Camellia SinensisEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Wow, I had a huge influx of tea samples today! I received no fewer than four packages from various tea friends, and each had a generous selection of tea samples inside. So now my poor cupboard has swelled from 95 to 145 teas! Oof. Thank you, generous Steepster friends! This tea came from Roswell Strange, and it’s first up to be tried because I’ve been curious about it for quite some time. The white tea leaves are somewhat broken, but that’s pretty much to be expected when white tea gets mailed. There are beautiful yellow helichrysum flowers mixed in, along with some pieces of star anise. Dry scent is fairly strong on the licorice.
The steeped cup smells quite licorice-y as well, but I can smell the hay-like white tea underneath. Ooh, the taste is mostly licorice as well, but I actually like licorice (as opposed to licorice root). I can taste the pear a little bit, and it actually makes a nice accent and aftertaste. The white tea base is smooth and light, with a strong oat-like presence. Overall, this one is interesting. Perhaps a tiny bit less licorice would serve it well. :)
Flavors: Licorice, Oats, Pear, Smooth, Sweet
Another I removed from the Lewis & Clark teabox as there was one serving left. I tried to steep this tea like the other yellow tea I tried before, though the leaves look different. These kind of look like sencha leaves, wide and flat, but the color is a dustier muted light grey. There ended up being two teaspoons of leaves here which I used the last time for the yellow tea anyway. The dry leaves certainly have a nutty aroma!
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 2 min steep
This one is much different from the other yellow tea that was entirely lemon (like a lemon dusted cake or something). This one is mostly like a mao feng type green tea, nutty creamed corn flavor but there are hints of the faintest lemon in the aftertaste. The tea does leave my mouth a little dry, but it’s an okay flavor. Maybe not as nice as a green tea and certainly not as nice as the other yellow tea I tried (maybe because it was so different).
Steep #2 // 20 min a.b. // 2-3 min
This cup wasn’t as good. A little bitey. It’s odd when I find second steeps of white teas are amazing but second steeps of yellow teas (at least the two I’ve tried) haven’t been memorable. Of course, I could be steeping them incorrectly.
Oh wow, VariaTEA (and Roswell Strange)! Thanks so much for this sample.
It is GOOD. I really like it. I was concerned it would be too “pear” for me, but it’s not. And although I can taste licorice, it’s not too licoricey (and there’s no licorice root so it’s fine for me…). In fact, I’d say this tea is really fresh rather than sweet and cloying. This will definitely get resteeped.
I wasn’t sure about getting some, but I think I have to add it to my “maybe but probably not” potential order. (As in, I might order but probably won’t because I’m trying to stick to a budget.)
This green tea is very good and light with a lot of flavour of sweet grass with a bit of tannins and green vegetables. Steep it at low temperatures like 70 to 80 degrees Celsius. You can re-steep this tea three times in a tea strainer and the flavour is still good on the third steep.
Flavors: Ocean Air, Sweet, warm grass, Tannin, Vegetal
This tea was hyped up by someone who I guessed was a young, hipster writer who knows very little about tea. They made the tea seem like a rarity that would be impossible to find and was a magical, esoteric treasure to behold. Thus… me being me… armed with solely the age of the tea, its type, and its aroma, I had to find the tea. And. I. Did. It tastes like an okay quality liu bao. I love liu bao, so that was not a problem at all. :p The artistic license that journalists take sometimes drives me a bit batty…
Ok this tea is weird… I’m not sure the oolong/black tea blend is a winning mix… Plus the cinnamon is overpowing here. There are so many ingredients and it’s all I can taste… Not undrinkable but I was definitely expecting more, to me it taste like a weird cinammon broth. I’ll have to play with the steeping time and condiments to find a way to enjoy my 100g stash…
EDIT: i think this tea is meant to be drunk without milk. This way you can better appreciate the other ingredients, although the cinnamon is still too prominent for my taste. But straight, with a big spoonful of brown sugar I think this is how I like it best.
I had two pots of this tea this morning! I tried it a while ago and now I have ordered more and it’s still as perfect. This is an A+ assam: perfect maltiness and honey notes. I steep it for 10 min to make sure I drain all the flavours from it and it’s not even a tad bitter. Perfect with milk and brown sugar.
Flavors: Honey, Malt
From the Lewis & Clark teabox! I love these types of oolong especially on these dreary winter days when I forgot to notice what the dry leaves looked like because it was too dark out to see them. I’ve had these types of oolongs a couple times before. This one seemed to be a little lighter in flavor than usual. But it’s such a nice flavor. Buttery, a little fruity like pineapple, a little floral. My favorite oolong flavors combined. All of the cups were very consistent in flavor but I probably should have used a half teaspoon more. Teasenz sent me a tea like this one that wasn’t available for sale yet that was VERY good. I’ll be keeping my eye out for it.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 15 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 12 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #3 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
No notes yet. Add one?
