Camellia Sinensis

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Recent Tasting Notes

drank Choco Chou by Camellia Sinensis
969 tasting notes

2021 sipdown no. 9 (and just in time as teas are out for delivery today!)

I’m glad I picked up a sample of this one to try. First of all, Lexa loved it, yay!

I did enjoy this, and it certainly hits the mark of being a chocolate tea. It’s almost like drinking liquid chocolate! The only downside for me was that it was almost too sweet at times. Which was more dependent on my mood, probably. Otherwise, the base tea is smooth without astringency. And even with the sweetness, the flavour is still extremely well done and you can tell it’s a high quality product.

I am really enjoying these Camellia Sinensis teas! I would certainly order another sample size of this one to have around.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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CS added this as a sample to my order and I couldn’t be happier! Also, the package I received is called “Yunnan Da Ye Organic” (https://camellia-sinensis.com/en/yunnan-da-ye-organic/2261), but I put the note under here, so hopefully this is correct.

This tea is wonderful. It’s similar to Teavivre’s Bailin, but somehow smoother? Like drinking the lightest malty silk with hints of sweetness.

I would 100% pick this up in a full size, once I sip down some other straight teas I have around.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
ashmanra

Smoother than Bailin? Wow!

Courtney

It is so smooth ashmanra!

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Backlog from the weekend

Malty and brisk. No astringency, but a hint of smoke comes forward as it cools. The perfect cuppa for watching Skyfall on a Sunday!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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Backlog from the weekend

I picked up a sample of this one with my CS order and the scent is quite intense. The other teas all had to be ‘aired out’ when I opened the post box because the scent of this tea had permeated everything!

Needless to say, I put this in a different cupboard and waited a few days to try it! I steeped this as my first tea of the morning and it is pretty tasty. The rhubarb is apparent, and perhaps hints of strawberry, but the remaining flavours get slightly lost. It has that fruity mix scent that fruity teas often get, but I don’t know if I can pull a lot of other flavours out. I’ll have to try again!

Lex did say she was enjoying this one, despite being ‘against’ white teas, so that’s excellent haha.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 6 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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This tea is so good. It’s one of my new favourites! The pineapple flavour is so great here, thanks to the big pineapple chunks in the blend. The coconut is lighter, and lends a lovely creaminess here, accenting the pineapple perfectly in the background. And the best part is the fruits paired with a black base. The base is full, yet not overpowering to the fruits. It all works so seamlessly! I will re-order the full size of this one to keep in my cupboard for sure.

Again, I love that this company just uses fruits and tea to blend their teas without any additional flavouring.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
DrowningMySorrows

I don’t think I’ve had any teas from Camellia Sinensis yet. I’ll have to give them a try sometime. I definitely prefer it when companies only use fruit, spices and flowers to flavor their teas. I have quite a few weird allergies and intolerances and things so I try to avoid flavorings and colorings if their exact components aren’t listed.

Tiffany :)

I can’t say I’ve tried this brand before? I love coconut (and pineapple) so if a sample of this ended up my way I wouldn’t be sad. ;)

Courtney

DrowningMySorrows I also have some odd intolerances and the like and I’m generally quite careful about my teas as well. The companies that use these ingredients are so lovely. :)

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87
drank Guei Fei by Camellia Sinensis
868 tasting notes

Dry leaf smells like pure, intense honey and flowers. Warming brings out stewed red fruits, cinnamon and this flowery scent that for some reason reminds me of lipstick. I’ve experienced that kind of powdery floral note in many keemun. Brewed up this tea has a strong, sweet aroma but is not sweet in taste. I get a perfume of honey-drenched toast and berries-redfruits, cinnamon. Taste is mineral, tangy, and much like stewed apples and berries or apple bread with a bit of wood. A very clean, viscous tea with an oiliness felt after the swallow. It’s very warming, gently at first especially in the chest and face, and becomes stronger while still leaving a minty cool, mouth-watering finish.

I haven’t had many gui fei. In fact, the only one that stands out in my recollection is an unpleasant one. This one, though, is very nice. Recommended? Yesyesyes, especially for people new to oolong. It’s very approachable and rather straight-forward. This shares a lot of notes with aging pressed Fuding white teas if you have an interest in exploring those. Thanks for the share Leafhopper :)

Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Berries, Cinnamon, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey, Mineral, Mint, Red Fruits, Stewed Fruits, Tangy, Toast, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Courtney

Oooh! I have a Gui Fei from Taiwan Tea Crafts, but it’s sadly to floral for me. The one from a few years back from Butiki I recall really enjoying.

Mastress Alita

Oh, I have loved those aging pressed Fuding white teas that I’ve tried so far! I’ll have to put this one on a list.

