Review: American Tea Room Samovar Blend

American Tea Room, Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong Tea Add comments
Lynn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The aroma was soft and silky: light, smoky, milky, with sweet, fine leather notes of the black tea. Given that, the flavor came as something of a surprise: brisk and astringent, with notes of smoke, mineral, wood, and very interesting little tart sparkles here and there on the tongue, but a hint of a bitter edge, too."
Lynn’s Teaview: 8/10
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americansamovarI guess I must have been in a smoked tea mood, because I tasted American Tea Room's Lapsang Souchong and their Samovar Blend in close succession. Samovar, ATR's version of Russian Caravan, is a blend of lightly smoked Lapsang Souchong and Chinese black tea.

Given the blend that makes up the Samovar, I expected a lighter smoky aroma. In fact, it's still quite pungent, but not quite as resin-scented as the Lapsang, and sweet, too. It has the campfire scent of the Lapsang, but not quite the same complexity. The dark brown leaves are a mix of long and short, dark and light.

I steeped a rounded teaspoon of dry leaves in 8 oz of 208F water for five minutes. The resulting liquor was the ruddy color of Baltic amber. The aroma was soft and silky: light, smoky, milky, with sweet, fine leather notes of the black tea. Given that, the flavor came as something of a surprise: brisk and astringent, with notes of smoke, mineral, wood, and very interesting little tart sparkles here and there on the tongue, but a hint of a bitter edge, too. It reminded me a little of strong espresso coffee. There wasn't much aroma in the mouth, despite the Lapsang content. I found myself looking for the flavor of the black tea and not finding it among all the other flavors.

This is a Jekyll and Hyde tea: gentle on the nose; strident on the tongue. While I certainly found the flavor palette interesting and in fact challenging, I also found myself wishing for more of a tea flavor, and more of a finish. However, read the above description and decide for yourself; this tea in no way lacks in overall flavor and may suit some very well, especially fans of Russian Caravan teas.

Special Offer! Free shipping on all purchases over $50 from AmericanTeaRoom.com.

Teaviews Member: Lynn Lynn
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