One of the first things I did when I last was in San Francisco was make a beeline to Samovar. Their Blood Orange Pu-erh was the first tea that I tried there. I spent a good hour or so at the counter, sipping this tea and losing myself in the surreal debauchery that is Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. [GREAT read, by the way.]
When I got back home, I wanted to get a tin of that tea because I had enjoyed it so much, but it wasn’t for sale online. Months later, when it became available, I snatched it up.
It’s always been funny to me, that the sense of smell is more closely tied into memory than anything else because I most often associate music with memories. However, when I smell something that my brain has tethered to a remembrance, it always come back super vividly. For me, the purchase of this tea didn’t just arrive with something fantastic to drink, it arrived with a quick way to transport myself 2500-odd miles to the opposite side of the country. All it takes is a whiff of this to whisk myself back to that counter, book in hand, stress dissipated, in the midst of some pretty perfect weather. [I also spent each and every morning that week on my brother’s deck, reading in a chair, and brewing cup after cup of tea until I felt like getting up and actually doing something. Even I’M jealous, and I’m the one who did that. Man, what I wouldn’t give right now to be past me.]
Needless to say, I pull this one out when the stress levels are reaching critical.
Of course, I couldn’t fully enjoy this tea if I didn’t like how it tastes, but I’m happy to be able to say that this is one of the teas that eased me into pu-erh, and I continue to enjoy it immensely. It’s definitely a pu-erh, meaning that you get the same soil-like scent and taste that comes with the territory [I like it, but it’s not for everyone]. The ginger adds a spiciness and warmth, and the blood orange gives it a slight edge. The overall effect is a little stronger than most teas [you might have been able to guess that due to the flavors involved], but it makes the earthiness of the tea not quite so overwhelming. I’ve brewed this for a few friends who are looking to try a pu-erh out, with good results.
I have a feeling that this is going to be an EXCELLENT winter tea.