Russian Blend

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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27 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have been eagerly anticipating tasting this tea but I wanted to make sure I had time to give it my full attention so I thought I’d be waiting until the weekend to try this. But now that I am...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thanks to Auggy, I can have my Samovar debut! This post is actually part backlog and part recent because I’ve got two different sessions and two different preparation methods in it. Western...” Read full tasting note
  • “We had this today at the Samovar tea lounge in San Francisco, where my honey actually got to drink it out of a Samovar, which was how it was served. I am a bit of a smoky tea fan but this was too...” Read full tasting note
  • “Steep Information: Prepared in store, and bought some for home. Tasting Notes: Dry Leaf Smell: (lapsang souchong) smokey Steeped Tea Smell: (lapsang souchong) smokey Flavor: sweet, smoky, black...” Read full tasting note

From Samovar

Origin: Proprietary Blend of Teas from China.

Flavor Profile: Smoky, sweet, and lightly fruity. Brew it like as you would any other black tea and it is smooth and full bodied with an apricot sweetness, and a light tarry smokiness. Prepare in your Samovar and it is a potent and exciting astringent, sweet, and deeply smoky treat.

Tea Story: The best Russian Blend you’ll ever taste.

One of our most popular custom blends, this black tea infusion is based on the traditional Russian blend from the icy tundras of Siberia. This brew is best sipped after steeping it in the teapot on top of a Samovar, making a very smoky, astringent, super-strong tea concentrate called “zavarka.”

Traditionally, you pour a little bit of the zavarka into your cup from the samovar, and then dilute it with hot water to taste. Add a little organic fruit jam, and some milk, and voila, you’ve got yourself a real wake-up meal-of-a-tea. Our secret blend is lightly fruity, smoky, full bodied…and delicious with or without milk.

If zavarka is too potent for your taste buds, just follow the the brewing directions on the back of the can for a tamed-down, but no less delightful, cup of Russian Blend.

Smoky, sweet, and smooth, this tea will sooth your soul as you contemplate wise words from Russian sages…. such as Tolstoy, “Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.” Ahhh…..

Samovarian Poetry: Smoky, strong, sweet, fruity, caffeine-loaded & certain to warm and to wake.

Food Pairing: This tea is so potent- you don’t want to drink it on an empty stomach! So pair it with smoked salmon blinis, deviled eggs, or potato pancakes. The bitter, fruity sweet, and smoky notes of this tea compliment foods that have similar profiles such as dark chocolate, fruit tarts, and smoked salmon.

About Samovar View company

Samovar's is dedicated to preserving the simplicity and integrity of the tea traditions and inspiring people to practice peace through drinking tea.

27 Tasting Notes

37 tasting notes

Well this is my third tea that I received in the Diggnation “Hippie Glenn” Samovar set, and I must say I think I saved the best for last. I’ve been a huge fan of Russian/Lapsang blends for years now but I think this one takes the prize. This is the first lapsang style blend that doesn’t “punch me in the face” when I drink it. This blend is creamy, smooth, and remarkably sweet for such a smokey tea. The balance of flavors is impeccable. Great with scones and jam in the morning.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I will have to check this one out…place it on my shopping list.


It’s really neat to see your progression on this. And I just realized I didn’t log this one. Another tea to add to the tea log pile! Cheers for you finding an LS blend to your liking!

Thomas M. Frank

Thanks Takgoti! Ya, the journey through the tea set has been great. Each steep gets better and better. I just ordered some Ryokucha, so I’m definitely looking forward to brewing some up soon. Love the stuff from Samovar. Great quality so far.

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411 tasting notes

This was pretty interesting… very full-bodied and bold. The smokiness was surprisingly yummy, and the sweetness sneaks out from behind the smokiness as a lovely afterthought. I think I may need more of this tea…

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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50 tasting notes

This is the tea I wanted to try second most in the black tea sampler from this company. After smelling the leaves, I felt like tossing this into the samovar, but I don’t have one, so no zavarka as suggested on the Samovar website. I steeped two well-rounded teaspoons for 5 min at 205F in a 12 oz cup instead.

