Rodopsko Bile

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Recent Tasting Notes


I live in a country where when you say tea most people think of tisane. And it’s quite understandable, we’ve been drinking herbal teas long before Camellia sinensis made it to these lands. We’ve been drinking thyme, and peppermint, St John’s wort, chicory, and yarrow, clover, chamomile, lemon balm and linden blossom. In fact granny used to take me out on day trips and we used to gather these very same herbs in preparation for the winter months. Ah the good old days.

Anyway, this is a different herb and one not as common, probably because in Bulgaria you can only find it in the Pirin mountains. Sideritis scardica is an interesting looking herb – sort of woolly from all the white fuzz that covers stem and leaves. It brews into a vibrant yellow liquor and has a unique and interesting flavor and smell. It’s herbaceous but also lemony. It also has a faint sage note, nowhere near as powerful as the real stuff. Overall it’s a very light flavor profile. There’s some sweetness and a feeling of spicy pepperiness in the back of the throat. It also smells slightly savoury too but that doesn’t translate into the taste.

In the rare occasions I buy this tea I usually go for the shredded version which also has the stem and leaves. I thought that the whole flowers would be easier to brew without the need for a strainer or tea bag. It could be unrelated but for some reason this batch seems more peppery than I remember.

Flavors: Citrus, Herbaceous, Lemon, Pepper, Sweet

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

The species that grows on Crete reminds me a lot in taste of oregano.


Yeah, I get some oregano and thyme in the citrusy notes. I wonder how different the Cretan variety is?


I agree about the oregano vibe. I think the common name for this in English is “Ironwort” (for some reason, I had just looked that up recently). In Greece it’s just called Mountain Tea (Tsai tou Vounou / Τσάι του βουνού), and most households have it in their cupboard. Unfortunately, I’m not very fond of it, myself. I do have it in my cupboard, though. :P

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