Samovar

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

I normally review black teas, and I normally review them in the morning because there’s something about a good earl grey slapping one awake and dragging ones half-awake body feet first down the stairs into the kitchen that gets my writing going, also concussions.

So I’m a little out of my comfort zone reviewing a dark oolong like this, partially because I don’t believe my pallet is refined enough, and partially because the last oolong I tried was so Smokey It tasted like there was a brush fire in my mouth, in any case here goes…

The dry leaf is pretty in that lovely simple Chinese way leaves rolled tight and simply lovely scented, like tall grass and old earth.

On the wonderful steeping advice of Tabby (steepster.com/tabby) I did this one a little stronger than normal 1.5 tsps per 6 oz, 180 at 2:30 (And I used one tsps of sugar for the whole pot to not dilute the flavor), it brewed into a quite beautiful pale amber gold, only faintly aromatic to match the dry leaf.

The taste was both stronger and weaker than other oolongs I’ve tried, my past experience has seemed to fly to the extremes of the flavor spectrum for this type of tea and it was surprising and quite nice to find something balanced, as a “dark” oolong I read this is stronger or heavier than others, but with my penchant for the blackest of teas this seemed quite delicate to my palate, surprisingly calm and not grassy or Smokey at all, as it rolls down the throat your left with this just faintly smoky after taste that’s more than pleasant, a very balanced unobtrusive and delicious tea, something to be sipped and enjoyed while reading after work, or people watching in a café, it doesn’t dominate the moment or your attention but simply accents it, I think I’ll be checking out a lot of the other offerings from Samovar now.

Note for later: try this with a longer steep, see if it’ll bring out the flavors more.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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84

Fantastic tea. Pu-erh blended with ginger. Not too bitter, but plenty of complexity. Will buy again.

Flavors: Earth, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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50
drank Bai Mu Dan by Samovar
9 tasting notes

Overall meh. Dry, my box came with lots of sticks in the stick to leaf ratio, and the flavor from the tea was fairly dull. It’s not bad, but not luring me back. My least favorite Samovar tea.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85
drank Breakfast Blend by Samovar
2 tasting notes

Bold and somewhat malty. Best with Milk. Be careful, it steeps quickly.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Breakfast Blend by Samovar
2 tasting notes

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80
drank Wuyi Dark Roast by Samovar
67 tasting notes

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70
drank Blood Orange Pu-erh by Samovar
67 tasting notes

This is my first Pu-erh, so I’m not sure how much my rating reflects this tea in particular vs. how much is related to the entire range. Time will tell on that front, but I found this to be pleasant without being too much of a standout. I enjoy it when I have it, but don’t ever find myself craving it.

A good tea, but certainly an “out of sight, out of mind” kind of tea for me.

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100
drank Masala Chai by Samovar
67 tasting notes

Despite Samovar’s tendency toward inconsistent brewing recommendations, this is one of the better Chai teas I’ve tried. These days, it’s what I reach for when I’m craving the Masala Chai flavor profile.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100
drank Moorish Mint by Samovar
67 tasting notes

One of the my favorite blends right now. A complex series of flavors that seems to adjust between sips and with time. This one never tastes exactly the same, but is always wonderful.

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drank Earl Lavender by Samovar
43 tasting notes

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drank Downy Sprout by Samovar
785 tasting notes

I had the pleasure today of going out to tea with some close coworkers, one of which is in high level management and has amazing advice. We decided to go to Samovar. The server was so surprised we were actually going to sit in for tea, because a few of us are known to drop in for a quick chai to go. Their chai is awesome! It was so relaxing to sit down today and enjoy the ambiance. We each ordered something different…a chai, an oolong, lapsang, and I ordered this tea. The manager with us ordered the lapsang with a little milk…interesting choice and I would say appropriate because she is quite bold, just like the tea. :)

On to this tea. They served it gaiwan-style, which is always nice, but I think they put in too much leaf because no matter how short I steeped the tea, it was always bitter. Ugh. I’ve had that problem before with an oolong of theirs served this way. If it hadn’t been bitter, I would have greatly enjoyed it. It has a very silky and thick mouthfeel and reminds me of buttery veggies. Honestly, it seemed closer to a green tea than a white tea. It was still pleasant to drink with friends but again, too much leaf.

