Samovar Tea Lounge

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Recent Tasting Notes

100

Oh God, I have been transported.

Good solid strong black base, which reminds me of the Mighty Leaf black tea base for its fruity teas. Smooth with a teeny wee bit of smoke. And then, rose and spice and citrus. Just divine. Really.

If I began four mornings of my week with this tea, despite my tea obsession and outrageous tea collection, still, all would be right with my world. I steeped three times and would likely be able to steep another full flavoured good one. Each steep held up flavourfully well in my timolinos, despite the delicate flavours.

I received this as part of my monthly subscription for September (or is it part of October’s selection?) with Tea Sparrow. No regrets. Highly recommended.

I am experimenting with tea subscriptions currently. What I really like about Tea Sparrow is that first, they are Canadian, so I don’t feel like I am getting gouged on the exchange and the shipping charges. Second, their selections from various tea blenders are awesome, high quality, and inspired. Third, their taster packages are far more generous than the other subscriptions that I am subscribing to, so you really do get a chance to dig into the teas rather than feeling that it is all just a ruse to nudge you into buying larger quantities. I do buy larger quantities anyway, of course.
Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
353 tasting notes

Going through my tea backlog and reviewing stuff I’ve drunk since I had neglected Steepster for several months…

I was in San Francisco for one night only and I had dinner and tea with some friends at Samovar Tea Lounge, which was an adorable little cafe where we had the option of sitting on pillows at low tables or in chairs at a regular table. We opted for chairs though in hindsight, I would have loved to have sat on pillows. But then we would have had to share a table with others.

It was late so I didn’t want anything with caffeine. Most of the other herbal teas had ginger in them, which I try and avoid since I don’t like it. So cacao mint it was.

I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had the ability to try different steeping times and temperatures. I think the temperature was a bit too hot and/or it was steeped for too long since the mint turned bitter. I had to steal honey from an appetizer to sweeten the tea (no sugar provided) to try and cut the bitterness and bring out the other flavors.

No rating.

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i know i should rinse first but as i read that somebody enjoyed the first steep of puerh the most, i decided to taste it. i liked the flavor actually. but it was lost subsequent steeps. drank them still, for the healthy elements :)

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92

This tea tastes thick to me, like it’s not flavored water anymore. If you look beyond that, it tastes pretty good. It tastes yellow, even though it’s not. It smells much more citrusy than it is. I did a series of very short steepings, probably thirty seconds or less.

Flavors: Citrus, Orange, Orange Zest

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 251 ML

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81

This is one of three teas I take something with: I put in about a teaspoon of strawberry jam. On its own, the smoky flavor is really overpowering. I’m the only one in my family who drinks it because they all complain that it smells awful. It doesn’t smell particularly fabulous, but it tastes good. I also let it steep for more than ten minutes, and it doesn’t turn bitter. I just sort of get it when I think about it.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90

Tolstoy’s Sip has a smoky flavor that dances a little on the edge of too much without ever crossing over. The result is a flavor that I have to be in the mood for, but when I am, I am absolutely crazy about it.

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
636 tasting notes

I received this tea from MissB’s tea sale back in January. Thank you!

I had a bunch of this back when I received it, but it looks like I didn’t write a note. Tonight I believe I over leafed or over steeped. It was a bit on the sour side. I get a bit of cacao, mint and then a bit of lavender. Some nights I enjoy this tea, other nights it just doesn’t sit right. I am glad to have experienced this combination, but I am not sure I would consider buying again.

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Interesting!

Drank this the other night, the lavender tasted peppery to me. I enjoyed it, it was definitely different, but I reached the conclusion that I would have liked it way more if it was just cacao mint. Which is why I plan to buy that flavor from Herbal Infusions at some point to try.

I’m not big on spicy/peppery teas, and for whatever reason the lavender overwhelmed my tastebuds to that extent.

So, nice to try, that’s it, goodbye!

