Lemon Yunnan

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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15 Tasting Notes View all

From Samovar

Origin: Organic, fair trade Yunnan black tea blended with organic lemongrass in the U.S.

Flavor Profile: The clean taste of lemongrass, lemon zest and lemon balm are reminiscent of a lemon-juice-spiked Yunnan black, but clearer, mellower and less puckery. A slight crème fraiche tartness rounds out the taste of this revitalizing tea.

Tea Story: This organic tea is a blend of chocolaty, earthy, fair trade Yunnan black tea and vibrant lemongrass. The enticing tang of Meyer lemon and Key lime pie insinuates the sweet-tart nature of this tea, but does not prepare you for its beautifully lingering lemongrass-tannin character. This rousing blend is delightful hot and crisply refreshing iced.

Samovarian Poetry: Organic, fair trade black tea, organic lemongrass. Clean taste, clean tea.

Food Pairings: Lemon Yunnan Black pairs well with grilled lemon salmon, roasted lamb couscous, duck or tofu jook, coconut-rice pudding, butter cookies, pot au chocolat with whipped cream or fresh raspberry tartlets. When blended with hot chilies and lime juice, it makes an amazing marinade for grilled chicken or tofu.

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.

15 Tasting Notes

911 tasting notes

The dry leaves smell like Lemon Pledge but surprisingly I mean that in a good way. It smells less like cleaning product and more like my house has been cleaned with something fresh. Which is always nice. I’m actually a little disappointed that the liquid tea doesn’t smell as lemony fresh. But then I get a few more sniffs in and you know, I’m really not upset. Because it does smell lemony fresh. But earthy. Dark but clean and fresh.

The taste is really quite interesting. The lemon is lessened to where it is a fairly balanced match for the tea, making the two tastes combine so tightly it is hard to separate them. So I have a Yunnan – dark, silky, cocoa-ish – that ends up being crisp, clean and almost light tasting. It reminds me a bit of the Fuijian Baroque I had (was that yesterday?) except there is a bit more backbone to this tea and the flavors are more nuanced and intriguing. There’s even a little spice flavor at the end and I’m pretty sure it is from the Yunnan because the more I sip, the more it shows up as a strong peppery taste. Not overwhelmingly pepper, just an honest to goodness pepper burn. There’s also a nice sweet but almost tart (pleasantly tart, that is) lemon whoosh to my mouth post sip. The lemon whoosh and the pepper spice seem to trade off as the main end taste but they aren’t fighting about it. These are very gentlemanly, civil taste and they have no problem taking turns. Good flavors. Play nice.

I’ll be honest – this tea is kind of blowing my mind. And this is where rating difficulty comes in. (Why does Samovar always do this to me???) I have no idea what to give this because honestly, it’s an awesome tea. There is so much detail in the taste and it is balanced so perfectly. Really good. But I’ve never been one to put lemon in my tea so it’s a pretty new taste for me to get used to and I don’t know ultimately how much I will end up craving this tea. Anyway, I’m going to rate it for right now with the caveat that I might end up bumping this up in a few days. I’m pretty sure it won’t be going down.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

That sounds… awesome. On many, many levels. The word I always think about when I think of Samovar is balanced.

And yeah, I’m the same with lemon. I really liked Samovar’s Nocturnal Bliss, though, which is also heavily lemon-based, so I’m just assuming that they do lemon well across the board.

P.S. Drinking gyokuro!


Maybe you can clean your wood with this tea :P


I need to make a big pot of this so it smells like I dusted today! Hehe! But yeah, this is a very nicely balanced tea. I’ve been impressed by the job Samovar does getting their blends to work with each other. It’s pretty nifty.

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257 tasting notes

Thank you to LORI for this sample. I am drinking it right now and find it simply delicious. As Ricky noted, the dry leaf seems to equally feature greenish lemongrass and black leaves—and it’s an attractive mix.

