95
drank Russian Blend by Samovar
357 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act I scene 7

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Sonnet 116

Oh the smell of the sampler when I opened it: a fruity ever-so-lightly smoky fragrance. I actually thought that this would make an excellent perfume. I have yet to throw out the bag: I keep sniffing it.

I was a bit concerned with Samovar’s instructions. I tend to make larger cups of tea using about the same amount of tea (if not a little more). What if I destroy my first experience with Samovar? And I was still concerned after I went for it and had my first few sips. I felt like it really wasn’t that remarkable of a tea. Then the magic happened.

I’ve never had lychee before (I now suspect that there’s some in the Nil Noir that I had yesterday), but I think it’s absolutely delightful. As I sipped my first steep I began my now almost ritualistic pondering of where this tea would fit in Shakespeare’s works. I got a lot more sweetness than smokiness out of this tea. It’s as if the tea blender just happened to be in a room where a fireplace was in use. Just the subtlest hints of smoke.

During my musings I kept coming back to Hamlet, but Hamlet the character or the play? It just wasn’t sitting well with me. This tea is elegant in its simplicity, but I think that my Hamlet tea will be complex as all get out and still be one of the best cups of tea in my life. It may be years before I stumble upon my Hamlet. Then I tried to think of sweet/masculine characters: Romeo? No. That’s not right either. And then the glimmer of an idea came. I should look at sonnets. I realized that if I felt like writing a poem to the tea that I’m drinking, then I should peruse the sonnets and see if one fits. And one did for this tea.

Sonnet 116. It’s got it all: the declarations of love, beauty, and most importantly it is very masculine. I didn’t study much of Shakespeare’s sonnets in school, but I thought that I recalled that these are written from one man to another. So I did some research and found a great site that helps put the sonnets in context. Here’s the link to Sonnet 116 in its entirety as well as its commentary for those who are curious: http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/116comm.htm You’ll need to scroll down a bit to get the sonnet and its commentary. This tea truly is a beautifully sweet masculine sonnet. TG

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Kristin

I think I am missing something with the Shakespeare. :)

Rabs

To do a brief comment on my own note: several times I started to comment upon gay rights and marriage. I erased them all. I didn’t want to bring a political/religious debate to Steepster. This really isn’t the place imho.

Kristin

Nevermind. I went back and read your old reviews. Got it.

Rabs

Lol! I’m glad that you figured it out :) I think that for now it’ll only be Doulton’s Shakespeare teas that I do this for. However, I’m thoroughly enjoying drinking my first cup and pondering what work would this tea be. I may continue to do that with all my teas but widen it up to encompass all literature, poetry, and music. Maybe even art. It adds a wonderful dimension to tea drinking for me. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

Kristin

I think I am missing something with the Shakespeare. :)

Rabs

To do a brief comment on my own note: several times I started to comment upon gay rights and marriage. I erased them all. I didn’t want to bring a political/religious debate to Steepster. This really isn’t the place imho.

Kristin

Nevermind. I went back and read your old reviews. Got it.

Rabs

Lol! I’m glad that you figured it out :) I think that for now it’ll only be Doulton’s Shakespeare teas that I do this for. However, I’m thoroughly enjoying drinking my first cup and pondering what work would this tea be. I may continue to do that with all my teas but widen it up to encompass all literature, poetry, and music. Maybe even art. It adds a wonderful dimension to tea drinking for me. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Proud all-around nerd, crafter, and brand-new Assistant Library Director. Give me an engrossing book and a wonderful cup of tea and I’m in heaven.

After being a barista for almost a decade it wasn’t until 2010 that I discovered loose leaf tea. Now I’m hooked.

How I use Steepster has been evolving since I joined. Yes, I use it for my personal “to buy or not to buy” info, but I’m enough of a goofball that I hope it can amuse others more often than not.

I’ve also started to become anal about my tea (times and temps). That’s surprised me. I finally realized that I should respect the leaves like I used to respect the beans. I also take my tea plain unless otherwise noted.

There’s really nothing remarkable or noteworthy of how I rate teas. I do take it a tiny further step to help clarify the muddled middle grounds for myself. TG is a definite repurchase. Anything below that is less and less likely.

TG=Teagasm
NE=Nice Enough
M=Meh
GA=Gods-Awful

Location

Midwest, USA

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer