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Chai: Choosing the Perfect Milk

20 November 2018

at 16:59 by Social

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Though not new to the world of tea, Chai, the traditional Indian beverage, has become increasingly popular in North America. Gabriel Svaldi, owner of Bristol Chai has also noticed a growing demand for various plant milk alternatives to traditional cow’s milk. He shares his thoughts on the pros and cons on using these various milk alternatives.

Original Cow milk
Classic chai is prepared with a high fat milk, and sometimes with condensed milk or even butter. Our traditional version, only contains 2% milk. So cow’s milk gives chai it a smooth, rich and authentic taste. It tends to work well with any blend of spices.

Soy milk
Soy milk is more neutral and versatile alternative to cow’s milk. It has a similar creaminess and richness and it’s also a good match for any chai blend, from the more traditional to the woody or spicier.

Almond milk
Less creamy, almond milk is best used for the more punchy chai blends, like our Winston mix. Its subtle taste pairs well with spices to create a very well-balanced result.

Coconut milk
Although it is harder to pair, coconut milk can be a nice alternative for a fruity chai like our Scarlett or Eva blends, it comes into its own when prepared cold. But coconut milk isn’t a taste that suits everyone, so proceed with caution.

Oat milk
Oat milk may be taking over as our new favourite vegan alternative, even dethroning soy milk! It has a velvety texture and it offers a similar results with the spices to that of cow’s milk.


Have you heard of Bristol Chai?
It is the first chai bar in Quebec, launched by Gabriel Svaldi, a loyal member of the Camellia Sinensis family since 2009. Located in the heart of Montreal (at the intersection of Prince Arthur and Clark), the bar offers a charming ambiance and setting that combines Montreal’s dynamism and India’s warmth, wrapped with the unique combined scents of spices and homemade pastries

Discover their 5 different chai blends!

Halloween Chai

24 October 2018

at 14:37 by Social

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On almost every street corner in India you will find somebody selling hot spicy tea, they are locally known as chai wallahs . For many Indians stopping for a chai is an important part of their daily routine. In each of these kiosks, the chai wallah will create an atmosphere conducive for discussion, sharing and tasting.

Inspired by such unforgettable moments enjoyed while being in India, we have developed our own original range of recipes to honour this culture: five spicy chais, each with a unique personality.

Here’s a recipe created by Gabriel Svaldi, Bristol Chai‘s owner, with our Arthur mix. Perfect for celebrating Halloween!

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Ingredients

Recipe for pumpkin whipped cream

Dilute 1c. of pumpkin puree in 100ml of hot water. Add 2 cups whipped cream and mix with a spoon or whisk.

Recipe of Pumpkin Chai Latte (1L)

  • Heat up 500 ml of water in a pot ;
  • Add cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise to 10g of chai (4tsp) ;
  • Cover and simmer 5 – 10 minutes on medium heat ;
  • Add 5 – 10 g of sugar (2 – 4 tsp) and 500 ml of milk ;
  • Heat up and simmer 5 – 10 minutes ;
  • Filter and serve ;
  • Add whipped cream to pumpkin, sprinkle with ground cinnamon or add a cinnamon stick.

Enjoy!

 

Cocktail: Wulong Martini

7 August 2018

at 18:04 by Social

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It is with great pleasure that François Marchand, tea taster at Camellia Sinensis, discovered the new Fieldstone restaurant (Montreal) a few weeks ago. He was amazed with their cuisine as it was both creative and absolutely divine. He was seduced by the originality of the menu, the presentation of the dishes, the mood, the service, … everything! The Wulong Martini was delicious and Fieldstone has agreed to share the recipe with us:

Wulong Martini (Fieldstone)

  • Gin Saint Laurent (250ml)
  • Si Ji Chun (wulong)
  • Mangosteen juice (or lychee)
  • Lemon juice

Steps

1. Stir 1 cup of gin with 8g of tea for 2 hours in a container.

2. Filter the gin.

3. In a shaker, add ice.

4. Add 2 oz. Mangosteen juice (or lychee)

5. Add 2/3 oz. of lemon juice

6. Shake.

7. Filter in the martini glass

Cheers!

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2018 Tea Industry trends

22 March 2018

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Here are few trends to watch in the coming year.

Matcha

 

Increasingly popular over the last few years, Matcha will undoubtedly continue to be popular for a while longer! It can be enjoyed in its traditional form, as a latte drink (hot or iced) or easily incorporated into pastries and other recipes. It is the best way to get a lot of tea’s powers in one dose.

