89
drank Ginger Pu-erh by Samovar
1119 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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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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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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