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This was the first tea I had upon arriving at the Samovar Tea Lounge in Zen Valley last Friday following our excursion to the SF Zoo. To round out the picture, my older son, 8, had Tea Lemonade (it was awesome! Not sure what was in it but it tasted like green tea and lemonade), my younger son had Moorish Mint, which I adore and he liked at first but grew weary of after a few cups, and my BF had Tart Peach which was lovely as well.

This was served in a little pitcher with a built in strainer, and an accompanying cup.

I have quite enjoyed many of the Samovar Pu-Erhs, but this was not my fave, for a reason that is extremely subjective. I thought I might get a chocolate flavor out of it, and I did get some around the edges, but it was secondary to a somewhat alcoholic flavor that predominated. To be precise, the main flavor I got from it was brandy, cognac perhaps, and I am not a fan of either of those flavors. Like most pu-erhs I have tasted it is overly simplistic to reduce this one to a single flavor, and I could discern as well the earth, bark and barnyard components. But the overwhelming note was the brandy. If you like that flavor, you will love this.

I give it points for obvious quality, though.

Azzrian

Tart Peach? I don’t recall seeing this on their website! Sounds yummy!

byronicone

I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint brandy. Nice callout…

__Morgana__

Did you taste that as well, byronicle?

byronicone

I’m not really a brandy drinker, but I can definitely see where you were coming from on that one.

Kuroneko

I drank this recently and had a very strong (negative) reaction to it. I was clearly detecting something unexpected, but couldn’t put my finger on it… it just tasted off. By the end of the tasting, all I could identify was a general “boozy” quality. But it wasn’t till I read your review that I could place the flavor – it’s brandy! Thank you for giving me that much needed “ah-ha” moment!

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Comments

Azzrian

Tart Peach? I don’t recall seeing this on their website! Sounds yummy!

byronicone

I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint brandy. Nice callout…

__Morgana__

Did you taste that as well, byronicle?

byronicone

I’m not really a brandy drinker, but I can definitely see where you were coming from on that one.

Kuroneko

I drank this recently and had a very strong (negative) reaction to it. I was clearly detecting something unexpected, but couldn’t put my finger on it… it just tasted off. By the end of the tasting, all I could identify was a general “boozy” quality. But it wasn’t till I read your review that I could place the flavor – it’s brandy! Thank you for giving me that much needed “ah-ha” moment!

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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