Yes, it smells like Lemon Pledge but what if Lemon Pledge is really the aroma of lemon? I’m just saying—every since the Lemon Pledge comparison here was published, I’ve been afflicted by Lemon-y Pledge-ness. In the mouth, however, it’s really not at all a polishing agent nor the least bit chemical or synthetic.

I think that this is an excellent choice for lovers of lemon and wish I had a handy slice of lemon to add. I also suspect it would be a fantastic iced tea. Perhaps the better name would be something like “Superior Black Lemon Tea” because it was hard for me to detect a Yunnan note but I can certainly taste that the black tea is a high quality one.

I have not tasted too many of them, but this is certainly the best lemon black tea blend I have had. I would consider purchasing a full load of it.

Or maybe I’m just in a good mood because I had a particularly bright Dolcetto with a dinner prepared by somebody else. (Query: why does tea taste better when I brew it myself but food and wine taste better when cooked and decanted by somebody else???)

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

I just splurged and bought a large tin of this one!


Maybe the food and wine taste better because of the ‘specialness’ of having someone do it for you?


Now I wish someone would brew some tea for me!


My 12 year old is our “barista.” She brews tea for my music student and myself every Tuesday at 3 pm. It is sooooo good. Nice to have a child who loves good tea and is so helpful and willing! She joins us for tea and cookies.

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1183 tasting notes

Time to break out a few more Samovar samples. Since it’s still early, I’m going with a black tea to start.

Green and black are one of my favorite color combinations ever. It was the color combo for my bridesmaids’ dresses back in the married era, though the green in those was more of an emerald. In any case, I love the contrast, both in the color and in the texture of the lemongrass and the black tea leaves.

The smell I get from the dry mixture is not so Pledgy as it is a fairly sharp, high lemon note. It has a sort of powdery feel in my nasal passages, and between the sharpness and the feel I’m thinking dry lemon drink mix, minus sweetener. Crystal Light maybe.

This tones down and mellows quite a bit during steeping, and the tea’s aroma ends up being a wonderful combination of that Samovar black tea smell I love so much and lemon. The sweet maltiness of the tea combines with the lemon to give it an almost lemon drop smell. Wow.

The liquor is interestingly cloudy, which must be from the lemongrass as I haven’t seen this in a Samovar black tea before. It’s on the lighter side of tea colored. I may be drinking this before optimum steeping time and I am going to resteep longer (Samovar black teas are the only ones I’ve found that resteep reasonably well).

Hmm. This wasn’t at all what I expected this to taste like from the aroma. It seems to me to be balanced more toward lemon than toward tea. The tea flavor comes through mostly as a dip toward the tail end of the sip, kind of like that finger game I play with my kids… Johnny Johnny Johhny Johhny Whoops Johnny Whoops Johnny… it’s the Whoops slide down the tip of the kid’s pointer with the mom’s finger and back up to the tip of the kid’s thumb. Except for the Whoops, all the Johnnys are pretty heavily lemon-weighted over an undercurrent of a sort of dusky tea, which would probably taste a lot sweeter than it does if not for the lemon.

Now. You might think from what I just said that I’m disappointed in this tea. Maybe I am, just a teensy bit, because I had hoped for more of that black tea flavor that I love so much with the lemon as an accent rather than a main flavor. But it’s really not disappointment so much as that I’m a little taken aback and not sure what to make of this because it’s so different from what I’d expected.

I also wonder whether my sample was skewed a little more heavily toward lemon than would normally be true. I just took a look at what others have said about this and I seem to be in a minority in thinking this is heavily weighted toward lemon, though it seems Ricky’s experience of this came close to mine.

So now I’m faced with a big question mark about whether I like this enough to add it to a future order. I think the answer might be yes, but a cautious yes. I need to taste this again a few times now that I know what to expect. Knowing what to expect, I’d be able to analyze the flavor in context a bit better and see how I think I’d feel about multiple drinkings.

