Camellia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

Tea party!!!!

We are starting with the 2010 fungus and moving to newer years later. I think I like this more when I drink it on it’s own, not intending to compare it to the others that I purchased. It’s lightly sweet and less astringent that I remember, though I do feel it has a slightly dry finish.

It gives a nice woozy feeling, which I always enjoy!

http://instagram.com/p/uBQtlJvkc5/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
Cwyn

I just ordered my first heicha, looking forward to trying it.

Sarsonator

Do tell! Which type did you get?

Ysaurella

love the cup !

Sarsonator

Thanks! It’s my absolute favorite cup!!!! :)

Cwyn

I got a Guangxi 2011 on EBay, seller lives in Florida and had 3 cakes. I offered 24.95, so $5 off what he was asking. I can’t find anyone else with that same brick, I can find cheaper 2008-9 like at Chawangshop but I’d pay more in shipping.

Sarsonator

Oh super. I will look for your review then. I haven’t tried that kind yet!

Cwyn

I’m betting it will need some airing out, at least to get rid of the storage. Sounds like you should get a brick of this Fu Zhuan. I’ve noticed that 2008-9 heicha is easy to come by, but other years start getting scarce and pricey.

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80

It’s time, tea friends. Time for the 3rd and final tasting of what me and my TeaFFs affectionately call – Fungus Tea!

I made all years using the same method, which can be found on the 2013 note.

Firstly, this smells incredible. Like grapes and fruit leather, specifically fruit rollups. And not just ANY fruit rollup. CHERRY fruit rollups, which always happened to be my personal fave growing up.

And now, the taste… I’m going in!

Not quite cherry fruit rollup, sadly. This oddly has no sweetness and an astringent finish, which neither of the first two teas had. The 2013 was especially sweet, IMO. Neither the 2011 nor 2013 had one trace of bitterness, but there is some bitterness here. I can only speculate that these were from different makers and different types of original material?

In any event, you must drink it hot! As it cools it becomes significantly less pleasant, and more bitter. The nicer aspects are the aromas and the leather flavors. This also leaves a dry finish on the tongue, which I did not notice on the first two teas.

To sum up:

Buy the 2013. But for goodness sakes, people. LEAVE SOME FOR ME! :p
Buy the 2011. It’s an interesting contrast to the 2013 version.
Pass on the 2010, or just order a small sample at first.

I lucked out because I ordered a huge chunk of the 2013 since it was cheaper, and it ended up being my fave.

Here are the first two reviews, for comparison purposes. FUNGUS TEA FTW!!!!
2013 – http://steepster.com/Sarsonator/posts/262092
2011 – http://steepster.com/Sarsonator/posts/262198

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
TheTeaFairy

Awesome review! This experience was a lot of fun to follow my TFF darling :-)

Cwyn

I am guessing they may have shifted the recipe a bit to sweeten the flavor.

Sarsonator

Thanks, Fairycakes!
Cwyn, Maybe! I wish I could see the labels to know if they are from different makers. I need to learn more about this kind of tea. :)

Sil

haha good to know…

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83

Well I still like it, but this is nothing like the 2013 I got from CS.

This is a little smoky and less sweet, though it IS still somewhat sweet. It also has more of an aged flavor. A bit less complex. I like it, but I’m super glad that I ordered a much larger block of the 2013!!!!

I admit that it’s hard to rate this on it’s own merits without comparing it to yesterday’s tea because… DAMN.

Here’s yesterday’s tea! http://steepster.com/Sarsonator/posts/262092

And a pic from today’s session! http://instagram.com/p/sgEEP4PkUy/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Tealizzy

Mmm! PB bagel!

Sil

one left to go right? haha

Sarsonator

LOL yeah! 2010 tonight!!!

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So as a staples employee, working tonight was like working on Christmas, as in it aways crazy busy. When I finally got home, I decided to make a cup of tea and before even deciding what to make, I set it to boil because I knew I felt like having black tea. Anyways, as the kettle heated, I noticed a package on the table from my awesome tea twin and inside was this tea. Immediately, I made my decision and oh what a right decision it turned out to be.

The scent of this brewed cup is sort of buttery but the taste is coconutty pineapple deliciousness. It’s creamy and sweet from the coconut with an amazing pineapple tang to curb the sweetness from becoming cloying. It is really hitting the spot as many Camellia Sinensis teas tend to do so thank you Roswell Strange for this awesome midnight treat!

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100

I haven’t been logging teas much, and I’ve been missing Steepster. How is everyone? I hope all is well!

This tea really works wonders on my mood. Things have been a little wonky lately, but this gave me a nice reset and I’m feeling happy again!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love tea???? Hooray for tea!!!!!

Tealizzy

Yay for tea!! :)

Sarsonator

Love it! Especially fungus tea!!!!

Terri HarpLady

Yay Hurray!

Sarsonator

I’ve been enjoying all your reviews, Terri. You’re on a roll!!!

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100

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!!!!

http://instagram.com/p/sdZcesPkZI
http://instagram.com/p/sdZlLtvkZP

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
TheTeaFairy

I.need.it.

