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89
drank Ginger Pu-erh by Samovar
933 tasting notes

I know I’m starting to sound like a johnny one note here. Or perhaps as though I’ve had a thorough brainwashing prior to induction into the cult of Samovar. But I am now officially… what is it? I’ve lost count. I think it’s six for six, or maybe I’m up to seven for seven. Perhaps I should just say I’m batting 1000. Or bowling 300. To sum it up, when it comes to Samovar’s offerings, I haven’t met one I wouldn’t buy again and the trend continues with the ginger pu erh.

In the sample packet, the aroma has a surprising chocolate note to it. Chocolatey, spicy, leathery. As with other Samovar teas I’ve tried, one of the most interesting things about it is that it isn’t fixed. It’s like shifting sand. Sometimes the chocolatey smell is primary, sometimes the leather, sometimes the spice. They each swirl forward and then recede, shift, do it again.

The rinse awakens and makes more powerful the ginger and orange scents. The ginger is spicy-sweet, not at all harsh. After steeping, the aroma evens out again. I found the chocolate again, and another surprise, a coffee note, along with leather, earth and spice.

The color of the liquor is very like how I remember the orange pu erh looked. Deep, woodlike. I think I said mahogany, can’t recall — it’s not the black petrochemical look of the Numi pu erhs. It’s deep, but translucent.

This may be the most successful use of ginger in tea I have experienced. Of course it is the only use of ginger I’ve experienced in a non-green tea except for in chai. What makes it successful is that it is part and parcel of the blend. Though it is definitely a focal point, it doesn’t blot out the other flavors. The orange is present, taking a far back seat compared to its role in orange pu erh (as it should), and the pu erh itself is deliciously smooth, rooty, and wet-earthy.

And with that, I can hit the free shipping number without waiting for Breakfast Blend and Chai to come back in stock. So I’ll be placing an order today. But not until after I’ve held this one’s hand through its remaining steeps.

Note: I am definitely going to have to recalibrate my pu erh ratings. Samovar’s are qualitatively better than Numi’s to my taste (even the Numi chocolate). But I will probably wait to do it until I’ve tried some other types of pu erh.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

I’m not sure I could compare their chocolate pu erh to anything since I haven’t found another chocolate pu erh. That’d be kinda like comparing a flavored matcha to an unflavored matcha. Just my opinion:)

__Morgana__

It’s the overall quality of the blend and the tea I’m comparing, not the individual flavors.

Ricky

I have this! Sounds delicious!

__Morgana__

It is. I like the orange just a wee bit better, but I can definitely see being in the mood for this instead sometimes.

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Comments

Cofftea

I’m not sure I could compare their chocolate pu erh to anything since I haven’t found another chocolate pu erh. That’d be kinda like comparing a flavored matcha to an unflavored matcha. Just my opinion:)

__Morgana__

It’s the overall quality of the blend and the tea I’m comparing, not the individual flavors.

Ricky

I have this! Sounds delicious!

__Morgana__

It is. I like the orange just a wee bit better, but I can definitely see being in the mood for this instead sometimes.

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Profile

Bio

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.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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