Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Kusmi Tea
This tea owes its name to the heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in and around Russia, a classic symbol of daily life in Russia. This tea is a blend of lightly smoked black teas from India and China. Perfect with savory or spicy dishes.
Learn more about this tea here.
The very first time I was given a sample of this tea, I sent it off to a friend without even trying it. All I did was take a quick whiff of it, and the smoky tones were immediately off-putting to me.
That was several years ago.
Since that time, I have been slowly gaining an appreciation for smoky teas, and while I doubt I will ever proclaim them as my favorite “flavored” tea, I find myself enjoying them far more than I ever thought possible back when I was put off by the mere scent of them.
And of the many smoky black teas that I’ve tried since that time and have enjoyed, I think that this one may be one of my favorites. I really like this a whole lot more than I ever thought I would, and now as I am sitting here, enjoying this cup of Samovar Tea from Kusmi, I am regretting sending off that sampling of it way back when.
The dry leaf actually presents a stronger smoky presence than the flavor offers, in my opinion. Sure, I still taste that smoke flavor, but, it mingles with tones of caramel and malt and even a hints of freshly baked bread notes that the smokiness is hardly a detraction. Instead, it becomes part of a unique set of flavors that has me coming back for more.
The flavor is rich and satisfying. There is some astringency to this, and it is quite noticeable, but, I find that it too, adds to the satisfaction of this tea as it cleanses the palate between sips and keeps it from being too overwhelmed by richness – and yes, the smokiness – of this tea.
Overall, a delicious cup of tea. One that I’d not only be happy to enjoy again, but one that I could see myself buying in the future! Given my apprehension about smoky teas … that is saying something!