573 Tasting Notes

drank Lime Cola by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
573 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.

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

It seems I prepared it wrong?!

derk

What makes you say that

Martin Bednář

Because I strongly disliked this one.

derk

I think dried lime possesses a very polarizing flavor.

Martin Bednář

Maybe I just need to try it again :)

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drank Thé Earl Grey by Leader Price
573 tasting notes

Teabag from Martin, thanks! Info is limited but this looks like a French/Belgian supermarket store-branded tea.

CTC black tea with bergamot flavor. Tastes like ‘tea’ with light citrusy bergamot. The aftertaste offered a whisper of the floral perfume aroma that some Earl Grey have. It was fine for an after-lunch hot drink but overall much too bland to consider purchasing if I lived in Europe.

Flavors: Bergamot, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

Yeah, I thought it is something like that. Boring stuff considering that I sent :)

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drank Sonnenstrahl by Milford
573 tasting notes

Following my morning citrus craving, I’m going for an easy orange-chamomile bag tonight. You’re right, Martin. It’s basically chamomile tea and a poor one at that. The orange is there, though, but only as a tangy layer. Is there something else in this bag? I’m picking up an herbal taste and smell.

Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Tangy

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

Unfortunately, I have no idea if something else is in. Google doesn’t help either.

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I was craving citrus today (sunny and cold!) so this was a natural pick. Two teaspoons, two steeps.

Zesty and bold, complete with some pithy bitterness and citrus oils that enhance the brighter tones of the base Ceylon black tea, though I didn’t taste much tea. Good body that makes an easy sipper or gulper, whichever one prefers.

This might not make sense but somehow this bold citrus zest black tea, even with bitterness and tanginess, managed to be so smooth that it was inoffensive in all manners. I came away thinking that Simply the Zest is ultimately forgettable. Maybe I like teas with edgier personalities too much to be truly happy with this smooth baby. Great tea for today, though. Thanks for the share, Martin :)

Flavors: Bitter, Citrus Fruits, Citrus Zest, Orange, Smooth, Tangy, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Martin Bednář

Well, I think it is manner of personal tastes. It’s not bad… but just common. No wow moments :)

derk

I’m having another cup now. You’re right, not bad but common. Also very much what I want right now. It’s freezing outside!

Martin Bednář

Here as well, but sadly no snow. It is rather annoying weather as it rains sometimes, then it stops. Then starts to snow, in 5 minutes again nothing.
It’s crazy weather afterall.

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drank Bio Curcuma Spice by coop
573 tasting notes
Dark orange, cloudy brew with a dusty bottom. The steam is spice-floral, like an exotic perfume. The taste is strong enough that it would probably hold up to dairy or coconut milk. It’s fresh and spicy, just how I like my turmeric teas. However, the spice doesn’t burn nor linger but my whole mouth does have that tingling feeling before things go numb. The aftertaste lingers with light, earthy turmeric and a more noticeable fresh green cardamom seed.

By far the best bagged turmeric tea I’ve ever had. Numi turmeric tea blends here in the states have nothing on this. I’ll have to try what Martin spoke of in one review and use the other teabag to cook some basmati rice tomorrow. Thanks, guy :)

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

Yipee, I am happy that you liked it so much. I haven’t tried it in rice yet though.

derk

I haven’t either. It’s been a busy day off. Soon, though.

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100
drank 2016 Last Thoughts by White2Tea
573 tasting notes

After realizing a lot of my sheng samples are probably too dry sitting in sealed bags in a drawer, I put them in their own storage separate from my cakes. Same system, though. Simple and lazy — open bags in a crock with a terra cotta saucer on top that I fill with a puddle of distilled water. Keeps the humidity around 60-65% until the saucer dries out, at which point I refill. Keeping the temp high enough is a different story this time of year (both crocks are sitting at about 62F) but I’m too lazy to do anything about it. No mold growth. I’m not concerned with the lack of consistent metrics.

My sample of 2016 teadontlie drank maybe 2 weeks ago was I think too dried out, I stuck all my older unknown/multiple origin samples in the new crock. They’ve been getting that good moisture for over a week. Last Thoughts being one of them.

I’ve been having gongfu withdrawal, being away from home dogsitting, so I went back to my place this evening. Mechanic friend was there alone with my girl sleeping on his lap. He appreciates what sheng I’ve shared with him so that was reason enough to bring out Last Thoughts for the first time. Twelve grams in the 200mL duanni clay pot (whether it’s legit, I don’t know but it is by far the soundest clay pot I have and at $55 from Healthy Leaf I couldn’t help it), boiling. No notes, just friendship.

First thought: this has to be Yiwu region.

