Samovar Tea LoungeEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I hadn’t reviewed this yet? How have I not?
I picked this up sometime last year when I was in San Francisco on the way to Santa Barbara. I went out to dinner at Samovar with some friends and bought a bag of this tea. It’s really lovely. Light, for a black tea. The cardamom and rose petals mix really well together. Not overwhelmingly rose, which is good, since for me rose is one of those “a little goes a long way” flavors.
Flavors: Cardamon, Rose
Oh God, I have been transported.
Good solid strong black base, which reminds me of the Mighty Leaf black tea base for its fruity teas. Smooth with a teeny wee bit of smoke. And then, rose and spice and citrus. Just divine. Really.
If I began four mornings of my week with this tea, despite my tea obsession and outrageous tea collection, still, all would be right with my world. I steeped three times and would likely be able to steep another full flavoured good one. Each steep held up flavourfully well in my timolinos, despite the delicate flavours.
I received this as part of my monthly subscription for September (or is it part of October’s selection?) with Tea Sparrow. No regrets. Highly recommended.I am experimenting with tea subscriptions currently. What I really like about Tea Sparrow is that first, they are Canadian, so I don’t feel like I am getting gouged on the exchange and the shipping charges. Second, their selections from various tea blenders are awesome, high quality, and inspired. Third, their taster packages are far more generous than the other subscriptions that I am subscribing to, so you really do get a chance to dig into the teas rather than feeling that it is all just a ruse to nudge you into buying larger quantities. I do buy larger quantities anyway, of course.
Going through my tea backlog and reviewing stuff I’ve drunk since I had neglected Steepster for several months…
I was in San Francisco for one night only and I had dinner and tea with some friends at Samovar Tea Lounge, which was an adorable little cafe where we had the option of sitting on pillows at low tables or in chairs at a regular table. We opted for chairs though in hindsight, I would have loved to have sat on pillows. But then we would have had to share a table with others.
It was late so I didn’t want anything with caffeine. Most of the other herbal teas had ginger in them, which I try and avoid since I don’t like it. So cacao mint it was.
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had the ability to try different steeping times and temperatures. I think the temperature was a bit too hot and/or it was steeped for too long since the mint turned bitter. I had to steal honey from an appetizer to sweeten the tea (no sugar provided) to try and cut the bitterness and bring out the other flavors.
This was an interesting one MissB happened to throw in. Thank you! (I would imagine you repackaged many of these, and I REALLY appreciate that too – the best pouches!) This is a unique one – cacao shells and pu-erh, yerba mate I can’t tell is roasted or green. HUGE pieces/plenty of vanilla. But there is something they forgot to mention: coconut. Lots of coconut. I’m a little bit over coconut in blends, as it starts to taste bad fairly quickly, but this one isn’t bad yet. But at this point, I’d rather have artificial coconut flavoring in my blends just so the tea doesn’t taste bad. But chocolate and coconut together almost reminds me of those Samoa Girl Scout cookies! I really should have tasted more vanilla though. The pu-erh was okay and I like the idea of roasted mate with pu-erh (if that is what this is). But the coconut seemed to drown a lot of the flavor. How nice would just a pu-erh, roasted yerba mate, cocoa shells, vanilla blend be?! Sounds dreamy!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // few minutes after boiling // 2-3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // few minute steep
This tea tastes thick to me, like it’s not flavored water anymore. If you look beyond that, it tastes pretty good. It tastes yellow, even though it’s not. It smells much more citrusy than it is. I did a series of very short steepings, probably thirty seconds or less.
Flavors: Citrus, Orange, Orange Zest
This is one of three teas I take something with: I put in about a teaspoon of strawberry jam. On its own, the smoky flavor is really overpowering. I’m the only one in my family who drinks it because they all complain that it smells awful. It doesn’t smell particularly fabulous, but it tastes good. I also let it steep for more than ten minutes, and it doesn’t turn bitter. I just sort of get it when I think about it.
I received this tea from MissB’s tea sale back in January. Thank you!
I had a bunch of this back when I received it, but it looks like I didn’t write a note. Tonight I believe I over leafed or over steeped. It was a bit on the sour side. I get a bit of cacao, mint and then a bit of lavender. Some nights I enjoy this tea, other nights it just doesn’t sit right. I am glad to have experienced this combination, but I am not sure I would consider buying again.
Drank this the other night, the lavender tasted peppery to me. I enjoyed it, it was definitely different, but I reached the conclusion that I would have liked it way more if it was just cacao mint. Which is why I plan to buy that flavor from Herbal Infusions at some point to try.
