Camellia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

79

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

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

This one sounds like a winner.

Roswell Strange

I really enjoyed this one too!

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70

This blerg isn’t half bad. I think i do better when the “cream” is there to cut through the blerginess. Still nothing i want in my cupboard but i did DRINK it…so you know. that’s a win :)

Evol Ving Ness

Sounds like you need some more blerg, Sil. :)

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70

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

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Hot cuppa during a Daredevil binge.

- Very floral and buttery
- With qualities that almost reminded me of milk oolong
- Sweet; I can see the “vanilla” comparison from the company’s description
- But for me it’s a bit more like sweetened condensed milk

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89

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

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79

Afternoon green tea to try and relax and get things done. Thanks for sending these my way crowkettle – always nice to step outside my “usual”

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79

Another sample from Crowkettle always nice to visit greens – never my first choice but in small, drinkable quantities i can get behind them. I’m no dragonwell expert but this was nice. light, refreshing, juicy and slightly sweet. Thanks crowkettle!

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88
drank Rou Gui by Camellia Sinensis
91 tasting notes

Not as good as the YS selection.
Nose; toasted grain, clove, gardenia, lychee.
Palate; slight sweet spice otherwise similar to nose.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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88

I wanted to share this one with people, but then I fell off the tea wagon again and when I finally came back to it and finished up my little ziplocks I realized I only had a serving left. For shame! When I get more Shan Li Xi (from here or over there) I will remember those I passed over.

On top of the usual coconut-butter goodness, I’m also picking up a bit of marine.

Steep Count: 3

(2016 Harvest)

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Red Fruits, Seaweed

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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88

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

(2016 Harvest)

Flavors: Butter, Cherry, Coconut, Floral, Grass, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

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

(2016 Harvest)

Flavors: Butter, Cherry, Coconut, Floral, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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84

We finally got back from a little road trip for a wedding 1168km (725mi) north of here. It’s nice to be reunited with tea (and so many other things). Not that I was completely without tea, because I brought this along!

It was disillusioning to see that this was practically the only one that fit the bill for travel life: doesn’t need milk, doesn’t need exact steeping perameters (temp, time, amount, etc.), can handle hard water and Styrofoam cups, and isn’t a loss if it doesn’t get resteeped. It was nice to become better acquainted with this one though; I was benevolent-indifferent before but I’ve warmed up to it.

Also, you can’t go wrong with pineapple or coconut in the summer. And bonus: the super devout relatives don’t ostracize you as much when you drink tea (poor dad and his beer)!

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Pineapple, Tropical

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Roswell Strange

Love this one! Definitely have to agree with all your points for it, as well.

Evol Ving Ness

I like this one too. However, I prefer it when added to something with a punchier black base.

CrowKettle

I agree Evol. It was great for a road trip but sometimes it almost tasted like particularly nice herbal (where’s the black tea)? That’s not something I always want.

What do you usually mix it with?

Evol Ving Ness

I had been mixing it with 52Teas Pineapple Marshmallow which had the pineapple mostly missing in action. Worked out well. I have also mixed it with Mighty Leaf’s Brazillian Fruit which has a punchy black base. I think it would work with any type of black flavoured tea in which the flavouring is mild and fruity and possibly tropical. Maybe a coconut black if you have one handy.

Evol Ving Ness

Mighty Leaf tends to have really punchy black bases. Great for mixing with overly mellow teas.

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84

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Evol Ving Ness

I like this one, but in my opinion, the base needs a bit more kapow to make the tea stellar. I tend to add this one with its bright pineapple to my tropical blends that need a little extra fiesta to perk them up.

CrowKettle

Yeah, I made a big pot of it last night, and I thought the base was ok at first but as I progressed through the pot I was wishing it had more presence. Mixing it in to other teas is a great idea.

So far I love the flavouring but I’ll have to give that time. I think I’m in shock from acquiring fresh blends; they all smell so lush compared to my old teas..

Evol Ving Ness

And that’s how we end up buying all the teas all the time. :)

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86

This is practically the only time of year I almost exclusively drink lots of tea with milk, so it is with great sadness that I must prematurely mark this one as a sipdown. The bergamot and I were just starting to create a psychic connection (I was aware of it’s presence and location in the house at all times, across vast distances).

I guess I’ll have to cozy up to the other Cream of Earl Grey in my cupboard for a while, but it feels like a betrayal bordering on bergamot sacrilege.

Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Yeah, I really really enjoyed my fling with dairy and it was especially lovely in Earl Greys and Earl Grey Creams.

Fjellrev

Me too, flavourite black tea with milk is the best once the weather cools down, especially EGC.

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86

Today this tastes a little like root beer. Huh. It’s a whole of lot of vanilla and a lot less bergamot than usual. It’s still lovely though- just not what I was expecting!

Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Root Beer, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

Sublime and intoxicating.

I had the bag of loose leaf under my nose for about half an hour. The aroma of the brew is sweet vanilla cream with a hint of bergamot but the loose leaf aroma is the flavour profile’s tell- bergamot first, vanilla second. The second steep switches that up, and is primarily vanilla with light citrus highlights.

I love that it feels like indulgence to drink something that I usually consider so mundane (sorry, Earl Grey). I’ll withhold rating until I figure out if my personal bergamot threshold can handle repeated exposure to this.

Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Pepper, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85

Tried something a little more different with this tea.

