Samovar Tea Lounge

Recent Tasting Notes

85

A good choice for my regular rotation. Not an All Day Cup, but one I never regret pouring.

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90

Tolstoy’s Sip has a smoky flavor that dances a little on the edge of too much without ever crossing over. The result is a flavor that I have to be in the mood for, but when I am, I am absolutely crazy about it.

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
422 tasting notes

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.

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Interesting!

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! :)

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77

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.

Flavors: Cocoa

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85

I also had this at Samovar Tea Lounge today because I am a tea glutton. This was not bitter, but it also wasn’t sweet. It was creamy and I enjoyed it very much. The aftertaste reminded me of the yolk of a hard-boiled egg.

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77

This was the tea I ordered today at Samovar Tea Lounge. It was a solid sencha.

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86

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

TeaBrat

I love Samovar :)

CharlotteZero

The coconut rice pudding was awesome.

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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…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Sil

this one sounds really lovely..

OMGsrsly

It’s pretty good! I don’t love the mate flavour, but otherwise it’s a solid chocolatey tea. :)

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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!

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
1574 tasting notes

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! :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Kittenna

Lavender?! Ewww.

Kittenna

Also, unsweetened (good quality) teas are the perfect complement to baked goods. Om nom nom.

OMGsrsly

Haha. That was MissB’s response too, which is why I ended up with the tea! And I LOVE it.

Anlina

Wishlisted! I love chocolate and mint and the idea of adding lavender intrigues me.

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
1574 tasting notes

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
MissB

So glad you’re enjoying it and that it went to a home that loves it. :)

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
1574 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
MissB

I did grossly oversteep this, however lavender really does make me feel like I’m breaking out into hives when it’s as strong as it is in that brew. I’m so glad you love it!!

OMGsrsly

I think I want more, MissB. Could I buy half the packet off you? It can wait till after your rush at work. :) And if no one else wants it by that point, I might take it all. I’m falling asleep in my chair here! This might be a new favourite night time tea.

OMGsrsly

Oh, I see someone else grabbed it. Boo. Now the hunt begins! :)

oddree

Mint chocolate and lavender sounds AMAZING to me – I’ll have to keep an eye out for that combo, or something similar.

OMGsrsly

If you can get your hands on this one, definitely try it!

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
1146 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Anna

Lavender is so tricky – just right, and it’s the loveliest thing ever, too much, and it’s an instant pour-out.

(I had lavender and white chocolate gelato a few weeks back, and they managed to balance it just right. Nom.)

Dustin

^That gelato sounds delicious!

OMGsrsly

I’ll try it, but can’t promise to love it because of the mint. :) I love lavender.

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85

Still on a non-caffeinated kick, so I had some of this late last night. Gulped it down faster than I made it…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Suziqzer

When it goes down that fast, it must have hit the spot :)

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85

So hard to describe this tea, other than it’s a smooth, sweet, mildly spicy herbal brew. I inhale a bit of turmeric, I feel a tiny bit of ginger in the sweetness, and the smooth like butta must come from the licorice. There’s little here that I can pick out specifically, it all just seems to work together.

1.5 tsp in 12oz.

Flavors: Licorice

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

I should note that the tea I have is very, very orange, unlike the picture which makes this tea look more yellow than anything. I’m sure it’s from the turmeric. Again, a tasty tea, but only if you’re a licorice/anise fan. Really smooth and creamy with hints of other spices in there.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec

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85

I still like this stuff, and it’s perfect for fighting a cold (or one I’m trying to avoid, as is the case with my son being ill right now). This cup tasted a lot more like turmeric than anything else, which is perfect for me, as that was my intention and hope when I bought it. Kept it straight other than a dropper full of grapefruit extract to help with fending off a cold.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
OMGsrsly

Oh no! I hope he feels better and manages to have some fun.

MissB

Yea, me too. Hopefully he sleeps it off.

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85

I’m swimming in tea. I got (almost) everyone’s tea from Black Friday sent out, save anything from Butiki (looks like it was shipped today) and Herbal Infusions order #2. Woot! 13 packages now on to their varied destinations including Canada, the US, the UK and Australia.

I grabbed this tea because I’m a huge turmeric fan, and wanted a replacement for DAVID’s turmeric tea that they’ve discontinued (and that I love).

It’s a strong smelling tea, and of course the bag is stained from the turmeric. Strong, as in it smells like butter chicken sauce to me. Yum!

Drinking it, I mostly get licorice first, then heat, a slight touch of lemon, strong turmeric, and bite from the ginger. I’d love to try this with honey, it’ll just have to wait when I have more time.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Dexter

OMG – you have THIRTEEN packages sent out!!!! WOW – bowing to the master of organizational skills…

Cavocorax

Yeah, that’s pretty amazing!

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Smoky and fairly strong, like a Caravan blend. I felt obligated to do it at least once the prescribed way (here: https://www.samovarlife.com/5-steps-to-the-ultimate-russian-tea ) with American Spoon strawberry preserves, but I must say, Samovar’s steeping instructions are awfully vague, giving amounts of leaf and jam to use but not amounts of water nor how long to steep nor how to go about straining (the “steaming” step implies you add the tea directly to the teapot, not within an infuser basket) given you’ve added jam to the tea. So it was all a mess, and unfortunately a waste of good jam too ‘cause I didn’t like it (I shouldn’t be too surprised; I have yet to find any strawberry with black tea base blend I like). Oh well. I guess it’s good (kinda) you can only order this in big amounts so wasting some the first time isn’t the end. :/

I appreciate Samovar’s steeping directions in general for trying to stay open to people’s varying tastes and also for being gongfu-ish, but sometimes you want a decent cup of western-style tea and no more than that (brisk blacks especially are something where I’m only going to want 1 cup, usually in a hurry first thing in the morning so no resteeps, and especially don’t want to be using 1 whole Tbsp a go). That’s what I want some specific guidelines for. Oh well. Next time I’ll try 1 teaspoon for 8 oz, boiling, 3 minutes and hopefully it’ll go ok.

