Camellia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

88

It’s my birthday, so I decided to celebrate with this. I would have preferred some sheng, but this is what was available, so it will have to do. I opened the package and gave these old leaves a whiff. I was picking up some real old tones. I picked up some slight roast, parchment, and just a little bit of dry sweetness. I warmed up my new teapot and cups (Novak :D) and poured these little curls in. The scent deepened into a deep earth and dry minerals. This scent was a lot like a basement in the summer. It’s a good but oddly strange scent. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves had an amazing scent! I really loved the spice, musk, mineral aroma. I picked up some amazing pine resin scent with a background of smoke. The aroma was so good! The flavor was something unique. The taste began drying with some pleasant sour tones. The sip then developed to an intense pine flavor. I got a nice head high and body buzz from the drink. In later steeping I picked up some maple syrup sweetness. I was able to pull only about four good steeping sessions. The session was decent, but it wasn’t all that amazing. I thought that for the price this should be at least somewhat fantastic. However, it was still a good experience, and I still have some to try out. I will hopefully find a better suited birthday tea…

https://www.instagram.com/p/-HEtTiTGVS/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Earth, Maple, Musty, Paper, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Resin, Smoke, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
curlygc

Happy Birthday!

Nicole

Happy, happy!

Lion

Happy Happy Birthday! :D
I often describe aged teas and Shou as smelling or tasting like basement as well, and it’s a positive observation for me too.

mrmopar

Happy Birthday!

Evol Ving Ness

Happy birthday to you!

Evol Ving Ness

It is my birthday too this week and now you have me planning several days in advance what super fabulous tea I will begin the day with.

carol who

Happy birthday!

Haveteawilltravel

Thank you all so much!

KiwiDelight

Happy Birthday! I hope it was wonderful. (belated since I didn’t have internet access)

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86

Puerh Tea TTB. This tea is excellent. It’s fruity with notes of cocoa. It has very little fermentation flavor left for a 2012 tea. I did not notice a heavy fermentation taste that you might expect in a recent shou. I think I get a slight note of camphor here, but very slight. There are no off tastes or wet storage tastes. Camellia Sinensis must have done a good job of storing this tea. This is definitely one I would look into buying if it is still available. I used a little less leaf on this than my usual because there was only 6.6g of leaf left in the original 15g sample. So I think later steeps were a little weak. Nothing more leaf wouldn’t solve anyway.

I brewed this tea twelve times in a 100ml gaiwan with 6.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I think with a larger amount of leaf this tea would go twenty steeps or nearly anyway.

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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80

A very pleasant asamushi sencha: softly marine with a slight roasted flavour in the first infusion, followed by a surprisingly muted astringency in the second. The third brew produces a refreshingly sweet liquor.

First infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz water, 65 deg., 1:00 min.

Second infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz. water, 65 deg., 2:00 min.

Third infusion – 5 g. per 8 oz. water, boiling, 10:00 min.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77

I was really craving Lapsang this morning, and since I don’t work until one I certainly had time to make myself a nice morning cuppa in addition to whatever I’ll wind up drinking on the commute to work.

This was pretty lovely though; I added a large splash of vanilla creamer to the mug to soften the harsh smelling ash notes and it really complimented the flavour quite a lot. Despite the creamer, the smokey, campfire-esque notes were still very strong but there was just more richness and sweetness than there would have been otherwise/plain. The vanilla was more present in the finish, and the mouthfeel was very full and velvety.

Definitely a pleasant way to start the day.

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77

I spent most of my day drinking this tea.

I bought 50g of it during my last Camellia Sinensis order because I’m seasoning my first ever yixing with Lapsang Souchong and Camellia Sinensis’ version is pretty well reviewed and very affordable. Plus the idea of a “licorice” note present in a LS intrigued me. You can see a picture of my pot here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205892868334795&set=ms.c.eJxVz8cNwAAIA8CNInrZf7E4r5jvCYNRMclZm8r1aM9Hf~_mGKElFRsewfKmSI0gVp9ohzTIK2SPfzNYRbF7uM6UxYiRrEG0WpMbkCBob31r8Na4vL9EzKw~-~-.bps.a.10205892864334695.1073741829.1051291635&type=3&theater

Doesn’t the little dragon spout just seem SUPER appropriate for a pot dedicated to smoky/ashy Lapsang? Pretty sure I’ve nailed the “matching the pot to the tea” aspect.

