572 Tasting Notes

I’m not sure if this is the correct tea because there was no definitive name on the bag tag, but based on the taste, I’m dropping it here.

From Martin Bednar. All the herbs in this organic blend are from Switzerland. Neat.

Light, bright, mineral and herby without green herbaceousness. The most forward taste is thyme but it’s not in your face. I feel the menthol oozing from my chest. Tangy lemon balm aftertaste. Overall delicate and balanced. Lovelovelove! I wish I had easy access to coop teas! The three you sent, Martin, are all fantastic!

Flavors: Herbs, Menthol, Mineral, Tangy

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

Ah, it is! This is with added “Malve” and that is Mallow wflowers. And same, I wish I can get those teas easier too. They are so well blended!

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Loved the 2017 harvest, so some time ago I bought a 50g bag of the 2018. It took me a while to open it, but once I did, it was gone in a flash. I western steeped pretty much all of the bag besides the last 5g today, which I prepared gongfu just to see how the tea would respond, which was surprisingly well!

Comparing the 2017 harvest to 2018, most of the notes found before were still there in complexity . This time around it seemed autumn leaf, wood, malt and tangy citrus dominant with a bit more (enjoyable) bitterness and a heftier tannic bite. I didn’t pick up on cocoa nor muscatel with this harvest but I did notice maybe some burnt sugar as well as persimmon, like in those highly oxidized Taiwanese red oolong. Dynamic mid- and background notes that seemed to be in constant flux on my tongue.

My black teas are getting dangerously low again; I hope the 2019 harvest is around when I get the itch to fill my black tea fix from What-Cha.

Flavors: Almond, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Brown Toast, Burnt Sugar, Cherry, Citrusy, Fruity, Herbs, Lemon Zest, Malt, Orange Blossom, Peach, Raisins, Rose, Spices, Tangy, Tannic, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Non-spicy ginger overpowers the weak turmeric. Strong orange oil and licorice root, no black pepper.

Do Not Like.

A tea-drinking coworker loves licorice root so I’ll be gifting the rest of this box to her, along with another licorice heavy tisane.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Chai Rooibos by Yogi Tea
572 tasting notes

Sent a few bags to Mr. Bednar without trying it myself first.

It’s fine, nothing special and not worth the sometimes steep prices Yogi teas can fetch. I smell it all, I taste it all — rooibos, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, clove (barely on swallow), stevia. Despite the nose-burning spice of the dry bag it’s not spicy in taste. It’s not initially sweet but much later after a swig the stevia comes out as a kind of superficial sweet slickness lining my mouth. The brew is watery. Another meh by Yogi.

Martin: my bag tag says, “In life, don’t create just an impression, create a trust.” What?? On some level I get it but it’s so vague, kind of like Yogi teas themselves. Anybody want to enlighten me because I feel I’ve failed, haha.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

Yeah, their quotes sometimes hit the nail on the head. But sometimes they are weird or vague. Their blends sounds in theory usually so tast, nice packaging; but they should focus on teas I guess.


Taking a mental inventory, but I don’t think I’ve ever liked a Yogi tea. Always far too slick and sweet, as you’ve mentioned here.


Never had a Yogi that I’ve liked, either. They go way too hard with the stevia and licorice root. I feel like Yogi makes blends that are meant to appeal to people who have deprived themselves of sweets for years and have forgotten what caramel or mocha or whatever actually tastes like.

Martin Bednář

I kind of enjoyed Yogi (but European version) with name “Positive energy”. But I rated it “only” 75/100.

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Sunday afternoon tea with my housemate while watching movies.

I brewed the entire dragon ball in a 500 mL teapot with water off-boiling. Initial tastes were smooth, malty, cocoa-y, minerally and nectar-sweet with very light bitterness. As the tea continued to steep, the flavor profile morphed to savory notes of orange-flesh squash, leather, malt and bright tobacco with a gritty astringency. The rose remained a pleasant and never over-bearing floral addition. Overall, a nice tea to brew in a large pot for a lazy Sunday.

This might’ve been the final tea of a swap with Kawaii433 this time last year. Thanks so much for your generosity and being a part of my day today <3 I miss your reviews, by the way!

Movie pairing: The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

Flavors: Astringent, Cocoa, Leather, Malt, Mineral, Nectar, Pumpkin, Rose, Smooth, Sweet, Tobacco

205 °F / 96 °C 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Nightcap to a dinner of homemade green curry. I’ve never had straight verbena. Pleasing, mellow aroma. Sip is citrusy and herbaceous followed by a unique, light sweetness. The aftertaste is fantastic and lingering. I couldn’t figure out how to describe it beyond green-sweet-citrus-floral(ish) but then I saw Mariage Frères mentions a taste of candied citron. That’s it. Lovely.

Flavors: Citrusy, Floral, Green, Herbaceous, Sweet

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

That sounds so soothing!

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drank 2016 Teadontlie by White2Tea
572 tasting notes

Finished off the sample after letting the open bag soak up moisture. The ‘rehydration’ seems to have brought the tea to a more stable and sweet middle ground, toning down the sharp and lofty florals and muting some of the bitterness. Still, I couldn’t find much to enjoy about this sheng. I wonder if it’s just retreating for a time.