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70
drank Rooibos Yerba Mate by Samovar
1711 tasting notes

I have no idea why rooibos would be paired with yerba mate. Rooibos: night. Yerba mate: morning. Unfortunately, this one definitely tastes like mint now that it was stored in the same pouch as some mint teas. There was only one teaspoon left anyway. The flavor wasn’t too bad, though the dry blend was mostly rooibos. I’m not sure if the mint was disguising the rooibos, but it wasn’t too overwhelmingly rooibos with the flavor. Not bad, but this is an odd one.
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 3-4 min steep

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drank Masala Chai by Samovar
1788 tasting notes

From a friend with whom I visited Samovar Tea Lounge. Not bad. Smooth AND spicy, which was blended well.

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drank Masala Chai by Samovar
1788 tasting notes

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drank Masala Chai by Samovar
1788 tasting notes

Drank a big, 16 ounce mug of this with some honey and milk, courtesy of a good friend. It was delicious and brought back good memories of visits to Samovar’s tea lounges.

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59

Goodness. What a morning. The high up boss came in, unexpectedly, with the desire to redo the orginization of the office. We do need it, so I’ll be interested to see what she’s done when I go back in this evening.
I’m exsausted. I need tea.
The last of these little tea blossom bits. Its a light tea, not too dense or intensly flavored, but its tasty, even though its light.
Thanks to my sister, who gave this to me. Not bad!

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59

I think this is what this is. I’m not sure. My sister gave me a pair of little rosettes, and I think that they are this.
I put one in my steeper basket and steeped for five minutes, and have been given a very pale, hay colored liquid which is nice, but very mild.
Hmm. Well, I’ve got one more of these little blooms, and I’ll give it a shot again!

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90

I’m not a regular matcha drinker. That being made clear, I do enjoy this matcha because it is sweeter and more grassy than most matchas (at least that I’ve tried). It would be an asamushi instead of a fukamushi if it were sencha.

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70

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Flavors: Baked Bread, Flowers, Honey

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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10
drank Cinnamon Stonefruit by Samovar
253 tasting notes

Caffeine Free Tea Box

This tea tasted like medicine. :( I’m not exactly sure what the ingredients are since the company didn’t bother to put it on the tin, but I taste hibiscus and cinnamon and I must say they do NOT pair well at all. I literally almost threw up. Yuck.

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82
drank Sweet Yerba Mate by Samovar
1711 tasting notes

Ouch. Harsh. 47 rating for this one?!? No way…. excuse me while my rating makes this one higher than 47:
Another from Rachel’s sale a while ago – thanks again! This might be my favorite of the Samovar yerba mates I have tried. This one has some licorice in the blend and it really adds a sweet flavor that pairs really well with the yerba mate. Smooths it out. I just love the earthiness. I thought star anise was licorice though, but this isn’t star anise. Searching the Wikipedia page and it says they aren’t related. hmm. I wonder why I thought that. The color of the cup is very green – a very unique color.. I haven’t even seen other yerba mates look like this. Very good. Maybe Samovar has improved this one since the other tasting notes? Most of my Samovar yerba mates have half a teaspoon left, so it looks like I’ll be combining some of them to steep. (I guess these were supposedly one cup samples anyway.)
Steep #1 // 30 mins after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep#2 // 15 mins after boiling // 3 min

LiberTEAS

Star Anise has a very licorice-y flavor.

tea-sipper

Well, that would confuse me then. haha.

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drank Royal Garland by Samovar
7 tasting notes

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