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Monday, December 13, 2010

Samovar Loose Leaf Pu-Erh Tea 'Maiden’s Ecstasy'

Tea Information:
Tea: Maiden’s Ecstasy Tea
Type: Pu-Erh Tea
Packaging: Loose Leaf
Company: Samovar
Purchase: Here
Samovarian Poetry: Rapture & reverie. Consummately captivating, deep, dark, sweet & smooth

Flavor Profile: Very balanced, smooth, rich and dark, with a slightly sweet, wildflower honey finish. Deep, strong forward notes of earth and moss with a lingering raisin sugar sweetness.

Tea Story: Pure Pu-erh Ecstasy
This tender, young-leaf pu-erh is so good that it was traditionally used as part of the wedding dowry of the young women who picked it. Unlike many of our other pu-erhs from Jingmai Mountain, this is vintage loose leaf.

You just can not go wrong when steeping up a bit of this tea in a yixing clay pot. Done right, it is delicious.Like any good, ripe pu-erh, you won't need to worry about over-steeping this tea: you can steep the leaves for an hour without yielding any sign of bitterness. Very forgiving.

Pamela, one of our regulars, swears that this tea has propelled her erotica writing to a new level. We swear it is just delicious.

Ingredients: Organic pu-erh tea from Yunnan, China.

Steep Information:
Prepared in store. Served in a tiny yixing clay pot, with an iron pot of water and a small iron cup. The leaves kept getting clumped and blocking the spout. I had to swirl it around to get the tea out. I managed to make quite a mess of it.

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: Fall leaves
Steeped Tea Smell: Muddy fall leaves
Flavor: Fall leaves, Gritty
Body: Full
Aftertaste: astringent
Liquor: hard to see in the dark lounge

I do not like pu-erh, but everyone recommended this one for a non-pu-erh lover. I agree that pu-erh is best with food, I found it "meh" as opposed to gross. The muddy bit was less pronounced when i drank it while eating.

Ordered at the Zen Valley location for dinner with Squash Dumplings w/ Dipping Sauce (Handmade vegetarian squash dumplings w/ spicy sesame-soy sauce).

We were seated in the upper area in the back at a table for two. The back area was dimly lit. The place was a very relaxed atmosphere with an attentive staff. We purchased a tin of Russian blend and tea oil to take home (sadly the tea oil was confiscated by the TSA because we forgot to mail it home or check a bag). The place was not very busy, there were two other couples there when we first arrived for dinner Saturday night.

I enjoyed the other Samovar lounge location more and would prefer to return to Yerba Buena Gardens rather than this one. We did not get to try the Mission-Castro location.

Rating: 2/4 leaves

Leaf system:
1=Bleh! not again if it were free
2=Acceptable, if it were free or there were limited other tea options
3=I might purchase this tea from time to time, or select it while out
4=A staple in our cupboard from now on, I will purchase and keep purchasing

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