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Recent Tasting Notes
I know I love A LOT of teas. And I love them with all my heart, but this fucking tea… It’s incredible.
I wasn’t exactly sure how to brew this and I admit to being far too lazy to walk from the kitchen to the living room to grab a device connected to the interwebz to look it up.
Method: 5 g, 4 oz, 200 degrees, 30-60-60 (no rinse), Novak teapot (glazed)
Aroma: Smells like fucking genmaicha. I curse when I get excited.
Flavor: The first thing is that this is fucking SWEET. All on it’s own, with zero additives. I didn’t want to rinse and get rid of all the fungy goodness, so the bag said 4-5 min western style and I made up my own semi-gongfu times. NBD.
This tasted kind of like a black tea at times, but a little like a green tea. I’m having a hard time finding words other than: Good. Yum. Fuckin. MOFO. Nom.
I also bought 2010 and 2011 versions from CS, but I started with the 2013, which was purchased in larger quantity since it was cheaper. For realz, yo. Y’all gotta try this.
I’ll be trying the other years over the next day or 2. Can’t! Wait!!!!
If your a pineapple and coconut fan do yourself a favor and get yourself some of this tea quick! The bag is full of shredded coconut, pieces of dried pineapple and black tea, in fact, there seems to be more of the first two ingredients in my bag than the last! A brewed cup screams of mouthwatering pineapple and creamy coconut and is simply delicious with a splash of milk. Hope the rest of my Camillia Sinensis tea haul live up to the high standard that this tea has set!
So I have a whole bunch of this one, and for the most part I’ve just enjoyed it the same way since getting it so I figured it would be worthwhile to do something different with it, although I didn’t really do anything drastically different – but still. So here we go: Peking Opera Cold Brew?
This is pretty anise heavy as a hot cup so I don’t know why any part of me thought that a cold version would be any different. I guess I expected the soak to bring out the pear? And it did, but of course it brought out the anise too. Duh. So yeah, this was really anise saturated with pear undertones. Still maintained a “freshness” to it, but the balance between those two main flavours was really thrown off. Not bad, though. Part of me somewhat feels that Butiki’s Pear Jasmin Candies will taste relatively like this, and if that’s the case then if I enjoy them I wont feel nearly as crushed by the fact they wont be available again.
So what next for this one? Well, I recently bought a bunch of Golden Pear liqueur so I think maybe I’ll mix some of that into a hot cup of this one. That might “right” the balance of flavours a little more and what’s better than tea and alcohol? The two best drinks rolled into one…
Wow, this was really, really creamy and anise heavy tonight. It almost totally buried all the pear and base flavour although ultimately both were still partly present. I enjoyed the cup but was overall hoping for something that was a little more balanced out.
And now my whole living smells very strongly of anise.
I think I’ve asked before, but is anyone else watching The 100? A tumblr user made a VERY cool gif based on a suggestion I made, and now I have all the feels. I just want there to be like four more seasons released all at once tomorrow so I have something to mass stream; I hate watching TV shows as they actually air. My heart can’t take it.
Cool thing about this fandom, though, is that pretty well EVERYONE agrees on the ships in it. Like, it’s pretty much a universal constant that the fans agree Bellamy and Clarke are perfect for each other; they compliment one another and bring about the best in each other but are two solid, unique characters who can function on their own too. I mean, there are other totally cute pairing in the series (Octavia and Lincoln, Finn and Raven, etc). but there are really no ship wars.
Last tea of the night.
Made this one when I got home from work simply because I was craving a good, White tea. I’m so tired now though – I’m almost literally fighting to stay awake to write this note. So since I’ve done a more detailed description of this before I’ll just use jot notes and keep things short/simple:
- Strong Aroma of Anise/Licorice
- Very “dewy” in flavour (“fresh”)
- Bold anise/licorice notes softened by ripe pear juices
- Milder Cream/Hay notes
- I slightly oversteeped so there’s a very faint bitter edge
First to review this one as well.
It’s the last one from my most recent order, and I think out of the three blends I got this is probably the most interesting/unusual blend. Dry, it smells like very strong, sweet Star Anise/Licorice with this subtle fresh pear fragrance. The word “Dewy” also comes to mind when I smell it. You know, like wet flowers? Well, kinda anyway. It’s not abundantly floral but that’s the image I get.
Steeped up, this is definitely very full of character and flavour. The strong Star Anise/Licorice is well balanced by a supple pear flavour and accented by mild notes of sweet hay, honey, and some really light cinnamon. It’s also just the faintest bit floral. Really, there’s a lot going on here and it seems like just a really weird flavour combination in general, but especially so over top a white base.
But for a tea that is supposed to be pear “and spice” (I looked up Helichrysum and it’s the flower of the Curry Plant? It’s supposed to smell and taste somewhat like what you’d imagine an Indian Restaurant to smell/taste like) I really felt like there actually wasn’t a whole lot of spice going on. I mean, Star Anise yeah – lots. But that’s more sweet, you know?
