Looking for a kit with an elegant assortment of loose-leaf teas and accessories? Perhaps one that arrives beautifully presented in a red and gold box and contains mostly organic ingredients? If you thought “yes,” I have a recommendation for you! In this post, I share my review of Tea Kit #1 from Samovar Tea.
The tea kit contains two accessories, four loose-leaf teas, a tisane (herbal tea), and a tea guide.
Review of Tea Kit #1 Accessories
I’ll start by reviewing the accessories. The stainless steel tea scoop is a nice, sturdy weight and performs its function well. Certainly, the glass brewing teapot is the real star among the accessories. It is made of tempered glass, can go into the dishwasher, and has a fine-mesh filter attached to its steel lid. The lid fits beautifully: it seals well, but is still easy to put on and pull off. The built-in mesh does an excellent job filtering the teas and tisane included in the kit.
The teapot, filled to near the top, holds about 12 ounces of tea. Since the instructions on each pouch of tea and the instructional guide are for 12 ounces, the teapot’s size makes steeping easy. Visually and practically, the “Vivid Brew Teapot” is a pleasure to use.
Review of the Four Teas
Tea Kit #1 from Samovar Tea includes green, oolong, black, and dark tea. Most of the teas and ingredients are organic. Each pouch contains 2 ounces of a loose-leaf tea. In other words, the kit includes enough to experiment, share, and enjoy many cups of tea.
It was a pleasure drinking each of these teas. I appreciate this collection and the range of flavor profiles.
Ryokucha has a green-tea base. It’s a combination of Japanese genmaicha (toasted brown rice with sencha green tea) lightly coated with matcha. It steeps toasty, cozy, mildly vegetal, and slightly sweet. It’s a perfect tea for a chilly day.
Iron Goddess of Mercy is an oolong tea. It had a nice medium roast. It was toasty and sweet. I thoroughly enjoyed many steeps of this tea, choosing to prepare it gong-fu style. I am sure it had more to give, too!
English Breakfast is a blend of Chinese black teas. It steeps malty, rounded (surprisingly not very tannic until more than 5 minutes of steeping), and has a slight note of brown sugar. It’s lovely to sip. I’d drink it straight if brewed under 5 minutes, and enjoy it with milk steeped longer.
Blood Orange Pu-erh contains the dark tea, pu-erh, with ginger, blood orange, orange peel, and citrus oils added. It reminds me of the “winter tea” blends that we tend to see in the U.S. in December-February (sometimes marketed as “Christmas Teas”). This one puts a spin on the classic blends since it uses pu-erh instead of a regular black tea. The bright notes of ginger and citrus beautifully balance the earthy and rich pu-erh. This is one of the best winter blends I have tried.
Review of the Kit’s Turmeric Herbal Blend
The Turmeric Spice Blend in Tea Kit #1 is an herbal blend without any caffeine. It contains ginger, orange peel, licorice root, turmeric, lemongrass, and lemon oil. I am a big fan of most of these ingredients, so I loved this blend. It’s very bright and lemony. I couldn’t taste the licorice root, which was fine by me.
I liked sipping the Turmeric Spice Blend. And, I enjoyed it with frothed milk added to make a tangy Golden Milk.
Samovar Tea’s Instructional Guide
The “Essential Tea Guide” enclosed in Tea Kit #1 from Samovar Tea includes beautifully presented information on brewing, tasting, categories of tea, and a tea meditation.
The tea guide suggests testing your steep every minute or so to find the brew time you like the best. That’s a great idea if you are trying a new tea and, especially, a tea in a category that is new to you.
I’ll note that the directions on the bags of loose-leaf tea usually suggested more tea (a tablespoon in most cases), steeped hotter and longer than is my preferred way to steep my tea. Since I already knew my preferences, I generally reduced the teas (but not the tisane) to two teaspoons when they called for a tablespoon. I also lowered most steep times and the water temperature. That worked great for me.
I am increasingly practicing tea and mindfulness, and have gotten so much peace and insight from cultivating this practice. So, I really appreciated the enclosed tea meditation. It offers step-by-step guidance for ways to stay present and mindful in the process of preparing and drinking the tea, then cleaning your teaware after your tea session.
It was a sincere pleasure opening and enjoying the tea and accessories in this set. I thank Samovar Tea for generously sending the items to me and accepting my review policy. I only share a review if I genuinely enjoy the tea and products. Since I thoroughly did, it’s my pleasure to review their Tea Kit #1.