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Halloween Chai

24 October 2018

at 14:37 by Social

BristolChai

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!

 

AN INNOVATIVE TEA FACTORY: TAKE A TRIP WITH US TO THE TEA STUDIO! – PART 2

22 October 2018

at 13:03 by Social

Tea Studio 2018-29

From October 1st to 20th, our four tea tasters were visiting the Tea Studio, our innovative tea factory in the Nilgiri (India). As they’ve just returned from what was a particularly inspiring trip, Hugo, François, Jasmin were visiting the project for the first time. Here’s what they had to say:

Nature at its best

First and foremost, the architecture of the factory is simply splendid! Whichever way you look at it, the studio is beautiful. Located among a patchwork of small-holder tea gardens, every window frames a beautiful landscape image.

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Contagious energy

Warmly welcomed with a ton of positive energy from everyone in the factory. We were warmed by the fact that everyone on staff seems to love what they do and also, and have excellent relationships with each other. François also spent time with Muskan, head of the team, to talk about their work and what it means to be an all-female team leading the project. Stay tuned for more on our blog!

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A shared vision of respect

We also spent a day meeting with our Indian partners to discuss the progress, as well as future of the project. It was a great pleasure for us to realize how much we had in common and that our values and vision were well aligned. Although our local partners come from different industries (pharmaceutical, construction, tea and spices), they all had tremendous respect for one another. It made easy to agree on many ideas, including the establishment of a community-based project where 1% of each sale would go towards improving the infrastructure of the village as well as the purchase of fields around the Studio for tea growing. A great pleasure to meet such a strong and respectful team, very similar to our Camellia Sinensis partnership!

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Knowledge shared

It was after a long journey and a short night’s sleep that Mr. He and Mr. Tang, two of our favourite Chinese producers, arrived at the Tea Studio, they got straight to work. They were immediately interested in the leaves, the machines and our process, but they also took the time to taste the teas and visit the garden. Mr. Hewas bombarded with questions from Muskan, our head tea-maker who was really excited to receive so much priceless advice on how to improve the product. She also nicknamed Mr. He the “Tasmanian Devil”. As he spun around like a tornado, by the time our translator Yan had translated his instructions to Muskan, Mr. He had already moved on to something else! François also spoke with the two Chinese producers to get their opinion on the progress, their opinion on the potential of the factory as well as their first experience in India.
Stay tuned for more on our blog!

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A dream come true

For our tasters this is a dream come true. The evolution of the project is developing well and is in tune with the vision they had originally. A true team effort, Jasmin will continue to work on improving the production and the quality of the tea. Hugo will build the work structures, Kevin will continue to share his tea knowledge and work as the bridge between the different cultures, while François will keep creating content and documenting our progress.

 

Tasting Notes: Meghalaya Lakyrsiew

16 October 2018

at 12:53 by Social

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For many tea drinkers, autumn is a special moment, a time where infusions seem to harmonize time and space as well as temperature and mood. Whether you are outdoors watching the falling leaves, or in town enjoying the quietness of the streets or even at home watching the rain fall on the window, there is a tea to enhance the experience. The Meghalaya Lakyrsiew Autumnal, a tea with colourful leaves stands out for its versatility and the seasonality of its aromatics.

Laurence, tea advisor at our Quebec City store, shares his thoughts on the Autumnal Meghalaya Lakyrsiew. Known as a Pu er expert, he was pleased to give us his tasting notes for this unusual Indian black tea.

The region of Meghalaya extends to the of Assam, in a mountainous chain extremely favourable to tea culture, but unfortunately sparsely populated and difficult to access. The tea that comes from the Lakyrsiew Garden is of exceptional quality, distinct flavour profile and often one of Kevin’s favourites each year.

Laurence prefers drinking it in a gaiwan, because when infused in small volume, it reveals a surprising aromatic complexity.

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Infusion settings

The Meghalaya is very versatile: it is great in a teapot (according to the recommendations – 2,5g / 250ml), but we prefer it in gaiwan (4,5g, 20s, 20s, 30s).
Tasting notes

Nose: tomato, leather, tobacco, dried fruit.
Notes: cocoa, spices, candied fruits and ripe tomatoes. Beautiful tannic structure that mixes astringency and softness, refreshment and comfort.
The second infusion is more focused on grapes, dried fruit and acidity.

From the first few infusions to the very last, its evolution is remarkable. It starts from the sweetness of cocoa and spices to the acidulous notes of raisins, tomatoes and dried fruits. Its supple tannic structure and sweet body make it a refreshing and comforting tea, suitable for both difficult awakenings and slow moments of relaxation and introspection.

To quote Kevin: “The Meghalaya Lakyrsiew is an exceptional black tea: unexpected ‘completeness’ and finesse-solid structure and definition – light, ethereal delivery”
Enjoy!

AN INNOVATIVE TEA FACTORY: TAKE A TRIP WITH US TO THE TEA STUDIO!

4 October 2018

at 11:37 by Social

Tea Studio 2018-58

Innovation in the tea industry

The Tea Studio is a prime example of a new wave of artisanal approach to manufacturing tea of high quality. It relies on many innovative elements, in its design, technology and its environmental and social responsibility.

Furthermore, this project has brought together tea experts from 3 continents. The team has an avant-garde approach to tea making through experimentation in order to meet the growing market of boutique-style tea with a wide variety of “custom” teas.

The Tea Studio is located in India, more specifically in the region of Nilgiri, which offers an excellent source of clonal and classic tea, grown and cultivated with Camellia Sinensis seeds var.sinensis and Camellia Sinensis var.assamica.

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Have you been following the Tea Studio evolution?

Back in March 2018, we had officially announced the launch of this new project, labelled as an experimental tea factory located in the Nilgiris. Today, the factory has been operating for a full year and our four expert tasters have already are over there for some hands-on research and development. Have you had a chance to taste our first batches?

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A busy travel itinerary!

From October 1st to 20th, Hugo, François, Jasmin and Kevin will be at the Tea Studio with their Indian partners, fine tuning the way that the factory operates as well joining them for meetings and providing support to the production team. It will also give the collective a chance to plan and organize the next phases of this project. So plenty of work ahead… but constantly surrounded by that incredible view of the tea gardens!

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China arrives…in India

Two of our favorite Chinese tea producers (Mr. He and Mr. Tang) will be joining the team on this journey to share their expertise and fine tune their production methods. Mr. He, is the producer of several classic Chinese green teas (Huiming, Jingning Yin Zhen, Bai Ye Long Jing, Long Jing Zhejiang, Long Jing Jingning Bai). At home he is a well known agronomist, processing specialist, scientist, director of a tea research center and taster, will be helping to improve the tea factory’s overall quality. This will be his first trip outside of China! We are so lucky to have this opportunity to benefit from his experience on this type of project.

Though the quality of our first batches greatly exceeded our expectations, this is very much a learning process so this is a unique opportunity for us to improve.

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From tea tasters to tea producers?

After 20 years in the tea industry, Jasmin recently admitted he’s looking forward “to getting his hands dirty”! This will be an opportunity to do so, as our four tasters will not only be tasting teas at the Tea Studio they will be actively help producing it. Look out for the new batches produced by either Hugo, François, Jasmin or Kevin.

Participate in the local community’s development

Our team’s quality of life is an essential part of our mandate. The Tea Studio is gradually raising funds to provide access to education for girls from the rural villages in the valley.

 
 

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