drank Wild Rose Bai Mudan by Samovar
1994 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 34 of 2017 (no. 315 total). A sample. And the last of the first round Samovar samples. They don’t carry this anymore — just the base, not the rose.

What a luxury to be able to taste a tea on a weekday at home! What a luxury to be able to write a note in a quiet house (everyone is napping — no. 1 and no. 2 have been having sleepovers with friends since they’re off of school and they are bushed, and the BF is also out like a light).

I picked this one because I’ve been eyeing it for way too long, and also because today in the mail I got a package from Samovar with five herbals in it. Yay! So I’m in a Samovar frame of mind.

Despite its age, this had a lovely rose smell to the dry leaf with pretty pink rose buds strewn throughout. The tea, too, smells pleasantly of rose. It’s a medium yellow with an orange tinge and clear.

The tea is a pure and lovely delivery vehicle for the rose, which is making me extremely happy right now. Buoyant, really. I’m a little freaked out by how much this has done for my spirits. Or maybe it’s the prospect of a small break from work. The tea provides an earthy base for the rose, which is just lovely.

Dammit, I wish they still had this. It would be a must buy.

Flavors: Earth, Loam, Rose

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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