Our Tea Blog | Camellia Sinensis


Refreshing and delicate white teas

16 April 2019

at 21:14 by Social


The aromatic body of white teas is known to be delicate and fragrant. We often detect clover honey, edible flowers, fresh walnuts, freshly cut meadow grasses – all sweet and velvety nuances with a creamy liquor.

Thanks to a relatively low caffeine and tannin content, most Western tea-enthusiasts tend to enjoy it at any time of the year whereas in China, white tea is more often drank during the warm months for its refreshing aspect. We suggest enjoying this tea in a quiet setting, without food, in order to benefit from its finer subtleties and its soothing effect.

Two great classics to discover or rediscover

Mr Zhang is a producer with whom we have been working since 2004, known for two most classic white teas: Bai Hao Yin Zhen and Bai Mu Dan Wang. The original terroir and plantations for this tea family are located in northern Fujian.

In recent years, the growing popularity of white teas, particularly in China, has resulted in excessive local price rise. Thanks to our longstanding relationship with Mr. Zhang and his understanding of our market reality – we can acquire and offer you these products at a reasonable price.

While both teas come from the same gardens, the difference lies in how the leaves are selected. The Bai Hao Yin Zhen is harvested delicately: with the bud and leaf, while for Bai Mu Dan Wang, more leaves will be selected and picked, giving it a more frank, grassy taste with a hint of fresh hay. The Bai Hao Yin Zhen is very delicate, has more texture and its notes are more floral.

Bai Hao Yin Zhen

A worthy representative of the great Chinese teas, this white tea is seductive at first sight. The lively and silky liquor fills the mouth with fruity and vegetal flavors (straw, mushroom). Long and delicate, its floral finish(chamomile) is quite refreshing.

Bai Mu Dan Wang

A white tea with a floral character (reminiscent of lily) enhanced by hints of cinnamon. Moist, the Bai Mu Dan Imperial has a beautiful persistence and is a good everyday companion for delicate tea lovers.


Belle Humeur: Our Newest Tisane

20 March 2019

at 14:21 by Social

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Tisanes: A Beverage on the Rise

It’s not long ago that herbal infusions were associated with Grandma’s night-time tonic. But beyond the traditional and very obvious camomile, these plants hold infinite array of taste, flavours, benefits and scents. In fact, the market is trending heavily in that direction; “44% of tea drinkers also drink natural herbal teas, which is a 17% increase compared to 2015″. (La Presse, ATTC). We’ve noticed that our Camellia Sinensis clients, this trend has translated into a 90% bump in sales in the last 4 years.

Consumers are also putting more importance on the quality and origin all the food products they purchase, be it for coffee, tea or wine. So tisanes often called ‘botanicals’, are no exception. As the demand for local and premium products grows we constantly strive to evolve our catalogue creatively to bring to you new experiences. Thus our latest concoction: La Belle Humeur. We’ve developed this new blend in collaboration with the Herbalist La Maria located in St-Michel-de-Bellechasse.
How do we create these new blends?

The process is relatively straight forward. the project was to introduce a new tasting experience, with a product that was available year long. Our partners then met up with Jasmin and recommended a few plant options that would lend themselves to the very diverse and extreme Quebec climate. At that point, we went through a long tasting and blending process to create this very distinct herbal blend for our collection.

Visual, delicious and rich with properties

A very warm infusion, its floral and citrus notes are predominant. The finish is more nuanced with sweetness and a vegetal delivery. The silky texture and delicate taste is feels like a beautiful summer day.

La Belle Humeur is a blend of marjoram, lemon basil, raspberry, calendula and rose petal which makes it a valuable ally for both the digestive and nervous system. In fact, it named as such by Elodie, one of the Camellia team who trained as a professional naturopath, who was inspired by its benefits.

Discover this organic botanical treat for its beauty and its taste!

7 natural cures to fight cold season

16 January 2019

at 14:33 by Social


Winter often goes hand in hand with catching colds, flus and various other viruses. Thankfully, our team has put their efforts together to give you a few ideas on how to fight these and not get slowed down!



  • The second Josiane sees the first signs of a virus she prepares a good matcha dose to fight it off.
  • If you’re feeling a bit courageous, you can do like Noémie and mix a garlic clove with some L’Éclatante tisane, honey and gin. You’ll scare the cold away (as well as any humans).