EDIT: Hm, looking more closely I think I can put the pieces together, but it’s easy to overlook if you skim and requires additional link-hopping to figure it all out—it appears to be around 13oz boiling water, 3 Tb tea, 2 Tb strawberry jam, 10 second dry steam condition of the leaves then 15 minute steep jam and all. Filter afterward (somehow…), and then do equal parts the steeped super strong tea and additional boiling water, add sweetener and/or dairy to taste. I might just try it one more time…maybe. It’s vaguely like southern sweet tea, ha.

Terri HarpLady

I love Caravan style teas :)

boychik

Im from Russia. We never make tea this way. You make a zavarka, then dilute with hot water to your liking. Jam, pastries are on a side;)

ifjuly

yeah, the jam added right into the tea while steeping seemed very unorthodox to me—i’m vaguely familiar with “make a crazy concentrated tea, then dilute with hot water from a samovar and lots of sugar” but not the jam thing, ha.

ifjuly

that said i don’t really care about hewing to tradition or anything. it just seemed fun. but without clearer instructions the first go-round, and first thing in the morning when my head’s still fuzzy, it was a mess waiting to happen.

boychik

Let us know the results if you decide to try again

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I’ve been on the hunt for a good catch-all “helps keep you healthy and also works well when you aren’t” type cold/congestion tea. I’ve always used Stash White Christmas in bags—when I’m REALLY bedridden the last thing I want is to fuss with loose leaf, I admit—and plan to keep doing so, but I’ve wanted some other options with extra ingredients for a while now. Contenders include Adagio Foxtrot, Verdant Winter Sage Spa Blend, Verdant Holy Basil Spa Blend, and now this. It happened to be available relatively cheaply on Amazon with free Prime shipping, and I was trying to find something about that ballpark price range so they’d ship an add-on item, so. My first Samovar tea (bummed a lot of the best sounding ones rated on Steepster appear to no longer be available online). I was taking a risk but I already know I like ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, and licorice root, and those were all congestion and sore throat ingredients I was hoping for and was having a hard time finding together in a single tea (I wanted that, for simplicity’s sake). Plus, Samovar seems like a good quality brand to hang your hat on. And yay, I do like this. Not sure this would be everyone’s cup of tea (ha) but if you use lemongrass, turmeric, and ginger a lot in cooking like I do and don’t mind licorice root in other teas it’s probably a good bet you won’t hate it. I find it very comforting now that it’s become abruptly cold and relatively dry (for Memphis). Very soothing and as much like soup as tea in that it’s pretty savory. Nice. I’m glad I have it in my wellness arsenal now. With this killing so many ingredient birds with one stone, and my peppermint ginger teas (Stash and Verdant), I’m good to go on my entire wish/checklist of immunity/soothing ingredients aside from elderberry (garlic was the other one, but I knew I’d want that as fresh slices I add myself to a tea…and that would work wonderfully with this one!).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I use the Verdant Winter Ginger blend because I like it when I’m not sick too. There are other ways I use it as a base tea. If I need some l-theanine to calm a headache or bodyaches I add a little puerh to the winter blend. If I want more caffeine I add Laoshan Black. (The puerh option is easy on my stomach if I’m sick or nauseated) Anyone can make mint, ginger/lemon or turmeric drinks if they’re just looking for a healthy shot. For a great blend I figured that I was getting my money’s worth.

ifjuly

I’ve been interested in using pu erh for stomach flora health ever since Stacy from Butiki mentioned on the boards somewhere it might help keep the good bacteria in your GI system which in turn can possibly help with immunity. Once I place an order with Mandala and figure out where I stand with the pu erh and what kinds I like I think I may take your advice, Bonnie! I bet it’d be good with the Verdant Ginger Sage, yeah. I do enjoy it sometimes with LB! Yum.

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78

This was the first tea I had upon arriving at the Samovar Tea Lounge in Zen Valley last Friday following our excursion to the SF Zoo. To round out the picture, my older son, 8, had Tea Lemonade (it was awesome! Not sure what was in it but it tasted like green tea and lemonade), my younger son had Moorish Mint, which I adore and he liked at first but grew weary of after a few cups, and my BF had Tart Peach which was lovely as well.

This was served in a little pitcher with a built in strainer, and an accompanying cup.

I have quite enjoyed many of the Samovar Pu-Erhs, but this was not my fave, for a reason that is extremely subjective. I thought I might get a chocolate flavor out of it, and I did get some around the edges, but it was secondary to a somewhat alcoholic flavor that predominated. To be precise, the main flavor I got from it was brandy, cognac perhaps, and I am not a fan of either of those flavors. Like most pu-erhs I have tasted it is overly simplistic to reduce this one to a single flavor, and I could discern as well the earth, bark and barnyard components. But the overwhelming note was the brandy. If you like that flavor, you will love this.

I give it points for obvious quality, though.

Azzrian

Tart Peach? I don’t recall seeing this on their website! Sounds yummy!

byronicle

I wouldn’t have been able to pinpoint brandy. Nice callout…

__Morgana__

Did you taste that as well, byronicle?

byronicle

I’m not really a brandy drinker, but I can definitely see where you were coming from on that one.

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100

We just posted a recipe for Russian tea featuring with Tolstoy’s Sip along with a coupon for 20% off orders place by 11/4: http://www.samovarlife.com/5-steps-to-the-ultimate-russian-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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