94
drank Royal Palace Pu-erh by Samovar
1184 tasting notes

I’ve been looking forward to trying this sample ever since Ricky said he thought I’d like it since I’d liked Maiden’s Ecstasy.

The little pu erh leaves are so small and cute, like they are with the other Samovar loose pu erhs, and perhaps loose pu erhs in general (my experience isn’t yet broad enough to comment). They’re not a uniform color, they’re gradations of brown from a medium, milk chocolate to a dark, bittersweet chocolate color. They have the deep, dark, leathery smell I have come to associate with pu erh. And something mocha-like, too.

What a gorgeous, dark color this brews to! It’s a deep dark brown, with some red in it. Depending on how the light hits it, it is either very nearly opaque, or darkly translucent. The aroma is gorgeous too. It’s only a little leathery, and not barnyardy, or fishy that I could detect. It reminds me of a savory mushroom soup. Not cream of mushroom. The other kind; the brothy, gravy-esque kind.

The taste is amazing. Again the words deep and dark come to mind. Again, there’s nothing barnyardy or fishy about how this tastes to me. There is some leather, but there is a lot more, too. Earth, moss, coffee, and an interesting mix of other suggestions. On the one hand, gravy. On the other, tree resin. On the other… ok, I realize I don’t have three hands, but if I did, the third would be almost a very dusky, deep, dry cabernet, the kind I don’t generally find palatable. In this tea, though, I like that suggestion. What I don’t like about those kinds of cabs is the abundance of tannin. This, however, is exceptionally smooth.

I think what I must be trying to describe is what ancient trees taste like. Which is awesome to think about.

This is quite lovely. Unlike the other Samovar pu erhs, this is so rich it’s not something I could drink every day. Fortunately, since pu erhs improve with age, I don’t have to worry about it going bad in my cupboard if I limit my indulgence to a sometime thing.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Rabs

I thoroughly enjoyed this note! The color descriptions and your feeble attempt to cover up the fact that you were born with three hands were particular highlights! ;) Seriously: great note!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I am convinced that I must try some delicious ancient trees. Actually really does sound good. One I will have to put in my wish list.

__Morgana__

Rabs, LOL! Yes, I’m typing with my third hand now. Can you tell? Rachana, try the sample, it’s a small investment and you can find out whether you like it. As I just found out when I went to the Samovar site, a full size of this is indeed quite pricey — not something you’d want to spend before you satisfy yourself it will be worth it.

Doulton

What a great note. I will have to put this on my list: someday I am going to break down and place a BIG order with Samovar.

You are quite an enabler, Morgana!

__Morgana__

Doulton, since you liked Maiden’s Ecstacy, I think you’ll really like this one. It’s similar, but more if you know what I mean.

Ricky

Gettt ittt! This one > than Madien’s Ecstacy.

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Comments

Rabs

I thoroughly enjoyed this note! The color descriptions and your feeble attempt to cover up the fact that you were born with three hands were particular highlights! ;) Seriously: great note!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I am convinced that I must try some delicious ancient trees. Actually really does sound good. One I will have to put in my wish list.

__Morgana__

Rabs, LOL! Yes, I’m typing with my third hand now. Can you tell? Rachana, try the sample, it’s a small investment and you can find out whether you like it. As I just found out when I went to the Samovar site, a full size of this is indeed quite pricey — not something you’d want to spend before you satisfy yourself it will be worth it.

Doulton

What a great note. I will have to put this on my list: someday I am going to break down and place a BIG order with Samovar.

You are quite an enabler, Morgana!

__Morgana__

Doulton, since you liked Maiden’s Ecstacy, I think you’ll really like this one. It’s similar, but more if you know what I mean.

Ricky

Gettt ittt! This one > than Madien’s Ecstacy.

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Profile

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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