai Mu Dan has to offer, and I’m more open to exploring others now. :)

Steep notes: I’ve tried the suggested 5-7 mins and multiple shorter steeps, they’re both pretty good.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Bai Mu Dan by Camellia Sinensis
326 tasting notes

Very refreshing, the flavour reminds me of cucumber and fresh vegetables. :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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85

I am not a big fan of Qimen/Keemun black tea, but out of the few I’ve tried this is my favourite. Rich velvety texture, deep pungent black tea base, and the floral, smoky, and spice notes combine well. The main characteristic I like most about it is the deep pungent flavour (and I mean this in the best way possible), but I know this is not something everyone enjoys.

To finish off the last of my 50g purchase, I brewed it with short steeps. Given the appearance of the leaves I was pleased with how rich and complex Qimen stays throughout all the steeps. Usually I do not have such excellent results with broken leaf.

Not sure if I would recommend this if you are looking to get into Qimen, (as there are much cheaper options out there), but I found this to be a wonderful experience.

100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp, 6 steeps (rinse, 30s, +10s resteeps)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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85

My first impressions of this tea: floral, smoky, malty, touch of bitterness (in a nice way), deep smooth texture that lingers in my mouth. Hubby was reminded of pine needles while he drank it.

Overall a very gratifying experience, the malty-ness reminds me of Camellia Sinensis’ Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong.

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

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92

This is the second time I’ve had this tea and wow, I have noticed so many changes just in the aroma! The smell is like a raisin or maybe a prune, pungent but still sweet and moist.

The liquor is like a mead color almost. a little more on the orange side but still quite light (and this tea is 25 years old!) The wet leaves amplify the dried fruit aroma and add more honey and nectar notes

The first infusion only has a slight hint of its age. dry but not sticky, still enough moisture to carry the flavors through the palate.

The second Infusion comes alive with strong notes of fruit and sweetness. the leaves expand quite nicely in my aged Yixing pot, this shows the sign of good roasting!

The third infusion brought a more dry, sweetness than previous infusions. I also needed to brew this one a little bit longer so I’m sure that’s why I tasted these notes.

Infusions 4-9 were more or less the same in terms of aroma, flavor and liquor. The age of the tea, that underlying depth and history started to overtake some of the sweeter flavors during these infusions. The color remained an amber/crimson/peach nectar sort of hue.

After another infusion or two, the tea was taking 4plus minutes to really get any flavor out, and while the color remained, the temperature of the tea was luke warm at best by the time it reached its desired flavor.

When I pulled the leaves out of the pot, they were sturdy but pliable. I saved one full leaf for my tea journal.

Delicious.

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

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92

Very slight in its aged oolong taste. perhaps the first i’ve had that wasn’t charcoal roasted in successive firings? to me it tastes a little like an Ali Shan black oolong i’ve had, very sweet almost bai hao like but it also has a hint of sour gaba sort of tones and flavors. i’ll be interested to see how the flavor changes. who knows maybe i’ll have it around long enough to require my own firing session.

the first infusion was the least flavorful but still very nice. the second through fifth were all pretty solid. each infusion had one of the subtle flavors come to the forefront.

i probably could have gotten another 3-4 infusions but i was quite tea-ed up and my cha xi collective was disbanding. as a looked through the wet leaves, i noticed that they were still rolled for the most part. the color of the wet leaves was about as dark a fresh ti kuan yin in terms of roasty brown to green ratio. very interesting for an aged tea. i’ll have to think about this one more…

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 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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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

I love drinking this in the evening, it’s light, fresh, uplifting, and full of that familiar darjeeling flavour. A bit of spring time in my cup. :)

Totally going to be sad in winter when this is all gone.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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89

This met my expectations nicely. Light bodied, full flavour darjeeling. Nothing to complain about here!

As an added bonus, most of the leaves are quite whole so I can enjoy this in my gaiwan or small glass teapot. I’ve tried this with the normal 3 min steep time, and also with short steeps with many infusions. Both are delightful in their own way.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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100

Best Earl Grey I’ve had by far. A little on the pricey side for an Earl Grey, but well worth it. Good quality leaves and the perfect amount of real Bergamot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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85

Using up the last 2 teaspoons worth from my 10g purchase. The dry tea leaves have a nice sweet aroma to them. Once brewed in the gaiwan, the wet leaf has a pleasant bright emerald colour (pic: http://i.imgur.com/yUdL2.jpg) to it. I’m really glad that I did this last batch in the gaiwan, it’s a great vessel for looking at the leaves. Plus it just works out better since I’m doing multiple short steeps today.

Throughout the 5 quick steeps, I’m really enjoying the floral, spicy, sweet, “oolong” flavours.