Leafhopper

I’m glad you liked it! I’ll have to try some aged Fuding pressed white tea sometime.

derk

This one is pretty floral but I think it’s well balanced by the other elements of the aroma. Oh, I remember now. The other two I’ve had were intolerably nutty. Mastress Alita, this one’s worth checking out.

derk

Leafhopper, you’ll have the chance soon enough :)

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The first whiff of the steeped scent smells a bit like malt mixed with soap? Cool, cool, cool.

No, that’s definitely floral, not soap. Maybe floral mixed with the subtlest hint of mineral. And a hint of sweetness in the background. Words seem to be escaping me with how to describe this one, but it’s fascinating. In a good way.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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All the malt. Hints of honey. Overall delicious.

Lex adds “That’s nice. Smooth.”

Some mineral notes pop out as the tea cools.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Maple Tea by Camellia Sinensis
969 tasting notes

Camellia Sinensis is here!

Lexa wanted Choco Chou first, so we enjoyed that one together, then I made this one for me.

I love all the maple sugar crystals in this one. It’s really beautiful. The maple doesn’t have much of a scent, but I didn’t expect that of dried maple sugar. The flavour is very light — mostly just a hint of sweetness in the sip and I really love that. I enjoy when tea leaves are paired with a real ingredient like this, and nothing else.

What a great start to these CS teas! Also, the packaging on these teas is just gorgeous, and they threw in an extra sample — yay!

The packaging is on my story here: https://www.instagram.com/stories/biologistcourtney/2481536991512966181/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Martin Bednář

Yay, tea-mail!

Courtney

Tea mail is always fun!

Martin Bednář

Exactly! I hope my B&B order from Boxing Day to come quickly! Maybe tomorrow? Who knows? No tracking :(

Courtney

My B&B orders don’t have tracking either! They come with a tracking number, but it doesn’t work. I’ll keep my fingers crossed yours will arrive tomorrow, or soon!

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2021 sipdown no. 7

This is a sad sipdown today of an awesome sample from VariaTEA.

I have to find a first flush Darjeeling to keep in my cupboard after this experience. This tea is both hay-like and reminiscent of a delicious, creamy rice pudding. This blend would be perfect for a summer evening. I’m loving all the teas that are reminding me of summer today.

I shall resteep this as many times are possible before sadly letting it go.

Thanks VariaTEA!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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Another awesome sample from VariaTEA!

I think I’ve chosen the right tea for this note…this tea is super tasty! This is my second steep and it’s creamy and hay-like and I love that. I reminds me a little bit of my beloved white Rhino. Maybe first flush Darjeelings can be a thing for me?

First steep 3 minutes
Second steep 4 minutes

Thanks for sharing VariaTEA :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 14 OZ / 414 ML
VariaTEA

I’m glad you liked it! I was surprised I liked it as much as I did. Btw, have you ever tried What-Cha’s White Rhino? Mine was from an old harvest but I recall enjoying it a lot

Courtney

There exists another White Rhino?! My night has been made! I am going to check it out right now!

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DIY Advent Calendar – Day 11

Gong Fu Sipdown (257)

This is dirt to me. I feel bad because it’s appeal is quite genuinely lost on me. I steeped it according to the company recommendations and I just got cup after cup of dirt. And if it wasn’t dirt, it was wet leaves. Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing but this is a no for me.

Roswell Strange

Haha, I like this one because it’s dirt! But totally get it, figured I’d try though ;)

VariaTEA

In fairness, one of the puerhs you send me wasn’t dirt/fishy. It was overly floral which I didn’t like but definitely not what I expected from a puerh. And some of the flavored ones have been tolerable.

Mastress Alita

I always find puerh to taste like dirt or marshy swamp water, but can tolerate it in the right blends. Yet I keep trying it hoping, one day, it will suddenly not taste like dirt or swamp water…

VariaTEA

@Mastress Alita, I have the same problem. I actually avoid it but Roswell Strange knows I will try anything eventually if it is sent to me and so she occasionally sends them my way to try to broaden my horizons.

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72

Sipdown (302)

Had this earlier while playing Life with my sister and brother-in-law. We’re basically playing board games, watched Soul, and are taking it easy. This tea fit that perfectly because it was an easy drinker that was good and smooth and flavourful but didn’t require a lot of concentration to enjoy.

Cameron B.

I watched Soul the other day and thought it was so cute!

VariaTEA

It was a very nice movie. Not my favourite Pixar but enjoyable and definitely cute.

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72

I was not expecting to like this. Darjeelings are usually sharp and drying and overtly floral. It came as a sample in my order with my first gaiwan so I guess in a way I should be thanking Roswell Strange for this one. Thank you, Ros!!

