Camelia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

Something I drank during the week – Western style.

I don’t know why, but this just tasted funky to me this time around? Had to nail exactly what element was off to me as it wasn’t the “oily/muddy/fishy/dank” type of funk that is often described with unpleasant shou. What this did taste like was leathery and sweet. Maybe too sweet? I don’t know. Bottom line is that this tea wasn’t vibing with me.

Maybe next time.

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Western mug of tea before bed.

Not unlike what generally happens when I have Shou before bed, I felt asleep quickly and deeply. I did make sure to really ingrain some mental notes about the notes of the tea though since this was a first time tasting for me.

This was smooth and thick, with a sweet earthy quality overall. I read the company description which used ‘licorice root’ as a descriptor, and that intimidated me because I don’t find licorice root particularly enjoyable. However, they’re totally correct… kinda. Basically, I think this tastes like licorice root if licorice root actually tasted good. I don’t know, it’s comparable but MUCH better. Also, definitely had date notes to the undertones.

I liked it. Time and more cups will help me better tell how much I liked it though, especially when sleep doesn’t play so much of a factor so close to when I drink it.

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This one brews up a moderate and mellow cup, with nothing too attention-grabbing. It’s a quite fruity, with a seasoning of herbal grasses and spices (basil, thyme, parsley, etc.).

If Darjeeling tea is like wine, this is the one you have because someone, who probably mainly drinks beer, picked it up last minute for that light house party. It’s your low budget, “promotion without endorsement from any of the staff” wine, and it’s alright- just not amazing! It may pair well with a crockpot chicken though (cooking currently in progress).

This sample was generously provided by Camelia Sinensis and, if anything, it’s a reminder that I need to get back to exploring Darjeelings. I had some really intriguing samples a few years back, but this kind of tea is an acquired taste.

Flavors: Blueberry, Dandelion, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Herbs, Parsley, Thyme

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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Breweing this way early, could easily use another couple years to lose some of it’s more astringent properties. Pleasant level of soil smell and taste, muted though, more like oak because of its astringency. Clay, old leather, mushroom flavors all present. This would be a good shu to mature, but if you drink it now (2017), brew it short and expect that astringency you get from alkaloid rich herbs like Yellow Dock or Goldenseal.

Flavors: Clay, Earth, Leather, Loam, Oak wood, Resin, Wet Earth

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Freebie sample from one of the Camellia Sinensis orders I’ve placed this year; I think the most recent but honestly I’ve lost track a bit…

- Western; hot/straight
- Very noticeably/clearly astringent
- Not that it’s unpleasant/necessarily TOO much; just very ‘there’ throughout whole sip
- Kind of floral, but in a perfumey and relatively ‘forced’ way
- Rather than a fresh, delicate way like described
- Body is a little more mixed in flavour notes: malt, dry cinnamon chips, stale herbs?
- I know I’m not describing it in a super lovely way…
- But it’s actually not BAD; more so just really mediocre?
- It does hit pretty well all the aspects described by the company though…
- …just not in as positive a light!?

I don’t know… it’s meh.

I guess next time I’ll steep it for less time and see if that softens it in a positive way.

Song Pairing:

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Flavors: Fishy, Fruity, Licorice, Peas

170 °F / 76 °C

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Another sample from Crowkettle this one reminds me more like a green tea than a darjeeling. this has a fruity and vegetal taste to it. Nothing that strikes me as being over the top amazing – ie would need to have this in my cupboard but it was a nice cup. :)

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drank Liu Bao 1980 by Camelia Sinensis
10184 tasting notes

I’ve tried this a couple times now and it just doesn’t work for me whether it’s gonfu or western. To me, THIS is a “dirt” tea. It smells funny and tastes like musty dirt. Since i have zero desire to drink teas i don’t love, this will go in to my swap box for others to try should they desire.

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So glad I was able to get some of this in a swap with someone because I have eye balled this tea for awhile.

From the sight of the broken tea I was already happy. Dark and light green mixed in with some purple and almost yellow hue. The first steep was kind of odd so I went on to the next. A few steeps in and I was tasting an interesting mixture of a roasted dancong and purple yaoba. This is a highly complex tea with a lingering astringent fruity taste. Still on the end of needing to breathe a bit, but I think this is still fantastic right now. I’m not much of the sour pucker taste that comes with the astringent notes however this is just something I really enjoyed. Highly recommended and I will probably grab a cake around June because I’m curious how something like this will age.

I’m guessing it’ll be a candy apple tea by 2019


I have a sample of the 2013 I think in a crock, aging experiment for red stoneware.

Liquid Proust

I really liked this. I wonder if the tang disapears

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Nice and delicate tea with intense flavors. Lively with long lasting notes. Prepared on the strong side it reminds me of some yellow teas. Slight astringency that is really nice and keeps the tea alive.

Flavors: Almond, Bok Choy, Marine, Melon, Peas

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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A lovely green tea from China. Mildly astringent and with a slight roasted note in the first infusion, and pleasantly sweet in the second one. Vegetal throughout.

First infusion – 30 min. @ 70 deg. in flask

Second infusion – 2+ hours @ boiling in flask

160 °F / 71 °C 8 min or more 5 g 32 OZ / 955 ML

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I don’t do these types of teas and so I have been brewing this for all the guests along the way this holiday season who were anti caffeine. It is crowd pleasing for sure with the hibiscus and minty freshness and the citrusy anise tones hitting the bittersweet buttons to give a most refreshing herbal tea. My only drawback is that it’s too strong if over-brewed, to the point of discarding and starting over so faites attention.

Flavors: Anise, Citrusy, Hibiscus, Mint

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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