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drank Bai Jiguan (2018) by Old Ways Tea
572 tasting notes

Caveat: I haven’t even been able to enjoy tea since I’ve been home from dogsitting and have in fact drank very little. This tea is just ok for me. It’s complex and strange as baijiguan is. Try a baijiguan rock oolong if you never have and want to throw your tastebuds for a little loop.

I debated editing out a portion of my life because it sounds whiney (frankly, I’m scared), but I have friends here so it stays, just moved below.

I tried some big girl panties on for size the past several weeks to push through exhaustion and anxiety. Even big girl panties rip when you’re dragging ass like my cat did across the rug the other day… And all the bits of myself I didn’t want people to see came out in full force last week. Hello, vulnerability. Yes, my cat looks at me with shame when she’s dragging ass, the same look my dog used to give while experiencing the joy of peristalsis over a very sad parcel of sandy soil in a sidewalk that once housed a tree on a steep block in San Francisco until somebody drunkenly parallel parked into the tree. That’s the look I was giving the world last week with my knitted brow. A combination of shame and “Protect me, I’m vulnerable right now”, which quickly morphed into the look of chronic pain — a defocused gaze and disinterested body language that many seem to take as a personal affront. The sweater I knitted wasn’t going over so well at work so I opted to take off the past few days.

What all that whining comes down to is I’ve had a hernia? for several months that I think may be putting pressure on a nerve in my leg which is causing my right hip to crumple beneath me along with that dull, throbbing pain that mutes any pleasurable moments one may have in the midst of SAD season. Makes doing my job difficult and I can’t work out at all. Due to changes in health insurance providers and a period without any insurance, I had put off going to the doctor until last week. I was scheduled for an immediate consultation with the surgeon, which is thankfully today.

Flavors: Camphor, Carrot, Citrusy, Coffee, Compost, Floral, Forest Floor, Freshly Cut Grass, Fruity, Gardenias, Graham Cracker, Mineral, Mushrooms, Osmanthus, Peach, Sugar, Sweet, Tangy, Yeasty

205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Oh Gosh! Hernia , not good news. if I had read this first you would have had a longer email. I sure hope and pray you can get through it. I had a repair that put me out 8 weeks from work. Now I try to be careful not to repeat getting one.


Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this! I don’t know if there is anything on there that can help you, but maybe check out StopChasingPain on insta and see if there is anything that might help with the hip/leg pain! I will definitely be praying for you and hope you get relief soon! I have to keep up with lots of physical therapy exercises and stretches to keep myself moving so I hope you find something that works for you!

Martin Bednář

Oh my…
It sounds like a big trouble and I have nothing to write about it. I have totally no adivce, because, I never had a hernia. It was moreover quite hard to go through the text, as, you used probably lots of idioms; or phrases hard to translate. But that’s joys of not being native speaker.

I just hope, that everything will be fine soon, doc will find some treatment that will work for you. I will pray for you as well. There is nothing much more I can do. But I still hope you will find again some days when you really can enjoy everything, including teas!


Praying that some sunshine finds you today—inside and out!


Not whining. wishing you luck and health, derk.

Shanie O Maniac

Ouch! I hope you are ok. I will send good vibes and lots of prayers your way! I have never had a hernia before (I think) so I really have no advice. But I can pray for you. Here’s hoping things improve shortly.


Thank you all, to those here and those that responded in private message. I would like to respond to all individually soon <3

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drank Chai by Teekanne
572 tasting notes

CTC black tea with other unknown ingredients.

My focus was elsewhere when I brewed this Chai to follow lunch. I remember enjoying it but it’s very cinnamon oil forward in taste and smell. Worked great with the base tea, though, and it wasn’t drying like some spice-heavy chai can be.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Spicy, Wood

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

Ingredients are following: Black tea 29%, cinnamon 24%, chicory root, ginger, cardamom, natural aroma, blackberry leaves, cinnamon aroma, star anise, black pepper.


Ah, thanks

Martin Bednář

I wasn’t sure if I have a box from it and surprisngly I found it :)

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drank Lime Cola by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
572 tasting notes

Smells nice brewed up. Taste is tart lime forward followed by the musky-earthy-floral dried lime layer and hints of cola nut. Underneath that is the unmistakable leafy-earthy, lightly smokey-bitter taste of yerba mate. A lot like Numi’s Dry Desert Lime but tempered by linden and something else. It was fine on its own but it really excelled when had between bites of steaming Trader Joe’s Aloo Chaat Kati, essentially an Indian Hot Pocket.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Martin Bednář

It seems I prepared it wrong?!


What makes you say that

Martin Bednář

Because I strongly disliked this one.


I think dried lime possesses a very polarizing flavor.

Martin Bednář

Maybe I just need to try it again :)

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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy — message me if you want to try something! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, GABA oolong. I also appreciate Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Darjeeling and Nepali teas, bagged tea and herbal teas/tisanes.

I take my teas without milks or sweeteners except sometimes chai and the rare London Fog, matcha latte and golden milk.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings, just nothing cloying. And no added sugars, sweeteners, candy or chocolate.

I abandoned both my preference reference and the recording of detailed steeping parameters in January 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative descriptions. At this point, I am still comfortable toggling the “Not/Recommended” button.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be daily drinker teas.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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