Not really sure why I didn’t enjoy the other brews I had of this. Liking it much more today. You know it’s not something I’d buy again, because it’s a treat ($20 for 10g). But I’m happy to have been able to purchase and experience it once.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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85

Light bodied, soft, mellow flavour with a spicy finish. The resteeps were enjoyable, and the quiet flavours gave me a lot to think about. It’s the sort of tea you have to pay a lot of attention to, to notice the mild notes.

I’m not in love with this tea, but it was an enjoyable treat to purchase once.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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91

I don’t always brew this perfectly, but when I do it’s simply amazing. It tastes very “complete”, like all the flavours are in balance. Loving this purchase so far, nothing to nit-pick. At first I felt a bit silly to splurge on this, but this will be another tea I’ll dread to use up.

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

May I ask you a stupid question? I say its stupid because I know that I could probably just look it up instead of ask, but since you have experience drinking this…what is the difference between an Oolong and a Wulong? I love my Oolongs but the description on the Ali Shan Mr. Chen describes it as a Wulong. Does it taste very similar to Oolongs? Thanks for the time.

Dorothy

Wulong and oolong are the same thing. According to wikipedia, wulong is just a more direct translation. I believe it is all pronounced the same way.

Don’t worry about asking questions. Many of us steepsteries are happy to answer them. :)

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91

This turned out to be everything I expected. Enchanting creamy oolong, with a lot of different flavours working together in harmony to keep my taste buds happy. It tastes very “complete”, I’m not sure what could be done to make this any better. (Awesome job Mr. Chen!)
After unfurling, the tea leaves are a happy shade of green, and they have quite the thickness to them.

My only advice for brewing this is to give the leaves plenty of water to unfurl in. With a small tea vessel like a gaiwan, you won’t need a full teaspoon. I’ve tried this with short steeps and the regular +/- 4 mins.

edit: here’s a photo of one leaf and a quarter (sorry for image quality, I have an old camera) http://i.imgur.com/0JXZ3.jpg

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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99

This tea has been a favourite of mine since the first day I brewed it. It’s also one of the few teas I’ve ever repurchased. For the most part, I like buying a tea once and then moving onto something different. Since it’s a favourite, I opened bag #2 only recently even though I purchased it in August. ;)

Today I prepared 8 short steeps of it in a gaiwan. The first 8 were very flavourful (strong tea body, great roasted flavour) and 9-10 were pretty good too, although I mostly just tasted the sweet and roasted notes. I don’t usually short steep this one but I think I’ll make a habit of it now.

100ml gaiwan, 2 tsp, 10 steeps (30s +15s resteeps)

See previous tasting notes for more of my thoughts on this tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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99

The first time I tried this tea I was blown away at the complex flavours. Now that I’ve had a few more teas similar to this, it doesn’t feel very unique but I’m still quite impressed.

With each sip I treat my taste buds to some of my favourite flavours/notes; deep roasted character (reminds me of roasted oolong), honey-barley (reminds me of Oriental Beauty), and a rich black tea body are the highlights. There is also a fleshy/pulpy/grainy texture to the liquour which gives it a nice weight in my mouth. And as noted in the description there is also a nice floral fragrance and fruit flavour going on. If that wasn’t enough please my palate, the roasted tea flavour lingers on in my mouth and my mind for a long time.

I’ve tried this with short steeps before, but I enjoy the rich tea body so steeping at 4 to 5 mins works best for me. Anyway it’s one of my favourite teas, and I love to drink it on rare occasions to treat myself. (I don’t like drinking my favourite teas too often, otherwise the taste becomes ordinary to me. Therefor not as special!)

200ml glass teapot, 2 tsp, 1 steep

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

I’m the same way with my special teas.

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99

When I ordered this tea, I had no idea what to expect. I’m a big fan of black tea, and I enjoy the wide range of flavours you can experience with it. Sniffing inside the bag, it reminds me of roasted oolong and honey.

Onto drinking the stuff, I’m just blown away by the flavour. I couldn’t really imagine “black tea” tasting anything like this. Sweet, grainy or pulpy (sensation of chewing pear), heavy, “roasted” flavour, raisins.
It has a very pleasant lingering aftertaste, and the thoughts of flavour stick in my mind all day. Not an amazing resteeper, but 2-3 are good without becoming too light. Spent leaves reveal a lot of whole leaf and no debris.

Sometimes I don’t appreciate or fall in love with a tea right away (or even until the last few grams in the bag). This was love at first sip, I’m so glad I had a chance to try this.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Jessie

I’m crafting my next Camellia Sinensis order, and I think I might have to add this in!

Dorothy

This one is full of flavour and easy to like, I’m sure you be pleased with the purchase.

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