64
drank Rooibos by Samovar
1165 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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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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