My Camellia Sinensis package arrived! With a sweet handwritten note and a gift sample of Black Indian tea! :) We are so spoiled in Montreal with Davids Teas everywhere and Camellia Sinensis… Camellia’s teas are slightly more expensive but they are also better quality, and I’m rarely disappointed. Their teas are the only ones I can drink without milk and sugar.
So all five teas I ordered were blind-buys (well, expect for creme of Earl Grey), that’s how much I trust them haha!
And… I’m not disappointed! This tea is such a treat! I tried it both straight and with milk and sugar and it’s equally delicious. It’s heavier with milk but it makes me feel like I’m drinking a hot chocolatea, or teacolate? I wonder if they put flavours in this, but if they don’t it REALLY tastes like chocolate! Also, I don’t really get the pu’erh, though I’m not exactly sure what pu’erh is supposed to taste like…
I can’t wait to get my Chocolate Rocket from Davids to compare. I hope it’s really chocolatey. So! Another Davids package to come (probably on Monday) and I shall be ready for winter (as if…)
Sarsita (Sarsonator) has been kind enough to share her fungus with us. Which admittedly, doesn’t SOUND like a good thing, but in this case it so IS. Along with Sarsy and the Lovely Tea Fairy, The Teaplets had a Sunday morning fungus party. This is our third round of fungus – we started with the 2010 and the 2011 and today was the 2013. Sarsy and I like this one best, while LTF prefers 2010.
This was delicious with a really sweet, earthy-mushroomy taste that I enjoyed quite a lot. The body feel was all relaxation with a slight head buzz. A most enjoyable way to start Sunday – great friends and great tea.
Roswell Strange sent me a bit of this in trade and I have to say that it is pretty amazing. There’s a bit of a bite to the end of the sip that I can’t quite track down the reason for but the tropical feeling of coconut and pineapple are very delicious together. I added milk and sugar because I do that for black tea and it’s become a sweet dessert.
Well this was disappointing. I have been impressed with Camellia Sinensis so far but this is a huge miss for me, at least as a hot brew. It tastes incredibly artificial and almost has a clayesque flavor that is really putting me off. Every now and then I get a hint of fruit but nothing distinctive and it really isn’t strong enough to redeem the cup. The last of this sample is getting cold brewed or iced but I doubt this is one I will be sad to see go. Still, thank you Roswell Strange for the chance to try this because it is one I certainly might have picked up in an order. Now I know better.
From the Lewis and Clark TTB.
Brewed gongfu-style with gaiwan. Steeping times: 20 sec, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60.
The leaf consists of twisty forest green leaves, whose color brightens when they are first infused. Even though they were picked from the bush long ago, they appear as if their life is retained. At first the aroma is generally sweet and buttery. But as the leaf cools, the notes change: kettlecorn and sweet potatoes with marshmallows (like the Thanksgiving dish), and then squash and zucchini. Each infusion produces a pale green liquor – almost neon – that is medium-bodied, creamy, vegetal and sweet.
This is an unusual-tasting tea. It is similar to a FF Darjeeling (possibly as a result of the hard wither each receives), but with more of a tart tang and fruit-like element to it. A FF Darjeeling on steroids, perhaps.
First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz water, 90 deg., 2:00 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 4:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.
This is one of my favourite oolong teas. I first tried it at high tea at the “Chateau Frontenac” in Quebec city and fell in love with it. It is creamy and buttery with a hint of coconut and a slightly sweet taste. I brew it Gong Fu style and each steep is delightful.
2. 25 seconds
3. 25 seconds
4. 25 seconds
5. then double the time for each additional steep
95 degrees celsius
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Creamy, Vanilla
This is a black wulong tea and it is smoky, creamy with a taste of dark chocolate and a creamy taste which is more like a caramel cream taste which appears as it is steeped multiple times in the Gong Fu Cha style.
Gong Fu Cha:
95 degree C water in Gong Fu
Then double each steep
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Smoke
Quite possibly the best jasmine pearls I have ever tasted. The jasmine flavour is present but not too overwhelming like some. The second steep on this magnificent tea is my favourite. This is the type of tea I love to share with friends
Flavors: Herbaceous, Jasmine
Brewed in a Gong Fu for a total of 8 steeps. The tea is floral, buttery with a taste of pine nuts. It is slightly grassy and it is refreshing. I found the butter and cream taste came out more at the end then at the beginning.
This is how I brewed it:
90 degree Celsius water
first THREE steeps 25 seconds
and each steep after the first three is doubled in time
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Grass, Nuts
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!