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84
drank Blood Orange Pu-erh by Samovar
186 tasting notes

Samovar = serious master blenders. I mean that. Man.

So, I was trying to figure out what I would drink today, and I searched through takgoti’s Magic Box of Wonderful Tea that she sent me. I figured I’d drink my lucky number (#12) and came out with this little number. Blood Orange Pu-erh. Interesting.

I’m not the biggest fan of oranges. I don’t mind the flavor of them, but the texture kind of grosses me out. The pulpy membrane… eesh. And since citrus tends to upset my stomach, I tend to avoid them. But this one smells pretty interesting, and it’s a pu-erh, so I decided to give it a go.

The dry leaves are that thick, heavy-looking black leaf splotched with brown that usually sings pu-erh to me! There are chunks of orange rind and seeds (I think?) and pieces of ginger. The entire concoction smells like dark citrus. Not bright, sunny morning, Florida-weather-orange. More mysterious and exotic, with an earthy base and spiciness from the ginger. Mmmm.

So I actually rinsed this one, which was a first for me. I had no idea how to go about this, so I poured about 6 oz. of boiling water over the leaves and left it for about 15 seconds, then dumped it. Fresh boiling water over it again, and then the actual steep… almost immediately the water started turning that signature dark, pu-erh color. The bits of dried fruit began to puff up, and swirl around the pot.

Then it came time for the pour! And boy, is this dark. I just love the color of pu-erh. I can’t see the bottom of my cup, at all. It looks like a bruised-black, and the smell coming from it… the smell is complex. I’m getting mostly deep blood orange notes, accented by a bit of ginger, and then a smoke-like earth component.

I raised my spoon, and took the first sip. Let me pause for a second, for a big, “Mmmmmm!” Even though I finished my cup about 10 minutes ago, the flavors are still echoing in my mouth in big ways, and it’s great.

The blood orange is definitely the body of this flavor, and it’s almost rich and satisfying. It’s an almost brassy note, if I had to color it, very strong and full, but never overwhelming. It’s not really sweet, or tart, but wonderfully and distinctively orange. You’d never mistake it for anything else. The ginger really creeps in at points, with a spicy, warming quality, that pairs wonderfully with the citrus of the orange flavors. The pu-erh is not really the focal point here, but it really does its job of holding the tea together and grounding it in the earth. I think that’s what really makes this one special. It’s dark and rich and deep, reminded me of moss and deep forest.

Pu-erh to me, is a liquid manifestation of earth. I don’t really associate it with a dirt-like flavor, but I tend to think of it more as a mushroom, or a truffle. Rich and satisfying and delicious.

I’m really a bit surprised at how much I like this one, since I’m not one to truly love citrus, and I wasn’t sure how flavored pu-erh was going to go. But it’s an absolute, clear winner, and I was happy to share the morning with this cup! Another big victory for Samovar! And takgoti as well, for sending me some of this delicious stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

It’s been suggested that I try Rishi’s version, but I will also try Samovar’s when I place my order for my beloved matcha mill… which will be in a year if I’m lucky… :,(

teaplz

I think Rishi blends theirs a little differently than Samovar’s, since their description includes “flowers and spices.” I’m sure both are good, though. I’m really loving pu-erh in general!

Cofftea

I just made some! Check out my tasting note in a min:)

Ricky

You knowwwwww….. I read Samovar & Takgoti….. then I kept reading and some how my head went OHHH Rishi has a good pu-erh blood orange! Then I got to the bottom and went wait Samovar & Takgoti…. that’s definitely not Rishi…. Why would I connect Takgoti with Rishi, now that’s just absurd. This is when you know I need to get some rest.

Cofftea

Ricky, I have heard Rishi’s is good. Although Rishi isn’t on my good side. I’ll see if my local tea co. has it.

Ricky

Nope, I won’t be ordering from Rishi in a while either. But it’s on my list when I do.

teaplz

Rishi’s and Samovar’s blends are actually pretty different… and Rishi is the company that I’ll be ordering from next, definitely!

