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64
drank Rooibos by Samovar
933 tasting notes

I got a sample of this as part of the same experiment described in my note here:

http://steepster.com/teas/harney-and-sons/6603-organic-rooibos

As I mentioned, I’m now more about de-rooibosing my life except for the very few blends I really really like. So I’m gonna drink this one and say goodbye to it, I expect. It would take something on the order of a miracle for me to want to order plain rooibos. But if anyone could make me do it, Samovar probably could.

Initially though, we’re not off to the best start. I sniffed the dry needles next to the Harney ones and the Harney ones have a more robust smell and a much more pleasing one. The Samovar smells shallow by comparison, and there’s a scary thing about it. Um. Well…. there’s no pretty way to say this. It has a note that reminds me a little of stale urine. Now, before I met pu erhs I might have run screaming from this sort of smell, but fortunately I’ve matured some. And doubly fortunately, the smell is not strong and it goes away after the mixture is exposed to air for a while. Like the time it took to write this much. I wonder whether it had something to do with how the rooibos interacted with the plastic of the sample package?

There’s a sign of redemption after brewing. The color is unbelievable. Deep, ruby red, almost garnet. The aroma is pretty nondescript, which I view as a plus. It signals to me that this may be an obedient rooibos, which may make their rooibos blends work the way I like them. Really, it doesn’t smell like much of anything.

The flavor is, frankly, pretty similar to the aroma. There is a rooibos-like flavor, but it isn’t strong. It has a clever citrus note, which I don’t think I’ve experienced in rooibos before.

Because it is so un-rooibosy, it’s pretty good. It’s the first thing I’ve had from Samovar that hasn’t made me want to rush to order it immediately, and unless someone discovers tomorrow that the Samovar rooibos is in fact the fountain of youth, I will not be buying it. But it does help me understand why some of their rooibos blends have been so popular, and it makes me pretty interested in trying them.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Lori

Plain rooibos would never be a rush order , even from Samovar , from me!

Ricky

^ Agreed!

Rabs

^^doubly ditto’d!

Auggy

Very interesting to read this note. I’ve only had their rooibos in blends and I totally don’t hate it. Your log makes it make sense why. Thanks!

__Morgana__

Glad it helped!

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Comments

Lori

Plain rooibos would never be a rush order , even from Samovar , from me!

Ricky

^ Agreed!

Rabs

^^doubly ditto’d!

Auggy

Very interesting to read this note. I’ve only had their rooibos in blends and I totally don’t hate it. Your log makes it make sense why. Thanks!

__Morgana__

Glad it helped!

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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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