I spent A LOT of time researching the best way to season my pot, which is what I did today, and while I was REALLY tempted to use the boiling in a pot method I ultimately played it cautious and am instead going to be naturally seasoning it through general use. While flavour sucking is the big concern about seasoning a pot that way I figured that LS is such an incredibly potent/strong full bodied tea anyway that some flavour sucking wouldn’t be a terrible thing especially if I just overleafed my first few Gong Fu sessions to compensate. And to be fair, today was my first time trying the Camellia Sinensis Lapsang Souchong but I didn’t feel like much flavour was lost.

It tasted like Lapsang Souchong: strong smoke/ash notes and a defined woody taste as well like described on the website/packaging. Certainly, this wasn’t the sweetest or smoothest LS I’ve tasted (there definitely were NOT licorice notes) but it was enjoyable. Enough so I had at least ten different cups worth. The only reason I stopped making cups was because I had to leave to go do laundry. As well, when is Lapsang Souchong ever really smooth? The first taste ALWAYS slaps you in the face with the harsh flavour. You just have to kind of… settle in to it.

Today was a success though! I loved brewing with my yixing, and I’m very happy with the shape/style of it. I can hold everything comfortably and pour with precision and ease. Already, the desire to purchase another one (or two or three) is bubbling up…

rosebudmelissa

That’s a cute pot! I don’t think I drink any one tea often enough that devoting a pot to it would be worth it, but there is something appealing about yixing pots. I think about the only teas I drink almost every day are peppermint or maybe earl grey. Although, I guess I have been getting pretty fond of Bai Mu Dan/White Peony. Lapsang Souchong is a bold choice for a first pot. It’s not one I like straight, but I’m really curious how it would taste in a blend.

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60

So i laughed a lot when i found this one from omgsrsly in my bag of goodies. Both her and dexter couldn’t drink this one so they sent it along to me. I of course, have saved some so that i can send it along to my tea sister for fun! To be fair, this one doesn’t hit quite the wrong note with me as it did omg and dex. To me, this smelled like carrots that are just starting to go bad. Not sure why it was specifically carrots, but that was my view. This is a really….weird tasting puerh. I haven’t tasted anything like this one before, but i also didn’t hate it straight up. it was just weird.

Terri HarpLady

That brings to mind that aged black tea from TTC, which reminded me of carrots & beets that had been left in the root cellar a little too long.

Sil

hahaha

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76

Sipdown (119)!

I had a super fun chance to do a Gong Fu session with my mom and sister tonight. It was a rare opportunity since I typically only share tea with one of them at a time and it’s usually more informal but this time around I picked out one of the samples that Camellia Sinensis added into my giant teaware order and we made more of an occasion out of the experience.

In total, we did five infusions – six if you count the first though we discarded that one/used it to warm and heat all of the cups and Chahai. No one was a fan of the first infusion: it was far too strong and astringent tasting. In fact, I was the only person to finish their cup of the first infusion. Everyone else poured theirs back into the tea tray. The second and third still had some astringency, but were more palatable. My little sister isn’t a huge tea fan (mostly she just drinks sweet dessert rooibos blends) so even getting her to participate at all was a success for me, so we were all quite understanding about the fact she really disliked the first couple infusions. The fact she tried them at all was more than expected. Personally, while I wasn’t paying super close attention to the nuances of the tea (I was just enjoying the experience of drinking it with family) I did notice that these first infusions had a distinct smokiness and underlying sweetness.

The fourth steep seemed to be the sweet spot and everyone’s favourite. It was just so smooth and had a great balance between grassy tones and artichoke-like notes and sort of peachy sweetness. My mom has actually been to China, and participated in tea ceremonies there and compared this infusion to the tea she was served in China and holds as the ‘best tea she’s ever had’. And my sister finished the entire cup of tea; which was a BIG deal. The last cup had a lot of flavor deterioration, sadly, and so we decided not to push with any more infusions.

I should also mention, that during the entire session we were nibbling on broken chunks of DAVIDsTEA’s Red Velvet Cake infused milk chocolate bar. I thought having something to accompany the tea would be nice, and would also be a little more enticing for my sister. I also remembered from the Science of Taste module I did in my Tea Sommelier course that milk chocolate was a good pairing with some green teas. I think the combination did work well; as long as you took small nibbles of chocolate both flavours could be tasted on the palate and enjoyed instead of overwhelmed.

