100
drank Hawaii-Grown Black by Samovar
911 tasting notes

I’m having a lot of trouble describing this tea. It is so unlike any other black tea I’ve ever had. It’s sweet, but a dark sweet, like grilled and sugared fruits. It’s got a bit of raw sugar or almost caramel flavor to it too that makes it cuddly. There’s something that’s maybe like a sweet rye bread. Or not. It’s just so hard to peg the flavors! It brings to mind Samovar’s Royal Garland a bit as far as overall taste profile – darkly sweet but clean but also a bit cuddly and comfort-food-like. There’s no bite or astringency in the flavor – it’s very smooth if a bit light bodied. I really can’t be more specific about the flavors other to say that it is surprising and different but good. INSANELY good. Like I kind of want to buy twenty pounds of this tea RIGHT NOW just to roll around in and go “OMG, GOOD TEA.” And that’s perfectly normal, right?

I know the rating I want to give this tea but I’m going to hold of for just a bit – I want to try a second steep first to make sure the insane goodness wasn’t a fluke. And why is Samovar out of this one now? Boo! How will I be able to buy my twenty pounds to roll around in?

ETA: Second steep @ 5 minutes. Nope, not a fluke. I just seriously think this is fantastic. It tastes like raw sugar and faint florals with an aftertaste of grilled fruit. I just love this. Though I will say, I made the husband try some and he said, “It is very good, but I just don’t see the fantastic.” That just means more for me!

And again ETA: Third steep at 8 minutes. Very bready and sweet though getting a tad light now. I tried to do a fourth steep at 20 minutes and while it was actually okay tasting, compared to the first three it was very much less than. But three steeps? I can deal with that!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
sophistre

I don’t see it anywhere on their site! And looking up the tea via google doesn’t divulge any alternate means of buying direct. I am so sadface.

Stephanie

Wow, this tea sounds like heaven!

__Morgana__

I think some of these names are hysterical. Hawaiian-grown black, Yunnan Gold, etc. They make me think of… ahem… other plants. ;-)

S

Ooh, this tea sounds so yummy!

@Morgana, LOL!

Auggy

I’m guessing Samovar is out. I hate how they hide the teas they are out of stock on. Boo! But I did read somewhere that they only had 15 pounds of it (thought that might have been for last year?) Based on Dax Pamela Dean’s notes and the fact that the tea grower’s name is the same (Eva Lee), this tea http://steepster.com/teas/tea-hawaii/10398-makai-black is the same one.
LOL! @ Morgana

Kaiten_Kenbu

Is it possible to buy directly from teahawaii.com ?

S

I checked out the website, and I don’t think you can. But the person who reviewed the Makai Black said her sister emailed the company, and sent a check, and they sent her tea. So perhaps that would work?

__Morgana__

What a bummer that this is so awesome and yet there’s apparently nowhere to get it right now. If anyone does try emailing the company maybe we could see if Jason can get some special steepster select arrangement so that anyone who wants to order can?

Auggy

Well, I emailed the company earlier today so we shall see what they have to say! (Yes, the tea is that good – I’m trying to get more. NOW!)

__Morgana__

Cool, eager to hear the response.

Auggy

Well, apparently they are pretty low tech but they do sell direct! Eva’s email response said that this tea (I didn’t ask about their white or oolong) is $10 per 12g bag with $5 shipping (I’m checking to see if that is a flat shipping rate or a per bag rate) and to send her a check and she’ll send me tea. So pretty expensive for a black tea but yeah, I’m gonna get some. Their email address is [email protected]

Stephanie

But it’s still cheaper than Samovar, right? Thanks for this info—I want to buy this too!

Auggy

Got more information from Eva – all of their teas are the same price ($10/12g) and the $5 shipping is a flat rate for up to 6 bags of tea.
Stephanie, I’m not sure the Samovar price since this was from a swap and Samovar doesn’t have it listed on their website right now. But they had the oolong from the same grower as $25 for 1oz (so 23g) and direct would be $20 for 24g (plus shipping for both). So yep, a tiny bit cheaper. But more importantly – IN STOCK! YAY! :)

Kaiten_Kenbu

Thanks Auggy :)

Auggy

No problem! Especially since I already sent her my check so I feel confident that any potential Steepster rush on this tea won’t make it sell out before I get my share. ;)

__Morgana__

Hehe re the rush. Are you going to try her other teas as well?