Staying alert

  • If you take equal parts Labrador Tea and a Chinese green tea, you’ll get a tasty and efficient beverage to not doze off at work. Veronique-approved!
  • If you want to stay up and dance all night, go for a generous dose of black tea such as Tukdah, a Darjeeling First Flush


  • If you’re suffering from a nasty cough or throat ache, go for the Shui Xian Lao Cong along with a good spoonful of honey
  • Looking for next level comfort? Try mixing the Ange-Gardienne and Taïga herbal teas along with honey.
  • Try simply enjoying an earthy Pu Er bien like the 2011 Menghai or Myanmar. Add some honey and wheat milk.

Do you have some natural remedies to share ?

Discover our local products

27 May 2018

at 18:50 by Social

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Herbal teas are more popular than ever for many reason – they’re low in caffeine, they’re locally sourced and above all, they’re fresh. As we do we our teas, we go through a rigorous tasting process in order to find a variety of blends, aromas and harmonious flavours. Our blends stem from handpicked whole plants that are dried using traditional methods which allows them to preserve their natural oils as well as their benefits.



In infusion, its liquor, light and sweet, is strongly marked by the essential oil it carries (methyl salicylate) with its pronounced and characteristic taste, reminding of its use in muscle balms. In the finish, a delicate hint of sweetness is invigorated with a long sparkling sensation, similar to its pain relief and analgesic effects!

Labrador Tea

Composition : Buds, stems and small leaves of Labrador tea

From the peatland of Lake Saint-Jean, the downy leaves of this native plant of the Rhododendron genus disclose, in infusion, a lively and light liquor, supported by strong citrus and camphor aromas. Its vegetal character is reminiscent of lichen and cedar. Anti-inflammatory and decongestant, its essential oil is also calming.

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As a matter of fact, did you know that more than a dozen of our herbal teas were created with plants found in our beautiful Quebec forests? These herbal teas blends have been concocted exclusively for Camellia Sinensis with plants originating from Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse. We even have an entire garden dedicated to our plants. This is extremely exciting for our 4 expert tasters as it allows them to apply with more frequency the same tasting process they do when they travel abroad to Asia. The best of both worlds!


Composition : Amaranth, agastache, calendula, lemon balm

A colourful flowery herbal tea blending orange (marigold), purple (agastache) and dark red (amaranth) with the delicious green of the leaves of lemon balm. The pinkish liquor is smooth and creamy evocative of myrrh or almond. Its powerful aniseed fragrance is tempered by a fine citrus zest.

La Réconfortante

Composition : Lemon verbena, calendula (marigold), yarrow, mallow, cornflower

The large green leaves of lemon verbena are escorted by a magnificent retinue of whole flowers, white, orange, blue and mauve. The golden liquor is bright and citrusy deploying deeply the intensity of its aromatic oils. Its dominant fruitiness is enhanced in its finish by herbaceous and floral accents.

La Rose Pourpre

Composition: raspberry leaves, purple basil, wild rose buds

Here is a delicate blend of raspberry, purple basil and wild rose buds. The stunning deep violet liquor is lively and has a pleasant suppleness relieved by a fine astringency that gives it body. The intensity of the aromatic oils of basil and rose blend with the vegetal character of raspberry. The long spicy finish (Peppermint) leaves a sense of lightness.

Tulsi d’hiver

This mixture was created especially for the cold season, distinguished by the spicy (pepper) and fruity (blueberry) character of the holy basil (also called tulsi). The rich calendula (marigold) enhances the liquor with a rich and velvety texture. Vegetable and saline nettle notes support harmoniously the ethereal softness and floral bouquet of the rose and oregano.

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:


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 (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!


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



Spotlight on infusions!

16 January 2018

at 13:45 by Social


Did you know that infusions are an easy way to take advantage of phytotherapy? They are also delicious at any time of day or night and in any season.

As with our teas, we use a lengthy tasting and selection process to blend a variety of plants with complimentary flavours and aromas. Unlike our tea selection, we have the luxury of selecting our tisanes, right here, in Canada from local producers. Most of these esteemed herbalists are located across ‘La Belle Province’ and their hand picked plants are dried according to tradition to preserve the essential oils and benefits.


Check out our wide selection of infusions and learn about their many benefits for the body and soul.

