Update: Blue Samovar are now permanently closed.
Blue Samovar are a relatively new tea company who sell both online and from their teahouse in Chipping Sodbury near Bristol. Their passion for good quality loose leaf tea came after a trip to Turkey where they really appreciated the amazing tea culture. A samovar is a metal container used to heat water for tea which is where the company name comes from. They were kind enough to send me some samples of two of their new teas to try. When I’m next in the Bristol area I will definitely be visiting the teahouse!
Kolukkumalai (unusual tea collection)
I was really intrigued to try this tea as it’s the highest grown tea in the world! It’s grown at 8,000 ft above sea level. It is comparable to a Ceylon but as it’s grown at a higher altitude it has a unique taste. I brewed the tea at 95c for 3 minutes. It’s a smooth and delicate tea and I think the high altitude makes it more delicate than a Ceylon. It has that slight maltiness that Indian black teas have but with a lovely sweet edge. I wouldn’t recommend adding milk or sugar as it would overwhelm the delicate flavour of the tea. I really enjoyed the Kolukkumalai and would recommend it to Ceylon drinkers as something new to try. Blue Samovar only have a limited amount of this tea, and it’s not a tea that is widely available, so don’t leave it too long to order it if you want to try it!
Orange Blossom Oolong (fruit and flavours tea collection)
The oolong tea used in this blend is a Formosa oolong from Taiwan and it’s mixed with orange blossom. Some flavoured teas use oils to add flavour but this is a completely natural tea which I like as I don’t really like oils added to my tea. I brewed the oolong at 85c for 2 minutes, after giving it a 10 second rinse, and I’m currently drinking the third infusion. I always rinse oolongs as it hydrates the leaves and brings the flavour out more. The oolong is semi-roasted giving it a lovely rich flavour which the delicate nature of the orange blossom compliments really well. I think it would make a nice cold brewed tea as it would bring out some of the more delicate flavours of the oolong.