From the queue
This one was also shared with me by MissB. I’ve had maté before, but not some that looked like this. The maté I’ve had was green but this is brown. I suppose this must be the roasted kind, yes? As I understand it, the flavour is supposed to be vastly different. The other matés I’ve had I’ve thought tasted a bit like pea pods and a vague sense of mint, as I recall, so I’m curious about this.
I’m a little concerned about the ‘Java’ bit of the name though. Java, that’s something to do with coffee (Except when it’s an island, of course) and I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really find any sort of mixture of tea and coffee to be a match made in Heaven. Rather the opposite in fact. Is this blend coffee related at all, I wonder? Is it supposed to be?
The aroma is strongly cocoa-y. It smells not like chocolate, but rather like those cacao shells that have been rather popular on the site recently. Cocoa is all I get from the leaf, so I’m still none the wiser regarding the maté. I confess the maté is really what I’m the most interested in with this blend.
After steeping, the aroma is strongly hot cocoa. So much so, in fact, that it quickly becomes a bit cloying. Sweet and cocoa-y, but more sugary than particularly rich. It’s like that hot cocoa powder mix that you stir into milk and then heat up to make hot chocolate, only as if it had been made with boiling water rather than hot milk. I can’t detect anything coffee-like in it, and I still honestly don’t know if I’m supposed to. I’m still being confused by the ‘Java’.
After cooling a bit, the aroma becomes less cloyingly hot cocoa and more mocca-y. This is where I finally get a whiff of something coffee-y. It’s not very much so, just a hint of it, and there being so little of it actually only serves to enhance the mocca-y impression.
The problem I’ve had with these cacao shells is that when steeped they taste so much like hot chocolate and feel so little like it. The lack of texture breaks the whole thing for me, and I just can’t reconcile the flavour of cacao with the watery substance. I’m brought in mind of these hot chocolate powders made with boiling water again and all I can then think of is to curse the lazy cheap-skate that couldn’t be brought to use warm milk!
While the aroma was a little reassuring on the coffee-front, the taste is not living up to this at all. Rather than something primarily cocoa-y as promised, I’m tasting something that can only described as borderline weak coffee. It doesn’t even have that mocca-y tendency that the aroma suggested. It’s just weak coffee with a bit of cocoa around it. I suppose if I were to look very hard for it, I could call it cocoa-y, but the coffee-y aspect is really dominating for me to such a degree that I couldn’t describe it as such in good conscience.
I suppose it’s a question of how things we don’t like tend to rather overshadow other things. A bit like how even a blend that only has a little bit of hibiscus in it will still have a metallic taste to me.
Is it the roasted maté that gives the coffee-y notes? I imagine it might be. I can sort of vaguely see the connection from here to the pea pods of the green stuff, and I’m also getting that minty aftertaste and mouthfeel from it.
I have to say this is not a blend for me. It seems fairly similar to the chocolate aire that Bonnie sent me, and which I’m currently drinking at work for which it is eminently suitable. It might grow on me if given the chance, but as it is I don’t particularly enjoy the aroma of it, and I don’t really enjoy the flavour either. It is, however, fairly drinkable if one isn’t paying too much attention. Therefore, this is what I shall do.