That said; I quite like it! Though, I think it’s going to take several more cups of it to really, truly wrap my mind around everything going with this one. Hopefully I’ll be able to share it with a few people and we can compare flavour notes…
Flavors: Anise, Licorice, Pear
This is one of three iced tea blends Camellia Sinensis has recently released for summer. A blend of black tea, green tea, guava, rose, bergamot, vanilla and cornflower it is quite delicious on a hot hot summer’s day (which we are still getting in the bucket loads here in Southern California at the end of August). I cold brewed this overnight in the fridge as per the directions on the bag and was pleasantly surprised with the results. The scent is mildly fruity and the taste is delightfully tropical with a hint of guava. Yum!
No notes yet. Add one?
I prepared this tea Gaiwan style and it was sweet with smoky notes. It is claimed to be cultivated without pesticides which is a good thing. It gets sweeter with multiple steeps and the smoky notes hand on throughout. A great green tea from Vietnam!
Flavors: Herbaceous, Smoke, Sweet, Vegetal
Hmm, something is wrong here. This tastes exactly like my last cold brew, but the smell. Oh, the smell is so bad. I don’t understand why, either! I did literally nothing different with leaf or water amount, and it got an almost identical brew time as the last batch. But for whatever reason this smells like pee this morning.
And I don’t know if I can do it guys; it tastes good – very lemony, a little bit of papaya underneath that, but this smell is really distracting and it’s making my tummy do somersaults. Uhhh…
Anyway, the last little bit is gonna be given to my friend Robyn; I just don’t love this one so I might as well share it with someone else who’ll learn from it and hopefully enjoy it more!
Wow, it feels nice not having a queue! Just gotta log stuff I had today, which wasn’t a lot…
I cold brewed this; the hot brew was really disappointing (but not really bad – just not what I had anticipated) and when I tried it I immediately knew this would be better suited for an iced or cold brewed tea, so that’s the next step I’m taking having this one.
Immediately I’m noticing an improvement, though I’m not sure whether that’s because I’m prepared for the very strong lemon flavour or if it’s because this one is actually better cold brewed. Maybe both. Actually, most definitely probably both.
But yeah; this is still very lemony with other citrus notes to it. It treads a very thin line between tart and sweet, and it’s very natural tasting. Seriously, there’s nothing artificial about this. I almost wonder if it would be enhanced by some sugar or agave; I think that would maybe make it more lemonade like. In addition to the strong lemon/citrus flavour there’s a rawness to it, and only the word “leafy” is coming to mind but I know that’s not the word I want to use. More so, it’s like…
I don’t know. It’s like a dried green leaf, but chalkier and not a leaf. Or chalky. God dammit; I can’t think of the words I want here. Ugh. Fucking lexical gap.
Positive things: I actually noticed the papaya this time. It was really subtle and if I hadn’t been looking I probably would have missed it, but buried under the taste of natural/raw lemons and leaves and stuff was some very mellow papaya adding a touch of sweetness and actually making this seem a little more tropical, like the name suggests it should be.
And VariaTEA I know I sent you some of this so get on it so I can finally compare notes with someone! I need to see whether I’m craving with the raw lemon/leaf thing! Maybe you can capture the idea I have but am so desperately struggling to convey.
Stupid Steepster Server…
Anyway; first review for this blend. Again, no pressure right? Right.
I actually put off placing my Camellia Sinensis order for about two months because this blend was out of stock, and I really really wanted to try it. The day they restocked this, I made my order. It was a very satisfactory feeling. That said, I had a hot cup of this the day my order arrived, and I was definitely quite disappointed by it.
Dry, it smells very very damn lemony. Lemon fucking everything, really. And not in a tart way or a sweet way – but sorta in a “Vitamin C” citrus health pill/acidic chalky lemon crap type way. That’s really a terrible description, but I’m writing this note based on the notes I wrote myself like a week ago, and it’s 2AM and I’m really tired. The words are not coming easily to me.
Steeped, this is still pretty well pure lemon with no noticeable papaya. None. Literally none. Which is crushing, because that’s the aspect of this blend that attracted me to it in the first place. But hey, at least the lemon tastes pretty ok. Like I said, it’s not sweet and it’s not “puckering tart” or anything – it’s just really strong and fairly natural. It reminds me so much, in a hard to describe way, of citrus health drinks or that instant powdered lemonade stuff that comes in little premeasured packs for water bottles. But with the instant lemonade it’s not that taste it reminds me of, it’s the smell of the stuff.
So next up will be a cold brewed version of this. I honestly don’t have the ‘highest of hopes’ but I think, if nothing else, the strong lemon flavour of this blend will be better suited to a cold cup than a hot one. I just want some damn papaya! Just give me a LITTLE. Just a pinch.
Flavors: Lemon, Lemongrass
Guess what! This is officially my last note in my queue! I am now all caught up again!
I’m actually currently drinking this. Well, the last of it really. I brought a mug to take on the walk to work, and since starting this morning I’ve just been saving the last little bit of it and taking very small baby sips. It’s so good, and really tying me over while I wait to get off. Only half an hour to go!
