100
drank Four Seasons by Samovar
260 tasting notes

The scene in Shawshank Redemption where Andy Dufresne comes crawling out of the tunnel into the rain.

That is me today. Crawling through foot after foot, yard after yard, of metaphorical sewage to reach the cleansing downpour of sweet, sweet FREEDOM.

Yes, Steepsterites. I am free. I. Am. FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

At least until mid-January, when the whole process starts anew. But for now, I am going to savor this unadulterated sense of not needing to do…anything. I have big, big plans for winter break, part of which include trying to catch up with what I’ve been missing on this site [I can’t even fathom how long that’s going to take] and inundating you with tea logs [FUN FOR YOU]. Because yes, in true tea dork fashion, I TOOK NOTES when I knew I wasn’t going to be able to write logs on here. If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be jotting down things to remember about a tea in a moleskine so that I could semi-accurately log it later, I would have laughed at you. Just laughed and laughed and laughed. And then apologized, and then probably laughed some more.

So, after being released from my last final of the semester, I turned the kettle on and began an impromptu dance party. Some Ting Tings, a little Modeselektor, a bit of La Roux, a slice of Roisin Murphy and an Under the Influence of Giants track later, I was drinking this tea and laughing madly. Partially because I was so giddy with being finished with school, and partially because of the enormous lack of sleep I have had these past few weeks.

There are very few teas that I would reach for in lieu of this in such a moment of intense celebration. I luckily got my Samovar package in the mail right before studying for finals commenced in earnest, so I replenished my stash of Four Seasons and I drank a fair amount of it while trying to cram every bit of information I could into my already bursting at the seams brain.

It is, far and away, beyond a shadow of a doubt, four monkeys on top of a giraffe, my favorite oolong. It is buttery, and washes into a lightly floral finish as it progresses through the steeps. I will admit that is more expensive than other oolongs I have chanced upon, but considering that I get about 5 cups on the regular [more if I’m feeling patient] from it, it ends up being not that bad.

It is a tea that just makes my inner being sigh and melt into a daze of pleasant complacency. Delicious, intricate, complex, and balanced. Coupled with the unshackling of my SOUL, it made for a singularly fantastic afternoon. [It also motivated me to spend a couple of hours cleaning my car.] I cannot think of anything that would have been more appropriate.

So, brace yourself Steepster. Hide your children and iron your pants, because I’M BACK!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Auggy

YAY!!!!!

Angrboda

irons pants s great to see you back. :D

Angrboda

And half my comment disappeared. Again. Apparently Steepster doesn’t like it when I draw arrows like this <—-

teaplz

WHEEE! YUMMY TEA AND HAPPINESS. re finished and back among the living and sane and drinking tea! :D Missed having you around, tak-tak. Srsly.

Jillian

Whooo! The Return of Takgoti!!!!! XD

Jason

Sheeee’s Baaaaaaccck (ominous tone). UTIOG FTW

TeaEqualsBliss

YAY! Go to see you again!

gmathis

Congratulations. I have always said the best days are full of get-to’s, not have-to’s. Hope you have many over your holidays.

sophistre

Welcome back! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been sipping on. Already this review has me ready to buy more tea! Technically I guess I should be dreading the slew of tasting notes that are incoming, but…who am I kidding?

teaplz

P.S. I LOVE SHAWSHANK. Just thought I needed to get that out there. But I think we’ve discussed this before. :P

Laura

welcome back! always glad to read your notes. ps: i <3 utiog.

Mike

Welcome back!! Great re-introduction. Officially shop’listed. Prepping an epic Samovar order for the new year…

Bethany

@Mike, I’m doing the same. They’ve been on my list for some time!

takgoti

@Auggy BOOKOOYASHA! [Sorry, they were saying that on Top Chef and I’ve been itching to say it all day.]

@Angrboda Haha, that’s happened to me as well. Anyhow, thank you! De-wrinkling FTW!

@teaplz Aw, I missed being around, teepee! [Blerg, I cannot think of anything as cute as tak-tak. I really love that. I’ll work on it and get back to you.] Oh, and Brooks was here. So was Red.

@Jillian Coming to a theatre near you in 2072.

@Jason Heeeeere’s takgoti! UTIOG FTW INDEED.

@TeaEqualsBliss Thank you! Good to see you too!

@gmathis That’s fantastic. I see myself using that phrase a bunch in the future. I hope you have a lot of them as well!

@sophistre Thank you so much! And hehehehehe I drank a LOT of tea, so dread away!

@Laura That gives me warm fuzzies! I absolutely love your avatar, by the way. [And utiog is one of those bands that can make me happy in almost any given situation, so when I’m ALREADY elated it just gets ridiculous.]

@Mike Danke! EXCELLENT. Samovar just came out with a BUNCH OF NEW TEAS, too, so I expect my next order is going to be epic as well.

@Bethany WOOHOO! I love domino-ing Samovar love! It gives me much pleasure.