Haveteawilltravel

I love reading about these kinds of Gongfu sessions! They just make happy :)

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78

Sipdown (120)!

So for anyone who doesn’t know already; I’m currently getting my Tea Sommelier certification which I’ve been paying for primarily through an education fund my grandparents set up for me. Since I didn’t go to University/College after graduation and have no immediate plants to they were ok with me tapping into this fund for the Tea Sommelier certification courses. I’m done about three/eight now, and I decided that at this point I was interested in purchasing some more traditional teaware – and my Grandma OKed me taking some money from that fund to do so! That’s the long story version of my saying, “Recently I made an order with Camellia Sinensis for some teaware and they included several free teas such as this one”.

Personally, I’ve never really sought to purchase an EG blend from Camellia Sinensis; I do enjoy Earl Grey but not enough to need more than one good kind on hand (and currently I’m loving the Liquid Proust’s Peach vs. Bergamot twist on the traditional Earl Grey) and when I’m ordering from Camellia Sinensis, which I frequently do, it’s more for the interesting and often unique straight/pure teas they carry or for the teaware.

That said, I’m grateful for the inclusion: I love the fact this Earl Grey is both organic and fair trade as those as aspects of tea I look to support as often as possible. This sample was a sachet style tea bag, and I ended up making it early in the morning before work. I have to say, I thought the dry leaf smelled fairly mild and quite floral and even as it was steeping up I was noticing more floral traits than anything overwhelmingly bergamot-heavy. However, the taste wasn’t bad! I enjoyed how smooth and clean the overall flavour was in addition to the light floral notes and medium concentration of bergamot flavour. There was also a very natural sweetness which I was fond of. That said, I wouldn’t have minded if the bergamot was a little stronger. For people who really LOVE Earl Grey and drink it on a more daily basis this could be perceived as a little light handed.

Overall, not a ‘stand out’ Earl Grey but a solid choice if you’re already placing a Camellia Sinensis order and want to do all your shopping in one place. And like I pointed out, the fact it’s Organic and Fair Trade (and still reasonably priced) makes it a tea easy to get behind.

Indigobloom

I just attended a talk given by Kevin!! He was amazing. So much knowledge in that head of his

Roswell Strange

I’m super jealous! I almost wish I lived closer to Quebec specifically for Camellia Sinensis (and all the other French tea shops with branches there). Me and my Camellia Sinensis tattoo would fit in quite well, I think.

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88
drank Labrador Tea by Camellia Sinensis
7618 tasting notes

yay for interesting teas! thanks for sending me this one omgsrsly i am quite enjoying this this afternoon. we tired the dog out at the dog park and then proceeded to make orange cupcakes with marshmallow cream frosting, dry rub ribs and later there will be awesome potatoes and salad in the house too!

this tea is just different. I can’t place the aroma, though there’s a familiarity to it. there’s a slight almost mint, but not mint taste to this one..the taste kind of reminds me of what outside smells like on the west coast…those early mornings on the island when the tide’s going out, it’s rained over night, and you’re walking through the trees on the trails… inhale….breath deeply…that’s what this tastes like. so good.

keychange

That sounds amazing! Love it when teas taste like “outside”.

Sil

that’s why i love national parks dept from bellocq, and the one from whispering pines that is pine and elderberries.

Rasseru

one i had the other day took me to a canteen in a department store o.O and smelt of curry. both steeps!

Roswell Strange

Petrichor? Sort of?

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I really like this one. It’s a marsh/bog plant, so to me it smells like hiking on a misty day in certain areas. It doesn’t grow everywhere around here like it apparently does on the East coast. :)

Rasseru

These end up being my ‘atmosphere tea’ when im reading a book with similar settings :)

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84
drank La Boreale by Camellia Sinensis
7618 tasting notes

another tea from omgsrsly and one that i am really enjoying. it’s light and refreshing, a hint of mint withe juicy berry notes and a very smooth brew. I’d reorder this again in future i think. Especially as a canadian company and our crap dollar. noms. thanks omg!