Tisanes

More and more people are looking for both caffeine-free and local products: tisanes make a delicious choice. Unlike our tea selection, our herbal producers are all Canadian growers and herbalists, mostly from our own beautiful province. The ingredients for the blends are harvested by hand and dried using traditional methods that preserve their aromatic oils and benefits. A great way to relax and buy local!

Kombucha

If you haven’t heard the word “kombucha” in the past year, you must have been in a remote corner of the planet!

Originally from Asia, Kombucha is more than 2000 years old, but its large-scale popularity in the West is recent. This beverage of infused tea fermented with a specific mushroom culture in and is an excellent alternative to alcoholic beverages. In our stores on Émery St. and in Quebec City we offer several flavours of Lao Kombucha all made with our teas, either in bottles or on draught.

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Food pairings & cocktails

 

Tea alone is a simple and pure delight and often compared it to wine for their many parallels. In addition to teas classic pairings of chocolate, biscuits or desserts why not try a more innovative pairing with scotch, cheese or oysters. In recent years tea is increasingly a favourite ingredient for lovers of cocktail mixology.

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Tea: A Delicious Alternative for Late Evenings

10 February 2018

at 22:47 by Social

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If the stimulant, diuretic and antibacterial properties of tea have long been recognized by Chinese medicine, it is only recently that its benefits have been confirmed by modern science. However, there is no longer any doubt that its virtues contribute to our longevity by stimulating the functions of the heart, strengthening the immune system and preventing cell mutations.

Tea, in all its forms, is a healthy, delicious, and original alternatives, even for late evenings. Here are some suggestions from the Camellia Sinensis Tea House:

Tisanes

Discover a world of new fragrances and of different plants such as verbena, raspberry, nettle, wintergreen, hops, lavender, yarrow, and lemon balm as marvellous accompaniments to your late evenings.

White Teas

Clover honey, edible flowers, fresh walnuts, freshly cut grass, are aromas evoked in the sweet and velvety nuances of white teas. With a relatively low caffeine and tannin content, their refreshing infusion is perfect at any time of the day. A tea to enjoy peacefully, without food, to enjoy its finer subtleties and its soothing effect.

Rooibos

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) from the legume family took its name from the Afrikaans word ‘rooibosch’, meaning red-bush, from the deep red it turns toward the end of its life. Delicious with or without milk!

Iced Teas

Great to satisfy both your thirst and that of your guests! Whether you use a mixture already prepared or benefit from emptying your collection of bags of tea and adding fruits and spices, the procedure is simple. Just add cold water to your preparation at a dosage you would use for a hot infused tea, and allow it to infuse for 6 am to 12 hours in the refrigerator, then filter before tasting!

Mocktails

Camellia Sinensis will participate in Fondation Jean Lapointe’s 28 Days Sober Challenge and will donate $ 1 for every 50g of Shui Xian Lao Cong sold during the month of February.

Wuyi Sunrise

3 oz Shui Xian Lao Cong iced
1 oz fresh pressed clementine juice
1-2 oz soda water (to increase the volume)
A splash of Grenadine syrup

Enjoy!

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28 Days Sober : delicious alternatives!

30 January 2018

at 6:47 by Social

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The Jean Lapointe Foundation are organizing the ‘28 Days Sober‘ for the month of February and the Camellia Sinensis team are taking the challenge. Aside from not drinking alcohol for the month, participants pledge to raise funds for awareness and action against teenage substance abuse.

Camellia Sinensis will donate $ 1 for every 50g of Shui Xian Lao Cong sold during the month of February.

Too encourage solidarity for those joining us, we have compiled a selection of alternative and delicious beverages to enhance your more festive evenings this month. Cheers!

Mocktails

Wuyi Sunrise

3 oz Shui Xian Lao Cong iced *
1 oz fresh pressed clementine juice
1-2 oz soda water (to increase the volume)
A splash of Grenadine syrup

Labrador Cobbler by Patrice Plante (without alcohol)

90 ml (3 oz.) Cold infused Labrador tea
7 ml (0.24 oz) agave syrup
15 ml (0.5 oz) of lemon juice
Crushed ice
30 ml (1 oz) of sparkling water
Small fruits or seasonal herbs (for decoration)

 Feng Pine by Simon Faucher

1/2 tsp commercial pine tree jelly
2 tsp lemon juice
200 ml (7 oz) of Feng Huang Hong Cha  tea (or another fruity Chinese black tea, hot)
Pine tree branch (for garnish) (optional)

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Gourmet Pairings

Shui Xian Lao Cong + ‘Alfred Le Fermier’ cheese

In a normal (hot) infusion, Shui Xian Lao Cong is absolutely divine with ‘Alfred Le Fermier‘ cheese, a pressed Quebec cheese of raw cow’s milk. To savour this pairing, we suggest to first to taste the tea before taking a small bite of the cheese (brought to room temperature). With the cheese still in mouth, take another sip of warm tea. This will melt the cheese, bring out its creamy side and its slightly fruity notes. Delightful!

