828 Tasting Notes

drank Downy Sprout by Samovar
828 tasting notes

I’ve been thinking of this tea ever since the unveiling of the 4oz pot steeping method. Finally I got some and it’s really good. I wanted to do a few cups normally before the intense steeping method, so that’s what I’ve been doing this morning. Just over a teaspoon to 4 oz, resteeped several times. I have to agree with Ricky: if you weren’t paying attention it’d be a good white tea. Really paying attention turns this into a really good cup.


Yeah, it’s a weird cup of tea. It’s very hit and miss. I made it yesterday, but it wasn’t as good, however today’s cup tastes amazing.


I am finding that to be the case, too!

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I have been waiting for this tea for some time but I didn’t even realize it.

But first: I had an experience that wasn’t as great as I’d hoped with a Samovar order. I emailed about it and they were totally awesome! I love the company even more now and plan to order a lot more tea from them. Well done, Samovar.

Back to the tea: it’s great! I’ve done a few infusions and it went from being a fairly standard oolong to being nearly sweet. I need to do a more focused study of it, with much more attention to temperature, time, and number of steeps, but even without that I can say with confidence that this is my favorite oolong.

That, and the leaves are crazy! They’re not curled up the way many oolongs are and they’re HUGE!


Thank you for letting us know they have good customer service. That is importnant to me when I order anything. I have just fallen for Wild Forest Oolong from Southern Season but they are sold out and it is hideously expensive!


Yeah, Samovar really has to step up their shipping. I didn’t really bother to hassle them with it though. In a previous order all my samplers burst. They didn’t put it in a plastic bag so the contents was everywhere. I lost 50% of it, but I left it alone. One of the tins didn’t budge open. They sealed it shut on both sides so I had two ends. In my recent order, they didn’t put any bubble or packaging paper to keep the contents in place, so everything was shifting from one side to another. Luckily I didn’t order any glass teapots or it’d be disastrous.


ashmanra: it’s nice to have a place to share experiences!
Ricky: oh wow! that’s not good at all! my experience was that everything in the black tea sampler smelled and tasted of the lapsang souchong tea, even though they were sealed well. since i don’t like the LS tea at all it made the sampler a bust for me and they were very good in working with me afterward…

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I’m a little under the weather and would typically turn to an herbal “tea” to boost the immune system and/or provide comfort. However, since I’m still nursing, I can’t have a lot of the herbals I’d like. A trip to the grocery turned this up and I figured it could help with the comfort part. It’s a good cup! Not what I’d normally go for, but I’m sure I’ll finish the box!


I’ve never heard herbals are high in antioxidant- except for red and green rooibos.


Hope you feel better soon!


Cofftea: true, many more antioxidants in green tea, but it lacks some of the other properties of herbals for health.
Stephanie: thanks! Much better today, though my voice isn’t completely back yet. :)


laurenpressley, sort of… more antioxidants are in true tea. I’m ubberly skeptical about “facts” as I choose to call them that tea x is better for you in aspect A then tea y. Although I’ve heard white tea has the most antioxidants of true teas. I just saw a tasting note for a tisane heavy in hibiscus and was reminded it actually has a lot of vitamin c as well.

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drank Lychee Black by Samovar
828 tasting notes

So I got a black sampler set from Samovar, but something weird must have happened in the shipping because everything smells a bit of lapsang souchong (not the best for me). So the fact that I didn’t love this might be because of the faintly smoky smell and taste of it. Otherwise: total flowers. I’m abstaining from applying a numerical rating since the LS scent would cause me to lower the rating and that might just be a one-off thing in my sample.

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drank White Peony by Rishi Tea
828 tasting notes

backlogging: I had some of this thanks to the traveling tea box. it was a lovely floral cup, more strongly flavored than I expected, but that was probably because I steeped it in less water than I might have otherwise.

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I’m having a cup of this thanks to a coworker who got a box from a student who traveled abroad. It’s a really really good cup of tea. I also happen to be drinking this after steeping in the muslin teabag that it came in. As far as teabags go this one is excellent!

For me the smell of chocolate is greater than the taste, and the spiciness is about the same in scent and flavor. There’s definite clove, though I’m not sure what else. It’s a rally nice dessert cup and I find myself wishing for more so that I could experiment with sweeteners and milks.

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I’ve been into tea, at some level, since college with a first tin of loose tea brought back by my parents from Oxford. My love of tea increased with a visit to Boston and a chance cup at Tealuxe. Since then I’ve only gotten more interested in tea and have developed more of an appreciation for it.

tea rating guide
(updated 12/2010)

100: a perfect cuppa. these are the teas I’ll keep in my cupboard and tend to be one per type of tea.

90-99: will definitely get more of this tea

80-89: likely to get more and perhaps it will become a favorite with time

70-79: very good, depending on my mood or the season

60-69: wouldn’t actively try to get this tea, but also wouldn’t avoid it in a tea shop or restaurant

50-59: run-of-the-mill tea for me

40-49: decent, would hit the spot in some moods, but probably wouldn’t purchase it for my cupboard

30-39: okay, will try again, maybe

20-29: meh. I’d try this tea again if no other were available

10-19: drinkable, but a forced cup

0-9: didn’t even finish the cup


Seattle, WA



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