Camellia SinensisEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
So, I had a Camellia Sinensis order show up today! I actually placed the order not really for any tea in particular but because they were carrying an absolutely STUNNING jellyfish teacup that I just 100% needed to own. You guys don’t even understand; jellyfish have been my spirit animals as of late. They’re these gentle, floating water blobs that zap you when you get up in their personal space – how perfect is that!? Plus, all my good friends refer to me as an “asexual jellyfish”. I don’t know where that even originated, but it’s just a term now. So now I have this equally bad ass jellyfish teacup!
Anyway; while I was ordering I DID pick up some tea too – because you just gotta. That’s how addiction works. I chose this one because I have tried a Columbian Bitaco tea before and I thought it would be interesting to compare the two mentally, especially since this one was a pretty reasonable price.
The dry leaf for this one is really sweet smelling with distinct notes of honey, cocoa, and graham crackers that definitely piqued my interest/curiosity. Steeped up, it’s kind of similar to the dry aroma? I mean, it’s got hints of malt and honey but it’s also pretty brisk and full bodied with a thicker mouthfeel and a somewhat astringent and tannic finish. Also, a bit of a burnt sugar sort of flavour, too.
I mean so far my initial impression is that I like the other black Bitaco tea better it was smoother, and it had this very fascinating anise flavour to it. However, I think some tweaking could produce a very interesting infusion. Either less leaf, or less steeping time would probably fix the astringency and I bet milk and sugar or honey would make for a really nice breakfast tea with some of those honey notes getting exaggerated nicely.
Definitely excited to see where this tea will go.
Current rating is a conservative 69, with the belief that appropriate tweaking will result in a brew deserving of a better score.
Cup Scent: butter, toasted nuts, flowers, savoury seaweed sprinkles (subtle)
To taste, it follows the precedent set by the scent, making for a savoury cup full of cream, butter, nuts, and gentle flowers. It’s probably the most mild “Jin Xuan,” natural or scented, I’ve had in recent times. It’s nothing special in my books, but it’s buttery-cream profile makes for a comforting cup, with excellent steep value.
I drank up all my other Jin Xuans, so it’s nice to discover I have some left. I didn’t realize what this was or pay too much attention when I initially placed an order online. It took seeing the unfurled leaves to realize what this was. Whoops.
Steep Count: 6
Florals reminiscent of dandelion came out strong on the third steep. It reminds me that dandelion wine is on my “too try” list.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Dandelion, Floral, Roasted nuts, Vegetal
Strawberry, caramel , lilac, lemon marmelade, milky chalky thing. Upfront but thin and somewhat unrefined in flavors. the taste is reminescent of those light roast pourover coffees which bears red fruits and caramel extract notes… i ain’t a big fan of this mix.
But it does packs big flavors at a smaller price.
mmmm this oolong makes me happy. I’ve set an agressive goal for myself today to get through 15 sipdowns (hello sipdown saturday!). Now i’m not even sure that i have 15 teas in my cupboard to sipdown, but that’s my goal. I’ve got 9 teas inbound and that would mean that even if they were in my cupboard, i’d still hit my sipdown goal haha. And then i can also justify possibly picking up tea in chicago. :)
Really appreciate the share of all these oolongs and green teas Crowkettle. As much as they’re not my jam – having small amounts of them IS totally up my alley :)
So, I missed my bus home after work so I’m stuck here another hour. I prepped as much as humanly possible for the opener tomorrow, and now I’m catching up on tasting notes because why the fuck not? I’ve gotta kill that time somehow…
This was my first tea of the day/morning here at work: while I’ve largely purchased this one to be used in my Hojicha dedicated yixing pot I thought it’d be good to taste it ahead of time and sort of get a feel for the flavours.
Hojicha doesn’t seem to vary too much from company to company; you can always tell what it is, the degree of roasting just seems to change slightly and I’ve found sometimes the level of sweetness too. I find this one is actually fairly lightly roasted because I can still get a good degree of grassiness in combination with the roast. It does have that barley/buckwheat kind of cereal flavour to it that the company is advertising, and it finishes with a big of sweetness that lingers for a pleasantly long time on the sides of my tongue. I’m definitely enjoying it, and excited to see what will come of it once it gets brewed in the yixing pot.
