831 Tasting Notes

I found some tea bag left of those, and decided to brew it.
As a collector I took it out of foil wrappers earlier, so it wasn’t so potent as earlier, but it was still very nice herbal!

The mint was probably most present nowdays, with kind of earthy thyme and sage.
Hmm, too bad that coop have those wonderful teas only in Switzerland.

On side note, it seems my brother caught Covid-19; he just lost all sense of smell (and common cold never did it to him); we made measures earlier… so we are safe but of course it isn’t great at all. Results should come in Saturday

White Antlers

OH NO! Martin, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. My oldest friend, who now lives 11 hours away from me, got COVID earlier in the year. He did not even know he was sick. He lost his sense of smell for a month and his toes turned purple (for real, not being funny) and he later learned he had been infected. He is in his 60s and has other long term health issues but he came out just fine. I wish the same for your sibling.


Praying for your family—may you be healthy and anxiety free!

Mastress Alita

Hoping the best for your brother. My sister is currently fighting Covid infection and has just developed the no smell/no taste symptom herself.


Praying for you and your family Martin.


oh no, all of our siblings are getting covid right now, which.. I guess is saying what is happening to the world right now… I’m wishing the best for all of your family, Martin!

Martin Bednář

Thank you everyone, I appreciate it a lot! We bought him some necessary things today (he got 1 year old, wonderful and cute, daughter). So far it seems he lost the sense of smell, which is in current situation the minor trouble.

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I had to search what Sloe Gin is. That spirit sounds interesting and i would like to try it.

To the tea… be cautious; aroma is very pungent; not sure if it is elderberries; but probably yes :) and it smells after gin (actually rather the base — drupes). But it’s so strong!

While brewed, it is still very aromatic. Even my father noticed it and he said: “What the … are you drinking again?” Hihi. I told him and well, he was surprised.

I took one heaped tea spoon and second was quite empty, as I was afraid it won’t be too tasty. How wrong I was after three minutes steep! It is with nice base, some sweetness and although no actual gin (not sloe gin, as I have no idea) notes, there were some drupe notes I think… Smoky in the finish and back of tongue.

Not a tea which I will look for every day, but certainly an interesting blend worth trying and I think I will finish it without problems when looking for something bold and flavourful.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
White Antlers

Martin, this brought back memories! The first hangover I ever had when I was a young teen was after many many sloe gin fizzes. Gawd-I was so sick! Bottled sloe gin has a slight aroma of almonds that comes from steeping the fruit’s stones as part of the mixture. It’s a delicious drink-and lethal (or so it felt the next day) in large doses.

Martin Bednář

I am glad it wasn’t really lethal for you White Antlers, but I can imagine it. Maybe it was bit almondy in taste; but certainly not overpowering :)


The worst hangover I ever had was from gin as well. This tea sounds like an interesting idea though! Gin flavorings with smoky lapsang actually sounds delightful, and no hangovers involved…

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Sencha, origin unknown, from derk, but rather White Antlers
It is sencha with pine needles she got few weeks back, see here: https://steepster.com/derk/posts/406644

Happy to try it out! I took two teaspoons in 75-80°C water and it was quite good decision. Steep was quite short, about 2 minutes.

It was mellow, grassy, forest floor a bit. Quite jasmine like, which I wonder where it come from. It was altogether bit on weak side and I have drank about one half of my 300 ml mug, as my mother spilled the rest when she wanted find out what I am drinking. “It’s good” she said but she had just last sip left in the vessel. I have two other tea spoons luckily; but it IS past its prime.

White Antlers

That tea is a good 5 years old. It came from Life In Teacup.

Martin Bednář

Oh well, that makes sense that both ingredients are past its prime :)

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Opened Steepster this morning (it’s 6 pm now), that I will write impressions of morning session. But we need to go shopping (tomorrow is “bad” bank holiday — shops are closed down); we had to visit the cemetery, so I rather, after week @home, went outside. I needed it pretty much badly, because I was so tired with staying home. But of course, all measures had to be taken, so facemask, disinfections, one-use gloves and so on. But pretty good morning!