Shui Xian Lao Cong + Valrhona Manjari 64%

Prepare a regular teapot infusion and pair with Valrhona Manjari black chocolate 64% for a sublime combination. Tasting follows the same order: first a sip of tea, then a square of chocolate followed by a second sip that will melt the chocolate and unfold the fruity notes of Shui Xian Lao Cong and Valrhona Manjari. Delectable!

Kombucha

Originally from Asia, Kombucha is more than 2000 years old – but recently, its popularity increased in the West. This beverage made from fermented tea is an excellent alternative to alcoholic beverages. We now offer Lao Kombucha (made with our teas!) on draft or in bottles at our Émery and Québec stores!

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Fall Recipe: Pumpkin Chai Latte

20 October 2017

at 11:33 by Social

What better than a pumpkin chai latte to get all cosy and comfortable during the fall?
Here’s our easy recipe:

 

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Pumpkin Chai latte
2L portion

 

1. Infuse for 40 minutes, heavy boil:

  • 25g of Chai Camellia
  • 1L of water
  • 30g of sugar

2. Add the following ingredients and let simmer for 10 minutes :

  • 1L of soy milk
  • 1/4 pumpkin, slightly caramelized and peppered (or premixed pumpkin puree)

3. Enjoy :)

Summertime recipes

6 July 2017

at 10:13 by Social

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Perhaps tea is not the first drink that comes to mind to quench a Summer thirst but its versatility can makes it a choice beverage for all seasons. Try an iced-version of a matcha, chai latte, or even your favourite infusion with some basil, citrus, mint – the options are endless. You could even use up some of those older leaves that are hanging out in the back of the cupboard.

Here are a few Summertime recipes that the whole family will enjoy:

Matcha Shake

Ingredients

  • 750ml (3 cups) of cold, soya milk OR 2% cow’s milk
  • 250ml (1 cup) of cold water (or a mix of ice cubes and water)
  • 3 tsp Matcha Sora
  • 4 tsp Raw sugar (or 2 tsp for sweetened soy milk)

Preparation
Put all ingredients into an electric blender, or in a shaker
Blend/mix until Matcha has completely dissolved
Serve and enjoy!

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Iced chai latte

Ingredients

  • 500 ml (2 cups) water
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk 3.25% or soya milk.
  • 4 tsp. chai Camellia spice/tea mix, or another
  • 4 tsp. teaspoon raw sugar

Preparation

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the chai mixture to the boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add milk and sugar and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat, cover and let steep 5 minutes. Add sugar to taste. Filter to remove leaves and spices. Complete with a few ice cubes.
  4. Note: If you use sweetened soy milk, reduce the quantity of sugar to 2 tsp, to taste.

Homemade iced tea

ALL teas can be infused cold. It makes a great way to use up a your old reserves.

Preparation (4 cups)

  1. Use 4 teaspoons of your choice of tea.
  2. Pour 1 litre of cold water onto the leaves
  3. Add some flavour(orange, lime, spice, herbs etc.)
  4. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar
  5. Leave to infuse for at least 6 hours or leave mixture in the fridge overnight.

Tasty additions:
-Green Tea, mint and lime.
-Black Tea, orange and spice (cardamom, ginger, cinnamon etc)
-Wulong Tea, rose-petals, basil.

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Vodka iced tea cocktail

Ingredients

Preparation
Mix all ingredients in an Old Fashion glass with ice. Add a mint leave for decoration

*Mint syrup
Boil ½ cups of sugar with ¾ cups of water. Remove once sugar has completely dissolved. Add ¼ cups of finely chopped mint leves and infuse for 30 minutes. Filter.

Photo Credit : Christina Fayad, Art Director at  PUR vodka

 

Tea and Sugar Shack: Gourmet Pairings

26 March 2017

at 22:50 by Social

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Spring time in Quebec means longer days, softer weather and of course: sugar shacks – an artisanal tradition since the 19th century. With sugar season in full swing, our gourmet pairing specialist, Émilie Poissant, has created some tea/food pairings for your next sugar shack visit. You can also use these suggestions if you’re looking for inspiration when making a homemade menu.