You all rock. Thank you for making a girl feel loved! I’m about to dash to try to finish my shopping but I foresee much Steepster activity in my future.

Mike

@Bethany, cool! I was partially persuaded by ms. takgoti’s constant raving but also this video: http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2009/08/25/sbiz_tips_samovar_tea.smb/

OK…it was mostly Takgoti’s fault…

Auggy

That’s it! Anyone else wanna take a field trip to SF????

chana

@Auggy Would love to, but that’s waaaay outta my budget….would make it the most expensive tea around for me. :D

East Side Rob

And to think that my wife and I were getting nostalgic about our college days. Thanks for slapping us back to reality. Kinda like a good Assam in the morning.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Yay! You’re back! I’ve missed your tealogs (and you).

takgoti

@Mike I only do it because I love them so. You will understand soon.

@Auggy YES PLS.

@East Side Rob It’s what I do.

@chrine Aw, hugs! Prepare yourself for the onslaught, I’m about to start diving into what people have been up to. Your dashboard shall be stormed. To quote one of my favorite movies, “At my signal, UNLEASH HELL.”

sophistre

RE: Samovar

They have the ryokucha, finally. I have been waiting and checking. If you are out, or you have also been waiting, then…probably now is the time to storm the gates. ;)

Also? Reading the blurb for a specific tea on their site, I found myself totally in love with the flavor profile described, only to discover as I was about to click that it would cost me $250.00 for 1.41oz of tea. I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t help but feel that my lifelong love of spicy foods has resulted in a palate that will never, ever be able to properly appreciate the value of quality to quantity that price tag is describing. ;)

takgoti

Ah, yes. I like to bug Samovar’s owner via email every now and then and he mentioned that their out of stock issue with teas should be more or less cleared up by 2010. Not necessarily that they’ll have everything available all the time, but that they should have either the small can or the large can in stock for teas pretty consistently.

And haha yeah, the Inoka Hill? It’s more affordable in the lounge because you can just get it by the “cup” [though still not inexpensive]. My understanding is that if you don’t really like gyokuros or aren’t very accustomed to Japanese greens, you’ll want to stay away until you are. It’s very strong. I guess it’s similar to trying a super aged pu-erh before getting your palate used to pu-erhs. It’s kind of a waste and unlikely that you’ll enjoy it.

Anyhow, it tickles me so to see more people looking into Samovar! They truly are my favorite tea company. The Ryokucha should be in stock for a while. [Watch it sell out tomorrow.] Fingers crossed, it won’t disappear again anytime soon if at all!

Ricky

You have me looking into Samovar as well now! All those tealogs / reviews about it, argh. I took a look at it and the ryokucha caught my eye even before I saw you guys posting about it. Samovar doesn’t offer samplers =(, oh if only…

takgoti

Shh… You may be getting your wish soon.

Ricky

Haha, have you become their number one customer? ;D

takgoti

HAH, no, I just like to poke at Jesse with questions from time to time and he is kind enough to answer me.

Jillian

Maybe I should get you to harass them about better International shipping fees more often. ;D

takgoti

@Jillian Haha, all I can tell you is that they’re aware of how they rate against other companies and are doing what they can to lower costs. Not much else I can do on my end, unfortunately!

Micah

First. Love La Roux! I discovered her at some point in September and listened to her all semester. Go team!

And I desperately need to get more tea…. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on some of this oolong.

takgoti

@Micah She’s pretty amazing. I am in love with her eponymous album. And if you get nothing else from Samovar, you should get Four Seasons. I am that dead serious in love with it.

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Comments

Auggy

YAY!!!!!

Angrboda

irons pants s great to see you back. :D

Angrboda

And half my comment disappeared. Again. Apparently Steepster doesn’t like it when I draw arrows like this <—-

teaplz

WHEEE! YUMMY TEA AND HAPPINESS. re finished and back among the living and sane and drinking tea! :D Missed having you around, tak-tak. Srsly.

Jillian

Whooo! The Return of Takgoti!!!!! XD

Jason

Sheeee’s Baaaaaaccck (ominous tone). UTIOG FTW

TeaEqualsBliss

YAY! Go to see you again!

gmathis

Congratulations. I have always said the best days are full of get-to’s, not have-to’s. Hope you have many over your holidays.

sophistre

Welcome back! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been sipping on. Already this review has me ready to buy more tea! Technically I guess I should be dreading the slew of tasting notes that are incoming, but…who am I kidding?

teaplz

P.S. I LOVE SHAWSHANK. Just thought I needed to get that out there. But I think we’ve discussed this before. :P

Laura

welcome back! always glad to read your notes. ps: i <3 utiog.

Mike

Welcome back!! Great re-introduction. Officially shop’listed. Prepping an epic Samovar order for the new year…

Bethany

@Mike, I’m doing the same. They’ve been on my list for some time!

takgoti

@Auggy BOOKOOYASHA! [Sorry, they were saying that on Top Chef and I’ve been itching to say it all day.]