Auggy

I’m going just for the black this time. I’ve had a sample of last season’s oolong (and have another sample of this season’s that I’ve yet to try) and it was tasty but nothing like this black tea. She’s got a white tea, too but I’ve never been a huge white fan. But I have heard good things about the oolong so I might end up regretting that decision – but it just means I’ll have to order from her again, darn it! :)

sophistre

Auggy, you are heroic. Thanks for the information!

Auggy

Yay! And no problem – Dax Pamela Dean did most of the work! :)

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Comments

sophistre

I don’t see it anywhere on their site! And looking up the tea via google doesn’t divulge any alternate means of buying direct. I am so sadface.

Stephanie

Wow, this tea sounds like heaven!

__Morgana__

I think some of these names are hysterical. Hawaiian-grown black, Yunnan Gold, etc. They make me think of… ahem… other plants. ;-)

S

Ooh, this tea sounds so yummy!

@Morgana, LOL!

Auggy

I’m guessing Samovar is out. I hate how they hide the teas they are out of stock on. Boo! But I did read somewhere that they only had 15 pounds of it (thought that might have been for last year?) Based on Dax Pamela Dean’s notes and the fact that the tea grower’s name is the same (Eva Lee), this tea http://steepster.com/teas/tea-hawaii/10398-makai-black is the same one.
LOL! @ Morgana

Kaiten_Kenbu

Is it possible to buy directly from teahawaii.com ?

S

I checked out the website, and I don’t think you can. But the person who reviewed the Makai Black said her sister emailed the company, and sent a check, and they sent her tea. So perhaps that would work?

__Morgana__

What a bummer that this is so awesome and yet there’s apparently nowhere to get it right now. If anyone does try emailing the company maybe we could see if Jason can get some special steepster select arrangement so that anyone who wants to order can?

Auggy

Well, I emailed the company earlier today so we shall see what they have to say! (Yes, the tea is that good – I’m trying to get more. NOW!)

__Morgana__

Cool, eager to hear the response.

Auggy

Well, apparently they are pretty low tech but they do sell direct! Eva’s email response said that this tea (I didn’t ask about their white or oolong) is $10 per 12g bag with $5 shipping (I’m checking to see if that is a flat shipping rate or a per bag rate) and to send her a check and she’ll send me tea. So pretty expensive for a black tea but yeah, I’m gonna get some. Their email address is [email protected]

Stephanie

But it’s still cheaper than Samovar, right? Thanks for this info—I want to buy this too!

Auggy

Got more information from Eva – all of their teas are the same price ($10/12g) and the $5 shipping is a flat rate for up to 6 bags of tea.
Stephanie, I’m not sure the Samovar price since this was from a swap and Samovar doesn’t have it listed on their website right now. But they had the oolong from the same grower as $25 for 1oz (so 23g) and direct would be $20 for 24g (plus shipping for both). So yep, a tiny bit cheaper. But more importantly – IN STOCK! YAY! :)

Kaiten_Kenbu

Thanks Auggy :)

Auggy

No problem! Especially since I already sent her my check so I feel confident that any potential Steepster rush on this tea won’t make it sell out before I get my share. ;)

__Morgana__

Hehe re the rush. Are you going to try her other teas as well?

Auggy

I’m going just for the black this time. I’ve had a sample of last season’s oolong (and have another sample of this season’s that I’ve yet to try) and it was tasty but nothing like this black tea. She’s got a white tea, too but I’ve never been a huge white fan. But I have heard good things about the oolong so I might end up regretting that decision – but it just means I’ll have to order from her again, darn it! :)

sophistre

Auggy, you are heroic. Thanks for the information!

Auggy

Yay! And no problem – Dax Pamela Dean did most of the work! :)

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Bio

I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.


1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

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