Although there are always many reasons to chose a herbal tea, here are some of the most recommended uses for the most common of aches and pains:

To sleep better

À la tombée du jour : a mixture of lemon balm, orange, linden and chamomile

La Bergère : with its sweet taste of oats is perfect for the evening.

Thé du Labrador : known for its calming influence.

To fight a virus

L’Ange-Gardienne : The essential oils contained in thyme, fir and goldenrod defend the body against bacteria and viruses.

La Boréale : an outstanding tonic for digestion and all conditions which cause mucus (colds, flu, cystitis, etc.).

Le Tulsi d’hiver : A herbal adaptogen which allows the body and the immune system to adapt to seasonal change or the effects of stress.

Wild Taïga : Harvested in the heart of our beautiful forests, the plants composing this herbal tea will sharpen your taste buds while also acting as a flu breaker, an anti-inflammatory medicine and a powerful release for the respiratory tract.

To be productive at work

L’Apaisante : The synergy of the four plants also creates a calming effect on the nervous system.

Sunburst : A great tisane composed of lemon basil, rose, raspberry cane, fir and mint for staying focussed at work.

To help your nervous system

La Provençale : this infusion is recommended for all types of cramps, whether abdominal or menstrual.

La Rose Pourpre : this mixture is beneficial for the female reproductive system, as it can prevent menstrual discomfort and help regulate the menstrual cycle.

To help digest

La Réconfortante : With essential oils of lemon verbena and yarrow, this tea helps digestion after a heavy  meal and a few drinks.

La Sublime : Thanks to the essential oils in these plants, the digestive system can find deep relief from cramps, bloating and gas.

Le Secret du bonheur : This aromatic and aniseed mixture enables  relaxation, calms intestinal spasms and promotes good digestion.

Discover the many other properties of our herbal infusions:

Thé du Labrador : insomnia, cold, anxiety, liver.

Thé des bois : anti-inflammatory, joints, muscle, anti-fever.

Rose Pourpre : reproductive system, nervous system, digestion.

L’Apaisante : stress, insomnia, digestion.

La Réconfortante : calming, skin, cold, digestion.

La Tulsi d’hiver : immune system, colds, digestion

L’Ange Gardienne : cold, immunity, respiratory system, antiseptic.

La Bergère : nervous system, soothing, stomach.

La Tombée du jour : anti-stress, sleep, digestion, bloating.

La Boréale : reproductive system, anti-pain, mucus, inflammation.

La Sublime : digestion, cramps, relaxing.

La Provençale : crampe, inflammation, fever, nervous system.

Le Secret du bonheur : urinary system, intestinal spasms, digestion.

L’Éclatante : digestion, nausea, inflammation.

Sunburst : nervous system, concentration

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Tea & Health: the virtues of each tea family

15 January 2017

at 9:14 by Social


Over 4000 years ago Sheng Nong discovered that tea has the power to both stimulate and detoxify, man had gradually lost interest in its medicinal properties. 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. Today, unlike the Taoists of old, we do not consider tea as an elixir of immortality or as a drink with mystical powers. 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.

Whichever tea family you prefer, you can rest assured that each of them will offer various benefits. Find out what they are here:


Refreshing, thirst quenching white tea in China is particularly consumed during the summer. According to Chinese medicine, it balances excess heat and mitigates the effects of menopause.

New amateur of white tea? We suggest Bai Hao Yin Zhen.


According to recent studies, some green teas contains a higher amount of polyphenols than other families of tea, which has made it very popular in the West in recent years. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, green tea can prevent some forms of cancer. Equally reknowned as an aide to concentration, green tea contains more iron, vitamins and catechins than black tea. The drying necessary to obtain a green tea helps increase the polyphenol content of leaves

Are you looking to boost your antioxidants? Try out Sencha Mobata.


Steady consumption (8 grams per day) of Oolong causes weight loss by improving lipid metabolism. Its relaxing effect, anti-stress, even euphoria, is due to the high concentration of aromatic oils that are exuded from the leaves during rolling

Hugo Americi has a soft spot for the Ali Shan wulong.


The enzymatic oxidation experienced by the leaves during the processing of black tea converts some of the catechins into theaflavin and thearubigins. Caffeine in black tea is released more quickly into the bloodstream, over a shorter period than that of green tea, the oxidation partially separating the tannins. Due to this, black tea acts as a more physical stimulant than green tea. Surprisingly we now find that some black teas are rich in antioxidants.