Roswell Strange

Camellia Sinensis has certainly become one of my favourite companies if not my most favourite. I don’t even want to look at the budget thread and see how much I’ve spent there this year. Adding this to my wishlist though; it sounds great.

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75

my other half better appreciate me. We got him a bike before the wedding, now he’s getting a car and he volunteered to dog sit for 4 days…at our place. sheesh! lol the things i let him get away with. Finished off this tea today and it was an enjoyable cup. Still have a bunch of sipdowns i want to try and get through over the next three days. but i’m glad that some of those cups will be tasty cups of tea like this one.

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75

i had this one with breakfast yesterday from the lovely variaTEA and while i don’t remember much, it was a tasty cup that was over before i realised it :)

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75
drank One Night In Rio! by Camellia Sinensis
7618 tasting notes

sample from evol ving ness thanks for letting me revisit this one. I think i liked it a little better today – something about the coconut today just hit the spot. it’s still not a tea that i need to keep in my cupboard, as i’m always afraid of the coconut going rancid while it’s in the cupboard. But this is a nice one to have from time to time.

Evol Ving Ness

Agreed. I enjoy this one from time to time. It is a good tea to share with others as it is not something I need to have every day. So glad that some of these are bringing you tea joy, Sil.

Sil

:) thanks for sharing!

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75
drank One Night In Rio! by Camellia Sinensis
7618 tasting notes

Another one from VariaTEA I was looking forward to trying this one because it’s a favourite of the girls and yet, i’ve never gotten around to ordering it or trying it from them. Sadly, this one fell a little flat for me. It’s a decent coconut black, but i was not getting any real sense of the pinapple – which i think would have made it a much more interesting blend for me. that being said, still tasty and i did enjoy finishing this one up!

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75
drank Choco Shou by Camellia Sinensis
588 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Choco Shou by Camellia Sinensis
588 tasting notes

This tea feels cutesy to me, with its teeny tiny mini chocolate chips. The aroma of the dry tea is straight chocolate but more like bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate. Maybe even cocoa nibs. It smells kind of nutty too, like coconut. The taste is rich. The vanilla is more prominent to me now than the chocolate. I did notice that the chocolate chips had only just begun to melt so perhaps subsequent steepings will have more chocolate flavor.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 200 degrees + 6 minutes

The chocolate chips still have not completely melted. I will try to steep this until they are gone. The flavor and aroma is still vanilla.

Third Steep
8 ounces water + 200 degrees + 16 minutes

I finally got all of the chocolate to melt but the color is weaker with this one. The taste is still good but a little light.

Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Oxidated and fermented using spores, this is quite an unusual tea. From a strange taste it grew on me and I kept reordering it. To drink with moderation as too much of it can saturate you.

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77

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77

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77

It’s been a lazy Sunday after what was a fun and family-filled Saturday afternoon. I love having my family close, all of us coming together to meet in the center and be whole again. We sat around the table with big steaming bowls of spaghetti and meatballs in front of us, slurping noodles and telling stories we’ve each heard a thousand times but that never get old. My family brings me back to myself and I always feel a little homesick when they leave. It takes some time for me to adjust to the quiet again. That being said, I’m also a pretty classic introvert so I relish the quiet after such a full day.

My husband made several types of tea for everyone yesterday, but every time I went to pour myself a cup I became distracted by something and never quite made it to the tea pot. Today I meant to be deliberate and pour a cup of tea for myself to enjoy in leisure. I’m very close to finishing my task of tasting each of the teas in my cabinet and one sip of this puts me just a little closer to the finish line.

The aroma of the dry tea is mostly pineapple, but I also smell the creamy coconut. My husband said right away that it smells like the beach so I knew I would love it. This tea is lighter in color than I expected but it’s definitely not lacking in flavor. It isn’t bold, but the tea is the prominent flavor with the fruit acting as more of an accent.

This tea was a very generous gift from Amoda with my first monthly box. Thank you, Tegan, for sharing!

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Pineapple, Tropical

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Okay… so I’ve drank a decent amount of tea and to date, I have never came across something so funky.

I have no idea what I was tasting when I drank this.
I read the description and chuckled at the “Not recommended during pregnancy” as I thought about just writing a review saying: ‘thank goodness I wasn’t pregnant when I tried this one!’ but that would be odd, though technically I still did.