Ah well, the tea. In the morning, I have used 80°C water, 3 grams, western. Nothing wrong with that, quite fast steep — 2 minutes. It was quite fruity, not sure about mango or papaya as previous raters said, but it was fresh as it could be (harvest in July 2015!), and quite enjoyable. Some earthy nose though, dry forest floor and quite… not amazing.

In the afternoon (I had two 90 minutes lectures from 1 pm) I prepared it again, with same parameters, but only (and recommended) 75°C water. It was much more earthy, sand-aroma like, drying, smoky…

It was like totally different tea, much worse and older, almost no of that nice tropical flavours.

No rating, no recommend → yes/no, as it was just totally different. For now, I will give it around average rating though. Thank you though White Antlers

Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Mango, Sand, Tropical

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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This is as well from White Antlers and again same pouch as derk had.
The pouch looks very pretty! But using ounces and Fahrenheit was bit tricky. Also, what is one tablespoon? It was remaining amount of tea there, based on my own tablespoon.

So, measured, tea in my DIY tea bag, measured 190°F and steeped for 3 mintes. The colour of brew haven’t changed much! Very pale yellow. But it indeed brought some aromas to brew! It is meadow-like, bit mushroomy (Meadow mushrooms). On the pouch raw sugarcane is mentioned, but again an aroma I have no experience with.

In taste it is quite sweet for my teeth. Creamy, as derk notices, I think I can imagine corn-notes, overall again floral notes too. It is mouth-coating though and quite well, bit like fuzzy as well. As it cools down, it becomes more earthy, but mildly. Quite yummy!

2nd steep, as suggested, 5 minutes long.
More earthy notes, but still quite enjoyable. Bit more on honey side? But enjoyable.

White Antlers and derk thank you both that you have decided to send it to me. It’s very nice tea, mellow. I maybe expected something bit different, but certainly it’s worth trying and again, I will repeat myself, perfectly drinkable. I have no idea how old it is, but seems quite fresh for me.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Mushrooms

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 300 ML
White Antlers

Glad it was to your liking Martin. I can’t remember how old the tea was though I am grateful to derk as courier and both of you for your willingness to try tea that is elderly but still loveable. : )

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I really enjoy this tea :)

It is nicely lavender / lemony / rooibos blend. Mellow in all aspects, but flavours are well executed.

I said everything about this tea in previous notes.

Why I feel writing about this (or any another) today is a must for me? It isn’t!

Flavors: Floral, Lavender, Lemon Zest

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
Cameron B.

I always feel weird not writing about tea when I drink it, hah. And I think it’s perfectly natural to want to write a note for a tea that makes you happy, whether you’ve written about it lots before or not! :)

Martin Bednář

I usually write down notes while drinking; but not this time and moreover… I felt I wrote everything :P


I have written about a couple teas many times! Bailin Gonfu and Yuchi Wild Mountain for sure!

Mastress Alita

I tend to only write one note per each tea I drink (usually the first time I try it, but if I’m busy and have a large amount to get through, I may put it off until a different cup). I just don’t have the time in my life (nor care, honestly) to log every cup of tea I drink. Sometimes after years I might review a tea again, just because I figure my palate may be different after all that time, or I may if my experience has change… basically, if I feel I have something different to say than the first time. (As a side note, I was thinking about this tea the other night, and think I’m going to move it over to my “Sipdown Corner” very shortly… I really like it, too!)

Martin Bednář

I am not naturally writing about a new note with a new cup, but somehow how I change my teas, I think it never goes boring what I am drinking in the moment (or at least the day).

It would be fun, if we were drinking same tea Mastress Alita, sometimes it happens, hihi.

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I was about to send this to AJRimmer as part of Advent Calendar swap, but I found out I have just a little, something between one and two teaspoons. That was way too little to share, moreover it was mostly dust of ingredients. Sorry!

So I preapred it myself to have SIPDOWN.

It seems there were lots of pea flower as it was turning blue/violet/whatever colour was that very fast.

