102 Tasting Notes

96
drank Ancient Gold by Samovar
102 tasting notes

Well, I’ve done it. I finished the entire box of this, my now-favorite black tea. I’m glad Samovar has a coupon code right now so I can order more. I can’t bear the thought of the cold fall and winter days ahead without this in my tea cupboard. I don’t know what is in this, but it’s addictive.

Shinobi_cha

Shhh….. I think I know what that tea is… read Samovar’s description of the tea and the village that produces it, then read here: http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/golden-yunnan-organic-fair-trade-black-tea.html
and here: http://www.rishi-tea.com/mannongproject.php

I could be wrong, about Rishi being Samovar’s supplier, but a lot of their teas seem to connect strongly, like this.

Even if not, though I haven’t had this tea, since you really like it, I’m sure you’d also like this one: http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/golden-needle-organic-fair-trade-black-tea.html
It is my favorite black tea so far…

Infusin_Susan

That does look quite similar, and the price is certainly much better. I’ll give it a try before placing a Samovar order. Thanks!

Shinobi_cha

You’re welcome! Again, it might not be the exact same tea, but that is my conspiracy theory. I think you’ll like Golden Needle though… I bought it last December (for the first time) when Rishi had a one day sale (half off!, so $6/oz).

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85

This was so good! Roasted oolongs are hit or miss with me. Some I love, others just don’t seem to taste all that great, or the smoky flavor overpowers the oolong taste.

This tea smelled wonderful in the pouch — a bit charcoal-y. It brewed to a medium yellow liquor. When I took my first sip, it started off with a strong roasted flavor, but the finish was sweet and clean, not astringent or bitter at all. This was a surprise, the way the flavors morphed as I drank it. There was no aftertaste.

Such an interesting flavor profile, and yet smooth and easy to drink. I’m looking forward to repeat infusions.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

This is my favorite roasted oolong from Harney so far!

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90

I pretty much have to drink this at least once a week. I actually crave it. Reluctantly, I admit it’s become one of my favorite teas — it would be in my top five, no question. That’s how well the flavors blend together. It is my “no-brainer,” easy, good-tasting tea. Wonderful iced, but just as good hot, and also tasty even if it’s been sitting around at room temperature for a while. I can rebrew the leaves at least three times, so I feel like I almost get my money’s worth.

(see previous tasting note for my full review)

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79

This is a good “everyday,” non-fussy white tea. It produces a medium yellow liquor with woodsy, nutty, yet slightly floral, notes. Very smooth and easy to drink. Something about it reminds me of hay or straw, although that’s not to say it tastes like straw. It doesn’t have the delicate sweetness of some higher grades of white tea, but sometimes, that’s not what you’re after. This one is easy to brew, forgiving of oversteeping, and tastes great iced as well, or mixed with other teas.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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87

I’ve now repurchased this tea twice, so it seems it is going to be a staple in my cupboard. It’s the perfect accompaniment to waffles, pancakes, toast, English muffins…or anything toasted, because it has that wonderful, distinct “toasty” note. This morning I had it with waffles, maple syrup and blueberries. It’s a “warm” black tea, comforting, bold and strong. I could drink this every day.

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96
drank Ancient Gold by Samovar
102 tasting notes

You know how I know I really love a tea? When it’s my first choice, several times a week. That’s how it’s been for me with Ancient Gold. When I first tried it, it struck me as a very good black tea, but nothing outrageously great. Well, my perception is evolving, because whenever I’m in the mood for black tea, this is what I reach for. Even though there is a little voice in my head saying, “You just drank this yesterday. Don’t you think you should be trying X tea from the sampler you got from X company, or using up some Y tea from Z company?”, I stifle the the voice and drink Ancient Gold anyway.

I seem to be craving its rich, dark, smooth flavor. It goes well with everything. The color, the smell, the taste — they all really hit the spot. So I’m upping my rating.

Shinobi_cha

If you like this a lot – may I suggest this one? http://steepster.com/teas/rishi-tea/328-yunnan-golden-buds-golden-needle It is awesome!

Infusin_Susan

Thanks, Shinobicha! I am always interested in your recommendations. I’ll check it out.

Shinobi_cha

You’re welcome!

Doug F

Thanks, Susan. I too love Yunnan teas and this one seems like yet another one I should try.

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90

I can’t believe I haven’t already reviewed this. I love this tea. It’s one of my favorite strong, robust black teas which is not bitter. The fact that it’s shaped into balls just adds to the fun — and I love that the tea isn’t all black; there is quite a bit of gold.

It is easy to measure. I use 6-8 balls for every 8 oz. of water. This brews a nice, strong cup. The liquor is dark. The taste is powerful, strong, and full of cocoa and malty notes. In fact, when I brew this as a tea latte (16 oz mug filled with 8 oz steamed milk, 8 oz. double-strength brewed tea, one packet of Truvia), it is so chocolately that I could almost swear I am drinking hot chocolate.

As much as I love this, it isn’t a tea for sipping when you want something that has subtle, sophisticated flavors. This is serious black tea. It will wake you up and start your day on the right note. If you like Keemuns or Assams, I feel confident saying you will probably like Black Dragon Pearls.

(As a side note, I visited Teavana today and saw they had a Black Dragon Pearls candle! I almost bought it, but like most Teavana products, it was a bit overpriced. It smelled lovely, although it didn’t capture the rich chocolate-y-ness of this tea.)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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87

This has become my go-to black tea when I feel like I need something strong to start the day, but I can’t decide which tea I want to drink. It has that wonderful toastiness — almost chewiness — and that biscuit-y quality that is exactly what I like in a tea to drink with breakfast. It helped jolt me out of my sluggish, sleep deprived stupor this morning, and it tasted so good, I think I’ll drink it again tomorrow.

mpierce87

Man, I miss having this tea in my cupboard. It is a good one!

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96
drank Ancient Gold by Samovar
102 tasting notes

This is a smooth, delicious, flavorful black tea. It differs from some other Yunnans I’ve tried in that it lacks astringency and the flavor is not as “raw” and harsh as some. I’m not getting any spicy or peppery notes. It’s almost too easygoing to be a Yunnan.

There’s some kind of dark fruitiness in here that I can’t quite make out — perhaps that’s the “raisin” note others have mentioned. I do not find this malty, bread-y or biscuit-y. I’m not getting any vanilla, chocolate or pastry notes, either, or anything roasty or smoky. It’s just an excellent cup of smooth, silky black tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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85

I like flavored black teas when they are done right. Unfortunately, I’ve tasted many inferior flavored teas that have an artificial twang to them, or which have so much flavoring the taste of the black tea is obscured.

I’m happy to report that Vanilla Bean Cream is an example of a flavored black done right. I brewed this for four minutes, and the flavors all came out beautifully. I can taste the tea and the vanilla — the cream note seems to add another layer of richness to the tea drinking experience. This is a rich, flavorful vanilla black. It would make for a delicious ice cream. It’s not overly sweet, though. It’s bold and strong without being harsh or bitter.

I’ll be interested to see how well the flavors hold up through a second steeping, but for now, I am impressed.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I like strong, robust flavors. My current favorites include strong black teas (Keemuns, Yunnan teas and Assams, for example), flavored blacks such as Harney’s Paris, oolongs of any kind, and gyokuros. I like Rooibos and honeybush teas as well, and other herbal blends to help me relax in the evening.

I am willing to try just about anything, but I am not particularly fond of jasmine tea, very fruity or heavily flavored blends, anything with pineapple; and I know this is practically heresy, but I don’t like Darjeelings.

Location

In my kitchen, heating water

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