What an enticingly introspective blend from Samovar! Ala takgoti, of course, and her wonderful tea swapping choices.
I was out in the cold today because a few friends and myself decided to take a trip to the Brooklyn Brewery (http://www.brooklynbrewery.com/) for a tour. BB is a pretty popular microbrewery and we just sat around, tasted lots of varieties of beer (I liked the Weisse and the Cookie Jar Porter myself). I’m not a beer person, though, so I was happy to get home to some tea.
I pulled this out because I’ve been chilly all day, and mint, while refreshing, is always such a warming and comforting thing to me. Like most of the Samovar blends, this one smells ridiculously complex. Lots of warmth from the cardamom and ginger, mixed with a spicy, minty aroma. The leaves are similarly intriguing, with the yellows and greens blending together in very pretty ways.
So I steeped this one up, and let me tell you, the steam that came off the wet leaves when I opened the top of my pot could have given me a facial. The mint and pepper combination was so strong that I could literally taste it and feel it in my eyes. The vapors!
The cup was a pretty orange-yellow, and the smell of it gave me pause. It’s rather herbal-like and woody. A bit medicinal. But the flavor profile? Boy is it exotic.
And sophisticated. That’s the word that just keeps coming to my head with Samovar. It’s not child’s play. This is real tea, blended very seriously. And it completely works. It’s grown-up tea. I’m not a big spice person, so I can’t pick out individual flavors, but I can taste just the tiniest of zings from the black pepper each time I take a sip. Leave it on your tongue for a while, and it builds up. The taste of the body is very ginger-like and rich, extremely smooth and supple on the tongue. There’s just a hint of a Chinese green vegetal note, which sort of holds the entire thing together seamlessly. I’m getting lots of sweetness (more than likely from the fennel?) on the swallow, which is followed by a rush of peppermint. It’s less about the flavor of the mint itself, but more about that feeling right after you’ve brushed your teeth of refreshing awesomeness.
The tea gets even sweeter as it cools, so I probably prefer it at its highest heat setting. I’m really enjoying the zing of the pepper. This is the first tea I’ve had that includes pepper as an ingredient that I can really pick it out of.
Samovar just feels luxe. takgoti sent me so much of their stuff. I really am so thankful for that, because I’m pretty sure at this point that they’re my favorite tea company. And I haven’t even had some of the greater, higher-rated stuff yet! This is one of the best mint teas I’ve had – and I love mint tea. It’s so complex and interesting that I can’t help but take sip after sip, working my way through all of the flavors and intricacies. Fun and WIN.