Raffi

For rinsing the tea, that’s not a bad way of doing it. I think that works. What I do since I have my tea in a strainer anyway when I steep it, I just pour some boiling water over the tea leaves with the strainer hovering over a sink. Then I put the strainer back in my cup and pour the actual pour.

Not sure which is the better way, to be honest, because I don’t want to lose all the initial caffeine and flavour that comes with the first steep.

Cofftea

Raffi, I’ve only had one flavored pu erh so far (this one’s on my list) and it was bagged so I didn’t rise, but for the 3 unflavored pu erhs I’ve tried (1 raw and 2 cooked), rinsing did not wash away the flavor as I was absolutely terrified it would- the practice seemed insane to me a short time ago. I actually just drank a cup of cooked pu erh:) A lot of the reason the flavor doesn’t get wasted in the rinse is because I use a lot of leaf (1g per oz of water). I haven’t even hit a massive drop off in flavor from infusion ot infusion. I personally do pu erhs in my ingenuiTEA- it makes it (and resteepings in general) so easy and mess free:) Now if I could just find a class version.

Raffi

I can imagine that the ingenuiTEA would make it quite easier to rinse the leaves out, though I picked up one of those ForLife Curve cups ( http://www.forlifedesign.com/curve/383.html ) instead.

But yeah, I don’t think losing the flavour is too much of a concern, but I’ll probably get used to the procedure and make it my own over time.

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Comments

Cofftea

It’s been suggested that I try Rishi’s version, but I will also try Samovar’s when I place my order for my beloved matcha mill… which will be in a year if I’m lucky… :,(

teaplz

I think Rishi blends theirs a little differently than Samovar’s, since their description includes “flowers and spices.” I’m sure both are good, though. I’m really loving pu-erh in general!

Cofftea

I just made some! Check out my tasting note in a min:)

Ricky

You knowwwwww….. I read Samovar & Takgoti….. then I kept reading and some how my head went OHHH Rishi has a good pu-erh blood orange! Then I got to the bottom and went wait Samovar & Takgoti…. that’s definitely not Rishi…. Why would I connect Takgoti with Rishi, now that’s just absurd. This is when you know I need to get some rest.

Cofftea

Ricky, I have heard Rishi’s is good. Although Rishi isn’t on my good side. I’ll see if my local tea co. has it.

Ricky

Nope, I won’t be ordering from Rishi in a while either. But it’s on my list when I do.

teaplz

Rishi’s and Samovar’s blends are actually pretty different… and Rishi is the company that I’ll be ordering from next, definitely!

Raffi

For rinsing the tea, that’s not a bad way of doing it. I think that works. What I do since I have my tea in a strainer anyway when I steep it, I just pour some boiling water over the tea leaves with the strainer hovering over a sink. Then I put the strainer back in my cup and pour the actual pour.

Not sure which is the better way, to be honest, because I don’t want to lose all the initial caffeine and flavour that comes with the first steep.

Cofftea

Raffi, I’ve only had one flavored pu erh so far (this one’s on my list) and it was bagged so I didn’t rise, but for the 3 unflavored pu erhs I’ve tried (1 raw and 2 cooked), rinsing did not wash away the flavor as I was absolutely terrified it would- the practice seemed insane to me a short time ago. I actually just drank a cup of cooked pu erh:) A lot of the reason the flavor doesn’t get wasted in the rinse is because I use a lot of leaf (1g per oz of water). I haven’t even hit a massive drop off in flavor from infusion ot infusion. I personally do pu erhs in my ingenuiTEA- it makes it (and resteepings in general) so easy and mess free:) Now if I could just find a class version.

Raffi

I can imagine that the ingenuiTEA would make it quite easier to rinse the leaves out, though I picked up one of those ForLife Curve cups ( http://www.forlifedesign.com/curve/383.html ) instead.

But yeah, I don’t think losing the flavour is too much of a concern, but I’ll probably get used to the procedure and make it my own over time.

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Bio

22-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy girlfriend of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php

Location

New York City

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