From what I could recall, this is a really toasty/nutty tasting oolong so I thought those element might be a really nice compliment to the pumpkin agave that DT released for the fall. I didn’t want a hot tea though because I was working in our back stockroom unpacking boxes so I iced this tea and then added the agave.

I think it actually worked really splendidly! I didn’t add much agave, so the flavour of the oolong was definitely still the strongest element of the brew. It was very roasty and nutty tasting like I remembered: definitely that sort of “grilled nut” flavour that CS uses in their official description of the tea. Apart from that, I thought there was also a nice mix of wood/oak notes, mineral, shea butter, and cinnamon notes as well. Deep in the undertones was a hint of something vegetal but not overly descript. All in all, the amalgamation of all those different flavour notes really came together to create something very nice and natural to compliment the sweet pumpkin/squash notes from the agave. The cinnamon, nuts, wood, and roasty elements kind of played in to make this feel more autumnal and ‘Harvest’-y and that deep vegetal undertone almost seemed to exaggerate the squashiness/vegetal aspects of the pumpkin.

Really, it was a great match up and a perfect example of added flavours in tea that don’t mask the taste of the tea itself, and which play off one another to elevate the profile to another, more nuanced and elegant level.

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85

It’s been off and on raining all day, but nothing super heavy. Drizzling, really.

I’ve been waiting literally all day to head outside in the pouring rain and drink a cup of tea, but honestly it’s getting so late now and I’ve kind of given up on waiting for the rain now so I just kind of went “fuck it” and brought my Gong Fu tray and a carafe outside, set up my laptop in the boot room with a good album playing and just enjoyed my tea outside with a journal to scrawl out some notes.

I started with a wash, and then each infusion afterwards I increased by seconds starting with five seconds for the first proper infusion. I think I got a pretty good session out of the tea, and most importantly it was very peaceful and relaxing.

- 1st infusion:
Roasty/nutty with clean profile and no lingering notes in the finish

- 2nd infusion:
The same but with lingering plum-y sweetness on the roof of my mouth

- 3rd infusion:
Roasty, nutty, wet wood, mineral, sweet, raisin, malt, plum (in that order)

- 4th infusion:
Touch of astringency/pucker, more mineral and raisin with aftertaste of leaves and bark

- 5th infusion:
Sharp decline in liquor colour; surprised at the lack of longevity this is showing

- 6th infusion:
Moving away from the roasty/nutty/woody side of things towards sweet, mellow fruit

- 7th infusion:
Plum, raisin, apricot, fuji apple, banana peel and hints of almond/marzipan in the finish

- 8th infusion:
Liquor is almost running clear – faintest notes of plum, marzipan but not much else

- 9th infusion:
Oversteeped this one but even still it brewed up like water; leaf is officially spent

And for anyone curious, the album I picked out was Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams album. It’s just such peaceful, easy going music – and I feel like his voice perfectly matches the soft, soothing roastier aspects of the tea as well as the sweetness of the fruit.

Also, I have to say I was pleased to see many of my initial observations when I drank this one Western style still held pretty true for the Gong Fu method of brewing.

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85

- Top notes of roasted nuts, wood, and cinnamon
- Very smooth with a silky mouthfeel
- Soft body and background notes of fruits; raisin, peach, plum
- Has a really well rounded sweetness to it overall
- Finish it mildly floral in a non distinct way
- Greatly enjoyed this
- Especially the marriage of darker oxidized oolong qualities and stonefruit notes

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78

Hot cuppa.

Kind of sweet and muscatel, but more than anything this just had a really pleasant and smooth malt note throughout the sip. Malt isn’t something I often strongly associate with Darjeelings, but paired with the brightness/sweetness of the muscat I think it was a very unique flavour note duo that kind of highlighted the differentiating sweetness of each respective flavour.

Also, since astringency has been a button issue with this tea…

Not astringent at all, this time!

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78

Iced!

I don’t know if I’ve ever had an iced Darjeeling before? I mean, part of me thinks that at this point I must have but nothing jumps to mind. This one was pretty nice, though! It was definitely a little tannic/astringent at the start so I added the tiniest bit of honey to sweeten it. The honey didn’t completely eliminate that astringency, but it tempered it enough to make it pleasant. Most importantly, the muscatel note of the tea was REALLY strong and delicious – it works very well as an iced tea!

I mean, I still think Darjeeling is best enjoyed hot and plain but this was a nice switch up to the seeming increase of hot Darjeeling I’ve been sipping on as of late.

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78

Free sample that Camellia Sinensis added into my latest order!

I swear, they’ve added in Darjeeling teas a few times now – not that I mind, but I do find it interesting since I tend to order oolongs from them primarily (and Lapsang/blends) so it does seem like a bit of a weird choice.

I added a smidgen of honey to this one because initial sips were a bit too astringent for my tastes. With the added honey, that resulted in a pretty smooth muscatel blend with an overarching autumnal feel to it and a bit of a floral undertone. Relatively enjoyable, though nothing exceptional.

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Drank this one Western style at work, and honestly I wasn’t paying attention to it AT ALL. I was so busy doing deep clean tasks, and helping customers and the before I knew it I had thoughtlessly sipped the whole mug down without making note of just about anything…

I mean, I did observe at little bit with my very first few sips but not a lot. Just that overall this was surprisingly smooth and silky bodied, which to me made very little sense given the company’s description of the tea. I also recall lots of top note sweetness. It made me think of nectarines which is also weird when you look at the tea description…

I don’t even know.

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