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90
drank Russian Blend by Samovar
237 tasting notes

I’m really pleased with this one! I’ve loved Lapsang Souchong for a long time, but never would have thought about pairing the smokey with the fruity. It threw me off when I saw that this was a blend of black tea and lychee; one of my favorite fruits as it so happens, so how bad could it be?

In fact, it’s really, really good. It’s not as deeply and intensely smokey as some other LS varieties out there (cough, cough – Golden Moon – cough, cough), but it is blended so skillfully with the fruit that the sweet flavor just feels like a natural extension of the smoke. Brilliant!

With cream and sugar the smoke is scaled back to be more present in the aftertaste, letting the fruitiness come to the fore in both taste and texture. I didn’t have any jam to mix in as suggested by Samovar, but I’d love to try that in the future.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!

Location

Washington, DC

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