I really need about three more sample tries to be sure, but by that time I might as well bite the bullet and order a small tin, no?

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I’m thinking this may be good in a marinade for lemon pepper chicken…

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260 tasting notes

I had this a while ago, so I’m going off notes, but this was a really interesting tea that I’m looking forward to trying again.

The Yunnan tea really lends it a full-bodied flavor. I was getting a lot of malty flavor from it, which I enjoy, and when I swish it around I’m gently reminded that there’s lemon in this tea. It’s very faint, the lemon, until I swallow, and then it’s like…when you walk through the doors of a place that has a fan running right inside so as the doors open you’re greeted with this blast of [usually warm] air. Except instead of air, it’s a refreshing lemon taste.

I don’t remember getting a pepper taste like Auggy mentioned, but when I drank this tea I was in a hurry and I didn’t have enough time savor it like I usually do with my tea [especially on the first go round], so next time I’ll have to watch for it. In any case, what resulted was another well-balanced, interactive melding of flavors from Samovar. I think I’m going to start my day with it tomorrow.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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237 tasting notes

I have to give Samovar credit for coming up with blends that would never occur to me (like lychee and Lapsang) but end up being really good. This is another one – teaming up light, refreshing lemongrass with rich and spicy Yunnan. Before trying it I thought, “No way is this going to work!”, but it actually does. The high note of the herb and low note of the tea really play together well, each one highlighting the other’s strengths. It helps that the overall impression is smooth and mellow while at the same time fresh and uplifting. The scent captures both members of the team well.

It was nice watching it steep – the lemongrass floats on top of the water while the tea sinks to the bottom.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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1626 tasting notes

I see lemongrass and black tea leaves! Delicious! I usually pair lemongrass with light teas like green or white teas. This one is a great combination. This is perfect for today. I wanted something light but with black tea. The steep was fresh tasting and not bitter at all. This is great! :)

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53 tasting notes

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this tea. I’ve had a sample of this sitting in my cupboard for a while now and this morning I decided it was finally time to try it out.

The dry leaves were notably interesting to look at, with a nice mix of black and green.

I have to say, I’m actually impressed. I’m normally not a fan of overly flavoured black teas, but somehow Samovar pulls it off again and again. I’m not getting an overpowering punch of any one particular flavour, but I’m getting a nice rounded cup that I think I can actually see myself drinking every day.

Colour me impressed. A lemon tea that I actually like? Oh, Samovar. Only you. =P

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I don’t care for most non chai or dessert flavored blacks and I don’t like Yunnans, but I think a Lemon Yunnan (i.e. Lemon Pepper) would be pretty good… or at least for a marinade for chicken or fish:)


Now that you mention it, I can actually see this being used as some sort of marinade. I’ve never considered that before… Might have to look into that.

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392 tasting notes

I won this in a contest on Steepster! Thanks!!

I made a pot of this the other day. It was quite good lemony and refreshing. I also tried this iced which wasn’t as impressive, but this is really a sold lemon black tea1

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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328 tasting notes

This is a great iced tea w/straightforward flavors- a solid, not astringent tea base and lemon grass. As others have said, the lemon grass flavor is strong. But with a little bit of sugar to cut the pungency of the lemon grass, this is wonderful. As the lemongrass is strong, it masks the yunnan-flavors of the tea base. But on the other hand, if a cheaper tea base were used, perhaps, this blend would not be as pleasant.

In fact, this one holds up to multiple infusions.

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82 tasting notes

I don’t know if it’s just me, but all of these black tea samovar samples pretty much smell exactly the same to me. added some skim milk and equal to this cup~

MMMMM. this first sip is just so nice. exactly what i needed for a caffeine kick. It has sweetness to it and still has nice black flavor to it. just wow. The lemon flavor is a little weird, giving a sour aftertaste sometimes but still this tea is just so delicious!

Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

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