This is my go-to Wulong. It tastes wonderful when it’s fresh from the gaiwan, but I don’t have a kettle by my desk so my habit is to brew it western-style in a pot, and take frequent small tastes as it stews. My first taste is before even a minute has passed, and it is quite mild. The liquor is a light, almost fluorescent, green/yellow. The smell is a little grassy. The taste is quite mild: a little toasted rice, a little dandelion, and something sweet like honey. The mouthfeel even so early is quite distinct. You can really feel the oils in the tea coat your mouth and leave a dry kind of feeling well after the flavour is gone. The next taste is around the 4 or 5 minute mark. The colour is much more yellow now, with just a hint of brown. Not much smell, although my nose is pretty stuffy so I may be missing out. The sweetness is still there in the taste, but there’s also something umami. Very slightly like mushrooms. My habit is to keep tasting it even as it stews for much longer, but I don’t want to prolong this note much longer. Needless to say, it gets much more bitter as it sits longer in the water, but I used to be quite a fan of hoppy beers in a previous life so I enjoy a good bitter bomb.
Flavors: Dandelion, Honey, Toasted Rice
My nose is currently glued to my cup because floral vanilla caramel drops. It’s oolong heaven. First steep is floral cream, with a dash of something richer lightly sprinkled with nutmeg to finish. The heavy cream notes and “seasonings” make this tea feel filling.
Second steep smells like butter, and reminding me vaguely of cookie dough! Cream notes are dominant but a light caramel note is starting to creep into the profile at the end of the sip. The nippy nutmeg also remains. Yep! It’s like cookie dough without the sweetness (pastry dough?). My silly brain is trying to convince me I taste flour now.
The third steep has a floral-sweet aroma of honeysuckle. The floral note carries over to the taste, where it flows into the cream and the ever-present nutmeg and gives a strong impression of almond milk. The finished cup leaves a lingering sensation of mint freshness. This is where I cut it though; there’s only so much raw pastry dough, nutmeg, and cream I can drink this late in the evening!
All in all, not a bad first foray into Si Ji Chun/ Four Seasons Oolong!
Steep Count: 3
(2016 Winter Harvest)
Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Cream, Floral, Honeysuckle, Milk, Nutmeg
sample from crowkettle creme de blerg…
in all honesty, i think earl grey cream is one of the few ways i’m almost always ok with the blerg. Still not my favourite cup but i can drink a whole one without feeling nauseous from the the blerg. :) So that was my afternoon tea….still more blerg to come though. lol
Final Count: 62
From a Puerh TTB (don’t remember which)
I’ve been bad about reviewing teas lately, In large part because I don’t feel like writing a long essay. So, my new goal is just to say a few words and give a rating. No muss; no fuss.
So, this is a really pleasant tea. It strikes almost perfect balance between the aroma, taste, and finish. The finish is also long enough that you get that nice synergy where you are still tasting the last sip when you take a drink.
The flavor is good, but doesn’t stand out. It is mostly tobacco, but with nice floral and vegetative highlights. Becomes darker, though not bitter, in the finish. By the third steep, I’m feeling a nice thick texture, particularly on the roof of my mouth. The cha qi is noticeable, but not overly strong. This tea will help you relax but not put you to sleep.
Gulping up sweet coconut-butter goodness, with a dash of berries, before running off to yoga. The coco-cherry sundae is readily apparent today, but it still has yet to replicate that long sweet finish I got from the first time I drank this.
Still not sure how to rate this, because not every cup is as amazing as today’s or the last time I posted a note, but I’m leaning towards good things!
Steep Count: 4
Flavors: Butter, Cherry, Coconut, Floral, Grass, Vanilla
I picked this tea up at random and had to look up Shan Lin Xi later to figure out what it was all about (I’m an oolong noob). I wish Camellia Sinensis provided a little more info than the bare-bones spiel about this being a high-altitude Taiwanese oolong, but I’m willing to forgive them because it’s delicious.
First steep (3min) tastes like vanilla-coconut with a long sweet finish. There’s some floral oolong action going on, with a little butter.
Second steep (1min) introduces a berry element. The finish that’s exceptionally fruity, reminiscent of a cherry sundae. It’s vibrant and lingering, and has me questioning my tongue.
Third steep mellows things out. The long finish is sweet vanilla cream. Ice cream in a cup.
Steep count: 5
Flavors: Butter, Cherry, Coconut, Floral, Sweet, Vanilla
This tastes like a piña colada. It’s all that buttery and creamy coconut goodness mixed with the candied-sweet pineapple flavouring.I haven’t figured out yet if it resembles a virgin mocktail or the real deal. The Indian black tea base almost has a molasses caramel thing going on, which makes me think rum, but that could be wishful thinking. Only time will tell!
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Molasses, Pineapple, Tropical
I think this may become my staple Cream Grey; it all depends on if I can find another one or two offerings that warrant placing orders with Camellia Sinensis. It’s definitely a cheaper and more naturally scented specimen than my long favourite from David’s Tea, which is more dessert-like but also more artificially “sour”.
This is my go to morning tea when I want to combine the indulgent and the traditional.. and also a splash of milk. I just have to remember to be frugal with my teaspoon serving because this bergamot has a lot of personality; although, that’s part of what makes it so decadent.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Pepper, Vanilla