@Angrboda Haha, that’s happened to me as well. Anyhow, thank you! De-wrinkling FTW!

@teaplz Aw, I missed being around, teepee! [Blerg, I cannot think of anything as cute as tak-tak. I really love that. I’ll work on it and get back to you.] Oh, and Brooks was here. So was Red.

@Jillian Coming to a theatre near you in 2072.

@Jason Heeeeere’s takgoti! UTIOG FTW INDEED.

@TeaEqualsBliss Thank you! Good to see you too!

@gmathis That’s fantastic. I see myself using that phrase a bunch in the future. I hope you have a lot of them as well!

@sophistre Thank you so much! And hehehehehe I drank a LOT of tea, so dread away!

@Laura That gives me warm fuzzies! I absolutely love your avatar, by the way. [And utiog is one of those bands that can make me happy in almost any given situation, so when I’m ALREADY elated it just gets ridiculous.]

@Mike Danke! EXCELLENT. Samovar just came out with a BUNCH OF NEW TEAS, too, so I expect my next order is going to be epic as well.

@Bethany WOOHOO! I love domino-ing Samovar love! It gives me much pleasure.

You all rock. Thank you for making a girl feel loved! I’m about to dash to try to finish my shopping but I foresee much Steepster activity in my future.

Mike

@Bethany, cool! I was partially persuaded by ms. takgoti’s constant raving but also this video: http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2009/08/25/sbiz_tips_samovar_tea.smb/

OK…it was mostly Takgoti’s fault…

Auggy

That’s it! Anyone else wanna take a field trip to SF????

chana

@Auggy Would love to, but that’s waaaay outta my budget….would make it the most expensive tea around for me. :D

East Side Rob

And to think that my wife and I were getting nostalgic about our college days. Thanks for slapping us back to reality. Kinda like a good Assam in the morning.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Yay! You’re back! I’ve missed your tealogs (and you).

takgoti

@Mike I only do it because I love them so. You will understand soon.

@Auggy YES PLS.

@East Side Rob It’s what I do.

@chrine Aw, hugs! Prepare yourself for the onslaught, I’m about to start diving into what people have been up to. Your dashboard shall be stormed. To quote one of my favorite movies, “At my signal, UNLEASH HELL.”

sophistre

RE: Samovar

They have the ryokucha, finally. I have been waiting and checking. If you are out, or you have also been waiting, then…probably now is the time to storm the gates. ;)

Also? Reading the blurb for a specific tea on their site, I found myself totally in love with the flavor profile described, only to discover as I was about to click that it would cost me $250.00 for 1.41oz of tea. I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t help but feel that my lifelong love of spicy foods has resulted in a palate that will never, ever be able to properly appreciate the value of quality to quantity that price tag is describing. ;)

takgoti

Ah, yes. I like to bug Samovar’s owner via email every now and then and he mentioned that their out of stock issue with teas should be more or less cleared up by 2010. Not necessarily that they’ll have everything available all the time, but that they should have either the small can or the large can in stock for teas pretty consistently.

And haha yeah, the Inoka Hill? It’s more affordable in the lounge because you can just get it by the “cup” [though still not inexpensive]. My understanding is that if you don’t really like gyokuros or aren’t very accustomed to Japanese greens, you’ll want to stay away until you are. It’s very strong. I guess it’s similar to trying a super aged pu-erh before getting your palate used to pu-erhs. It’s kind of a waste and unlikely that you’ll enjoy it.

Anyhow, it tickles me so to see more people looking into Samovar! They truly are my favorite tea company. The Ryokucha should be in stock for a while. [Watch it sell out tomorrow.] Fingers crossed, it won’t disappear again anytime soon if at all!

Ricky

You have me looking into Samovar as well now! All those tealogs / reviews about it, argh. I took a look at it and the ryokucha caught my eye even before I saw you guys posting about it. Samovar doesn’t offer samplers =(, oh if only…

takgoti

Shh… You may be getting your wish soon.

Ricky

Haha, have you become their number one customer? ;D

takgoti

HAH, no, I just like to poke at Jesse with questions from time to time and he is kind enough to answer me.

Jillian

Maybe I should get you to harass them about better International shipping fees more often. ;D

takgoti

@Jillian Haha, all I can tell you is that they’re aware of how they rate against other companies and are doing what they can to lower costs. Not much else I can do on my end, unfortunately!

Micah

First. Love La Roux! I discovered her at some point in September and listened to her all semester. Go team!

And I desperately need to get more tea…. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on some of this oolong.

takgoti

@Micah She’s pretty amazing. I am in love with her eponymous album. And if you get nothing else from Samovar, you should get Four Seasons. I am that dead serious in love with it.

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Profile

Bio

Former coffeeist, turned teaite. Lover of writing, reading, photography, and music. Traveler of life. Known to be ridiculous on occasion.

Location

Virginia, USA

Website

http://takgoti.tumblr.com

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