Our Tea Blog | Camellia Sinensis


Tasting report: Rou Gui Da Wang

16 May 2017

at 17:08 by Social


Gaiwan infusion – 5 grams of leaves – 95°C water

Laurence Lambin-Gagnon,  of the Quebec chapter of Camellia Sinensis presents us his notes on his Rou Gui Da Wang (Chinese wulong) tasting.

“It may seem peculiar to opt for the tasting of an older Chinese Wulong among the fresh new arrivals of the Spring harvest. But the Rou Gui Da Wang is also at its best time of year. In fact, teas from the region of the Wuyi mountains are harvested in Spring, roasted in summer and sold in fall. These are the legendary “rock teas”, some of the World’s most renowned grand crus that are often sold at a hefty price. Their trademark long twisted leaves are easy to spot and stem from their difficult terroir. Roasted with a wood based, tradition and yielding infusions of unique, deep, mineral balance. For many, this balance really falls into place in the Spring following the harvest, nearly a year after original production.

Tasting notes:
First infusion offers a mesmerizing bouquet: coal, caramelized sugar and incense. Mouthfeel is all wood and spices. The texture is oily with a rich essence such as olive-tree wood or ebony. The liquor is thick and suave, sweetened by its infusion. The finish is chocolaty, reminiscent of grilled cocoa, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. The Rou Gui Da Wang (literally Grand King of the Rou Gui) starts high.

The second and third infusions reveal a fresher, softer side to the tea. After a year of rest, the freshly infused leaves express the vegetal power of the terroir. As its liquor thickens and loses acidity it  reveals a smoothness, similar to hazelnut butter. This harvest is an exclusive issue from an experienced tea maker, almost 80 years old. This season M. Liu, has produced only 50KG of this tea and we are lucky to have been offered it.

For me the best part in tasting Wuyi teas comes at the end of the tasting. As the aromas begin to fade away and the unique trademark of that terroir is revealed: a dense mineral liquor that remains calm, still and persistent.”

Team Portrait – Sébastien Collin

7 May 2017

at 22:11 by Social


At Camellia Sinensis, the quality of our teas has our reputation but the quality of our team makes it all possible. This month, we introduce to you Sébastien Collin.

Tell us about how you started at Camellia Sinensis…

I had an immediate friendly connection with these tea ambassadors and related strongly to their desire to democratize tea.  I found the teahouse inspiring and was happy to have an opportunity to be a part of such a dynamic and innovative company. I still have fond memories of the early days: organizing small spaces to manage the inventory, tending to clients at the Emery boutique….and concocting our homemade blends in the back store.

What is your role within the team?

Throughout the years, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of many creative initiatives and projects.  I have worked in the development of our stock management, store management, quality control, client servicing, employee training, website content.  I also host various tasting events, write blogs and have been a big part of our educational program and various publications. After years of living my passion for tea in our stores, I am now back in the warehouse dealing with numbers and our ever changing inventory.

Your favourite tea is…

Although not my “every day” tea, the Pu er are my favourites for their fuller and richer taste. They are so powerful and vibrant and can create the feeling of time standing still. The 1992 Menghai Hou Gen Pu Er has a special place in my all time favourites as it brings back fond memories of my travels in China.

What is your most important discovery?

Keeping it simple and basic.  I have learned the value and appreciation of the daily ritual. The importance of delving in with “body-and-soul” when tasting.   A good tea will please me with its aromas, taste, mouthfeel and after taste but also impact my body through stimulation, relaxation and many other more subtle sensations.


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