Hey there, tea drinkers! In this Taste of Tea post I’ll relay my tea-tasting journal entry for the Samovar Tea (or Samovar House Blend) from The Kobuk gift shop in Anchorage, Alaska; this tea is one of The Kobuk’s “House Special-teas (Imagined and Mixed at the Kobuk).” I received this tea as a gift from my friend’s mom who made a trip to Alaska. During the trip she visited The Kobuk, and knowing that I’m a tea addict, she was kind enough to purchase a bag of this tea and bring it back for me.
Type of Tea: Black Tea, loose, flavored
Dry tea: The scent emanating from the package (with some even before opening) was very strong with a strong element of cinnamon sweetness and spiciness. It really reminded me of Fall and Winter holiday spices. The tea leaves were quite dark. They also had a shiny and somewhat oily appearance, which I’m guessing comes from the orange oils. The leaves didn’t appear to be whole, but most pieces were larger; there appeared to be some stem here and there. There were also bits of orange peel sprinkled in with the leaves, as well as some small bits of cinnamon stick.
Ingredients (as listed on the package): black tea, cinnamon, orange oils, clove, granulated lemon and orange, orange peels
I warmed the teapot and added the dry tea to help further activate its scent. The activated scent was still warm and spicy, but it was also a little sweeter and I got a hint of the citrus.
Suggested Preparation (from the package): 1 teaspoon per cup (presumably, 8 ounces) with near-boiling water for 3-5 minutes
Preparation (how I prepared it): 1 heaped teaspoon in approximately 170 mL (5.8 oz) of near-boiling water for 4 minutes. (Since it was a flavored tea, I didn’t wash the leaves before the infusion.)
Tea liquor: After infusing, the scent coming off of the liquor was lightly sweet and spicy with hints of cinnamon. The scent was much lighter than it was in the dry tea. The color of the liquor was a light golden-orange, honey-like, color.
The tea liquor was warm and spicy, but also sweet. It had a very wintry spice feel to me. I didn’t get too much citrus flavor, which seemed to be light enough to blend into the spices. It had a thick mouthfeel and was a little astringent, leaving my mouth just a little dry in the finish.
- Tea: Samovar Tea, black tea, flavored
- Origin: blended in Anchorage, Alaska
- Retailer: The Kobuk
- Current Price: $6.95 / 3 oz
- Major Flavor Notes: winter spice, cinnamon
- Finish: mildly drying
Final Thoughts: This flavored tea delivered a deliciously warm and spicy, but also sweet, wintry spice, flavor experience. However, you can really only get one good, strongly flavored, infusion; you can stretch it out to get one or two more infusions but the flavor is drastically reduced. Regardless, overall, it was great flavored black tea, one which I think will be an especially great addition to a cold Fall or Winter night. I’ll probably have to order some more to get me through the upcoming colder months.
Thanks for reading! As always, these are my tasting notes, and since the perception of taste and aroma can be quite personal your experience will likely, and indeed probably should, differ from mine. But regardless, I hope this post inspires you to get out there and to keep trying new teas. And if you don’t already, I’d encourage you to try making your own tasting notes as you do!
What tea should I try next? Drop me a line down in the comments and share your suggestion.
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That’s it, tea drinkers. Until next time, keep enjoying the wondrous taste of tea! — Blake – the tea drinker behind Blake’s Tea Journal