Camellia SinensisEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Been brewing this as a mostly afternoon tea. Took me a while to narrow in on the best brew pattern, Darjeeling is not my forte. The thing is, I wanted to not like this tea for that reason even without tasting it. Too much fuss, then one day my hubby wanted a pick me up and since he was the guinea pig I made it for him. He’s not a refined tea critic but he knows what he doesn’t like and this tea received an “OK” from him. Well if its good for the goose……it tasted “OK” for me too, so now I guess its time for expending effort and do my whole Mike the Martian thing and do a “waiting is” and “grok” this tea. I used the suggested brewing method and thought it too pale, so I added more tea and reduced the time and now it is fit to serve Jubal. Flavor is of sweetgrass and faint peach. It really shines with a hint of honey. Guess the lesson is get out of the comfort zone every once and a while and allow yourself some mystery.
don’t brew this on western. Today i had a mini gonfu session with this tea and it is MUCH better. It’s still a little “heavy” for me, so maybe i need to get through the first infusions a little faster (akak don’t drink them). but this works with shorter steeps. Still won’t be a favourite tea, but at least i know how to make it work better for me now :) very leathery and earthy.
not sure how i feel about this one. CS lists this as an oolong but there is way more a puerh like feel to this. I’d like to try brewing this again gongfu style, as today i simply tried it western brew according to the paramters on the bag. The result was a fairly strong earthy brew. verdict is out until i try this again
Nice Pu, not into chocolate flavors unless milk is involved. I tried all combo. I steeped it with water alone which did not give me a good choco flavor, then added a little milk, again to watery, added 1/2&1/2, no go, then steeped it in hot milk but the Pu flavor was dissipated and not enough of the choco. In the end I got what I kind of wanted by adding extra cocoa to a 1/2 water 1/2 milk. Too much work for me. Plus wasted alot of tea in the process. I like Camellia Sinensis just not this one.
This is a queued tasting note.
Made a large mug of this the other day; I was a little disappointed to be perfectly honest. It tasted a little weak/bland and watered down despite I used just as much leaf as I normally do for a mug of this size (16 oz.). As well, this came out a little buttery and with the banana tasting more prominent than the pineapple it was a little like drinking a hot buttered banana? But not in the tasty banana bread and butter way; more like a still greenish, under ripe banana rolled in melted butter like you would a corncob…
Surprisingly, I think that this blend simply doesn’t work as a tea soda. While the smell of the tangy, juicy pineapple and ripe banana notes are both so bright and vibrant coming of the dry leaf and comparably strong with a traditional hot cup or cold brew they tasted a little weak and forced with a tea soda format. The flavour I wanted simply wasn’t there, and I was left with carbonated green rooibos and mediocre pineapple flavour. With enough tweaking I could likely make this work for a tea soda, but honestly I doubt it’s worth the effort.
I had more time set aside tonight for tasting notes, but Tre and I got into a very heated three hour long debate/argument tonight over this Youtube video:
I’m firmly on the same side as boyinaband and have been for years; I think that nearly all of the topics he addresses (the only one I really disagree with is stocks) should 100% be made mandatory in school and there should be less of things like advanced math/science. I wont go as far as saying that we shouldn’t learn Shakespearean literature, or history – but I think the depth we go into is largely unnecessary and that time could be better devoted to more practical classes. Tre thinks if, as an example, if a grade twelve level science (physics, chemistry, or biology) isn’t mandatory no one will become scientists – but that’s bullshit! You don’t eliminate it from highschool, you have a class (perhaps up to a grade 10 or 11 level) that introduces the topic and provides everything you’d realistically need to know if you didn’t got to university or choose a job in that field, and then anything more advanced it made into an elective and the people who want to have a career in that field will choose to pursue it. How is that hard to understand?
Tre firmly disagrees: while I can get him to admit that most of what Dave/boyinaband is talking about is important information to know he thinks that the resources needed to teach that in highschool would be too costly. My rebuttal was that if less of the unnecessary things we’re learning was mandatory and was instead elective that the resources for those subjects could be split between those classes and a “Life Skills” class. His other argument was that things like finance could be pursued in further academics, like if you wanted to be an accountant. However, I don’t think you should need to want to be an accountant to know how to pay your taxes or balance a checkbook, and (like Tre does) you shouldn’t have to go to a specialist come tax season to fill out those forms for you. Some people can’t afford that. Besides, if you’re not taught hot to manage your money that puts you at even more of a disadvantage.
That’s just one of many examples, though.
