drank Breakfast Blend by Samovar
953 tasting notes

In serious sleep deficit today and trying to get work done at home. Among the bonuses of working at home is total access to all tea-making equipment and all recent loose tea deliveries.

I wanted something black to keep me running, so I chose this to sample. And a fine choice it was. Unless I’m very much mistaken, the black tea here is at least in part the same as in the Earl Grey Lavender that I liked so much. It has the same malt/brown sugar/molasses aroma to the dry leaves, a true reproduction of which can be found in the scent of the tea after steeping, only richer, rounder and otherwise more developed.

If there was a crayon in the Crayola box labeled “Tea,” it would be this blend’s quintessential color: a warm mix of golden, brown, orange and red. (No offense to green tea drinkers intended; I’m just gambling that in Crayola nomenclature-speak your drink’s color would be called “Green Tea.”)

As this is my first non-bagged breakfast blend, I can’t compare it to others, but I can say that drinking it for breakfast would make me happy. Drinking it now is making me happy. It’s luscious. Compared to the bagged versions of English breakfast I’ve had, it is downright voluptuous. It’s what Awake wants to be.

Back to work I go with a smile on my face, and a pleasantly astringent sweet aftertaste on my tongue.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

I love the crayon analogy! :)


With a 4 year old and a 6 year old at home I think in terms of crayons quite often. ;-)

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I love the crayon analogy! :)


With a 4 year old and a 6 year old at home I think in terms of crayons quite often. ;-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and 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’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to 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. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

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

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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