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Kevin’s top 3 for 2017: Discover his favourites.

20 August 2017

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British tea-taster Kevin first bought tea in Asia in 1989 and has since spent every spring there as for almost 25 years. Aside from his obsessive quest for Darjeeling’s finest leaf, his interest in the teas of Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the African continent have added these regions to his repertoire.  Kevin was weaned on tea and has been drinking copious amounts daily ever since. According to his colleagues his daily tea consumption compares to the flow of some small rivers.  Here are his Spring Picks for 2017.

Darjeeling Muscatel Valley DJ-3

This delicious tea from Muscatel Valley is a blend of leaves from young (clonal) and old (classic) tea plants.

As we taste the soft full, fruity attack of the clonal leaves open the flavor profile. Then gradually the more forceful vitality of the classic leaves powers through to close the flavor.  In a recent tasting this effect was compared to a train speeding out of the mist…a very Darjeeling image.

The liquor combines the “classical”, mineral (salty) and tannic character of older tea plants, with supple and fruity (typically “clonal”) accents.

Darjeeling 1st flush classic Singell DJ-11 Organic & Fair Trade

After so many years scanning the same small region for the best examples I can find, I keep coming back to this little section of old plants.  The ‘Heritage’ section of Singell was planted back in the 1860s with seeds from China.  It yields some exceptional teas and I was very pleased this year to see that they have fenced off 400 plants to be allocated as seed trees for future generations.

The infusion of its beautiful whole leaves reveals a clear liquor, lively and balanced, with a rich aroma making it one of the best Darjeelings this year. Its beautifully balanced herbaceous and floral notes contribute a surprising lightness to this fine and refreshing tea!

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Kangra Dharmsala EX-5 

The Kangra region is a secret corner of the Himalayas in the State of Himachal Pradesh.  It was planted back in the 1850s around the same time as Darjeeling.  Beautiful, classic, seed-grown plants growing at an altitude of 2000m and transformed in the style of a First Flush Darjeeling.  The flavour structure is very similar to that of a Spring Darjeeling but the flavour points and character quite different due to the local terroir.  A great discovery for any lover of classic Darjeeling.
Its full and fruity liqueur boasts bright vegetal, spicy and floral notes. Its tannic structure is rounded out by a pleasant mineral sensation(limestone) and a gourmet bread note that gives it extra depth.

Read this article about Kangra

For more information on this tea locate the garden on the Camellia Sinensis Darjeeling Garden Map.

Hugo’s Top 3 for 2017: Discover his favourites.

7 August 2017

at 9:35 by Social

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Since 2003 Hugo leaves each May to visit the producers of Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam. He will select many of the Wulong and Green Teas in our catalogue. Hugo knows the country roads of Taiwan like the back of his hand and given the choice would eat cooked cabbage for every meal, every day. Here are his picks for Spring 2017:

Sencha Sayamakaori

Every year, as I taste my way through over 200 types of Sencha I am always hoping to find a few hidden gem! This year, the first one that revealed itself was in a selection Sencha Sakamoto (sorry, we ran out quickly, there was only 10kg!) But the second one came from a collection of Sencha Sayamakaori. Its name originates from the Sayamakaori cultivar, in Japan. It is produced in Shizyoka by Mr. Hiroshi Kawase and is a Chumushi style Sencha despite having a leaning towards Fukamushi. It is a dark-colored tea, rich and full-bodied with a floral finish …

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Sencha Koshun
At the end of the transformation process, the Japanese often give their teas a finish which they refer to as “Hiire”.   But this tea, the Koshun, (again after the cultivar) is not finished with a firing.  Its pure clean flavour offers rich spring flower notes and can quench the thirstiest of palates!

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Dong Ding Mrs Lin (charcoal roast)
When it comes to Taiwanese teas, Dong Ding is a sure bet and this time, Mrs Lin has outdone herself with this charcoal finish. Roasted at the end of the process is common with Taiwanese wulong teas. Usually using an electric oven,  However Mrs Lin opts the old fashioned method of charcoal. The roasting gives them a comforting woody finish. This type of tea is perfect for the colder days of the fall, but Hugo recommends it for any rainy day…accompanied by a little something sweet.

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Team Portrait: Catherine-Emma Tremblay

6 August 2017

at 22:17 by Social

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(On the right side of this picture)

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 Catherine-Emma Tremblay.

How did you come to work at Camellia Sinensis?

It’s my love for tea and all things tea that brought me to work for Camellia Sinensis back in 2007. I was a loyal client for a long time and eventually, I found myself behind the counter in the teahouse and eventually in the store as a consultant.

What is your role within the team?

Since 2011, I’ve been mainly working out of the offices, where the tea school is located. Part of my role is accounting for the Montreal stores, our online store and the warehouse. I’m blessed to work with such quality people and also a world-class product. To this day, I still have the same passion when it comes to talking and sharing tea with clients and co-workers.

In 2013, I was lucky enough to go to Taiwan and Japan with Hugo during one of his yearly trips as he visits tea suppliers and potters. It was a unique experience and it helped me really grasp all the hard work that goes behind what we believe is a “simple” cup of tea! But trust me, when it comes to Camellia Sinensis, it’s really straight from the garden to the cup.

Your favourite tea is…

Hard to chose only one. Actually, it really depends on the day and also the seasons, but normally I like to begin my day with a black tea. The Darjeeling 1st Flush such as the Thurbo DJ-16 and the Jungpana DJ-3 are my morning favourites these days. Their liquor is just so textured, fruity and spicy.

Tell us about your most recent find.

One of the great things about working at Camellia Sinensis is that you’re always sharing teapots with your collegues. Recently, Josianne made me taste the Jingxian Jin Jun Mei, a Chinese black tea that swept me off my feet with its richness and floral/fruity aromas with a side of cocoa.

I’ve also been really into this Chinese green tea : Anji Bai Cha. Jasmin really made a great find with this one. It has a great balance between its sugary gourmet notes and a stringent delicate side.

 
 

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