I’m not big on spicy/peppery teas, and for whatever reason the lavender overwhelmed my tastebuds to that extent.
So, nice to try, that’s it, goodbye!
Thanks for the sample, OMGsrsly! :)
Thanks MissB for sending this one my way to try.
I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’m not certain i’ve had a Pu-erh before, but I was hoping the cocoa would take a main stage.
Upon steepin I found the base tea to come through strong and in the front, the cocoa taking a back seat. I added a touch of raw sugar and cream. The cream mellowed out the base, although still allowed it to be present, and the cocoa came through. Much better. Not sure I’d make this a staple as this is quite a strong base for me, but it was nice to try. I might find myself drawn more to blends like this as I become more used to rich teas.
I’m finding i enjoy it more as it cools. Maybe a re-steep will be in order after all.
I went to Samovar Tea Lounge at Yerba Buena Gardens today with Casey. It was really a great place, but I guess I will save my review of this venue for that other part of Steepster.
Casey ordered this tea. It was really nice. I think the redwood forest description was pretty accurate, but Casey said it was a stretch, and he grew up literally in a redwood forest. The earthy/mossy flavors blended nicely with the citrus blood orange, grapefruit, and ginger flavors. The only problem with this tea that was by the end of the pot, the citrus rinds had contributed an overwhelming amount of flavor. Overall, I was really impressed. I’m not usually that fond of the puerh and citrus combination.
Flavors: Earth, Orange Zest, Peat Moss
Mmm, caffeine. Puerh and mate, please do your job and give me energy!
This is another sample from MissB. She seems to have a habit of throwing multiple samples, pre-measured for 16oz of water, into her swaps. So awesome. Except today I’m cheating and using my “12” oz mug from SBUX. It’s really more 14-15 when I fill it all the way, so I don’t feel so bad.
I added some almond milk and a little maple syrup to this tea. Oh yeah. This is nice. I don’t think I’d want it all the time, as I’m finding I’m not a huge fan of the cacao shells (and I have the Cacao Mint), but it is really nice. It has some depth from the puerh, and a bit of grassy/hay flavour from the mate.
I’m gonna guzzle this down, then set up for an hour long yoga video. Now, which one to choose…
Whoops! Shouldn’t have steeped this one up tonight… I had it in my herbal pile, but puerh AND Yerba mate? This could be interesting.
I mixed this up with my creamer, and yum! That’s tasty!
Good thing I didn’t use up all of my sample from MissB.. I had a couple gulps and the rest will be dumped… I will have a fresh mug in the morning though!
The only mint tea in my cupboard is now, sadly, gone.
I really really liked this one when I was in the mood for mint and didn’t have to worry about minting up my apartment (BFF is seriously allergic).
The mint, the lavender, the deliciousness. Mmm…
Perfect night time treat.
(Eee!!! 201! I’m almost below 200 teas!)
IDK why I love this tea so much, but I do. Even with the mint. It’s just SOOOO good. And lavender-y. :D
Sipping on it plain today, since I want the last of my milk for my morning tea. I’ve also baked a bajillion cookies tonight in preparation for decorating them like eyeballs for Halloween, and not having sugar in this tea is a nice accompaniment to the cookies that weren’t quite perfect. Yes, that’s right. They weren’t perfect and also I needed to test them. Yup.
Anyways, if you like mint and chocolate and don’t mind lavender, definitely check this one out. It’s expensive, and hard for me to get, and also my BFF is hideously allergic to it, so I won’t be getting more. But you should! :)
This is SO GOOD. Thank you, MissB!
It’s helping my breathing because of the mint, and the flavour is just divine. Especially with some honey.
This might be the only mint tea I ever want to keep stocked. It’s not the best for my tummy (mint makes me nauseous), but right now it’s amazing.
Flavors: Chocolate, Flowers
Hot damn. I love this.
That is something I never thought I’d say about a mint tea.
But this is superb.
I get mint-chocolate, with lavender. It smells in the order of chocolate-lavender-mint, though. The mint is SO fresh. I definitely have different taste buds from MissB, and I do love lavender.
I love the idea of this tea, and had wanted to try Samovar for a while. if I’d known however how much lavender was in this blend, I would have passed.
Brewed, this smells so strongly of lavender, it’s a bit cloying. If you like that sort of thing, this is probably your kind of tea. Me? I sipped hesitantly. One sip and I had to dump it. While I did taste the cacao and mint at the start of the sip, the lavender quickly took over and owned me.
It seems I really overleafed this one (1 tbsp for 8 oz, even though I swear that’s what it said on the package), however for the cost involved, I’d much rather just pass this along to someone who will enjoy it more.