Again it was quite blueberry mostly in taste, but I noticed hints of peaches as well. Nothing too unique, pretty much straightforward; no flaws, but missing something. Maybe some creamy notes, crumble or something. It’s nice brew for kids, I assume, but nothing what tells me “order me again!”

Flavors: Blueberry, Peach

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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While I read in newsletter that last year’s sell out fan returns I was quite hyped. But unfortunately, it is bit of dismal.

I sniffed the new pouch, as it is from OCTOBER 2020 subscription and it was quite nice, but not what I have been expecting. It wasn’t much autumnal at all, rather summery and rose was prevailing. Then some hints of cloves and cinnamon, but overall it was rather soapy.

While brewed, and I haven’t used boiling water, it was about 5 minutes after boiling; it was again some green-rose tea like. On the sips, there some spicy notes appear, but very wanly.

Overall, quite sad. I don’t see reason drinking this in the autumn, as it was rather summer blend. The name sounds great, but it didn’t deliver any of expectations I had.

Flavors: Rose, Soap

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Another tea bag from derk, but tea maybe from White Antlers.
Apparantly, they use some new packaging I haven’t seen before and is is wonderful one.

But it is pretty much average tea. I haven’t expected much of flavour profile, but I expected to taste the base at least! I haven’t noticed rooibos, it was quite savoury. And although there should be many different spices, I noticed almost only ginger and allspice. Maybe some cardamom in the background, but none of nutmeg, cloves, or cinnamon. The rooibos was weak as well!

Not for me…

Flavors: Ginger, Spicy

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 300 ML
White Antlers

Definitely from derk. No way would rooibos ever cross my threshold. lol

Martin Bednář

Haha, okay then :)

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I get two pieces of those from derk. And as my gaiwan is broken (the lid, but as it is second crack I decided to don’t use it anymore), I brewed grandpa. She wasn’t that much impressed, but me? Let’s see!

Used all 7 grams of one piece per my 300 ml glass. Although it is bit on strong side, it is good (and I have prepared two steeps)

First steep is quite strong… but I knew it before I decided to give it a try; and typical shu notes are there. It was bit woody, earthy and quite dark. Not sure if I noticed any cocoa, but kind of dark chocolate was there I guess. Maybe a little of umami.

The seconds steep is way lighter and more into cocoa! Even quite sweet-side. It is more chocolatey than previous. Still full of flavour. Smooth and coating. Cocoa sweetness and hints of creamy.

Song pairing: Well, Bruce Spingsteen’s new album? Have you noticed? I haven’t till today!
That said, I am not sure if: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQyLEz0qy-g (Letter To You), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzvnEvbL-qs (House Of A Thousand Guitars). That’s it! But all album is, ehm, great.

Both songs make me feel that I should burst out crying, don’t know why. But they are so amazing. Great album. Well, he is “The Boss”!

Won’t rate as I will after preparation gong-fu. This deserves 80+ rating though. I am sad that you weren’t that impressed derk! Maybe it needs the rough preparation?

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Earth

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 7 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

I’m glad you enjoyed this gift from White Antlers :)


I repaired a broken teapot lid with epoxy this week. It’s not exactly food safe but, eh, whatever. That was your only gaiwan, no? Did you order anything from that Etsy vendor Mastress Alita mentioned?

Martin Bednář

derk honestly I thought it’s from your stash, but nevermind. Well, it made lots of small pieces as it was cracked earlier and fixed as well. Yes, I have ordered new one from Tangpin, somewhere in comments I even shared an image of ordered one. I think I will fix it, but won’t use it at all or much less at least. New one will be bigger as well and suits my teacup better. I will certainly take a photo of both once I will use it!

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I am drinking almost everything. Tea bag collector who moved to wonderful world of loose leaf.

Trying to rate differently tea bags and loose leaf as tea bags have usually worse quality.

Photographer now and then. Postcrossing and geocaching member. Very curious person. Logistics student (should finish in June 2021).

Buried in tea right now. Is in my cupboard (trying to be updated) which sparkled your interest? Write me, I would gladly share with you. But I don’t want anything in return now :)


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