Sarsonator

Everyone does, swearsies. So good.

boychik

I couldn’t find this review. Thanks for the link;)

Blodeuyn

This may be the best review ever. :D

Sil

Appreciate the link :) when you get around to the other years let us know which you prefer :)

Sarsonator

LOL thanks y’all! I will absolutely post the other reviews soon!!!!

Nicholas

I want. I need. Soon.

Sarsonator

N – totally get some. I will drink the 2011 tonight and post a review on that one.

AllanK

I think I will have to buy this.

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94

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!

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79

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…

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79

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.

It’s beautiful!

Kittenna

My roommate, boyfriend, and I all watch The 100, separately. Haven’t watched the new season yet though. I’m not overly into the show for whatever reason – it’s taking a lot for things to grab me lately.

Roswell Strange

I really like it because it reminds me a little bit of LOST – it has the same survivalist feeling and intensity/drama but with a cool space element. You can even compare both the Grounders and the Mountain Men to The Others, in lost. And the character growth/development is very well done in my opinion. I hope you get into it – it’d be nice to have someone to gush with about it!

Kittenna

I never actually watched Lost – my boyfriend recently started it (I believe he’s somewhere in season 2 now), and I can understand the comparison. Perhaps I should watch that one too (though I just started Buffy, hahahaha. Wanted some easy-watching slightly spooky stuff.)

Roswell Strange

Oh man; you have to watch both! Those are both my ALL TIME favourite TV shows ever, though BTVS slightly more. Just slightly though. LOST definitely has a much wider range of characters, and is harder to follow along with (it’s the kind of show where if you miss an episode you’re FUCKED) but the payoff is so worth it, and there’s so much feels! Season Three is my favourite season, for that one. Who are your BFs favourite characters? I always and to the end adored Charlie and Sawyer, but Claire, Hurley, Jin, and Kate were favourites too. And then later on Desmond and Ben. BTVS is great too; and the Scooby Gang gives me uber feels to, but in a different way. I was a fan of the later seasons of BTVS (four onwards) but I’m a HARDCORE Spuffy shipper and those are the seasons that feature him more heavily. I actually got to meet James Marsters (Spike) at Comic Con, and he’s amazing in person!

Kittenna

LOL. I’ll probably focus on one, then the other. I’m in Season 2 of BTVS right now, and I saw that Angel is also on Netflix (though I don’t know its exact relationship to the former (timeline-wise, I assume it’s about Angel lol)… I’m sure it will become clear once I start it. I do know that there’s some sort of something between Buffy and Spike, but that has yet to become clear (I wasn’t completely oblivious to the premise of the show… just mostly. I believe it was deemed inappropriate for me to watch by the parents, and we only had one TV anyhow). It’s neat that you got to meet him in person :D

As for Lost, we haven’t discussed it much, but I’m sure he has favourites. He gets more into shows than I do, I’d say, and also has more time to watch things somehow.

Sil

lost got weird…though not as weird as battlestar… watching the 100 as well, along with way too many other shows lol buffy was a good time.

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79

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

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79

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

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81

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!

Memily

This one sounds really interesting and fun!

beelicious

I could probably send you some if your interested :)

Memily

Oh I do love a swap…!

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L&CTTB

Sweet, vegetal, floral. Delicious. I really liked this. Wish I’d been able to have more of it.

Added to my wish list.

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79

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

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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67

Sipdown (129)!

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!

mj

Did your roommate drink a little too much last night perhaps?

Roswell Strange

No; despite the date he was 100% sober :P

mj

That’s a relief!

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67

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.

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67

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

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82

A mixture of cocoa and peanut flavours make this a sweet tasting woody tea. I am drinking my third steep and the flavour is still pleasant. If you like straight black tea then give this a try.

Flavors: Cocoa, Peanut, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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90

Guys, I slept in today and had ZERO time to make tea if I wanted to make it to work on time today, so no tea right now. I am a sad slug of tired.

Also, this is my last day at Calendar Club; they’ll start taking the kiosk down this afternoon. Who knows, I may be back next year but as of tomorrow I’ll be down to one job again! That’s both awesome (sleep!) but also kinda shitty because it means less disposable income, which means less tea…

Also; I have no clue what it’s going to mean for my regular morning tasting notes: with a now totally open availability at Sobeys I’ll be working earlier shifts, so I may not have time in mornings anymore for tasting notes and Steepster chat. And that makes me sad.

You know what doesn’t make me sad though? This tea! Made in a timolino and awesome!

Slurp!

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90

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.

tantonino

What are the 4 digit numbers for? How do they link to each flavor?

Roswell Strange

Oh, they’re the produce codes for each fruit/vegetable! I have to memorize them for work so I’ve bee plunking them into tasting notes to help :)

The Cookie Lady

I was wondering about that, too! Yay for tasting notes that can do double duty :)

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90

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!

Starfevre

put on my wishlist

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90

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…

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L&CTTB

interesting.

sort of roasty and nutty. somewhat sweet. kind of creamy taste to it.

After I had it western style, I saw that people did this in a gaiwan gongfu and I bet that would be great. Ah well.

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