Bet you didn’t know that Kevin Gascoyne drinks about ten Darjeeling cups every morning. Well, he does. Get the facts on black tea with the Darjeeling 1st flush classic Singell DJ-19.


Because of its properties, Aged tea has long been used as a food supplement by several tribes and nomadic populations living in remote areas. As these people ate mostly high fat yak meat, tea allowed them to balance their diet by fighting against fat. Today we recognize the cleansing virtues of Aged tea which helps to regulate the body and aid digestion. Aged tea also helps to remove cholesterol.

Feeling curious? Try out the Thai Pu Er 2006 Hong Tai Cha: a more obscure terroir product.

Dark teas for white snow days

31 March 2014

at 21:34 by Seb


All tea lovers eventually explore the fascinating family of aged teas. Easy to drink throughout the year, some intuitively feel a deep need to rediscover their rustic flavors during this delicious season of reflection that is winter, especially when its end still seems far!

So make the most of the warmth and quiet of a wood heated chalet, or a perhaps a  festive evening, to immerse yourself in one of these vintages carefully refined by time. Young or old, slowly ageing after having  undergone a forced fermentation, Pu Er and other dark teas offer a wealth of unexpected textures and flavors.

Developed for immediate consumption, the  shou Pu Er, with their rapid maturation, deploy round and earthy liquors, very few tannins or bitterness, nuanced by accents of leather and undergrowth. Ideal to accompany a meal with their digestive properties, they are also appreciated between meals for their sweetness. The more aged unveil their profound sophistication in the form of balance and more sustained presence in the mouth.

In order to fully understand the aesthetics of aged teas, tasting very young sheng Pu Er is an essential and very interesting experience. It then becomes clear that this tea which is produced and drunk in Yunnan, also called maocha, is a raw product fairly close green tea in its taste profile. Combining powerful tannic and mineral, with vegetal, floral and fruity notes of amazing persistence, greatly appreciated by collectors and guaranteeing an excellent bonus potential.

The intriguing transformation that occurs at the heart of these carefully compressed teas, following the passing of years, reveals increasingly supple and harmonious liquors with aromas of barks, spices and eventually lichen or roots. Old sheng Pu er, known for their refreshing and exquisite aftertaste, are also savoured for the effect of well-being they provide. A nice excuse to acquire a ‘cake’ and patiently follow its evolution over several decades.

Other teas have been able to benefit from the growing popularity of aged teas and their positive effects, and even if they do not originate in Yunnan and therefore do not have the name Pu Er, they all offer the same intoxicating and comforting taste experiences. Whether the revered small leaves of Liu An, from the province of Guangdong, with mineral and earthy flavors or those more mature Liu Bao from Guangxi famous for generating lighter, sweet and woody, liquors, each region has its expertise and its unique character making them tantalizing to discover! Some have made their mark in history, such as Fuzhuan or Baboo, respectively for the Mongolian and Tibetan markets, and cleverly integrated into their rich meat diets. Others remained the domain of ethnic minorities and concocted specially for their festivals and celebrations such as the unique and intensely acid Bulang tea!

Who knows where this voyage of terroirs and flavors will lead us once it begins, but you can be sure that each of these teas is like a force of nature to be tamed in order to appreciate in all its splendour !

Heavy Metals and Pesticides in my Cup?!

20 March 2014

at 15:03 by Seb


Recent North American media publications report studies on the presence of lead and arsenic in tea.  Naturally this is of some concern to us all. Camellia Sinensis has had a vigilant, in-house approach to such contamination since 2008 when our first heavy metal laboratory tests were initiated.

During the planning of our first book on tea we commissioned the Quebecois laboratory Transbiotech to begin various analyses of our privately imported teas for antioxidants, caffeine, humidity and heavy metals content. Research continued into 2013 when we commissioned more tests, relating more specifically to pesticides. This time in the laboratory of the ‘Centre d’Expertise en Analyse Environnemental du Québec

Heavy Metals

Transbiotech laboratory tested for traces of twenty different heavy metals on twenty of our teas.  Tests showed that aside from trace presence of aluminum and manganese, which occur naturally in almost all soils, other heavy metals, such as lead and arsenic, were either completely absent, or present in the same concentration as the mineral water used in the tests. (See the certificate of analysis here)


The TV show L’Epicerie recently broadcast a piece exposing traces of pesticides in some industrial, mass-produced tea bags. Camellia Sinensis has been actively organic for almost 10 years (the company received organic certification in 2005) so I would like take this opportunity to share a little of our experience and vision on the organic cultivation of tea. Tea is as much an agricultural product as any other fruit or vegetable we consume. As with any other agricultural products; fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides, be they natural or chemical, are often used to ensure a good harvest and to control pests and diseases. For us, working directly with the producers in their tea gardens on our annual visits enables us to ensure the safety and quality of the teas we import.

