I spent the last week in Montreal and one of my favourite places there is Camellia Sinensis, a small tea house and shop with a fantastic range of traditional teas. One of my favourite things about the shop is the fact that you are not allowed to use technology and so it is a great chance to disconnect and focus on your tea experience.
The menu is set out by tea preparation method so that each tea is served in the most appropriate tea pot and you have the chance to brew the tea yourself in some of the methods or have it made for you. I really like that and when they bring you the tea they ensure that you know how to brew tea using that method and give suggested steeping times for multiple steeps.
I choose to try Wuyuan Zi Mei, a Chinese green tea from the Jiangxi province using the senchado method. The tea arrived in a beautiful Kyusu tea pot with a flask of hot water and a small cup. The layout was perfect to get lost in a tea tasting.
The tea was quite light in colour but had a fairly full body and mouthfeel. The aroma was fragrant with fruity and vegetal aromas. I really enjoyed the tea and it was we look rounded and smooth with quite a diverse flavour. The main flavour was vegetal and herbaceous with a lasting aftertaste. I really enjoyed the tea and being able to steep it myself and see the diversity of flavours with different steeps was great, the flavours came out the most on the second and third steeps.
During my time I also visited Quebec City where I visited another location of Camellia Sinensis. It had the same menu and choice of steeping methods but this time you were able to use technology so I managed to get a photo. This time I decided to have the tea steeped for me in a teapot and choose the Meghalaya Lakyrsiew, a tea from India. I was told that the tea came from a region in India close the Assam and that the terroir was great for tea and similar to that in Darjeeling but that little tea is produced in the region. Although it was the first place that the Chinese cultivar was taken and planted in India it was forgotten about with the increased popularity of Assam and Darjeeling.
I loved this tea, and enjoyed every sip. It was perfectly brewed to a light coppery colour, darker than I had expected considering the leaves were quite light in colour and looked almost green. The tea itself had a full body but a light flavour. It reminded me of a first flush Darjeeling in its flavour profile and had a soft fruity flavour with a subtle astringency and a slight sweetness. It was quite a fragrant tea with a fruity aroma. It was a beautiful, well rounded tea that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I would highly recommend Camellia Sinensis if you ever get a chance to visit, the staff are knowledgeable and they have such a great selection of teas and various tea accessories. I bought a few more teas to try at home, including a set of 2017 tea that were sourced from India, China, Japan and Taiwan, which I cant wait to try. It is a great store which helps create fantastic, relaxed tea experiences.