Following thoughts: Thick fragrance. Great texture transition from sip to swallow. Sweet and thick on sip, smooth with fast tannins and lingering bittersweetness in back. Rounded and heavy but fills the whole mouth. Slides like silk out of existence when going down my throat, leaving a camphorous ghost of itself to rise from my chest and into my sinuses. Complex, swirl of tastes of overripe, sticky sun-warmed plum and melon oozing sweet powdered sugar onto a bed of dried but damp meadow florals, antique wood, grain, nut. A shy, fruity warm spice I can’t place wraps itself within and around the plum with gooey, gossamer threads. Apricot brightness becomes prevalent later.

Cha qi was definitely there, deceptively subtle in strength, leaving me one minute running my fingers through the basket of beans I’m drying and getting lost in their cool feel and sound; to the next minute lost in transition, only to find myself again a bit later kicked so far back in the kitchen chair that my neck was resting on the top of chair back and my rear at the place I know best, the edge of my seat, with legs outstretched. Friend commented on how soft my face and demeanor had become. He, too, had mellowed out into some flow state. Haven’t steeped it out yet.

Last Thoughts: lyrical liquid legato

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 12 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
derk

Another night of steeping and the leaf still hasn’t given up. Growing into more of a sunny apricot profile with a syrupy-buttery flavor mix that reminds me of waffles. Now thinner but oily and also more bitter.

derk

Third round tonight. Getting into minutes-long steeps. Bitterness subsided, viscous, bright. I’m just sitting here shaking my head at this poor goldfish held captive inside a water-filled lava lamp on our kitchen table. I know who bought it, a man with frontal lobe damage, but I wonder who would sell something like this?

ashmanra

Your last sentence in that last comment needs to become the catalyst for a novel.

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This CTC teabag gives a flat delivery of chocolate and a leather saddle sat next to a fire to dry. Mellow malt and a hint of toffee, some bitterness but good. I brewed this in a styrofoam cup and the tea scum that bubbled up was kind of off-putting. Basic malty aroma but it wasn’t the main flavor.

Martin sent 2 bags. I drank one at breakfast and one at lunch. By my benchmark, that means it was decent. Still, I’d seek other breakfast teabags if I needed some.

Flavors: Bitter, Campfire, Chocolate, Leather, Malt, Toffee

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

Yeah, I know, it is okay. But I have some “weight left”, so I picked those, as I know it’s fresh tea. But certainly there are betteres English Breakfast blends and certainly I would not call it “supreme”.

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Haha, whoa.

The leaf is detritus. The liquid is stagnant swampwater. The flavor is the smell of the musty edges of a swamp complete with the tastes of tangy black currant and crisp mint that can grow in such moist locations.

If this tea didn’t have the novelty reference to The Guide, I don’t know what my gut reaction would’ve been but this is freaking brilliant. Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster transports me back to my swamp work ten years ago.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Martin Bednář

I had to put this one in! It is so crazy, yet quite good.

derk

It is crazy and I’m happy I get to revel in it’s weirdness.

Martin Bednář

Haha! Great!

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drank Wildapfeltee mit Rosmarin by coop
573 tasting notes

Apple and rosemary, that is all.

Delicious apple tartness balanced by savory, herbal rosemary with some earthiness. It’s only mildly sweet to me, but surprise! An unknown length of time after finishing the cup, a ball of sugary apple sweetness sits at the back of my mouth.

Perhaps not the freshest teabag but I overall love this simple combination! Thank you, Martin.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

I am happy you liked it. It is quite long since I had it last time, but probably will try it again soon.

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The smell in the bag was ahhhhh. Subtle sweet creaminess. I smiled and my shoulders relaxed.

It smelled pretty good brewed up, with that same subtleness but also light tanginess that accurately captured mascarpone. A vegetal/cooked green quality was present from the oolong (cheap and/or old tieguanyin or milk oolong?). The taste was strange and weak. The cherry came through with a 3 minute steep time but sampled with a longer 5 minute steep, the flavor was more watery, generic hibiscus sour. The light vegetal taste from the oolong didn’t complement the intended flavor profile. In desperation to get some of that creamy taste, I inhaled through my nose while taking a sip. Nada. I think the mascarpone and sour cherry combination would be awesome but the aroma and tastes didn’t integrate well enough for me to consider this a cohesive brew. Still enjoyable

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
derk

I see now in the description that the oolong is tieguanyin. I’d like to see this re-blended with an exceptionally creamy milk oolong!

Martin Bednář

Oh, if I will have nothing to do, I will try write them your suggestion. Indeed milk oolong will be (hopefully) better than “just” TGY. If they reply, I will share it.

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Profile

Bio

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.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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