This is really smooth. It’s the slightest bit peppery and maybe a bit floral. But it really doesn’t have much flavor to it. It’s not bad and an easy drinking tea because of that. I just also don’t find it particularly interesting though.

Leafhopper

I really liked the Thurbo Darjeeling I had from this company in 2018 or thereabouts, and found it had a nice muscatel flavour. Too bad your batch wasn’t that interesting. Enjoy your new gaiwan!

VariaTEA

I have a little bit more from the sample. Perhaps that cup would be more successful. Could also be age since this is from July 2019, though as a straight tea I feel like there shouldn’t be too much flavor deterioration

Leafhopper

You’re right, it could be due to age. My Rohini Golden Buds from What-Cha, which was wonderful when it was harvested in 2019, is starting to lose its flavour.

derk

I just bought a sealed bag of the Rohini golden buds. I hope they fare as well as my first go with them. In my experience, freshness is almost paramount with Indian teas.

Leafhopper

I hope the seal helps. I also wasn’t measuring very carefully during my last session with this tea, so I may not have used enough leaf.

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92

Sometimes the way a tea makes you feel
and the way it tastes,
the associations it evokes
and the things you’re reading about or thinking about or listening to while sipping
and the weather

all align in a moment so harmonious that all you can muster for a note is

wow.

word: drink it grandpa, leaf it heavy, deal with the floaters. they’re all floaters.

Something I will be looking out for next season. Thanks so much, Leafhopper :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 OZ / 150 ML
Martin Bednář

That’s so cute tasting note… and so right!

Leafhopper

I love your poetic tasting note. To my knowledge, Camellia Sinensis didn’t have this tea in 2020 (it was a 2019 harvest). Maybe next year.

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I made this and drank it rather quickly just before heading out for a walk. It was nice but also a touch coppery/astringent.

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Sipdown of this awesome share from VariaTEA!

This was an awesome tea to try and I would consider adding this to an order, whenever I do one from CS. There’s both depth, yet a lightness to this tea and just subtle notes of maltiness and breadiness.

Another note on another tea from VariaTEA: I can’t stop thinking about HC Andersen. I keep reaching for it, then have to put it back because I have maybe 2 cups worth left, but also the website won’t let me order more and I don’t know what to do!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML

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This is another awesome sample sent to me by VariaTEA :)

I’m slowly but surely catching up on all the things and this tea has really helped boost my motivation after hours of listening to lectures on environmental assessment.

This tea has a perfect subtle black tea flavour for me today. Absolutely no astringency (yay) and smooth. It’s not too intense in flavour, just light and smooth – perfect for any time of day.

I actually think I’ll have to check out this tea company – I’ve never ordered from them before, but this tea has inspired me to at least look over their website!

Thanks VariaTEA!

VariaTEA

I really like Camellia Sinensis. They also have great teaware that is pretty affordable as well :)

Cameron B.

I really need to eventually order from Camellia Sinensis, I’ve been interested in their flavored teas for years but never ordered for some reason…

Leafhopper

I also like Camellia Sinensis and have ordered a lot of tea from them over the years. Their Shan Lin Xi, Mi Xiang Hong Cha, Feng Huang Hong Cha, and most of their Darjeelings are good.

Courtney

Thanks for introducing me to the VariaTEA!

I’m going to be checking their webpage tonight I think Cameron :)

Leafhopper that’s awesome, thanks for the suggestions! I love straight black teas, so I’ll check some of those out. :)

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86

I decided to give this tea a chance after seeing it described as aromatic and fruity, although I’ve had a black Tie Guan Yin before that I wasn’t too fond of. Of course, Jin Guan Yin is a slightly different varietal, though my expectations were still somewhat similar. I used the instructions given in the Camellia Sinensis Summer Session, an online event held in August that reviewed eight of their teas, as provided by Tea in Spoons:
https://teainspoons.com/2020/10/01/camellia-sinensis-summer-session-08-2020-part-3/
They said to steep 5 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 203F for 30, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, 105, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of sourdough bread, dates, tart fruit, and sweet potato. The first two steeps have notes of sweet potato, citrus, dates, sap, caramel, and baked bread. In the next steep, the sweet potato gets even richer, the citrus resolves itself into orange zest, the tannins become more prominent, and flavours of tart rhubarb and sourdough emerge. That sourdough is especially noticeable when exhaling a few minutes after a sip and is kind of entertaining.

In steeps four to six, the sourdough starts competing with the sweet potato, and I get some earth, tannins, and wood. This is slightly disappointing since I liked those sweet potato-heavy initial steeps so much. The final few long steeps reveal mellow sweet potato, combined with tannins, wood, malt, earth, and minerals.