The top note here is very fresh, tropical pineapple (4433). A little bit sweet and a little bit juicy. Then there’s this very buttery bottom note of coconut (4261) that really anchors every thing and gives more depth to the tea. The combination of these two glorious flavours, somehow, also makes a toffee/brown sugar flavour that very nearly (with the buttery coconut) adds a confectionery element. And then just the most perfect, smooth black base.
My favourite pineapple/coconut, no questions about it.
Love this blend. Love it.
I definitely didn’t have to worry I was being too generous with my rating for this when I first had this; it’s amazing and very deserving of such a high rating. In fact, I’m gonna bump it a little higher!
Pineapple, Coconut, Toffee, Butter, Caramel.
It’s so tropical and nummy!
First to review, and what an honor because mother fucking balls this tea is amazing!
My Camellia Sinensis order came in, and this was pretty much the tea in the order that I wanted to try most of all, and when I cracked open the packaging I was flooded with the most heavenly, amazing tea smell ever. Legitimately, I’m struggling to think of another tea which smelled this damn good when I first opened it. Basically, think really fresh, supple pineapple and coconut pastry with like pastry butter goodness and toffee. But yeah; fresh is really the most important word there. FRESH.
I was impatient to try it, so I made it in my timolino so I could have it at work with me. It steeped up splendidly. I followed package instructions, and they did not lead me astray even a little bit. The black base was very, very smooth and had notes of malt and honey to it. And then carefully layered over that was intense notes of fresh, sweet, juicy pineapple, buttery coconut pastry, toffee, and sex. So pretty much; an orgasm in your mouth.
For Butiki fans; this one reminds me heavily of Hello Sweetie in that the coconut/toffee vibe is very, very similar but instead of Banana you’re working with Pineapple – which is better, in my opinion. So if you liked that one, you may want to try this one. Really, if you like Pineapple or Coconut even a bit, you probably want to try this one. It’s the best pineapple/coconut tea I’ve had in a really, really long time (if not the best ever).
Even if the other two blends I got in this order are total flops – this one blend makes the whole order worthwhile. Right now, I’m rating it a 90 even though I want to do the full 100. I’m a little worried some of the love here might just be new tea excitement (but I’m thinking probably not) so I’m trying to be conservative with my rating until I have it again.
I want to share this gem with all of you! Except that would mean less for myself, and I don’t know if I can do that…
If you like black earth, leathery, thirst quenching dark, dark chocolate tea then this is the one. Straight up it smells and tastes like black earth after rain. When I added a touch of almond milk it brought out the dark, dark chocolate taste.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Earth, Leather
Hazelnut, butter, vanilla and a slight herbal taste…this is a wonderful tea. One to be steeped in a Gaiwan starting at 30 seconds and then to be enjoyed over and over again in multiple steeps. A delightful tea for a time of pondering…best straight and on its own.
Flavors: Butter, Hazelnut, Herbaceous, Vanilla
This was a sample from dexter It’s a roasty oolong, and while the brewed aroma is that oolongy taste i’m not a huge fan of, this is a really nice brewed cup of tea. it’s not overly bold, but it’s not a wimpy oolong either…sort of middle of the road with a bread like sort of taste to it. I’d be inclined to pick this one up again if i needed a ump to get me to free shipping threshold or something with an order but it wouldn’t be a permanent restock. thanks for sharing dexter!
I should be in bed asleep by now, since I have to get up at 5am, but I just finished making my breakfast & lunch for tomorrow & cleaning up the kitchen, & I wanted to share a few comments regarding this tea.
My beautiful little black yixing arrived from Camelia Sinensis, along with 2 cups I ordered, & they are all adorable. I had a little free time, so I started the seasoning process, using Verdant’s Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong smoked wuyi black.
Also included in the package was a free & generous sample tin of this tea (or at least I think it is this one). I opened the tin, & the fragrance is sweet, floral, fruity, & almond-like.
It steeped into a golden liquor, both floral & fruity, with flavors of Honeysuckle, Vanilla, almond milk, & lychee.
A very lovely afternoon session.
The directions on the bag said 5 mins?! I listened, and wow I knew that was way too long. It’s become a bitter bitter and astringent. Theres also a nutty quality. Also some vegetal and roasted smell. I know see the gaiwan method, and will use the last of my sample on trying that method.
The dry leaf is twisty and curly, black with a few silver tips spread though out. Steep up 8g in 8oz at 200F.
First infusion (45s) the tea is brownish red, and a little cloudy. This is a bit smoky, sort of floral, and bread like.
Second infusion (60s) this cup was much like the last, but I noticed more cocoa notes as it cooled.
Third infusion (75s) this had a sort of brightness about this as it cooled. Almost like a burst of light in my mouth. Taste wise still smokey, a little malty, bread, and some cocoa as it cooled.
Forth infusion (90s) this got a touch bitter as it cooled, and a touch my smokey tasting.
Fifth infusion (115s) and Sixth Infusion (130s) still sort of bitter and smokey, also a bit metallic.
Overall this isn’t bad, the smoke isn’t my thing though so I want be repurchasing.