What-Cha's Discover Russia Green Tea Sampler

Today I am looking at What-Cha’s Discover Russia Green TeaSampler, sadly Alistair of What-cha appears to have run out of one of the teas at the time of writing this, but it appears he has adjusted the price.  This time I am a little more prepared for what Russian teas taste like and I did have multiple steepings with each tea, although I am only posting my first impressions.

Krasnodar Dagomys Tea Estate Green Tea

The dry leaves were more broken up then I expected (I totally ignored the photos on What-Cha’s website, hopefully any reader ignores my own) although broken up may not be the right word since the tea leaves appear purposefully cut up. The tea leaves have a slight dried fruit scent. I brewed at 175 °F for three minutes.  The liquor had a very common greenish yellow color and there was a slight peachy aroma. The taste not surprisingly was of nectarines ( a lot of the greens I’ve tried from What-cha have a peach-nectarine taste I suspect Alistair likes them) and there was a slight tart edge. Compared to the Premium greens I had before the taste was a lot less clean.

I could very well see myself buying this tea again as a sort of everyday tea that I could easily serve to company.

Krasnodar Large Leaf Dagomys Tea Estate Green Tea

The dry leaves were not as cut up as the last in fact they appear twisted into tight spirals and are quite dark even though most of the Russian Teas I have tried had dry leaves darker then I normally see in greens and oolongs; I must remember to look into how Russian Tea growers roll their teas, I don’t remember seeing spiraled tea leaves before. There was a slight tangy scent to the dry leaves, almost like barbeque sauce without the smoke and spice. I brewed at 175 °F for three minutes once again and the liquor became very redish-brown for a green tea. This time there was a very slight smoky aroma, although not as smoky as the Yunnan Purple Zi Juan, but more than the ZhejiangPurple Zi Sun Cha. There was a very generally fruity taste, maybe more apple than anything else, but the taste lingered for a long time.

Once again I could definitely see myself buying this tea individually as an everyday tea. It is very non-offensive.

Krasnodar 'Since 1947' Matsesta Tea Estate Green Tea

This tea had the greenest dry leaves of the batch; they reminded me of Long Jing's tea leaves that have been mangled a bit. In fact they tasted very much like a Long Jing. I brewed at 175 °F for three minutes; this produced a very pale yellow liquor. There were some minor fruity and grassy notes. This was probably the most complex of the sampler.

I don’t know if I would buy this one again, while there was nothing wrong with it, it didn’t stand out beyond the appearance of the dry leaves.

Krasnodar Stem 'Chereshkovaya' Matsesta Tea

The tea leaves are dark and very strange, they remind me very much of chai blends a few longer strands while majority is finely cut. I brewed at 175 °F for three minutes and this produced a grassy tea with a lingering nutty taste. Not too grassy, but it was not light, almost just right.

I might purchase this again. It is neither bad nor good, it does nothing wrong, yet it does not do anything particularly well. To be honest it is a little middle of the class type of tea. While I could find better easily at the same time I could find a lot worse at the same time. I almost want to say it is mediocre, but this was my favorite tea of the sampler if that makes any sense. It doesn’t challenge me, but I don’t feel held back with this tea.

Krasnodar Stem 'Chereshkovaya' Host Tea Estate Green Tea

The tea leaves are very green for a Russian green tea (although I have not tried enough Russian tea to determine if dark tea leaves are normal) and there is a scent that I can’t identify. The leaves are a mix of chopped and longer strands. I brewed at 175 °F for three minutes and this produced a grassy tea. Not too grassy, but it was not light, almost just right.

While this tea was relatively simple I might purchase it if it was sold individually, I could easily find grassy teas that were complex, but if I was looking for a one note tea (not that this is bad) I would consider purchasing this.

Krasnodar 'VIP' Matsesta Tea Estate Green Tea

The dry leaves were a mix of tightly spiraled tea and cut up leaves. I brewed at 175 °F for three minutes. This one taste very similar to a Dragonwell even though the dry leaves look nothing like one, it was mostly nutty with a mild grassy taste, although there was no sweetness in this tea.

I may or may not buy this tea if it was sold individually, because it tastes so similar to a Dragonwell I feel I can easily find very complex ones relatively cheaply. If I were to buy it again it would have to be priced very competitively. While this may be my second favorite of the sampler, it doesn’t stand up to What-Cha’s Zhejiang Dragonwell which is very cheap for the quality.

This sampler was considerably harder for me to write on, while many of the teas from the Discover Russia Premium Non-Black Sampler had more distinctive tastes; the teas in this were more restrained. I enjoyed this sample more though, but if you are looking for teas that feel unfamiliar the other sampler is for you. I felt very comfortable with these teas since sampling them felt like trying on an old sweater.  Overall these teas felt like the easy kind of tea to enjoy whenever rather than the kind you have to be in the mood for. 


Just a guy who likes tea.