This tea is a lot better than my previous batch of black TGY. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves sweet potato and enjoys a dynamic gongfu session. It’s especially appropriate at the moment since it’s the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Happy early Thanksgiving to everyone who’s celebrating, and I hope you can connect with family virtually if not in person.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Citrus, Dates, Earth, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Pleasantly Sour, Rhubarb, Sap, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Tart, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
derk

Happy Thanksgiving to you :)

Leafhopper

Thanks! Spending Thanksgiving alone is a bit weird, although it’s necessary given the situation here in Ontario. I hope others also decide not to risk spreading COVID to their families this weekend so we can all have a good Christmas.

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78

Cookies, butter, an hint of vegetables, one of my favourites

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Vegetable Broth

Preparation
1 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Today’s #septembersipdown is about blending teas, which I don’t usually do. I was trying to come up with something and a recent conversation about lapsangs with Sil and Roswell Strange came to mind. In particular, the fruity lapsangs that Roswell Strange has been trying lately had me intrigued.

Then I remembered Sil always recommends maple syrup in lapsangs so I thought blending Maple Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha and a lapsang could be cool – maple and smoke but also the idea of toasted marshmallows came to mind. However, this tea and that one are brewed so differently that I didn’t want to start guessing what would be the best steeping parameters. So, I tried to think of something else that was sweet or fruity that might pair and my copious amount of Cotton Candy tea sprung to mind.

So how does the combination of this tea and Cotton Candy by DAVIDsTEA taste? Like someone put sugar in a lapsang. I guess that is accurate since cotton candy is largely just sugar. It makes for a smokey top note and sweet underneath. Nothing mind blowing enough that I would do it again but not bad.

Thank you Roswell Strange for sending me a sample of this! I’ll save rating it until I have an unblended taste.

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Quite the list of ingredients, all harvested from Québec. A little thin but sweet, fruity and woody with a strong note of fir that evokes a feeling of near-winter, inhaling frigid, moist air through my nostrils and catching the clean, cool scents of a northern Canadian landscape. Or for those unacquainted, I’d say it’s like a Christmas tree in a cup. A hint of wild blueberry and a tangy-sweet quality. Brewed for the recommended 7 minutes, there is a drying catch on the swallow but it tastes so cool and comforting I don’t care. A long-lingering resinous sweetness follows.

Directions call for 2tsp/250mL; I opted for something like 5 teaspoons for half my glass teapot, so 500ish mL. The mélange of ingredients with differing shapes and sizes doesn’t make it easy to get a varied distribution, so I did do some hand-picking of the larger ingredients instead of incorporating them into my teaspoon measurements.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
gmathis

This sounds a lot like the piney-foresty blend I picked up at our favorite little TeaMaze shop. The “tree” vibe is unusual but refreshing!

Mastress Alita

I love pine/juniper flavors! I bet I’d dig this.

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I placed a small order with Camellia Sinensis because I was interested in some of their herbals, namely Wintergreen, Labrador Tea and Taïga Sauvage.

Following a wake-up, chest-clearing mug of Juniper Ridge’s Yerba Santa, I had time for only 1 steep of this tea from Bhutan. According to Camellia Sinensis, this tea comes from the only tea production in Bhutan which is led by an all-women cooperative. Always keeping my eye out for unique teas, I couldn’t resist ordering a sample of the July 2020 harvest.

I prepared the tea close to package directions, using more tea than 2 teaspoons because the leaves do not rest uniformly in a teaspoon. I went for my standard-as-of-late measurement of 1g/100mL for green, white, and black teas prepared western style.
The tea is very clean and smooth. It sits well in my empty stomach. The taste evokes lightly buttered sauteed sweet green cabbage. There is an interesting minerality which Camellia Sinensis refers to as seashells and I think I can agree with that — calcium. A vague feeling, not taste, of smokey, earthy bitterness sits deep within the liquor. A spicy feeling sits only in the chest, something I could equate to the warmth of Saigon cinnamon, but like the smokey bitterness, it’s not a taste. A second steep when I came home for lunch brought forward lime-like and bright green olive impressions.

Overall, this is an exceptionally smooth green tea with an interesting profile. It covers a satisfying and nuanced range of flavors and impressions between sweet, vegetal, umami, mineral, citrus, bitter-smoke and warming spice. As I was just now browsing to purchase a larger quantity, the tea is now out of stock only 2 weeks after placing my order.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
Leafhopper

This tea caught my eye as well when I was browsing their catalogue. Glad you had the chance to try it.

Courtney

Labrador Tea! I’ll be looking that up for sure. :)

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