Tea Review: Bai Mudan

First Impressions: Large brittle leaves, sweet grassy smell

Region: Fujian Province, China

Purchased at Samovar – $19 for 1.5oz when reviewed

A very delicate but flavorful white tea, this tea has a really smooth sweet aftertaste. Not nearly as grassy as I would have guessed based on the smell of the dry leaves. This would be a good first white tea to try if you are used to something a little darker. It shows of white tea’s high points without suffering from the lack of flavor they sometimes can have.

Rating: 3.5  / 5

Tea Review: Wuyi Dark Roast

Name:  Wuyi Dark Roast

Type:  Oolong

Region: Wuyi mountains in Fujian, China

Bought At:  Samovar

Price:  $21 for 2oz

First Impressions:  Dark Leaves, Roasted, Earthy Smell


Has it ever been a while since I have tried to review tea! This is part of a large tea order I bought from Samovar a while ago, so look for some more reviews coming soon. Wuyi Dark Roast is a different kind of oolong tea than any I have had before. It is dark and has a roasted scent and flavor that is usually found in black teas. Along with that it has a sweetness that is more similar to a greener oolong. It makes for a nice combination, a light tea that still has a full flavor. Definitely worth a try.

My Rating:

4  / 5

Tea of the Week – Lychee Black

Name: Lychee Black

Type: Black

Region: China

Bought At: Samovar

Price: $2 for a two serving sample

First Impressions: Slightly fruity smelling, odd for a black tea

Review:My Rating:

I picked up this tea during my recent trip to Samovar in San Francisco.  This is another of the very good black teas that I have tried lately.  Lychee black is called this because of the lychee fruit it contains, and gives it an interesting flavor.  Not so much sugary sweet as very light, its very refreshing for a black tea. Another nice thing about this, like most of Samovar’s teas, is that it is great for multiple infusions, so you can make three or four cups with the same leaves.

4 / 5


A Trip to Samovar

Recently I went out to San Francisco for a mini-vacation with a bunch of friends.  It was a good time, we had a lot of fun and saw pretty much all of the major stuff in the city. Another thing I did was drag my friends to the Samovar Tea Lounge. My girlfriend is the only one out of the group who like tea besides me, but the rest were relatively supportive.  I’m pretty sure it was just because they saw an opportunity to make fun of my tea-geekery later (a favored past time), but I thought it would be worth it.

All in all, it was great, we went to the Zen Valley location. The atmosphere was very relaxed, and the tea was amazing. It was fun to watch them make the tea and serve it, and the tea ware was very cool and really added to the experience.  I had the Nishi Sencha 1st Flush , my friend had the Lychee Black, and my girlfriend had Jasmine lemon aid .  I also grabbed a Masala Chai to go as we left.  All in all I had a lot of fun, and even my friend admitted the Lychee black was “The best dirt-water he had ever tried”  I would definitely recommend visiting Samovar if you are in the city, it really is a fun experience.

Also, if you do visit, try the Masala Chai, it was amazing!

Tea of the Week – Maiden’s Ecstasy

Name: Maiden’s Ecstasy Pu-erh Tea

Type: Black (Pu-erh)

Region: Yunnan, China

Bought At: Samovar

Price: $4 for a “one pot” sample

First Impressions: Roasted, signature pungent smell Pu-Erh


I was hesitant about this tea after the only other Pu-Erh tea I have tried, due to the pungent smell.  This one did not have the smell before brewing however, so I thought  it might be better.  Once brewed, the familiar smell returned, all though it was not nearly as overpowering. The flavor was good, very smooth and mellow.  No sweetness, no bitterness, just a slight earthy tone.  It is a good “slow” morning tea, not as strong an english breakfast, but stronger than a green or white.  I had to knock it some for the smell, but the flavor is very good.
My Rating:

3 / 5


Tea of the Week – Wuyi Dark Roast Oolong

Name: Wuyi Dark Roast Oolong

Type: Oolong

Region: Wuyi mountains, Fujian, China

Bought At: Samovar

Price: $4 for a “one pot” sample

First Impressions: Dark, very earthy smell


The first thing that was interesting to me was that the instructions said to rinse the leaves with boiling water to “awaken” them.  I had heard that some people do this, but have never seen it on the instructions of any before.  Regardless, once brewed the tea was a dark cup, with a very heavily roasted smell (hence the name I suppose…)  Given the darkness and roasted smell, I was expecting something with a fairly bitter aftertaste, not so.  It actually was quite smooth, very full, and good.  I was expecting a lot more powerful taste but it is actually very mellow. I also enjoyed that you could make multiple cups from the same leaves, I think it helps justify the higher cost. Overall very good, not really what I was expecting, but good!
My Rating:

3.5 / 5

(Teageek.org Founder)