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drank Russian Blend by Samovar
940 tasting notes

This is the fourth Samovar sample I’ve tried and I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever run across something of theirs I don’t like.

As a recent inductee to the smoky fan club, I was delighted with the smell of the dry leaves, which reminded me of how my dad’s pipes smelled after he’d smoked them. I realize that this may not sound that appealing, but I’ve always loved the smell of really good pipe tobacco. It’s a smell one doesn’t run across that much anymore now that the health dangers of pipe smoking are so well documented, but to me it’s reminiscent of an era of narrow ties, Fedoras, and big honking cars with fins.

The aroma is smoky as well, with that campfire thing going on, but I can also smell the fruit. I didn’t make the preparations necessary to taste this the traditional way — I’m drinking it straight up, but it is quite enjoyable without any additives at all and I am eager to give it a try the traditional way.

This is a beautiful, sophisticated tea. There’s a smoothness to it that I’ve come to expect from Samovar’s blends, and which I really adore. As with the others I’ve tasted, all of the flavors work together harmoniously; the piney/smokiness, the fruity/nutty upswing from the lychee, the sweet finish with an extremely interesting warm/cool after-effect on the tongue. I feel a foresty coolness in my mouth, but there’s a little heat and bite there as well.

I don’t need a crystal ball to see a very large Samovar order in my future…

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Another tempting Samovar review! What is it about Samovar and their enchanting teas? It seems like all of Steepster-ville is under their spell! :)


Truly, it does seem that way.

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Another tempting Samovar review! What is it about Samovar and their enchanting teas? It seems like all of Steepster-ville is under their spell! :)


Truly, it does seem that way.

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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