Back in 2005 we first received organic certification for many of our teas, examples from each region of production. In 2008, we launched a project to certify 2 gardens with Ecocert and Mr. He, a producer of Huiming, in the province of Zhejiang, China.  Initially we were curious to compare Western standards with those of China’s OTRDC (Organic Tea Research Development Center). So we were very pleased in May 2009 when we received organic certification from Ecocert, attesting that Mr. He’ s gardens met all the stringent requirements of European standards. Today we are pleased to have a large selection of certified organic teas.

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To be realistic, with our focus on artisanal teas, many of our producers are small family farmers.  With the costs for certification so high it is not possible to have a certification for all teas from all countries. Nevertheless, at all times, we take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of our teas.

Here are some of our methods.

During every tea garden visit we conduct a ‘checklist’ of visual analysis for certain parameters:

- What are the local risks from the natural environment, altitude and topography? Tropical plains or mountains at 2000 m do not require the same insect control or fertilizer responses.

- Is there other plant-life growing between the tea plants?

- Is there a big contrast between the mature leaves at the base of tea bush and the young shoots?

- Is the garden alive! Spiders, worms, flies, ladybugs etc..

-Are there bags of fertilizer or pesticides in the garden or factory?

Meeting the same producers year after year, we are able to follow with them the annual climate challenges and new farming methods.

In 2013 we undertook laboratory tests with the ‘Centre d’Expertise en Analyse Environnemental du Québec’ to test for chemical residues in both leaves and liquors of our teas.

We were pleased to learn that the vast majority of our teas had no residues of pesticides or other chemicals at all. The teas that did reveal tiny trace residues were levels similar to those we would find in many of the vegetables or fruits that we eat. The essential things to look for are which chemical and in what quantity?

The leaves of one tea, for example, contained 0.3 mg / kg of cyhalothrin, an insecticide used worldwide for leafy vegetables. 0.3 mg / kg is the MRL (maximum residue level) established by Health Canada.  However, we do not eat tea like a vegetable so we were curious to test the liquor after infusion to see if the insecticide in question was soluble in water.

Results showed that, following the regular suggested infusion parameters we use to brew a good cup of tea, there was absolutely no presence of this chemical in the liquor. You can consult our analysis certificates for the dry leaf and the liquor here.

The following link shows Health Canada’s standards

Be assured that for us organic and ethical agriculture is an on-going concern. Our inspections and laboratory tests will continue in the years to come. When you drink as much tea as we do you really don’t want to have to worry about these things.


Gaba Cha

21 November 2013

at 15:09 by Seb


Gaba Cha is a modern tea.  It was originally created as a health product but has such a fascinating flavour profile that it stands tall in any catalogue of fine teas. Dr. Tsushima Tojiro and his team at Japan’s ‘National Tea Experimental Station’ developed the processing technique for this tea back in the late 1980’s.  It is however the Taiwanese that have become the World’s producer and supplier of Gaba Cha.

The manufacture begins with a quantity of good quality leaf placed in vacuum packed bags at a temperature above 40˚C for around 8 hours. This anaerobic reaction can also be done with nitrogen instead of vacuum. The leaves are then removed for a carefully measured period of just a few minutes when they are exposed to air and agitated. For our Gaba Cha, the vacuum- air cycle is repeated 5 times with slight variations in the time of exposure between vacuum treatments. This anaerobic procedure unlocks the rich natural source of Gamma-aminobutyric acid or ‘GABA’ from the leaves’ natural chemistry.


Gamma-aminobutyric acid or ‘GABA’

GABA is an important amino acid that functions as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

So drinking Gaba Cha has been associated with a long list of claims and benefits for human health and wellbeing that range from memory retention to curing hangovers, from weight loss to relaxation and from combating depression to increased sexual performance to mention just a few.


special collection

Welcome to the Special Collection
Here you will both find Teaware and Teas created by some of Asia’s most talented craftsmen.