First and foremost, when we think about sugar shack meals, we think of the obvious:  pea soup, omelets, maple ham, beans – basically, anything that combines salty and sweet.

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It’s no surprise that our first suggestion, which we find to be a great fit for these meals, are black teas. With such a wide variety to choose from, firstly, we’d like to suggest an Indian or African full-bodied black tea to pair with any salty/sweet meat dishes such as bacon or cretons.  There’s also the autumnal Darjeeling Jungpana DJ154 that comes to mind with its spicy and woodsy notes. You can also opt for a Rwandan Rukeri which offers a malted, barley sugar taste.

Staying in the black tea family, we can choose something less round and full-bodied to pair with softer foods such as eggs, beans or pea soup. We’d suggest a Nepalese black tea, such as an autumnal Jun Chiyabari J-215 with its rich and gourmet perfume, or a Chinese Jin Die with more of a mocha taste or even the Mi Xiang Hong Cha for it’ honey taste which outlines well the sweet side of meals.

When it comes to desert, whether it’s a maple syrup pie or a grand pere with maple syrup, we’d like to propose something a bit less obvious. The 2006 aged Chinese Liu Bao whose autumn, “fallen leaves” perfume complements well the thawing season scents as its sweet, syrup flavour will definitely take you by surprise. A match made in heaven! If you prefer pecan pie, we’d definitely suggest a Wulong with roasted notes such as the Bai Rui Xiang.

As a final digestive for your feast, we can’t think of anything better than a stronger Pu Er Shou, with hints of hummus, nuts and earth – a 2006 Bulang Shan, a 2005 Jingmai or a 2011 Menghai.

Tea & Chocolate: Our Pairing Recommendations

12 February 2017

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The rich and delicate pairings between the creaminess of chocolate and the aromas of teas are enough to seduce anyone. On Valentine’s Day, Émilie Poissant, our specialist in gourmet pairings, presents her recommendations.

How to taste chocolate with tea? The “sandwich” technique is used; first take a sip of tea, then bite a piece of chocolate, then follow with another mouthful of tea. This technique allows the chocolate to melt rapidly and evenly, in order to appreciate the respective flavours of the tea and the chocolate. For more intense chocolates, several sips of tea at the end of the tasting are recommended. It is also possible to melt the chocolate with the hot tea, which gives equally delicious results.

In the case of a fruity black chocolate with a medium cocoa percentage (Manjari 64% of Valrhona, Socconusco 66% of Chocolate Privilège) we choose a round, fruity, slightly malted tea, similar to the chocolate. Chinese black teas (Yunnan Da Ye, Zhenghe Hong Gong Fu, Feng Huang Hong Cha) or the more fruity and woody wulongs (Gaba Cha, Bai Hao).TIhese teas also accompany a chocolate with an olive oil ganache (for example, that of Geneviève Grandbois) with its fruity notes and its nutty finish.

For those fond of dark chocolates with nuts and dried fruits (Tanzanie 75% of Cacao Barry, Araguani 72% of Valrhona or Grand Noir 85% of Michel Cuizel), the pairings will be with the more woody and grilled wulongs (Shui Xian Lao Cong, Qi Lan Wuyi) to rival the bitterness of chocolate. Also worth trying in this case are earthy aged teas (Menghai 1992 or 2011, Haiwan 2005). All these teas are perfect with chocolate desserts such as a chocolate fondant cake, a tart or a brownie.

With a milk chocolate with a lower percentage of cocoa (Tanariva 33% of Valrhona, Ghana 40% of Cacao Barry), the combination will be pleasant with more full-bodied and malty black teas (Ceylan New Vithanakande, Darjeeling 2nd flush or autumnal) which pair particularly well with the sweet side of the chocolate. In the mouth, the blend of tea with milk chocolate creates the impression of an English tea.

White chocolate, pairs well with a lightly roasted wulong tea (Dong Ding Mr. Nen Yu or Mr. Chang – roasted in-house).

Finally, if you are a lover of caramel ganache chocolates with fleur de sel, Emily recommends the more vegetal, buttery and fruity aspects of the Taiwanese wulongs (Dong Ding by Mr. Chang or Shan Lin Xi) for a harmony of balance and sweetness, or a Japanese green tea (Sencha Fukamushi Kagoshima) for a more explosive pairing.

Intrigued by the gourmet pairings between teas and chocolates? Don’t miss our workshop: a captivating sensory experience in a convivial atmosphere. Chocolates of various terroirs, exceptional teas, rich and delicate pairings. (in French only)

 
 

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