It smells stronger dry then it does once brewed, but it still has a good flavor. It’s smooth and I can definitely taste the chocolate. There is a vegetal underlying taste which I assume is the mate (I’ve never had just straight mate so I’m not certain what it tastes like on its own). When I want something that feels darker and richer than black tea it’s a good fix. I add just a little bit of the German rock sugar…keep thinking about putting some almond milk or creamer in it but it feels like that might make it too rich for me. I use 1.5 tsp to 8 oz of water and brew for 5 minutes. For a resteep I go 6 or 7 minutes.