I’m not sure if i like the flower in this one. The aniseed and pear combination is a good idea with a white tea, but this flower in seems a bit overpowering for me (but I’m also picky with my flowers)

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drank Xiao Zhong by Camellia Sinensis
978 tasting notes

Drinking this at work today. That means it’s probably over leafed and over steeped – that would be my normal work parameters.
This is an interesting China black. I want to say chocolate, but it’s not – more like caramel. I think it’s a touch smoky, just a little coffee ish, and something resembling old library book. This is a big bold black tea. It does mellow a little as it cool, and then there are some stone fruit notes to it. It would probably be better if steeped properly, but for a work tea, this is making me happy today. I haven’t been drinking much tea lately and am really enjoying the caffeine (oh how I’ve missed you).

boychik

hope you feel better now

Nicole

old library book. That’s an intriguing taste note.

Dexter

Thank you boychick, I am getting there. Tea at work today really helped.

Dexter

Lol Nicole, old library book might not be a “taste”, more of an impression. I’m horrible at the – what does it taste like game. I’m more into how it makes me feel, or what it reminds me of….shrug, old library books….

Nicole

No, I understand completely. It’s not like I’ve licked horses to compare when writing some of my tasting notes. :)

Marzipan

I think it’s a smell. Smell and taste are so closely entwined.

Terri HarpLady

Sounds like an interesting tea.
I love all the comments in this feed, LOL.

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77

Sipdown (130)!

My laptop is fixed! I dropped it off yesterday morning, and got it back this evening. The hard drive was, indeed, shot but thankfully because it’d only been a year and a half since I replaced it I was still covered under warranty so I didn’t have to pay to replace it. Also, because it hadn’t completely failed they were still able to recover all of my information/files so when I got it back this evening everything was exactly like it’d been before all of the issues. And it’s running super smoothly now!

Plus, the whole headache cost less than $100 in total so I’m a happy person right now.

Because I had no internet last night, I took advantage of that and drank a lot of tea. More than I normally would in an evening since I didn’t have the distraction of Steepster, Tumblr, Facebook, or Youtube. Part of that mass tea consumption included a plain, Western-style sipdown of this tea. Admittedly, it’s kind of nice to be clearing out more Camellia Sinensis teas since I’ve got more on the way as well as many I’ve yet to taste at all. Plus, they’re always so generous with the free samples when I order. The last order I placed probably had close to 50g of freebie tea.

This was definitely the worst cup I’d brewed up of this blend though. Would it make sense if I described it as kind of “hollow” tasting? Like, the initial top notes of the sip were fruity raisin/lemon type notes and the finish kind of malty but the body of the sip was just very lack luster with a really, really neutral/plain sort of mouthfeel and no defining flavour notes. Not awful but just so boring. It was a disappointing way to finish this blend off, to be perfectly honest. If I had more leaf left I’d be sticking with Gong Fu: while the cold brew was nice that’s definitely the most delicious way this one tasted.

OMGsrsly

Yay! Such a relief when computer issues are solved easily.

Lynxiebrat

On the other hand though with a more satisfying cup, you’d be unhappy to not have anymore…because of my internet addiction, I bought a tablet not to long ago…just in time for my laptop to start acting up…which I decided I needed to replace in the last couple of weeks.

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77

This is a queued tasting note.

For whatever reason, at some point I removed this tea from my cupboard despite not actually having yet sipped it down. That made finding it a huge problem because I couldn’t for the life of myself remember how to spell the name (sure I’ve nailed the spelling of Idulgashinna but not yet Meghalaya). You don’t ever want to see the list of misspelled attempts at finding this in the database. It’s embarrassingly long.

This cold brew was interesting: at the time I was drinking it I didn’t really remember what my first initial Gong Fu session had really tasted like so I was pretty much trying it for the first time, again. I basically got a jumble of lemon/lemon peel/lemon zest type flavours are a medium astringency (no bitterness though) as well as cocoa, malt, and raisin notes. Then I went back and read my tasting note for the Gong Fu session…

The overlap of flavours is notable and impressive. So even if I didn’t really love this tea at least I’m seeing that no matter how I’m preparing it it’s tasting consistent. That’s a great thing; because when someone tries this who does like those flavours they’re going to love that it’s coming out the same way each time it’s made!

And looks like I’ll be trying it a third way, because at this point the leaf I have left will really only be enough for a Western style cup or mug.

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