Thanks for the sample, OMGsrsly! :)

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85

I also had this at Samovar Tea Lounge today because I am a tea glutton. This was not bitter, but it also wasn’t sweet. It was creamy and I enjoyed it very much. The aftertaste reminded me of the yolk of a hard-boiled egg.

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77

This was the tea I ordered today at Samovar Tea Lounge. It was a solid sencha.

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86

I went to Samovar Tea Lounge at Yerba Buena Gardens today with Casey. It was really a great place, but I guess I will save my review of this venue for that other part of Steepster.

Casey ordered this tea. It was really nice. I think the redwood forest description was pretty accurate, but Casey said it was a stretch, and he grew up literally in a redwood forest. The earthy/mossy flavors blended nicely with the citrus blood orange, grapefruit, and ginger flavors. The only problem with this tea that was by the end of the pot, the citrus rinds had contributed an overwhelming amount of flavor. Overall, I was really impressed. I’m not usually that fond of the puerh and citrus combination.

Flavors: Earth, Orange Zest, Peat Moss

TeaBrat

I love Samovar :)

CharlotteZero

The coconut rice pudding was awesome.

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
2219 tasting notes

The only mint tea in my cupboard is now, sadly, gone.

I really really liked this one when I was in the mood for mint and didn’t have to worry about minting up my apartment (BFF is seriously allergic).

The mint, the lavender, the deliciousness. Mmm…

Perfect night time treat.

(Eee!!! 201! I’m almost below 200 teas!)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Sil

i can remedy that…

OMGsrsly

Noooooo! My tea cupboard is nacho problem!

Dexter

LOL and I was looking at a post yesterday thinking – I should send her some of that. :))

OMGsrsly

I don’t wanna taco ’bout it. ;)

Sil

the best part? 90% of the population out there probably wants to know why you’re spelling “not your” wrong :)

OMGsrsly

Ahahaha. Awesome. (Psst weirdos. Drunk taco joke. Youtube. Yeah.)

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
2219 tasting notes

IDK why I love this tea so much, but I do. Even with the mint. It’s just SOOOO good. And lavender-y. :D

Sipping on it plain today, since I want the last of my milk for my morning tea. I’ve also baked a bajillion cookies tonight in preparation for decorating them like eyeballs for Halloween, and not having sugar in this tea is a nice accompaniment to the cookies that weren’t quite perfect. Yes, that’s right. They weren’t perfect and also I needed to test them. Yup.

Anyways, if you like mint and chocolate and don’t mind lavender, definitely check this one out. It’s expensive, and hard for me to get, and also my BFF is hideously allergic to it, so I won’t be getting more. But you should! :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Kittenna

Lavender?! Ewww.

Kittenna

Also, unsweetened (good quality) teas are the perfect complement to baked goods. Om nom nom.

OMGsrsly

Haha. That was MissB’s response too, which is why I ended up with the tea! And I LOVE it.

Anlina

Wishlisted! I love chocolate and mint and the idea of adding lavender intrigues me.

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
2219 tasting notes

This is SO GOOD. Thank you, MissB!

It’s helping my breathing because of the mint, and the flavour is just divine. Especially with some honey.

This might be the only mint tea I ever want to keep stocked. It’s not the best for my tummy (mint makes me nauseous), but right now it’s amazing.

Flavors: Chocolate, Flowers

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
MissB

So glad you’re enjoying it and that it went to a home that loves it. :)

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
2219 tasting notes

Hot damn. I love this.

That is something I never thought I’d say about a mint tea.

But this is superb.

I get mint-chocolate, with lavender. It smells in the order of chocolate-lavender-mint, though. The mint is SO fresh. I definitely have different taste buds from MissB, and I do love lavender.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
MissB

I did grossly oversteep this, however lavender really does make me feel like I’m breaking out into hives when it’s as strong as it is in that brew. I’m so glad you love it!!

OMGsrsly

I think I want more, MissB. Could I buy half the packet off you? It can wait till after your rush at work. :) And if no one else wants it by that point, I might take it all. I’m falling asleep in my chair here! This might be a new favourite night time tea.

