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Chai: Choosing the Perfect Milk

20 November 2018

at 16:59 by Social

camelliasinensischai

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!

Camellia Sinensis Turns 20: Looking Back

11 November 2018

at 17:12 by Social

Capture d’écran 2018-11-15 à 14.49.27

November 16, 2018 will mark the 20th anniversary of Camellia Sinensis. Some of you may have been following our “retrospective” photo album on Facebook that follows the great evolution from our humble beginnings – both in decor and haircuts!

An Asian approach to tea…in Montreal!

Hugo Américi opened the first Camellia Sinensis tea room in 1998 on Emery street in Montreal. Having thought to open a coffee-bar, he dropped the idea in favour of a teahouse. The concept would be focused on an Asian approach to tea. He had been impressed by a similar concept the previous year in Prague at the Dobra Cajovna teahouses and was fascinated by the ambiance. At first, Camellia Sinensis offered customers a variety of fifty teas along with a few cakes, all served in a relaxed atmosphere.

Curious to know more about our history? Read more.

A passionate and complimentary team

That same year, two students from the local university arrived on the scene, Jasmin Desharnais and François Marchand both started waiting tables and quickly ended up becoming co-owners of the company. As Camellia flourished and grew, a fourth player entered the fold, Kevin Gascoyne, who had his own tea company, Kyela Teas, focussed on the teas of Darjeeling in India. The four began to take on specific roles within the company. At home Jasmin took charge of HR and Operations he also focussed on the teas of Western and Eastern China. Francois becomes responsible for marketing, content and IT while focusing as a taster on Central China. Kevin handles international conferences, deals with HR in Montreal and uses his experience of India to oversee the Tea Studio. He buys all the Indian, Nepalese, Sri Lankan and African teas. Finally, Hugo oversees the global vision of the company, handles the administration, distribution and acts as taster buyer in both Japan and Taiwan. They find it advantageous to have their own networks abroad for buying while running the company at home.

The enthusiastic energy of the group fuelled them to open stores and tea houses in Montreal and Quebec city, publish various books, open a Tea School, open the first Chai bar in the province as well as launch an experimental factory in India (Tea Studio).

Did you know that:

  • Camellia Sinensis was almost called “The smoking teapot”;
  • For the first 5 years, most clients came to the store for the hookahs (water pipes used to smoke Egyptian flavoured tobacco) now long gone.
  • At first, Camellia Sinensis was a Teahouse. It was following a month long vacation that Hugo came back with the idea of opening a store
  • Camellia Sinensis has two Tea Schools, both in Montreal and Quebec
  • The company now employs over 50 loyal employees in the stores, salons, warehouse and in the offices
  • Camellia Sinensis offers an ever changing selection of well over 200 teas.
  • There are close to 500 restaurants worldwide that offers our teas. Some with Michelin stars!
  • Our tea workshops have been attended by over 10 000 tea lovers
  • Over the last 20 years, our four tasters have tasted tens of thousands of tea samples
  • The Montreal teahouse has served over 700 000 clients since its opening
  • We receive close to 32 tons of directly imported teas each year

Are you a new tea enthousiast? Discover our tea taster kits, a great way to discovering your preferences.

 
 

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