The dry leaves are in longish pieces and dark in color. The aroma of the tea in the pouch is smoky, reminds me of new shoes in the box, and hints at anonymous fruit.

The aroma over the dark liquor (on the red side of black coffee in color) is sweet and strongly smoky (to me, but this is my first smoked tea), but not like hickory BBQ. The smoke is like a piney wildfire smoke.

I brace myself, nose above cup, for a powerful cup of smoke. The taste is instead silky and out of proportion with the smoky aroma. The sip tastes of bitterness in the back, in balance with up front flavors that include a strong sweetness, a tongue-tickling bitterness, and some smoky sweetness or sweet smokiness. This taste reminds me more of hickory smoke than the aroma. The sip finishes with a smoky, lingering sweetness aftertaste. The sip is moderately astringent.

As the cup cooled, the flavors seemed to soften. The sweet flavor became more fruity.

The smoke breath I experienced after this cup is exciting, but I’m not sure whether I like it.

This strikes boldly and then follows up with subtlety. An intriguing cup of tea.
I want to try it with lemon and try multiple steeps.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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82 tasting notes

It’s a long day of homework and I need a caffeine kick, so I’m going to another samovar sample.

The tea smells very strong and somewhat smoky. Added some skim milk and equal, and wow this tea tastes pretty good. It’s got some sweetness to it, but still has a strong bite to it (in a good sense). I’m not getting much of a smoky flavor, which is what I prefer. It’s a very ‘comfortable’ tea. It makes me feel warmer just drinking it. I’m really enjoying this flavor.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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38 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking this all day, trying to make myself like it as much as the A&D Caravan. My best effort was 1 1/2 tsp in 8 oz boiling water steeped for 3 minutes, then a second steep of 4 1/2. It is delicious but I don’t find myself gulping it down as greedily as the Caravan. Oh well.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100 tasting notes

Very good. Sweet, smoky, rich, smooth…yet a bit of coffee-like acidity. Don’t know if there is a touch of berry or if i am imagining the taste of the jam we had in it once.

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53 tasting notes

It’s hard to actually describe this tea any better than the other countless tea logs have already done, so instead of attempting to re-describe the flavour, I will stick to describing what I think of it.

I brewed this at work so there was no way of me going for the traditional steeping method, as interesting as it sounds (jam in tea? really? I gotta try it some day) so instead I opted to brew it the simple way. I like the strength and flavour, though my tongue seems to be telling me that it’s slightly similar to Lychee Black, another Samovar tea. I only had sample packets of these two teas so I suppose to really tell the difference, I’ll have to try them again some time.

Overall, I’m a fan. It hits the sweet spot (potentially literally) in my dark, black tea oriented flavour preferences. Once again, I’ve yet to try a Samovar tea that I have not liked.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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150 tasting notes

At the first sip I was taken aback by the upfront deep smokiness of this tea. Kind of a sharp snap-to for the morning senses. But as I grew more awake I started to enjoy its smooth, full bodied, earthy depth. Rich like a pu-erh but a lot more smokey. With the first cup, each post-sip exhale gave the sensation of exhaling pipe smoke. Second cup seemed to be a touch sweeter and less smokey. I found the lychee to be a little subtle, but it’s there and complements the smokiness perfectly. I would come back to this tea in the same frame of mind in which I’d seek out the kind of friend with whom you have deep, serious conversations. An enjoyable contemplation tea…

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69 tasting notes

Brews up dark reddish brown. A sharp pine smoke aroma tickles my nose. The taste is dominated by a fine balance of smoke and lychee. The finish is cereal and resin.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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11 tasting notes

I love this tea. It is strong and flavorful to give you a real lift in the morning. Lots of smoky wood tastes and a hearty bite to it. Perfect for cold winter mornings. I have been thinking about marinating some salmon with the tea & grilling because the flavors would marry perfectly. All in all a delicious black tea.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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