Review: Camillia Sinensis- Da Hong Pao, Gyokuro and Sencha

Camillia Sinensis is a company that is based out of Quebec. I originally discovered them online and knew my partner was visiting there in the coming days. This was back in 2009, when I got the tea from her upon her arrival  I was blown away. Back to current day, I have been loyally looking at their website. Continuously making shopping carts then changing them over many days.  There are so many teas to choose from that I can never decide what to buy. 

This seems to be the case for any online or store front tea purveyor. To assist their buyers and also familiarize myself with their teas more I approached them with a proposal to try out a few teas and write about them. Win-win situation. So here we are now, はじめましょう!(Let’s start!).

The three teas I received were: Gyokuro Hokuren, Da Hong Pao and Sencha Kaori Hokuren. 

Gyokuro Hokuren

     Their website describes that this tea is from the Shizouka region of Japan, on the top three regions with in the country. As we can see the leaves have a beautiful needle shape and a vibrant dark forest green hue to them.

      The wet leaf smelt of sweet beans or peas, it reminded me of my grandfathers vegetable garden. Very nostalgic scent.
   The actual tea had a typical green colour. It smelt and tasted like string beans (why am I thinking of beans? ), cut grass and broccoli. It was very smooth in the mouth and had a lingering dark chocolate taste once it was finished.
     This is very much my type of tea as I originally began with Japanese teas years ago. I am already intrigued to find out how the Sencha is.

Sencha Kaori Hokuren

    This is another tea from the Shizuoka region of Japan, we can tell now the the similarity in the names from the previous tea. The leaves are styled in a similar manner to Gyokuro and as we can see have a similar colour to them as well.

Typically sencha has a fuller taste in comparison to a Gyokuro. This was the case with this one but it was accompanied with a nice hint of  mango. It was very smooth in the mouth and did not disappoint me.  I will point out it still had the vegetable notes to it but I was taken back by the mango. It made the evening very interesting.

Da Hong Pao

         This tea has been a favorite for quite sometime now, that may be due in part to the history behind it. The leaves are from the Wu Yi Mountains in Fijian, and have a classic dark colour to them. A sweet woody smell comes off of them before I begin to brew.
   I decided to enjoy the pre-infusion, the smell of the wet leaves has a a light smokiness from processing.  The leaves at this point have a nice “hookers green” colour, I am still not sure why I could not get away from this description but it is a paint colour.  The actual brew has a lovely amber hue to it in the white cups.
     Upon tasting it it warms the body up, the taste of …mango’s in the background?  I am still confused why this was the taste I identified. The second infusion the taste changes to biscuity- freshly baked bread.  Very lovely.    This tea always surprises me, I once tasted cooked sugar. Which was a nice perspective of this fine tea.

To finish I want to thank Camillia Sinensis for sending me these teas to try. I truly enjoyed the chance to try more of their teas and to see the other side of there adventures through the leaves. I hope that we can continue this friendship through tea.
                      Thank you again!