I should probably point out that Tre and I are both from very poor/low income families; his was a single parent family and I lived with my mom but had some support from my father. We also went to the exact same highschool; he took mainstream classes and I took advanced classes. We were fortunate/privileged enough to have some of what Dave talks about (primarily anything regarding to the law or political system, and we also had a very good Sex. Ed class) as part of our mandatory education but not everyone does.
The difference, however, is that out of highschool he went to University/Siast and I didn’t because I didn’t know what I wanted to do (despite having had a much more academic/rigorous highschool experience). One of the things he’s having a hard time acknowledging is that just because the ‘system’ worked for him doesn’t mean that’s evidence ‘it works’ in general. I put every effort into learning things like ‘the quadratic equation’ or isotopes or many other things Dave rapped about – but it did nothing to further my education and now none of that knowledge (most of which was mandatory) isn’t being used practically at all. A ‘life skills’ class would have been much more beneficiary to me right out of high school.
I’d also recommend watching this ‘follow up’ video as well since most criticisms are well addressed:
One of Tre’s biggest ones is that parents, like his Dad, should be helping teach this stuff. Some people simply don’t have parents, others have really shitty ones. Personally, my Mom tried really hard to teach me a lot of valuable life skills; and in some areas she did a great job. I got a great sex education and learned quite a lot at home about politics and rights (LGBTQ rights in particular) but she never once addressed things like budgeting (which she can hardly do for herself, lets be honest) or how to do taxes. Had I lived with my Dad, I know for a fact I never would have learned anything about Sex Ed. because, due to his Christian beliefs, his approach was always “abstinence until you’re married” which just isn’t practical sex education. My point is that gaps exist – and someone needs to fill them.
It’s just very frustrating talking about this kind of thing with Tre, and sometimes even living with him, because while we had very similar experiences growing up are views on most things are so completely different – and he’s so stubborn and ignorant. While I had a rebuttal for every thing he said didn’t make sense/wouldn’t work he refused to accept them because “well, it worked for me so it obviously works overall”. It doesn’t work like that; we’re both in the ‘lower class’ and we fortunate to have parents who tried very hard to overcome that and teach us to overcome that, as well as go to a fairly exceptional school but the reality is that many people in our situations either didn’t go to the decent school that made up for some of the gaps in life knowledge, and didn’t have parents who tried to help them. Most people in situations like mine and his never went to university after graduating, if they graduated at all. These ‘life skills’ should be taught to them because they’re the ones who’ll probably need them the most.
Sorry for the long tasting note; I just had to vent somewhere other than to Tre because we just reached the point where I might as well have been screaming at the wall.
Today’s cold brew.
The most fascinating thing about this cold brew is probably that it came out a really vibrant, almost neon tangerine colour. Seriously; it was beautiful to look at although totally weird too since this is a pineapple/banana tea…
It definitely tasted more like pineapple that anything else though; very tangy with a sharp sweetness that really clearly cut through any other flavours. After drinking 25 oz. of it I kind of felt the same way you do after eating too much real pineapple; your mouth gets super sore from sour ‘acid’ overload, or whatever the technical/sciencey explanation is. It was still really good though!
My Camillia Sinensis order showed up today; in addition to getting a fancier aged oolong to try out I picked up 50g of this blend because it’s been on my wishlist forever and I was really curious about it.
I pretty much knew I was gonna love it without even trying it; it’s green rooibos which is the better varietal IMO and it’s pineapple/coconut. Really, it’s the banana that’s the intriguing part. And of course, I do like it quite a lot!
It’s incredibly fresh and fruity with such a sweet pineapple taste; like fresh cut over ripe pineapple with the juices getting everywhere. It’s got that natural tang to it as well that’s not tart or overly sour; it’s like an exclamation point after each ripe pineapple note. The coconut isn’t actually that strong in my opinion; it’s present but the least so of any of the ingredients. Pineapple and coconut are a classic, time tested pairing – obviously they work well here, but I appreciate getting more of a focus on the pineapple.
The banana could be a little stronger, like my tea twin VariaTEA mentioned but I think it shines through; it’s very much the taste of real banana that’s not quite ripe – not banana candy or artificial banana. You now how bananas can taste sort of green? When they still visually look partially green but have yellow to them as well, that is. They’re also a bit firmer; that the banana flavor I’m getting from this tea.The dynamic between the banana and pineapple is wonderful; the flavors bounce off one another and are bright and almost whimsical.
Very happy I picked this one up; I look forward to exploring it more. In particular, I feel like this blend will work very well cold brewed!
I have spent most of the day playing with my tea stash. Comparing actual cupboard to spreadsheet and steepster. Weighing all my teas, updating my spreadsheet. Reorganizing, moving all the smallish amounts into the sample bin, etc. The moral of that project….I havea mountain of tea, and I have way more pu’erh than anything else.
