drank Yerba Santa Tea by Juniper Ridge
506 tasting notes

My old coworker who now works for Juniper Ridge contacted me again for more work, this time harvesting some other tree or shrub near Grass Valley, CA. This project involves schlepping all the chainsawing gear up a mountain and camping for several days at a time instead of staying in a hotel and working on flat ground like the last few trips. But I can’t go because I love my new job and my days off are incompatible with their camping trips. So if anybody in the San Francisco Bay Area or Grass Valley/Nevada City/Tahoe region has the cojones to attempt this kind of work, send me a message — pleasefixsteepster oot gmail doot coom. They’re chill people.

Yerba Santa is a highly resinous evergreen shrub with long, toothed-lobed leaves and white- to lavender-colored flowers, indigenous to Oregon south to Mexico. I’ve only come across it in one location here in the Bay Area, on the west peak of Mt Tamalpais while doing restoration work. While eradicating an invasive grass, I’d toe my way around the yerba santa plants, trying not to disturb them too heavily but I’d always emerge at the end of the day with a sticky pair of work pants, more fragrant with this plant’s sap than with my own sweat. I love the resinous smell, so I’d admittedly wear my work pants for as long as possible before having to wash them :P

The aroma of this tea is difficult to describe and since I’m intimately familiar with the plant, it of course smells like yerba santa. Very resinous, sappy, medicinal. The taste is the same but also quite bittersweet at the same time, with the sweetness seeming similar to stevia for me. The finish is tart and drying with a lingering light bitterness. Immensely body cooling, more like balsam or pine than menthol. As far as medicinal claims, it’s supposed to be good for relieving the symptoms of lower respiratory ailments and allergies and bladder issues as a diuretic. I’m not testing whether this is true but if you follow herbal medicine, maybe give this one a try.

Flavors: Biting, Bitter, Drying, Medicinal, Resin, Sap, Sweet, Tart

Boiling 8 min or more 10 OZ / 295 ML
Martin Bednář

I need a plane tickets, working visa and off I go! :D


I bet they’d like to have you on the crew, Martin.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this


Martin Bednář

I need a plane tickets, working visa and off I go! :D


I bet they’d like to have you on the crew, Martin.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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, GABA oolong, sheng and shou puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, Laoshan green. 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 or matcha latte. I generally steep a tea until it has no more to give.

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

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

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer