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drank Lychee Black by Samovar
403 tasting notes

Got my Samovar order today, trying the lychee before tackling the Four Seasons. Let me just say – the glass oolong pot is adorable. It also seems to hold heat better than I expected, only about a 10°F drop in 3 minutes

Samovar’s description is good: this is light, sweet, and a smooth. It’s also floral. Read the description carefully and you’ll note that lychee flowers, in addition to the fruit, provide the flavor. I don’t mind, I like floral teas, I like the sweetness you can get from flowers of most types, but if you dislike rose teas you won’t like this either. The flavor is quite strong, almost perfume-y. The fruit is more noticeable if you take a big mouthful and swirl it around – there is a bit of a sour/berry taste.

I like the 2nd steep (5 minutes) at least as much, if not better. Less flower-sweet, more fruit-sweet.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA



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