So while I was doing that, I was drinking this tea. I wasn’t taking notes, but it was pretty good. What I consider a typical shou. Nothing nasty, but nothing that jumped out either. I think I liked this one more than the one last night, but theyywere both just nice nit spectacular. All in all a nice tea day.
Thanks OMGsrsly for the sample. :)
This was a swap from Lala (I think) a while back. Finally decided to try it after Jillian requested that some of it be added to the Great Canadian Travelling Tea Box.
This smelled and tasted extremely floral and perfumey. I didn’t add any sugar to it, but I wonder whether I should have, as a lot of different flavours were trying to dominate. I think I got rose and guava the most, and some chocolate too.
Anyways, as a result of this taste test and adding the sample to the box, this is a sipdown!
Brewed this up and hot, it’s all pineapple and coconut. I think I may let it cool down and see what happens and then I’ll update this note later…
So it’s much of the same cooled except the pineapple is a touch stronger and I get a little more banana flavor. It’s nice but I don’t know if I would place an order just for this.
Went on a late night adventure!
It’s currently quarter to midnight or thereabouts and I figured I’d make myself some tea and enjoy it in the backyard – we just had a heavy rainfall and it’s a beautiful temperature out and the fresh smell of petrichor is everywhere drawing me in.
Since I haven’t had this super interesting tea since that first Gong Fu session I really wanted to make it again; it cost my Dad a pretty penny to buy it for me for a birthday gift (something like $30 for an ounce!?) and while I don’t want to just guzzle it down I suppose there’s no good in having it if I’m never going to make it. I opted to steep this western style in a big glass mug, even though I know that’s probably not the best way to enjoy it, since Gong Fu probably isn’t a realistic option outdoors right now. Also; I need to go to bed soon as well so more than two infusions would be a bad idea too. -3g/12 oz. at 80C for 5 min as per Camellia Sinensis’ recommended brewing instructions. -
I got outside and went to the backyard, and it was beautiful but I immediately realized that while I definitely wanted to be outdoors I didn’t want to be still. So, I went for a walk for a couple blocks, mug still in hand, without glasses/contacts in the black of night and drank my tea. I was blind as a bat; and lucky I live in a relatively nice, suburban ‘soccer-mom’ kind of neighborhood where midnight walks are still a safe and ok thing to do. I actually only ran into one person; and they gave me a strange look since I was walking around drinking tea from a mug at midnight(ish) on a Friday, seemingly headed nowhere.
The tea was pretty delightful though; the strongest flavor was a rich, nutty hazelnut note but other notes like chestnut, hay, and a toastier note like barley or brown rice were also present. Some buttery notes as well; nothing excessive. The finish was also a little peppery/spicy as well. One thing I will also note is that it wasn’t as smooth as I recall the Gong Fu being, nor quite as sweet. While far from bitter there was some astringency and sharpness, most notably a dryness in the back of my throat after each sip. To be fair, I did say that I knew this wouldn’t be as good as the Gong Fu session though.
Stream of consciousness review, meaning once I get to the steepings/infusions part of this review I’m just going to be taking note of my initial impressions/thoughts. I initially recorded this as a series of jot notes but have obviously since edited things to be paragraph formatted and easier to read…
This was a birthday present from my Dad; with the expensive price tag that comes along with this one I didn’t think that I’d ever be able to justify buying it but when I was explaining to him why yellow tea is such a big deal and how it’s something that I’ve been dying to explore but, because of the rarity, having a hard time doing something must have clicked for him because he surprised me with 25g!
I should note, the only other yellow tea I’ve had was a flavoured one and definitely not this high of a quality – I think that’s obviously something of note with this review.
Dry smell: From the bag this smell very strongly smells of rich hazelnut with herby undertones. After measuring it out into my gaiwan and being able to smell it closer/more directly I notice those smells and an almost borderline graham like smell. I do think you need to have an at least somewhat refined palate to pick up on it though; I’ve had various family members smell the dry leaf for this one and each of them swears they can’t smell a thing. The smell is so distinct for me though so I can only assume the difference here is that they’re tea plebians/don’t drink tea at all and, well, I’m obviously not and I definitely do.
Visually, the dry leaf reminds me a fair bit of silver needle, but with a more “tarnished” dusty yellow/ light brown colour, and very slightly smaller and more compressed/flat. I think it looks very aesthetically pleasing!