OMGsrsly

Oh, I see someone else grabbed it. Boo. Now the hunt begins! :)

oddree

Mint chocolate and lavender sounds AMAZING to me – I’ll have to keep an eye out for that combo, or something similar.

OMGsrsly

If you can get your hands on this one, definitely try it!

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drank Cacao Mint by Samovar Tea Lounge
1474 tasting notes

I love the idea of this tea, and had wanted to try Samovar for a while. if I’d known however how much lavender was in this blend, I would have passed.

Brewed, this smells so strongly of lavender, it’s a bit cloying. If you like that sort of thing, this is probably your kind of tea. Me? I sipped hesitantly. One sip and I had to dump it. While I did taste the cacao and mint at the start of the sip, the lavender quickly took over and owned me.

It seems I really overleafed this one (1 tbsp for 8 oz, even though I swear that’s what it said on the package), however for the cost involved, I’d much rather just pass this along to someone who will enjoy it more.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Anna

Lavender is so tricky – just right, and it’s the loveliest thing ever, too much, and it’s an instant pour-out.

(I had lavender and white chocolate gelato a few weeks back, and they managed to balance it just right. Nom.)

Dustin

^That gelato sounds delicious!

OMGsrsly

I’ll try it, but can’t promise to love it because of the mint. :) I love lavender.

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Smoky and fairly strong, like a Caravan blend. I felt obligated to do it at least once the prescribed way (here: https://www.samovarlife.com/5-steps-to-the-ultimate-russian-tea ) with American Spoon strawberry preserves, but I must say, Samovar’s steeping instructions are awfully vague, giving amounts of leaf and jam to use but not amounts of water nor how long to steep nor how to go about straining (the “steaming” step implies you add the tea directly to the teapot, not within an infuser basket) given you’ve added jam to the tea. So it was all a mess, and unfortunately a waste of good jam too ‘cause I didn’t like it (I shouldn’t be too surprised; I have yet to find any strawberry with black tea base blend I like). Oh well. I guess it’s good (kinda) you can only order this in big amounts so wasting some the first time isn’t the end. :/

I appreciate Samovar’s steeping directions in general for trying to stay open to people’s varying tastes and also for being gongfu-ish, but sometimes you want a decent cup of western-style tea and no more than that (brisk blacks especially are something where I’m only going to want 1 cup, usually in a hurry first thing in the morning so no resteeps, and especially don’t want to be using 1 whole Tbsp a go). That’s what I want some specific guidelines for. Oh well. Next time I’ll try 1 teaspoon for 8 oz, boiling, 3 minutes and hopefully it’ll go ok.

EDIT: Hm, looking more closely I think I can put the pieces together, but it’s easy to overlook if you skim and requires additional link-hopping to figure it all out—it appears to be around 13oz boiling water, 3 Tb tea, 2 Tb strawberry jam, 10 second dry steam condition of the leaves then 15 minute steep jam and all. Filter afterward (somehow…), and then do equal parts the steeped super strong tea and additional boiling water, add sweetener and/or dairy to taste. I might just try it one more time…maybe. It’s vaguely like southern sweet tea, ha.

Terri HarpLady

I love Caravan style teas :)

boychik

Im from Russia. We never make tea this way. You make a zavarka, then dilute with hot water to your liking. Jam, pastries are on a side;)

ifjuly

yeah, the jam added right into the tea while steeping seemed very unorthodox to me—i’m vaguely familiar with “make a crazy concentrated tea, then dilute with hot water from a samovar and lots of sugar” but not the jam thing, ha.

ifjuly

that said i don’t really care about hewing to tradition or anything. it just seemed fun. but without clearer instructions the first go-round, and first thing in the morning when my head’s still fuzzy, it was a mess waiting to happen.

boychik

Let us know the results if you decide to try again

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100

We just posted a recipe for Russian tea featuring with Tolstoy’s Sip along with a coupon for 20% off orders place by 11/4: http://www.samovarlife.com/5-steps-to-the-ultimate-russian-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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