3TB for 1 gourd, no sweetener at first. Rating: 90.

Loose tea at the Bulk Barn? Loose tea at the Bulk Barn? Well, all right, I’ll look into that. They carry a decent selection of unusual bagged teas, including some hard-to-find Stash blends, plus the usual groaning shelves of Celestial Seasonings. In the past, they’ve kept ghostly teabags, all very gossamer, in those transparent bins where light can ruin them. (Gah!) The new loose teas are also in transparent bins, but the bins have magnetic seals, so they shouldn’t get too stale, too fast.

Some of the new loose teas are quite pretty to look at, including this one. The greens of the mate leaves and the lemon grass are quite vibrant, and the yellow petals strewn throughout add some contrast.

Taste: a quite acceptable green mate that is NOT overpowered by the lemongrass. I’d expected this to be a mouthful-o-lemongrass and so only bought 40 cents worth to try. The mate is crisp and very green in taste, in-your-face leafy, and the lemongrass complements that nicely. The mate will get bitter if forgotten in the gourd while you go fold a load of laundry, but add some sweetener and fresh warm water and all is well again.

The bin I bought from is pretty fresh, and the mate offers a decent lift. Overall, a pleasant surprise.

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Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE. New novel this March called THIS MARLOWE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Floral oolong and complex black teas are my favourites.


St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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