Infusion One – 30 Seconds:
Strong herbaceous and hay notes with a particularly peppery start and just a smidgen of astringency and bite are the first and foremost flavours with a menagerie of buttery vanilla and creamy hazelnut notes offering contrast and softening the tea a touch. There are corn silk notes and very soft roasty ones that fit somewhere into the equation. Fades into a soft, lemony flavour that lingers for a very long time, but only after having swallowed. There’s a lot going on, but it’s very pleasant! The leaf left in the Gaiwan smells like lemon pepper and hazelnut; weird but mouthwatering.
Infusion Two – 20 Seconds:
Smells like pepper, lemon and hazelnut. Less bite and less generic herby notes but still has some grip and some hay notes; it’s much more distinctly lemon pepper in start of the sip fading into roasty notes, vanilla and lemon in the body of the sip. I’m losing some of the hazelnut now as the other flavours get stronger. I tthoroughlyenjoy the transition from savory to light and sweet. It almost reminds me of vanilla lemon sponge cake in the aftertaste but the confectionery component’s not all there. It’s the butter that’s forming that impression, though. Leaf in the gaiwan is very lemony with some hay scent as well. It’s ticking my nose a little and making me sort of want to sneeze. But in a good way?
Infusion Three – 20 Seconds:
Oh wow; the flavour has diminished quite quickly as well as lost almost all the bite/grip. I pick up on a lot of hay notes; it’s quite similar to the flavour profile of your generic white tea/silver needle. There’s some creamy, buttery notes and a faint hazelnut and vanilla flavour. Mostly, it’s a sweet but dull lemon flavour though. This is my least favourite infusion thus far and I think, probably, a good place to stop steeping – even though I think I could get at least one more decent infusion from this I personally don’t push my Gong Fu sessions too long; I’m the sort of person who prefers to experience multiple different teas in one day than spend my whole day drinking a single tea.
Overall, this tea had a lot of really varied flavours to it but I found it so fascinating and enjoyable, and I think I learned a great deal from it. I would absolutely seek out this varietal again; I’m so intrigued to see how other companies’ offerings would compare! It’s quite sad that all of the ones I’ve seen have been so expensive; it’s definitely not one of those teas I can afford to buy from several companies in order to sample/compare…
Personally, I thought the second steeping was the best and had the most range of flavour as well as distinct flavours. Even though I know I said that I feared a novice/less trained palate would have a hard time picking up on the nuances I may have been wrong there; I thought almost all the flavour notes were very obvious. And, I definitely recommend seizing the opportunity to try this one if it presents itself to you!
Flavors: Biting, Black Pepper, Butter, Corn Husk, Cream, Hazelnut, Herbaceous, Herbs, Lemon, Nutty, Roasted, Vanilla
I am so sorry I sent this to you without trying, Dex. OMG this is terrible.
6th rinse and it’s not drinkable at all. Smells and tastes like wet rotting leaves in the forest. Not that I’ve eaten wet rotting leaves out from under a log, but you get the idea.
This is seriously disappointing.
I’m going back to my moonlight cake.
I should go to sleep soon; I know Brenna’s gonna have me up at like 6 or 7 in the morning and at this rate I definitely wont be well rested for that…
Currently she’s half sleep talking and half snoring. It’s kind of weird being able to hear someone else sleeping, if I’m being honest. I mean – Tre is relatively within earshot but enough that I can hear the guttural noises he makes in his sleep. For a while she was talking in her sleep about making me a suit out of rice…
Earlier tonight we played a game called Geek Out with Tre which was fun; I was kicking ass at all things comic book and Tre was doing the same with Sci-Fi TV shows. Brenna owned us both when it came to naming sciences she kicked both our asses. But she was definitely getting upset that she wasn’t doing as well, so I had to throw a few rounds to halt the waterworks. Someday we’ll be ready for Monopoly, but not today. It was fun though!
Anyway, thank you Sil for the sample! I keep seeing this on the CS website and it looks interesting but not enough to order any, so sampling is so very, very welcomed! And, it definitely smells good – a little earthy with a coco puffs cereal sort of thing going on.
The smell is awesome; very sweet and robust with chocolate, vanilla and earth notes. However, it’s not translating into a rich, full taste – though the taste certainly isn’t bad either. I definitely get a rather muddy, thick Pu’Erh flavour with some natural sweetness and a little malt perhaps? The chocolate comes off a little bit powdery the way some French teas do – and the way the malt and vanilla play with this it definitely makes the Coco Puff cereal comparison a lot stronger.
It tasted better as it cooled down; the chocolate and vanilla flavours appeared to get stronger. Because of the way I’m picturing this as cereal, and with the cooled down temperature I can definitely see it working as either a hot or iced latte – if I had more, I’d try it that way for sure. As is, I enjoyed this one even if it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I don’t think I’d purchase it – but I’m happy I sated my curiosity!
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Earth, Malt, Mud, Vanilla